How to make expensive things cheap

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How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Venture » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:08 am

How do we make expensive things cheaper, in turn increasing the general utility for populations?

E.g. lowering the cost of medicine, house ownership and rent, climate friendly production machinery and vehicles, large capacity buildings and humanitarian service, nuclear energy for space ships, water purifying nanotech, basic social psychotherapy, etc.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Mr Reasonable » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:56 am

Figure out a way to limit profit taking, or use more child/slave labor.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Carleas » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:32 pm

If the goal is to increase utility, slave labor probably won't help on net, given the disutility for the slave.

To the original question, removing barriers to trade is a big one, global trade has tons of positive spillovers, not least by significantly decreasing the price of consumer goods. Eliminating domestic subsidies would probably also help, by increasing competition and displacing expensive domestic production in favor of cheaper production abroad (not to mention reducing government spending accordingly, which could in theory be paired with a reduction in taxes).

More generally, pruning regulation is probably a good idea. Compliance costs are significant in themselves, and they also prevent new entrants into markets who we would expect to increase efficiency.

I'm ambivalent on limiting profit-taking. If profits are earned (e.g. a fixed percentage of the consumer surplus), then it would be harmful to limit profits. Moreover, if profits encourage entry and innovation, then there may be benefits to even very high profits if they result in a net increase in consumer surplus. On the other hand, some profits are just rents seeking, and discouraging those can both lower prices and encourage people to seek profits in more socially beneficial areas.

EDIT: words.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Venture » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:03 pm

I really like the contributions here so far.

I don't like the idea of limiting profit taking, but the management of profit spending is definitely a main concern. Managing profits doesn't necessarily mean reducing the profit margins, as I am insinuating a more efficient reinvestments into production, rather than taking away more from those make decisions for production.

To increase trade and competition, wouldn't we be sacrificing quality?

To what extent does the cost of labor affect the quality of the final product and the net profit spending?

I don't like compliance costs and high taxes, the latter has historically hurt more than the former. I think the increase in utility would increase the demand, but utility is perceived and therefore a choice produced by group psychology. Unfortunately, I don't think education and the morality of the general public is good enough for people to willfully choose to spend money on utility and quality where quality and utility is overdue.

Do we get what we pay for? Or do we moreso pay for what we want? The utility, quality, and morality behind the spending isn't stopping people's wants from spending on things that are already inflated, causing the things that need a price drop never seeing one.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Mr Reasonable » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:38 am

Increasing trade is code for more child labor.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Carleas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:41 pm

Trade and competition don't necessarily mean a decrease in quality, and where they do, it may be that consumers just prefer lower prices to higher quality.

I agree that taxes can be bad and decrease net utility, but redistribution is also utility enhancing (at least, before we account for the overhead of accomplishing it). Reallocating taxes to more efficient forms may be a free lunch, i.e. improving economic outcomes without pulling out more money. VAT, land value tax, and carbon taxes are likely better ways of collecting taxes that could fund redistributive spending at current levels with lower overhead and better aligned incentives.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Venture » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:47 am

Carleas wrote:Trade and competition don't necessarily mean a decrease in quality, and where they do, it may be that consumers just prefer lower prices to higher quality.

I agree that taxes can be bad and decrease net utility, but redistribution is also utility enhancing (at least, before we account for the overhead of accomplishing it). Reallocating taxes to more efficient forms may be a free lunch, i.e. improving economic outcomes without pulling out more money. VAT, land value tax, and carbon taxes are likely better ways of collecting taxes that could fund redistributive spending at current levels with lower overhead and better aligned incentives.


"Consumers prefer lower prices to higher quality"

Here we go, the natural cycle and golden ratio of the market cycles of excess and inadequacy, the assumption that we will be better off managing markets by a majority that spend and lend more than expected for future value and effects on the markets over time. Spending and lending, unregulated, is harmful in some cases.

How can we measure the effectiveness of redistribution of spending and the moral standards of how long term the balance applies to? I agree that trade and competition increase utility but not necessarily the redistributive properties and methods of measurement of profits, that is the best and equal to all. The value of spending is what the real issue is, how an average person invests in themselves and others.

Is the argument that utility is the foremost catalyst for making expensive things cheap?
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Mowk » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:21 am

Raw material + human time.

If you wish to make things with lesser cost as a monetary expression, question the value of human time and how it is manipulated. The raw materials don't really "cost" us anything to acquire but human time. Who are we paying for them? So we are sort of left with the equation human time plus human time as an exponent = cost, relative to amount of compensation required, which is pretty much what determines what things cost. I can't think of an actual monetary cost to any resource we have available on the planet if you are thinking monetarily.

I came along after a lot of this shit was in place. It existed before me and as result of cause and effect I can have no responsibility for the creation of it, I didn't make it. it is not mine. Question those that feel a life style is their right over others. I am not even responsible for what ever I am, I am not an I, we are a we. Millions of bacteria keep me alive, allow for the digestion of food. It's a group effort. "WE" should start working together, it makes no sense for a brain to think it better then an asshole, when every one of them has the other. We made this. It didn't happen on it's own.

What is time worth? Some people actually think time is theirs to sell.

I've ranted enough, still trying to figure where that came from.

I gotta go somewhere and figure out what I'm worth.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Mowk » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:36 pm

If the goal is to increase utility, slave labor probably won't help on net, given the disutility for the slave.

To the original question, removing barriers to trade is a big one, global trade has tons of positive spillovers, not least by significantly decreasing the price of consumer goods. Eliminating domestic subsidies would probably also help, by increasing competition and displacing expensive domestic production in favor of cheaper production abroad (not to mention reducing government spending accordingly, which could in theory be paired with a reduction in taxes).

More generally, pruning regulation is probably a good idea. Compliance costs are significant in themselves, and they also prevent new entrants into markets who we would expect to increase efficiency.

I'm ambivalent on limiting profit-taking. If profits are earned (e.g. a fixed percentage of the consumer surplus), then it would be harmful to limit profits. Moreover, if profits encourage entry and innovation, then there may be benefits to even very high profits if they result in a net increase in consumer surplus. On the other hand, some profits are just rents seeking, and discouraging those can both lower prices and encourage people to seek profits in more socially beneficial areas.


This certainly appears like a complicated way to talk about the circumstances and really has nothing to do with it. It's not an economic issue, it is cultural and cultured.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:44 pm

Venture wrote:How do we make expensive things cheaper, in turn increasing the general utility for populations?

E.g. lowering the cost of medicine, house ownership and rent, climate friendly production machinery and vehicles, large capacity buildings and humanitarian service, nuclear energy for space ships, water purifying nanotech, basic social psychotherapy, etc.

Making things that people have to work hard to create cheap is not going to make things better.
You will get exploding spaceships, collapsing houses, decomposing or otherwise low quality foods and such. It is good if people can be rewarded for their efforts and for making their assets available.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Mowk » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:15 am

It is good if people can be rewarded for their efforts and for making their assets available.

I don't argue this, but the sort of sliding scale of individual valuation as contribution is out of hand. Economics may make the case the most productive members of society earn the most compensation but I don't agree that is true.

Cosmic importance is in play. I would be surprised that in a thousand years very many people are going to be concerned that the Patriots and the Rams played in a super bowl a thousand years ago. And let's compare our valuation of the poorest person on the planet with the wealthiest person on the planet and come to any sort of justification for it.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby barbarianhorde » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:06 pm

Mowk wrote:It is good if people can be rewarded for their efforts and for making their assets available.

I don't argue this, but the sort of sliding scale of individual valuation as contribution is out of hand. Economics may make the case the most productive members of society earn the most compensation but I don't agree that is true.

Cosmic importance is in play. I would be surprised that in a thousand years very many people are going to be concerned that the Patriots and the Rams played in a super bowl a thousand years ago. And let's compare our valuation of the poorest person on the planet with the wealthiest person on the planet and come to any sort of justification for it.


I think you are mistaken about what causes the problem though. For example, Amazon, the company of the richest man in the planet, is so big because it has destroyed millions of small businesses by making products cheaper. The same goes for McDonalds, for example, and for any big company selling cheap stuff that used to have a slightly heavier pricetag. They put the whole working middle class out of work by making products too cheap to compete with.

Now I know your post isnt about hamburgers and mail orders but about things like medicine. So thats a very different question, I admit.
How to make medicines cheaper?
Donald Trump has made a big point of that, it can just be legislated. He is a hero for this reason, fighting Amazon, making medicine cheaper, attracting real peoples businesses back into the country.
I think for now, the best thing to do is get on the Trump train, and discuss with fellow working class people what can be done.
Here is a great place to start.

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:01 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:I think for now, the best thing to do is get on the Trump train, and discuss with fellow working class people what can be done.


I don't mean to hate, but I feel saying this might potentially help, like science helps.

I tried this line with the Venezuelan opposition for years. It never worked, their hate for Chavez and the Rabble was far more important to them than moving forward as a country. That's the real reason we have Maduro.

That's maybe what struck me about Rush Limbaugh that I felt compelled to post on the Limbaugh thread. He's telling us don't waste your energy. You're gonna need it for the Chi-comms.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:07 pm

That's also why I love Trump so much.

He is the same animal as Chavez in terms of pull and who he represents. But, instead of being a socialist psychopath, he is an eminently reasonable capitalist.

And that's the whole point. What Chavez was the bugle call for and now Trump incarnates is the 80% of the population that comfortable elites have been shitting on for centuries. Their anger.

What the opposition to both men fails to realize is that both men are right, both of their constituencies are right, and there is no avoiding the reckoning.

You either concede that you have been fucking over this 80% and start to work with them, or sit down and wait for the blood bath. I don't like blood baths, so I waste my breath.

Anyway, like I said, the things, rather than people, that Trump represents have actual strong currency and deep intellect to them, so he has a chance to get by without the participation of the opposition. Our task, then, is not to win over the opposition, but to minimize the efficiency of their destructive indignated fascist impulses.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:14 pm

Interestingly, and this should inform (but won't) democrats and leftists about the people they supposedly fight for, in both Chavez and Trump's cases it is not food or services or housing that they clamour for. They do want those things, but never at the expense of what they truly want, what they clamour for at the top of their lungs:

Pride

Dignity

Greatness

Make America Great Again
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:21 pm

Anyway, I relate. Just uh, don't wear yourself out.

You'll need the energy for the Chi-comms.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:26 pm

For example:

Instead of trying to convince or reason with Muller and his supporters,

sue the bastard.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:29 pm

*or try to ride him out on the justified assumption that he won't find any actual proof of a thing that doesn't even make sense to begin with. He won't stop. And even if he does, they'll find a new thing. He needs to be counter-attacked.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:33 pm

Enemy is playing chess, gentlemen,

Enough of this hackey sack shit.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby A Shieldmaiden » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:44 am

Perhaps we should initially acknowledge that there are eight billionaires who own half of the entire world's wealth.

These few people possess as much wealth as 3.6 billion people. That is staggering....and obscene.
Such dramatic inequality traps millions in poverty, fractures society and poisons politics.

So where would you begin gentlemen, to remedy this?
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:13 am

What is it, exactly, that your are trying to remedy?
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby wtf » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:52 am

Venture wrote:How do we make expensive things cheaper, in turn increasing the general utility for populations?\


Turn loose the free market. As with the computer industry, for example. Someone else suggested to eliminate the profit motive. But the profit motive is exactly how you make producers compete to lower prices and squeeze out inefficiency.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby barbarianhorde » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:53 am

wtf wrote:
Venture wrote:How do we make expensive things cheaper, in turn increasing the general utility for populations?\


Turn loose the free market. As with the computer industry, for example. Someone else suggested to eliminate the profit motive. But the profit motive is exactly how you make producers compete to lower prices and squeeze out inefficiency.

Yeah really this is the simple genius of nature that Capitalism represents and Socialism turns into a disaster. Because of the weird idea that if a guy tells some soothing story and is voted for, the result wont be a disaster, even though a billion people have suffered the disproving of that silly assumption.

At least profit is a reliable motive. Morality isnt. Profit isnt "multi intepretable" for one thing to start with, where morality is. You can have two diametrically opposed moralities but not diametrically opposed interpretations of what a monetary profit is vs what a monetrary loss is.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby A Shieldmaiden » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:36 am

Pedro wrote:
What is it, exactly, that your are trying to remedy?



How do you remedy this? You cannot. Unfortunately, in Trump's Washington, big companies are getting soft treatment. Major corporations, particularly those which have the greatest negative impact upon the environment, simply repackage themselves to shift public focus away from the fact that they are one of the world's foremost polluters.

Multinationals now rule and it is a cross to which we have all been nailed. Power today is global power, the power of the big companies, the power of financial capital, too much treasure is concentrated in too few hands.
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Re: How to make expensive things cheap

Postby Venture » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:46 am

but to minimize the efficiency of their destructive indignated fascist impulses.


I agree, but that would be a battle fought over so long a time amongst billions of people.

eight billionaires who own half of the entire world's wealth


This sort of statement is true but dangerous. One of us should meet one of them in some arena of measuring balance, we take our slings and they can have what they want to defend their perception. Unfortunately, that would be an arena of greedy cowards.

Profit isnt "multi intepretable" for one thing to start with


This is a contestable statement.

too much treasure is concentrated in too few hands


And the cycle continues.
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That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
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Signifying nothing.
"
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