Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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House price crash

Tax rental income at 50%
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
  [vote for,

The economy drags due to rent seeking in property markets. People need to buy homes but they are bought up for investment purposes.

We need to discourage malinvestment in housing that people need to live in.

I propose a tax on rental income at 50% and remove all exemptions of renting out properties.

Only after a crash should houses return to the historical norms of 4 times annual salary.

chronological, Apr 10 2020

http://housepricecrash.co.uk [pocmloc, Apr 10 2020]

https://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-gap/ https://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-gap/
Scalpel time part I - the underlying cause of the problem. [zen_tom, Apr 10 2020]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_shock https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_shock
Scalpel time part II - the cause of the cause - what set of events set in motion the increasing productivity/pay gap? [zen_tom, Apr 10 2020]

The Book of Revelation of St. John the Divine of Patmos https://en.wikipedi.../Book_of_Revelation
Quite ... odd. [8th of 7, Apr 11 2020]

Collective hallucinations and inefficient markets: The British Railway Mania of the 1840s http://www.dtc.umn..../hallucinations.pdf
By Andrew Odlyzko. See also "The Glenmutchkin Railway". [8th of 7, Apr 12 2020]

Taxing rental income at 50% would certainly reduce the numbr of availble rentals https://duckduckgo....tossell+tate&ia=web
Since the landlord already pays around 25% in taxes and 25% in hidden fees, the 50% of rental income would have the landlord selling his own home and lookig for rentals that don't exist [Sunstone, Apr 13 2020]


       //Only after a crash should//   

       You misspelled might, there's no d in it.   

       At least the 'intended' direction of travel is in the right place.   

       But there are probably unintended consequences you might not like.   

       Might be better ways to achieve the desired outcome.   

       Might not.
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       Government interference in markets is ultimately always negative.
8th of 7, Apr 10 2020

       While somewhat paradoxically a complete & utter lack of any government interference (regulation, laws, taxation & rules) also often leads to negative results.   

       For the many if not the few.   

       Balance & getting it right is the key.
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       If you tax rental income at 50% then most landlords, who already ignore maintenance issues, will stop fixing everything entirely,
Most will default on their mortgages since rental income is what pays off the loans.
The glut of foreclosures would flood the housing market causing property values to plummet, and whole districts to become slums.

       So, in short, your plan would guarantee mass evictions and bankrupt many people.   

       Those houses from defaulted & foreclosed mortgages would then be bought by others for knock down prices either to rent (with the smaller mortgages needed making it sustainably profitable again, or for cash) or to live in by those that couldn't previously afford to buy.   

       So, in short, after a brief hiatus you get a market adjustment & everyone's housed again.
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       This is a bludgeon where you need more of a scalpel. I am a landlord because we could not afford to sell our old place but needed more space than 2 bedrooms and 110 sq meters. Plenty of people are still upside-down like this in their mortgage vs. value.
RayfordSteele, Apr 10 2020

       There's one of the more obvious (unintended?) consequences ^   

       People you like may suffer financially along with those you want to hammer.   

       But you may consider that an acceptable broken egg to make your omelette with, after all, for someone to gain someone has to lose, that's the nature of redistribution of wealth.
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       > This is a bludgeon where you need more of a scalpel   

       Can you think of a scalpel that would solve the problem?   

       AFAIK, People need one house and they need that house to live in.
chronological, Apr 10 2020

       People who are still upside-down in their mortgages but couldn't stay in their first home had no choice but to rent.   

       On the other side of the equation are the slumlords. IMaybe if you rent out more than one home you should have some kind of sliding scale of taxation to discourage larger corporate purchases.   

       But that also hits rental complexes, so even more unintended consequences.
RayfordSteele, Apr 10 2020

       This is hardly a new idea. Land Value Tax based on taxing the rental value of property has been around for a century or more. See the writings of Henry George. There are even website discussion forums devoted entirely to extracting wealth from property owners to reduce the price of both renting and buying a house.
pocmloc, Apr 10 2020

       Not all problems have a solution.   

       While it is disagreeable (particularly for politicians) to admit "There is no fix for this", nevertheless such situations are far from uncommon.   

       It is a sign of intellectual maturity to be able to state "There is no obvious solution". This does not imply that the search for a solution should cease, nor that a non-obvious solution can be found, or changed circumstances reveal a solution.   

       Many mathematical problems are of this nature.   

       Consider the development of a vaccine for the common cold. A vaccine can be made for known variant strain A, but by the time it can be manufactured and distributed, the virus has mutated into variants A2, A5, B4- B7 and E.   

       Thus a vaccine to prevent the common cold is extremely challenging, and there is no current solution. The highly dynamic nature of the problem precludes a solution using current techniques. This does not mean that no solution exists.   

       Trying to apply a rule-based laggy solution to a large scale highly dynamic problem is unworkable. It's difficult enough to produce "self-driving" cars and autopilots, and those tasks are tightly bounded with minimal decision-response latency and small aperture uncertainty.   

       Social engineering is noted for the Law of Unintended Consequences making frequent and embarrassing inputs...
8th of 7, Apr 10 2020

       //then there is a huge jump upwards during the bailouts//   

       The idea includes //remove all exemptions of renting out properties//   

       Removing or reducing financial incentives to renters is at the very core of this idea so bailouts to ameliorate the intended effect would be silly, it's counterproductive to try for an effect then try to counteract it, so, purely for the purposes of the idea, I think we can rule out any bailouts.   

       Disclaimer: this is just an observation, please don't take it in any way as a denial of the ability of governments to do stupidly counterproductive things.   

       //oh crap//   

       <Cover's microphone with hand>   

       <Soto voice aside>   

       This one's on to us, put him at the top of the list.   

       <Soto voice aside/>   

       <Cover's microphone with hand/>
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       We heard that. And he's already on our list.   

       As are you ...
8th of 7, Apr 10 2020

       //As are you//   

       That's alright, I gave your address when I filled out the forms.
Skewed, Apr 10 2020

       Thanks, since we moved the Cube from Fermi to Alden, some of the mail's taking a while to be forwarded.   

       The neighborhood had really gone down since those blasted Reticulants moved in to Tsiolkovsky next door and set up their while-u-wait spacedrive servicing business. Banging and crashing at all hours ...
8th of 7, Apr 10 2020

       Interesting links, [zen_tom]. There's a graph which shows productivity/wage divergence appearing dramatically from the time of the Nixon Shock. There's a summary of the Nixon Shock as comprising price freezes, wage freezes, import tariffs and the floating of the currency.   

       Now, of those, all but the floating of the currency proved short- lived. So, in your opinion, how does the transition to free-floating fiat currencies lead to productivity/wage divergence? Is it simply a matter of making capital more mobile than labour (and hence better able to exploit opportunities and apply pressure)?
pertinax, Apr 11 2020

       //Government interference in markets is ultimately always negative//   

       I know, right!? Who needs the FTC anyway with its demands that publicly traded companies follow GAAP and making it illegal to label cow urine as orange juice. We need to go back to the good old days when 12 year old boys worked in the coal mines to become men! And minimum wage! what's that about anyway!? We all know the if it were abolished there would be enough $3 per hour jobs to feed everyone.   

       Tracing down mislabeled products, stopping good honest snake oil salesmen, enforcing contracts, I haven't been able to make any money for months what with having to change venues every two weeks for their preposterous "419 prevention" programs. The government needs to get out of the markets and stay out!
Voice, Apr 11 2020

       Government interference in markets is clearly multi faceted.   

       We wouldn't need a minimum wage if people weren't assholes.   

       I don't believe markets create products fast enough to instil confidence. Like a product that is an orange juice standard. So you can't sell cow urine as orange juice.
chronological, Apr 11 2020

       // if people weren't assholes //   

       But people are assholes, provably so. All of them. Throughout history, humans of all ages, races, religions and nations consistently behave as complete and total assholes. All evidence shows this to be so.   

       The hypothesis "All people are assholes" may not be provable, but it closely fits the observed facts.   

       The Mk. I. human is incredibly unsatisfactory. It's not fixable. Get over it.
8th of 7, Apr 11 2020

       So you need government interference.   

       One bunch of assholes that are bigger than the rest.
chronological, Apr 11 2020

       That much you have grasped; but you have also identified the very reason that it is always doomed to failure.   

       "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, we submit that, with that self-incriminating admission, the case against [Chrolological] is proven beyond reasonable doubt".
8th of 7, Apr 11 2020

       What's the case against me?
chronological, Apr 11 2020

       You want humans not to behave like fools and assholes, but that is what humans are.   

       It's like asking tigers to go vegetarian. A tiger is a big furry thing that kills and eats other animals. It's what tigers do. If it didn't do that, it wouldn't be a tiger..   

       Humans are foolish, venal, greedy, inconsiderate and unpleasant. They always have been and always will be. How do you propose to modify this highly predictable behaviour ?
8th of 7, Apr 11 2020

       //the case against [Chrolological] is proven beyond reasonable doubt//   

       //You want humans not to behave like fools and assholes//   

       I believe [8th] is aggregating a prime computation across all available evidence of your posts to date rather than merely on this particular idea [chron], we know it can't be based on just this idea because this one relies on humans //venal, greedy, inconsiderate and unpleasant// nature.   


       [Worried expression]   


       Damn ! Borg mentats, that complicates things.   


       Speaking of which when did you have time to assimilate a mentat [8th]?
Skewed, Apr 11 2020

       //foolish, venal, greedy, inconsiderate and unpleasant//   

       These are all relative terms. Therefore it is logically vacuous to apply them indiscriminately to everyone.
pertinax, Apr 11 2020

       We present the statistical general case. Statistically, all humans meet the criteria to some extent. There will be outliers. Some individuals may be very foolish, but not particularly unpleasant, compared to the mean value. Their placement along the distribution is interesting, but does not influence the overall result.   

       It does not invalidate that [Chron] desires humans to behave in ways different from their consistently observed ones, without proposing any practical method for achieving this.
8th of 7, Apr 11 2020

       [pertinax] the significant link in my view is that the shift to fiat currencies enabled governments under pressure to eschew (in the short to mid term) old fashioned economic notions such as the balance of payments and spending controls. They were suddenly free to spend and rather than tax, trade or go to war to make up any shortfalls, they were instead able to inflate away the value of any sovereign borrowing they'd gotten themselves into.   

       A government pound/dollar borrowed today can be evaporated into nothing if you inflate the currency, enabling you to pay it off much later with a greatly reduced real value. This bit of sneaky accounting means that as long as inflation stays under 5%, a government can effectively tax their workforce without them noticing.   

       Commodities that are traded at the point of consumption will increase in price but we rarely notice their appreciation because we're too busy consuming them.   

       Property is different, it retains its value, and is never truly "consumed" so over time, in an inflationary system, it increases in price, benefiting the owner by acting as a float in a rising tide of inflation.   

       This is the root cause for nationwide property prices extending beyond the affordability of much of the population. Yes, there are additional pockets where prices are further lead by local desirability, but we're talking an international problem here - property is expensive whether it's in Europe, the US, Asia or elsewhere. This isn't a local problem, though populist politicians would like to pretend otherwise, blaming immigrants, elites, landlords or whoever else might fit the simple narrative. It's a political crowbar, if you can spin a story that resonates well enough with enough people, you can demonise a slice of the population and get into power. But the true cause is systematic. Meanwhile, those who hold property are insulated from the problem, while those that don't are made even worse off.   

       This effect is best reflected in the wages/productivity deviation - wages are consumed by inflation, while technology provides a driver for increased productivity. The average worker in the last 50 years has become squeezed between the two.   

       How to solve the problem? The bond markets used to be a reasonably good control, effectively increasing the price of debt wherever a government looked like it was doing something silly - but - given the ability to self- inflate, this just isn't real and especially post 2008, I think any remaining pretence around that being a proper control is likely to fall by the wayside.   

       You could perform the taxation controls as described in the idea, but I think the chances are, people would still benefit from owning and renting property, if only as a continued inflation-hedge, perhaps increasing rents to offset the additional tax burden. So in effect, the idea might increase the disparity rather than solve it.   

       Building a lot more houses would be another short-term solution, but since once these were owned/occupied, the inflationary pressure that's inherent in the system would likely push their values out of people's normal price range in the medium term and we're back to square one.   

       The only real way to solve the problem would be to return to some non- fiat currency model - and that brings with it the old ways of dealing with sovereign debt crises; default, war, revolution and famine.
zen_tom, Apr 11 2020

       // war, revolution and famine. //   

       You forgot "plague".   


       Remind us again, which is the one on the pale horse ? Clint Eastwood ?   

       Interestingly, in "The Eiger Sanction" which stars the said Mr. Eastwood, reference is made to "Agent Wormwood", wormwood being the name of a "star that falls to earth" in the Book of Revelation <link>, and in the movie "Pale Rider", Eastwood plays the lead role, another reference to the same Biblical text.   

       Go on, dismiss it as "just coincidence" ...
8th of 7, Apr 11 2020

       //wages are consumed by inflation//   

       Sp. "savings", shirley? Wages which are consumed as fast as earned are, as you noted, not affected by inflation, unless you assume that inflation is of assets only, not of labour costs, in which case you've sort-of begged the question, haven't you?   

       To put it another way, if what you say were true, then the biggest losers from the arbitrary inflation of currencies would be not struggling proletarians (who are kept in work, however wastefully, by all that public spending), but rather, holders of government bonds. As you know, bond markets differ from equity markets partly in the way that they look at you funny if you come to the table with less than a million dollars. The kind of person who holds government bonds is generally not the kind who is struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.   

       Therefore I suggest that some rethinking of your theory might be in order.
pertinax, Apr 12 2020

       // Wages which are consumed as fast as earned are, as you noted, not affected by inflation //   

       Not true. During inflation, the real value of wages falls constantly, converging on "subsistence" (Iron Law, again). Workers must constantly press for wage "increases" merely to maintain their current standard of living. Obtaining a "merit" increase on top of that becomes more difficult. "Labour cost inflation " is equivalent to "labour value erosion".   

       As has been pointed out, inflation benefits governments because it writes down long term debt.
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       That just destroys the private rental market.   

       The Law of Supply and Demand will, eventually, force an adjustment.   

       It never works, but that's not an answer people want to hear, so they vote for liars who promise the impossible, then whine when it all goes horribly wrong.   

       The real answer to that is to destroy trust and belief. When politics loses credibility (as religion is in many geographies) a bleak realism will become the ruling paradigm.   

       Up to the Enlightenment, religious belief was ubiquitous. Coincidentally with the Industrial Revolution ("Rise of the Machines", ha ha) belief began a long, slow, terminal decline. In many Western nations, excluding immigrants, religious conviction is progressively disappearing except as a social convention (hatchings, matchings and plantings) and a cultural curiosity. Observe the huge numbers of buildings that have been demolished or repurposed. Repeated, highly publicized scandals have discredited religious hierarchies - particularly Catholics - at every level.   

       Thus it will be with politics. Without "trust" and belief, existing systems fail. When everything is constantly questioned, and subject to unrelenting scrutiny - and data flow can no longer be controlled - those institutions that are not rigorous and evidence-based will shrivel like a slug under a blowtorch.   

       When "fake news" is commonplace, ALL news becomes suspect. The only remedy is to assess the validity of sources, cross-reference, and apply critical thinking. This is not easy, and demands mental discipline, but is possible.   

       Bear in mind that mass representative democracy in large nation-states is only about three centuries old. It was a workable solution within a specific context; that context has now changed radically.
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       [pert] so here's the key bit - consumable prices and wages (subject to some lag as 8th points out) go up together as per classic inflation. But the effective supply of consumables, due to the increased productivity over the same period has increased too - based on this hugely increased availability, prices for consumables should have gone through the floor. Since workers negotiate their wage increases based on the going intuitive rate for consumable goods, they've managed to settle for less and less over time.   

       Meanwhile, those things whose supply has not been increased, and this would tend to be non consumable assets like property and (...can't think of anything else right now) which would normally be accounted for outside of the normal wage-negotiations have risen far more than might otherwise be expected.
zen_tom, Apr 12 2020

       // those things whose supply has not been increased, //   

       "Buy land - they've stopped making it ..." (Attrib. Mark Twain).   

       A thoughtful and cogent analysis. Remind us again why you come here ?   

       // can't think of anything else right now //   

       Unique art objects, natural gemstones, some precious metals.   

       Objects of little or no intrinsic value to which the market assigns exceptional value through scarcity will tend to "beat" inflation. This is because humans are very stupid. We have inspected a number of items of "great art" at close quarters and inevitably concluded "It's good/average/rubbish*, but not worth the value the market places on it".   

       *Mostly, "rubbish".
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       Well, they are making more land. See the islands off Dubai and China, the Hawaiian volcanoes...   

       Is there a less efficient space for maximizing surface area with minimal matter than a sphere?   

       What we need to do is to turn the available land into a fractalized sphere with infinite surface area and zero volume so that everyone still gets sunlight but we have more available real estate.   

       Or maybe just make the earth more lumpy.
RayfordSteele, Apr 12 2020

       How about a nice Cube ?   

       // they are making more land //   

       The Dutch are way ahead of that...   

       But coastal erosion claims a goodly area each year, and the sites suitable for dredge-and-build are quite limited. Volcanos are useful, but not exactly attuned to human requirements, and have a nasty tendency to go off bang. What price a house in Kalapana Gardens now ? Or that nice little bungalow just outside Plymouth (Montserrat) ?   

       Yet nations like Hungary are being damaged by rural depopulation, and property is available at knock-down prices ...
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       Two big dikes either end of the channel perhaps? would make invading france easier.
Skewed, Apr 12 2020

       It hardly seems worth the trouble and expense, when the Germans are much more conveniently situated, and have a good (82%) record of success in that rather specialized field of endeavour ...
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       True but it's always more fun to measure yourself against others, ever played chess against yourself? not so much fun, I'm sure they'd appreciate the competition, we could take it in turns, maybe throw in the odd capture the flag with the first to reach Paris as the winner ...
Skewed, Apr 12 2020

       //Since workers negotiate their wage increases based on the going intuitive rate for consumable goods, they've managed to settle for less and less over time.//   

       So the problem is faulty intuition in an inflationary environment, and not any objective change in the labour/capital power relationship? It's believable as *a* causal factor, but I suspect that other factors are also involved.
pertinax, Apr 12 2020

       They are. See <link>.   

       // first to reach Paris as the winner ... //   

       Presumably the start line is the Rhine or Meuse, and the contestants pick their own route through either western Belgium, or the Ardennes ?   

       "... do not pass Eben Emael, do not collect 200 prisoners... "
8th of 7, Apr 12 2020

       //Since workers negotiate their wage increases based on the going intuitive rate for consumable goods, they've managed to settle for less and less over time.//   

       For some workers that's true, maybe even most, but others contract out their services and, if they are worth their salt, name their own price according to demand and cost of supplies.
If they are smart they invest in property rather than toys and fun.


       Freedom 95!   

       There seems to be confusion between government regulation (to prevent fraud etc.) and intervention (to manipulate market behaviour).   

       Regulation can be useful- intervention rarely so. Regulation does not necessarily distort the operation of normal market processes, if kept within limits. If excessive, it stifles innovation and indeed encourages bad practice as clever players exploit social and technical change to "design round" the rules, which always lag far behind the actual situation.
8th of 7, Apr 13 2020

       It always begs the question, why does anyone really *want* to reach Paris? To improve German attempts at wineries with French land?
RayfordSteele, Apr 13 2020

       I propose a tax proposal tax on people that propose taxes.
Sunstone, Apr 13 2020

       so, what rate will you be paying?
RayfordSteele, Apr 13 2020

       // why does anyone really *want* to reach Paris? //   

       Because then when you then leave, anywhere - anywhere at all - is an improvement.
8th of 7, Apr 13 2020

       Regulation of markets is intervention in markets.
calum, Apr 13 2020

       Shut up, and drink your nice glass of fresh cow urine.   

       // Regulation of markets is intervention in markets //   

       This is true, but becomes an argument concerning semantics.   

       Regulation can be thought of as setting boundaries and rules, but then allowing events to play themselves out; intervention is trying to produce an outcome.   

       Consider a sports match. There is a playing area, published rules, and a referee. During the game, the referee punishes rule violations, but otherwise the best team wins. Thast's regulation.   

       If the referee starts handicapping one team to try and produce a specific result that would not otherwise occur, that's intervention.
8th of 7, Apr 13 2020

       The interventions of the CMA are necessarily trying to force an outcome: the elimination of abuse of dominant positions by undertakings, and - of late - the promotion of outcomes favourable to consumers.
calum, Apr 14 2020

       // consumers //   

       Sp. "voters".   

       Definitely an unpleasant taint of socialism there ...
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020

       It's an interesting point though - what do we mean by markets?   

       For some they are the worst type of venal, warfare-by-any-other-means competitive bear-pits, where anything goes, and from which suckers never return - further, they are inherently corrupt and produce weird distorted results full of monopolies, droughts, mercilessly exploited externalities, waste and senseless consumption.   

       And to others, they are more Smithian deliverers of solutions, engines of progress, ever guided by invisible hands that somehow have everyone's best interests at heart.   

       Somewhere there should be a thing that delivers what we collectively want - and we should figure out what it is, how much regulation it ought to have, what the rules are best likely to deliver the results we're looking for - and then give that thing a name.   

       Until we can agree on this thing, whenever people get together to talk about markets - some will be talking from one conceptual standpoint, and others from the opposite side.
zen_tom, Apr 14 2020

       // Somewhere there should be a thing that delivers what we collectively want //   

       No, there can't be, because of goal divergence between the members of the population.   

       Those who are the "movers and shakers" have totally different objectives from the bulk of those who participate in the market. They are few; the market is many.   

       Those who design and create systems often - but not invariably - seek to extract resource from many without undue complaint (it is a bad parasite that kills its host).   

       Consider Edison. Edison did not invent devices for the general betterment of mankind; he did it to become immensely wealthy, and succeeded. Claims to have worked "for the benefit of all" were retrospective window-dressing.   

       It cannot be denied that the work of Edison, Ford, Westinghouse, Colt and Stephenson has ultimately benefited the bulk of the population, but that doesn't mean they did it "for" the bulk of the population; they did it for the normal human motives of greed and self-interest ... because someone gave them money to do it.   

       Alexander Fleming was an academic researcher. He was driven by a spirit of enquiry and produced a useful discovery. He received honours and awards, but was only ever modestly well off. For him, the recognition of his work was presumably sufficient.   

       The bulk of the population benefit from both light bulbs and antibiotics. But the motivations of the creators were radically different.   

       The vast bulk of consumers are motivated neither by the desire for great wealth and power, nor by the spirit of scientific enquiry. Thus the objectives and world view of those who innovate, and those who consume, are irreconcilably different.
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020

       //The vast bulk of consumers are motivated neither by the desire for great wealth and power, nor by the spirit of scientific enquiry//   

       //Thus the objectives and world view of those who innovate, and those who consume, are irreconcilably different//   

       I think you underestimate the vast bulk of consumers, a little bit, or rather overestimate the divergence between them & the two classes of movers & shakers you refer to. I for instance would consider myself part of that bulk yet if I had the money I'm pretty sure I'd be getting up to some pretty weird shit simply for the hell of it.
Skewed, Apr 14 2020

       // I had the money //   

       But that's exactly the point. Mr. Musk is building Hyperloop and SpaceX. No-one makes him do that.   

       Some innovators are self-starters, like Edison. Some are funded by academia, like Fleming. But both of those individuals had a necessary combination of drive, imagination, intellect and dumb luck. Being at the right place at the right time is a big part, too.   

       If you can think up an invention that someone else will pay you money for, and can protect the intellectual property, you can become wealthy. That doesn't mean you will. There are many hurdles to jump.   

       Most members of the population lack one or more of the necessary factors for success, otherwise the planet would be overrun with designs for automatic hands-free bottle openers and self-cleaning spectacles.
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020

       What I mean is that the perceived divergence of motivation you assign them isn't so much inherent in their character as imposed by the financial constraints & environment (educational & societal as well as financial) they find themselves in, not for all obviously, but for a lot more than not.   

       Does that make sense to you?   

       I don't mean do you agree with me, just do you understand what I'm saying? because I'm not sure I've put across what I mean with good clarity.   

       //Some innovators are self-starters/// //Some are funded by academia// //combination of drive, imagination, intellect// //dumb luck//   


       I think we're in agreement :)
Skewed, Apr 14 2020

       //Some innovators are self-starters, like Edison.//   

       The man was an IP vampire depending on theft to sustain a mommy-inflated and completely undeserved ego.
The only thing he ever self-started was theft for wealth. Not exactly an original concept as I believe he was incapable of original thought. The asshole sure knew how to swindle though, I'll give him that.

       Yet he was a success, in terms that most would consider "success".   

       Thus he was suited to his environment. A lack of moral sense, ruthless disregard for the well being of others, and other unpleasant but useful characteristics gave him an advantage.   

       This is called "natural selection". It is inevitable. That which is not suited does not survive; that that is, does - disregarding external factors such as errant asteroids, novel pathogens, or introduced predators.   

       It is unpleasant, unfair, and bears no correspondence to any human inventions such as ethics or morality. It's also how the Universe operates. Get over it.
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020


       Suit yourself. You see, the Universe doesn't care. It isn't even aware that you exist, because it has no awareness. It's not even capable of malice. It just is.   

       There's nothing that you, or anyone else, can do. You're helpless in the face of its overwhelming, implacable indifference.
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020

       Intervention vs. regulation:   

       Your sports analogy doesn't work so well, in that the lines get blurry when the stakes are higher; say one team decides that they're going to steal the other team's uniforms or do some other things that aren't necessarily found as being against the "written rules" because they are so outside the normal expectation. Because there, frankly, are no written rules besides what we decide by mutual agreement, and where one group sees preventing the other team from committing theft as intervention, another group just sees it as regulation.
RayfordSteele, Apr 14 2020

       And then, as always, the ones with the best lawyers win.   

       Unless humanity does the rational thing, and hangs all the lawyers ...   

       No, it's a very imperfect analogy, because it's, well, a simplistic analogy. What did you expect ? If you want better, you'll have to pay to come to one of our Ruthless Galactic Domination for Fun and Profit seminars. Nice venues, free bar, buffet lunches, swimming pool, gym ....
8th of 7, Apr 14 2020

       //There's nothing that you, or anyone else, can do. You're helpless in the face of its overwhelming, implacable indifference.//   

       I have come to understand that it is our goal as a species to learn to bend the universe to our individual wills.
Some wills are stronger than others. As you said, survival of the fittest and all that.
The universe can remain indifferent to its bendyness all it wants or doesn't want.
The amoral sociopaths running this shit show have had their day. It's time for a little light to be shone down into the emotionless self serving pits which they deny are their souls.

       Since I can already hear you thinking; "How's that working for you?"
I would have to preemptively say that it is has been working exceedingly well for me. Like off-the-charts weirdly metaphysically well in fact.
Where there's a will... there's a way.

       I make absolutely no apologies for that.   

       That's why your species consistently tops the ratings on the Galactic Comedy Channel.   

       Please, carry on.
8th of 7, Apr 15 2020

       I'm fairly good at bending the universe in a very small amount. Unfortunately the only way I can increase my influence upon its shape is to enormously increase my mass in a most unhealthy way, and that tends to get space travelers all upset in that it invalidates their last Universal Positioning System subscription update.
RayfordSteele, Apr 15 2020

       //There's nothing that you, or anyone else, can do.//   

       My experience so far suggests otherwise. YMMV.
pertinax, Apr 15 2020

       //The ones with the best lawyers win.// <strikethrough>lawyers</sr> insert <offensive and defensive capabilities>
RayfordSteele, Apr 15 2020

       Ah, Sir wishes to sign up for the next seminar, then... ?
8th of 7, Apr 15 2020

       I'm on a slightly restricted budget right now, so when's the asymmetrical warfare seminar?
Skewed, Apr 15 2020

       Seminars? That's what you refer to them as nowadays? There's some choice semantics for a surreptitious parasitic invasion inserted by a glass of icewater, while you drone on about tachyon particle physics. Of course, I suppose even scientologists use terms like auditing to sound all above-board.
RayfordSteele, Apr 15 2020


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