Greece

Entrepreneurship and the 'Sharing Economy' in Greece

Good cheap meals from informal micro-cookeries

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As the state and other large institutions continue to crumble in Greece, ordinary citizens have established all kinds of informal enterprises to scrape by. This mix of mutual aid and small-scale entrepreneurship has caught the eye of the BBC, which this week published an interesting account of one facet of that grassroots creativity: micro-cookeries.

Chef Pac-Man entered the room proudly.
Cookisto

Office workers, students and busy parents are connecting online with local cooks—anybody who loves cooking and can do it well—who provide them with a meal for less than they would be likely to pay anywhere else. In Athens, the price is usually between three and four euros (£2.50 to £3.40).

"I just could never calculate the correct portion amounts for my family," [Marilena] Zachou says. "We don't have a dog or a cat. I was throwing away so much. I guess making too much food is embedded in my Greek genes."

That was what led her to Cookisto, an online community of amateur cooks and hungry city dwellers.

She is now a Cookista, with a profile on the Cookisto website, and her meals are rated every day. Apparently her moussaka has "no excess oil, is always made with the highest quality products, and tastes just perfect". She is, according to those who eat her food, not just a housewife, but a five-star chef.

The site has attracted 12,000 cooks in Athens in the last few months….It's all part of what Sydney-based innovation consultant Rachel Botsman calls the "revolution" of collaborative consumption, or the sharing economy. Since the global financial meltdown, "people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust—swapping, sharing, renting, bartering", she says.

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  1. This is the kind of community the progs all tell us they want, but aren’t willing to give up their precious Use of Force to get.

    1. Not really, because I’m sure someone is making teh evul profits!

      1. Right. I mean, the cooks are getting PAID for this food, when they should be just giving it away out of the goodness of their hearts.

        Filthy lucre is involved.

        1. Um, where are their permits for this?

          Hygiene. Hello!

          Only a bureaucrat can keep us clean.

          1. The local news here in NY has been freaking out in this fashion in all seriousness for the past few weeks. CBS can’t get their panties untwisted over uninspected underground restaurants and public health officials giving out unwarranted A grades on their inspections.

            1. and public health officials giving out unwarranted A grades on their inspections

              You have one bullshit job. The least you could do is execute it faithfully.

              1. I saw a health inspector move a temperature probe from one container to another to another without wiping anything off. He was the only person in the kitchen not wearing gloves and touching food. Didn’t wash his hands before or after. I thought the chef owner was going to strangle the dude. But he just shut up and got his pass.

            2. uninspected underground restaurants and public health officials giving out unwarranted A grades

              And they are probably completely blind to the connection between the two.

              A system of bureaucratic bullshit leads to people finding a way around it? That makes no sense!

          2. I’m not sure the progs are actually honest about the whole permits and bureucrats keeping us clean thing. The things is those are just useful mechanisms to harass capitalists and make for-profit businesses inefficient. Their goal isn’t really public health at all. The goal is to undermine capitalism by making it harder to turn a profit. More regulation is ALWAYS good, because profit is theft, so as long as anyone is still turning a profit, there isn’t enough regulation.

    2. It’s ideal, really. Now, we just need to properly tax and regulate it.

      1. Ha! This exactly.

        In all seriousness, there is no reason why this sort of thing shouldn’t emerge in neighborhoods all across America, other than the fact that people are terrified that the FDA is going to SWAT you if you sell raw milk or home-baked cookies.

  2. Wow, Pac-Man sure looks aroused. And that’s one big condom.

    1. Now try to get that thought out of your head as you look at the illustration.

      1. asshole

    2. That’s actually the ghost who’s erect, and Pac-Man is standing on top of him.

      1. Guess we know what those Power Pills really are.

  3. How is this anything other than a business? It’s nice and all, but I don’t see what is revolutionary about it other than that I imagine it doesn’t comply with all 12,000 pages of EU health codes.

    1. I don’t see what is revolutionary about it other than that I imagine it doesn’t comply with all 12,000 pages of EU health codes.

      Well, that’s it. It’s an informal, very small-scale business that isn’t being forced to comply with a ton of regulations, is facilitated by the Internet and by local community networks, and as a result can be operated as a sort of side project. It’s an interesting middle area between an amateur activity and the sort of entrepreneurship that requires you to rent a storefront and fill out a bunch of forms.

      1. Well, that’s it. It’s an informal, very small-scale business that isn’t being forced to comply with a ton of regulations, is facilitated by the Internet and by local community networks,

        … and next comes the banhammer.

        1. I know one such area of banhammer in the EU. I don’t know when it started (but at least 20 yrs. ago; I’m guessing it might go back to the hippies and “natural” stuff), but in the USA soapmaking became a popular hobby, especially among women. Some of those people got beyond the hobby stage when they ran out of friends to give soap away to, and they started selling it. Some branched out into other toiletries.

          Well, in the EU now you need to register a certain period of time in advance of selling your 1st unit, with the ingredients and a toxicologist’s say-so that your product is safe. I think there’s an annual fee too, so bye-bye to anyone who’s not willing to risk that much in what’s otherwise a fairly cheap biz in terms of start-up costs.

          Fla. too now requires registr’n & inspection of mfrs. of “cosmetics” for sale, but fortunately they exempt soap, defined pretty narrowly. I know one such biz there that sold to someone in Ga. when that went into effect.

      2. Since the global financial meltdown, “people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust – swapping, sharing, renting, bartering”, she says.

        Note that these are all market behaviors that fall outside the current Total State surveillance/compliance networks.

        1. I find many similarities between the War on Drugs and the War on Economic Liberty.

          Does that mean that eventually we’ll win both?

          Why am I so optimistic today?

        2. Note also that those are primitive, less flexible economies which are viable because of the government induced sclerosis on the more modern forms.

      3. See also, airbnb.

        1. The fact that anyone would have any desire to shut down something as beautiful as airbnb makes my heart heavy.

          1. I was pricing out a room for a night on it today.

            Great location, dirt cheap, good reviews. But, alas, they are moving so its not available.

      4. At best it is a gray to black market that has been ignored because it was too small to bother with, but now may large enough a practice to have Leviathan’s attention.

  4. Economic activity happening without everyone involved first asking permission and then taking orders? This must be stopped!

    1. It’s almost like people don’t care what the law says when it’s their own life and livelihood at stake.

      1. Are law and legislation one and the same?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn84m1pvh4

        I say no.

        1. Come on dude, I’m not watching a freaking hour long video at work.

          1. Then send the link to your home email and watch it in your spare time. Seriously. The first time I watched it I was like, wow, it articulated something I already understood but couldn’t quite express.

  5. “Sharing economy”

    I lol’d.

  6. It’s not really “sharing” if you are paying for the meal.

    I’m conflicted about whether to adopt the turm for it’s propaganda value, or shun it for inaccuracy that might engender corruption of the underlying concept.

    1. Don’t use their language. They win the argument that way.

      1. Not always. Reason has reported on Oakland’s school choice program improving education outcomes for students. Much of the opposition to these policies comes from the pathological anxiety progressives feel when hearing marketish terminology. If they accidentally stumble upon the same principles through trial and error and come up with their own language to describe it, though, it’s less frightening for them. They learn to stop worrying and love the market.

        1. Until there’s competition or someone makes a profit. Then the flip out.

        2. If they accidentally stumble upon the same principles through trial and error and come up with their own language to describe it, though, it’s less frightening for them.

          I, for one, have no interest in waiting for idiots to stumble blindly into a free market. I’ll just act as though the market is free and wait for them to catch up.

          So yeah, I’ll see ya’ll in jail for tax evasion or some other trumped up shit regarding permits and certifications.

        3. Maybe we need to stop calling them school vouchers then. Start calling them something along the lines of “Title 4 low income education support”

    2. Do you similarly object to the term “timeshares”? Shares of stock? Businesses sharing space?

      When did “share” ever imply “for nothing”?

  7. How long until the progs claim a market & barter economy as their own invention?

    1. lol…but in all seriousness, this is why i think the preppers in general are overly pessimistic. As a civilized species we have been making it for several thousands of years. When catastrophe happens it isn’t Malthus that manifests, it is Locke, and Smith, and Payne. I am not saying it will be a picnic but my fear is not from my neighbor as much as it is from the wounded, dying cornered animal of government.

      1. ^THIS!!^

      2. Well, this is what the preppers are prepped for.

        Their whole thing besides making amateur goods in their back yard is hording stuff like gold and booze to use for bartering.

        So if this is the future, it doesn’t make the preppers look pessimistic so much as prescient.

        1. Nice try, but a lot of “prepping” is centered around weapons/ammunition and seed corn. There’s no reason to have either if what Clich? Bandit is saying is true.

          1. Nice try, but a lot of “prepping” is centered around weapons/ammunition and seed corn.

            I’m sure your knowledge of the issues discussed in the prepping community is based on actual involvement in the subculture as opposed to just being aware of the caricatures presented by the media via “Doomsday Preppers” and the like….right?

              1. Then, respectfully, I think you’ve been listening to that doofus “Yankeeprepper” too much.

                1. Oooh, I fucking hate that guy. He’s such a fucking dickface.

                  I don’t prep, but I do watch Maineprepper on youtube because he’s entertaining.

                  1. Yeah, Maineprepper is a good egg. For Youtube preppers I also like practialprepper001 and Patriot Nurse, when she’s not holy rollin’.

                    1. Yeah, a lot of the preppers are bible thumpers, which doesn’t bother me it’s just boring to watch.

                      I like watching the videos because the preppers attempt to become competent in things usually left for experts. Things like farming, self-defense, building, medical care, outdoor survival, etc. I think it’s good to get insights from laymen trying to learn something if you’re interested in that topic.

                    2. This is the best modern example of why specialization has made us the wealthiest society on earth.

                    3. Indeed. It’s also nice to see just how many folks out there are looking to increase their self-sufficiency.

                      I was raised in that environment as my stepdad moved up here during the first wave of it, back when it was called “survivalism” or “back to the land”; depending on one’s particular political bent.

                      Though looks can be deceiving. I don’t know if you ever watched “Dual Survival” on cable TV, but if you haven’t basically the two survival experts are depicted as an “odd couple”; one is an ex-military, no-nonsense badass and the other is a barefoot-everwhere hippy dude with long hair and tie-dye shirts. But if you ever read the hippy’s books, he is most definitely of the “When SHTF, you better be prepared to kill motherfuckers” school of prepping.

          2. You can’t trade seeds or ammo? Or trade the corn and game you harvest with them?

            1. I mean, you *can* trade anything, Drake, but that really isn’t the substantive point that’s being discussed here.

            2. don’t misinterpret what I am saying, I think being prepared is an excellent idea. But I DONT think the world is going to end with roving bands of mercs. I also don’t think the entire food distribution chain will collapse. NOW, if there is war, invasion, etc. the food chain can collapse and THAT is what is in my mind less likely.

            3. In case anyone is wondering, if you’re gonna monocrop for subsistence survival the best crop is the potato, if one looks at caloric density of the tuber compared to the space needed to grow it. Likewise, in the same vein, the best livestock to raise based on calories/feed ratio are swine.

              You see proof of this in the mountainous jungles of Indonesia and Paupa New Guinea, where you see these stone age tribes who have survived for millennia in these mountains that are horrible for agriculture, and their diet consists solely of the yams they grow and the pigs they raise.

              1. Nothing could go wrong with a potato crop! Nothing!

                /piles up the Irish dead

                1. I think it’s against the law for a public school social studies teacher to teach this, but the Irish Potato Famine is the prime example of how government interference in the market actually kills people. There was more than enough wheat to feed the Irish, but God forbid merchants were allowed to sell to them or private charities to give it to them on their own initiative!

                  1. Of course, I was just being humorous. Maybe.

                    Its the problem with a monocrop though. But, yeah, they were only a monocrop due to government policy.

                    1. Its the problem with a monocrop though. But, yeah, they were only a monocrop due to government policy.

                      Absolutely, the point I was making upthread is that if I were forced to choose between potatoes and a can of “survival seeds”, I’d choose the potatoes. That’s also in part due being located in the rocky soil and climate of northern New England; where potatoes do well.

                2. And by the way, I’m not recommending one monocrop, per se. However, if you’re forced to do so in a survival, subsistence farming situation, then tubers and pigs are going to give you the most bang for your buck.

                  Another thing, is that for the novice farmer, potatoes are damn easy to grow compared to wheat, rice, millet, or maize. Leave a bag of potatoes you buy at the store in a dark closet for a few days and they’re already growing shoots!

                  1. But, hint: Propagate them only so long vegetatively before you plant seeds. You need some genetic shuffling over time to prevent the genostasis that makes the popul’n vulnerable.

    2. It couldn’t exist without government rules, so of course they invented it!

    3. Indeed. Better. How can we CONVINCE the progs that a libertarian free market was really their own idea all along?

      And do we want to? I really kind of just want to humilate them ance force them ot admit they were wrong. I don’t get that satisfaction by just brainwashing them into agreeing with us.

      1. How can we CONVINCE the progs that a libertarian free market was really their own idea all along?

        And do we want to?

        Considering their propensity to fuck up a wet dream…

        Fuck no.

        1. Yeah. if we let them take over the concept they will turn it into some sort of perverted “gift economy” thing, like they did with Burning Man.

          1. “I will give you this, if you give me that”.

            Gift economy, amirite?

            1. The amount of mental gymnastics required to actually believe that are astounding.

      2. How can we CONVINCE the progs that a libertarian free market was really their own idea all along?

        You can’t. Because to them freedom means authority. Freedom means asking permission and taking orders. Freedom means being shielded from the consequences of your actions because all your actions were approved or ordered by authority.

        They simply cannot grasp the concept of liberty and free markets. Does not compute.

        1. But Sarcasmic, if people were truly free to choose, they might make the wrong choice!

          They’re just trying to protect innocent children from being hurt!

          Why do you want to murder babies?

          OT: I read a comment yesterday that was literally “Libertarians murder babies.”

          1. OT: I read a comment yesterday that was literally “Libertarians murder babies.”

            Well, duh. I mean, not giving is taking and not taking is giving. So libertarians by not wanting to take from the rich to feed starving children are stealing from starving children and giving to the rich – they’re murdering babies for rich people!

            1. It’s sad that this “logic” must actually be what the guy believes; he stated, “Well, libertarians oppose federal laws against abortion, so they want babies to die.”

              How can people be so fucking stupid?

              I’m no genius, but I don’t think it takes a genius to see how retarded that statement is.

              1. How can people be so fucking stupid?

                Check this out.

                The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

                THE FIRST BASIC LAW

                Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

                THE SECOND BASIC LAW

                The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

                THE THIRD (AND GOLDEN) BASIC LAW

                A stupid person is a person who caused losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

                THE FOURTH BASIC LAW

                Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be costly mistake.

                THE FIFTH BASIC LAW

                A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

                A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.

                1. So bewildered was I by the results, that I made a special point to extend my research to a specially selected group, to a real elite, the Nobel laureates. The result confirmed Nature’s supreme powers: s fraction of the Nobel Laureates are stupid.

                2. I should read these laws every day so that I am no longer surprised by the ignorance that I do encounter on a daily basis.

                3. why these laws describe my user base!

              2. I read an article recently that proves that people are actually worse at math when it proves something that conflicts with their political opinions.

                I hate people.

                1. That’s not exactly true. In that study, people just tended to circle what they thought was the obvious answer if it confirmed their bias. Because the answer you got doing the math was opposite of what it looked like at a quick glance. On the control question there was no politically motivated side so people actualy did the math where on the test question they just lept to conclusions based on their bias. It wasn’t the actual doing of the math that got worse, it was that you just don’t do the math in the first place if you already think you know the answer.

      3. Being the unprincipled louts they are, if they see the tide turning toward a market-driven economy, they’ll claim it was their idea and intention all along.

        1. Don’t see the word “lout” used very often. Nice.

        2. Like Obama taking credit for Osama despite being anti-war? War is evil…until you win.

          1. Obama campaigned in 2008 against “stupid wars”.

            In case you don’t know he was referring to the Iraq disaster.

            1. So to solve these stupid wars, he launched us in to Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and (almost/soon) Syria?

              1. I think what he meant was he didn’t like BOOOOOSH’s stupid wars. He likes his stupid wars though.

    4. “How long until the progs claim a market & barter economy as their own invention?”

      They are trying to claim that the insurance exchanges are some amazing market creation as opposed to a tax form that you fill out to recieve a subsidy. They seem to not know that ehealthinsurance.com exists.

      1. But ehealthinsurance.com is a company that makes profits, and profits are bad, mmkay?

  8. “people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust – swapping, sharing, renting, bartering”, she says.

    Of course she doesn’t understand that all market behaviors involve some amount of trust; living in Greece, I’m not surprised that she appears to be ignorant on the matter.

    1. The idea that market transactions involve trust might be a blinding revelation for some people on the left. Don’t interfere.

    2. living in Greece, I’m not surprised that she appears to be ignorant on the matter

      She lives in Sydney.

      1. Not that much difference – a prog is a prog, where ever they blight the landscape.

        1. From her website, she seems to be a Business Consultant With A TED Talk type, not a prog type.

  9. Interesting that the article doesn’t go into the legal status of all this, considering our scare stories over here about the evils of rogue unlicensed underground dinner parties.

  10. “people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust – swapping, sharing, renting, bartering – to avoid high taxes”

    She makes a good point.

    1. What makes anyone think the tax collectors won’t revert to their old behavior – showing up at the farm and taking half the crops and livestock? And a daughter or 2 if you complain.

    2. It is almost like markets emerge spontaneously in response to inefficient allocation of scarce resources that have other uses.

  11. “people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust – swapping, sharing, renting, bartering”, she says.

    B-b-but you can’t tax or regulate that!

    1. But they will try!

    2. Welp, will the last person leaving civilization hit the lights?

  12. “people have reverted to old market behaviours that involve trust – swapping, sharing, renting, bartering”

    This is not a triumph to be celebrated. It’s a tragedy that people are driven to such extreme measures. But it is highly instructive. The US is on the same road and will wind up in the same place.

    1. Look what the cat dragged in! Where have you been, Warren?

      1. Dunno who Warren is but now I know.

        Geez, now I have to add his name to Tony, Palin and Alice on my “wear goggles” list.

        Tragedy? Extreme measures?

        Fuck these people are lost for real.

        1. No, stop. I know Warren (personally) and that’s not what he is saying. He’s saying the lack of a steady currency is, in fact, a tragedy and that but-for the incompetence and mendacity of the Greek government, the people in this story could engage in commerce in the way we think of it, rather than the “old ways”.

          In other words, it’s fine to travel by horse if the government has banned cars, but we’d rather have cars.

        2. To continue, the fact is that a steady currency does, to a certain extent, take out the necessity of “trust”. “Trust” is a bit of a drag on efficiency. Let’s say I am McDonald’s. I don’t care if the guy buying the Big Mac is a con artist or a saint – all i care about is whether he has the dollars necessary to buy the Big Mac. Thanks to the Greek Government, those transactions are much harder than they used to be.

          1. So why didn’t he say, erm, all that?

            1. Apparently when you ask that you’re beating men of straw.

            2. HE DID. You just read what you wanted to read instead of reading the words that were in front of you.

      2. Making fun of someone for using aol is like making fun of a retard for using a wheel chair. Show some class. Sheesh.

          1. He’s saying that if you’re gonna make fun of a retard (Warren), at least make it funny for the rest of us too.

            1. While I disagree that bartering is an “extreme measure,” I barter the vegetables I grow for stuff all the time, for the fun of it, it’s not retarded to point out that hard currency is a much, much better store of value.

              1. Warren’s post said bartering is a tragedy, essentially. That’s a retarded statement that only a retard could make.

                Is currency better? Well, that depends. But is bartering a “tragedy?” Hah!

                1. Now you’re just grasping at straws. The fact is a destruction of currency and the re-instituting of less-efficient market alternatives IS a tragedy. It IS unfortunate that because the Greeks’ rulers couldn’t be more responsible that they can only engage in those transactions predicated on trust rather than engaging in a much more global form of commerce.

                  When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

                  1. If that’s what he said then I would agree, but it isn’t.

                    1. Try exercising some intellectual honesty and just admit when you’re wrong.

                    2. So I should just take the words you put in Warrens mouth as his?

                      And you accuse me of asserting a straw man argument?

                    3. I didn’t say you were using a straw man argument; I said you were grasping at straws.

                      I now know why you aren’t able to properly characterize someone’s argument.

                      Seriously, how hard is it to say, “Oh, you know what? I misunderstood that comment. My bad.” Be an adult and own up to your mistakes.

                    4. Exactly, anon.

                2. That’s how I read it.

              2. I may or may not barter home-made liquor for homebrew or home-made wine.

    2. Man, people being forced to trade with other people to get goods and services they want.

      OH THE HUMANITY!

      1. The tragedy is that the government fucked things up so badly. It is a wonderful thing that people find ways to keep going and get things done in spite of that, but it is still tragic that the situation came about the way it did.

    3. I don’t think I’d call it a tragedy. What you have in this is an example of individual entrepreneurship operating free of any legal interference on a purely market-governed basis. A sort of similar thing happened in China after the trial of the Gang of Four and the relaxing of controls under Deng Xiaoping. Individual households would sell or trade crops from backyard plots with their neighbors, do odd jobs, etc., all in the absence of regulation. It was such small potatoes that it flew under the economic radar, and government officials turned a blind eye because it accelerated the recovery of the Chinese economy and prevented a lot of people from becoming entirely destitute. In the long run it helped open up the Chinese government to accepting some degree of limited capitalism. It also showed that you don’t have to choose between a highly-regulated, highly-structured, technically sophisticated national economy and a grass-roots, ad hoc, market-based economy.

      I’d love to see more of this in the US. People should stop seeing themselves as “workers” who commit to one job or career and try to make as much as they can at it and start seeing themselves as “traders” who can exchange a whole range of skills, labor, and goods with other agents in an open, free market.

    4. I don’t get the hate for this comment. He’s saying that their government has screwed up the economic system so badly, and created such perverse incentives, that people have fallen back on the old medieval methods of trade – inefficient as they are. That’s not something to celebrate, except in the sense that it shows that people will try to make the best of any situation however they can.

      1. THANK YOU.

        The problem is you had a couple of flamers go off half-cocked without having considered what was being said, and now they won’t own up to their intellectual error.

        1. They took him at his literal word?

          What is wrong with that?

          1. No, actually, the opposite happened.

            1. He used the word tragedy.

              1. Yeah, and it is tragic that the Greek government fucked up the economy so badly.

  13. …yes, yes, but roads and so forth, amirite?

    1. I want to add up all of the things progs say are necessary for governance. I guarantee that the spending level would be about 50% of where it is now.

      1. Only if you leave out free healthcare, education, old-age security, and the minimum guarenteed income.
        If you add all that stuff in, it will come out to 300% of what it is now.

  14. This story also goes to my old dead horse beating point. In order to be a libertarian in philosophy one must, on the whole, trust and have faith in humanity, on the whole. It requires, no matter how cynical one may be, that he (or she) trust thy neighbor to be responsible with the exercise of their rights. This is why I am a defender of humanity. Unfortunately I hate them all…but that is purely personal not philosophical.

    If one sits down and really searches for perspective on humanity it is fundamentally amazing how awesome we really are (even though the vast majority can’t operate a motor vehicle with any skill).

    1. I was just re-reading a story this morning about one of my ancestors who left the wilds of Monongalia, VA (now WV) for the wilds of central Indiana in the early 1800’s. It talks about exactly what you mentioned – cooperation between family members and between family and community. And trust. And common interests/goals. This coupled with a sense of independence and personal liberty.

      As rough and disease-ridden as those times were, I don’t think I would mind if I were transported back there.

      1. I was just talking to someone – an American actually – with extensive experience in business. He’s a friend of our family and six years my senior and was seeking his advice about what to do about my business.

        He gave his two cents but in the process we got a glimpse into each others lives and how we arrived to this point. There’s so much behind a business fucktards on the left don’t understand. The endless factors that which can never be regulated.

        He’s in partnership with his brother but he’s the one that really generates the sales for their business. He saves his money, but the brother doesn’t and demands to know why his brother is never on construction site. The reason is he squanders his money and feels his brother should be working according to his standards to make sure cash comes in.

        The wife believes it’s not a 50/50 business but the gentleman I spoke with stays firm with that deal and there was nothing else added. He’s honoring the deal despite his brother’s “leftish” behavior.

        My situation is that I promised my sister a cut of a deal but we never got around to making it official. As we spoke – and believe me it’s hard to express the subtleties of the discussion in one little thread comment – the basic tone was “I wouldn’t screw my sister” over. We all trust I will recognize her part. That and my mother would get involved…matriarchs. Pft.

        1. (cont’d)

          Trust.

          Or as that putz Warren thinks – extreme measures. We’re just family members who will do right by one another without state intervention.

          But to guys like Warren they don’t see the sweat and fears that go into building a business. They only see the “result.” They don’t understand the basic currency IS trust. Without it you fail. All these government red tapes fellas like him so blindly believe in are all theater. A bureaucrat will dissolve trust not strengthen it.

          1. You’re a total clown. That isn’t what Warren said, as I explained to you at length. That you persist in your error shows your deliberate ignorance and blindness.

            1. Ok.

              1. Wait…what did you explain to me?

                1. You can lead a retard to knowledge but you can’t make him think I guess.

              2. It’s frustrating enough being deliberately mischaracterized by the statists and their government-loving enablers, but to have it brought here is just too much.

                1. Say what you mean and exactly what you mean.

                  1. Say what you mean and exactly what you mean.

                    What do the words “driven to” mean to you exactly?

                    1. What do the words “driven to” mean to you exactly?

                      I got it, but I correctly inferred what he was implying.

                      Its not an “intellectual error” to fail to make that inference.

                      He should have stated instead of implying.

                    2. mean to you

                      It doesnt matter what they mean to the reader, it matters what they mean to WARREN, and he didnt tell us, so some of us read it in a way that agreed with Warren, and others went a different way with it.

                      Both are fine.

                      If he doesnt want the criticism, be more clear.

                    3. I read it like robc.

                      It’s nice you know Warren personally but we don’t. Look, I make awkward posts all the time – it happens. Sometimes we even get heated. And when it’s misread rather than attack the person I assume it was my fault for not conveying the point well, apologize and move on.

                2. Relax NK, I can assure I have to put up with nonsense everyday and back off your BS ad hominen challenging my intelligence.

                  “You can lead a retard to knowledge but you can’t make him think I guess.”

                  Well I definitely don’t need your schooling.

                  But I’ll accept a bad word back since I gave a few punches but that’s it.

                  1. NK/Randian is incapable of backing off…

          2. You are also reading an awful lot into what Warren wrote.

        2. I just finished reading Jonathan Haidt’s ‘The Righteous Mind’ the other day, and he makes the great point that the reason that conservative Jewish families dominate the diamond business is because their close religious and family bonds prevent them from stealing, and thus dramatic reduce overhead costs associated with monitoring and oversight and insurance.

          1. I can see that. The family business can be a powerful – or destructive – one. I say destructive because my cousins in Europe owned a lucrative business but the three brothers could never agree on anything and the opposite happened – eg weren’t maximizing profits, one guy taking bad decisions without consulting the others, etc. Eventually they just split up.

    2. CB, I agree with the sentiment expressed.

      It’s not just that. It’s also having the ability, wisdom and strength to not cave and crumble the second a “bad deal” happens or things don’t go your way. It’s not a reason to go begging to rats in government to help you.

      The things or factors that make life unfair can’t be regulated as depicted and promised by the shysters of the left.

      It’s impossible because human nature is way to fickle, complex, intelligent, brutish to understand and put in a one size fits all policy.

      Stay the course and keep your freedom rather than trade or pawn it to the state. Alas, that deal has already been made.

    3. In order to be a libertarian in philosophy one must, on the whole, trust and have faith in humanity, on the whole.

      You aren’t really saying anything with this statement; I can trust individuals fine, I cannot trust collectives. Furthermore, my cynicism (where governments or collectives such as unions, nations, etc) are concerned runs very deep. I always assume a collective will make not just a bad decision, but the worst decision, in any given scenario.

      1. I am speaking mainly to the cynics in the “liberty” movement that preach libertarianism yet decry the ability of people to be peaceful. I can’t argue your point about collectives and their decision making abilities but ultimately it comes down to authority of force.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with collectives as long as they stick to voluntary transactions. Churches, corporations and such are collectives, aren’t they? As long as the individuals in the collective are there of their own free will, and the actions they do are voluntary and do not involve coercion or fraud, I fail to see a problem.

        1. So, you’re saying the very action that allows us to live freely and conduct free trade (ceding a monopoly of force to a government) is the very same action that enslaves us?

          1. I think the operative word there is “monopoly”

          2. The founding fathers never intended for the gubmit to have a “monopoly” on legitimate use of force…see 2A.

            1. The government has the monopoly on the initiation of force, not on force itself.

            2. That’s debatable, to an extent. I personally believe you’re right, but I can definitely see good arguments to be made on both sides.

              However, to have a free market, individuals have to agree not to use force & coercion against each other. They do this largely by delegating those powers to a government; a government without these powers is about useless, and the ones with them always end in tyranny over their constituents.

              1. That’s the conundrum. For government to function, it must have the last word in violence. But if it has the last word in violence, what stops it from becoming tyrannical?

                1. This is where sarc and I part ways…at near the end of the trans-continental crazy train. I get off at Khabarovsk and sarc gets off at Vladivostok.

                  I think it IS possible that a government NOT have sole authority for the legitimate use of force but still be able to function well. And as I understand sarc he is an an-cap and that has zero faith in my hypothesis.

                  1. I think it IS possible that a government NOT have sole authority for the legitimate use of force but still be able to function well.

                    Would you please enlighten me as to how your train arrives at this destination?

                    1. it is one stop before an-cap?

                      The idea of a generally agreed-upon third party being an adjudicator yet still having “competition” from the polity in general. The closest example I can give in today’s language is akin to jury nullification where each case the jury is instructed that they can do what they think is right even if and especially if they think the gov. or its laws are wrong.

                      Once the polity sees too many wrongs they revolve (no revolt) to the beginning again. That was the spirit of the declaration.

                  2. I didn’t say government has the sole authority for the legitimate use of force. I said government has the sole authority to initiate force.

                    1. I know. And it is an important distinction. Yet, in my view, the government initiating force is subject to the exact same moral judgement as I…and by government I mean the cop/soldier/bureaucrat personally.

                  3. And as I understand sarc he is an an-cap and that has zero faith in my hypothesis.

                    In principle I’m an an-cap. But as a practical matter I understand that there will always be a gang of men with the last word in violence, who use that as a license to plunder under the guise of taxation. Better to recognize that reality and try to limit the damage they can do than to be an idiot anarchist like Epi.

              2. I disagree. I think there’s a bit of the “is-ought” problem in what you’re saying. We have governments in societies with mostly free markets but that doesn’t mean that actors in those markets got together and decided to cede their sovereignty to a government. All that is necessary for a free market to function is that all participants agree to respect property rights and not use force or the threat of force to compel other actors.

                You certainly don’t need a government to tell you not to steal, and all it takes to punish transgressors is to not trade with them in the future. If you want to have a third party in charge of keeping the peace and enforcing rules, you can hire security guards and/or mutually-agreeable arbitrator or mediator.

                Look at the international community, particularly in regards to trade, if you want to see an example of how cooperation, order, and structure works in an anarchic system. It’s not nearly as far-fetched as opponents and statists make it out to be.

                1. If you want to have a third party in charge of keeping the peace and enforcing rules, you can hire security guards and/or mutually-agreeable arbitrator or mediator.

                  Then they hire their own security guards. What happens when the security guards clash? Well, violence. How do they resolve this? By killing each other. Before you know it there is a winner, and no one can stop them from dictating their own prices. Then you have a government. Because that’s all government is. It’s people with the last word in violence who use that as a license to steal. It is nothing more than that.

                2. You certainly don’t need a government to tell you not to steal, and all it takes to punish transgressors is to not trade with them in the future.

                  What inevitably happens is not stealing by individuals, but by groups of men who collectively use violence. Then they don’t need to trade, because they can just take. They are called government.

        2. see my comment above yours …authority of force.

    4. Funny how libertarians trust the free market because they trust people to work for their own personal selfish interest, while progressives distrust markets for the same reason.

      Then libertarians distrust government because they do not trust people using power for their own selfish interests, while progressives somehow feel that giving people power somehow makes them immune to their own selfish interests.

      I don’t get it.

      1. It is called a Mental Defect.

      2. It’s not that hard. Once you corner a liberal about this, they will flatly admit they’d rather more power to the government than the individual because the government makes the decision for the ‘general welfare’, whereas the individual will not make the right decision (for the children I guess) because they’re ignorant.

        This is what my Massachusetts liberal friend thinks.

        1. At community college I got a professor to admit as much. She said smart people in government were more than capable of making the right decisions for society while selfish people would only destroy because they lacked vision.

          It really was a wake up call for me since I was 18 at the time and had yet to give much thought to libertarians.

          1. Yeah, it’s frightening because professors in college did think this way. It points to the cynical view of humanity.

            When I asked him why he would consent to giving up some of his freedoms to a bureaucrat he basically said better that than in the hands of a corporation since at least the bureaucrat has to consider the public.

            I still can’t quite understand the logic and I don’t bring it up anymore. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl again when we go for dinner but not sure I want to do that.

            1. When I asked him why he would consent to giving up some of his freedoms to a bureaucrat he basically said better that than in the hands of a corporation since at least the bureaucrat has to consider the public.

              And a corporation doesn’t? Thing is, a corporation must consider the public, because without the public voluntarily giving them money for goods and services, the corporation will cease to exist. Unlike government which obtains its money through coercion. At least that would be my response.

              1. ‘better in the hands of the bureaucrat’

                Sorry sarcasmic. Just wanted to fix my error.

              2. I don’t know. They seem to spin it in a way such that the corporations and CEO’s don’t earn their keeps. The ultimate irony is he works for a corporation – radio – and all they do is live and die by…considering the ratings by the public.

                1. They seem to spin it in a way such that the corporations and CEO’s don’t earn their keeps.

                  So he doesn’t understand the difference between strategy and tactics.

              3. The other thing I never quite get in the mind of lefty, other than just hating rich people, is what is all this corporate power they talk about?

                What power does a corporation have over anyone? They can try to sell me their product?

                The only time a corporation ever has power is when they get in bed with the government and have it control people.

                1. What power does a corporation have over anyone? They can try to sell me their product?

                  I don’t get it either.

                  First they say that the government is us, the people. Then they say that the government, us, is controlled by the rich and the corporations.

                  The solution to the government, to us, being controlled by the corporations, is to give more power to the government. That way the government, us, can control the corporations that control it.

                  If that doesn’t work and only serves to empower the corporations that control the government, then more power needs to be given to the government so it can control the corporations that control it.

                  If that doesn’t work and only serves to empower the corporations that control the government, then more power needs to be given to the government so it can control the corporations that control it.

                  If that doesn’t work and only serves to empower the corporations that control the government, then more power needs to be given to the government so it can control the corporations that control it.

                  Power to the people!

                  Or something like that.

        2. Its interesting that this is sort of the mindset of a child who looks up to his parents to guide him and tell him what to do.

          While progressives often rail that libertarians are like teenagers just rebelling against their parents.

          I think the quesitons is maybe whether you see people in authority as having superior knowledge or if you think that they really don’t have any special knowledge and are making it up like you. Do you really believe that the people in power got there on merit or not?

          In today’s democracy? I certainly think not. There is nothing about our political process that would lead me to think that the people in authority are in any way smarter or more knowledgeable than me. They are just much more skilled liars and manipulators and salesmen.

          1. Its interesting that this is sort of the mindset of a child who looks up to his parents to guide him and tell him what to do.

            While progressives often rail that libertarians are like teenagers just rebelling against their parents.

            Yep. Progressives view government as their parents. As their master. As their god. Somehow not comprehending that it’s just people like them.

            1. Progressives also usually imagine that ideally the “right” people will be in charge, which just happens to be people like themselves.

              So when i lefty says we can trust government its really them saying government ruled by me would be awesome.

      3. The difference is the government has the power to force me to work against my best interests; an individual does not.

        1. What is government except a collection of individuals?

          1. GOVERNMENT IS US!

            /tony

            More seriously though, I find the conundrum of providing government with force to prevent individuals from initiating coercion a bit frustrating.

            1. Government functions because no one stops the individuals who are part of it. That’s how cops get away with beating people to death. No one will stop them. No one at all. Now if someone not in a uniform started beating someone to death, there’s a chance someone might try to stop them. But not a cop. That’s the consent of the governed. But I think that’s changing. More and more government doesn’t have our consent. That’s why the cops are militarizing. Because when you don’t have the consent of the governed, you govern with firepower.

              1. Government functions because no one stops the individuals who are part of it.

                Until they do.

                1. Elaborated:

                  How does an individual that prizes liberty above all else deny another individual that liberty without being a hypocrite, specifically in cases where laws and constitutions were blatantly ignored and misinterpreted?

      4. Well, libertarians expect people to act according to rational self-interest (by which I mean people act in ways they believe will further their interests, not that those interests are necessarily rational in and of themselves), and in a free market all actors are equally sovereign, so your self-interest and mine result in our brokering exchanges which we each feel are beneficial to our own interests. It’s “selfish”, but it’s honest and it’s fair. If you want something from me, you have to give me something I feel is of equal worth. You’ve got a TV you’re not using, and I’ve got a table saw I don’t need. We trade, and both come away better for it.

        Contrast this to government. We’re both rational actors, but you have sovereignty whereas I do not. You have the legal right to use force to compel me to act or to seize my property; I don’t. So, you keep your TV, and I’m out one table saw. And whatever else you decide you want.

        The difference between libertarians and progressives is that progressives are afraid that they won’t have anything to exchange, and they want to be the only ones holding the guns.

        1. It’s easier to plunder than to produce.

          1. Like a friend of mine says about the whole “prepper” movement:

            “I don’t need to stockpile food. I’m an ex-soldier with a closet full of assault rifles and cases upon cases of ammo. I’m the guy the preppers are worried about.”

            1. I’m just a guy who can cook well and make good brew. I’ll always be in demand.

              1. Make good brew = I HAVE NOT SEEN EVIDENCE OF THIS!!!!

                I just put my keg in the fridge after 3 weeks conditioning…going on vacation and will have beautifully good beer when I get back.

                1. You condition in the keg? I’ve never tried that. I just force carbonate.

                  1. It wasn’t quite ready when I kegged. (dont ask) so I let it sit. It is essentially the same as bottle conditioning. Only it can take longer to get the same result.

                    I am still force carbonating, it wasnt primed or anything. It just wasnt ready.

                    1. My last pilsner is coming out crystal clear. *sniff* That means it’s gonna kick any moment.

                    2. damnit…now I want a beer.

          2. Ya know I have always doubted this. Take it back an abstract step or two and consider the Bastiat of it all (seen unseen etc.). If I am a plunderer (Viking) then I need an investment in the ability to plunder (x = seen, lower input costs) and then have great risk holding my plunder/extracting plunder from a sometimes pissed off populace (y = unseen, potentially catastrophic loss i.e. French Royalty, Rome, etc.) I think it would be a great Econ thesis to quantitatively delve into the question is it really easier to destroy than create?

            1. Depends on how easy it is for you to create and how risky is is for you to take.

              1. that’s kind of my point here…everyone always says it is easier to destroy than create. I challenge that.

                  1. Do you prefer Hash or Pound, cause you a’ritgh.

                1. I quick search came up with this. Maybe this kind of thing has been studied somewhat:

                  http://link.springer.com/artic……81946.d3#

                  1. FUCK ME:

                    The most efficient bandits monopolize violence, begin to tax and provide some amounts of public goods in order to stimulate economic growth.

                    It is RIGHT THERE IN THE STUDY!!!!

                  2. FUCK ME:

                    The most efficient bandits monopolize violence, begin to tax and provide some amounts of public goods in order to stimulate economic growth.

                    It is RIGHT THERE IN THE STUDY!!!!

                    1. 3:00pm…shoulda known

                    2. 3:00pm…shoulda known

  15. Sure it’s fine for cooking, but what about dentistry?

    1. McCoy did fine as just an “old country doctor”.

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