You say you reject my premise but I am not sure what you mean by my premise. What is it you are rejecting?
You also say you reject my use of the term usury, but I'm not sure how you can do that. The term is a simple term that refers to a someone making money by lending and charging interest. That clearly happens, and it is called usury. Perhaps you thought I meant something else by the term?
You say that we all trade services or materials based on the exchange of money. That may be true, but it is not necessarily usury. For example, if a barber cuts a masseuse's hair in exchange for the masseuse giving the barber a massage, that would presumably be a mutually beneficial exchange of services without any necessary usury. Of course, that does not mean that usury doesn't exist.
You are right that money can be easier to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, as shown by your 7/11 example. In this thread, I am merely asking about the enforcement of contracts, not about the use of money. A society could still use money without enforcing contracts. For example, I personally do a lot of business with people internationally using money via private, non-governmental payment processors such as PayPal and e-gold--and contracts are not enforceable by the coercive power of government in those international transactions. This works fine because I take proper precautions to protect myself. For example, if a Nigerian promises to wire me $1,000 tomorrow for $10 today, I refuse. That's how a truly free-market works: through self-responsibility and self-regulation. The alternative to the enforcement of contracts is not "chaos, death, destruction, and slavery," as you have said, but is self-responsibility and self-regulation.
In your examples, you even say that Citibank reporting someone for bad credit has essentially the same effect as a mafia (or government) enforcing a contract with violence and coercion. Using a private credit agency is not governmental and is not coercive; it's an example of free people interacting without one party relying on the use of coercive force to enforce contracts.
You say that the answer to my question is obvious in practical terms. It is not obvious to me. If you don't mind, please explain why you apparently believe that a society would not be able to develop without the coercive enforcement of contracts.
You say that you doubt that I could on the one hand hold a retirement fund and on the other think that getting a return on that fund was usury. However, by definition, loaning out (or "investing") money clearly is usury--and I think most people realize that whether they do it or not. Of course, some may argue that usury is a good thing for the people in a society.
You also claim that I believe it is only usury if someone actually has more money than I do and expects a good return on it. That is not true, and I never said anything of the sort. Loaning out money for interest is usury, regardless of who does it. Additionally, I am asking a hypothetical question about a potential society in which contracts are not enforced, so it really has nothing to do with whether or not a single person in our own current society (where contracts are enforced) invests or not. For that reason, you are wrong when you say that I am a hypocrite, but calling me that would have at best been a ad hominem tu quoque
I am not sure how you can say my "theory" is the same that created the Democratic Party's super-delegate system. I doubt it, but it is irrelevant. I am not suggesting that we make some people "super."
Bloefeld2002 wrote:Let me pose this one for you. If I waved a wand today and tomorrow everyone in the US had exactly the same amount of assets and cash, how long would it take for the guys that are rich now to have all of their riches back and the guys who are poor now to have given their money to Sony and Budweiser on its way into the hands of todays richest guys?
I think at best 6 months.
I'm not sure what the relevance is to the topic of this thread. Regardless, I do not think that the rich people would regain their wealth at all. Morons like Paris Hilton would be screwed. Additionally, most poor people would not go back to being poor, since they could, for example, finally afford to get their kids in good schools and away from violent ghettos and all. Remember, most poor people are born underprivileged, and most rich people are born that way. Poverty traps most poor youth, and wealth protects most rich kids. Exceptional kids can be exceptions, of course. What you seem to be suggesting is what I call The Myth of Meritocracy
. If you want to discuss the issue of poverty and wealth distribution in our current society, I have created a thread for it: Is the United States Meritocratic?
I don't think it is relevant to this this discussion of the enforcement of contracts in hypothetical societies.