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  1. #1
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    If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Assuming that everyone were honest, how much would that lower the cost of living in industrialized countries, and in what respects? How much do we spend on things because people can't be trusted?

    Honest is defined as no theft, no crimes against humanity or individual property, no deceit, and any such related areas. It possibly would cover all crime, but I'm open to interpretations. This includes truth in advertising as well. If all companies and politicians were honest with the public. If nothing was misrepresented.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    First: Holy s***, it's Xanadu Moo ! Havent seen you around in ages!

    Second: As far as honesty through not stealing, shrinkage makes up a considerable amount of cost to retail industries. 3-7% as a percentage of sales revenue in some places. So, just one aspect of your honesty theory accounts for a 3-7% increase in costs.

    Third: Stay around! I enjoyed reading your debates.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    That is hard to say. I mean, when you say honest does that extend to sales-men holding back the information that they don't think a product is right for you, while being completely honest about the product itself?
    Because that would basically destroy the sales industry IMO, hold down buying and possibly drive up prices on some items while decreasing their over all use.

    ---To answer the question without the above considered--
    I think a good 50% of the items available would not be purchased if they were not lied about by the manufacturer. Much of the "research" for the products would not be produced if it were "honest" about the average applications. No more commercials implying how "cool" you will be if you use their product. No more actors being paid to represent a product they do not personally use or like.


    --Biggest impact--
    People being honest with themselves would drive down demand for many items. No more "I need X" when one knows they do not. No more purchases to a gym when one knows they will not go.
    This would be the biggest suppression of living costs.


    --Second biggest impact--
    Politicians not being able to lie... man, the savings would be immeasurable. No more socialists hiding their agenda, no more conservatives hiding their agenda. People would get an honest choice and a truly representative gov. .. ahh.. to dream.


    also.. good to see you again.
    To serve man.

  5. #4
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Personally, I think the cost of living would go up, not down. Here are just a few reasons I think this would happen:

    * Many companies would fail. I'm not saying they would fail simply because they weren't charging enough, etc. I think they would fail because of the lack of consumer/investor confidence. Companies are often struggling to stay afloat as it is. However, having all their struggles be an open book would ruin most of them I think the first time a major issue came along. That means less production and more demand... which equals higher prices.

    * People would be in a constant state of fear. A thousand times more than now. And we are talking fear in regards to pretty much everything. Just because everyone is telling the truth doesn't mean you are getting correct answers. Of course, we get this already. However, the fact that no one can lie would give those misleading or incorrect answers a ton more credibility than it should. And often it would just come down to what you fear the truth is... THAT would be what you end up believing. And you would believe it with a TON more conviction since all of your data is true. But again, it wouldn't necessarily be correct or even in the right context. Anyway, fear drives up prices.

    * Prices wouldn't drop really just because people would know how much they are getting over charged. For example, cable companies will still have a monopoly. In fact, as I pointed out earlier, there would be a lot less companies out there... thus more monopolies. Plus, there are TONS of businesses even now that we know over charge us... yet, we have little choice but to buy from them since all their competitors over charge us also. Cell phone service is a good example. Credit card interest rates are another.

  6. #5
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    lbre, I have to disagree, with just about everything you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    * Many companies would fail. I'm not saying they would fail simply because they weren't charging enough, etc. I think they would fail because of the lack of consumer/investor confidence. Companies are often struggling to stay afloat as it is. However, having all their struggles be an open book would ruin most of them I think the first time a major issue came along. That means less production and more demand... which equals higher prices.
    First, investor confidence is different than consumer confidence. Also, in the new world there would be a very different and more realistic expectation of risk. With more correct knowledge more bad financial decisions would be averted which would give investors more money to invest in companies that DID have sound policies. So you may be correct that more companies would go out of business, but that doesn't equate into higher prices as there would be more successful AND sound companies. You don't need hundreds of bad companies to drive down prices, just a few very good ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    * People would be in a constant state of fear. A thousand times more than now. And we are talking fear in regards to pretty much everything. Just because everyone is telling the truth doesn't mean you are getting correct answers. Of course, we get this already. However, the fact that no one can lie would give those misleading or incorrect answers a ton more credibility than it should. And often it would just come down to what you fear the truth is... THAT would be what you end up believing. And you would believe it with a TON more conviction since all of your data is true. But again, it wouldn't necessarily be correct or even in the right context. Anyway, fear drives up prices.
    I disagree, first because the things that cause the fear would be averted because they are truthfully and honestly assessed. Second what you described is self deception or "lying to yourself". This would not occurred in a world without lies. So I think your projection here is not realistic. you are correct that people could still be mistaken, but it will be because they honestly think condition X & Y exist and are bad for them financially.

    I think the savings from bad investments not being made would be very hard to measure.


    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    * Prices wouldn't drop really just because people would know how much they are getting over charged. For example, cable companies will still have a monopoly. In fact, as I pointed out earlier, there would be a lot less companies out there... thus more monopolies. Plus, there are TONS of businesses even now that we know over charge us... yet, we have little choice but to buy from them since all their competitors over charge us also. Cell phone service is a good example. Credit card interest rates are another.
    That is a good point, but at best it means no change at all.

    There are still several major areas that would represent huge changes.
    1) less wasted money on items that are not needed or would not be used.
    2) Fewer bad investments in unsound companies, meaning more correct and efficient allocation of funds to good companies meaning better prices overall and less waste or losses in the system.
    3) An overall trade for fewer short term unstable and unworthy companies (IE bad investments) for more long term solid companies meaning more stable job market.
    To serve man.

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    Assuming that everyone were honest, how much would that lower the cost of living in industrialized countries, and in what respects? How much do we spend on things because people can't be trusted?
    At very least we would see a larger number of projects that are profitable since counter party risk is a part of the discount you apply to future profits.

    Now, whether we have the capital to fund that is another matter.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  8. #7
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    lbre, I have to disagree, with just about everything you have.
    Nothing new there...lol... jk.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    First, investor confidence is different than consumer confidence. Also, in the new world there would be a very different and more realistic expectation of risk. With more correct knowledge more bad financial decisions would be averted which would give investors more money to invest in companies that DID have sound policies. So you may be correct that more companies would go out of business, but that doesn't equate into higher prices as there would be more successful AND sound companies. You don't need hundreds of bad companies to drive down prices, just a few very good ones.
    You are going on the false assumption that companies would be "good" just because they tell the truth. I'm pretty sure that most people that create companies do not do so just to serve their community. They do it to make money. IMO, if you provide a company an opportunity to gain more power/money then they will more often than not take it. They wouldn't be doing their job properly if they didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I disagree, first because the things that cause the fear would be averted because they are truthfully and honestly assessed. Second what you described is self deception or "lying to yourself". This would not occurred in a world without lies. So I think your projection here is not realistic. you are correct that people could still be mistaken, but it will be because they honestly think condition X & Y exist and are bad for them financially.

    I think the savings from bad investments not being made would be very hard to measure.
    Here, you are going on the bad assumption that just because someone is telling the truth that the info they are providing is actually true. Which is the point I was trying to make. I think MANY would make the same mistake.

    Unless, you are saying that there would be some kind of magic that prevented people from telling things that aren't true even when they think they are true. Or that they just would be incapable of believing something was true until it actually was.

    In this case I think technological process would slow to a crawl. A ton of our progress is made via trial and error. With this special magic in the air there would be no trial and error... not even mental debate really on a subject. Progress would be completely dependent on random chance thoughts and what we seen in the real world. We would probably still be back in the 1800s in many areas, to include lack of assembly lines, etc. That would still be okay if we had a low population. However, if the population was anywhere near what we have now then prices would be through the roof.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That is a good point, but at best it means no change at all.

    There are still several major areas that would represent huge changes.
    1) less wasted money on items that are not needed or would not be used.
    2) Fewer bad investments in unsound companies, meaning more correct and efficient allocation of funds to good companies meaning better prices overall and less waste or losses in the system.
    3) An overall trade for fewer short term unstable and unworthy companies (IE bad investments) for more long term solid companies meaning more stable job market.
    1) I don't follow your logic here. People do NOT need cell phones. Not most of them. And they ones that do need them most definitely do not need them to the degree that they use them. Yet, they still use them. I don't see how stuff like that would change. About the only thing that would change is the sale's pitch.
    2) Again, all this means is everyone putting all their eggs in one basket. It would become a world of monopolies. Every company would reach a point of self sustained fusion... kind of like how Microsoft is now. Where no other company would ever have a chance of replacing them... regardless of what the people might want. Once that happened it wouldn't matter what truths they told, they would be able to hike prices up whenever they wanted. We could pass laws to hinder them but they would just find ways around it... telling us the truth about it the whole time. And we would continue to buy from them because we would now have no options.
    3) I think this falls into my #2 answer... if I understand your comment correctly.

  9. #8
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    You are going on the false assumption that companies would be "good" just because they tell the truth. I'm pretty sure that most people that create companies do not do so just to serve their community. They do it to make money. IMO, if you provide a company an opportunity to gain more power/money then they will more often than not take it. They wouldn't be doing their job properly if they didn't.
    Well there are two ways to make money. To serve the community a product or service it needs, or to defraud people through trickery and lies. In a world where the latter was made harder then there would be less of it.

    So the “good” I refer to is financially sound and providing service/product that people deem they “need/want”. The “good” that is done is that people save money by not misallocating funds as much. Less wasted funds = lower cost of living.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Here, you are going on the bad assumption that just because someone is telling the truth that the info they are providing is actually true. Which is the point I was trying to make. I think MANY would make the same mistake.
    In what instances would the lie in a world without lies? Or in what way could someone pass untrue information to them?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Unless, you are saying that there would be some kind of magic that prevented people from telling things that aren't true even when they think they are true. Or that they just would be incapable of believing something was true until it actually was.
    What is being proposed is a world where any “opinion” that is given, is first truthful, and based on truths told to them or actually perceived. Think about a used car salesman. Will you get a “bad” car? .. sure but at a much less rate than in this world.. right?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    With this special magic in the air there would be no trial and error..
    Why not? Hypothetical’s are not lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    1) I don't follow your logic here. People do NOT need cell phones. Not most of them. And they ones that do need them most definitely do not need them to the degree that they use them. Yet, they still use them. I don't see how stuff like that would change. About the only thing that would change is the sale's pitch.
    Think gym memberships. People get them every year around new years telling themselves they will work out and commit, while knowing they will not. They are basically lying to themselves. Such a purchase would not occur in a world where no one could lie. This means less wasted money, which = lower cost of living.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    2) Again, all this means is everyone putting all their eggs in one basket. It would become a world of monopolies. Every company would reach a point of self sustained fusion... kind of like how Microsoft is now. Where no other company would ever have a chance of replacing them... regardless of what the people might want. Once that happened it wouldn't matter what truths they told, they would be able to hike prices up whenever they wanted. We could pass laws to hinder them but they would just find ways around it... telling us the truth about it the whole time. And we would continue to buy from them because we would now have no options.
    3) I think this falls into my #2 answer... if I understand your comment correctly.

    Lack of bad companies =/= monopolies. Your logic doesn’t follow. If we take out all the swindlers who make fake companies to steal your money because they can not lie to you in order to get your money…. How does that lead to monopolies?

    How big would Microsoft be if they didn't lie in court? "noo.. we didn't steal X,Y,Z from so and so.. we came up with that on our own"
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  10. #9
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    (Thanks for the welcomes back. I was working on a music reference book that I printed my own copies of and am looking for a publisher for the next edition. Anyway...)

    These are good ideas so far, which I plan to assess more and assimilate. We can bring them into the whole equation and try to piece it all together.

    Some things I thought of which would likely reduce costs:
    • Shoplifting wouldn't be an issue. The consumer wouldn't have to cover the cost of items other people steal, or the cost of store security personnel and security equipment. Packaging of expensive items wouldn't need to be made anti-theft.
    • There wouldn't be any stolen vehicles.
    • There would be no fraud of any kind, such as insurance fraud, tax fraud, welfare fraud, etc.
    • We wouldn't need locks or safes.
    • We wouldn't be dealt known substandard products by independent dealers or otherwise.
    • We wouldn't need passwords on anything! Hurray!
    • The welfare state would be reduced because people wouldn't be faking conditions, and illegal immigration wouldn't take place.
    • Here's a potentially big one... Legal firms would not be pushing frivolous lawsuits, and the legal industry in general would not be manipulating the public.
    • Laws would be based on true motives instead of hidden agendas. The legal code would be greatly reduced.
    • The prison population would be significantly reduced.
    • Corporations would deal fairly with one another and with the public. This would produce more balance among industries, and I'm guessing more free-flowing capital.
    • No false driving up of prices, such as with diamonds or gas.
    • Employees would put in an honest day's work, and be more productive.

    This is the first I've thought about this in this much depth, so I'm sure there are various other aspects of this.

    I'm not clear on how to go about quantifying some of these things, but perhaps we can each generate some overall ballpark estimates, a range of say 20-30% reduction in costs, for example. What does it all add up to? And are we also taking away some jobs in the process?

    Let's just say that if it were something like 20%, then that means one of the five days I work every week is to pay for dishonesty in the world. And I have a feeling it's going to be even higher than that.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

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  12. #10
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well there are two ways to make money. To serve the community a product or service it needs, or to defraud people through trickery and lies. In a world where the latter was made harder then there would be less of it.

    So the “good” I refer to is financially sound and providing service/product that people deem they “need/want”. The “good” that is done is that people save money by not misallocating funds as much. Less wasted funds = lower cost of living.
    I don't follow your logic. Just because you are not defrauding people doesn't mean you aren't making lots of money off them. There are LOTS of subjective costs in various products and services. There are also often start up costs that no one in their right mind would ever take on if it didn't mean large payoffs later.

    For example, who in their right mind would invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create a car factory and then sell the cars at material cost? No one would ever back you. Why would they if the best they could expect is a 1 to 1 ratio of return? The more you invest/risk the more you would need to get in return for that investment. Otherwise no one would do it. And I just don't see it as being dishonest to expect that kind of return.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    In what instances would the lie in a world without lies? Or in what way could someone pass untrue information to them?
    How could you tell something that is not true in a world that requires you to be honest? That would happen ALL the time. Basically it would happen whenever you think you have all the available info but you actually don't. Or, when you think the data you are using is correct when it actually isn't. Or, when you remember something incorrectly. Or, when you make a mistake when doing your calculations. The list is probably endless.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    What is being proposed is a world where any “opinion” that is given, is first truthful, and based on truths told to them or actually perceived. Think about a used car salesman. Will you get a “bad” car? .. sure but at a much less rate than in this world.. right?
    Kind of answered that. But your example is a good one. Let's say you pay top dollar and end up with something major breaking on it the first week. That means the salesman lied to you, right? No. In this made up world it would just mean he made a mistake or simply couldn't have known this or that item was about to break.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Why not? Hypothetical’s are not lies.
    Why couldn't you have trial and error? Because if you were incapable of creating a false then you would have to get the light bulb correct on the first try, not the 10,000th or whatever Edison did. You wouldn't be able to tell yourself, "This should work." Not unless it actually will.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Think gym memberships. People get them every year around new years telling themselves they will work out and commit, while knowing they will not. They are basically lying to themselves. Such a purchase would not occur in a world where no one could lie. This means less wasted money, which = lower cost of living.
    That's not a lie though. What you are talking about is a reduction in motivation. When people get the membership they have the truthful intention of using it. The ones that buy them, however, are just too stupid to realize that their motivation will diminish. So, you would have to rule out stupidity on the planet also for this line of logic to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Lack of bad companies =/= monopolies. Your logic doesn’t follow. If we take out all the swindlers who make fake companies to steal your money because they can not lie to you in order to get your money…. How does that lead to monopolies?

    How big would Microsoft be if they didn't lie in court? "noo.. we didn't steal X,Y,Z from so and so.. we came up with that on our own"
    No, we wouldn't be eliminating just the ones that swindle. We would be eliminating the ones that had any kind of controversy attached to them at all. Again you are going on the false premise that the world we live in is perfect with the exception of lies. It's not. There are going to be times when a CEO has absolutely no clue what direction to take his/her company. In our world something like that would just work itself out over time and investors and stuff would never be the wiser. However, in this new world people would easily find out the company was having this issue and the stock would plummet. People would stop buying the product also in many cases.

    Bottom line, if you knew all the details about every company you would only invest in the ones that offered the best returns... unless you were just utterly stupid. Therefore, as soon as one company got to the top of the pack everyone would switch to that company and the others would fail. Instant monopoly. The only way you could overcome that company is if you could find enough investors to create a 2nd company that could come out of the gate better than the first... which just doesn't happen that often with large companies.

    ---------- Post added at 11:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:02 PM ----------

    From responses, I'm starting to think I've completely misunderstood the purpose of this thread. Is the scenario that we would incorporate honesty in this world in every possible sense of the word? As in, people couldn't even make a profit on products because that would be charging more than what it cost to make? Yet, we are to assume companies would still exist and stuff despite there not being a motivation for them to be in business? In other words, the OP is simply asking how much stuff in the real world actually costs to produce? For example, a Big Mac costs 20 cents (made up figure... didn't bother to research that) to actually produce once you factor in labor, rent, materials, etc.

    If that is the case then I don't see how that is even a debatable topic. That is simply a price list of material costs, etc. It would make for an interesting list, but hardly something to debate since you are talking about straight up simple facts, not opinions.

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    I don't follow your logic. Just because you are not defrauding people doesn't mean you aren't making lots of money off them. There are LOTS of subjective costs in various products and services. There are also often start up costs that no one in their right mind would ever take on if it didn't mean large payoffs later.

    For example, who in their right mind would invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create a car factory and then sell the cars at material cost? No one would ever back you. Why would they if the best they could expect is a 1 to 1 ratio of return? The more you invest/risk the more you would need to get in return for that investment. Otherwise no one would do it. And I just don't see it as being dishonest to expect that kind of return.
    I think you misunderstand my point.
    You said that companies are not trying to be a service to the community (or some such). I was pointing out that they MUST in order to make a profit at all. Because they have to fill a need or desire of the community in order to sell a product.
    They are providing a service/product to the community for profit and that IS a service to the community.

    The only other alternative is to try and defraud the community.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    How could you tell something that is not true in a world that requires you to be honest? That would happen ALL the time. Basically it would happen whenever you think you have all the available info but you actually don't. Or, when you think the data you are using is correct when it actually isn't. Or, when you remember something incorrectly. Or, when you make a mistake when doing your calculations. The list is probably endless.
    Right, but how would that occur in say the medical field when products are extensivly tested by companies?
    Also, I think what you are forgetting is that people would not be making claims about what a product will do for YOU personally nearly as often.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Kind of answered that. But your example is a good one. Let's say you pay top dollar and end up with something major breaking on it the first week. That means the salesman lied to you, right? No. In this made up world it would just mean he made a mistake or simply couldn't have known this or that item was about to break.
    Right, because that is inherent in the system. however you wouldn't be purchasing a vehicle that had a bad transmission that they knew about. You wouldn't need to waste your time taking it to a mechanic, because you could speak to their's on the matter and turst you are getting an HONEST professional opinion.

    That world is not claimed to rid the world of error, but to decrease the errors significantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Why couldn't you have trial and error? Because if you were incapable of creating a false then you would have to get the light bulb correct on the first try, not the 10,000th or whatever Edison did. You wouldn't be able to tell yourself, "This should work." Not unless it actually will.
    That really isn't compatable with your other objection. If there was no incorrect or "false" thoughts, then there would be no incorrect data and no mistakes.
    Second, I think you are off track here. It isn't that no false information or thoughts occure, only that everyone is "honest". Meaning they are trying to communicate the truth as best they can and as best as they know it.

    According to what you are apparently saying, this etnire thread is a "lie". You are lying to me about the world, and I am lying to you about the world.
    I don't think that is accurate, instead we are honestly discussing a hypothetical world.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    That's not a lie though. What you are talking about is a reduction in motivation. When people get the membership they have the truthful intention of using it. The ones that buy them, however, are just too stupid to realize that their motivation will diminish. So, you would have to rule out stupidity on the planet also for this line of logic to work.
    That is the point, they have a "desire" to use it, but not necissarily the intention.
    Like the people who tell themselves, I'm going to wake up 3 hours earlier than I ever have in my life to go to the gym.
    For the most part, that is a self deception.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    No, we wouldn't be eliminating just the ones that swindle. We would be eliminating the ones that had any kind of controversy attached to them at all. Again you are going on the false premise that the world we live in is perfect with the exception of lies. It's not. There are going to be times when a CEO has absolutely no clue what direction to take his/her company. In our world something like that would just work itself out over time and investors and stuff would never be the wiser. However, in this new world people would easily find out the company was having this issue and the stock would plummet. People would stop buying the product also in many cases.

    Bottom line, if you knew all the details about every company you would only invest in the ones that offered the best returns... unless you were just utterly stupid. Therefore, as soon as one company got to the top of the pack everyone would switch to that company and the others would fail. Instant monopoly. The only way you could overcome that company is if you could find enough investors to create a 2nd company that could come out of the gate better than the first... which just doesn't happen that often with large companies.
    First, the expectations in such a world would be different than now. Our current world keeps people in the dark as much as possible becauase of your exact objection. However, in that world all companies would readily admit they are having problems. People wouldn't flee from stocks because there would be no expectation of perfection, but a realistic assesment of what it means to own and run a company.
    On the contrary to your point, people would invest in a company that has problems but a leadership that has proven itself capable of overcoming hardship. People would value overcoming rather than avoidance.
    Also, the fact that bad leadership would be found out sooner must represent a net gain for everyone. Less money lost because incompetence is found out quicker instead of hidden by lies and manipulation.

    The idea that one company would hold the title of "best returns" is unrealistic.

    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    As in, people couldn't even make a profit on products because that would be charging more than what it cost to make?
    Not at all, however there may be a more acceptable profit margin mark up in all products.
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The only other alternative is to try and defraud the community.
    Would you include rent seeking in this category?

    IE, many, many companies today attempt to mandate purchasing of their product through legal methods. It isn't necessarily fraud, but it isn't exactly satisfying a need or desire either.
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think you misunderstand my point.
    You said that companies are not trying to be a service to the community (or some such). I was pointing out that they MUST in order to make a profit at all. Because they have to fill a need or desire of the community in order to sell a product.
    They are providing a service/product to the community for profit and that IS a service to the community.

    The only other alternative is to try and defraud the community.
    Not sure where I said that. It was a mistake if I did. Of course your product has to be in demand for you to be able to sell it. I'm just saying that a company can provide a service for the public AND want to make a lot of money at the same time. And a company wanting to make a good return on their investment is not a dishonest act.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Right, but how would that occur in say the medical field when products are extensivly tested by companies?
    Also, I think what you are forgetting is that people would not be making claims about what a product will do for YOU personally nearly as often.
    You were asking how it COULD happen in such a world. I showed that.

    Now you seem to be asking how it could happen in every possible "company" in the world. If I understand you correctly. I'll go ahead and answer the medical field scenario... but I really don't think we want to sit here and go through the list of every possible profession. It's not like I'm claiming anyway that it would happen in every field... just that it could and most likely would a LOT in various fields throughout the world.

    Anyway, in the medical field it would probably happen a ton. Yes, we are getting better every day at perfecting medications and stuff. However, we still see frequent recalls and law suits where a company was certain a drug was safe and the tests showed that it was safe... yet, it wasn't.

    Your medical example, however, is a good one for what I was saying about how people would be constantly scared. Because in this example the answer you got from doctors would depend on how you asked your question.

    "Have you tested this drug and gotten verification that it is safe to take?"
    Answer: yes.
    Cool, I'm happy I have a cure for my illness.

    HOWEVER, if I ask...

    "Is it possible this drug will kill me?"
    Answer: Yes.
    He has to answer yes because anything is possible. Drinking water can kill you under certain circumstances.

    With luck, the doctor would point this out. However, it wouldn't matter even if he did... you would give the yes answer more weight since you know he can't be dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Right, because that is inherent in the system. however you wouldn't be purchasing a vehicle that had a bad transmission that they knew about. You wouldn't need to waste your time taking it to a mechanic, because you could speak to their's on the matter and turst you are getting an HONEST professional opinion.

    That world is not claimed to rid the world of error, but to decrease the errors significantly.

    That really isn't compatable with your other objection. If there was no incorrect or "false" thoughts, then there would be no incorrect data and no mistakes.
    Second, I think you are off track here. It isn't that no false information or thoughts occure, only that everyone is "honest". Meaning they are trying to communicate the truth as best they can and as best as they know it.
    The point I was making was that just because you have honesty doesn't mean everything someone said would be true. It sounds like you agree. We've made some progress... I think...lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That is the point, they have a "desire" to use it, but not necissarily the intention.
    Like the people who tell themselves, I'm going to wake up 3 hours earlier than I ever have in my life to go to the gym.
    For the most part, that is a self deception.
    I think your comment is false. I've never met anyone that paid hundreds of dollars to buy a gym membership they had no intention of using. They may be stupid for thinking they would use it but that doesn't change the fact that they planned to use it. I'm talking overall, of course. I'm sure if you looked hard enough there might be a millionaire out there that buys gym memberships just so he can say he has one... and never had the intent to use it. People I know though can't afford to toss money out the window like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    First, the expectations in such a world would be different than now. Our current world keeps people in the dark as much as possible becauase of your exact objection. However, in that world all companies would readily admit they are having problems. People wouldn't flee from stocks because there would be no expectation of perfection, but a realistic assesment of what it means to own and run a company.
    On the contrary to your point, people would invest in a company that has problems but a leadership that has proven itself capable of overcoming hardship. People would value overcoming rather than avoidance.
    Also, the fact that bad leadership would be found out sooner must represent a net gain for everyone. Less money lost because incompetence is found out quicker instead of hidden by lies and manipulation.

    The idea that one company would hold the title of "best returns" is unrealistic.

    -----

    Not at all, however there may be a more acceptable profit margin mark up in all products.
    I agree that people wouldn't expect perfection. However, if you had all the info you could easily determine which company most likely has the best chance of giving you the best returns on your investment. Or at least there would be stock brokers and stuff that do this for you. If you know company A will most likely double your money in 5 years and company B will take at least 10 years... why would you keep your money in company B?

    I know that probably sounds like an extreme example, but it really isn't. In reality, in such a world it would probably be more like 2 years to double with company A and you loose all your money with B. That is because as soon as company A got a reasonable advantage then all the stock brokers would switch to it. They could not honestly represent their customers/investors if they didn't. With full disclosure, almost every investment would be close to a sure thing... or at least to a trained broker it would look that way. It would be the equivalent of what we now consider inside trading.

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by SQUATCH
    Would you include rent seeking in this category?
    IE, many, many companies today attempt to mandate purchasing of their product through legal methods. It isn't necessarily fraud, but it isn't exactly satisfying a need or desire either.
    I'm not certain. It is IMO a form of dishonesty and fraud. But it probably doesn't fulfill the legal meaning of those words.

    If there is no desire for a product, then forcing people to buy it through the gov is a dishonest approach.
    Of course, could such a political ploy occur in such a world.

    Question, mr politician, are you trying to force people to buy a product that they do not want by using your power as a politician to garner support from company X?
    Answer.. yes.. yes I am.


    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    I'm just saying that a company can provide a service for the public AND want to make a lot of money at the same time. And a company wanting to make a good return on their investment is not a dishonest act.
    Certainly I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    You were asking how it COULD happen in such a world. I showed that.
    I disagree, I was trying to bring out your reasoning to show that lying had occured in the process.
    You have mistaken "error" for "lying".

    ..like so.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Anyway, in the medical field it would probably happen a ton. Yes, we are getting better every day at perfecting medications and stuff. However, we still see frequent recalls and law suits where a company was certain a drug was safe and the tests showed that it was safe... yet, it wasn't.
    not a lie, and not dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Your medical example, however, is a good one for what I was saying about how people would be constantly scared. Because in this example the answer you got from doctors would depend on how you asked your question.
    makes sense.. even now.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    With luck, the doctor would point this out. However, it wouldn't matter even if he did... you would give the yes answer more weight since you know he can't be dishonest.
    That kind of thinking (by your example person) is irrational and such a person will always ask the wrong questions.

    I think it is just Odd how you are basically saying that world with more truth telling and less lying would actually be dangerouse in some way or pose a danger itself.

    such a world would not prevent a person from truting their doctor, and would give them more reason to trust their doctor. But in a world without lies, they would have better reason and justification to do such a thing
    and it is not a bad thing or a negative thing by any stretch IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    The point I was making was that just because you have honesty doesn't mean everything someone said would be true. It sounds like you agree. We've made some progress... I think...lol.
    Right, I do agree. Because not lying is not the same as always communicating without error.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    I've never met anyone that paid hundreds of dollars to buy a gym membership they had no intention of using.
    I think that is the fallacy of lack of imagination.
    or argument from ignorance.
    Just because you don't know of it doesn't make it true. Or my position false.

    I can see how I have told myself No to such things because I was being honest with myself. I can see how others are not or would not. Unless you think it to be a logical impossibility I can accept that it isn't common, but that still makes my point.
    Last edited by Squatch347; March 22nd, 2013 at 04:54 AM. Reason: hashtag
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  18. #15
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    I've never met anyone that paid hundreds of dollars to buy a gym membership they had no intention of using.
    You would be amazed at the habits of some rich people. Some among the rich buy their toys just to own and collect dust. The ownership, or the membership, not the use of the item or whatever makes them happy.
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 22nd, 2013 at 04:12 AM.
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    not a lie, and not dishonest.
    Yeah, that was my point. I was only saying that if you took the word "dishonest" to the absolute extreme in every possible sense of the word then you would run into this issue. I was pointing out that we shouldn't do this for this make believe world. Otherwise there really isn't much to debate. I think it is better if we just pretend this world has created some kind of device that can tell when people are being dishonest to include written, spoken, etc. It wouldn't know if you were mistaken, just when YOU knew you were or weren't being honest.

    Anyway, I think we are in agreement on all of this.

    ---------- Post added at 07:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    You would be amazed at the habits of some rich people. Some among the rich buy their toys just to own and collect dust. The ownership, or the membership, not the use of the item or whatever makes them happy.
    Yeah, I agree. I pointed out that a rich person might do this. I think I said millionaire... but that was the gist of what I meant. I'm just saying that not everyone falls into that category. Some buy it because they THINK they will use it. Some also buy it knowing they probably won't use it but hope the invested cost might motivate them to do so. Bottom line, people in these categories might be stupid for thinking this but it wouldn't be dishonest. In fact, if a rich person bought one just to have it... knowing they would never actually use it... that would still not be dishonest. Not unless they let others know they had it and gave them the false impression that they actually used it.

    I'm not sure why I'm arguing this side of this btw. If less people got memberships then that would mean the price of the memberships would go up... probably big time. That would support my original statement about how costs would probably go up on a planet like this. However, in this particular case I just don't see that many fewer people getting memberships. Sure, there would be fewer and yes prices would go up... but it is hardly a prime example of what I'm talking about.

    ---------- Post added at 07:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That kind of thinking (by your example person) is irrational and such a person will always ask the wrong questions.

    I think it is just Odd how you are basically saying that world with more truth telling and less lying would actually be dangerouse in some way or pose a danger itself.

    such a world would not prevent a person from truting their doctor, and would give them more reason to trust their doctor. But in a world without lies, they would have better reason and justification to do such a thing
    and it is not a bad thing or a negative thing by any stretch IMO.
    Welcome to planet Earth...lol. Seriously though, most people do EXACTLY this. There are probably billions of examples, but the one that jumps out at me is the Trayvon/Zim case. Everyone has most of the facts available... or at least I think they do. However, all 99% (arbitrary high number) seem to be able to conclude is that either Trayvon was mostly to blame or that Zim was mostly to blame. When you put the facts together, however, you find faults in every single theory on either side. Only that 1% or so actually go, um, maybe they both are at fault. Once you approach from that angle you actually CAN come up with a theory that fits all the evidence.

    My point isn't to debate that case btw... the point is that most people do exactly what I was talking about. They are going to automatically worry about the worst case scenario on one side or the other. Not all people... but I think most. And they would have a LOT more valid reasons to worry if all the info they were getting was from 100% honest people.

    I'm not saying there would be chaos in the streets. Just that they would take negative things even more seriously than they do now. Are they always going to go with the negative side over the positive side? No, of course not. Sometimes the good things will still vastly outweigh the bad. However, in a world where everyone had to be honest, more of those negative points would be made available to you. And when you did take that negative side you would take it a LOT more seriously.

    Bottom line, in our current world in most situations the good aspects of something are seldom kept secret. A company, for example, isn't going to try to hide the good things their company or products do. HOWEVER, they will most often than not hide every possible negative thing they can. Sure, we have laws that prevent them from hiding some things. However, some things are perfectly legal to hide. Or, those things are simply hidden in plain sight... like burying a line of important negative info in a 100,000 page document or writing it in legalize so no one realizes it's negative. Those kinds of activities would probably be considered dishonest in this new world. People would then know all these things and thus have more negative things to use when making their decision of whether they should be scared or not of this product, company, research, aliens, etc.

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    If less people got memberships then that would mean the price of the memberships would go up... probably big time.
    I would agree, but hold that less wasted money would equate to a lower cost of living over all.
    Of course, if people were honest with themselves maybe more people would work out and cause prices to go down
    Over all I would expect some things to go up and some to go down but over all in any system where there is less wasted money we should also expect a cheaper cost of living.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    People would then know all these things and thus have more negative things to use when making their decision of whether they should be scared or not of this product, company, research, aliens, etc.
    Well, wouldn't that serve to take the fools out of the game? I mean unless negative news was some how specific to a given company what you would have is a sea of negative news on every company. It would become the norm to understand that business has risk. Those that are scared of risk wouldn't play, and thus waste less money. After all, how many people chase the "sure thing" in the stock market that is more like a casino in reality?
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I would agree, but hold that less wasted money would equate to a lower cost of living over all.
    Of course, if people were honest with themselves maybe more people would work out and cause prices to go down
    Over all I would expect some things to go up and some to go down but over all in any system where there is less wasted money we should also expect a cheaper cost of living.
    The people that DO work out at the gym would probably disagree with you in regards to having more money available.

    As for people working out... I highly doubt people being honest with themselves is going to eliminate laziness. All it would do is force them to admit to themselves they are lazy... which I'm pretty sure most people out of shape already know.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, wouldn't that serve to take the fools out of the game? I mean unless negative news was some how specific to a given company what you would have is a sea of negative news on every company. It would become the norm to understand that business has risk. Those that are scared of risk wouldn't play, and thus waste less money. After all, how many people chase the "sure thing" in the stock market that is more like a casino in reality?
    So, if you found out that a software company just found a major flaw in one of their products and might have to do a huge recall... you would just let your stock ride it out? Knowing that if the recall happened you might loose a huge chunk of your money... or at least a huge chunk compared to if you put it into one of the VERY few surviving companies whose stock would probably go up?

    Okay, maybe individuals would do that... since by the time they read the news it would be too late. However, stock brokers who keep VERY up to date on companies would drop that stock a nanosecond after the announcement. They wouldn't be honest brokers for their clients if they didn't.

    Btw, I'm not talking about little negative things about a company... those I'm sure you are correct about. People would probably weather those things out. What I'm saying is that when something medium size comes it would be as devastating as a HUGE thing in our world. And a huge thing would be an end gamer... unless of course they are already the last company standing.

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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    The people that DO work out at the gym would probably disagree with you in regards to having more money available.

    As for people working out... I highly doubt people being honest with themselves is going to eliminate laziness. All it would do is force them to admit to themselves they are lazy... which I'm pretty sure most people out of shape already know.
    I don't know, I think there is a level of people lying to themselves about the consiquences, many don't change until they accept or see the consiquences in an undeniable fashion.

    My point is not to say that EVERYONE is going to be like that, only that that element would exist. To sustain that a net loss or gain of people working out would occur... I'm not sure.
    I'm willing to agree with y ou that it would be a net loss if you are more certain than I am, just to move the conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    So, if you found out that a software company just found a major flaw in one of their products and might have to do a huge recall... you would just let your stock ride it out? Knowing that if the recall happened you might loose a huge chunk of your money... or at least a huge chunk compared to if you put it into one of the VERY few surviving companies whose stock would probably go up?
    If it was a solid company and could handle the losses.. why not? I would probably buy more stock on it's way down.
    Still, even though in many cases I would, that just means that a company is going out of business that deserves it. I mean if they produce a product so bad that if people found out about it, it would destroy the company....that is really bad right?
    I mean all sorts of companies survive rec-calls. The stock goes down in car companies, but they don't go out of buisness. So it isn't an auto -sell! sell! sell! and thinking so is an oversimplification of a very complex process.

    Quote Originally Posted by LIBRE
    Btw, I'm not talking about little negative things about a company... those I'm sure you are correct about. People would probably weather those things out. What I'm saying is that when something medium size comes it would be as devastating as a HUGE thing in our world. And a huge thing would be an end gamer... unless of course they are already the last company standing.
    Well, I understand that point, that is a very good way to put it BTW. I think that if it is a "medium" thing, and doesn't deserve to ruin a company, then for the most part it wouldn't ruin most companies. All you would see is the normal sell off then buy back that brokers do to make money.

    If on the other hand the market is more sensitive to screw ups, that will cause companies to do better and not screw up. It would not cause a boiling down to a single monopoly.
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    Re: If Everyone Were Honest, How Much Lower Would the Cost of Living Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If it was a solid company and could handle the losses.. why not? I would probably buy more stock on it's way down.
    Still, even though in many cases I would, that just means that a company is going out of business that deserves it. I mean if they produce a product so bad that if people found out about it, it would destroy the company....that is really bad right?
    I mean all sorts of companies survive rec-calls. The stock goes down in car companies, but they don't go out of buisness. So it isn't an auto -sell! sell! sell! and thinking so is an oversimplification of a very complex process.
    Yes, I agree it's an oversimplification. However, the main point I'm trying to make is that EVERYONE would be doing inside trading. They would know everything pretty much about every company. There would be very little guess work.
    With this kind of inside info any stockbroker would be able to easily project out every company to a high degree of accuracy. Thus, even IF nothing big happened, you would still have stock brokers telling you... okay, you can make 20% on this company or 15% on this one. And provided there were no unexpected disasters those percentages would almost be guaranteed.
    Yes, I get the part about how some buy stock when it goes down. However, the reason why people do that is because there is a chance the company might have a plan or something to turn everything around... thus, if it bounces back then you stand to make tons of money.
    In this world though you would know whether they had such a plan. You might not know what that plan actually is but you would know if it at least existed. And if it did exit then it's earnings wouldn't have dropped to below the other company to begin with.
    Sure, there would still be a time period where the company could still bounce back. However, I think it would be SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than it is here. Here you can lead people on a bit and stuff like that to buy time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, I understand that point, that is a very good way to put it BTW. I think that if it is a "medium" thing, and doesn't deserve to ruin a company, then for the most part it wouldn't ruin most companies. All you would see is the normal sell off then buy back that brokers do to make money.

    If on the other hand the market is more sensitive to screw ups, that will cause companies to do better and not screw up. It would not cause a boiling down to a single monopoly.
    I agree with you that companies would try a LOT harder not to mess up. I think they would have a lot more ability to keep from messing up also since everyone THEY deal with are being honest also.
    What I'm saying is that no matter how hard you try, it is bound to eventually happen. And when it does you probably now have one less business.
    And yes, sometimes a new business will emerge to try to take it's place. However, that would happen a LOT less often I think since the degree of expertise and professionalism needed at that level of the game would be so much higher than it is here.
    Bottom line, sometimes when it comes to making complex decisions a lot of information is good... however, an unlimited amount of info is very bad. In a world like this you would probably have entire buildings dedicated to just the people that collected the available data. Another building to analyze it.

 

 
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