Tag: entrepreneur

Marx is Wrong About the Workers

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

In my recent reading of Marx and Engels’s The Communist Manifesto, I was kind of surprised by the characterization made of the relationship between the employers and the workers. Marx calls the relationship exploitative multiple times throughout the work. The workers produce, and then the employer steals away the product of his or her labor. With this characterization, it is no wonder people are so against modern-day capitalist relationships. But this characterization is not the reality of the situation. It is based on loaded language and misrepresentations of the market process.

A particular passage caught my attention:

“In proportion to the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed–a class of laborers, who live so long as they find work, and who find work so long as their labor increases capital. The laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations in the market. ” (Marx par.34)

This paragraph has two core planks: the workers’ lives are dependent on capital, and the workers are owned. Marx says that the worker only lives if they can find work. One may take this as Marx saying that work is bad, but that is not what he is saying. He is saying that work is bad as long as its existence depends upon capital production. Work dependent on capital production is not a bad thing, though. An employer only will hire a worker if the hiring will bring the employer more wealth. This may seem terrible and selfish, but capital accumulation in private hands is a good thing.

Businesses will garner capital as long as they are serving consumers. The worker is part of this process. Capital accumulation for the employer means that they can go and enter into another entrepreneurial endeavor, thus serving more consumers. Thus, the relationship between the worker and the employer being one that produces capital is good for society. Entrepreneurs and capitalists make the world a better place by serving the wants of consumers when they accumulate capital. This is not a bad thing.

But then we move on to the second plank of this passage. Marx claims that the workers “are a commodity.” On the very next page, he goes on to call the workers “slaves of the bourgeoisie class.” This is nothing more than a rhetorical trick. Any reader will want to end slavery, so when Marx calls this situation slavery it forces the reader to believe certain things without proper logical backing. The situation for the working class is not as dire as Marx makes it seem.

The relationship between the worker and the business owner is voluntary in private enterprise. The worker chooses to work for the employer for a wage they agree upon (minimum wage laws set aside). This consensually agreed upon relationship is only slavery in the furthest reaches of intellectual fantization. Any other situation would be slavery. This is the only relationship that can be outside the definition of slavery. So if this is slavery, what is freedom?

Marx believes it is slavery because the employer steals from the laborer. The employer exploits the worker and takes away the value he produces. This is also an inaccurate depiction of the relationship. The worker does not create the products he or she is employed to create from scratch. The worker creates a product using the capital goods the employer has provided them with. Thus, the employer is not stealing anything. Rather, they are paying the worker to do something with the resources they already own.

There is an institution that does steal things it had no hand at all in producing, though. It is called the state. If I were to take nature-given resources and produce a product, and then sell said product, the state would take some of my profit. This is an exploitative relationship. This is the exploitation Marx should have set his sights on.

At the same time, the employer does not buy the worker. The employer rents the labor of the worker. Buying the worker would mean they never went home to their family and they would get a one-time payment to their previous owner, not a wage paid out directly to them. Clearly, this is not the case. Workers rent out their labor voluntarily, and they are still in control of themselves.

If the employer truly did own the worker, the worker could not leave. The worker would be permanently stuck in the present job. But workers can leave if they are unhappy with the working conditions or wages. Marx talks about competition as if it a terrible fire that workers must burn in, but workers are the ones that force businesses to compete.

Competition is what brings up working conditions, pushes down prices, and keeps quality high. It is a staple of the free market and may be one of the most beneficial parts. Marx’s criticism of the relationship of the workers to the employers is misguided, and the conclusions he draws are flat out wrong. Thus, they should be entirely rejected.

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Does Microdosing LSD Really Improve Cognition?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

In the past, I have discussed how the leading innovators in the nation are currently using the schedule one drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide to get ahead of the game and change the world. What I did not explore, though, is if LSD was actually assisting these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Is the use of very small amounts of LSD just some sort of fad without a real effect? Are these entrepreneurs experiencing a placebo high that is doing nothing to actually boost their performance?

Can LSD really make you smarter?

To find out, we need to look at the bit of science we have on LSD. Of course, LSD is illegal in most places across the world, making scientific evidence on the drug very scarce. However, the little bit of science we do have, along with plenty of anecdotal evidence, is enough to show that there may be some fruit to pick from this psychedelic compound.

Reason TV profiled George Burke:

George claims that taking small amounts of LSD (between 10 and 15 micrograms) has assisted him in both business and climbing, but is he experiencing confirmation bias? Is his expectation of a certain enhancement from LSD triggering a boost in mental confidence, meaning that all the help he’s getting come from himself?

To answer this, we should look into the work of James Fadiman, who was mentioned in the video. Before LSD was banned in the United States, Fadiman was blessed with government sponsorship so that he could study it.

In 1966, Fadiman and his team conducted the psychedelic problem-solving experiment. 27 males in various fields were given either 50 micrograms of LSD or 200 milligrams of mescaline. They were all able to tackle professional problems they had been stuck on. Their enhanced functioning took many forms: low inhibition and anxiety, capacity to restructure problem in larger context, enhanced fluency and flexibility of ideation, heightened capacity for visual imagery and fantasy, increased ability to concentrate, heightened empathy with external processes and objects, heightened empathy with people, subconscious data more accessible, association of dissimilar ideas, heightened motivation to obtain closure, and visualizing the completed solution.

So the 1966 experiment shows that LSD can help, but it was still unsure how it could assist cognition. Further research has revealed that LSD activates the serotonin 2A receptor in the brain. This receptor has various functions, but the important one to us is the role it plays in higher cognitive and integrative functions.

LSD activates a receptor in the brain that boosts our cognition. The breakdown of the science shows that LSD activates proper receptors to prove the anecdotal evidence of George Burke and the experiences of those in Fadiman’s experiments. LSD makes us able to think better.

So why microdosing? Why not just shovel as much Lysergic Acid down our gullets as we can fit? There is a pretty clear reason: hallucinations. If you are working on an important project, the floating and warping geometric shapes will probably get in the way of your work.

Another study found that there is a positive correlation between the cognitive enhancements of LSD and blissfulness and depersonalization. If you begin to cognitively leave your body and get swamped in the euphoria, you can’t work. That is why these entrepreneurs are finding the sweet spot by microdosing. By taking only 10 to 15 mcg every few days (to avoid building a tolerance to the non-addictive substance) they can skirt by the hallucinations and engage in high cognition activity better than their sober peers.

The only real danger to microdosing LSD is the United States Federal Government. Drug policy is archaic and based off of Nixonian racism, yet contemporary politicians want to keep up their role as some sort of nanny to the population. But this is not a policy article, this is an article about cognitive enhancement.

And we have the verdict: LSD makes you smarter.

Drug-Addled Sex Parties Fuel Silicone Valley – But at What Cost?

By Cornelius Whitewater | USA

Throughout history, be it the Mughals, Romans, Ottomans, or even the Tokugawa Shogunate, one thing has plagued great civilizations: excess over efficiency. On January 2nd  Vanity Fair published a bombshell article detailing the drug-fueled sex parties of the mega elite in Silicone Valley. They focused on the pressure and exploitation faced by women at these parties, as well as the fact that these Silicone Valley entrepreneurs are often “catching up” on sexual relations they went without through high school and so on.

This is all well and good, but for the purpose of this article, I will depart from these areas of thought to one’s I deem more important. The bottom line is, is that these types of hedonistic engagements, though not against the law per se, are the very type of engagements that corrode and have corroded great civilizations of the past. As the Romans relegated warfare to mercenaries and the elites engaged in orgies and culture at the expense of economy and nation, their society began to crumble. This albeit is a bit reductionary to the overall problems encountered during the fall of Rome, but you get the point.

At the end of the article in Vanity Fair, the writer, Emily Chang, notes that business decisions are made at these parties, that women who attend are excluded from high position jobs due to the relationships fostered at these parties, and that if certain people don’t participate they are blacklisted from business endeavors. Is this how titans of industry, those that control vital sectors of our economy should be conducting themselves? Certainly not. This isn’t just low-level techies involved. As per Vanity Fair, very important tech moguls attend and put on these orgiastic activities. Drugs, business, and women. A tale as old as time, but the stakes are much higher now than in the past.

What is at stake is not simply the moral fabric of America, but moreover the economy and stability of the nation. China is rising, and if good old-fashioned American innovation falters, it will be one more thing working against America as we compete with a China rising. The more industrial giants become resigned to indulge in their sexual perversions, the less likely they are to innovate, to conduct good honest and productive business. Moreover, while these parties don’t spill into weekday activities right now, how much longer can we trust that to be the case? We expect a lot from our politicians: in terms of morality, how they carry themselves, and the vast and important responsibilities they bear. Why not the same for tech giants who work closely with that very government.

I am by no means one who denies the rights of individual liberty. But these rights are simply foregone when you get subsidies, or work with government, or worse spy on American citizens. Another thing that needs to be touched on is the hypocrisy of this type of activity. Out of one side of their mouth, these tech people speak about diversity, and being ethical consumers and so on. Out of the other side, they engage in potentially exploitative and wholly illegal drug-fueled sex parties.

What made America a bastion of Western Civilization was its ability to innovate, to encourage free thought and the exchange of ideas. Now it seems America has found itself at a crossroads: one road leads to the prosperity of the nation, the other to the decay of our civilization. President Trump has worked diligently to drain the swamp in Washington. Perhaps he should also set his sights on Silicone Valley.

We as Americans cannot allow perverted hedonists to destroy the service sector. It is vital to our success, to our economy, and to the nation. If such problems persist we must not discount the possibility of nationalizations. We cannot allow the floundering away of our wealth. Or we may soon find barbarians at the gates.

Innovation is Being Held Back, but Who’s Doing It?

By Mason Mohon | USA

The last decade or so has blessed the human race with technological innovations like we have never seen before. Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of its iPhone with the release of the new iPhone X. Silicon Valley geniuses are constantly trying to come up with the next big thing and trying to get their tech on the market and widely used. A new vehicle model with new driving features seems to be releasing every year, and it is impossible to keep up. All of this innovation is pushing us to be able to do more than ever before, with technology allowing U.S. companies to outsource online jobs to India, where they can be done more efficiently and cheaper. Few would argue that this innovation is a bad thing, but are we stifling it? Are we at our fullest potential?

A basic rule of free-market economics is that consumer demand must be served. An entrepreneur or business firm cannot and will not continue to exist if it does not serve the needs of the consumer. If a business begins to provide a good or service that the consumers don’t want, said business will begin to lose resources and will cease to gain profits. If a business wants profit, it has to test the market and find out what a substantial amount of people actually want to have. That is one of the beautiful things about the free market. Demand of the consumers is met, and that is the only way any producer of anything can hope to make money. The people have needs and wants and they are met by the market. But what if these consumers want to work against innovation? What if the majority of consumers didn’t want or didn’t care for new technologies?

Let us say that most consumers do not see the potential a product has for them or for the world as a whole. They do not see the innovation, and a game-changing piece of technology ends up flopping. That would really suck, for we would miss out on a new technology. Is this a fatal flaw in the system? Could the consumers (who make up humanity) be holding back humanity?

We would have to look at what the problem in this situation is, though. If this issue would arise (or is arising), it is not a problem at all, but rather an opportunity. This is an opportunity for new technological innovators to show how they are changing the game. It is a problem of information arising, and the consumers need more information. A well-placed ad campaign and a good partnership could remedy the problem in no time. Chances are that the market would solve something like this, but only if it pushed hard enough.

An example would be the comparison between Samsung and Apple phone products. For a long time, my Samsung owning friends have joked with how primitive I was owning an iPhone, for Samsungs tended to be better on nearly every front. They were the better, stronger, more durable, and more innovative technology, but regardless, many stick with iPhones. It was recently discovered that Apple intentionally slows down old models of its phones when a new model comes out. When the iPhone X was released, very noticeable bugs came in the new operating system on my 6S plus. Samsung has not shown to be doing anything like this, which just adds a cherry on top for their technological superiority. Now, Samsung has an opportunity to make this issue with iPhones as big as they possibly can. People are staying with Apple iPhones for various reasons, but no informed person is staying with them because they are better. Here’s the chance Samsung! Now take it!

What would the alternative be, anyway? Should we put government bureaucrats in charge of allocating money to what is innovative? Should there be a federal agency to promote human development? No, because in short, government agencies usually suck at their jobs. The state should not be in charge of deciding what technology is worth promoting and what is not. The consumers and the market do a great job of sorting all of that kind of stuff out, as the above paragraph indicated. The state should not tell people that Samsung is better and promote Samsung, whether it be through regulations or subsidies. Any sensible person should be able to see that this should be the case.

It actually turns out that the state is the enemy of innovation. State taxes on big companies and corporations mean they have a lot less money to put into new technologies and serving the consumers more. Regulations make it hard to create new products and tariffs cause resources to become more expensive. Taxes in any part of the economy, whether it be capital gains, corporate, or income, tend to make people more present-oriented. This decreases foresight and causes people to care less about the future, making fewer long-term investments. This means that people will be less focused on the future and more focused on the present. This means fewer people oriented towards tomorrow, looking to change the world with the next big tech boost.

Humanity is getting better and better at creating new things each and every year. What we want to avoid is throttling that, and we want to make sure we can keep this growth going for the long haul. The way the free market is set up – to serve consumers – is not an impediment for this, even though it may sometimes seem like it. Rather, the government is the ultimate danger to human growth and flourishing. Once its barriers are taken back, we can see humanity reach new never before imagined heights.

Governmental Regulation: The Antiquated Barrier to Fresh Growth in America – Jesse Stretch

By Jesse Stretch | USA

The trade-off is a perception of public and consumer safety. A label that says you’re safe; a license to guarantee that a person is competent; a logbook proving experience. As a consuming American, the idea is that you’re never going to lose. You’ll never get hurt, swindled, tricked, ripped-off. The food you eat will be clean and wholesome. Your air conditioning man will be licensed and “know what he’s doing” as he crawls through your attic sporting tandem full-sleeve skull tats.

As a farmer, business owner, contractor and product producer, I am licensed and unlicensed in all sorts of fields that many of my customers and friends have never heard of or considered. I know from personal experience that barriers to growth and virtual impossibilities exist in the governmentally-instituted regulatory system that make starting or growing a small, fully compliant business almost impossible for the average working American.

Production and product costs in the agriculture field are up, with much of the rise
attributed directly to the time-intensive process of regulatory compliance. For instance, due to regulation, we must now drive two hours each way to have our cattle processed for customers, because the skilled butcher just down the road has decided that FDA inspection is a pain, and he would rather just process deer and livestock for personal consumption. He has decided that it is easier to turn down business than to comply with the FDA. We local farmers all know he’s a great butcher, but without the Federal Government’s consent, we can’t hire him to process meat for our customers.

In the age of free information transfer, where one person can communicate instantly with an entire nation of peers, the question arises: Do we always need the government to tell us what is safe and what is not? Do we need the government to tell us who to trust now that we have our friends and associates at our fingertips every hour of the day to give us reference?

The first regulatory agency in America was set up in the late 1800s to regulate the railroads. This agency was set up in part because a train could get from Point A to Point B faster than any other communication, meaning that railroad companies had the advantage of far superior information dissemination over the people. With that kind of speed and power, unethical manipulation of commerce was very possible. Thus, the Federal Government stepped in to regulate. Back in the 1800s, this made sense, and it protected small businesses and individuals from a larger manipulative entity.

From there, more than four hundred federal regulatory agencies have sprung up to protect us. They regulate your ability to own a dog, plant a tree, and buy certain foods. As many consumers are aware, purchasing and selling the formerly essential household product raw milk is now illegal in much of the United States. Not only did the federal government tell us that it’s better to pasteurize milk, they told us they’d fine and/or jail us for selling or purchasing its counterpart. There is something wrong with a system that outlaws an elemental, ancient, healthy, local food product. Raw milk is not dangerous.

Most of these regulations were devised years ago because people had no way to
communicate quickly to blow whistles on quality issues. If Farmer Joe sold a bunch of disease-ridden food which was then put on a train to New York City, the situation could escalate for days, weeks, before the word would get out. Hence, Farmer Joe faced regulation to ensure sanitation on the production end— aiding in the prevention disease outbreaks at the controllable single source and not the open multi-consumer end.

These days, however, technology gives consumer groups the ability to instantly report a
quality or service issue. One voice is no longer lost in a crowd, but can often be heard on social media or elsewhere online. Farmer Joe’s bad meat would last a day on the shelf, maybe less, and people would be wary of buying from him again. Society will govern itself in this way. Many federal food safety regulations are rendered almost pointless by this ability to communicate and establish relationships based on trust, free information, and consumer history rather than on an antiquated safeguarding oligarchy.

In all of this, we see the institution of government regulation costing money to producers
and consumers, while not delivering an adequate or necessary return on value for either party.

Over-regulation poses issues for the future of fresh business growth in America, as such
intensive and time-consuming compliance requirements stifle the ability for new ideas to reach fruition. I say fresh growth because that’s just what it is; it’s not a barrier to growth for entities with a net worth north of a few million dollars—they have the funds to hire compliance personnel and pay the fees required to grow under the watchful eye of the regulatory committees. The growth problem exists most for the small business who gets lost under the bureaucracy and can’t find daylight; the little farmer, craftsman, tradesperson—the local girl who wants to sell fresh pastries on her townhouse porch (but is shut down by food safety regulations) or the guy who has a few greenhouses and wants to peddle lettuce greens in a parking lot but can’t because he would need a location with tier three commercial zoning, the highest level of commercial zoning, just to do so.

My business is relatively simple: Farming and Landscaping. In this simplicity, however, one can find the reason why over 20 licenses and/or registration accounts are technically required for such a business to exist. Each license will cost money, take hours to complete, and many will require exams and/or yearly renewals. For a working person, maintaining twenty or more licenses can be virtually impossible—especially if the business is a startup.

There is a really old guy down the road from my farm who used to sit outside his garage
where he’d fashioned a small vegetable stand. They shut him down because of regulatory issues. He was sitting out there under a carport in his lawn chair sleeping half the day, selling tomatoes and melons that he grew in his backyard. They somehow found a way to shut that down because it was deemed a health issue.

Regulation has reached a point where the system no longer creates a safe environment for the consumer but rather projects upon the masses endless doldrums of big box stores and boring commercial multiplicities. Such intensive over-regulation overwhelms the business owner into a state of bewildering semi-compliance. The maze of rules and agencies sequesters growth, mildewing a stagnant climate of anti-creativity in which eligible and worthy business owners are forced to fudge or forego licensing information or credentials, and thereby subvert the institution of regulation itself.

Fresh growth begs simplicity, and simplicity will only come from casual civillydisobedient reformation. If everybody threw their pointless dog license papers away, the dog license would go away. If everybody started selling baked goods on the corner, the agencies would never enough have time to stop them all. I’m not advocating the complete disbanding of regulatory agencies, nor anarchy, but for small business to thrive, something has got to give.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go downtown on Sunday and buy pastries from the girl’s porch
just off Cary Street, eat fresh lettuce from a conscientious farmer, and cut open melons with an 80-year-old man in his carport? I think so.

I, for one, would like to spend less time filing paperwork and fudging truths to
bureaucracy, and more time farming and growing my business under the watchful eye of my peers—not the watchful eye of the federal and state bureaucracies. We don’t need the government to tell us who to trust, we have our friends in commerce for that now. The internet will oust a bad producer in an instant—their operation shall wither and die under the power of online public opinion. In the age of social media and abundant online information, the need for institutional regulation is fading.

To our government: There was a time when we needed your blessing on what farmer or tradesperson to trust. That is true. But this was before we could all get together and communicate instantly online. These days, thanks to the little flickering screens in our palms, we can regulate ourselves, tell our friends who they can trust, and spread our own truths instantly.

We don’t need an inspector to tell us that we can or can’t eat an old man’s produce—but
thanks anyway.