I recently visited a Dr. and when I got there, the nurse asked me to fill out a computer questionnaire that took 1 hour to fill out. After I filled it out, I was asked to sign a statement that said such things as "you will not be paid for filling out this questionnaire, the contents might be used by commercial factors, there are unlimited people in the survey" and a hundred other things that gave it a false aura of legitimacy.

I am wondering to what extent the false aura of legitimacy pervades our field. The classic example is the elections in a marxist or democratic regime, or the government institution that's there ostensibly to protect you from harming yourself but is really a gate for preventing competition from small and new entrants into the field. The committees in the markets to maintain order and proper pricing that are really arenas for the members to mark the positions in their favor, and force out the non-members through margin changes and rule changes comes to mind. The rules against competition in all fields, the licensing requirements, and for example the ethics tests that one must pass in certain fields. How pervasive is this and what is the relevance to our field?

Sam Marx writes: 

I agree that the urge not to compete in a fair open market if one is able to set up a monopoly or obtain an advantage is there, and it's a part of human nature. I believe that it cannot be eliminated entirely but there are some changes that would help. I also believe that lying and cheating obtained a large impetus and some begrudging approval when the graduated income tax became constitutional. Therefore, a recommendation I would make is to do away with the graduated income tax and have a flat income tax or replace the income tax with a sales tax. I don't expect to see any of this in my lifetime however. 

Bill Rafter writes: 

Sham credentials. There exist a variety of market-oriented groups whose stated purpose is to identify the truly worthy. However all they really do is confer the aura of legitimacy on those in need of same, while providing income for the executives at group headquarters and hoodwinking the public. The group is frequently a "non-profit", adding more prestige. The legitimacy is conferred by letting the novice fork over not-insubstantial funds, taking a few tests and eventually getting the rights to put letters after his or her name, provided he stays a dues-paying member of the group. The orientation of the group can be fundamental, technical, quantitative, retirement planning or risk aversion.

My personal observation is that some market-oriented groups are worthy, and those which do not offer the paid initials are the best.





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. douglas roberts dimick on June 5, 2012 10:25 pm

    Man O’ Man,

    Come to Communist China and pick the industry sector…

    A primary benefit of living here for me as an American has been honing the ability to detect exactly that… that false sense of legitimacy of a dictatorial regime and its tyranny as evidenced within the social, political, and economic aspects of daily life.

    At least pervasive, often replete with a commanding presence of rule by force here in China, yet here is a tenuousness among both those few who rule as well as those masses who are so ruled.

    Why? Because the “rule by fear and bullying instead of an electoral franchise” paradigm is (being the rule itself) self-destructive to the social order of this multi-cultural patchwork of (56) Asiatic ethnic minorities constituting the PRC.

    Last night, hosting a dinner for 3 post-graduate students, I was asked why I characterized the PRC as a baby country given the boasted 5,0000 years of culture. My response was that because it is true; the government here has only existed for 60 years. Moreover, as with immature systems, it has and continues to injure itself and those around it. Of particular to note are the two provinces continuously under marshal law. Such are the effects of its self-centered, consumptive ways of top-down governance.

    The government here has everyone programmed, brainwashed if you will, as to a party-centric fashioned history of what did happen and does or does not occur based on the mandate propagated by state owned media controlled by one political party. No doubt about it; as this Chinese Communist system is a variation of the area’s (14) dynastic models cast in blood and fear before it, one may see how a dictatorial regime is doomed to fail if not implode at some point — as we recently witnessed in the Middle East, where similar regimes operated with impunity for decades.

    How could that be, one may ask, with its large economy, foreign trade reserve balance, a centralized police state, and one party controlling the governance of all the people, plus a military loyal to an ideology more so than the citizenry…

    Certainly this mass perpetuates the economic velocity to dominate the free world within this or the next century?

    Such is the aura…


  2. Justpassingthrough on June 7, 2012 12:11 am

    Might I add the ‘HYP’ (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) cabal to the mix. The mere mention of such an exclusive education elicits hushed whispers of expectation and awe, but what are the real benefits society realizes for its blind acceptance that dictates from those clocked in cashmere sheepskin versus a more pedestrian cotton variety are truly better equipped to lead the masses towards a generally beneficial outcome?

    My daughter attended an exclusive prep academy, one among the most exclusive. My experiences with the staff and the studentry left a bit to be desired. Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ was the general impression.

    When was the last time we had a president that didn’t attend one of these institutions? I believe that would have been when the national debt could be counted in the billions?


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