Poor sleep tonight... For some reason I started pondering economic matters, still trying to wrap my mind around the Islamic prohibition of interest.
Why does this seem important? Because the rest
of that system is so obviously accurate, based on real observation of real human behavior. None of the more recent economic theories come anywhere close to reality.
The banning of interest is a key part of Mohammed's pragmatic and logical system. If I can't see it, I must be blinded by my literal vested interest
in earning interest
Finally got up and started reading various sources. Got it pinned down in a form that I can understand, so I'd better write it out before it slips away!
Essentially, interest is a form of counterfeit. Money exists as a portable representation of labor, so any money that does not come directly from your own labor, or from your direct enabling of someone else's labor, is counterfeit. It's value that doesn't represent labor. Derivatives and options and Bugsy's "quantitative easing" are even more transparently counterfeit, since their "value" is assigned arbitrarily. Same with the "value" that comes from a bubble, such as housing "equity" that increases with no real change in the house or neighborhood.
All those counterfeits are a form of theft. They lower the value of each unit of currency, thus they steal value from people who earned it with their own labor.
= = = = =
Along those lines, bumped into a fairly obvious rule:
"The profit of an individual or a group should not involve a loss to others."
Think Romney. Think outsourcing, leveraged buyout, profiting by theft of jobs, profiting by stealing a company that was built by the labor of others.
Hmm. The Randians and Libertarians are always chanting that everything should be permitted as long as it doesn't harm others. But they stop chanting when it comes to private equity, Free Trade, and outsourcing. Those forms of theft are just fine with Libertarians.
Well, it's not hard to see why. Libertarians are aristocrats. From their haughty perspective, Losers and Takers and Moochers, i.e. vulgar untouchable commoners who actually work for a living, are not human. It's perfectly all right for Atlas to squash commoners in the pursuit of infinite profit and infinite power for Atlas. Just like squashing cockroaches to keep your kitchen clean.
Labels: Natural law = Sharia law