Archive through March 18, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru March 2002:Question for petermarc: pernod vs spanish:Archive through March 18, 2002
By Mr_Rabid on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 11:46 am: Edit

Let's say I make knives. You need you a knife. No problem, here you go. By the way,I need me a chicken. You raise em? Thanks.

A grouping where people do what they do, as well as they can, because that is how they derive their job satisfaction, and they feel an ethical obligation to do so. Their pride is derived from helping others, from serving the community.

But on a large scale, this presents two problems:

1- on a large scale you need someone to decide just what does need doing, and by extension assign people to tasks (and what if you get one you didn't want?)

2- culturual austerity. It is unlikely that anybody would be assigned to such impractical things as (on the face if it) making TV shows, video games, etc.

Of course, to even start this, you would need a group of people with those ethics, and at this point there ain't many left.

By _Blackjack on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 11:20 am: Edit


Quote:

If you can provide a superior alternate market system, real or dreamy, please do so,



And this, unfortunately, is the best argument for capitalism that I've ever heard: we really haven't come up with anything better. However, the regulated capitalism of the past century does seem to be a little better than the less-regulated capitalism of the industrial revolution, if you are a worker or consumer, and it doesn't seem to have kept some people from becoming immensely wealthy, either.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 10:56 am: Edit

Scanion,

" ..."from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." True evil!"

Explain to me what is "True evil!" about "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." You may think it's a load of horseshit, or that it's naive, or unworkable, or a pipe-dream and many an argument can be made on these basis.

But tell me what is "Evil" about it. I challenge you to justify your statement logically and rationally.

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 10:46 am: Edit

Scanion,

If you believe that regulation of a market is necessary then you do not believe in a free-market. Why do governments impose vast amounts of laws to limit the freedom of the market? Trade tariffs, import duties, employment laws, minimum wage, child labour laws etc. This is to protect their own people from the consequences of the free-market (unfortunately it doesn't protect against child labour in many places overseas etc. where people don't have the benefit of protection of such regulation of the free-market).

If the free-market is as you say controlled by the people and therefore acts in the interests of the people then why the need for legislation to protect the people from the free-market?

If you believe in the need for any form of regulation of companies and markets then you do not believe in a free-market. Then all it boils down to is what degree of regulation you believe is necessary to protect people from a free-market economy. Why would we need protection from the free-market if it was such a benevolent force acting in our interests?

Hobgoblin

By Raschied on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 08:48 am: Edit

Yep, in a completely unregulated situation, you wouldn't know what propaganda to believe.

Case in point - Local Cal Worthington dealership sold a bad car. They didn't take care of the customer, so the guy (I kid you not) hired someone to stand on the street in a big "Lemon suit" costume with a picket sign saying "This dealer sells Lemons!" The dealer couldn't get the guy off the public sidewalk, and he was hurting business, so the dealer hired some more people in fuzzy animal costumes to wave at people on the street and drown out the guy's message. It worked. People started pulling into the dealership again.

By _Blackjack on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 07:49 am: Edit


Quote:

Regulation = bad.



This is the fallacy of a great deal of economic-liberarian thinking: they place an absolute moral value on things like free enterprise and regulation. Some regulations may be counterproductive, but that does not make all of them "bad". Any specific regulation must be evaluated by its own benefits and costs. We have seen what unregulated industry looks like already. It involved child labor, tainted food, hazardous working conditions, false advertising and price fixing. Free enterprise and regulation are both means to an end, to wit, maximizing the well being of the people. They may serve this end well in some circumstances, and fail to in others, but that does not make them "good" or "bad".

Your statement that "word travels fast" is just silly. Did word travel fast enough to save the 401k's of Enron's employees?

By Scanion on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 06:38 am: Edit

That's an easy one. Word spreads quickly: don't trust that auto dealer. And just as quickly, someone opens an auto dealership that says "we won't screw you, come to us".

Regulation = bad. But we do live in the real world, so sometimes regulation is the lesser of two evils. Sometimes.

By Pablo on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 05:35 am: Edit

I have to agree with LordHobgoblin. A freemarket without regulations would in time collapse, or change into a regulated free market economy. Without some regulations, its caveat emptor to all. You buy a car. drive it off the lot, the engine blows. Well fuck you! You bought it!

And the argument about a freemarket "regulating itself" isn't realistic. It wouldnt last in a town of 400, let alone a country of 80 some million!

By Scanion on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 10:01 pm: Edit

There are fine examples of where free market has cycles of "badness". The big three auto makers of the US represented a near monopoly. However, it was inevitable that someone (i.e., Japanese car makers) would enter the market and provide cheaper, better products.

Microsoft is another good example. The big PC vendors are forever looking to replace Microsoft OS and apps with something else. I just bought a Sony PC that came with Word Perfect. If I want MS Office, I have to pay another $400 US. Screw that. The reality is that even if Microsoft was a monopoly today, it would not be for very long. MS has to continuously update it's OS and apps to stay competitive. If MS were a monopoly, there would be no need to stay competitive.

You are wrong that free market ultimately results in monopolies. Free market *is* complete consumer-control. The value of a product is determined by the consumer, not by the producer. If no one wants the product, then the products is worthless.

I'm trying to stick to the practical side of this discussion, but: free market isn't perfect. Regulation is a necessary evil when it comes to consumer safety (e.g., food).

Everything you desire is possible because of a free market system. Anything else would suck, big time.

If you can provide a superior alternate market system, real or dreamy, please do so, unless it is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." True evil!

By Destiny on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 09:24 pm: Edit

>> "...Why does my PC take ages to switch on? Does Bill Gates care about the quality of his product?"

Going on a tangent here, but I gotta take issue with this particular example. I've yet to see any "full" OS that boots quickly. This is certainly not a Microsoft exclusive.

Sorry for the interruption, carry on.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 01:17 pm: Edit

Scanion,

"Free enterprise isn't utopia, but it's pretty darn close."

Do you really think so? Do you want a totally 'free' market economy? Does an un-regulated market lead to benefits for society? Does an un-regulated market lead to true competition and therefore quality goods?

The world's computers are virtually all run on Microsoft. Is this because Microsoft produces the best and most efficient system and consumers have chosen the best amongst a range on offer? Bollocks! Why does my PC take ages to switch on? Does Bill Gates care about the quality of his product? Only insofar as it affects his profit margins and as he has cornered the market he can do what he likes.

The bottom line is that regulation is needed to protect the consumer from 'free-market' forces as the ultimate result of the free-market is not competition but global monopolies. The free-market is therefore not in the benefit of the consumer. A regulated market is not a 'free' market so the debate then becomes not an ideological debate on whether the free-market is good but a debate on the degree of regulation that is required to protect consumers from the free-market.

There are other models of commerce and trade that have merit, such as a system based on service. I know several craftsmen whose prime motivation for their work is to produce products of quality and worth, (yes they then sell them, but at reasonable prices which allow them to cover costs and make a moderate living).

Should we blind ourselves into believing that ONLY a system based on financial profit could work and it is heresy to suggest otherwise? If this system is so great then why do we need to make laws to protect ourselves from this system? The need for such regulation and laws is in itself an admittance that we do not want a free-market economy based purely on profit.

Hobgoblin

By Alphasoixante on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 01:13 pm: Edit

"But fuck those people. The world owes you nothing."

which is precisely what Those People will say about you when they decide to kill you and redistribute your wealth.

but then all's fair when one subscribes to naive forms of social darwinism, huh?

By _Blackjack on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 12:12 pm: Edit


Quote:

Yes, to those who lack gumption, it might suck. But fuck those people. The world owes you nothing.




Do you relly think it is lack of "gumtion" that keeps people in the developing world from becoming wealthy? In the US, maybe (tho I disagree), but in places without free education, in places where the goverment consipres with industry to keep the workers under control, or places where resources or infrastructure are insufficent, is it really just a lack of "gumption"? Because, y'see, I think it takes a lot of "gumption" for an 11-year-old to work 12-hour days in a shoe factory, but not many of them are getting rich doing it...

As to what the world does or doesn't owe anyone, I am of the opinion that when humans organize into societies and nations, we are making mutual obligations, we are agreeing to provide certain things to all people in our society. If the world really owes you nothing, then you cannot expect me to, for instance, respect your property rights, or even your life. You may be able to protect these things by force alone, but that isn't a very pleasent kind of life.

By Bob_Chong on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 10:17 am: Edit

"It does a very poor job at providing for the basic needs of all."

Yes, to those who lack gumption, it might suck. But fuck those people. The world owes you nothing.

BC

By _Blackjack on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 06:55 am: Edit

Oh dear. This could get ugly...

In honor of the day, I would like to tell you a little story about the free market. Back in 1845, the potato fungus Phytophthora infestans swept across Ireland, destroying the primary food-crop of the Irish people. The response of the new British Prime Minister, Lord John Russel, was that there was little need for aid to the Irish people, since market forces would eventually correct for the lack of food. The free market did correct, of course, but as is the nature of any "Darwinistic" system, it did so at the cost of the million lives of those who could not afford to eat, of those who were "unfit" to "compete" in the economic jungle.

Now, the hard-core economic libertarians will be quick to point out that the economic situation in Ireland was not a true free-market. The Irish people produced more than enough food-crops to feed themselves, but because they largely did not, and COULD not, own the land they worked, they could not keep the wheat, meat and milk they produced; it was for export to England. Easing the legal restrictions on Irish trade did little to help the situation once the famine was underway, since the Irish people did not have the economic means to take advantage of the situaion.

And this is the point: as long as there is social injustice in a society, as long as there are some who are denied the means to compete equally in the free market, be it education, land ownership, enfranchisement, the right to organize, etc., the free market is not truly free.

Anyone who has witnessed any of the previous political/economic debates on this board should know I am an economic moderate. I do not villify capitalism, nor do I exalt it. It has many advantages: it is very good at producing wealth and encouraging technolgical development. It also meshes well with republican government. But it is, at best, a means to an end. It is not an unqualified good. It does a very poor job at providing for the basic needs of all, and when combined with more authoritarian forms of government, it can be an abomination. Whenever you find yourself faced with the question of the value of the free market, it is important to look at what good and what ill it produces when applied to that specific function, rather than assuming it is infallible because it has worked well in certain applications. What works for the computer industry may not work for health care, nor would we necessarily want it to.

I also think the LH's comment wasn't intended to spark a debate on the virtures of Capitalism (tho I know he's a pinko ;) as much as to point out that there are virtues, especially in an environment of abundance, to models of commerce which are not driven totally by profit. Not every enterprise in our society needs to contribute to wealth, and often the overall good is better served by other means.

Yours from astride the fence,
Jack

By Petermarc on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 04:57 am: Edit

who is john galt?

By Scanion on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 06:29 pm: Edit

"Service-based" economy? Run away! Free enterprise isn't utopia, but it's pretty darn close.

By Petermarc on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 04:54 pm: Edit

*sigh* true, true...

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 10:27 am: Edit

Rabid,

"Ah, the consequences of capitalism! Without highly educated consumer base, most products will tend to be made as cheaply as possible."

Wrong, most products ARE made as cheaply as possible even with a 'highly educated consumer base'. This will always be the case with a profit driven system regardless of the degree of 'education' of the consumer. If the whole point of making, marketing and selling is to make profit the difference in the 'quality' of the product will only be determined by the section of the market that the seller is pitching his product at. The product will still be made as cheaply as the manufacturer can get away with.

A service-based system (as opposed to profit-based system) where goods are produced with the motivation to serve the needs of the user would result in more pride in production (and quality goods made to last). The whole purpose of producing goods would be to fulfil the needs of the user and not simply to get one's hands on as much of the user's money as possible (whilst putting in as little as possible).

Hobgoblin

By Wolfgang on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 03:17 am: Edit

They don`t add less artificial color *and sugar* because without it it would probably be too ugly looking and taste too bad. They cover their low quality swill with it.

By Mr_Rabid on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:48 pm: Edit

If you are selling something people have vague notions (at best) of, you can piss in a bottle, add some green color, and charge a premium.

Nobody knows they are buying a poorly made product outside of a few. Like us, for instance.

Sort of like, if you went to the wilds of the Amazon, and you were selling computers, you could get a premium for a C64 cause headhunters just don't keep up on that sort of thing.

Ah, the consequences of capitalism! Without highly educated consumer base, most products will tend to be made as cheaply as possible. It is what the traffic will bear.

By Destiny on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:36 pm: Edit

Thanks, Petermarc. I just don't understand why these companies don't just add *less* artificial color - thats easy enough to do. It might help the flavor and make the product "seem" more vintage. They're using the Pernod name afterall, why waste it? I understand that it's mas-produced, but would it be too hard to put out something at least as good as La Fee?

By Petermarc on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 05:27 pm: Edit

segarra is really an odd absinthe, it is a good product, but hard to compare to anything because the base alcohol is too flavored, and it contains one less element (fennel) than the minimum for traditional absinthe...however, i prefer it over every other spanish i have tried, which, evidently (from recent german site offerings), is not too many...there seems to be a history of adding lemon to spanish absinthe, the spanish absinthe plant itself is much stronger and less, errr, refined? than the french or swiss plant, probably a combination of the soil and heat...the spanish may have used lemon (along with star anis) to tone down the strength and bitterness of the native plant, like squeezing lemon on spinach to take away the metallic bitterness...it also maybe why so many spanish absinthes are strangely colored yellow, as opposed to green...but green seems to be the recent direction, now that spain has gone back to trying to mimic original verte absinthes, instead of being its own beast(which apparently hasn't been working for them)...i think the taste in pernod 68° is mared by artificial color (amongst other things) and i believe this is responsible for some of the bizarre 'candy' flavor in other 'absinthes' that have artificial color added(well, virtually every modern green absinthe made)... when one thinks of taste in candy, the reference is almost always to something that has been artificially colored, and the coloring has a taste, itself...also, the (natural) coloring step adds herb flavors, which are noticeably different than the same absinthe as a blanche and change the 'texture' of the alcohol...blanches taste sharp, clean and bright, where true vertes tend to be more herbal, 'chewy' and full...when this step is replaced with artificial color, this 'chewy-ness'
does not exist, and replaced with a thin, bitterness from additional absinthe oil or maceration (in several czech absinths, also seemingly apparent in pernod 68° to a slight degree) the 'candy' flavor (also apparent in p-68), or the star-anis tongue-stun in many spanish, especially mari mayans...
i think pernod 68° is probably better than most modern spanish absinthes (not segarra)in that it is similar to la fée...'old way' and N.S. may be better, from what i have read here...the freaky green of the newcomers puts me off (like p-68), because the natural color is really just a by-product of a final flavoring step, but has become a signature of absinthe, now, just as it was 100 years ago when the green dyes that were used were much more scary than today...it is funny that between artificial green coloring and thujone levels, absinthe has made a reverse come-back by becoming popular for the results created by poor, industrial over-production and questionable science that helped to ban it and is gradually 'devolutionizing', finding its way back to its original, high-quality, natural state...don't expect this from the big boys like pernod; real, traditional absinthe is an art, something that does not go hand-in-hand with large modern companies and will most likely always remain small-scale in modern times...

By Destiny on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 12:12 pm: Edit

What a coinkadink, I was just about to ask the very same question!

By Alphasoixante on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:42 am: Edit

petermarc,

you've mentioned that pernod 68 is worse than la fee, jade, and vintage, and maybe worse than oxygenee. but how does it compare to segarra or to spanish absinthes in general?
just curious.

thanks in advance

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