# US Government Will Never Fix It's Financial Problems

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[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354042663' post='5004612']
I thought we were talking about real world economics and not some hypothetical zombie apocalypse.
[/quote]
Did you read the whole post you originally replied to before you replied to it or did you just pick out that one paragraph?

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[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354042248' post='5004609']
Farmers don't live in a separate universe from the rest of society and if the [b]free market[/b] says one pound of wheat is equal to one hour of software development then both are valid way to contribute to society.
[/quote]

Working an hour of programming will net you with X amount of printed paper, which you use as a trade for 1 LB of wheat.
The problem is, the 1 LB of wheat is not set by the free market, but by a [b]c[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodities_exchange"]ommodity exchange[/url][/b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodities_exchange"] .[/url]
I have studied this for quite some time, trying to figure out how it actually works in real life. With out going into a lecture in commodity economics, most of the people who are at the exchanges have no intention of buying or selling any physical goods. They create their own futures notes, which they buy and sell ( perfectly legal ). The way these folks act, is how the market price for the said item is set.
For example if a trader want the prices to go up a bit, they create a bunch buy contracts, than sell them off. The price goes up. Just before the buy contracts are callable, they create sell contracts, which they use to cancel out their buy contracts ( again this is legal ).

So it is not free economy pricing that sets the price of your wheat, it's commodity traders. Edited by Shippou

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[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354043235' post='5004618']
Agriculture is a important part of the economy but its not the only part.
[/quote]
No one ever said it was the only part. In fact, JTippets explicitly says it's not the only part...

[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354043235' post='5004618']
Subsistence farming nations are very poor compared to more diverse economies as farmers with more access to equipment and materials can produce far more food per capita.
[/quote]
No one said farming is how you get rich. Just that it's a critical part of life (and the economy).

Did you read all of what JTippets wrote?

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I read the usual BS arguments that group A of people is better than Group B of people because A's C is way better than B's C.

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[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354045285' post='5004635']
I read the usual BS arguments that group A of people is better than Group B of people because A's C is way better than B's C.
[/quote]
So in other words, no, you didn't read it. Good to know. Now I can go on ignoring you.

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Hmm... I guess everyone found out in this thread (by its own means) how the human society is [i]and will be[/i] problematic.

This thread started with Shippou giving a wake up call on the matter as he seeked advices and insights.
Then, people started describing their ideas of a better system and world, showing a slight cooperation. But then, egocentrism comes back and now I read a discussion over misunderstandings and things that does not matter to society, only to each one's ego.
That is the problem in every system, the human factor and its ego. Period. Edited by kuramayoko10

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[quote name='kuramayoko10' timestamp='1354046287' post='5004638']
Hmm... I guess everyone found out in this thread (by its own means) how the human society is [i]and will be[/i] problematic.

This thread started with Shippou giving a wake up call on the matter as he seeked advices and insights.
Then, people started describing their ideas of a better system and world, showing a slight cooperation. But then, egocentrism comes back and now I read a discussion over misunderstandings and things that does not matter to society, only to each one's ego.
That is the problem in every system, the human factor and its ego. Period.
[/quote]
Is it ego, or is it laziness? Because I don't see an ego war going on as much as I see a dispute about laziness (because the way I see it, it seems like* Kaze was too lazy to fully read and understand what JTippets posted)
[size=1]*I could be fully wrong, but to be honest and frank, this is how it's coming across. Kaze, you don't have to agree with anything JTippets said at all, but really, the points you started pulling out (of context) were far and away from the points JTippets was making. And then a "yes/no" question turned into a "dodge the answer" response that doesn't even properly characterize what JTippets was saying.[/size]

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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1354045721' post='5004637']
[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354045285' post='5004635']
I read the usual BS arguments that group A of people is better than Group B of people because A's C is way better than B's C.
[/quote]
So in other words, no, you didn't read it. Good to know. Now I can go on ignoring you.
[/quote]

To be fair, it is pretty easy to interpret that post in that manner. I am sympathetic to points JTippets raises - farmers [i]are[/i] an important part of society, and I can understand a little bitterness at the ignorance and general apathy of consumers regarding their food source - but the message I initially got from JTippets' post was essentially, "farmer citizens are best citizens because they provide food to all the city-dwelling moochers who don't give back their fair share. Communism is bad for farmers and free market capitalism is good for farmers, so we should just do free market capitalism. Also the democrats are dirty communists!"

And my first thought was, "right, and who cares whether or not what works for small rural communities where everyone knows and helps each other is actually a good idea for large urbanized cities where few people know and help each other directly as would happen in those communities?"

[size=1]I hope you understand that my summarization is hyperbole.[/size] Edited by Oberon_Command

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Christ why does it always have to be this false dichotomy?

The options are not Friedmanist capitalism vs. Stalinist communism. Both are unworkable and frankly, immoral.

In broad strokes, western democracies were more socialist in the mid to late 20th century, where they took a turn to the right. Clearly this has failed. That doesn't mean that we need to either
a) accelerate faster into the free market deregulation that lead us here (Ron Paul et al) or
b) tear down the bourgeois elite and nationalise everything (occupy, etc)

How about a measured approach? Soften the hardline capitalism. Swing a bit to the left. Go back to what worked.

Frankly, the US electorate needs to grow the fuck up. They need realise that "socialism" is not communism, it's not a dirty word and a socialist economy has some benefits for all citizens. You don't have to start singing the "internationale", but maybe reinstate glass-stegall and have the rich realise that it won't kill them to pay a bit more tax.

Meh, who am I kidding? It won't happen. People will keep watching Fox News and in a few years, you'll be owned by [b]communist[/b] China anyway.

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[quote name='Oberon_Command' timestamp='1354047220' post='5004648']
[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1354045721' post='5004637']
[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354045285' post='5004635']
I read the usual BS arguments that group A of people is better than Group B of people because A's C is way better than B's C.
[/quote]
So in other words, no, you didn't read it. Good to know. Now I can go on ignoring you.
[/quote]

To be fair, it is pretty easy to interpret that post in that manner. I am sympathetic to points JTippets raises - farmers [i]are[/i] an important part of society, and I can understand a little bitterness at the ignorance and general apathy of consumers regarding their food source - but the message I initially got from JTippets' post was essentially, "farmer citizens are best citizens because they provide food to all the city-dwelling moochers who don't give back their fair share. Communism is bad for farmers and free market capitalism is good for farmers, so we should just do free market capitalism. Also the democrats are dirty communists!"

And my first thought was, "right, and who cares whether or not what works for small rural communities where everyone knows and helps each other is actually a good idea for large urbanized cities where few people know and help each other directly as would happen in those communities?"

[size=1]I hope you understand that my summarization is hyperbole.[/size]
[/quote]
Re-reading it, I guess I can see how one might have seen it like that. I read it more as "On a very small scale, socialistic practices might work well, because they can't afford to allow laziness to creep in. Taken to a massive scale, however, laziness is likely to creep in and spread like a cancer, and then it's only a matter of time for bigger problems to develop than the socialist state originally set out to solve. Laziness isn't something you just wish away, and we don't have an altruistic way of not allowing laziness to creep in either, despite the (hopefully) altruistic desires of a social state. The people who play one of the most critical roles in a socialist society also happen to be one of the most overlooked/underappreciated: the agricultural industry. (Now I'm speaking as if I were JTippets in this next sentence, but know they're my words, not necessarily his) I'm just realizing how much this might impact me, and knowing that I share the same feelings that others I know in this industry have, I can tell you right now [i]i[/i][i]t won't work; laziness will ruin the system, and pretending like laziness won't be a problem isn't going to go well; but we can't (or at least don't know how to) solve the laziness problem, and realistically speaking, it's only a matter of time that the workers/providers revolt against the lazy, and now how great of a solution is the socialist state? Or laziness is beaten out of the system through economic collapse or force, neither of which are desirable either.[/i]"

Edit: I should say there are degrees of socialism. There are socialist ideas that I think are just fine, and others I don't, and others I have no clue/opinion on. But I can say that, given our current "big" politicians, I don't have enough faith in them to pull anything off, socialist or not.

But I'm out of this thread, I actually hate economics/politics. I don't even know why I jumped in Edited by Cornstalks

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I think this discussion needs some numbers if we're going to talk about this "laziness problem" meaningfully. Do we have quantative data which shows that this problem exists in the form discussed in this thread? Edited by Oberon_Command

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[quote name='ChaosEngine' timestamp='1354047783' post='5004654']
...in a few years, you'll be owned by communist China anyway.
[/quote]
Just who do you think owns the debt this topic was originally about?

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[quote name='ChaosEngine' timestamp='1354047783' post='5004654']
blah
[/quote]
Just one point. I generally agree with you, but your post is still kind of enforcing a similar false dichotomy. You choose the false dichotomy that people believe only the extremes exist, but the false dichotomy that I find more troublesome is that people equate being liberal with being socially and fiscally liberal and being conservative with being socially and fiscal conservative. It flattens a 2D landscape to one dimension with the false dichotomy of liberals vs conservatives.

There was a cool "This American Life" on a couple weeks before the election about how people don't pay attention to people with disagreeing viewpoints (even if they don't actually disagree, they are just perceived to disagree). I think this whole liberal vs. conservative thing is a big part of compounding that problem. It totally silences meaningful discussion when we associate all conservativism/liberalism with any conservativism/liberalism.

Two frequent recent examples are whenever I would tell people I wasn't voting for Obama (I didn't vote for either Obama or Romney) they would retort that I was anti-homosexual, racist, or that I hate poor people. To my knowledge I do not exhibit any of those traits. I generally don't like talking about politics because I have to spend so much time telling people the points they have mistakenly attributed to me are not even remotely close to anything I believe in and it is, quite frankly, exhausting.

Similarly, I don't suppot marriage as a government institution for people of any romantic identification, and I had to spend near an hour explaining to one of my friends that I wasn't anti-gay marriage I was anti-federal marriage.

Now I'm rambling, but I hope the point came across; having the false dichotomy between liberalism and conservativism can be just as damaging as having the false dicohotomy between extreme liberalism and extreme conservativism.

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[quote name='Oberon_Command' timestamp='1354049756' post='5004667']
I think this discussion needs some numbers if we're going to talk about this "laziness problem" meaningfully. Do we have quantative data which shows that this problem exists in the form discussed in this thread?
[/quote]

I don't know if this link will work, but if you look for the "Labor Force Participation Rate" on the labor statistics site you'll find it:
[url="http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet"]http://data.bls.gov/...eyOutputServlet[/url] (editathon:[url="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_303.htm"] now with demographics[/url])

We've been generally rising from WWII until ~2000, but recently we are seeing pretty dramatic drops in people's willingness to be part of the labor force.

More than the current labor force I'm really worried about the standard we're setting for our children/future workforce. Our education system has not been adapting to meet the standards of a rising global economy. It has been relatively stagnant. We have a very short school year, and poor results across the board; the most troublesome problem is we aren't acknowledging the latter with the significance it deserves. It's creating an environment of, "We're still better than everyone, even though we suck" which is going to be toxic over the next 20 years--This is what scares me most of all tbh.

edit: sorry for double post [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

[url="http://money.msn.com/investing/are-american-workers-getting-lazy-mirhaydari.aspx"]Are American Workers Getting Lazy[/url]
[quote]Part of this is no doubt due to the overall economic picture; job creation hasn't been high enough to keep pace with population growth for years. America is also aging, but this isn't just older people stepping out. The numbers are particularly painful in the 16- to 24-year-old male demographic, with workforce participation falling from nearly 80% in the late 1970s to around 58% now.[/quote] Edited by way2lazy2care

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[quote name='Bregma' timestamp='1354049837' post='5004668']
Just who do you think owns the debt this topic was originally about?
[/quote]

That was kinda my point.

[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1354050123' post='5004671']
You choose the false dichotomy that people believe only the extremes exist,
[/quote]

er, that's not a false dichotomy. Where are the [i]only two options [/i]I presented?

[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1354050123' post='5004671']but the false dichotomy that I find more troublesome is that people equate being liberal with being socially and fiscally liberal and being conservative with being socially and fiscal conservative.
[/quote]

If you read my post again, you'll notice I never mentioned social policy, only economics. I agree that social/political and economic ideals are orthogonal (you actually brought up one of my pet causes: the political compass)

That said, the two do tend to broadly correlate. Most fiscal conservatives are also socially conservative, and vice versa with "liberals". Even if you look at lists of candidates on the political compass, they generally tend to fall on a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. Not all of them, obviously, but the majority.

Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand?

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For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.

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[quote name='ChaosEngine' timestamp='1354051789' post='5004681']
Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand?
[/quote]
Fair points made. It's just one of my pet peeves when people associate conservativism/liberalism as I pointed out. Just figured I'd chime in on it while I had the chance as I think it's a very relevant problem in today's politics.

[quote]That said, the two do tend to broadly correlate. Most fiscal conservatives are also socially conservative, and vice versa with "liberals". Even if you look at lists of candidates on the political compass, they generally tend to fall on a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. Not all of them, obviously, but the majority.[/quote]
I think this is kind of what I mean. Enforcing the diagonal across the compass as the single dimension of valid political stances kind of forces people into falling onto that line rather than freely roaming around the compass. Kind of a positive reinforcement loop of poor political policy

[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354051844' post='5004682']
For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.
[/quote]
That's not really what [url="http://economics.about.com/od/unemploymentrate/f/labor_force.htm"]labor force participation rate[/url] measures.

[quote]The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age persons in an economy who:
Are employed
Are unemployed but looking for a job[/quote]

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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1354052393' post='5004688']
[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1354051844' post='5004682']
For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.
[/quote]
That's not really what [url="http://economics.about.com/od/unemploymentrate/f/labor_force.htm"]labor force participation rate[/url] measures.
[/quote]

This was mostly in response to the second article you posted.

Either way I'm very sceptical about claims of moral decline when more tangible factors exist.

The big one is that as much as business claim their is a skill shortage very few are desperate enough yet to create their own skills.

Ex: Machine operators with 10 or more years of experience are going to dwindle in numbers if your never going to hire anyone with less experience. Edited by Kaze

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The economy is very bad right now in terms of "entry level positions", however kids are still signing up for college / vocational courses that will not net them a job.
I have technical certifications out the ###, yet I am lucky to work 4 mouths out of the year.

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about$65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD . Why does my tax money get wasted on folks like that - even the lazy #### who buy tons of soda-pop and junk food "on the card" #### me off to no end. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites [quote name='Shippou' timestamp='1354054656' post='5004702'] The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card. Last week I watched a lady buy over$400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about $65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about$550 USD .

[/quote]

you know nothing of that person, nor do you know that she isn't simply borrowing the vehicle to go purchase grocery's, such assumptions are utterly ridiculous for you to make.

their have been several examples of random people used in this thread to demonstrate the points being made, but at the end of the day, none of you know the people your using to make your points, nor have an idea what they real situation's are, i'd rather hear from personal experience with people you actually know, rather than random isolated incidents that involve complete strangers. Edited by slicer4ever

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[quote name='Shippou' timestamp='1354054656' post='5004702']
The economy is very bad right now in terms of "entry level positions", however kids are still signing up for college / vocational courses that will not net them a job.
I have technical certifications out the ###, yet I am lucky to work 4 mouths out of the year.

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about$65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD . Why does my tax money get wasted on folks like that - even the lazy #### who buy tons of soda-pop and junk food "on the card" #### me off to no end. [/quote] I think this is disgusting. I live in what is the most poverty stricken neighborhood in the New York State, the south bronx. For you to think that everyone on food stamp is a lazy #### is not only disgusting but deplorable, and shows how disconnected you are from these people. Alot of my friends (read most) come from very poor back ground but the majority of them work hard at what they do whether its school or whatever kind of employment they have. Sure I have met some people who I would consider lazy and unmotivated but the majority do want more out of life, but if you have no money and the price of rent and necessities are high you'll find it real hard to dig yourself out of the ditch you inherited. So they take the jobs that you don't want for the pay that you wouldn't settle for working shifts and hours you couldn't imagine, to come home to public housing (if you ever visited its not exactly the best living arrangements), also you don't get food stamps our public housing if your not working. If they feel like buying a new iPhone or gaming system with some saved up money they earned (because food stamps dont cover that) by all means more power to them. On average people pay about 1000 something dollars a year to feed the rest of the population who might have troubles with necessities like food, day care, housing, educational grants for those who cant afford it, etc. If this is such a big deal to people then no we wont ever fix our financial problem because we apparently live in a society where most people only care about themselves and how they can save a few extra bucks a year. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy [b]JUNK FOOD[/b] with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a$65,000 car, and get[b] free food[/b] ?
#### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal.
My tax burden is 34% .... Edited by Shippou

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[quote name='Shippou' timestamp='1354057577' post='5004725']
So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy [b]JUNK FOOD[/b] with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a $65,000 car, and get[b] free food[/b] ? #### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal. My tax burden is 34% .... [/quote] you said it yourself you'r lucky to work 4 months out of the year?... Do you really feel more entitled then someone who works minimum wage the whole year around? and if the person was in fact driving a 65k car. You were either mistaken about them paying with food stamps or that car was definitely not their. The whole story sounds a little weird anyway, you look through the persons groceries and checked to see if they are paying with food stamps after you noticed 400$ worth of junk food to then follow them to their $65,000 see what kind of car they are driving? when did you even have time to shop for your own groceries if you were so concerned with what someone else was doing? You cant expect to work 4 months out the year and still be better off then most people who work year round, that's much lazier then anyone you consider "lazy" if you ask me. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites [quote name='The_Neverending_Loop' timestamp='1354062344' post='5004759'] [quote name='Shippou' timestamp='1354057577' post='5004725'] So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy [b]JUNK FOOD[/b] with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a$65,000 car, and get[b] free food[/b] ?
#### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal.
My tax burden is 34% ....
[/quote]
....

You cant expect to work 4 months out the year and still be better off then most people who work year round, that's much lazier then anyone you consider "lazy" if you ask me.
[/quote]

To be fair to Shippou, I think you're missing his point. He's not working 4 months so he can slack off for the remainder, that's [b]all the work he can get.[/b]

That said, I don't really buy his story about someone on food stamps buying $400 of groceries and loading it into a$65k car. It smacks of bullshit. Either that, or that particular person was scamming the system. Either way, it's not a good argument against people who genuinely need help.

And as to Shippou, I have to say that if you have "technical certifications out the ass" and you still only work 4 months a year, then who are you to say what courses kids should or shouldn't be signing up for?

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See, this is the problem all over the place; we have systems in place to help those who need it yet someone sees ONE person who is playing the system and declares the whole thing rotten.

Yes, there are people who play the system, for example in the UK you get money based on your number of children (simplification of the system) and there are people out there with a few kids who can pull in a large amount each month and things like that should probably be clamped down on. And yes, in some areas there is an 'entitlement' attitude (I once saw a comment made by a friend of a friend who was complaining because she couldn't get a house for her and her kid from the council) but there is also genuine need out there for people to be supported by others because they have fallen on hard times or have significant medical issues (an old friend of mine had a disability living allowance because she couldn't work on account of serious health problems which would leave her unable to move at times).

Even those people don't want to live on them; my sister has various health problems yet she has gone out and got a degree so she can run her own life rather than live on any hand outs she might be able to get.

So yes, we need to clamp down on those 'playing' the system as well as fix the social problems which have caused an upswing in the problem (because 'laziness' is a poor reason and often for a significant proportion of people there is going to be other reasons why they don't want to work) in recent decades.

Of course the whole 'look after those less well off, let the system help people' is a very European view to hold so I don't expect it to play well with people in the US (I got into an argument on IRC once with someone from the US whos basic position was "everyone for themselves; if someone cant look after themselves then fuck 'em").

(For the record I also believe that things such as power, water, utilities and public transport, to name a few, should not be run by 'for profit' companies because frankly that hasn't work and was just a really dumb idea resulting in price fixing, poor service and a lack of competition it was meant to foster such as in the UK's rail networks. But once you get beyond the 'basics' to make a country run and let people live healthy lives, then yeah, enter the free market...)