PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, June 02, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: All the world is a market + News from Norma and Miguel (event today Friday 3rd)

All the world is a market + News from Norma and Miguel (event today
Friday 3rd)

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: All the world is a market.

At one level, it would be nice if the world was all a market. This would
mean that all the individuals on the planet are being productive and
have some kind of fair income to afford the needs for their life and
hopefully a bit more. But by this account the whole world is not a market.

If by market we mean the free exchange of goods and services then only a
fraction of the population have access to this market. The reality is
more a case of inequalities and inequities rather than reasonable
distribution of wealth based on merit.

Furthermore, the purpose of a market is to bring together people who
have something to sell and buyers who need those things on sale. This
would work fine for horses, cars, computers, and so on. If I can buy
something I need that would make me happy and probably improve my life.
The seller might also find the exchange positive.

But should everything be subject to an exchange based on ability to buy?
And by ability I mean ability to pay money for the good or service.

In modern times, the "trust" is considered to be the most "innovative"
contribution of Common Law (see Wikipedia). A trust is a legal
instrument where an owner (trustor) of a property gives it to someone
else (trustee) to legally own but the benefit of the property is enjoyed
by someone else (beneficiary). At an early stage of this creation this
was a legal way to avoid paying taxes to the King, but it is very useful
to protect a property for someone, maybe a young child, for future use.

What is important for us is the idea that one can enjoy the benefit of a
property (or service) without having to pay directly for it. For
example, young people or people who do not qualify to pay taxes, can
still enjoy the benefits of the services of the police and firelighters.
On the other hand, many of us pay taxes but we do not use a particular
good or service; for example someone who never flies is still
contributing for airports and traffic controllers in the city. Let's not
get top involved in the private ownership of airports; the community
always pays somewhere.)

Indeed, I would argue (and I am sure many others will do as well) that
there are some goods and services that are not suitable for the exchange
of money at the point of use. Healthcare is one of them: not having
immediate financial resources to pay for healthcare at the point of need
might results in not being treated. Do we really want to reduce life to
Euros and cents?

But then even the richest person on this planet won't be able to afford
to have any medical care. In this thought experiment the rich person
cannot access existing medical knowledge; all they can do is pay to
discover any useful medical knowledge useful for their treatment. This
is basically not physically possible. If money was the only criteria to
exchange goods and services, then sure patients should be paid by
doctors to gain experience so that they can treat rich people for a high
profit. But this is equally absurd.

Medical knowledge is based on collective contribution (experience from
treating patients) and shared knowledge (diffusion of medical
knowledge). Health careers have the medical knowledge, but they do not
necessarily benefit from it, it's their patients that benefit from their
knowledge. Thus here we have a "market" if you like where money is a
function in the background and not the fuel for the engine.

Thus the model of a market where money is exchanged for goods and
services is not ideal for all cases of goods and services. If money were
to be the only criteria whether we receive the benefits of all possible
goods and services then we might end up thinking that we can do whatever
we want as long as we have money. And some people did just that:
1) The "Tax Justice Network (TJN) USA report reveals an estimated $21 –
$32 trillion of hidden and stolen wealth stashed largely tax-free
secretly." (Copyright © 2005-2016
2) The estimated amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2 -
5% of global GDP, or $800 billion - $2 trillion in current US dollars.
(United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International
Crime Prevention, UNODC -
3) "The report (by UNDOC for drug trafficking and organised crimes)
estimates that in 2009, criminal proceeds amounted to 3.6% of global
GDP, with 2.7% (or USD 1.6 trillion) being laundered." (The Financial
Action Task Force (FATF) -
If countries and nations deemed that money were the only criteria to
enjoy all possible goods and services then sure this would change the
moral and ethical structure of society. Or to borrow an analogy from
what Pope Francis said recently, "Confessional states end badly*" then
sure states that put money above all else can only expect a similar fate.

Best Lawrence
*(Little Vatican

-----------News from Miguel and Norma

Dear Lawrence;
............. I will be at the Feria del Libro de Madrid, Parque del
Retiro, caseta 228 on Sunday 12 of June. I will be signing my new book,
"Gustav Mahler. Un piano olvidado" , from 19:00 to 21:00 (with discount,
it is only 8 euros!)......
Best regards and thanks Norma
Lawrence: Norma has also sent me a photo of the cover of the book if you
want copy let me know. And if you want to contact Norma about her book
please send me message and I'll pass it on to her.

From Miguel – meeting today Friday

Título: Serendipity in Science (ver documento adjunto)
Conferenciante: Sheldon L. Glashow (premio Nobel de física)
Fecha: Viernes 3 de junio de 2016, 12h
Lugar: Salón de Actos Julio Rey Pastor, Facultad de Ciencias
Matemáticas (UCM), Plaza de las Ciencias 3, Madrid

Título: Información, termodinámica y agujeros negros
Conferenciante: Alberto Galindo Tixaire (Académico de la RAC)
Fecha: Jueves 9 de junio de 2016, 12h
Lugar: Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales,
c/ Valverde 22, Madrid

Título: Elliptic curves and Fermat's Last Theorem
Conferenciante: Nuno Freitas (último premiado "José Luis Rubio de
Fecha: Miércoles 29 de junio de 2016, 19:30h
Lugar: Fundación BBVA, Paseo de Recoletos 10, Madrid
Confirmación: Es necesario confirmar la asistencia enviando un
mensaje a
Saludos cordiales,
Tertulia de Matemáticas

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813 <>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: All the world is a
market + News from Norma and Miguel (event today Friday 3rd)

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