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Thread: "Money is a new form of slavery"

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    A is A Mercy's Avatar
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    "Money is a new form of slavery"

    Why is it legal for banks to sell customers' accounts/loans/mortgages to other banks? Should it be legal? If I take out a mortgage with First National Bank of Armageddon, why do I not have a say in if my mortgage can be sold to Bank Tartarus? What if I chose to go through FNBA because I think BT is a bunch of cheating tw@ts who do not deserve my business?

    I have been mulling this over for several years and find it perplexing. The real estate market finally crashes; I think we may finally see some smarter minds than mine questioning the same things and yet, nada. Can someone please explain to me why we should continue to allow these robber barons to perpetuate such an obviously unhealthy system?
    "The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."

    Glenn the Great: I just think I'd be happier as a pretty lesbian girl.

    "Live and Let Live" is an excellent, tree-hugging philosophy, but it doesn't do much when the ones you refuse to kill are dragging you down with them.

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    Octorok Glenn the Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercy View Post
    Why is it legal for banks to sell customers' accounts/loans/mortgages to other banks? Should it be legal? If I take out a mortgage with First National Bank of Armageddon, why do I not have a say in if my mortgage can be sold to Bank Tartarus? What if I chose to go through FNBA because I think BT is a bunch of cheating tw@ts who do not deserve my business?

    I have been mulling this over for several years and find it perplexing. The real estate market finally crashes; I think we may finally see some smarter minds than mine questioning the same things and yet, nada. Can someone please explain to me why we should continue to allow these robber barons to perpetuate such an obviously unhealthy system?
    I agree with the sentiment. However, having your mortgage sold to another bank is sort of analogous to how subcontracting works in many businesses: I pay Website Designer Armageddon (based in the USA) to make me a website, and then they turn around and pay Website Designer Tartarus (based in India) to do all the actual work, often without my knowledge. I have to place my trust in the product I'm buying from the first company, regardless of how it's handled on the back-end.

    That exposes a deeper problem: See, if you don't like that First National Bank of Armageddon wants to sell your mortgage to a different bank, then you shouldn't do business with them. But then you can't have a mortgage, because what bank doesn't operate this way? It's an illusion of choice, and the minds smarter than yours are all much more interested in keeping the Rube Goldberg machine set up in the way that makes them the most money.

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    Admiral Zim's Avatar
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    Sounds like a government granted "bailout" money extortion scam to me.
    'Round these parts if a company didn't have better things to do they'd lay off employees, not have them do pointless things with each other all day.
    EMBEZZLEMENT.

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    Wizrobe rock_nog's Avatar
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    I'm reminded of an argument I've heard against the FDA. The argument is, "Let the market decide. If companies have lax health standards, people will stop buying food from those companies." However you, as a consumer, have no way of knowing about the health standards of those companies. All you have to go on is what they say, without an independent body to investigate them. Or you wait 'till a bunch of people get food poisoning, but in that case, you have no way of knowing what's going on until other people (and possibly you) get sick. Even then, even if you get sick from eating a particular food, you have no way of knowing what particular food made you sick, because symptoms don't show up for a number of hours. You wake up puking your guts out, you have a whole day's food that could have made you sick. Was it the eggs you had for breakfast? The sandwich you ate at lunch? Or the pizza you had for dinner? People claim they instinctively know, but only because they assume the last thing they ate was what made them sick. Also, they tend to assume only meat can make them sick, when lettuce and other vegetables cause a lot of food poisoning (because manure is such a common fertilizer).

    To bring it all back, we're deceived by this lie that, "Oh, if businesses are evil, people will stop doing business with them." That's all well and good, but we as consumers don't have the resources to see the bigger picture. How can we know which businesses are evil? Wait to watch someone else get screwed over? Well, that may let us know which businesses are evil, but how can you spot a good one? Oh, they haven't screwed anyone over yet? That doesn't mean you won't be the first. Besides, what's the point? Why shouldn't company B screw you over when company A will do the same? Like if I decide to change banks, my new choice has no reason to treat me fairly if they know I left for being treated unfairly. What are my choices? Go back to the bank that was screwing me over in the first place?

    I kinda have the same situation with my Internet company. I got screwed over by my first ISP, so I left. My current ISP isn't much better, but they don't have to be, because they know they have no reason to be better - what would I do, go back to the first that was slightly shittier? At the end of the day, I guess I'd have to say it's just basically not-quite-monopolies that allow this kind of crap to go down. Sure, legally it's not monopolies, but everyone basically agrees to play by the same rules, so the notion of choice becomes really just an illusion.
    The artist formally known as macweirdo42, formally known as weirdguy (it's a long, uninteresting story).

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    Octorok Glenn the Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rock_nog View Post
    Sure, legally it's not monopolies, but everyone basically agrees to play by the same rules, so the notion of choice becomes really just an illusion.
    The word I learned in econ class for companies like this is "oligopoly", and the phone companies were the #1 example.

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    Username Kaiser SUCCESSOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn the Great View Post
    The word I learned in econ class for companies like this is "oligopoly", and the phone companies were the #1 example.
    Sort of. I *believe* there have been cases against oligopolies specifically Bell Companies. Oligopolies are limited to markets dominated by very few companies. Legally speaking I don't think banks qualify. Even if it's just because of all the small banks that are actually insignificant.

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    Octorok Glenn the Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUCCESSOR View Post
    Sort of. I *believe* there have been cases against oligopolies specifically Bell Companies. Oligopolies are limited to markets dominated by very few companies. Legally speaking I don't think banks qualify. Even if it's just because of all the small banks that are actually insignificant.
    One big difference between monopolies and oligopolies is that while monopolies are restricted by law, oligopolies are perfectly legal so long as there is no formal collusion between companies to fix prices (as a cartel would do).
    But the people making the decisions at the big banks didn't get where they are without learning "how to play the game" somewhere along the way.

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    A is A Mercy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rock_nog View Post
    I'm reminded of an argument I've heard against the FDA. The argument is, "Let the market decide. If companies have lax health standards, people will stop buying food from those companies." However you, as a consumer, have no way of knowing about the health standards of those companies. All you have to go on is what they say, without an independent body to investigate them.
    You managed to get ahead of me with this but this argument annoys the capitalist in me. It also gets into deeper issues of quality versus quantity and defining what is a good company as opposed to a bad company. Maybe we should have started here before moving onto more complex business matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by rock_nog
    To bring it all back, we're deceived by this lie that, "Oh, if businesses are evil, people will stop doing business with them."
    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you, the Walton heirs with a combined fortune surpassing that of the bottom 40% of the USA. Wally world is an extra special case as it touches numerous free market abuses. Blatant labor violations, corporate malfeasance , and civic disregard should have put them out of business a decade ago but long-term reasoning is hard for some people.
    Quote Originally Posted by rock_nog
    I kinda have the same situation with my Internet company.
    We have Clear which sucks, but not as much as Brighthouse, and does not require a contract. Internet access is another market that needs to be seriously readdressed in this country.

    Quote Originally Posted by SUCCESSOR View Post
    Sort of. I *believe* there have been cases against oligopolies specifically Bell Companies. Oligopolies are limited to markets dominated by very few companies. Legally speaking I don't think banks qualify. Even if it's just because of all the small banks that are actually insignificant.
    The splitting of Ma Bell in the 'eighties was my introduction to monopolies, oligopolies, unions, and workers' rights. Oligopolies are generally utility services where traditionally redundancy was too inefficient to keep costs manageable. Yeah, I mixed tenses a little because times and technology have changed. Five mobile companies manning individual towers is more efficient than five land-line companies trying to maintain five different solid-state networks. This is why US rail travel will continue to be inferior to many of our peers until we finally nationalize the rails. Not the trains, the rails. Banks are definitely not oligopolies any more than bars which are limited to a determined number of licenses (mmv depending on specific liquor laws). There is always some amount of collusion within oligopolies because it is just too easy. That is why we have regulations for petrol pricing.

    I am still looking for an argument in support of the current banking system regarding debt ownership. I will settle for ideas on an improved system. It still baffles me that, "too big to fail," was not met with the same reaction as, "Let them eat cake." My county is lousy with abandoned houses that are deteriorating beyond repair but nothing can be done because tracking down the institutions that actually own these properties is more difficult than deconstructing the Gordian Knot with no thumbs. Perhaps we need to restrict how mortgaged property/debt can be used as collateral.

    I thought I was going to say more but pancakes are waiting and..., no and..., just pancakes.
    "The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."

    Glenn the Great: I just think I'd be happier as a pretty lesbian girl.

    "Live and Let Live" is an excellent, tree-hugging philosophy, but it doesn't do much when the ones you refuse to kill are dragging you down with them.

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    Admiral Zim's Avatar
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    Wal*Mart Owes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercy View Post
    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you, the Walton heirs with a combined fortune surpassing that of the bottom 40% of the USA. Wally world is an extra special case as it touches numerous free market abuses. Blatant labor violations, corporate malfeasance , and civic disregard should have put them out of business a decade ago but long-term reasoning is hard for some people.
    I was going grocery shopping one time at Wal*Mart and I went through the bakery section.. Walked up to the donuts, and started considering whether or not I should buy some.. I was about to choose to do so when I heard a woman's voice from around the corner from where the donuts are made saying, "I rubbed those on my vagina."

    Wal*Mart owes.

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    Wizrobe rock_nog's Avatar
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    I may have gotten a bit carried away with myself, but to bring it back to the original point, I think the issue is that banks are given that freedom by the government, and no banks have any motivation to have better practices if everyone else is doing it, too. As for why they're not called out on this, it's because we're constantly told that more regulation will hurt the economy. Don't get me wrong, I support free-market capitalism, but I feel there have to be rules and regulations in order for the system to work. The overall message seems to be, though, that rules and regulations hamper the free-market economy. I'm not so much of an expert on this matter, but it seems to me that without rules and regulations, it could be easy for businesses to circumvent the free market through deception. As I see it, the whole thing all depends on informed consumers, but without rules and regulations, there is no way consumers can ever truly be informed.
    The artist formally known as macweirdo42, formally known as weirdguy (it's a long, uninteresting story).

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