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Did the MBS corner the market on trade?

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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:30 am

cthia
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cthia wrote:
tlb wrote:Retribution is not a deterrence to war, but it is a deterrence to the wholesale breaking of the rules of war. It is normally only when asymmetric warfare lapses into terrorism that the rules are set aside.


Retribution is not a deterrence to war. And war is not an excuse for civility. There is no such thing as a "civil" war.

"If we lose the war, what more can you do to us that will exceed the reasons we are already "prepared to die for."

Jonathan_S wrote:Agreed that retribution, or fear of retribution, rarely seems to prevent wars.

But it does seem to be far more effective at preventing specific possible methods of waging those wars.
Prisoners are expensive in terms of money, supplies, guards, and a risk that they might cause issues if they escape. Yet most of the time in most wars prisoners are taken and usually not later killed arbitrarily. And that's in part because if you kill your prisoners then your enemy is likely to start retaliating by killing your captured troops. (Though also, if soldiers know that being prisoner isn't signing up for torture and death they'll be more likely actually surrender rather than always fighting to the death - and its beneficial to your army if the opponent isn't determined to fight intelligently to the death rather than surrendering. You end up taking far longer to advance while taking more casualties)

But also in theory it might be effective to sneak undercover forces far behind enemy lines (possibly through a neutral 3rd country) to target the families of soldiers or officers. It wouldn't take very many of those to cause major disruptions. But if you adopt that tactic then it might be your family that suffers when your enemy responds in kind.

Again, I'm not disagreeing. I'm simply saying you cannot marry yourself to certainty by banking on it. You can never underestimate your enemy's desperation, thus resolve. It is the very reason why Home Fleet has to go out and meet an advancing enemy. You can never know the flavor of their sanity, or lack thereof.

Threatening the family doesn't cut it either. Even so-called "decent" navies who are supposedly reared with morals, scruples and values consistently commit atrocities against the enemy's families in the form of brutal rapes and murder. You can't threaten someone with something that will likely occur anyway. Especially if there is something (cause to go to war) happening that is even worse.

You can not be so arrogant to think you can measure the weight of someone else's CAUSE to fight. The US makes that mistake time and time again. Especially when that CAUSE is rooted in religion.

OTOH, retribution may deter common criminals. AKA, the death penalty. But navies cannot be categorized as common criminals. Even though oftentimes they are.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:44 am

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cthia wrote:OTOH, retribution may deter common criminals. AKA, the death penalty. But navies cannot be categorized as common criminals. Even though oftentimes they are.

I am not sure that that the death penalty deters criminals, but the application of it does reduce recidivism.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:54 pm

cthia
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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:OTOH, retribution may deter common criminals. AKA, the death penalty. But navies cannot be categorized as common criminals. Even though oftentimes they are.

I am not sure that that the death penalty deters criminals, but the application of it does reduce recidivism.

It doesn't deter them from being criminals. It deters them from committing the more heinous crimes, so some jurisdictions claim.

****** *

The author is adamant about Manticore not raising junction fees. The MWJ is such a cash cow that gives golden milk. Someone suggested that higher junction fees might discourage junction use, although I disagree.

At any rate, perhaps significantly lowering the fees may drum up more business. Perhaps even give out "frequent flyer transits."

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:27 pm

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cthia wrote:OTOH, retribution may deter common criminals. AKA, the death penalty. But navies cannot be categorized as common criminals. Even though oftentimes they are.

tlb wrote:I am not sure that that the death penalty deters criminals, but the application of it does reduce recidivism.

cthia wrote:It doesn't deter them from being criminals. It deters them from committing the more heinous crimes, so some jurisdictions claim.

What evidence is presented for that claim? There were definitely many crimes committed that merited that penalty before the various states changed to using life imprisonment instead.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:11 pm

cthia
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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:OTOH, retribution may deter common criminals. AKA, the death penalty. But navies cannot be categorized as common criminals. Even though oftentimes they are.

tlb wrote:I am not sure that that the death penalty deters criminals, but the application of it does reduce recidivism.

cthia wrote:It doesn't deter them from being criminals. It deters them from committing the more heinous crimes, so some jurisdictions claim.

What evidence is presented for that claim? There were definitely many crimes committed that merited that penalty before the various states changed to using life imprisonment instead.

Well... I admit to oversimplifying it. It is quite a complicated thing. Be that as it may, it is the given consensus. Your guess is as good as mine as far as the criteria used for the conclusions, other than available statistics.

However, do note that I said "common" criminal. Common criminals are not the Helter Skelter, serial murderer, Zodiac killer type of sicko. It is believed that these type of criminals can not be deterred. Their sickness literally prevents them from knowing right and wrong. And since that is a fact, the question is posited as to why give these individuals the death penalty? They won't "appreciate" the punishment. Simple life in prison is believed to be sufficient.

But yes, the "common" criminal who recognizes right and wrong - as well as he who can visualize retribution - are likely to be deterred by capital punishment. This type of criminal can actually see several moves ahead. Plus, he values his life. This type of criminal is more prevalent, or, we - as a species - are doomed.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:22 pm

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I still do not understand why the SL did not get the same deal on transit costs, by proxy, as Beowulf did. Even if their carrying trade had to make Beowulf a prior stop before continuing on under a Beowulfan flag. Beowulf even could have levied a "handling" charge of fifty percent of the savings.

It wouldn't be much different than knowing someone who works at an expensive department store and using their "half price" employee discount.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Fox2!   » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:46 pm

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cthia wrote:
It wouldn't be much different than knowing someone who works at an expensive department store and using their "half price" employee discount.


Most store discourage such behavior, by limiting how much, or how often, it can be used, or outright prohibit it, with penalties ranging from loss of the privilege to termination. I am sure that the Manticore-Beowolf Junction Treaty prohibited that kind of free rider behavior.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:38 am

cthia
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Fox2! wrote:
cthia wrote:
It wouldn't be much different than knowing someone who works at an expensive department store and using their "half price" employee discount.


Most store discourage such behavior, by limiting how much, or how often, it can be used, or outright prohibit it, with penalties ranging from loss of the privilege to termination. I am sure that the Manticore-Beowolf Junction Treaty prohibited that kind of free rider behavior.

Indeed, but I'm not talking about a sick scheme to rip them off. I'm talking about taking advantage of actual perks offered to employees. When I worked in Silicon Valley with a particular company, I could get up to 8 desktop computers at cost, then later, 12. Every company offered those kinds of perks as incentives and a way to keep hiring costs down. In Silicon Valley it was a norm. My brother still gets toys for free. Everybody in the family gets sick of his toys that he mass mails. The latest high capacity thumb drives isn't something everybody wants. But his company still gives him perks. Department stores are the same. They offer perks to certain valued employees only. Of course it is limited.

I'm sure you are probably right about Beowulf's limitations. But House of Steel says Beowulf's Treaty is very lucrative. At any rate, there may be times when savings by proxy should be legit. If Beowulf actually orders a freighter full of goods from the League, why can't Beowulf then ship something thru the MWJ via those same freighters (handy thus practical) at their own rate?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Theemile   » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:13 am

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cthia wrote:
I'm sure you are probably right about Beowulf's limitations. But House of Steel says Beowulf's Treaty is very lucrative. At any rate, there may be times when savings by proxy should be legit. If Beowulf actually orders a freighter full of goods from the League, why can't Beowulf then ship something thru the MWJ via those same freighters (handy thus practical) at their own rate?


They can, and do all the time. It's called trans-shipping. A non-Beowulfian bottom drops off cargo at a junction warehouse, a Beowulfian bottom picks up the cargo, and delivers it to Beowulf or moves it through the wormhole(s) to another warehouse, where a 3rd freighter of undisclosed origin picks up the freight. However, anything transshipped at a station is subject to that system's laws and customs. usually something transshipped does not have strict customs enforcement rules, as it is just passing through, not being sold or delivered to the local polity, but they are probably subject to scan and random inspection if the polity is upholding any international accords (drugs, weapons, slaves, etc)
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:07 pm

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cthia wrote:I'm sure you are probably right about Beowulf's limitations. But House of Steel says Beowulf's Treaty is very lucrative. At any rate, there may be times when savings by proxy should be legit. If Beowulf actually orders a freighter full of goods from the League, why can't Beowulf then ship something thru the MWJ via those same freighters (handy thus practical) at their own rate?

House of Steel seems kind of vague on exactly how this works, but this seems to be the relevant quote
House of Steel wrote:The problem was that Manticore had ceded shared sovereignty over the termini to Beowulf, San
Martin, and Hennesy. There’d been no legal requirement for Elizabeth to do that. [...]

The Beowulf System, as a member of the Solarian League, would probably have been in a position to produce that wherewithal [to police the space around the terminus]. Neither Trevor’s Star nor Hennesy, which had only recently been colonized at the time, would have, yet Elizabeth’s government had opted to grant all three star systems an identical share of the Junction revenues, the same discounted transit fees, and the same shared sovereignty over the terminus. [...]

For that matter, Roger had no desire to pick fights over the issue with anyone even now, yet times had changed (and not for the better) over the last seventeen years.
Now he needed the authority—the recognized authority, domestically as well as abroad—to act unilaterally, in whatever fashion seemed necessary, to ensure the Junction’s security, and that included ensuring the security of those secondary termini of it, as well.

Beowulf and Hennesy had recognized that, and both of them had specifically recognized Manticore’s undivided sovereignty over their associated termini. Roger had sweetened the deal by increasing their percentage of transit fees and adding a secret clause which amounted to a mutual defense treaty, but in return he had the right to deploy Manticoran warships to protect either of those termini
by force if he felt it was necessary.

So Beowulf gets a fraction of the Junction fees - and I can't see any of that flowing back to the League, not given how limited the taxing and fee collection powers of its central government are (and they were less corrupt and OFS less grasping back when the Junction was discovered; and so less likely to try to grab that revenue stream beyond their written powers)

But as you noted they also get "discounted transit fees". Though without the text of the treaty it's not clear what the limits are on those. Even just offhand I can think of a number of combinations of options - depending on exactly how the treaty text was written.
1) Discount might apply to only that system's own flagged ships; or
2) Discount might also apply to ships flying the flag of the interstellar government they belong to. [1]

A) Discount might apply only to traffic directly to/from their terminus.
B) Discount might apply only to traffic to/from any of the 3 remote termini of the members of that particular Junction treaty (iow providing a discount to San Martin on their traffic with Manticore and again if they say went on to Beowulf - but not to any termini found later (like Basilisk or Lynx)
C) Discount might apply to any known or later discovered terminus of the Junction.
D) Discount might apply to any known or later discovered terminus of the Junction AND any other wormhole under Manticoran sovereignty.

D seems unlikely.

Incidentally if option 2 applies (which IMHO seems unlikely) then depending on the exact wording of the text Haven might have had a treaty claim to discounted shipping for their ships after conquering San Martin - becoming the interstellar government that system (now) belongs to)

But my bet is that it's option 1B or 1C. But I admit that there's nothing I could find in the text to say one way or another.

----------------------------
[1] Hmm. Does the League have merchant ships registered to the League itself; or are they all registered to one or another member of the League? Or is it a mix where either is allowed? (Basically are Beowulfan merchants flagged to Beowulf or flagged to the League. In the US ships are flagged to the US, not an individual state - but in the EU they're flagged to the country. So, did the League ever centralize its ship registry?
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