Walmart warning us about China


The Chinese Government is allowing their citizens to flood the United States with counterfeit collector coins. The situation has gotten so bad that some of the old circulated silver dollars that you might see in flea markets and antique stores are counterfeits. They have even been able to fool the certification companies a number of times. It is a serious concern for the hobby.

They have also duplicated the American Silver Eagle which is one of the bullion coins that silver investors buy and sell. They even made a bogus Proof ASE in the genuine U.S. Mint packaging.

These “Chinese Dollars” don’t contain any silver. Some of them attach to a magnet; most of them don’t.

Here is a Chinese fake Proof American Silver Eagle in a genuine box with a Certificate of Authenticity.


Yeah, I don’t find the “but what about innovation” reply super convincing. For one, it doesn’t reply to the argument I put forward: that “intellectual property” implies essentially owning people (as you can’t own intellectual property without owning the information in peoples’ brains). At the end of the day, intellectual property is the state telling individuals they can’t use their own knowledge for their own ends. What gives the state this right?

But beyond that, I’m not convinced it’s true that innovation would suffer at all. Remember that intellectual property is a fairly modern invention. The vast majority of great artists and inventors produced their work without any artificial protections from state goons. Inventing and producing seems to be just as much a passion as it is a motivation to sell products. It also seems to me just as likely that, without government-enforced artificial monopolies, innovation would be more necessary in order to continue to sell products, and therefore more intense.


How many copies of the Mona Lisa do you suppose have been made and published without diminishing the VALUE of the original one iota??? ART isn’t what we’re talking about here. It’s PRODUCTS.


Try infringing on a patent in the United States and see what happens to you, as well it should. Companies spending millions on perfecting products and deserve the opportunity to get back those investments and profit from them. Stealing a patent is no different from stealing a car or house.

I am really amazed that any conservative would support patent infringement, especially when it is done by a country that intends to do us harm.


What you’re talking about is government-granted ownership over ideas. But if you break down what an “idea” is, then, unless you’re going to start theorizing about Platonic Forms, then an “idea” is just information stored in peoples’ brains. That’s its only plausible material reality.

Again, suppose I figure out how to make a duplicate of an Ipad. Presumably, the information in my brain is my own property. Presumably, my legitimately acquired materials are also my property. If I construct a product using the information in my brain, and with materials I legitimately own, what exactly in this mix can Apple be said to own? What right does Apple or the government have to prevent me from using my own property for my own peaceful ends?


Great discussion!


I think we have to distinguish between peaceful use of property and fraud. If I make a duplicate of an ipad using my own peacefully acquired property, that duplicate is obviously mine to sell and trade in whatever peaceful way I see fit. But that doesn’t give me the right to commit fraud by, say, trying to pass it off as a “real” Apple Ipad.


So teachers shouldn’t be paid for organising and presenting information, since it will be stored in their students’s heads?

EDIT: Further, should a person who never paid a university’s tuition or fees but by attending classes and lectures and doing the necessary study and so forth acquired as much education as an official PhD receive the degree and it’s attendant prestige and perquisites?


This is utter nonsense.

You can steal someone’s idea, their technology, operating system and their manufacturing system and as long you don’t steal their brand name, it’s perfectly “peaceful” and okay. Why would anyone ever invest the money, manpower and intellectual effort in developing anything, if it can be instantly stolen by another entity after it has been proven successful?

Stealing other people’s patents is not “peaceful;” it’s corporate violence.

This is typical socialist drivel. It’s not Apple’s iPad; it’s “the people’s iPad;” and anyone can copy it.

Many years ago, Kodak came out with an instant picture camera that competing with Polaroid. After a long court fight Kodak was ordered to cease production of the product because it infringed on the Polaroid patents. Now, of course, the instant picture business is almost dead because of digital photography. Not all patents retain their value. They can lose their worth with market and technology changes.

Since Polaroid developed the technology and patented it, they had the right to the use of it, or the right to sell it to other entities. That was totally fair because it came from Polaroid’s ideas and investment capital.


Interesting that my defense of a Lockean theory of property rights is being called “socialist drivel.” Beyond this, your response just begs the question by assuming the very thing under dispute: whether patents represent legitimate property claims.

I’m having trouble following your argument here.


It isn’t an argument*, it’s asking for clarification of your position.

  • (Y’all know this isnt really me, right? 'Cuz given the opportunity I’m not arguing with J.Anderson… Help?)


I don’t think it follows from the idea that we own our own brains that teachers shouldn’t be paid for their time and expertise in teaching. Not sure what else to say…I just don’t see how that would follow.


Just because one your precious philosophers wrote something 300 years ago does not make it correct.

Perhaps you can understand this.

Let’s say you work for a company that has just spent a considerable amount of money to develop a product. Your company introduces that product, obtains a patent for it, which is not a cost free procedure, and it is a success. Lawyers make a good living in patent law. It is a specialty.

The competition sees that and copies it. I’m not talking about something some similar, but an exact copy, except for the brand name. Chances are the competitor will be able to offer it for less because they won’t have the research and development (R&D) costs that your company has had to expend. Stealing a patent is the same as stealing a horse and plow from a farmer during Mr. Locke’s time in the 1600s.

Yes, I know. Economists tell you that the R&D costs are “sunk costs” and should not have an influence on the pricing in the future, BUT the company has to recover its total R&D investments from somewhere to remain viable. If the company can’t remain viable it is going to lay off people and perhaps go out of business.

Causing people to lose their jobs due to corporate espionage is corporate violence.

If you can’t understand these concepts, then I guess your will have to go back to reading John Locke who had no idea what a patent was and that it has value. The world has changed a lot since the 1600s. Ideas and technologies are just as valuable if not more so than physical assets.


But that’s not what I said. I said it’s interesting that you’re calling one of the canonical arguments for private property rights “socialist drivel.”

None of this responds in a relevant way to any of my arguments. You’re still begging the question of whether a patent on an idea represents a legitimate property claim. You’re assuming the very thing that’s under dispute.

You can’t legitimately claim exclusive property in an idea, because ideas are just information contained in peoples’ brains, and no one can own another person’s brain. That’s an argument against intellectual property in ideas. You haven’t responded to it.


This is where you are completely wrong.

You have no right “to sell and trade in whatever peaceful way I see fit.”

You might be able to use it at home for yourself if you keep quiet about it, but if you start selling it, you have broken the law, and you are unethical in my opinion.


Because patent trolls are a thing Send.

Not people who invest in the idea; but just make a patent, claim they own it, sue everyone who tries to do something with it, and disrupt everyone else’s ability to iterate on it.

It costs our economy literally billions to allow this to go on. Plenty of designs sit in development hell, because it’s too legally toxic to try and take them up.


You have to explain what gives the government the right to tell me I can’t sell or trade my own peacefully acquired property.

Let’s say I chop down a tree on my property, take that wood, and build a widget out of it according to an idea I have. Presumably, you agree that I have a prima facie right to peacefully sell and trade this product, as it’s the product of my own property and labor.

But now suppose someone had an idea for the widget also, and lobbied the state to give him or her a coercive monopoly on that idea on pain of government force.

Nothing has changed in the original example. The tree and the wood are still mine. The idea is still mine (as I own my own brain and my own ideas/information contained in my own brain). My labor is still mine. The product is all my own. Going to a patent office and having the state grant you an coercive monopoly doesn’t change any of that. It just creates an unjust situation where I’m alienated in my right to peacefully use, sell, and trade my own property.


Okay, I understand. In your opinion, people have to right to steal other people’s ideas and profit from them. That is your world, and I hope that it never comes to fruition because it will be the death nil for progress. No one will want to invest in major research projects because any intellectual assets they produce can be stolen.

As the Marxists say, “Property is theft.”

That sums up your position.

As footnote I’ll add that all of the copyright laws need to be done away with too. Books are also “intellectual property.” So the next time there is a best seller, you can just make a lot of copies of it and sell it some long as your are “peaceable” about it.




J is the owner of the knowledge in his brain so it can’t be the property of someone else. Therefore he can do whatever he pleases with that knowledge. Aristotle is rolling over in his grave.