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"If superior quality producers persuade emotionally sluggish consumers to more rapidly and concertedly adopt a greater degree of higher quality and utility, voluntarily, (and yes, this does occur among the myriad of economic transactions) how could the economy as a whole NOT benefit?"

That same type of logic can be used to rationalize doing almost anything to anyone, on the basis of your own judgment of what is better for them. For example, a political leader lying to the public in order to gain support for a war - because he is sure that the war is really good for them, even if they don't realize it.

The fact is there isn't necessarily any relationship between the effort to persuade and the worthiness of the result of that persuasion unless the tactics used in persuasion are limited to fact and logic. (Even then, it's possible to be mistaken, but if all we had to worry about were honest mistakes we'd be a lot better off, wouldn't we?)

"The core blindspot you are being afflicted with is the denial that the common human decision process is primarily emotional, and non-rational."

I acknowledge that it is common, I am not willing to concede that it is the only possibility. If we throw out the possibility of humans being rational, I guess we are wasting time in debating with each other, eh?

"your active arguments display your own proclivity to fall to emotion."

I don't agree with that at all. To the contrary, I am pretty confident that people who disagree with me on this topic are generally falling more to emotion, as they rationalize things that they emotionally feel are to their advantage. Some of them are correct, because certainly there are many individuals who are able to benefit more economically from manipulating others than they ever would from actually doing something productive. Typically those people are pretty defensive about this kind of topic. What's frustrating is the extent to which the more productive folks tolerate it, because generally they are being victimized as a net result, even if they get some small gains from slinging some BS of their own. (That brings the thinking back around to 'Atlas Shrugged'.)

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