That's only because you are bound and determined to miss the point, no matter how slowly I move my lips. The point of the racketeering comment is that the racketeers would define it as a "benefit" to the shop owner to sign up. The point of that is that if you define "benefit" widely enough, you can show that anything can be thought of as a mutually beneficial transaction. That doesn't mean all parties would agree that it is so. Likewise, your comment that futures trading is a "beneficial" transaction may be only as such from the point of view of certain people, i.e. the people who are benefiting from it. I can't explain that any more clearly, or use any smaller words. if you insist on thinking of it as straw man or irrelevant, then I don't think we're actually having a conversation.
If you buy the last carton of orange juice before I do, I might see this transaction is not beneficial to me. However, I still derive some benefit from it because it's a trade of liquidity (your money) to the retailer who is in the business of providing quality OJ at a price point you yourself couldn't.
They key point is though, both the transacting parties did so willingly (definition, to their benefit). In the scenario you postulated, one or more parties directly involved in the transaction find benefit. It could be argued the police benefit from the existence of crime, but it doesn't matter since the parties directly affect aren't doing so willingly (beneficially).
I wouldn't. A lot of people wouldn't.
But a lot of people would (and do). Can you posit that any party would willingly enter into an extortion scheme with a protection racket?
Because you gave me the choice of buying gas or not buying gas, and that's it. There are other options, as I mentioned. It's a political rhetorical device that's used all the time. "Vote for us or move to another country!" (Federal Liberals, about 10 years ago). Well, no, there's a third choice -- not vote for you and not move out of the country. In this specific case, I have a third choice -- try to modify the system that's creating the ridiculous price swings.
Yes, but that's a false dilemma (voting or getting out of the country) because those actions are not antithetical. Buying gas or not buying gas are. Either you do or you don't. One cannot exist in both states and choosing one necessarily negates choosing the other. Even if you DO enact what you call a third choice (it isn't a third choice since it's independent to the binary choice I posit), you still have to choose to purchase gas or not purchase gas.
Was that not the point I was making? Phrasing it dismissively doesn't constitute a counterargument.
I'm not being dismissive, I am implying that the current state of affairs is just a different subset of the population doing what is in their best interest. It makes light of the fact that the only real argument I've read that you've made about speculation is that you don't find it to be directly and personally beneficial.
So, you're saying that me trying to execute my constitutional rights to influence the way society is run (i.e. by voting for the politician that seems to be leaning the same way) is equivalent to repealing constitutional rights and keeping slaves? Riiiiiiight. You just went off the deep end.
Stop being intentionally daft. I didn't equate either in an ethical sense whatsoever. The point was that no conclusion about the ethical implications of either of these actions can be derived from the fact that they are both Constitutionally possible. Now you're just grasping at things to be offended about.