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1  Other / Politics & Society / Re: I need a design of bitcoin flag for demonstrations in Russia on: March 30, 2013, 05:35:11 PM


Now that's a good one, but I was thinking it works better if the bitcoin is somewhat centred



kinda like that? Very rough and not proportioned right I think, but it could be done better by someone good at that sort of thing I think...
2  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Libertarian my ass! on: March 29, 2013, 01:48:16 PM
Irrelevant points. Libertarianism has meant the "right" version in most of the world, and even generally in Europe, for the past thirty or so years. Many libertarians are anarchists and would dispute that anarchism is inherently anti-capitalist. Meanwhile, socialists stole the words "liberal" and "progressive" from us a long time ago, but you don't see anyone posting "Liberal my ass!" threads.
3  Economy / Economics / Re: Countries that followed the Austrian School to Prosperity on: July 31, 2011, 10:05:01 PM
Chile turned from a communist shithole into one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America because of laissez-faire policies. Technically they followed the Chicago School, not the Austrian, but they basically followed the same principles: cutting taxes and tariffs, de-regulation, privatization, less welfare, low inflation etc.

I think most people are missing his point.  The people can be economically freer while not being politically free.  If you did not get on the governments bad side and were a free market business, you would do better under Pinochet.  This does not make that business man bad.  I guess people say the same thing about China today. They are not politically free but economically freer and standards of living depend more on economic freedom than political freedom.

His point is more subtle.  If you wrote angry things in news papers about the government, things would suck for you a little more under Pinochet, but if you were a free market, very productive person that stayed away from the government sector, things would suck for you under Allende.  The government was more likely to come and take your life's work.

The simple "Pinochet bad... so Allende good" is a bit too simple.

Allende was completely nuts. Had he not been overthrown, he probably would have been about as bad as Pinochet in terms of political freedoms.
4  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Seriously, though, how would a libertarian society address global warming? on: July 30, 2011, 01:36:04 AM
Actually, in a truely libertarian society, no one would give a shit about global warming, since the only person you should be looking out for is yourself, which includes saving money by purchasing the cheapest energy possible.

The solution would be for the libertarian feudal lords to build underground bunkers where they can live while the rest of the population dies, and then die themselves, alone.

Because we all know that global warming, if real, would resemble a nuclear war  Roll Eyes

Also, nice job ignoring my argument.
5  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Somalia on: July 29, 2011, 08:12:42 PM
Even extremism is a function of outside interference because the jihadists give them a chance to expel foreign interlopers, so they side with the CIC & Al Shahab.

The Islam extremism is the one thing that really worries me about Somalia, and may be the thing that keeps it from turning into Cayman Islands, and instead turns it into another Taliban-overrun Afghanistan Sad

Well, that's what happens when you stick your dick in the pudding with constant attempts to establish a government in a place that doesn't want one. If the UN and US weren't feeding cash and support to the so-called "government", it wouldn't last long, many of the warlords would cease, eh, warlording, and the Islamic extremists would cease to have reason to exist and would ultimately disband.
6  Other / Politics & Society / Re: You Choose... on: July 29, 2011, 08:04:32 PM
There is Zero reason the Federal Government should be involved in running Schools or Education.  Especially due to how much they've F'cked the whole thing up.  The education level has taken a nose dive in the US since Federal takeover. 

If "Federal" was at fault, explain why even more heavily federal schools in Europe, Asia, and Eastern Europe are doing better than the schools here in USA?

"If slavery is a bad thing and unsustainable in the long run, then why were Spain and Rome so much more powerful than other nations that had fewer slaves?"

It is the difference between an inefficient system being run with some degree of success and an inefficient system being run by drunken monkeys who are impossible to fire and constantly demand more money to "improve". There was a time when the US didn't have any government funded education at all, and there is evidence to suggest that literacy was nearly universal, with the benefit of creativity and entrepreneurship not being repressed in the process.
7  Economy / Economics / Re: Countries that followed the Austrian School to Prosperity on: July 29, 2011, 02:41:15 AM
Hyperbole goes both ways I guess if you think the Pinochet era was A REIGN OF TERROR!!1. Sure, he rounded up and killed, tortured and imprisoned his enemies but that's no different than what happens now in the world. Do you consider the United States a reign of terror because the administration likes to kill a lot of muslims and torture them in Guantanamo?

Of course I do! (think that the USG is guilty of mass murder and torture) - The US is a police state at home and a nightmare abroad if you happen to live in one of the countries they are currently targeting. The USG is quite literally the Evil Empire at the moment, with the highest rate of incarceration at home and more military spending than most of the rest of the world combined

The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. (Tom Friedman, NYT persistent defender of US capitalism/globalization)

Of course the Pinochet regime was a reign of terror -- What else do you call it when a dictator assumes power in a military coup and systematically kills, imprisons, or destroys his political enemies, embezzles millions from the government, etc. Really, you have absolutely zero moral ground to stand on here if you are trying to make the case that Pinochet's regime was somehow "freer" or "more democratic" than Allende's


The irony, of course, is that the US armed forces are, in effect, socialist... i.e. state-funded and run.

As for the notion that Pinochet may not have been that bad after all... it takes a spectacular disconnect from history to even suggest something of the sort. I guess our friend thinks that Austrian economics is Austrian because that was the birthplace of Hitler... also not such a bad chap, after all.

Yes, the US army is socialist. Please, find a better attack, since you won't find much resistance there.

Yes, Pinochet was a murdering bastard. However, what differentiates him from socialistic murdering bastards is that he was creative enough to not nationalize everything in a fit of communistic self-aggrandizement and instead had people who had at least a bit of an idea as to what they were doing take over. Thus, while both Pinochet and, say, Castro were murdering people, people under Pinochet generally didn't face mass starvation, collectivization of their livelihoods, dependence on foreign tourism (later on, mind), terrible hospital conditions, and a rapidly declining standard of living.

With Pinochet, the Chilean economy gradually began to grow despite Allende utterly screwing it up, the standard of living and most other measures of life rose considerably, and Chilean currency didn't turn into toilet paper. Because of these reforms, Chile became the most prosperous country in South America and weathered out disasters that caused economic problems for other nations. Mind, Chile had problems in the early eighties, but that was because of the Achilles Heel of Monetarism, which is monetary policy, and issue that they continually screw up and often ruins the appearance of many of their better policies.

Also, while Pinochet was, again, a murdering bastard, don't make wild claims that Allende was better. Yes, Allende was elected democratically, but as I recall he then proceeded to flagrantly violate the Chilean constitution, ignore the legislature, collectivize everything, steal everything in sight that wasn't already "State Property", and spent a large portion of that money on a large "Socialist Computer" for calculating the economy's growth. The legislature actually ordered the army (and, by extension, Pinochet) to throw Allende out for his blatant misuse of power. Had Allende not been overthrown, he had already demonstrated that he didn't give a damn for the democratic process and would have doubtless became a dictator himself, with the exception that he wouldn't have improved the economy and instead would have made it into something resembling Cuba or Zimbabwe. Furthermore, his lack of success would result in there never being a peaceful end to his (or his successor's) reign as their was with Pinochet.
8  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Seriously, though, how would a libertarian society address global warming? on: July 29, 2011, 02:05:15 AM
There is far more evidence that this recent temperature increase is a result of solar cycles than human activity.

I presume by "more" you mean "none at all".

Solar irradiance does not correlate with the change in global temperatures.



That is one of the most ignorant statements I have seen in a long time.

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html

i do not see how that is related to your previous statement.  the magnitude of energy capture is less than models predict.  that does not support your assertion that solar cycles are a cause of anything and the fact remains that solar irradiance has fallen while meteorological measurements show temperatures have risen.

as for your link, how about we read what the actual scientist has to say rather than heartland?

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/new-paper-on-the-misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedbacks-from-variations-in-earth%E2%80%99s-radiant-energy-balance-by-spencer-and-braswell-2011/

Quote
The previously unexplained differences between model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming have been the source of often contentious debate and controversy for more than two decades.

in other words - not warming as fast as models predict, but still warming at an unprecedented rate.

I believe what you are trying to say is "Golly gee! Temperatures have been rising pretty fast in the past twenty years or so, compared to the past hundred years in which we have been capable of measuring global temperatures".

Yes, there are ice core measurements, etc but those generally point to mixed conclusions that are somewhat inconvenient for proponents of anthropogenic global warming (for example, it was far warmer during the Holocene Maximum in most of the world, and even the Medieval Warm Period featured warmer climate in most of Europe). "But wait!" you say, "Temperature increases of the time were not constant throughout the world so they don't count!", to which I reply "True, but such increases don't apply now, either. For example, I recall it being noted a while back that large portions of the USA aren't warming at all, and are, in fact, beginning to cool down significantly. This indicates that if humans are affecting the climate at all with emissions, the effects are marginal at best."

True, it might not be solar emissions causing an increase in temperature (though again, these increases are definitely not worldwide at this point, so it isn't even honest to claim that "the earth is warming" at all), but then we aren't exactly far ahead in terms of our ability to understand the climate in a massive way. Personally, I would imagine that what warming there is is being caused by water vapor and ocean currents, which would certainly make some sense. But then, we don't know enough to be able to make strong, accurate predictions either way. There was once a time where the most groundbreaking, revolutionary and accurate belief was that the earth was actually round (true) and that the sun rotated around it (false). This wasn't because the earth was really flat (which was the alternative of the time), but because ancient astronomers were effectively incapable of figuring it out with the instruments at hand. Likewise, our climate models are crude and far off target with predictions. It is a bit silly to claim that we have suddenly understood the mysteries of the climate in their entirety when we obviously haven't.

This is still a pointless argument, though. Assuming there is no global warming, we have nothing to worry about. Assuming there is (and assuming that nothing natural counterbalances the excess of CO2, like how some consider that plants may thrive from the CO2 and absorb more, producing more oxygen and growing faster), we have a very long time before most of the negative effects become prominent (don't give me the Al Gore "flooding Florida" garbage, the most alarmist of AGW supporting scientists predict far milder effects in the worse case scenario over a far longer period of time) by which time we will probably have a more efficient energy source due to a decrease in supply and increase in demand of fuel. However, assuming you are right (and libertarianism is flexible enough to handle the situation even in the worst case scenario), here is a list of things things a libertarian society would do (most of which even apply to lukewarm, beltway libertarians, though I will mention if they don't):

-No more energy subsidies. No truly libertarian society would subsidize oil companies (though a somewhat libertarian society might, but we are talking about one willing to at least go to minarchy along the lines of a Ron-Paul-Sets-All-The-Rules world if not farther), and thus oil would lose a lot of its competitiveness in the market. This would result in far less incentive to use oil, resulting in other energy sources becoming commercially viable without subsidies. Mind, alternative energy would lose subsidies too, but frankly if it can't stand without subsidies it is definitely a poor alternative (the prime example of this is the hybrid car, which requires more energy to make its engine than it saves through efficiency). Ultimately, improvements in technology would result in a superior, probably cleaner form of energy.

-Without government controlled energy grids, a lot of burning electricity plants would be far too inefficient to make a profit (especially without subsidies), while some alternative energy sources might become far more popular due to increased utility (for example, wind turbines and solar panels would be far more prevalent, though their inefficiencies would have to be dealt with to be made viable outside of a handful of areas).

-The road system would probably stop receiving subsidies. Roads would still be present, but they would likely be owned by either landowners (the roads would be auctioned off to those homesteading the land nearby or abandoned altogether depending on the circumstances) or by road companies. The road owners wouldn't want to have to use their own money to pay for "frequent drivers", and thus would charge a fee for driving on them. Competition would keep costs below what they are now (paid in taxes), but those who drove everywhere for no good reason would begin to feel the cost hurting their pocketbook. Meanwhile, those who only drove when necessary would note that the loss of many taxes otherwise used to pay for infrastructure (varies depending on the country, but in my own it is the gas tax) would result in them actually benefiting from their decision, which coincidentally is the "environmentally friendly" one as well. Alternative modes of transportation would become far more viable without subsidized roads, too.

-A minor one, but this would still probably have an effect. The military, no longer needing to go on foreign adventures, would be greatly downsized (if not privatized altogether). They would cease to consume as many resources as when they are maintaining over a hundred bases across the world and fighting many wars, and thus would greatly decrease their emissions.
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin phyle in meatspace on: July 28, 2011, 06:26:49 PM
Hey guys, if I get rich off my bitcoins, I would like to live in a bitcoin-focused community with other bitcoin visionaries. Where in the world shall we live? I'm partial to Portland, OR, which I hear Plato is partial to as well: http://therealplato.com/

Ideally this will happen in about a year from now.

You might want to consider New Hampshire. The influence of the Free State Project has led a lot of liberty-lovers there, and they generally embrace any and all non-governmental monies.

True enough; however there are a few people in the Free State Project who HATE bitcoins, and there are MANY people who use Bitcoins who hate liberty.

True, but on the other hand at the very least a disproportionate amount of New Hampshirites compared to people from other states (thanks to the FSP) are knowledgeable about Bitcoin and at least support its existence. In other places, mentioning bitcoin will either result in the person going "Wuh?" or them saying "you mean that online money you can use to buy drugs?". Porcfest actually had at least one person (possibly more) starting a bitcoin exchange where you could buy bitcoins with physical money. I wouldn't be surprised if a more permanent bitcoin bank was created there.

I know, I was there.

Woah bro, that's awesome

I would have gone, but my passport hadn't been renewed yet Sad
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How do we get the women on board? on: July 28, 2011, 06:24:58 PM
Yeah, we need someone to make a new site for money storage, bitcoin buying, etc like paypal (though PP rips people off and is being boycotted, hence why we need a new one).

I distrust regular banks and would prefer to be able to buy bitcoins with physical cash, but failing that it would be good to have a safe website to transfer money to for bitcoin purchases.

Also, attracting women shouldn't be too hard. A bitcoins-for-kitchen-appliances store should suffice.
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin phyle in meatspace on: July 28, 2011, 06:17:51 PM
Hey guys, if I get rich off my bitcoins, I would like to live in a bitcoin-focused community with other bitcoin visionaries. Where in the world shall we live? I'm partial to Portland, OR, which I hear Plato is partial to as well: http://therealplato.com/

Ideally this will happen in about a year from now.

You might want to consider New Hampshire. The influence of the Free State Project has led a lot of liberty-lovers there, and they generally embrace any and all non-governmental monies.

True enough; however there are a few people in the Free State Project who HATE bitcoins, and there are MANY people who use Bitcoins who hate liberty.

True, but on the other hand at the very least a disproportionate amount of New Hampshirites compared to people from other states (thanks to the FSP) are knowledgeable about Bitcoin and at least support its existence. In other places, mentioning bitcoin will either result in the person going "Wuh?" or them saying "you mean that online money you can use to buy drugs?". Porcfest actually had at least one person (possibly more) starting a bitcoin exchange where you could buy bitcoins with physical money. I wouldn't be surprised if a more permanent bitcoin bank was created there.
12  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Future World-Changing Megatrends on: July 28, 2011, 05:22:26 PM
Peace, love and lots of people working for free.  I love the way the hippy culture of the 60s has come back as libertarianism. 

Sorta, but libertarians have guns, support free markets, and vary on the social spectrum
13  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Where do you fall on the political compass? on: July 28, 2011, 05:10:37 PM
Economic Left/Right: 8.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.36



Yeah, far right and quite libertarian.

Frankly though, a lot of these questions are loaded. Several times it seems to give you the option of either the state doing A or the state doing B with no option to say that it is a matter of personal preference (look at a lot of the third section)
14  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Your Economic Recovery Program on: July 27, 2011, 04:41:12 PM
Since we are still in a Global Economic World Wide Depression I'm wondering what the general consensus is out there regarding:

1) What caused it (primarily)
2) What is your plan to get out of it (includes any laws or programs you would add or repeal)


I'll post my program after I put some finishing touches on it.

1) Printing money will-nilly.
2) STOP!

Simple, brief, yes... But added complexity wouldn't help anything.

So a deflationary panic meltdown of the market by cutting off all new credit?

This would result in millions of deaths and probably WWIII.

Try again.

Because without an excess of credit, the wealth it represents would disappear.

Yeah, this is a massive simplification. Honestly, the correct answer under the ideal conditions would be "End legal tender", "End most federal agencies (assuming we are recovering the US economy", "Cut taxes" and "Pull out of any international organizations that would attempt to stop the US from doing this for being a so-called tax haven (UN, World Bank, etc)" in that order. Without doing that, the best option would be "No bailouts, wait out recession, then jack up rates to clear out excess credit" (Kind of like the Volcker solution).

Volckner solved less than he caused.  His actions devastated the industrial sector of the USA while chasing phantoms of inflation.  Inflation is about 13th on what the average person should be demanding out of a central bank policy.  In addition much of what the Central Banks consider inflation is a rise in wages -- to which they are against.  A 20% prime rate is exactly what we don't need right now.  That would cause incredible misery and hardship for 99% of the world and favor those that have money in this economy which really only is the rich and super rich, everyone else's effective debt burden would be greatly expounded by the deflation this would cause.  Works great for the bankers though, they sign you on to some debt when money is cheap (low interest rates) and then get you to pay that back after the price of money is made very expensive (high interest rates).



Uh, what?

Have you even heard of prices in the 70s? The US was a couple of clumsy rate decreases away from hyperinflation and collapse. Had Volcker not increased rates, the US would have been screwed over and Jimmy Carter's idiotic new government agencies wouldn't have helped in the slightest. As it was, he dealt with inflation and the US recovered from the recession and began to grow again. A lot of the growth was from easy credit policies, but at the very least the malinvestment of the past thirty years was cleared out and the economy was far healthier in the long run as a result. Mind, a solution like that might not work this time, it might take a more radical push (again, removing legal tender), but it would at the very least be better than bailouts, easy lending, lots of inflation, bailouts for other countries trying equally retarded strategies (Japan and the Eurozone lack the "worldwide reserve currency" status of the USA), and stagnation.

The facts of the 80s disagree with your wild claims about catastrophe from high rates.



Quote
The overall lack of solutions being posted to this board proves the general ignorance of the member of this forum on economics.  That goes for all that aren't reading this.

 

This depression can be stopped almost overnight, this is a political problem not a failing of economics or a lack of solutions that do exist if we seek to find them.

"DAMN IT YOU GUYS! YOU AREN'T COMING TO THE CONCLUSIONS I WANT SO IMMA CLAIM YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE ANY SOLUTIONS"

derp



I think American's typically have been so propagandized about the 'evils/dangers of inflation' that they are overly sensitive to inflation.  I'm sorry, while 14% doesn't sound immediately desirable that is a far far way from hyperinflation. 

Are you arguing that 14% is near hyperinflation or that it would somehow 'spark' a hyper-inflationary event?  If the former you're historically way off base and if the latter please explain how.

As for my comments regarding the lack of solutions there was only 1 person on this board at the time that I wrote that post that posted any 'program' worth a damn.  The other was 'let's trigger a hyper-deflationary meltdown and global panic' in the simplistic statement of 'stop printing money'.



First, had rates not risen, it wouldn't have ended up being 14%. It would have continually risen until the US dollar lost its value entirely. Furthermore, any "recovery" would be plagued by malinvestment.

Second, your "hyper-deflationary meltdown" is completely unfounded. Please, point me to an example.
15  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Please point out the Failings of the Original Position. on: July 23, 2011, 03:54:22 PM

Is that including historical background? If so, they have to receive a biased view as to how things actually transpired, what causes economic problems, etc.

The only way for them to not receive a biased view would be to actually see and know everything, in which case they would be godlike entities and that just makes the Original Position as worthwhile as asking "What would Jesus do?"

"What would Jesus do?"  I like that analogy  Cheesy

I think its more of a tool/exercise to put a person or a group of people in a state to minimize there biases.

Rawls argument is usually used to justify some egalitarian meritocracy but Crispen Sartwell uses Rawls's argument to come to the conclusion that a group in the Original Position would choose anarchy. Not that I agree with him but I do find his argument beautiful.

Well, if you modify the variables, you can make the group come to just about any answer you want.
16  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Your Economic Recovery Program on: July 23, 2011, 12:00:37 AM
Since we are still in a Global Economic World Wide Depression I'm wondering what the general consensus is out there regarding:

1) What caused it (primarily)
2) What is your plan to get out of it (includes any laws or programs you would add or repeal)


I'll post my program after I put some finishing touches on it.

1) Printing money will-nilly.
2) STOP!

Simple, brief, yes... But added complexity wouldn't help anything.

So a deflationary panic meltdown of the market by cutting off all new credit?

This would result in millions of deaths and probably WWIII.

Try again.

Because without an excess of credit, the wealth it represents would disappear.

Yeah, this is a massive simplification. Honestly, the correct answer under the ideal conditions would be "End legal tender", "End most federal agencies (assuming we are recovering the US economy", "Cut taxes" and "Pull out of any international organizations that would attempt to stop the US from doing this for being a so-called tax haven (UN, World Bank, etc)" in that order. Without doing that, the best option would be "No bailouts, wait out recession, then jack up rates to clear out excess credit" (Kind of like the Volcker solution).

Volckner solved less than he caused.  His actions devastated the industrial sector of the USA while chasing phantoms of inflation.  Inflation is about 13th on what the average person should be demanding out of a central bank policy.  In addition much of what the Central Banks consider inflation is a rise in wages -- to which they are against.  A 20% prime rate is exactly what we don't need right now.  That would cause incredible misery and hardship for 99% of the world and favor those that have money in this economy which really only is the rich and super rich, everyone else's effective debt burden would be greatly expounded by the deflation this would cause.  Works great for the bankers though, they sign you on to some debt when money is cheap (low interest rates) and then get you to pay that back after the price of money is made very expensive (high interest rates).



Uh, what?

Have you even heard of prices in the 70s? The US was a couple of clumsy rate decreases away from hyperinflation and collapse. Had Volcker not increased rates, the US would have been screwed over and Jimmy Carter's idiotic new government agencies wouldn't have helped in the slightest. As it was, he dealt with inflation and the US recovered from the recession and began to grow again. A lot of the growth was from easy credit policies, but at the very least the malinvestment of the past thirty years was cleared out and the economy was far healthier in the long run as a result. Mind, a solution like that might not work this time, it might take a more radical push (again, removing legal tender), but it would at the very least be better than bailouts, easy lending, lots of inflation, bailouts for other countries trying equally retarded strategies (Japan and the Eurozone lack the "worldwide reserve currency" status of the USA), and stagnation.

The facts of the 80s disagree with your wild claims about catastrophe from high rates.


Quote
The overall lack of solutions being posted to this board proves the general ignorance of the member of this forum on economics.  That goes for all that aren't reading this.

 

This depression can be stopped almost overnight, this is a political problem not a failing of economics or a lack of solutions that do exist if we seek to find them.

"DAMN IT YOU GUYS! YOU AREN'T COMING TO THE CONCLUSIONS I WANT SO IMMA CLAIM YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE ANY SOLUTIONS"

derp

17  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Your Economic Recovery Program on: July 22, 2011, 11:38:43 PM
Since we are still in a Global Economic World Wide Depression I'm wondering what the general consensus is out there regarding:

1) What caused it (primarily)
2) What is your plan to get out of it (includes any laws or programs you would add or repeal)


I'll post my program after I put some finishing touches on it.

1) Printing money will-nilly.
2) STOP!

Simple, brief, yes... But added complexity wouldn't help anything.

So a deflationary panic meltdown of the market by cutting off all new credit?

This would result in millions of deaths and probably WWIII.

Try again.

Because without an excess of credit, the wealth it represents would disappear.

Yeah, this is a massive simplification. Honestly, the correct answer under the ideal conditions would be "End legal tender", "End most federal agencies (assuming we are recovering the US economy", "Cut taxes" and "Pull out of any international organizations that would attempt to stop the US from doing this for being a so-called tax haven (UN, World Bank, etc)" in that order. Without doing that, the best option would be "No bailouts, wait out recession, then jack up rates to clear out excess credit" (Kind of like the Volcker solution).
18  Other / Politics & Society / Re: A picture of AnCapistan on: July 22, 2011, 08:41:19 PM
Quote
1. Why aren't more people opting out? If they are, then where are the high quality fire services to take the place of the fire department?

The vast majority of firefighters are unpaid volunteers. Furthermore, there is no particular reason to compete with the government when it has a blank check and the power to find a reason to arrest you for attempting to compete. Look no farther than the postal service: A man by the name of Lysander Spooner once set up a competing postal company which was soon much cheaper and of higher quality than that of the federal government; the postal service then had the government shut down his operation. Thus, it was demonstrated that attempting to create alternatives to government monopolies will, if successful, result in being shut down and your profits stolen. Something similar happened to the Liberty Dollar guys, who were arrested, had all of their assets seized by the FBI, and were accused of terrorism by the prosecution. Hell, if bitcoin had a central server, the owners would probably have long since been arrested as "terrorists", too.


Quote
2. Is the opt in solution really better? There are enough people out there that would be willing to opt out, and then they lose their house in the event of a fire. And it's not clear that insurance covered it - I'm sure they had a clause which stated that the insured's property would not be covered if the insured chose to opt out of fire services.

Wow, talk about "straw men".

The fire department is already paid with taxes. Being allowed to opt out does not an ideal market anarchist society make, seeing as how you are still paying the thugs in charge, except this time you get nothing for your money.

Quote
Cops are better than security guys (paraphrased, original post was lost)

Well, lets see.

Police:

-Are given many special privileges that ordinary citizens are not (Examples below)
-Even cops who are not abusive in the slightest have to enforce laws against victimless crimes. For example, if I am not wearing a seatbelt in most of the US and other countries, they will steal my money. If I have marijuana or, worse, a "dangerous" drug in my car or on my person (even if it is a trace amount), I will be kidnapped, tossed into a small room with bars (possibly for days, weeks, months, or years) as other police ransack my house for "evidence of the crime", during which time the more unscrupulous of them will steal my more valuable possessions and will get, at worst, a stern warning if caught.
-If they have "suspicion", they may burst the door down, steal my stuff as "evidence", and shoot my dog. If they don't find anything, I will be unlikely to get any form of compensation for being raided. If they find something (and it could be something utterly inconsequential), they can use it as an excuse to, again, steal my things and kidnap me.
-If I defend myself against the police, either plainclothes or in uniform, I will be considered to be at fault. Even if they are, say, bursting through the door with weapons and no warrant, if I use a gun to protect myself and my property, I will be considered a criminal. In fact, it will be considered to be worse than had I just walked into a mall and shot a regular guy. Even if the police were blatantly violating their own laws, I would be at fault. Keep in mind, many clever and enterprising criminals actually pretend to be the police to rob people, some even bribing cops to provide uniforms for them.
-Assuming the cops are abusive, chances are very high that they will get away with far more than a regular citizen. If they murder me, they can claim I was resisting arrest (something that isn't too uncommon, and is very hard to prove to the contrary). They can excuse just about any of their own crimes and are highly unlikely to ever be prosecuted because there is no alternative to the police. You can call the police against criminals (though police don't really stop crimes, they just catch criminals after the fact unless they are robbing a bank or something), but who do you call against the police?
-This isn't even considering that if I am unfortunate to be, say, a black man in southern California, I will be pulled over for no good reason repeatedly by cops engaging in "racial profiling", and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Again, who do you call against the police?

Security guards:

-Are equal to everyone else. This would apply in a Market Anarchist society, so don't give me the "that is because of the police" garbage.
-Have no special privileges and aren't able to rob me or kidnap me in the way police are.
-Are highly unlikely to burst the door down, unless they are regular criminals. If they attempted to do the things the police get away with, they would be in big trouble. Again, this would apply in a market anarchist society too.
-Furthermore, the only things a security guard could do would come down to "restraint/physical force" and "using a gun". Unlike a cop, he wouldn't be able to hide behind his authority and would be prosecuted if he just up and shot me.
-Also, a guard has no motivation to attack me. A policeman might gain status or other advantages by trying to arrest people since he might get lucky and get someone actually breaking the law, and he is unlikely to ever suffer if he is wrong (especially if he goes after the poor, blacks, hispanics, and others who probably aren't willing to go through the process of attempting to get the man in trouble for abusing his authority). Furthermore, he might be looking for an excuse to steal things secretly or to resell drugs he captures. A guard has no more motivation than a regular guy, except that he wouldn't be a guard for very long if he just up and mugged me.
-If the guard scared away people from, say, a store he was supposed to guard, he would be fired pretty fast. Thus, another reason to be reasonably polite and reasonable.

Yeah, it is pretty obvious which is preferable.
19  Other / Politics & Society / Re: A picture of AnCapistan on: July 22, 2011, 04:57:49 PM
ANY voluntary arrangement is fine by me. Even if it superficially resembles a government. As long as they're not putting guns to people's heads and saying "pay up, or something bad might happen to you", and calling it anything but extortion, they are free to set up whatever organization they like.

Worst case scenario, We're back to where we started, Here.

I think for people to take you seriously, you need to stop with the "People putting guns to my head and forcing me to pay taxes" line. Yes, I concede that you can go to jail if you don't pay taxes. But let's address this side issue:

  • Yeah, you can go to jail if you don't pay taxes.
  • I don't know where you live, but if it is in the USA, then you only have to pay taxes if you make above some certain amount, therefore, you can decide to not pay taxes by not making a lot of money.
  • You don't need to pay property taxes if you don't own property. You can rent. Sure, you're indirectly helping the landlord pay taxes, but in your world, your rent payment would be helping the landlord pay a lot of service contract fees.
  • You don't need to pay sales taxes if you move to Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon.
  • You do consume the services provided by the government, whether you think you do or not.
  • Your consumption of those services and payment of taxes result in a major offload of burden placed upon you which would be the constant evaluation, purchasing and maintenance of contracts with various companies. Frankly, it would suck more than you probably realize.
  • Yes, I grant that the government engages in inefficiencies.

So, stop it with the line about a gun being placed to your head and taking money from you. I understand you don't like the tax model. I get that. But you're going to have to show me that you have experienced extreme stress and trauma in your life from life threatening actions by individuals taking money from you if you wish to continue with that line in debates with me. Do it again, and I'll just leave. If that's what you want, then fine.

If you pay the Mafia enforcers on regular occasions without a fuss, they probably aren't so trauma inducing, either. I suppose that makes the Mafia a legitimate institution?

Quote
The one where you get paid more. When you let some other guy do all the work and then steal the fruits of his labor, you can afford to pay your mercs better. Piracy is profitable without some sort of overwhelmingly present and powerful force to dissuade it. Somalians wouldn't do it if it didn't work sometimes, and they've got everyone on their ass - if the US, now, can't functionally stop their piracy, what stops people from piracy in AnCapistan, when there's no monolithic centralized army? I'm assuming anonymity is going to be trivial in this scenario - blackface and skimasks, burned off fingerprints, blank eye contacts, padding, second skin (latex paint to prevent skin flakes) and complete waxing ( no loose hairs.) Could even do funky things like mixed blood transfusions to prevent single-sourcing DNA origins.

The risk/reward factor has to be accounted for, too. The cost of bullets will always be cheaper than the cost of honest labor.

Which would you rather be, a Somali pirate or a rich Western doctor?

Yeah, pirates can gain from looting, pillaging, etc but they don't gain as much as if they worked honestly. Furthermore, with competition among defense companies, there would be far more incentive to hunt pirates. I mean, the US government just doesn't give a shit about pirates unless they happen to board something the US government finds valuable. They worry more about shooting guys in Afghanistan who are likely to never do anything to the US if they are left alone, and thus don't devote any resources to protecting mariners on the sea. Furthermore, various regulations prevent the sailors from carrying guns, which would at the very least make piracy much harder. If there were multiple security companies, they would allocate their resources much more efficiently. There would doubtless be bounties on pirates, and the companies would go after targets who were actually a problem rather than phantoms conjured up by crooks in office looking for a way to carve up a little empire among third world nations.
20  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Please point out the Failings of the Original Position. on: July 20, 2011, 04:29:44 PM

They wouldn't come to a consensus because the issues being considered are inherently based in subjectivity and experience.

Furthermore, the ends are not clear, either.

A disembodied ghost's opinion would be shaped by the biases fed to it as "fact".


yep


 Well, what knowledge of economics do they receive?
 

Lets assume all All.

Continue.

Is that including historical background? If so, they have to receive a biased view as to how things actually transpired, what causes economic problems, etc.

The only way for them to not receive a biased view would be to actually see and know everything, in which case they would be godlike entities and that just makes the Original Position as worthwhile as asking "What would Jesus do?"
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