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Author Topic: Libertarianism and externalities  (Read 6441 times)
AyeYo
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June 26, 2011, 08:37:04 PM
 #61

So assuming a free-market and the pollution problem.  You mention a multi-million dollar factory. . .which is going to need investors and some form of insurance.  The large-scale factory is only ideal/preferable within the confines of the capitalist/statist system (like our current one).
So there are no computers in your ideal world?

Is this the one you're talking about?

He answered here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=20254.msg286882#msg286882


That's not an answer, that's the name of an area of study.

I'm looking for an answer to this:
Quote
Give me the short version. How do you make something like a GPU without a large plant?

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myrkul
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June 26, 2011, 08:41:44 PM
 #62

That's too bad. We don't protect possible futures. You have to have something that will be damaged before the noise is in place and something that is damaged after the noise is in place.

To put it another way, When I sell you a sandwich, should I have to compensate you for the cup of coffee that you now cannot buy, because you spent the money on the sandwich?


You really are the king of bad analogies.

Try this more accurate analogy:

If I buy a plot of land, many aspects of not just the property, but the surrounding area as well, go into determining the value of that land.  If, when I buy the land, it is located in the center of nothing but green, grassy fields, that is factored into the value.  If you come along and put a sewage treatment plant right next to my land or run a railroad right past it, you have now massively decreased the value of my land.  You have robbed me of value.

Yes, and since you were there first, you can receive damages. Thank you for seeing it our way.

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June 26, 2011, 08:45:30 PM
 #63

Yes, and since you were there first, you can receive damages. Thank you for seeing it our way.
Nobody is there first. For all intents and purposes, every piece of land is already used. If you want to argue the plant is a new use, well any future sale of the land at the lower value would be new as well. If someone starts polluting, they won't do any damage in the past. All the damage they do will occur after they started polluting and their polluting will have always been first.

If I pollute a river you drink from, my pollution won't kill you because you drank from the river in the past. It will kill you because, and only because, you drank from the river after I polluted it. Nothing about my drinking from the river yesterday ensures I will drink from the river tomorrow.

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June 26, 2011, 08:47:08 PM
 #64

Nobody is there first. For all intents and purposes, every piece of land is already used. If you want to argue the plant is a new use, well any future sale of the land at the lower value would be new as well. If someone starts polluting, they won't do any damage in the past. All the damage they do will occur after they started polluting and their polluting will have always been first.

[citation needed]

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JA37
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June 26, 2011, 10:38:56 PM
 #65

Again, a read through Organization Theory is recommended.  Large plants are inefficient, and not necessary to produce the goods you list.
I've read Mintzberg. Does that count?
Inefficient you say? Then why do they become large plants? Are all business leaders morons who like to waste money, or is there some kind of economic incentive to make large plants perhaps? Say, lower cost per unit produced?

Love the thread btw. It's addressing something that's interested me a while. I agree that it doesn't handle externalities well, but do you think it would handle it better than the current system.

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AyeYo
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June 26, 2011, 11:28:39 PM
 #66

Again, a read through Organization Theory is recommended.  Large plants are inefficient, and not necessary to produce the goods you list.
I've read Mintzberg. Does that count?
Inefficient you say? Then why do they become large plants? Are all business leaders morons who like to waste money, or is there some kind of economic incentive to make large plants perhaps? Say, lower cost per unit produced?

Love the thread btw. It's addressing something that's interested me a while. I agree that it doesn't handle externalities well, but do you think it would handle it better than the current system.

Personally, no.  Just ask yourself the simple question: what's the one thing businesses always want to enable them to boost profits.  The answer is always the same: less government regulation.

While the regulation we have is far from perfect, it DOES limit pollution.  Companies routinely relocate to less regulated countries that allow them to pollute more.  They're always chomping at the bit for laxer evironmental standards, which means only one thing: they're currently not allowed to pollute as much as they otherwise would.

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June 26, 2011, 11:36:06 PM
 #67

Personally, no.  Just ask yourself the simple question: what's the one thing businesses always want to enable them to boost profits.  The answer is always the same: less government regulation.

While the regulation we have is far from perfect, it DOES limit pollution.  Companies routinely relocate to less regulated countries that allow them to pollute more.  They're always chomping at the bit for laxer evironmental standards, which means only one thing: they're currently not allowed to pollute as much as they otherwise would.
I don't follow, how do you know the regulations we have now lower pollution more than the private action scheme he is proposing? Perhaps you aren't fully appreciating the point that in the United States, you generally cannot sue someone for polluting if they are complying with the law.

While Libertarians don't agree with all the nonsensical bureaucratic rules our society has, Libertarians fully expect that the rules that society should have will have and they will be, and should be, ruthlessly and thoroughly enforced. Libertarians are as angry at governments for immunizing big corporations from the consequences of their actions as everyone else is.

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AyeYo
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June 27, 2011, 12:51:18 AM
 #68

Personally, no.  Just ask yourself the simple question: what's the one thing businesses always want to enable them to boost profits.  The answer is always the same: less government regulation.

While the regulation we have is far from perfect, it DOES limit pollution.  Companies routinely relocate to less regulated countries that allow them to pollute more.  They're always chomping at the bit for laxer evironmental standards, which means only one thing: they're currently not allowed to pollute as much as they otherwise would.
I don't follow, how do you know the regulations we have now lower pollution more than the private action scheme he is proposing? Perhaps you aren't fully appreciating the point that in the United States, you generally cannot sue someone for polluting if they are complying with the law.

By the pure and simple fact that they WANT to pollute more than they currently are and the ONLY thing stopping them is government regulation.


It was already discussed in length why law suits are not a real-world effective method of pollution control, especially in Liberland with a privatized court system (that in itself wouldn't even work, but assuming it did) that would be easily bought out by the large, polluting companies.

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June 27, 2011, 04:08:28 AM
 #69

By the pure and simple fact that they WANT to pollute more than they currently are and the ONLY thing stopping them is government regulation.
But how do you know that government regulation is stopping them from polluting more than it's allowing them to pollute with impunity?

Quote
It was already discussed in length why law suits are not a real-world effective method of pollution control, especially in Liberland with a privatized court system (that in itself wouldn't even work, but assuming it did) that would be easily bought out by the large, polluting companies.
I agree. The legal system is not the best way to deal with polluters. However, a system that explicitly grants polluters the right to pollute with no compensation for the victims of lawful pollution doesn't seem like a very good one either.

I don't think you're naive enough to think the ideal amount of pollution is zero. Heck, that would mean no cooking and no agriculture. We don't have a good theoretical model for what the optimum amount of pollution is. It's entirely possible that our system is allowing too little short-term pollution and stifling the productivity that would allow us to develop cleaner technologies that would minimize harm from pollution on net (how much raw sewage do you see in the streets these days?).

We don't know. So if Libertarianism would allow much more pollution for a given situation, that might actually be a good thing because it would let us get into a situation where people wouldn't even want to pollute as much as they could. We genuinely don't know. This problem is unbelievably hard.

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June 27, 2011, 12:28:19 PM
 #70

So assuming a free-market and the pollution problem.  You mention a multi-million dollar factory. . .which is going to need investors and some form of insurance.  The large-scale factory is only ideal/preferable within the confines of the capitalist/statist system (like our current one).
So there are no computers in your ideal world?

Is this the one you're talking about?

He answered here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=20254.msg286882#msg286882


That's not an answer, that's the name of an area of study.

I'm looking for an answer to this:
Quote
Give me the short version. How do you make something like a GPU without a large plant?

I am not an electronics engineer, so I am therefore not qualified to give a definitive answer.   Sure, call it a cop-out, but I will not act like I have expertise in the field.  I have been convinced (buy logic and evidence) that large factories are  less efficient.  Similar to the economy of scale with respect to agriculture.  The economy of scale with regards to technology and *gasp* political systems follow similar tendencies.

Hippy Anarchy
*shrug*
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June 27, 2011, 12:39:59 PM
 #71

I am not an electronics engineer, so I am therefore not qualified to give a definitive answer.   Sure, call it a cop-out, but I will not act like I have expertise in the field.  I have been convinced (buy logic and evidence) that large factories are  less efficient.  Similar to the economy of scale with respect to agriculture.  The economy of scale with regards to technology and *gasp* political systems follow similar tendencies.
It's a very strange position that you have. You apparently hold the position that nothing important, valuable, and useful can possibly require billions of dollars and thousands of people cooperating over decades. And you defend this position on the grounds that certain particular things don't have those requirements. Yet when people familiar with areas of expertise tell you that things like GPUs, hydroelectric power plants, MRI machines, and satellites do in fact require those things, you say that you are somehow convinced about these specific things based on evidence that isn't about those things.

Yes, some things have diseconomies of scale. There are no nationwide chains of dry cleaners or fine French restaurants for very good reasons. But some things have massive economies of scale. There are very good reasons why Walmart is a nationwide chain that have nothing to do with the political or economic systems but have to do with the advantage of market leverage in securing low prices.

The average person today lives better than the top 1% of the top 1% did in 1600, and one of the major reasons for that is that humans have learned to exploit economies of scale.

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LokeRundt
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June 27, 2011, 01:33:55 PM
 #72

I am not an electronics engineer, so I am therefore not qualified to give a definitive answer.   Sure, call it a cop-out, but I will not act like I have expertise in the field.  I have been convinced (buy logic and evidence) that large factories are  less efficient.  Similar to the economy of scale with respect to agriculture.  The economy of scale with regards to technology and *gasp* political systems follow similar tendencies.
It's a very strange position that you have. You apparently hold the position that nothing important, valuable, and useful can possibly require billions of dollars and thousands of people cooperating over decades. And you defend this position on the grounds that certain particular things don't have those requirements. Yet when people familiar with areas of expertise tell you that things like GPUs, hydroelectric power plants, MRI machines, and satellites do in fact require those things, you say that you are somehow convinced about these specific things based on evidence that isn't about those things.

Yes, some things have diseconomies of scale. There are no nationwide chains of dry cleaners or fine French restaurants for very good reasons. But some things have massive economies of scale. There are very good reasons why Walmart is a nationwide chain that have nothing to do with the political or economic systems but have to do with the advantage of market leverage in securing low prices.

The average person today lives better than the top 1% of the top 1% did in 1600, and one of the major reasons for that is that humans have learned to exploit economies of scale.

And you casually brush aside the part that government subsidy has played in allowing wlmart to get as big as it is?

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AyeYo
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June 27, 2011, 01:41:36 PM
 #73

By the pure and simple fact that they WANT to pollute more than they currently are and the ONLY thing stopping them is government regulation.
But how do you know that government regulation is stopping them from polluting more than it's allowing them to pollute with impunity?

Quote
It was already discussed in length why law suits are not a real-world effective method of pollution control, especially in Liberland with a privatized court system (that in itself wouldn't even work, but assuming it did) that would be easily bought out by the large, polluting companies.
I agree. The legal system is not the best way to deal with polluters. However, a system that explicitly grants polluters the right to pollute with no compensation for the victims of lawful pollution doesn't seem like a very good one either.

I don't think you're naive enough to think the ideal amount of pollution is zero. Heck, that would mean no cooking and no agriculture. We don't have a good theoretical model for what the optimum amount of pollution is. It's entirely possible that our system is allowing too little short-term pollution and stifling the productivity that would allow us to develop cleaner technologies that would minimize harm from pollution on net (how much raw sewage do you see in the streets these days?).

We don't know. So if Libertarianism would allow much more pollution for a given situation, that might actually be a good thing because it would let us get into a situation where people wouldn't even want to pollute as much as they could. We genuinely don't know. This problem is unbelievably hard.


That's an interesting point that I'm going to have to conceed to you.  At least we agree that the issue is complex (the most important of the points, because everyone around seems to want to oversimply everything), will not be solved by private lawsuits, and Liberland is as likely to make it worse as it is to make it better.

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June 27, 2011, 01:42:25 PM
 #74

I am not an electronics engineer, so I am therefore not qualified to give a definitive answer.   Sure, call it a cop-out, but I will not act like I have expertise in the field.  I have been convinced (buy logic and evidence) that large factories are  less efficient.  Similar to the economy of scale with respect to agriculture.  The economy of scale with regards to technology and *gasp* political systems follow similar tendencies.
It's a very strange position that you have. You apparently hold the position that nothing important, valuable, and useful can possibly require billions of dollars and thousands of people cooperating over decades. And you defend this position on the grounds that certain particular things don't have those requirements. Yet when people familiar with areas of expertise tell you that things like GPUs, hydroelectric power plants, MRI machines, and satellites do in fact require those things, you say that you are somehow convinced about these specific things based on evidence that isn't about those things.

Yes, some things have diseconomies of scale. There are no nationwide chains of dry cleaners or fine French restaurants for very good reasons. But some things have massive economies of scale. There are very good reasons why Walmart is a nationwide chain that have nothing to do with the political or economic systems but have to do with the advantage of market leverage in securing low prices.

The average person today lives better than the top 1% of the top 1% did in 1600, and one of the major reasons for that is that humans have learned to exploit economies of scale.

And you casually brush aside the part that government subsidy has played in allowing wlmart to get as big as it is?


Citation please.  Where is the government subsidy of Walmart?

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June 27, 2011, 01:54:46 PM
 #75

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

Hippy Anarchy
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June 27, 2011, 03:32:08 PM
 #76

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

LOL  Not sure if serious...

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June 27, 2011, 03:39:40 PM
 #77

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

LOL  Not sure if serious...

Well, actually walmart gets a huge advantage through the use of the tax-funded federal highway system that we all are forced to fund.  It artificially lowers the cost of long-distance transport of goods, thus giving walmart an unfair advantage over your local mom-and-pop store that acquire goods locally.

Regarding tarrifs, most of them end up intentionally or unintentionally benefiting the big players.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
AyeYo
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June 27, 2011, 03:42:08 PM
 #78

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

LOL  Not sure if serious...

Well, actually walmart gets a huge advantage through the use of the tax-funded federal highway system that we all are forced to fund.  It artificially lowers the cost of long-distance transport of goods, thus giving walmart an unfair advantage over your local mom-and-pop store that acquire goods locally.

Completely untrue, because mom and pop shops make use of public roadways also, as do their customers.  ALL businesses benefit from public roadways directly or indirectly, so that's probably the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard and I hope he isn't serious.

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June 27, 2011, 03:55:58 PM
 #79

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

LOL  Not sure if serious...

Well, actually walmart gets a huge advantage through the use of the tax-funded federal highway system that we all are forced to fund.  It artificially lowers the cost of long-distance transport of goods, thus giving walmart an unfair advantage over your local mom-and-pop store that acquire goods locally.

Completely untrue, because mom and pop shops make use of public roadways also, as do their customers.  ALL businesses benefit from public roadways directly or indirectly, so that's probably the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard and I hope he isn't serious.

The whole argument that "we all benefit from so-called 'public' roads, therefore we should fund them through violence" is so perverse to begin with.  Assuming no such thing as 'public roads', then that means only those people who use roads or purchase goods/services that used roads would bear the massive costs associated with construction and upkeep of the roads.  So businesses that produce and use goods/services locally would likely be more prevalent in a society without tax-funded roads and highways.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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June 27, 2011, 03:57:38 PM
 #80

Tariffs and national highways, just to name a couple.

LOL  Not sure if serious...

Well, actually walmart gets a huge advantage through the use of the tax-funded federal highway system that we all are forced to fund.  It artificially lowers the cost of long-distance transport of goods, thus giving walmart an unfair advantage over your local mom-and-pop store that acquire goods locally.

Completely untrue, because mom and pop shops make use of public roadways also, as do their customers.  ALL businesses benefit from public roadways directly or indirectly, so that's probably the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard and I hope he isn't serious.
Competing business don't benefit in equal measure, which means the playing field is tilted toward those that benefit the most.

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