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Author Topic: The Space Industry: An example of why governments fail and freedom prevails.  (Read 9820 times)
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July 26, 2011, 07:36:28 AM
 #101

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Unions would further increase worker bargaining power (labor unions, not trade unions, there is a distinct and important difference) to the point where they are roughly equal to the people hiring them. Added to the fact that without the government to shield them, the CEOs would actually be liable for their company's actions, life starts to look a little better, eh?

We went over this in the AnCapistan thread and you've still failed to give any kind of an answer - if the corporations aren't responsible to anyone, how is a completely powerless government or some private enterprise with no incentive to do so going to arrest a CEO? Without a government, they are by far the most powerful force in society and could afford private armies and all of that good stuff. I keep asking, but I keep getting no answer: who's going to stop them?

These companies also have a depressingly long and mostly consequence-free history of firing, threatening, and even killing people who try to start unions.

Corporate abuses are due to government. Corporations wouldn't even exist in the form they do today without Government backing them up.

The corporations are not, even now, the most powerful force in society. The customers are. You can't force people to buy coke. Without money, what's your CEO gonna do?

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July 26, 2011, 07:48:44 AM
 #102

Corporate abuses are due to government. Corporations wouldn't even exist in the form they do today without Government backing them up.

So you think that by stripping away what little accountability and regulatory actions they are subject to, that would make things better? How do you even pretend something like that could ever work?

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The corporations are not, even now, the most powerful force in society. The customers are. You can't force people to buy coke. Without money, what's your CEO gonna do?

Also addressed and not responded to in the AnCapitan thread. I'll just paste it here because I seem to have to keep repeating myself:

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Oh yes, this always works. Except how are people even going to know what evil shit these companies are up to when a different division of the same company owns the newspapers and never prints anything bad about them? You don't even need your little AnCapistan to see the results of this right now. Coca-cola has outright murdered union organizers in Latin America and their products still fly off the shelves. Hershey's and other chocolate companies use cocoa grown by modern-day slaves on the Ivory Coast, and most people don't even learn about that, let alone have a chance to get angry about it. With the kind of corporate consolidation we see these days, you also run into the problem of trying to boycott companies that make thousands of products of every different description, and you know most people aren't going to bother with that.
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July 26, 2011, 08:03:14 AM
 #103

Both of those can be answered with the same thing, so I won't bother quoting them.

Obviously, you don't go to Coke News for information about Coke. Dur. You go to independent news sources, such as the No Agenda show, which aren't corporately funded, but donation supported. A free media is essential to accountability, whether Gov't or corporate.

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July 26, 2011, 08:20:26 AM
 #104

Both of those can be answered with the same thing, so I won't bother quoting them.

Obviously, you don't go to Coke News for information about Coke. Dur. You go to independent news sources, such as the No Agenda show, which aren't corporately funded, but donation supported. A free media is essential to accountability, whether Gov't or corporate.

But the problem won't be limited to Coke News. It'll spread to every news source Coke advertises in and every one owned by a company associated with them. Yes, I go to alternative news sources and a lot of other people do, too. What good does that do when 99% of people take the most convenient and most entertaining news option every time?  Obviously alternative news exists now and it failed to even make a dent in the sales of the corporations I referred to, so how is that a solution?

This is the problem that we see again and again and again with libertarianism - it ignores the human element entirely. It assumes most people to be rational, intelligent, and moral and ignores mountains evidence to the contrary. It's like the honor system for politics. You also ignore the fact that nobody with a full time job and a family to take care of has time to sit around searching obscure alternative news sites for the hundreds of products in their homes. Not to mention the frequently-encountered issue of a needed item being made by two or three companies who all commit the same sorts of abuses. Who do you buy from then? How many families do you seriously think sit down and try to tackle these issues?
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July 26, 2011, 08:33:32 AM
 #105

This is the problem that we see again and again and again with libertarianism - it ignores the human element entirely. It assumes most people to be rational, intelligent, and moral and ignores mountains evidence to the contrary. It's like the honor system for politics. You also ignore the fact that nobody with a full time job and a family to take care of has time to sit around searching obscure alternative news sites for the hundreds of products in their homes. Not to mention the frequently-encountered issue of a needed item being made by two or three companies who all commit the same sorts of abuses. Who do you buy from then? How many families do you seriously think sit down and try to tackle these issues?

So, Because some people fail to be responsible, I should support you stealing from everyone else to force them to be?

People offload decision-making all the time. The government isn't fixing that. If it was, It would ban Coke from US shelves because of the labor disputes. What I suggest is that we stop stealing from people, and let them choose which decisions to offload. Private ratings companies could do all that tedious research, and that poor, overworked mom could only buy products marked by the ratings agency that they trust.

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July 26, 2011, 09:06:57 AM
 #106

So, Because some people fail to be responsible, I should support you stealing from everyone else to force them to be?

When you guys hold people to such an unrealistically high degree of responsibility that only a vanishingly small number of people can meet it, I don't see much other choice. Again, you have to design governments to react to how people actually are in real life, not how you'd like them to be in some fantasy world of Randian supermen! Why is this such a difficult concept?

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Private ratings companies could do all that tedious research, and that poor, overworked mom could only buy products marked by the ratings agency that they trust.

Haha yeah, trusting in private ratings companies is a great idea. That'll fix everyth-oh. Nevermind.

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July 26, 2011, 02:20:43 PM
 #107

Obviously, you don't go to Coke News for information about Coke. Dur. You go to independent news sources, such as the No Agenda show, which aren't corporately funded, but donation supported. A free media is essential to accountability, whether Gov't or corporate.

Right, and UnbiasedTruthfulNews.com and the ObviouslyNoAgendaHereNoSiree show are completely unrelated to coke.

unless you start from a clean slate with more or less equal distribution of wealth (hey, that sounds a lot like another political system), monetary gravity takes over.
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July 26, 2011, 02:31:39 PM
 #108

It's not the roads I drive on that I'm complaining about. It's the roads I don't drive on. Tell me taxation isn't theft, though. Go on, try.

Just, out of curiosity, let's say the road system is privatized. You'll have competing companies owning roads and charging toll. At first, if you like one road more than the other, you'll have a choice to avoid the poorly performing company. But, eventually, the better performing one will be able to buy up more and more poorly performing ones around your area. When it gets to the point that there is only one company servicing all roads and charging you for their use, you're pretty much stuck with a monopoly, having to pay one organization if you want to drive anywhere. So... how would that be different from being forced to pay the government? (You could take public transportation, but you'd be paying indirectly, or you could stay home... And yeah, there are issues with construction crew unions and no-bid contract corruption, but who's to say that also won't happen with a private monopoly?)

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July 26, 2011, 03:25:00 PM
 #109

So, Because some people fail to be responsible, I should support you stealing from everyone else to force them to be?

When you guys hold people to such an unrealistically high degree of responsibility that only a vanishingly small number of people can meet it, I don't see much other choice. Again, you have to design governments to react to how people actually are in real life, not how you'd like them to be in some fantasy world of Randian supermen! Why is this such a difficult concept?

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Private ratings companies could do all that tedious research, and that poor, overworked mom could only buy products marked by the ratings agency that they trust.

Haha yeah, trusting in private ratings companies is a great idea. That'll fix everyth-oh. Nevermind.

We don't expect people to be 'Randian supermen', We expect them to be self-interested, and pay attention to what they're doing. That's not hard, even for an 'overworked mom'. Why is that such a difficult concept?

Oh, Yes, because UL ratings are so untrustworthy.

Right, and UnbiasedTruthfulNews.com and the ObviouslyNoAgendaHereNoSiree show are completely unrelated to coke.

Listen to one show before you start talking about what you don't know.

And yeah, there are issues with construction crew unions and no-bid contract corruption, but who's to say that also won't happen with a private monopoly?)

The private 'monopoly' would still have to provide good service, at a good price, or a competitor could undercut them. A natural monopoly is still subject to market forces, even when it's alone. The threat of competition is just as good as actual competition, most of the time.

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July 26, 2011, 04:01:37 PM
 #110

And yeah, there are issues with construction crew unions and no-bid contract corruption, but who's to say that also won't happen with a private monopoly?)

The private 'monopoly' would still have to provide good service, at a good price, or a competitor could undercut them. A natural monopoly is still subject to market forces, even when it's alone. The threat of competition is just as good as actual competition, most of the time.

The chief problem here is that land is the one monopoly you can't undercut. With data, you can switch to multiple carriers, including radio. With electric, you can switch to generating some of the power yourself. But if someone owns all the roads, there's really no way to compete, since there aren't any easy substitutes. I guess this may push more research into automated flying machines, or teleportation...

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July 26, 2011, 04:13:32 PM
 #111

And yeah, there are issues with construction crew unions and no-bid contract corruption, but who's to say that also won't happen with a private monopoly?)

The private 'monopoly' would still have to provide good service, at a good price, or a competitor could undercut them. A natural monopoly is still subject to market forces, even when it's alone. The threat of competition is just as good as actual competition, most of the time.

The chief problem here is that land is the one monopoly you can't undercut. With data, you can switch to multiple carriers, including radio. With electric, you can switch to generating some of the power yourself. But if someone owns all the roads, there's really no way to compete, since there aren't any easy substitutes. I guess this may push more research into automated flying machines, or teleportation...

Precisely. A road is not only competing with other roads, but also flying, telecommuting, biking, subways, and walking.

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July 26, 2011, 05:10:54 PM
 #112

And yeah, there are issues with construction crew unions and no-bid contract corruption, but who's to say that also won't happen with a private monopoly?)

The private 'monopoly' would still have to provide good service, at a good price, or a competitor could undercut them. A natural monopoly is still subject to market forces, even when it's alone. The threat of competition is just as good as actual competition, most of the time.

The chief problem here is that land is the one monopoly you can't undercut. With data, you can switch to multiple carriers, including radio. With electric, you can switch to generating some of the power yourself. But if someone owns all the roads, there's really no way to compete, since there aren't any easy substitutes. I guess this may push more research into automated flying machines, or teleportation...

Precisely. A road is not only competing with other roads, but also flying, telecommuting, biking, subways, and walking.

Ah, good point. Forgot about those.

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July 26, 2011, 05:17:41 PM
 #113

Oh, Yes, because UL ratings are so untrustworthy.

Right, and UnbiasedTruthfulNews.com and the ObviouslyNoAgendaHereNoSiree show are completely unrelated to coke.

Listen to one show before you start talking about what you don't know.

1.  the vast majority of UL ratings are testing to conform to government created standards.  UL creates relatively few standards, mostly for niche industrial equipment rather than anything the average person would use or even know of.

2. i wasn't disparaging the show, i was making the point that given an uneven starting point and lack of external regulation, one can simply flood a medium and make it all but impossible to weed out the biased sources from the unbiased ones.
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July 26, 2011, 05:25:20 PM
 #114

Precisely. A road is not only competing with other roads, but also flying, telecommuting, biking, subways, and walking.

Ah, good point. Forgot about those.
Too many people think two-dimensionally.

1.  the vast majority of UL ratings are testing to conform to government created standards.  UL creates relatively few standards, mostly for niche industrial equipment rather than anything the average person would use or even know of.

2. i wasn't disparaging the show, i was making the point that given an uneven starting point and lack of external regulation, one can simply flood a medium and make it all but impossible to weed out the biased sources from the unbiased ones.

1. So, what you're saying is, when Government doesn't create standards, UL does. If Government created no standards, UL would create them all.

2. No, actually, it's quite simple to weed out the biased sources. Look for corporate sponsorship.

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July 26, 2011, 05:27:18 PM
 #115

1.  the vast majority of UL ratings are testing to conform to government created standards.  UL creates relatively few standards, mostly for niche industrial equipment rather than anything the average person would use or even know of.

Four letters: IEEE

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July 26, 2011, 06:14:23 PM
 #116

We don't expect people to be 'Randian supermen', We expect them to be self-interested, and pay attention to what they're doing. That's not hard, even for an 'overworked mom'. Why is that such a difficult concept?

Whatever you expect, people obviously aren't giving it to you. But it must be humanity at large that's wrong, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble at all cramming a square peg into the round hole of your ideology! And if those people can't cope with your system, due to biological reasons, social reasons, or whatever the hell reasons, what then? They just die?

When your definition of "pay attention to what you're doing" includes knowing everything that goes into every product you buy and everything about every company that manufactures them and on and on and on, that's very unrealistic and I seriously doubt you yourself live up to the standards you espouse.

But hey, they can always subscribe to private ratings industries that may or may not be in collusion with the companies they're monitoring. And of course there's no way to know that if they're the dominant force in society and can cover up anything they want and are effectively accountable to nobody. I guess people will pay for those ratings industries with the spare change left over from their sub-minimum wage jobs... after they've finished paying the tolls on every road they drove on (dude, you don't get it! they can just FLY TO WORK!!) and fees for the agency that makes sure their foods are made safely and on and on and on.


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Listen to one show before you start talking about what you don't know.
Haha is that the same Adam Curry who was a goofy MTV VJ like 25 years ago? Along with a tech columnist?

I have a rule against listening to computer nerds' and engineers' opinions on politics, as I've found them to be universally awful and a hell of a lot more shallow than people who have spent their lives studying polisci and social issues. I have an even bigger rule against people who claim to be unbiased because nobody is, and that indicates to me that they aren't constantly examining their own beliefs for contradictions and problems like a rational person should always do (hint: you REALLY need to do this). It's pretty clear from the Photoshop image on the main page that they just might have an agenda after all. Not that I disagree in that specific case because U.S. imperialism is one of the few subjects the far left and far right can agree on, but still.

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The private 'monopoly' would still have to provide good service, at a good price, or a competitor could undercut them. A natural monopoly is still subject to market forces, even when it's alone. The threat of competition is just as good as actual competition, most of the time.

Except that so many industries these days have such a massive barrier to entry that it's not hard to envision a scenario where there is no competition. I can't even believe you're sitting here defending monopolies. Do you have a literal shrine to capitalism in your bedroom? Because it honestly sounds like you do worship the concept.
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July 26, 2011, 07:12:54 PM
 #117

Except that so many industries these days have such a massive barrier to entry that it's not hard to envision a scenario where there is no competition. I can't even believe you're sitting here defending monopolies. Do you have a literal shrine to capitalism in your bedroom? Because it honestly sounds like you do worship the concept.

Well, I'm sure it's not a patch on your Lenin shrine.

Look, I have explained the role of each of the factors in libertarian theory over and over and fucking over. Frankly, I'm getting tired of it. I'm starting to see why Ascent just says 'here, read this book' every time we corner him on something. It's fucking tedious.

Let me see if I can tl;dr it down to something you will actually read.

Companies (not 'Corporations', those are the bastard children of Government) provide for-profit services. This would include much of what Government now claims to do, that being protection and justice.

Charities pick up the slack on things that can not be provided for profit, such as homeless shelters, and the like. What government calls 'social programs' This would also include pure research projects, such as deep-space probes.

The Media keeps these two honest by investigating and reporting on them. If you're worried about bias, seek the opposite bias (you can count on Pepsi News to report on Coke's misdeeds, for example), or seek an unbiased, donation-based show.

All of these are kept in check by one simple fact: competition. There is a limit to the amount which the barriers to entry can be raised. Competition is not, As I demonstrated earlier, limited to only that specific field. If you price your service too high, people will not use it, and seek another service, or the profits will exceed the barrier to entry costs - a purely subjective calculation, you can never know exactly when a competitor will pop up.

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July 26, 2011, 07:58:58 PM
 #118

Companies (not 'Corporations', those are the bastard children of Government)

You know, just because corporations started out with government charters 400 years ago doesn't mean you can blame government for their existence and every single one of their crimes forever. I don't know how you expect to have companies that operate on the scale of modern corporations without some kind of corporate model. There aren't many single people who can afford to set up, say, a $4 billion semiconductor fab plant. Moreover, privately held companies have committed so many of the same abuses that corporations have, so I don't see a hell of a lot of difference from a human rights perspective. Hell, the people who are spreading some of the most ridiculous and misleading propaganda out there are the owners of a private company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_brothers

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Charities pick up the slack on things that can not be provided for profit, such as homeless shelters, and the like. What government calls 'social programs' This would also include pure research projects, such as deep-space probes.

Even with the government providing social services, charities are always desperately underfunded. How overwhelmed do you think they'd be without a social safety net to pick up some of the slack. Especially with people making less than minimum wage, which means you'd see fewer donations and far more need.

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The Media keeps these two honest by investigating and reporting on them. If you're worried about bias, seek the opposite bias (you can count on Pepsi News to report on Coke's misdeeds, for example),

And when Pepsi and Coke advertise in all of the same media? I also don't think I'd trust one company to be truthful in telling me about the misdeeds of their competitors.

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or seek an unbiased, donation-based show.

Oh good, more donations that the people making $3 an hour could never afford to make.

There's a reason that most people who believe in libertarianism are in high school and have zero experience with the real world, and you and Atlas illustrate it quite well.
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July 26, 2011, 08:29:27 PM
 #119

There's a reason that most people who believe in libertarianism are in high school and have zero experience with the real world, and you and Atlas illustrate it quite well.

You're making unfounded assumptions. Foolish ones, at that.

But let's address the easiest to knock down, first, shall we?
Companies (not 'Corporations', those are the bastard children of Government)

You know, just because corporations started out with government charters 400 years ago doesn't mean you can blame government for their existence and every single one of their crimes forever. I don't know how you expect to have companies that operate on the scale of modern corporations without some kind of corporate model. There aren't many single people who can afford to set up, say, a $4 billion semiconductor fab plant. Moreover, privately held companies have committed so many of the same abuses that corporations have, so I don't see a hell of a lot of difference from a human rights perspective. Hell, the people who are spreading some of the most ridiculous and misleading propaganda out there are the owners of a private company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_brothers

An untraded corporation is still a corporation. Offering stock can be done without incorporation, and incorporation can be done without offering stock. It's the limited liability that is the issue here, not the stock offer. This article may assist your understanding.


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Charities pick up the slack on things that can not be provided for profit, such as homeless shelters, and the like. What government calls 'social programs' This would also include pure research projects, such as deep-space probes.

Even with the government providing social services, charities are always desperately underfunded. How overwhelmed do you think they'd be without a social safety net to pick up some of the slack. Especially with people making less than minimum wage, which means you'd see fewer donations and far more need.

Here, you're ignoring the source of the funds that pay for those social services. In another thread, it was discussed in some detail how those who actually cared could completely pay for almost all the services with very little trouble. You care so much, however, that you want to make sure that everyone helps, even those you're 'helping'.

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The Media keeps these two honest by investigating and reporting on them. If you're worried about bias, seek the opposite bias (you can count on Pepsi News to report on Coke's misdeeds, for example),

And when Pepsi and Coke advertise in all of the same media? I also don't think I'd trust one company to be truthful in telling me about the misdeeds of their competitors.

This is actually the one valid point you make. and it is for that reason that I'm a fan of No Agenda and other community supported projects.

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July 26, 2011, 08:32:30 PM
 #120

Just to interject, minimum wage, high unemployment, and low income issues are currently more of an issue of artificial and distance-based borders suddenly collapsing due to globalization, nothing more. In short, the minimum wage suddenly went from what someone in your country was willing to work for and need to earn to live, to what anyone in the entire world is willing to work for and needs to earn to live. In this world, the only thing that a minimum wage will accomplish is make sure that all types of work that are below that wage get shipped overseas, and everyone who was at that job level is now either required to learn new skills to compete and get higher wage jobs (competing with everyone else who was laid off), or starve (go on SSI). Only real political options are to keep increasing the minimum wage and force more jobs overseas, or allow local citizens to compete globally, and allow the global low wages to increase all together (outsourced work wages in China and India are growing really fast btw, so that shouldn't take long)

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