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Author Topic: An Anti-Libertarian FAQ Worth Talking About?  (Read 12101 times)
kiba
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February 11, 2011, 05:18:16 AM
 #1

http://www.raikoth.net/libertarian.html

Something worth talking about.

I like the critique of "taxation is theft". That's ACTUALLY COHERENT. They didn't fall into the public good trap and that kind of nonsense.

(I am not sure about utilitarianism as an ethical philosophy myself...)

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February 11, 2011, 05:38:59 AM
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Ha, very interesting.  I was just debating with a utilitarian tonight and told him I would research his position more so we could continue our discussion.  I didn't read all of the FAQ, but what I did read was interesting.  I'll look more closely at it later and want to point out what I thought were some flaws.  I think the libertarians in this forum should make it a challenge of refuting or correcting this FAQ point by point (unless we can't, logically) and sending him the response.  It would be a great intellectual exercise and would help solidify or change our points of view.

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February 11, 2011, 05:40:39 AM
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http://www.raikoth.net/libertarian.html

Something worth talking about.

I like the critique of "taxation is theft". That's ACTUALLY COHERENT. They didn't fall into the public good trap and that kind of nonsense.

(I am not sure about utilitarianism as an ethical philosophy myself...)

Just read this quickly, skipping some boring parts about morality.

It is indeed a good text, much more clever that what I read usually from states-lovers.

I'll write more about it later.
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February 11, 2011, 05:41:45 AM
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I am glad some of us are more attached to our rationality than to our admittedly very well loved ideology called Libertarianism.

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February 11, 2011, 01:36:40 PM
 #5

It doesn't matter if Anti-Libertarian happens to be the best system... You can have whatever system you want.  Providing you respect my right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationship, in all parts of life. Smiley

One off NP-Hard.
kiba
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February 11, 2011, 01:54:56 PM
 #6

It doesn't matter if Anti-Libertarian happens to be the best system... You can have whatever system you want.  Providing you respect my right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationship, in all parts of life. Smiley

I am in agreement with your sentiment, but it is easy to dismiss his arguments and not worry about it. Learning about why our position is flawed will help us figure out a libertarian philosophy that is more coherent and epistemological correct.

That's to say, I am more interested in being "right" rather than feeling nice and warm, but wrong.

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February 11, 2011, 03:35:25 PM
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I must be retarded because I don't get his argument against "taxation is theft". He basically admits taxation is theft with "What's theft? It's taking something without permission. So it's true that taxation is theft" but then somehow debunks it? Someone help me out here.
kiba
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February 11, 2011, 03:43:58 PM
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I must be retarded because I don't get his argument against "taxation is theft". He basically admits taxation is theft with "What's theft? It's taking something without permission. So it's true that taxation is theft" but then somehow debunks it? Someone help me out here.

As far as I understand, he think "murder is wrong" is more of a moral rule of thumb. This applies to taxation too.

Sometime it is necessary to shoot would-be aggressors in the head. That is in some sense, a murder. He argue that some problem could only be solved with coercing people to give up a small amount of property.

ribuck
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February 11, 2011, 03:47:20 PM
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So it's true that taxation is theft" but then somehow debunks it?

He argues this way: "Yes, obviously taxation is theft, but here are some reasons why it's good theft."
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February 11, 2011, 04:30:02 PM
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Oh, I thought the argument ended right there on 3.1.1. Continued reading from 3.6 but still couldn't find a good reason why I should let the government steal money from me. Basically he said that if I don't let them, then civilization collapses somehow. Just skimmed through but it doesn't look like he elaborates on this, goes on to talk about government welfare vs private charity.
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February 11, 2011, 04:40:50 PM
 #11

Well, this has opened up my perspective. I am going to become a nihilist for a little while...
Garrett Burgwardt
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February 11, 2011, 05:37:09 PM
 #12

Existentialism is far superior. Cheesy
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February 11, 2011, 05:43:08 PM
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Existentialism is far superior. Cheesy
That would require for me to create value on pure whim. For some reason, that's hard for me to do.
kiba
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February 11, 2011, 05:49:30 PM
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Bitcoin might make taxation impossible.

So the whole morality of taxation might as well become irrelevant because it force this person who wrote the FAQ into our inconvenient libertarian world.

It's still important to answer his objection though.

ribuck
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February 11, 2011, 06:13:18 PM
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Bitcoin might make taxation impossible.
Cash transactions might make taxation impossible too. But in practise they don't.
Garrett Burgwardt
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February 11, 2011, 06:36:00 PM
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Moreso for bitcoin though - it is fluid like an email and if it is encrypted and certain techniques are used, nigh untraceable. So whereas cash is easier to hide than credit card transactions, bitcoins are easier to hide than cash, by many orders of magnitude I would say.
Gavin Andresen
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February 12, 2011, 01:11:39 AM
 #17

If you really want to sway people, you need to find areas of agreement and blissfully ignore things about which you strongly disagree.

There is a lot to agree with in that FAQ, in my humble opinion.

Oh, and you have to learn to ignore people who just won't listen to reason, or who are starting with different assumptions about how the world works than you.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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February 12, 2011, 07:11:55 AM
 #18

Providing you respect my right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationship, in all parts of life. Smiley

I think this is being too simplistic.  Look at, say, a pride of lions.  As free as can be, roaming the plains, knowing no laws, knowing no government.  However when there's a successful hunt, and everyone wants to chow down, well there's a conflict and (I guess) the prime male gets first choice.

In our society there are conflicts too, because what I want (and should be free to do) is mutually esclusive with what you want (and should be free to do).  There are limited resources and we are competing for them.

Therefore, No.  There will always be some circumstances in which your right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationships should not be respected by all.  In a pride of lions, the top male decides.  In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.
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February 12, 2011, 02:04:54 PM
 #19

In government charity 70 per cent is spent on beauracrats and paperwork.

kiba
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February 12, 2011, 02:14:17 PM
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In government charity 70 per cent is spent on beauracrats and paperwork.

Just because you found a nice ideology that is coherent and consistent doesn't mean you are given permission to stop thinking.

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February 13, 2011, 01:43:05 AM
 #21

I've not always been libertarian.  I'm sure at some point in my life I could have been offended by a sentence such as "tax is theft".  Indeed I used to tolerate taxation, because I thought that, globally, the government was doing more good than arm.

It seems to me that this is what this guy thinks.  To him, taxation is indeed technically a theft, but it is acceptable as an exception to a moral rule.  So to him, there is an acceptable amount of liberty that a government can take out from its citizens.

Now, this is just a quantitative question.  To him, governments has not yet overpassed this acceptable amount.  To me and other libertarians, it has.  It is a very subjective question, imo.

I could tolerate governments if it took me only some very small amount of my work, depending on what it does with it.  Just as I won't try too hard to fight against mosquitos sucking my blood.  But as soon as I think "enough is enough", I feel that I have to stand up and do whatever I can as an individual to make this stop.  And if my vote is not enough, then I'll try anything else.

And if to do so I have to say rethoric sentences such as "taxation is theft", I will.
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February 13, 2011, 03:47:22 AM
 #22

I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.
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February 13, 2011, 03:54:46 AM
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I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.

I think he would say since there's no evidence that the market will produce its own food labeling laws, there's no reason to expect one in a free market society.

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February 13, 2011, 04:16:10 AM
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I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.

I think he would say since there's no evidence that the market will produce its own food labeling laws, there's no reason to expect one in a free market society.
His argument was that market demand and threat of boycott isn't sufficient to pressure producers directly to conform to their wishes, since not enough people gather the relevant information to persuade them to change their behavior and collectively make a difference.

A decentralized legal order can overcome this problem for the same reasons a centralized one can, only more effectively I would argue, since it can be much more accessible to those it serves.
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February 13, 2011, 04:22:22 AM
 #25

Therefore, No.  There will always be some circumstances in which your right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationships should not be respected by all.  In a pride of lions, the top male decides.  In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.

Libertarians generally agree that police and a legal system to resolve disputes are a proper role for government.


How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
grondilu
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February 13, 2011, 06:38:54 AM
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Therefore, No.  There will always be some circumstances in which your right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationships should not be respected by all.  In a pride of lions, the top male decides.  In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.

Libertarians generally agree that police and a legal system to resolve disputes are a proper role for government.


True.  And as far as an anarcho-capitalistic society is concerned, conflicts are resolved by force.  Just as it is in the current society (policemen do have guns), except that this force is not monopolised by one entity.
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February 13, 2011, 07:07:40 AM
 #27

In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

In a free society, there will be only one form acceptable violence; violence in defense. (1st and 2nd degree only).  Otherwise once reputation is what is built or destroyed. There is nothing stopping a free society from having a court and arbitration process for conflicts.  Except the only time that one would be 'required (forced)' to attend is when one makes an act of aggressive violence.

There are limited resources, that is what the free-market deals with.  The market will distribute the limited resources based upon who is going to give up the most 'good-will' aka money, for the good or service.

I like to think that in a free society people will in general be much more generous than in a taxation society. Even if it is less generous, the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.

One off NP-Hard.
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February 13, 2011, 08:34:53 AM
 #28

I like to think that in a free society people will in general be much more generous than in a taxation society. Even if it is less generous, the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.
Why is it more important?  The FAQ's argument was that it's not.
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February 13, 2011, 08:48:34 AM
 #29

...  the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.
Why is it more important?  The FAQ's argument was that it's not.

On the one side you have tax extracted by violence, then spent (inefficiently) on whatever are the priorities of the government.

On the other side, you have society paying directly (and relatively efficiently) for what it actually wants and needs.

So the anarchist version has (a) less violence, and (b) better services.
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February 13, 2011, 02:29:09 PM
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The FAQ author wants to keep coercion as a tool because he thinks it will lead to a more-good world when used correctly.

I think we can argue that no murder is better than murder, even if it is for self-defense. What we strive is for is the best-good version of society where we don't have to kill somebody in self-defense, at least according to our ethical framework.

It is true that there are failure like fisheries not being owned, because of the inherent difficulty of owning school of fishes. However, even if coercion is currently best solution now, we shouldn't stop searching for solution that is non-coercive.

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February 13, 2011, 08:25:41 PM
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I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.
Good point, maybe I am.
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February 14, 2011, 11:33:51 PM
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The FAQ author wants to keep coercion as a tool because he thinks it will lead to a more-good world when used correctly.


If you think there's no such thing as economic coercion you're not living in the real world. Replacing one set of masters, the government, with another set of ultra-rich & powerful individuals and corporations doesn't really appeal to me. At least there's some kind of check on the power of government, the democratic check, flawed and manipulatable though it may be.

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

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February 14, 2011, 11:58:56 PM
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If you think there's no such thing as economic coercion you're not living in the real world. Replacing one set of masters, the government, with another set of ultra-rich & powerful individuals and corporations doesn't really appeal to me. At least there's some kind of check on the power of government, the democratic check, flawed and manipulatable though it may be.

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Well, if there are several sets of rich and powerful people using force, at least we can hope some balance will be created, and at least we can chose the side we want be part on.   With democracy, when you are in the minority you just have to obey and do whatever the majority tells you to do.  With anarcho-capitalism people just associate and organise their defense against the majority.
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February 15, 2011, 12:14:17 AM
 #34

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

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February 15, 2011, 12:37:44 AM
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Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

I'd say piranha.  Each of them take only a small bite, but when thousands of them do, they finally take everything except the bones.
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February 15, 2011, 01:15:00 AM
 #36

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

There are always going to be more sheep than wolves. Power tends to get concentrated, look at the lorenz curve for the U.S. for instance. Richest 1/5 of households earn 50% of the income.
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February 15, 2011, 01:16:09 AM
 #37

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

I'd say piranha.  Each of them take only a small bite, but when thousands of them do, they finally take everything except the bones.


And yet despite this some people manage to become fabulously wealthy while others starve in the streets. Amazing.
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February 15, 2011, 01:20:54 AM
 #38

And yet despite this some people manage to become fabulously wealthy while others starve in the streets. Amazing.

Some people become fabulous wealthy by enriching other people's life. Some gain their wealth by stealing from others and ruining people's lives.

Some homeless genuinely need help. Others choose this way of life.

Inequality doesn't mean anything.

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February 15, 2011, 01:36:14 AM
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Inequality doesn't mean anything.

I guess this is what I mean about not living in the real world. In the real world people with power tend to screw over people who don't have it. In the real world wealth is not distributed to people entirely on their merits. In the real world inequality means a great deal, especially if you happen to be born, live, and die on the less equal side of the railway tracks.

I guess when all you have is laissez-faire capitialism everything starts to look like a market nail. It's this simple and elegant theory that you can apply to all sorts of incredibly complex problems and magically the invisible hand of the market will descend down from supply & demand heaven (likely on wires like some kind of hideous broadway show deus ex machina) and fix everything.
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February 15, 2011, 01:46:56 AM
 #40

I guess when all you have is laissez-faire capitialism everything starts to look like a market nail.

I'd just like a rational system where policy changes are proposed along with specific, testable predictions for those policy changes.

Then the policy change is adopted.  Evaluated after a little while.

And accepted or rejected based on whether or not the policy change had the intended effect.

Then maybe we could take turns adopting our favorite policies, and see if that nice liberal "inequality reducing" policy actually, you know, reduces inequality (and we could argue about whether it is OK to do if it reduces inequality by making rich people a lot less rich and poor people a little more poor).

Or if that nice libertarian "cost saving" policy actually, you know, saves money (and we could argue about whether the cost savings is worth it if it increases our chances of getting a scalp infection from an unlicensed barber).


How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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February 15, 2011, 01:58:26 AM
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I guess this is what I mean about not living in the real world. In the real world people with power tend to screw over people who don't have it. In the real world wealth is not distributed to people entirely on their merits. In the real world inequality means a great deal, especially if you happen to be born, live, and die on the less equal side of the railway tracks.
We libertarians are very familiar with regulatory capture as it is our bread and butter. It is not a surprise that when we analyze democracies that we find perverse incentives.

What people usually done is to forsake their long term interest in favor of assured short term survival. That is how free markets die. It also can happen to anybody, rich or poor.

You could be a lowly prison guard part of an industry whom interests are aligned with keeping people in jail. That benefit the whole hierarchy of prison complex, not just the rich CEO on the top. However, everybody suffers in the long run, even the lowly prison guard, because prison breed criminality.
Quote
I guess when all you have is laissez-faire capitialism everything starts to look like a market nail. It's this simple and elegant theory that you can apply to all sorts of incredibly complex problems and magically the invisible hand of the market will descend down from supply & demand heaven (likely on wires like some kind of hideous broadway show deus ex machina) and fix everything.

This argument is not much of merit. Please discuss example.

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February 15, 2011, 02:07:54 AM
 #42

If you please your customers you will make money .

Why should you be punished because you serve your customers too well ?

 
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February 15, 2011, 03:55:22 AM
 #43

I agree 100% with this.

Libertarianism vs. Statism isn't a debate that needs to occur. Anarchy is wrong and so is Facism. Good governments strike a balance and focus on the other axis of the political diamond: liberalism versus conservatism.

1NEEFwHjXDhbLZ2RxM6qSDnNDByNZYCSKf (http://bitcoin:1NEEFwHjXDhbLZ2RxM6qSDnNDByNZYCSKf)

LVBX is down indefinitely, so use CoinPal (http://coinpal.ndrix.com/). Sorry.
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February 15, 2011, 03:58:20 AM
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I agree 100% with this.

Libertarianism vs. Statism isn't a debate that needs to occur. Anarchy is wrong and so is Facism. Good governments strike a balance and focus on the other axis of the political diamond: liberalism versus conservatism.

Non-argument. You need to justify them.

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February 15, 2011, 03:58:43 AM
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Anarchy is wrong and so is Facism.

Guess which half of this I vehemently disagree with?
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February 15, 2011, 04:16:20 AM
 #46

All I'm saying is that when you take things to extremes, bad things tend to happen. A little less law is a good thing, but never none at all.

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February 15, 2011, 04:36:22 AM
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All I'm saying is that when you take things to extremes, bad things tend to happen. A little less law is a good thing, but never none at all.

You need to justify your position instead of sayings stuff that sound true.

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February 15, 2011, 05:16:16 AM
 #48

I'm not trying to make an argument, I'm just telling you guys what I think. I don't need to justify my opinion unless I'm trying to convince someone to agree with me.

I'll try to stay out of threads like this on the future.

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February 15, 2011, 05:50:16 AM
 #49

I'm not trying to make an argument, I'm just telling you guys what I think. I don't need to justify my opinion unless I'm trying to convince someone to agree with me.

I'll try to stay out of threads like this on the future.
If that's the case, I'd recommend attempting to communicate this in a different manner. Rather than stating "A little less law is a good thing, but never none at all.", you could have said "I find a little less law more palatable, but not no law at all". I've recently been trying to retrain myself to think more along the lines of E-Prime. I find it tends to decrease the amount of negative reactions to opinions, when it seems clear that is what I am expressing.
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February 15, 2011, 06:04:47 AM
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Thanks for that. I believe that following your advice may reduce stress in my daily life.

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February 15, 2011, 09:52:35 AM
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All I'm saying is that when you take things to extremes, bad things tend to happen.

You sound like an extremist yourself. A balance extremist.

I believe that balance and moderation is a good strategy in some areas of life, but that absolutism (I prefer to call it consistency) is a preferrable strategy in other ares of life.  

For instance, I am an extreme and absolute in my views on slavery.

If I was alive in 1800 I would have argued that slavery should be abolished altogether.  Many of my contemporaries from the moderation camp would called my views absurd, unrealistic, utopian, dangerous and so on.  They would have argued for "balanced" solutions such as giving slaves more rights or reducing the number of slaves, or trying to find a compromise between slaves and slave owners.  Now in hindsight it turns out they were wrong. The "extreme" solution of abolition was indeed the best for everybody in the long term.

Well, you are probably an absolutist too on this issue, so I take back what I said Smiley

Maybe 100 years from now people will look back at us and say "I can't believe this was acceptable back then, even just in moderation!".  Maybe government as we know it is one of those things.


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A little less law is a good thing, but never none at all.

Anarchy doesn't mean no law at all. It means that laws emerge spontaneously rathen than being dictated top-down, at least that's what anarchists believe.

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February 15, 2011, 11:09:33 AM
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Anarchy doesn't mean no law it all. It means that laws emerge spontaneously rather than being dictated top-down, at least that's what anarchists believe.

Hmmm, there must be different flavours of Anarchists springing up.

The Emergent Behaviour (some law and order) Anarchists vs. the Mad Max (no law or order) Anarchists?

Then there's the definitional vacuum left by "top and bottom", being relative terms depending on your scale of the community generating the law and order. Family, tribe, clan, village, county, city, state, nation, etc?

There's what's right and then there's what's wrong and then there is just what is.

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws."
- Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

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February 15, 2011, 12:34:27 PM
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Spontaneous order anarchists ?

 Smiley
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February 15, 2011, 02:19:19 PM
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All I'm saying is that when you take things to extremes, bad things tend to happen. A little less law is a good thing, but never none at all.

Right. I guess that when people were debating about slavery, you would not have sided in favor of ending slavery completely because it was too extreme. Lets just stay in the middel and defend a bit of slavery, otherwise you would be defending an extreme option and "bad things tend to happen".

The idea that the center point is the right answer is not only ridiculous, but also depends on how you focus the debate. Its basically nonsense.
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February 15, 2011, 07:41:04 PM
 #55

We libertarians are very familiar with regulatory capture as it is our bread and butter. It is not a surprise that when we analyze democracies that we find perverse incentives.

What people usually done is to forsake their long term interest in favor of assured short term survival. That is how free markets die. It also can happen to anybody, rich or poor.

You could be a lowly prison guard part of an industry whom interests are aligned with keeping people in jail. That benefit the whole hierarchy of prison complex, not just the rich CEO on the top. However, everybody suffers in the long run, even the lowly prison guard, because prison breed criminality.

This argument is not much of merit. Please discuss example.

I am unclear how the example would be "solved" under a freemarket system. The profit motive contains all kinds of perverse incentives, even in a perfect market with perfectly rational self-interested agents under perfect conditions. If you can screw other people over at less cost than profit to yourself you certainly have an incentive to do so.
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February 15, 2011, 07:45:42 PM
 #56

If you please your customers you will make money .

Why should you be punished because you serve your customers too well ?

 

And happily what's in the best interests of business is always in the best interests of consumers? Sure, sometimes businesses make money by offering the best product at the lowest prices, and sometimes they make money by exploiting people and leveraging power differentials, and sometimes they make money by engaging in deceptive and immoral (though not illegal) practices, and sometimes business make money by utilizing externalities they haven't paid for. And often it's some kind of mutant hybrid of columns A,B,C,D
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February 15, 2011, 08:11:45 PM
 #57

If you can screw other people over at less cost than profit to yourself you certainly have an incentive to do so.
The ability to "screw" your customers tends to reduce to zero in a free market, if only because any customer that is being screwed can "cross sides" and become a supplier instead.

If your baker is screwing you, you set up a rival bakery next door and make a killing. Of course, not everyone wants to become a baker, but you only need one person willing to do it to make the existing baker reluctant to "screw" people.
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February 15, 2011, 08:25:49 PM
 #58

The ability to "screw" your customers tends to reduce to zero in a free market, if only because any customer that is being screwed can "cross sides" and become a supplier instead.

Exactly. Of course, this system breaks down when the person doing the screwing has lobbied the local, state, or federal government to increase the licensing requirements.
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February 15, 2011, 08:27:22 PM
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If you can screw other people over at less cost than profit to yourself you certainly have an incentive to do so.
The ability to "screw" your customers tends to reduce to zero in a free market, if only because any customer that is being screwed can "cross sides" and become a supplier instead.

If your baker is screwing you, you set up a rival bakery next door and make a killing. Of course, not everyone wants to become a baker, but you only need one person willing to do it to make the existing baker reluctant to "screw" people.

Um... what? There are plenty of businesses RIGHT NOW that exist through screwing people over. Are you trying to say these business only exist because of government intervention?
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February 15, 2011, 08:28:57 PM
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The ability to "screw" your customers tends to reduce to zero in a free market, if only because any customer that is being screwed can "cross sides" and become a supplier instead.

Exactly. Of course, this system breaks down when the person doing the screwing has lobbied the local, state, or federal government to increase the licensing requirements.

That's ridiculous. Does nepotism and kickbacks exist in local and national government? Of course. Is this the only way businesses screw people over? Of course not.
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February 15, 2011, 08:30:25 PM
 #61

I am unclear how the example would be "solved" under a freemarket system. The profit motive contains all kinds of perverse incentives, even in a perfect market with perfectly rational self-interested agents under perfect conditions. If you can screw other people over at less cost than profit to yourself you certainly have an incentive to do so.

I never said that the prison problem is solved under a free market system or is it solved under a government.

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February 15, 2011, 08:31:22 PM
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That's ridiculous. Does nepotism and kickbacks exist in local and national government? Of course. Is this the only way businesses screw people over? Of course not.

It is much more difficult to screw people over when you can't convert capitals into political power.

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February 15, 2011, 09:12:34 PM
 #63

Um... what? There are plenty of businesses RIGHT NOW that exist through screwing people over. Are you trying to say these business only exist because of government intervention?
I find it difficult to answer your question when you don't provide a single example of a business that screws over their customers without the government's help.
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February 15, 2011, 09:41:48 PM
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The ability to "screw" your customers tends to reduce to zero in a free market, if only because any customer that is being screwed can "cross sides" and become a supplier instead...

There are plenty of businesses RIGHT NOW that exist through screwing people over. Are you trying to say these business only exist because of government intervention?

Although direct government intervention can help a business to screw its customers, it's often more subtle than that.

All it takes is for the government to add a bit of friction to the process of setting up a business.

It anyone can set up as a competing bakery, the existing baker has no scope to screw his customers. But if setting up a bakery requires a permit which takes six weeks to arrive, and costs a fee, and if inspections and approvals are needed before the doors open, it adds enough friction that the existing baker knows he can get away with a certain amount of customer-screwing before anyone else will bother to compete.
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February 15, 2011, 11:52:34 PM
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Um... what? There are plenty of businesses RIGHT NOW that exist through screwing people over. Are you trying to say these business only exist because of government intervention?
I find it difficult to answer your question when you don't provide a single example of a business that screws over their customers without the government's help.

Where to begin? These are just some big examples from history and don't even begin to represent the myriad small scams that go on all the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contaminated_haemophilia_blood_products
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_streetcar_scandal

and of course enron

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/02/eveningnews/main620795.shtml

A little closer to home in New Zealand where I live we have school drinking fountains be removed due to the water being contaminated with farm effluent

http://www.starcanterbury.co.nz/local/news/water-quality-worries-see-school-drinking-fountain/3639759/
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February 15, 2011, 11:55:13 PM
 #66

That's ridiculous. Does nepotism and kickbacks exist in local and national government? Of course. Is this the only way businesses screw people over? Of course not.

It is much more difficult to screw people over when you can't convert capitals into political power.

I guess it might surprise you to learn that economic wealth had always equaled political power, in fact it's been the case throughout history.
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February 16, 2011, 02:34:47 AM
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Where to begin? These are just some big examples from history and don't even begin to represent the myriad small scams that go on all the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contaminated_haemophilia_blood_products
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_streetcar_scandal

and of course enron

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/02/eveningnews/main620795.shtml

A little closer to home in New Zealand where I live we have school drinking fountains be removed due to the water being contaminated with farm effluent

http://www.starcanterbury.co.nz/local/news/water-quality-worries-see-school-drinking-fountain/3639759/

Please give us reasoning on why these links support your conclusion? We cannot guess at your thinking.

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February 16, 2011, 03:27:22 AM
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Where to begin? These are just some big examples from history and don't even begin to represent the myriad small scams that go on all the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contaminated_haemophilia_blood_products
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_streetcar_scandal

and of course enron

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/02/eveningnews/main620795.shtml

A little closer to home in New Zealand where I live we have school drinking fountains be removed due to the water being contaminated with farm effluent

http://www.starcanterbury.co.nz/local/news/water-quality-worries-see-school-drinking-fountain/3639759/

Please give us reasoning on why these links support your conclusion? We cannot guess at your thinking.

I was asked for examples of business screwing people over without utilising government. I'm giving them.
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February 16, 2011, 03:40:09 AM
 #69

Quote from: dirtyfilthy
I was asked for examples of business screwing people over without utilising government. I'm giving them.
It's not good enough to just provide links. You need to explain and reason why these links support your conclusion. We don't know what's going on in that head of your.

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February 16, 2011, 04:18:15 AM
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Quote from: dirtyfilthy
I was asked for examples of business screwing people over without utilising government. I'm giving them.
It's not good enough to just provide links. You need to explain and reason why these links support your conclusion. We don't know what's going on in that head of your.

I suspect you're being deliberately facetious. But here we go.

Lack of business regulation does not lead to a situation where consumer preferences are optimally satisfied. To choose just one example, Enron, government deregulation of the energy industry actually led to a situation where Enron was fucking over both it's shareholders and the general public, the shareholders by using dodgy accounting methods, the general public my artificially inflating energy prices, in at least one case actually deliberately causing a power shortage to do so.

If you can make money through unscrupulous business practices then businesses will use them. This can be shown time and time again. Removing regulation will not fix this problem, it will make it worse.
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February 16, 2011, 04:38:43 AM
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To choose just one example, Enron, government deregulation of the energy industry actually led to a situation where Enron was fucking over both it's shareholders and the general public, the shareholders by using dodgy accounting methods, the general public my artificially inflating energy prices, in at least one case actually deliberately causing a power shortage to do so.

Shareholders can not be screwed by lack of regulation.  If they need more regulation, they'll make their own regulation.  Get rid of government regulation, and shareholders will price this increased moral risk.   Market will take this into account.   Good management can bring private regulation.  Good managers can be nominated during the assembly.  It can be decided by share holders just in order to raise the capital value of the company, and thus to make benefits.

Nobody is against regulation.  It just doesn't have to be done by government.

I don't know well the Enron case, but at some point this company failed, right?  Well, failure is part of free market regulation.
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February 16, 2011, 04:47:50 AM
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I don't know well the Enron case, but at some point this company failed, right?  Well, failure is part of free market regulation.


Libertarians propose that you should be able to sue polluter for damage anyway. So the idea of libertarians supporting "no regulation" is a bunch of strawman.

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February 16, 2011, 05:16:47 AM
 #73


I suspect you're being deliberately facetious. But here we go.

No, it's called C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N. What's obvious to you isn't exactly obvious to us.
Quote
Lack of business regulation does not lead to a situation where consumer preferences are optimally satisfied. To choose just one example, Enron, government deregulation of the energy industry actually led to a situation where Enron was fucking over both it's shareholders and the general public, the shareholders by using dodgy accounting methods, the general public my artificially inflating energy prices, in at least one case actually deliberately causing a power shortage to do so.
The article you linked to give us scant details about the energy crisis in California except a bunch of traders manipulating the energy price. We don't know the background and the condition of the crisis except something mentioning deregulation. We can't form a conclusion based on one news article that made absolutely no systematic economic analysis on why is it happening.
Quote
If you can make money through unscrupulous business practices then businesses will use them. This can be shown time and time again. Removing regulation will not fix this problem, it will make it worse.

Your conclusion may be right, but you failed to show us why this is right.

(Actually, what are we arguing here, really? What argument is he trying to argue against? I felt like I been roped into this without knowing clearly what's my argument is.)

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February 16, 2011, 05:46:20 AM
 #74

Ah, I found it. Dirtyfilthy think that I think "there is no such thing as economic coercion".

Ok. What does that mean?

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February 16, 2011, 08:10:15 AM
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I don't know well the Enron case, but at some point this company failed, right?  Well, failure is part of free market regulation.
You say this as though company failure fixes all the problems.  The failure of Enron caused enormous problems for millions of people and those problems haven't gone away.  Do a google search for "enron pensions" just to get a taster.  You could, however, argue that Enron became as big as it was, and therefore in a position to affect millions of people, by virtue of previous government regulation.  There's nothing in a free market politics, though, that prohibits companies becoming just as big.
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February 16, 2011, 08:24:28 AM
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You say this as though company failure fixes all the problems.  The failure of Enron caused enormous problems for millions of people and those problems haven't gone away.  Do a google search for "enron pensions" just to get a taster.  You could, however, argue that Enron became as big as it was, and therefore in a position to affect millions of people, by virtue of previous government regulation.  There's nothing in a free market politics, though, that prohibits companies becoming just as big.

I don't see the problem.  Those people just made poor financial decisions.  There are some losses.  Nothing to be offended about.
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February 16, 2011, 10:40:25 AM
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A little closer to home in New Zealand where I live we have school drinking fountains be removed due to the water being contaminated with farm effluent

I'm not sure what your point is here, but it's worth noting that there is a correlation between freedom from government control and freedom from pollution.

There are some good controlled experiments available: West Germany versus East Germany before reunification, for example. The totalitarian East German economy was driven by production targets, and pollution control was usually the first thing to be dropped.

Freedom from government control leads to increased prosperity, and believe it or not people actually like to have an unpolluted environment for their workplace. It's in the interest of both the employers and the employees, and as prosperity increases it becomes easier to achieve.

The government doesn't look beyond the next election, whereas the owner of private property has an inventive to maintain the quality and value of their property (including its environment) for the long term.
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February 16, 2011, 01:24:47 PM
 #78


I don't see the problem.  Those people just made poor financial decisions.  There are some losses.  Nothing to be offended about.


There's a saying that you shouldn't put all your eggs into one basket.

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February 16, 2011, 08:32:36 PM
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I don't see the problem.  Those people just made poor financial decisions.  There are some losses.  Nothing to be offended about.
There's a saying that you shouldn't put all your eggs into one basket.
Regardless of whether it's economically sound or not, ignoring the plight of millions of people makes for real bad sociology.  Not everyone is an expert economist or financial advisor - some people have to be street sweepers and some people have to be teachers.  The point remains that deregulation of Enron led to a serious abuse of trust on an enormous scale.  In a wider sense, economies exist in order to improve the human condition so deregulation here was pure Economics Fail.  Or maybe you think economies exist only to make capitalists wealthier?

Do anarchists/libertarians like Big Corporations?  That's mostly what I have problems with.  For me, you could get rid of lots of regulations, but there are two I'd introduce: any single company may not possess more than 5% market share and company directors and shareholders may not hold public office.  If there were no Big Corporations, political lobbying would be vastly reduced.  And I'd bet that without lobbying, the government would be a very different kettle of fish.  You guys complain about how regulation stifles free market competition.  Well now, apart from politicians-in-the-bag, who profits most from regulation?
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February 17, 2011, 12:46:44 AM
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Regardless of whether it's economically sound or not, ignoring the plight of millions of people makes for real bad sociology.  Not everyone is an expert economist or financial advisor - some people have to be street sweepers and some people have to be teachers.  The point remains that deregulation of Enron led to a serious abuse of trust on an enormous scale.  In a wider sense, economies exist in order to improve the human condition so deregulation here was pure Economics Fail.  Or maybe you think economies exist only to make capitalists wealthier?

I won't accept your conclusion because you fail to show cause and effects. As of right now, your argument is an assertion that doesn't prove anything, either in my favor, or your.

Not everything can always be attributed to bad or good regulation. Sometime some actors think they can get away with something.

If you trust somebody, and somebody abuse that trust. Well, it's abused. The only thing that can happen is how to punish people who abuse trust.

We could make all the regulation we want, that's perfect and have no bad consequences... The problem is, it's only swaying you to do the right thing, but not actually do the right thing.

If 99% of everybody decide to murder each other tomorrow, no economic system or government will save humanity.


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February 17, 2011, 09:11:48 PM
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I won't accept your conclusion because you fail to show cause and effects. As of right now, your argument is an assertion that doesn't prove anything, either in my favor, or your.
I agree with all you say here, but you're misunderstanding my point.  I'm not specifically trying to show cause and effect, but merely indicate that there exist cases of deregulation which have proved disadvantageous to the consumer.  Right now we have a status quo of Big Interfering Regulating Government, and most people are sufficiently content with that that they won't go out and demonstrate on the streets demanding change.  If you want to change the status quo, the onus is on *you* to convince people that deregulation is the right way to go and to get them out on the streets demonstrating.

I'm keeping an open mind, but I've yet to be convinced.  I wrote what I see as the real problem (Big Corporation) in my last post and I find it interesting that you merely criticize my general points without answering my specific question about free-market policies.
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February 17, 2011, 10:40:58 PM
 #82

I agree with all you say here, but you're misunderstanding my point.  I'm not specifically trying to show cause and effect, but merely indicate that there exist cases of deregulation which have proved disadvantageous to the consumer.  Right now we have a status quo of Big Interfering Regulating Government, and most people are sufficiently content with that that they won't go out and demonstrate on the streets demanding change. 

Wrong. You said this example prove that deregulation have bad effects but you didn't actually *show* that is the case. Your conclusion may be true, but you failed to show how it is actually true.

Quote
If you want to change the status quo, the onus is on *you* to convince people that deregulation is the right way to go and to get them out on the streets demonstrating.

I'm keeping an open mind, but I've yet to be convinced.  I wrote what I see as the real problem (Big Corporation) in my last post and I find it interesting that you merely criticize my general points without answering my specific question about free-market policies.

I was never an opponent of all regulation, per se. It's a strawman.

Moreover, today's corporations are creatures of today's regulation! The incentive system is VASTLY different in an anarchist system. It's like talking apple and oranges here.

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February 18, 2011, 06:32:36 AM
 #83

lots of people drunk on the libertarian kool-aid here, apparently.

i'd like to see bitcoin succeed as much as the next person here, but i fear this idealogical motivation of libertarianism is a deleterious trait to exhibit. libertarianism is capitalism on crack, maybe people are too naive to read history or understand their environments, but selfishness exhibited in policy is exactly what libertarianism is. please understand, there are laudable aspects to wanting to better your own position, but when that comes at the expense of altruism you cross the line into being a cunt.

i suspect many 'libertarians' will fail to see the logic presented here, and i won't back up statements with links and blurbs for those too stupid to think for themselves. where is the liberty in libertarianism? selfishness is foremost, unless i am mistaken and i welcome responses.

1DoQQHswyQJ6ok87qGVRRLZ9QbZdArLsGP
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February 18, 2011, 06:56:56 AM
 #84

lots of people drunk on the libertarian kool-aid here, apparently.

i'd like to see bitcoin succeed as much as the next person here, but i fear this idealogical motivation of libertarianism is a deleterious trait to exhibit. libertarianism is capitalism on crack, maybe people are too naive to read history or understand their environments, but selfishness exhibited in policy is exactly what libertarianism is. please understand, there are laudable aspects to wanting to better your own position, but when that comes at the expense of altruism you cross the line into being a cunt.

i suspect many 'libertarians' will fail to see the logic presented here, and i won't back up statements with links and blurbs for those too stupid to think for themselves. where is the liberty in libertarianism? selfishness is foremost, unless i am mistaken and i welcome responses.

It is one thing to disagree and thinks libertarianism is completely wrong, but it is quite another to completely misunderstood libertarianism.

I would describe libertarianism as an incomplete ethical framework center around autonomous moral agents who are self-owners. Libertarianism often permits more than they restrict.  One example of permissibility is that I could choose to donate most of my earning to charity, or not. However, a restriction exists that I cannot engage in theft, even if it is government sponsored, which is known as taxation.

The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy have a good overview of the philosophy.  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/

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February 18, 2011, 11:12:30 AM
 #85

... there are laudable aspects to wanting to better your own position, but when that comes at the expense of altruism you cross the line ...

If you hang around this forum a while, you will see countless examples of altruistic behavior from self-professed libertarians. Libertarianism rejects the idea of being forced to be altruistic, but it doesn't reject voluntary altruism.

It shows a lack of understanding of the human spirit to imagine that people are "good enough" to coerce others into being "altruistic" through the mechanisms of the state, yet are not "good enough" to be altruistic in the absence of a coercive state.

Anyway, history shows that those who wield control in a coercive state are more likely to enrich themselves than be altruistic.
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February 19, 2011, 11:55:29 AM
 #86

... there are laudable aspects to wanting to better your own position, but when that comes at the expense of altruism you cross the line ...

If you hang around this forum a while, you will see countless examples of altruistic behavior from self-professed libertarians. Libertarianism rejects the idea of being forced to be altruistic, but it doesn't reject voluntary altruism.

It shows a lack of understanding of the human spirit to imagine that people are "good enough" to coerce others into being "altruistic" through the mechanisms of the state, yet are not "good enough" to be altruistic in the absence of a coercive state.

Anyway, history shows that those who wield control in a coercive state are more likely to enrich themselves than be altruistic.

You can find altruism in any ideology.

I personally don't care if someone is a libertarian, socialist, radical feminist, anarchist, or what. Just don't be anything psychotic, like a democrat or republican.
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February 20, 2011, 04:04:37 AM
 #87

thanks for the responses! but i don't see how altruism is really approached or defined in libertarianism, it is permitted but it is permitted by way of omission, and omission of prohibition is wholesale in many philosophies originating from anarchy. libertarianism is an ontological interpretation of anarchy, i understand the philosophy well. 'hands-off' capitalism and libertarian economics are policies of economic anarchy which lead us to cycles to boom and bust, and increasing extremes of poverty and wealth.

a libertarian government is oxymoronic. governments can function effectively and for the benefit of society, when properly managed and legitimately staffed, so i disagree with aspects of libertarian ideology. taxation is not necessarily theft; when that money goes into useful things that you benefit from, like an advanced modern infrastructure and high quality public services, you have not lost or been stolen from. this can be especially true in so-called free markets when profit is free to be primary, and actual services may otherwise be secondary priorities.

businesses rarely render services to their clients beyond what is required to turn a profit! some things actually cost money to run, like hospitals and schools, and when these are not governed democratically but instead governed by the forces of free market economics, the public's interest is no longer served primarily. you probably pay your bitcoin transaction fees; same thing.

kiba, i havn't misunderstood you, i just disagree. the size of the gap between rich and poor is approximately relative to the amount of crime and disorder in that society. libertarianism does nothing to address this that i can see, and promotes the self, and in ways that encourage a system of selfishness that is prey to influence.

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February 20, 2011, 04:12:22 AM
 #88

thanks for the responses! but i don't see how altruism is really approached or defined in libertarianism, it is permitted but it is permitted by way of omission, and omission of prohibition is wholesale in many philosophies originating from anarchy. libertarianism is an ontological interpretation of anarchy, i understand the philosophy well. 'hands-off' capitalism and libertarian economics are policies of economic anarchy which lead us to cycles to boom and bust, and increasing extremes of poverty and wealth.

a libertarian government is oxymoronic. governments can function effectively and for the benefit of society, when properly managed and legitimately staffed, so i disagree with aspects of libertarian ideology. taxation is not necessarily theft; when that money goes into useful things that you benefit from, like an advanced modern infrastructure and high quality public services, you have not lost or been stolen from. this can be especially true in so-called free markets when profit is free to be primary, and actual services may otherwise be secondary priorities.

businesses rarely render services to their clients beyond what is required to turn a profit! some things actually cost money to run, like hospitals and schools, and when these are not governed democratically but instead governed by the forces of free market economics, the public's interest is no longer served primarily. you probably pay your bitcoin transaction fees; same thing.

kiba, i havn't misunderstood you, i just disagree. the size of the gap between rich and poor is approximately relative to the amount of crime and disorder in that society. libertarianism does nothing to address this that i can see, and promotes the self, and in ways that encourage a system of selfishness that is prey to influence.

A bunch of assertions about consequences of libertarianism backed by nothingness. I see nothing of merit to discuss until you provide reasoning and evidence behind your claims.

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February 20, 2011, 04:17:33 AM
 #89

businesses rarely render services to their clients beyond what is required to turn a profit! some things actually cost money to run, like hospitals and schools, and when these are not governed democratically but instead governed by the forces of free market economics, the public's interest is no longer served primarily.

Demonstrably false - Somalia for example.
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February 20, 2011, 05:44:36 PM
 #90

businesses rarely render services to their clients beyond what is required to turn a profit! some things actually cost money to run, like hospitals and schools, and when these are not governed democratically but instead governed by the forces of free market economics, the public's interest is no longer served primarily.

Demonstrably false - Somalia for example.

Ah, yes. Somalia! The land of plenty and the libertarian's utopia.

You've convinced me...


<ahem>

To the normal people trying to "discuss" with these fools, I suspect that most of these scholars and philosophers are also working on how to get BMX pegs for BTC.

*processing payment* *error 404 : funds not found*
Do you want to complain on the forum just to fall for another scam a few days later?
| YES       |        YES |
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February 20, 2011, 05:50:48 PM
 #91

Ah, yes. Somalia! The land of plenty and the libertarian's utopia.

You've convinced me...


<ahem>

To the normal people trying to "discuss" with these fools, I suspect that most of these scholars and philosophers are also working on how to get BMX pegs for BTC.

No attempt to argue rationally here, I see.

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February 20, 2011, 06:24:16 PM
 #92

I agree. While I've admitted and will agree that Somalia isn't a paradise by any means, it is doing very well for itself in comparison to it's neighbors.

The point I was making is that for-profit hospitals in somalia are the norm, and they do good work, better than many hospitals in neighboring countries.
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February 20, 2011, 06:25:54 PM
 #93

I agree. While I've admitted and will agree that Somalia isn't a paradise by any means, it is doing very well for itself in comparison to it's neighbors.

Libertarians think Somalia is a paradise is a strawman argument. While I don't expect to agree with people soon, when people make that kind of stupid arguments against their opponents, it bring down the level of discourse.

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February 21, 2011, 01:31:45 AM
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A bunch of assertions about consequences of libertarianism backed by nothingness. I see nothing of merit to discuss until you provide reasoning and evidence behind your claims.

rather than ignore my comment, which is founded in logic, why don't you address the points i've made?
are your beliefs based on faith in the ideology? i don't think we're communicating on the same level... and you did clearly ignore or fail to read my comment because I said I wasn't going to provide examples. it's now your turn to prove that you're not stupid. provide examples and proof that free market economics doesn't increase the divide between rich and poor, this is a very relevant subject if we're talking libertarian philosophy.

libertarianism is actually very close to the status quo. only thing left to change is remove all the taxation, and if you remove taxation, who is going to pay to fill the potholes in your road?

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February 21, 2011, 01:45:08 AM
 #95

rather than ignore my comment, which is founded in logic, why don't you address the points i've made?

They are simply conclusion about what libertarian policy entails with no attempt at economic analysis. They may be true, but they lack any logical details that show the shortcoming of anarchism.

For example:

Quote
'hands-off' capitalism and libertarian economics are policies of economic anarchy which lead us to cycles to boom and bust, and increasing extremes of poverty and wealth.

1. Policy of economic anarchy
2. Huh
3. Boom and bust, and extreme difference in wealth.

As you can see, you propose no mechanism about why libertarian policy cause cycle of boom and bust and also difference in wealth.
Quote
are your beliefs based on faith in the ideology? i don't think we're communicating on the same level...

Why would you ask your opponent on the other side such silly, stupid and insulting question? I could very well ask if your belief system is based on faith in the ideology. Not helpful to the discussion.


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February 21, 2011, 02:39:18 AM
 #96

i live in a small country that for nearly a decade tried in earnest (against the wishes of the public) to reform it's economic policy towards that of full-free-market economics. we were an experiment for the NWO in the 1980 and 1990s and we suffered. a direct consequence of this free-market reform was falling wages, soaring unemployment and social disorder. thats right, i live in a place where libertarian-style free market economics is widely known to be a failure, except in libertarian groups... forgive me for being so passionate, i intend no insult, it's just that this crazy idea of 'free' or completely deregulated markets actually cost many hard-working people their livelihoods.

if you're insulted by a tricky question, that reflects more upon your character than mine, i was asking sincerely why you believe in libertarianism and if you're too important to answer then don't. anarchy, libertarianism and friends have issues, such as putting the onus of social conscience onto the individual, when we know that most won't look twice at the beggar on the street. i find that illogical, social welfare is equally as important as having a police force. ad-hoc altruism works in groups of up to about 200 but beyond that dysfunction increases quickly and centralised management or governance is required.

and what exactly would satisfy you in your quest for examples and proof? is logical deduction from fact not enough? is scientific method, experiment, observation and re-modeling of the hypothesis not enough? is quoting Albert Einstein not enough? (you missed that lecture apparently) i don't consider you my opponent either, but drawing lines is exactly the type of behaviour that degrades this discourse.

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February 21, 2011, 02:46:02 AM
 #97

I haven't heard of this, where do you live?
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February 21, 2011, 02:59:38 AM
 #98

I haven't heard of this, where do you live?

New Zealand. Wikipedia has a good article titled 'Rogernomics' (our localised version of Reaganomics).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogernomics

The reference to being an NWO experiment is speculation on my part, although there were (and still are) a lot of high-level secret meetings between US Diplomats and our members of parliament, which is a Westminster system similar to Britain's. Our democracy is somewhat functional (the MMP proportionally-representative system currently under threat though), and the USA threatened our food security (source: Wikileaks) when we refused to join the Iraq war :-(

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February 21, 2011, 03:17:23 AM
 #99

I agree. While I've admitted and will agree that Somalia isn't a paradise by any means, it is doing very well for itself in comparison to it's neighbors.

BTW, the somalian hospitals are not "for-profit" corporations. they are run at a managed loss and are funded by wealthy foreigners. Some other examples of where somalia's healthcare funding comes from are organisations including Somalicare, the Somali-American Women Aid Project and SEHO.

an interesting story a doctor told me, was about while he was working at a king's private hospital in Saudi. women would give birth on the doorsteps to the hospital because only the princes and wealthy had health insurance and would be allowed inside.

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February 21, 2011, 03:48:52 AM
 #100

I haven't heard of this, where do you live?

New Zealand. Wikipedia has a good article titled 'Rogernomics' (our localised version of Reaganomics).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogernomics

The reference to being an NWO experiment is speculation on my part, although there were (and still are) a lot of high-level secret meetings between US Diplomats and our members of parliament, which is a Westminster system similar to Britain's. Our democracy is somewhat functional (the MMP proportionally-representative system currently under threat though), and the USA threatened our food security (source: Wikileaks) when we refused to join the Iraq war :-(


I'm interested in this, and want to learn more. From what I'm reading though, it sounds like it was a "free market*", in that the state remained rather powerful during these times, and still giving quite a bit to the people (and taxing and such)

More importantly, strong anti-labor union laws were put into effect. That gives incredible power to the corporations. If unions were unrestricted, I believe it would have gone much differently.

Please elaborate on this with details on anything that might be important.
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February 21, 2011, 04:22:54 AM
 #101

you're right the government through fractional reserve banking retained control of inflation but, the 'new right' at the time had little motivation for retaining much aside from control of that. the successive governments spent most of their legislative changes on undoing the mess.

correct you are; our worker rights and labour laws did take a hit, there was introduction of a special 'youth minimum wage' that was effectively slave wages. public land like nature reserves and national parks went up for auction, and abolition of public health-care and education was slated before the brakes were put on the regime. but whats worse is that this same 'new right' type of movement have grip on our current parliament. there is a libertarian party called ACT who are absolutely fucking crazy, racist, corrupt, homophobic and somehow they still get votes. people think they'll get rich by paying less tax probably...


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February 21, 2011, 04:24:18 AM
 #102

If people voluntarily accept "slave wages", how are they "slave wages" at all?
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February 21, 2011, 04:25:00 AM
 #103

Again, from what I read the ACT party isn't libertarian, it's simply 'more' free market, though not really.

The important distinction is the moral basis for changes.

I thought this source did a good job explaining things-

http://www.freeradical.co.nz/content/44/sturm.php
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February 21, 2011, 04:47:43 AM
 #104

@Atlas; because slaves did voluntarily board boats, were usually paid, fed and housed. what flavour of kool-aid did you get in school?

thanks for sharing that link, and i stand to be corrected. postjudice is important, i'm sure not all libertarians are crazy assholes and i don't wish to make any such impression.

ACT's supporters are dominantly conservative 'new-righters' or self-professed libertarians and what they say is frequently different to what they do - they are corrupt from top to bottom. the Libertarianz party is just a joke that no-one is laughing at, they can't even spell. ACT are free market extremists in economic policy - don't let their stated policy fool you, and they are amoral as that essay points out. it is this amorality derived from a 'survival of the fittest' attitude inherent in libertarianism that i take exception to. this cannot be logically excluded without undermining the basic tenet of liberty it endows.

to say rogernomics was not libertarian just doesn't meet with the reality, if one argues that it was too 'watered-down' in economic policy to be libertarian and that the reforms of rogernomics did not go far enough, it just emboldens the problems with free market policy and libertarianism, some need reminding, is free market extremism with a dash of liberty-flavoured kool aid.

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February 21, 2011, 04:53:27 AM
 #105

New Zealand had a government the whole time. Thats the reason for the whole mess not the "free market".

This allows corporations to control the policies of the country imo.

With no state you dont have to worry about the "nwo"  either.

Libertarianism has been co-opted these days by the mainstream political parties and stands for nothing. Look at Bob Barr in the US for example - a former mainstream politician = fail.

It is used to dirty the name of true liberty and market freedom - a false flag if you will.
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February 21, 2011, 05:07:41 AM
 #106


foo barf is full of crap ... NZ had its best economic growth in decades after the free market reforms ... only since the heavily communistic Labour has come to power for 9 years of stick-your-nose-up-your-neighbours-bottom has standard of living gone backwards again.

... central planning doesn't work foo barf, Soviet russia was a complete failure, get over it, communism lost ... socialism is bullshit too ... there is no incentive for the individual to excell when everybody owns each others shit, come back into the real world ... get off the dole and get a life. Socialist bludgers blight NZ, we have more than 10% of the population on some sort of "social welfare" and god knows how many working in useless govt. departments that do nothing ... and they are always screaming for more hand-outs and more taxes ... it really is theft ... but the bludgers who don't earn it don't see it like that ... no surprises there.

foo barf is an embarassment to NZ, he should move to N.Korea where socialism is working out the way he likes.


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February 21, 2011, 05:14:34 AM
 #107

New Zealand had a government the whole time. Thats the reason for the whole mess not the "free market".

This allows corporations to control the policies of the country imo.

With no state you dont have to worry about the "nwo"  either.

Libertarianism has been co-opted these days by the mainstream political parties and stands for nothing. Look at Bob Barr in the US for example - a former mainstream politician = fail.

It is used to dirty the name of true liberty and market freedom - a false flag if you will.
thanks for jumping into the discussion, but holy crap, you're quite wrong and i'd like to tell you why. some prerequisite study may be required, adam curtis has a number of documentaries that may enlighten you. i recommend 'the century of the self', and by the way, Alex Jones' filmography is not a reliable source for anything other than claims of "OBAMA BLEW UP THE TOWERS" or "THEY TOOK MY JOBS", "DERKA DERR", etc.

  • having less, or no government cements the power of financial institutions and corporations.
  • zero government means zero public opinion in matters of public interest
  • the NWO is not (originally) a government organisation, it comes from economic schools of thought and actually opposes government regulation of financial markets
  • with no state to keep them in check, the NWO or any other syndicate, like the many before and after Leo Strauss and NWO, are free to reign

what do you think the real problem is in institutions? it's power and it's misuse, not the fact the institution exists, saying that is just naive.

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February 21, 2011, 05:22:14 AM
 #108


foo barf is full of crap ... NZ had its best economic growth in decades after the free market reforms ... only since the heavily communistic Labour has come to power for 9 years of stick-your-nose-up-your-neighbours-bottom has standard of living gone backwards again.

... central planning doesn't work foo barf, Soviet russia was a complete failure, get over it, communism lost ... socialism is bullshit too ... there is no incentive for the individual to excell when everybody owns each others shit, come back into the real world ... get off the dole and get a life. Socialist bludgers blight NZ, we have more than 10% of the population on some sort of "social welfare" and god knows how many working in useless govt. departments that do nothing ... and they are always screaming for more hand-outs and more taxes ... it really is theft ... but the bludgers who don't earn it don't see it like that ... no surprises there.

foo barf is an embarassment to NZ, he should move to N.Korea where socialism is working out the way he likes.



hey moa, it's nice of you to offer your input too, even if you're totally wrong to define 10% of the country being on social welfare as a "blight". kia ora.

it's a shame that you're not willing to gain insight into the world of economics, politics and the corridors of power. i'm proud to speak my mind, accept when i am wrong and not regurgitate the same ad hominem that was cliche even in the 1950s. if you want to be proven wrong, stick around and i can teach you about New Zealand's biggest success story, Fonterra, and how it used the Rochdale principles that were derived from socialist -style policies to build it into one of the worlds most influential corporations... or just go back to your forex trading.. quick, a domestic inflation rate changed!

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February 21, 2011, 05:55:22 AM
 #109

i live in a small country that for nearly a decade tried in earnest (against the wishes of the public) to reform it's economic policy towards that of full-free-market economics. we were an experiment for the NWO in the 1980 and 1990s and we suffered. a direct consequence of this free-market reform was falling wages, soaring unemployment and social disorder. thats right, i live in a place where libertarian-style free market economics is widely known to be a failure, except in libertarian groups... forgive me for being so passionate, i intend no insult, it's just that this crazy idea of 'free' or completely deregulated markets actually cost many hard-working people their livelihoods.

If you don't try to explain why it doesn't work, then it's not a good argument.

Quote
if you're insulted by a tricky question, that reflects more upon your character than mine, i was asking sincerely why you believe in libertarianism.

I can't exactly read your mind, here. Just know that I don't consider it nice to insult other people's position in a rational discussion.

Libertarianism is what I considered an ethical philosophy that's somewhat cohorent. As a result, I derive voluntarism from there.

My real loyalty lies with rationality above all else. I must learn the truth.
Quote
and what exactly would satisfy you in your quest for examples and proof? is logical deduction from fact not enough? is scientific method, experiment, observation and re-modeling of the hypothesis not enough? is quoting Albert Einstein not enough? (you missed that lecture apparently) i don't consider you my opponent either, but drawing lines is exactly the type of behaviour that degrades this discourse.
You didn't supplied logical deduction or anything. Emperical evidence doesn't mean much to me if you don't explain what's going on there. You supplied a conclusion. All I am asking you is to back it up with a mechanism to explain why is it happening.

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February 21, 2011, 05:59:36 AM
 #110

New Zealand had a government the whole time. Thats the reason for the whole mess not the "free market".

This allows corporations to control the policies of the country imo.

With no state you dont have to worry about the "nwo"  either.

Libertarianism has been co-opted these days by the mainstream political parties and stands for nothing. Look at Bob Barr in the US for example - a former mainstream politician = fail.

It is used to dirty the name of true liberty and market freedom - a false flag if you will.

You're just stating stuff without backing your argument up.

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February 21, 2011, 06:02:45 AM
 #111

it is this amorality derived from a 'survival of the fittest' attitude inherent in libertarianism that i take exception to. this cannot be logically excluded without undermining the basic tenet of liberty it endows.

This is simply a nonsensical attribution to libertarianism. I don't take that position and I am not aware of libertarians in this forum taking this position.

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February 21, 2011, 06:04:22 AM
 #112


foo barf is full of crap ... NZ had its best economic growth in decades after the free market reforms ... only since the heavily communistic Labour has come to power for 9 years of stick-your-nose-up-your-neighbours-bottom has standard of living gone backwards again.

foo barf is an embarassment to NZ, he should move to N.Korea where socialism is working out the way he likes.


Poor argument against foo barf. Just statement of conclusions.

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February 21, 2011, 06:05:15 AM
 #113


hey moa, it's nice of you to offer your input too, even if you're totally wrong to define 10% of the country being on social welfare as a "blight". kia ora.

it's a shame that you're not willing to gain insight into the world of economics, politics and the corridors of power. i'm proud to speak my mind, accept when i am wrong and not regurgitate the same ad hominem that was cliche even in the 1950s. if you want to be proven wrong, stick around and i can teach you about New Zealand's biggest success story, Fonterra, and how it used the Rochdale principles that were derived from socialist -style policies to build it into one of the worlds most influential corporations... or just go back to your forex trading.. quick, a domestic inflation rate changed!

Don't just say that your economic policies is successful. Explain why and prove us wrong.

(for the record, I do not have opportunity to look through the wikipedia article...will soon)

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February 21, 2011, 06:23:46 AM
 #114


I'm just happy that a hard crypto-currency like bitcoin has become a reality.

It will end all the socialist schemes and communistic central planning (banking) nightmares we are living through (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, USA, China). They are all based at their root on stealing other people's earnings and the way they get that is primarily through fiat currency and central banking. Otherwise they will need to use taxes and guns and today's socialists don't have the guts to get behind a gun and demand the gold like their evil founders and predecessors did.

Bitcoin spells the end to coercive socialism and for that I am thankful, it is the beginning of the end for a black period in human history.

Btw, Open Country is kicking fonterras sad socialist bum in the provinces, do your own research with the real farmers.

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February 21, 2011, 06:31:05 AM
 #115

Btw, Open Country is kicking fonterras sad socialist bum in the provinces, do your own research with the real farmers.

If this Open Country is kicking fonterras sad socialist bum...why don't you supply us with information? If he's wrong, it should be no problem for you.

I still am trying to consume TheKidz's article. Also, wikipedia doesn't not gave me much other than bad consequences of said reform.

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February 21, 2011, 06:46:18 AM
 #116

If you don't try to explain why it doesn't work, then it's not a good argument.
you've been told; what, why, where, when and how! i'm not sure what else I can do to satisfy your thirst for esoteric proof. this is not wikipedia or an essay, this is a discussion forum and I am free to divulge fact and history without footnotes. i'm not presenting a typical argument here, either. these are just cold hard facts. moa would probably tell you Rogernomics was great for New Zealand, the spend-up on infrastructure got us well-engineered roads and did away with some frivolous bureaucracies (like a politically independent treasury.....), the welfare sponges are useless eaters, ayn rand was a good author, etc. it's truely saddening to see people such as moa, so eager and willing to repeat history's mistakes.

issues with roger douglas' free market first became serious when restrictions on offshore investment were removed. there are books on this subject in new zealand libraries. with the advent of forex and 24 hour trading, HUGE short positions were taken on the new zealand dollar sending it down and putting food prices into uncertain territory. our current prime minister, John Key, at the time an investment banker, had a personal hand in these short positions that damaged our exchange rate. it doesn't stop there though, building standards were lowered in the interest of liberalising the market which lead to cheap houses, so poorly constructed they are unfit for habitation; and it's still a problem today. we know for fact, the cost of free market economics is greater than what it saves; there is no ROI for your taxes in such a system. but, free markets are supposed to be good and introduce efficiency, right? is the claimed efficiency worth it when you wake up in a hospital bed with a $20,000 bill because the nearest hospital was private?

Quote from: kiba
I don't consider it nice to insult other people's position in a rational discussion.
well we can't be logical all of the time, its a socratic problem. faith is an illogical belief, and unless you can justify every point of logic to an ideology you are relegated to having faith in it. i don't mean to insult, in contrast i welcome people to question my beliefs.

libertarianism is illogical in the context of human values because of it's lack of social policy other than "just don't steal" - which isn't very anarchic anyway. prohibition is required in society, it means i can't rape your wife. libertarianism isn't all crap, it just totally fails when it comes to policy on altruism, finance, deviance and crime, and only faith in the ideology can tell you otherwise. the logic to omission of prohibition does not conclude that every individual would not engage in a deviant activity if permitted to do so. therefore, you need police, social welfare and et cetera or you have anarchy, in a non-philosophical definition. don't get me wrong i love molitov's as much as the next guy, but personal wealth (ie; greed) should not cost social disorder.

Quote from: kiba
You didn't supplied logical deduction or anything. Emperical evidence doesn't mean much to me if you don't explain what's going on there. You supplied a conclusion. All I am asking you is to back it up with a mechanism to explain why is it happening.
deduction is simple reasoning. sorry if i havn't supplied enough for you yet.

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February 21, 2011, 07:00:50 AM
 #117

Quote from: foo barf
you've been told; what, why, where, when and how! i'm not sure what else I can do to satisfy your thirst for esoteric proof. this is not wikipedia or an essay, this is a discussion forum and I am free to divulge fact and history without footnotes.

You didn't told me how. You told me your interpretation of what's happening in Zealand! I still don't understand what's going on. They are merely mysterious answers to mysterious questions. Not acceptable.

Quote
but, free markets are supposed to be good and introduce efficiency, right? is the claimed efficiency worth it when you wake up in a hospital bed with a $20,000 bill because the nearest hospital was private?

Again. They are results. You didn't explain why it's going down. Why did the market fail to provide regulations of building code?

Quote
well we can't be logical all of the time, its a socratic problem. faith is an illogical belief, and unless you can justify every point of logic to an ideology you are relegated to having faith in it. i don't mean to insult, in contrast i welcome people to question my beliefs.

This is a non-issue. Do you wish to be rational about this discussion or not?

Quote
libertarianism is illogical in the context of human values because of it's lack of social policy other than "just don't steal" - which isn't very anarchic anyway. prohibition is required in society, it means i can't rape your wife. libertarianism isn't all crap, it just totally fails when it comes to policy on altruism, finance, deviance and crime, and only faith in the ideology can tell you otherwise. the logic to omission of prohibition does not conclude that every individual would not engage in a deviant activity if permitted to do so. therefore, you need police, social welfare and et cetera or you have anarchy, in a non-philosophical definition. don't get me wrong i love molitov's as much as the next guy, but personal wealth (ie; greed) should not cost social disorder.
How does libertarianism totally failed on altruism, finance, deviance, and crime? What's deviance to you?
Quote
deduction is simple reasoning. sorry if i havn't supplied enough for you yet.

Look, either you provide the goods, or you do not. You didn't, so your arguments suck.

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February 21, 2011, 07:04:24 AM
 #118


I'm just happy that a hard crypto-currency like bitcoin has become a reality.

It will end all the socialist schemes and communistic central planning (banking) nightmares we are living through (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, USA, China). They are all based at their root on stealing other people's earnings and the way they get that is primarily through fiat currency and central banking. Otherwise they will need to use taxes and guns and today's socialists don't have the guts to get behind a gun and demand the gold like their evil founders and predecessors did.

Bitcoin spells the end to coercive socialism and for that I am thankful, it is the beginning of the end for a black period in human history.

Btw, Open Country is kicking fonterras sad socialist bum in the provinces, do your own research with the real farmers.

just how is Bitcoin/<crypto-currency> going to kick the asses of these 'communistic' keynesian systems?
yes... taxes bad guns good and weak socialists bad, you're not the sharpest tool in the shed apparently.

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February 21, 2011, 07:11:15 AM
 #119

Again. They are results. You didn't explain why it's going down. Why did the market fail to provide regulations of building code?
Because of an ideological push for free market reform that comes from camps like libertarians. I linked 'Rogernomics' to you, I suggest you read it before claiming I didn't provide you with enough proof. A truely free market would have zero building codes, and permit this type of scenario to continue unabated.

Quote
Look, either you provide the goods, or you do not. You didn't, so your arguments suck.
libertarianism is a childish philosophy that will get society nowhere. you're either part of the problem or part of the solution, i choose the latter.

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February 21, 2011, 07:16:16 AM
 #120

Because of an ideological push for free market reform that comes from camps like libertarians. I linked 'Rogernomics' to you, I suggest you read it before claiming I didn't provide you with enough proof. A truely free market would have zero building codes, and permit this type of scenario to continue unabated.

I read the wikipedia link. It was not very satisfactory. I want to know an account of why is it happening, not just what happening.

Also, home insurance companies can provide building code, because it's in their interest in reducing the likelihood of a fire so that they don't have to pay the homeowner. They could increase premium if homeowner do not have a house that comply with the building code. They will reward homeowners that comply with the building code of the company. So the whole idea of free markets don't provide regulations is a bunch of nonsense.

Quote
libertarianism is a childish philosophy that will get society nowhere. you're either part of the problem or part of the solution, i choose the latter.

You can keep saying it's a childish philosophy. That doesn't make it true.

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February 21, 2011, 07:28:03 AM
 #121

I read the wikipedia link. It was not very satisfactory. I want to know an account of why is it happening, not just what happening.

it happened because people have crazy ideas and think they know whats best for the country, people get drunk on power and ideology. the teachings of economics at universities and schools are a joke and create scholars destined to perpetuate classism.

Quote
Also, home insurance companies can provide building code, because it's in their interest in reducing the likelihood of a fire so that they don't have to pay to the homeowner. They could increase premium if homeowner do not have a house that comply with the building code. They will reward homeowners that comply with the building code of the company. So the whole idea of free markets don't provide regulations is a bunch of nonsense.

well, we had a 7.1 mag earthquake here recently. some insurance companies are not honouring their policies and refusing to pay out. there goes you're theory that the market helps. but, there was some help, The New Zealand government, during a time of a socialist policy, had setup an Earthquake Comission, which is a state-owned enterprise designed to rescue consumers in the event of failure of the insurance market during catastrophic events. forgive my language but fuck that stupid idea of free market's being a panacea, they are not, the reality is contrary to your belief. we have a similar system to address failings in the health insurance market called ACC.

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February 21, 2011, 07:30:00 AM
 #122

A government operating under Austrian economic principles would not raise spending. However, during the "Rogernomics" period, the government did just that:

Foreign debt quadrupled. New Zealand's credit rating was downgraded twice.

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February 21, 2011, 07:37:46 AM
 #123

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just how is Bitcoin/<crypto-currency> going to kick the asses of these 'communistic' keynesian systems?

Well, well, oh learned one. If you haven't figured out the link between money, economic freedom, personal freedom and its anti-thesis to socialism you have along way to come. Hint, begin with why gold is money for the ages and why socialists and facists alike hate it.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed eh? You seem to be a forgotten, rusty old socialistic relic left in an abandoned gully somewhere, like a railway system from the 1900's.

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February 21, 2011, 07:52:21 AM
 #124

Well, well, oh learned one. If you haven't figured out the link between money, economic freedom, personal freedom and its anti-thesis to socialism you have along way to come. Hint, begin with why gold is money for the ages and why socialists and facists alike hate it.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed eh? You seem to be a forgotten, rusty old socialistic relic left in an abandoned gully somewhere, like a railway system from the 1900's.

I wonder if you even realise, that it was Karl Marx's idea to introduce the stock market to the public. scarcity huh? you should get into photovoltaic minerals.

fuck off mate... we had some awesome railway engineering in the 1900s ! faster than than 12 packhorses!

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February 21, 2011, 09:59:25 AM
 #125

if you've got the time heres an interesting docco, 'for 40 years New Zealand had full employment'

http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/in-a-land-of-plenty-2002



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February 21, 2011, 11:52:14 AM
 #126

New Zealand had a government the whole time. Thats the reason for the whole mess not the "free market".

This allows corporations to control the policies of the country imo.

With no state you dont have to worry about the "nwo"  either.

Libertarianism has been co-opted these days by the mainstream political parties and stands for nothing. Look at Bob Barr in the US for example - a former mainstream politician = fail.

It is used to dirty the name of true liberty and market freedom - a false flag if you will.

You're just stating stuff without backing your argument up.

orly? Since when are arguments on the internet about facts and figures ?  Tongue

People will believe their own mindset and nothing I link them too will change it and it is a waste of energy to do so.

 Do I have to drag out the chart of the 200 million people killed by their own governments in history in each thread where socialist trolls hang out ?



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February 21, 2011, 01:46:07 PM
 #127

Why did the market fail to provide regulations of building code?
I'm not informed about this discussion of NZ, but if it ain't because people need cheap houses and builders were happy to fill the gap without a thought for the future, then I'll eat a bitcoin.
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February 21, 2011, 02:09:05 PM
 #128


it happened because people have crazy ideas and think they know whats best for the country, people get drunk on power and ideology. the teachings of economics at universities and schools are a joke and create scholars destined to perpetuate classism.


I don't want to hear about how terrible they are. I want an economic analysis of how free markets fail.

Quote
well, we had a 7.1 mag earthquake here recently. some insurance companies are not honouring their policies and refusing to pay out. there goes you're theory that the market helps. but, there was some help, The New Zealand government, during a time of a socialist policy, had setup an Earthquake Comission, which is a state-owned enterprise designed to rescue consumers in the event of failure of the insurance market during catastrophic events. forgive my language but fuck that stupid idea of free market's being a panacea, they are not, the reality is contrary to your belief. we have a similar system to address failings in the health insurance market called ACC.

You said "some", not all. Is the court doing their job of dragging "some" of these corporations into fulfilling their obligation with their customer? If not, the government is implicit in helping insurance companies avoid fulfilling their contracts.

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February 21, 2011, 02:14:38 PM
 #129

if you've got the time heres an interesting docco, 'for 40 years New Zealand had full employment'

http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/in-a-land-of-plenty-2002
Will probably never watch videoes. I generally hate video as a medium of delivering information. If you have an equivalent article that said the same thing, that would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you feel like, you could summarize the video.

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February 21, 2011, 02:32:33 PM
 #130

A government operating under Austrian economic principles would not raise spending. However, during the "Rogernomics" period, the government did just that:

Foreign debt quadrupled. New Zealand's credit rating was downgraded twice.
If indeed the public debt is increasing in that period where government should be cutting spending, than it make sense that some of the problem in that country is probably caused by increased debt burden. However, I don't understand if the foreign debt include public and private. The article said that the public debt in 1995 return to pre-1984 level. She didn't mentioned that the public debt had been decreasing for 5 years until this article was written.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/New_Zealand_overseas_debt_1993-2010.svg

1993 to 2010 onward, government debt remain stable. Private debt are always increasing. GDP is also growing. We still don't understand what's going on before 1993.

Wikipedia said that the private debt are a result of trade imbalance:
Quote
one reason why New Zealand runs persistent current account deficits, that drives the net foreign debt upwards, is that earnings from agricultural exports and tourism fail to cover the imports of advanced manufactured goods and other imports (such as imported fuels) required to sustain the New Zealand economy. However, this trade imbalance is much smaller than the investment income imbalance which makes up the vast majority of New Zealand's current account deficit.

I am beginning to understand the New Zealand economy, but I have no clear understanding of what's going on during this 1984-1993 reform period.

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February 21, 2011, 02:43:53 PM
 #131


orly? Since when are arguments on the internet about facts and figures ?  Tongue

People will believe their own mindset and nothing I link them too will change it and it is a waste of energy to do so.

 Do I have to drag out the chart of the 200 million people killed by their own governments in history in each thread where socialist trolls hang out ?

On closer inspection, your arguments have nothing to do with the discussion at hand in which New Zealand is considered as a free market policy failure. We don't need to keep hearing libertarian propaganda that does nothing to advance the debate.

Although the case is not looking good anyway, because the guy who supported this theory have failed to repeatedly explain anything for the last few pages.

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February 21, 2011, 03:12:25 PM
 #132

Why did the market fail to provide regulations of building code?
I'm not informed about this discussion of NZ, but if it ain't because people need cheap houses and builders were happy to fill the gap without a thought for the future, then I'll eat a bitcoin.

That's a plausible explanation. It might be able to explain why the housing standard are degrading. Of course, we need statistics on housing demand to determine if it could fit.

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February 21, 2011, 03:22:12 PM
 #133

Quote
just how is Bitcoin/<crypto-currency> going to kick the asses of these 'communistic' keynesian systems?

Well, well, oh learned one. If you haven't figured out the link between money, economic freedom, personal freedom and its anti-thesis to socialism you have along way to come. Hint, begin with why gold is money for the ages and why socialists and facists alike hate it.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed eh? You seem to be a forgotten, rusty old socialistic relic left in an abandoned gully somewhere, like a railway system from the 1900's.

Had this devolved into a flamewar about who could spew the most facts and memes for their position? Does it have anything to do with my attempt to understand New Zealand refrom policies?

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February 21, 2011, 04:53:05 PM
 #134

... I have no clear understanding of what's going on during this 1984-1993 reform period ...

I lived in New Zealand from 1986 to 1992, which included the time where Roger Douglas and David Lange were reforming the economy. It was a fabulous time to be living there.

Prior to the 1980s, New Zealand was a "good" example of a socialist economy. Even the state-provided housing was of very good quality, and virtually no-one was homeless. Employment was high, but so was tax, and import duties were very restrictive. There were some racial tensions, but mostly it was a peaceful and comfortable country.

Although most people had decent housing and a steady job, you couldn't call the country prosperous by any measure. The average person couldn't afford a nice car, because they were extremely expensive. Nor were luxury consumer goods affordable. By that I mean, few people would have been able to afford (for example) a high quality camera. But for sure, all the basics of life were provided for, for most people.

But in the early 1980s, the government had experimented with "big business" capitalism. The government had taxed heavily to fund what they called the "Think Big" programs. These involved very large industrial and "public works" projects, way beyond what the country could afford, and the projects were chosen for political purposes rather than for cost-benefit ratio. Of course much of the profits went to the corporations that contracted with the government to build these things.

As a result of the "Think Big" projects, the government got deep into debt. Inflation rose, and unemployment rose. The Bank of New Zealand was bordering on insolvency.

Against this background, there was a change of government and the Labour Party was elected. Much to everyone's surprise, the Prime Minister (David Lange) and Finance Minister (Roger Douglas) turned out to be a bunch of libertarians and started to tear down the mechanisms of the state. They bailed out the Bank of New Zealand (for almost a thousand million NZ$ if my memory serves me correctly). They deregulated the labour market to reduce unemployment (which worked) and they balanced the budget to stabilize interest rates (which worked), and they moved towards inflation targeting for central bank policy to reduce inflation (which worked).

The were driven by the notion of the government's job being simply to provide a "level playing field" for enterprise to flourish, and to quite a large extent they succeeded. Because government policy was driven by this central idea of the "level playing field", the job of lobbyist virtually disappeared, because there were no favours being given out in response to lobbying.

Lange and Douglas steamrollered ahead, but they went one step further than the electorate was prepared to accept, when they announced the introduction of a flat rate of income tax. They quickly backtracked on this, but nevertheless lost the next election.

Along the way, they had also made three other big changes. They introduced Goods and Services Tax (in a very fair way, without loopholes), but of course in my opinion any tax increase is bad. And they stood up for themselves on matters of principle relating to warfare (even to the extent of upsetting their allies, the USA) -- for example, in the first gulf while everyone else sent combat troops, New Zealand sent a hospital ship. And the government gave the people a chance to choose the voting system. Although the government campaigned to retain the first-past-the-post system, the people chose a preferential system (wisely, in my opinion).
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February 21, 2011, 05:02:59 PM
 #135

I lived in New Zealand from 1986 to 1992, which included the time where Roger Douglas and David Lange were reforming the economy. It was a fabulous time to be living there.

Thanks for providing a counter-perspective but also giving me a few crucial explanatory details for me to work with. Your post is long so it will take me a while to digest and come up with questions about New Zealand economy. It's not exactly the best argument in the world but I don't think your intention is to refute Foo Barf's arguments.

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February 21, 2011, 06:10:39 PM
 #136

Forbes agrees with my previous source on the data about debt, but it attributes NZ's later success to policies introduced by Douglas.

Quote from: Hanke
The revolutionary free-market ideas of Labor's finance minister, Roger Douglas, even contaminated New Zealand's conservative National Party. Consequently, both political parties have introduced one innovative reform after another, and New Zealand has realized the largest increase in economic freedom in the world since 1985. It now ranks third-highest in the world in economic freedom, just behind Hong Kong and Singapore. Guess what? The IMF'S World Economic Outlook issued last month [1996] forecasts that New Zealand's real GDP growth rate will average 3.95% over the next two years [1996-1998], compared with a 2.3% average for all industrial countries.

Quote from: Hanke
Just look at those numbers. Net public debt has been reduced from 52% of GDP in 1992 to 37.6% last year [1995], and is scheduled to fall to 17.6% by 1999.

The Wall Street Journal also considers "Rogernomics" to be beneficial, citing improvements in various stats over the period. Like Forbes, it puts the responsibility for debt decreases on earlier policies.

Quote from: Experiment
Output is projected to increase 4.6% this fiscal year [1994], the third straight year of steady growth. The government is in surplus for the first time in 17 years [1977-1993]; net public debt is to be down to 30% of GDP by 1997; it was over 60% not many years ago. The country is nearly square in its current account. And inflation is under 2%, in keeping with a mandate to the central bank that was another product of the reform years.

The Journal goes on to explain that the policies failed because they were unpopular, not because they were unsuccessful. "It hit the wall that such endeavors usually do: The people like their gravy."

References:
Hanke, Steve H. 1996. "A revolution that paid off". Forbes.
"The new zealand experiment". 1994. Wall Street Journal.

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February 21, 2011, 07:33:30 PM
 #137

It's not exactly the best argument in the world but I don't think your intention is to refute Foo Barf's arguments.

I wasn't trying to argue anything. I was just posting my fond recollections, which I have also written about elsewhere.
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February 22, 2011, 06:16:07 PM
 #138

Well, I've finally got around to reading the anti-libertarian FAQ of the title of this thread - so you don't have to go to that first page, here's the link again: http://www.raikoth.net/libertarian.html

It's a good read, but in particular, there's one (for me) outstanding point (section 2.14.1):
Quote
If people are really dumb enough so as to think "Hmm, government regulation of basic minimum safety standards for industrial products have worked okay, so I'll bet letting a huge, oppressive government control every facet of our lives would work GREAT!" then people are probably also too dumb to responsibly live in a libertarian society.
What he's saying is this: libertarians claim that a docile population will lead to ever bigger and more dictatorial governments, but if people are really that docile, then they'd never be able to participate in a libertarian society.  Comments?
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February 22, 2011, 07:29:08 PM
 #139

What he's saying is this: libertarians claim that a docile population will lead to ever bigger and more dictatorial governments, but if people are really that docile, then they'd never be able to participate in a libertarian society.  Comments?

By your logic, they cannot participate in anything. No matter what, they are d00med.

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February 22, 2011, 07:36:49 PM
 #140

Quote
If people are really dumb enough so as to think "Hmm, government regulation of basic minimum safety standards for industrial products have worked okay, so I'll bet letting a huge, oppressive government control every facet of our lives would work GREAT!" then people are probably also too dumb to responsibly live in a libertarian society.
What he's saying is this: libertarians claim that a docile population will lead to ever bigger and more dictatorial governments, but if people are really that docile, then they'd never be able to participate in a libertarian society.  Comments?

I don't think the issue is that people think this; I can't imagine anybody thinking: "I want an oppressive dictator to control me!"

I think the issue is that people don't realize that the small, incremental changes ultimately lead to the same thing. The "spirit of resistance" is largely gone, at least in the USSA. These days, you're more likely to see a "spirit of dependence" leading to such bizarre sights as the Greece-style protests in Wisconsin by government employees upset that their gravy train can't keep going forever.

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February 22, 2011, 07:45:23 PM
 #141

I don't think the issue is that people think this; I can't imagine anybody thinking: "I want an oppressive dictator to control me!"

I think the issue is that people don't realize that the small, incremental changes ultimately lead to the same thing. The "spirit of resistance" is largely gone, at least in the USSA. These days, you're more likely to see a "spirit of dependence" leading to such bizarre sights as the Greece-style protests in Wisconsin by government employees upset that their gravy train can't keep going forever.

A socialist country with a "functioning" democracy is surely not the same thing as having a dictatorship.

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February 22, 2011, 07:47:31 PM
 #142

A socialist country with a "functioning" democracy is surely not the same thing as having a dictatorship.

Certainly not. In some ways it's worse!

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