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Author Topic: An Anti-Libertarian FAQ Worth Talking About?  (Read 11445 times)
kiba
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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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kiba
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February 15, 2011, 08:31:22 PM
 #62

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
 #64

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.
dirtyfilthy
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February 15, 2011, 11:52:34 PM
 #65

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/

Address: 1EkSP5Uqf5Fhs8Gg4XJG2b3hrFS7Vm8WFz
dirtyfilthy
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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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kiba
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February 16, 2011, 02:34:47 AM
 #67

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.

dirtyfilthy
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February 16, 2011, 03:27:22 AM
 #68

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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kiba
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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.

dirtyfilthy
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February 16, 2011, 04:18:15 AM
 #70

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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grondilu
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February 16, 2011, 04:38:43 AM
 #71

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.
kiba
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February 16, 2011, 04:47:50 AM
 #72


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.

kiba
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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.
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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.)

kiba
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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?

fergalish
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February 16, 2011, 08:10:15 AM
 #75

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.
grondilu
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February 16, 2011, 08:24:28 AM
 #76

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.
ribuck
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February 16, 2011, 10:40:25 AM
 #77

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.
kiba
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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.

fergalish
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February 16, 2011, 08:32:36 PM
 #79

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?
kiba
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February 17, 2011, 12:46:44 AM
 #80

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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