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Author Topic: Libertarian Capitalism vs Social Democracy - A metaphor  (Read 8624 times)
Anonymous
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September 08, 2011, 06:34:20 PM
 #41

They don't understand human desire. They think all human beings are the same and can be given the same things: All you have to do is insert some magic numbers and POOF, you have a happy productive human being.
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September 09, 2011, 12:13:56 AM
 #42

human beings are rather similar. your neighbour isn't a gerbil

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September 17, 2011, 09:20:03 PM
 #43

I had once a neighbour who was a weasel though.

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September 18, 2011, 05:35:36 PM
 #44

human beings are rather similar. your neighbour isn't a gerbil

My neighbor might not be a gerbil but how does that make it so that our needs are similar? And yes, I know that "omg but u both eat food lol" but let's think realistically.

Denying that people have very different needs and desires can be dangerous.
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September 21, 2011, 05:40:35 PM
 #45

human being are more similar than they are different.

We are so highly co-operative that the very idea of the self is slightly ambiguous.

Steven Dobbs, co founder of thunderworks ltd
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September 21, 2011, 07:19:31 PM
 #46

human being are more similar than they are different.

We are so highly co-operative that the very idea of the self is slightly ambiguous.
We are only cooperative to fulfill our various individual desires. It is the individual in the and his selfishness that makes the paradigm churn in the first place.
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September 21, 2011, 08:26:04 PM
 #47

human being are more similar than they are different.

We are so highly co-operative that the very idea of the self is slightly ambiguous.
We are only cooperative to fulfill our various individual desires. It is the individual in the and his selfishness that makes the paradigm churn in the first place.

Not sure that's true.  Solitary confinement causes profound personality changes in a great many people.  Basically it seems that if their "self" is not reflected from society, they lose all sense of self.

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September 21, 2011, 08:56:18 PM
 #48

human being are more similar than they are different.

We are so highly co-operative that the very idea of the self is slightly ambiguous.
We are only cooperative to fulfill our various individual desires. It is the individual in the and his selfishness that makes the paradigm churn in the first place.

Not sure that's true.  Solitary confinement causes profound personality changes in a great many people.  Basically it seems that if their "self" is not reflected from society, they lose all sense of self.

Don't confuse the poor man with facts.  Grin

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September 21, 2011, 09:16:02 PM
 #49


 For example, I can't figure out how I would be driving a car or a bicycle around the city if there were no government to draw and enforce the rules of traffic. How would it work? Who would yield whom at an intersection? What would we do with dangerous drivers? Who's to say? These are not trivial questions. Of course, one can say how people would come up with rules "by themselves", but there would need to be some kind of framework for discussion, decision making, and even enforcement. And that, to me, is the government.


These are not trivial questions, but they are questions with real world solutions besides government.  In fact, I'd be willing to wager that the roads that you drive on were no built by government, are not maintained by a government, and could also be policed by a private contractor even though they are not presently, and you would likely never notice the differences.

Governments don't build roads in America.  They never have.  They fund roads and maintaince via taxation, but there are other ways to fund roads if need be.  The roads are built and maintained by construction contractors, and governments (at most) function as management.  In fact, none of your vital public infrastructure is provided for you by any direct actions of a government official, beyond the funding aspect.  Even in areas that the water or electic companys are publicly owned monopolies, the work of maintaince and expansion of the infrastructure network is done by employees of private industry.  Hell, even the police and military were somewhat private enterprises in the United States once upon a time.  The term 'constable' (where we get the term "cop" from, i.e. "constable on patrol") is an English word that literally refers to a privately hired policeman.  To this day, the county that I live in, and technically every county in the state, has two publicly elected positions for constables, who are not paid by any government agency for the office.  They are private security companies with state honored police powers.  One guy gets elected to the office, and hires off-duty cops to patrol banks and ride along with bounty hunters and serve private civil court summons, etc.  It's likely similar in your own city.  The enforcement of the traffic codes could likewise be performed by private companies.  For example, what if the funds from a traffic ticket went into the coffers of the constable's office after being proven in an independent traffic court?  Enforcement would be both better, and more just, then is presently so.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 21, 2011, 11:50:34 PM
 #50

just seems a bit unwieldy. its simpler to just go and govern and make things happen rather than let weeds take over the garden? dig a hole, plant some fruit trees. And eat fruit. You might get lucky with some wild berries. But they might be poisonous.

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September 22, 2011, 12:06:04 AM
 #51

Governments don't build roads in America.  They never have.  They fund roads and maintaince via taxation, but there are other ways to fund roads if need be.  The roads are built and maintained by construction contractors, and governments (at most) function as management.

Wrong.

1 ) The government decides to build roads (except in the case of a new tract under development by a developer).
2 ) The government sets up a planning commission which involves public and private planning firms.
3 ) The government decides on a plan, involving many government organizations, ranging from the ESA, the EPA, city councils, and so on.
4 ) The government contracts various firms to do the actual surveying, grading and paving.
5 ) Some government agency (state transportation agency, etc., depending on jurisdiction) oversees the project to completion.
6 ) Some government agency (state transportation agency, etc., depending on jurisdiction) maintains the completed road, installs signs, etc.
7 ) Sometimes, that government agency hires outside contractors to engage in significant repairs or improvements.
8 ) Utility companies are allowed, as per agreements with the government, to do installation and maintenance on their utilities which lie underneath the road or alongside it.  
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September 22, 2011, 12:42:55 AM
 #52

Governments don't build roads in America.  They never have.  They fund roads and maintaince via taxation, but there are other ways to fund roads if need be.  The roads are built and maintained by construction contractors, and governments (at most) function as management.

Wrong.


You contradict yourself immediately...

Quote

1 ) The government decides to build roads (except in the case of a new tract under development by a developer).
2 ) The government sets up a planning commission which involves public and private planning firms.
3 ) The government decides on a plan, involving many government organizations, ranging from the ESA, the EPA, city councils, and so on.  

Based upon the research, work and recommendations of private planning firms.  Governments don't have planning firms, btw.

Quote
4 ) The government contracts various firms to do the actual surveying, grading and paving.
5 ) Some government agency (state transportation agency, etc., depending on jurisdiction) oversees the project to completion.


Most people would consider that project management, would they not?

Quote
6 ) Some government agency (state transportation agency, etc., depending on jurisdiction) maintains the completed road, installs signs, etc.


Some government agency finances and manages the maintaince contracts of completed roads.  Only very large cities such as Chicago and NYC do this kind of skilled labor without contracting out the work to private contractors, and even they do it sometimes.  It's literally impossible for smaller cities and independent towns to do it without contracting, because they can't maintain the expertise.  And states don't do it because of the distances involved and political issues with county governments that make such a thing a logistical nightmare.


EDIT:  A single paving machine can cost over $100K, and unlike a fire truck which sits still most of it's service life, a paving machine needs to be in nearly constant use in order for the costs of road maintaince to remain low.  This also means that the machine itself needs constant professional maintaince as well.  And this is just one type of specialized equipment required in road maintaince.  Can a city own one of these?  Sure, but it's not cost effective for a city to do so, because a single city's public works department is unlikey to be able to keep the machine in service.  At least not as well as a contracting company that owns twenty of them, employs 15 operators full time, and two mechanics.  The kinds of specialized equipment that cities tend to own fall into the catagory of 'physical insurance', such as salt trucks in cities that freeze and fire pumper boats in cities near trade waterways.  Many cities have enough trouble just keeping their police helicopters in flight ready condition.
Quote

7 ) Sometimes, that government agency hires outside contractors to engage in significant repairs or improvements.


That sometimes is the vast majority of the time.  I would say almost all of the time, but I have no doubt that there are a few exceptions.

Quote

8 ) Utility companies are allowed, as per agreements with the government, to do installation and maintenance on their utilities which lie underneath the road or alongside it.  

And utility companies are private corporations, not mere extensions of government.  And like all companies, they have the right to sub-contract those maintaince duties to other, more specialized, contractors.  And they do, everywhere in America.

This is a field that I have worked within in the past, from several different perspectives.  I know how things actually get done.  You should try to consider your practical understanding of a topic before posting about issues for which you know not.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 22, 2011, 12:51:33 AM
 #53

just seems a bit unwieldy. its simpler to just go and govern and make things happen rather than let weeds take over the garden? dig a hole, plant some fruit trees. And eat fruit. You might get lucky with some wild berries. But they might be poisonous.

If you are referring to the concept of a private police force patroling a public or private network of roads as being unwieldy, I would agree.  I was pointing out that it's possible within the current social order without changes that would be dramatic to the casual observer.  I'm not suggesting it as a solution, only an example of how a lib society could actually solve the problem of "enforcement of the traffic laws" in a post-government civil society.  We can't even know how it would actually happen, and I don't even personally support the absolute 'anarchist' ideal anyway.  I think that governments exist because they serve a particular niche (justice, collective defense) very efficiently.  The problem that I have with governments is that they have a perverse incentive to expand the mission into ever more facets of private life.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 22, 2011, 01:36:18 AM
 #54

MoonShadow,

What a strange reply. The statement that rankled me was when you said: "Governments don't build roads." Totally false, and your reply indicates how odd your viewpoint is. It would be like us having the following conversation:

You: "Grocery stores don't sell groceries."
Me: "Uhhh, yes they do."
You: "No, the cashiers sell groceries. Grocers only manage it."

I guess what you seem to think is the one who is paid to do subtasks of the overall project is considered the reason for the product getting to the consumer. That's not really how projects are considered. The organization which delivers the product to the consumer is the one who is generally credited with getting the product to the consumer. No other way to put it.

Quote
Most people would consider that project management, would they not?

That's a funny way to put it. It's almost as if you're saying ACME Engineering decided to build a road, and then hired the government to invest in the project, and then manage it.

Quote
Some government agency finances and manages the maintaince contracts of completed roads.  Only very large cities such as Chicago and NYC do this kind of skilled labor without contracting out the work to private contractors, and even they do it sometimes.  It's literally impossible for smaller cities and independent towns to do it without contracting, because they can't maintain the expertise.  

Really? Just about every city out there has a public works yard filled with dump trucks, backhoes, and other such equipment, and they're sent out daily to do street repair.

Quote
And states don't do it because of the distances involved and political issues with county governments that make such a thing a logistical nightmare.

This is ignorance incarnate. Normally, I'm ok with ignorance, but when you say things like this:

Quote
This is a field that I have worked within in the past, from several different perspectives.  I know how things actually get done.

I then have to hold you to a higher standard. I guess you just don't know what's going on out there on a regular basis. Here's some information for you:

CalTrans Organizational chart: http://www.dot.ca.gov/orgchart/departmentalorgchart.pdf

Photo of CalTrans engaging in road work: http://www.westsideconnect.com/2011/04/21/feature-photo-caltrans-work/

More road work: http://pfostrain.ucsd.edu/gvs/photos/caltrans.krail.gif

Quote
That sometimes is the vast majority of the time.  I would say almost all of the time, but I have no doubt that there are a few exceptions.

Umm, no. It's actually sometimes. The majority of the time, significant repairs and improvements are not occurring. See the above two statements by me.

Quote
And utility companies are private corporations, not mere extensions of government.  And like all companies, they have the right to sub-contract those maintaince duties to other, more specialized, contractors.  And they do, everywhere in America.

No fucking shit. What do you think I said in my prior post. But that isn't road building, is it?

Let me explain to you how it really works, in simple terms for you (with handy heuristics for the visually inclined).

If the equipment is yellow, it's probably a contractor building new infrastructure as specified by the government. If the equipment has a government logo on it and general maintenance and repair is occurring, it's the government. In nearly all cases, it's the government which decided to build it, it's the government which specified what was to be built, and it's the government which delivers it to the public, and it's the government which actually gets their hands dirty maintaining it.

If it's utilities being laid down or repaired, then it's not road construction or maintenance, so it doesn't apply to our discussion about road building.
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September 22, 2011, 07:01:26 PM
 #55

MoonShadow,

What a strange reply. The statement that rankled me was when you said: "Governments don't build roads." Totally false, and your reply indicates how odd your viewpoint is. It would be like us having the following conversation:

You: "Grocery stores don't sell groceries."
Me: "Uhhh, yes they do."
You: "No, the cashiers sell groceries. Grocers only manage it."


It's more like this..

Me:  "Customers don't run grocery stores, they only pay for them."
Youe: "Uhhh, sure they do, the customer is always in charge!"

The government is the customer.  The private contractor is the grocery store, and the privately employed skilled laborer is the cashier.

Quote
I guess what you seem to think is the one who is paid to do subtasks of the overall project is considered the reason for the product getting to the consumer.


Uh, yes.  Of course.  The funding is just funding.  The actual people who do the work really are the most important factor.

Quote
Quote
Most people would consider that project management, would they not?

That's a funny way to put it. It's almost as if you're saying ACME Engineering decided to build a road, and then hired the government to invest in the project, and then manage it.


No, I'm not.  You're big with burning straw, but not particularly good at it.  Again, the government is the customer in this deal, operating as the representative of the taxpayers (hopefully).  It's like the customer decided that a road needed to be built, and hired ACME Engineering to design it, present it's project for approval, and then build it once funding was present.

Actually, it's not like that at all.  It's exactly that.
Quote
Quote
Some government agency finances and manages the maintaince contracts of completed roads.  Only very large cities such as Chicago and NYC do this kind of skilled labor without contracting out the work to private contractors, and even they do it sometimes.  It's literally impossible for smaller cities and independent towns to do it without contracting, because they can't maintain the expertise.  

Really? Just about every city out there has a public works yard filled with dump trucks, backhoes, and other such equipment, and they're sent out daily to do street repair.

I what throwback city do you live in?  I haven't seen an actual public works vehicle in over a decade, and even that was just a passenger van moving laborers with sidewalk brooms.

Quote

Quote
And utility companies are private corporations, not mere extensions of government.  And like all companies, they have the right to sub-contract those maintaince duties to other, more specialized, contractors.  And they do, everywhere in America.

No fucking shit. What do you think I said in my prior post. But that isn't road building, is it?


It was another comparison.


"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 22, 2011, 07:11:59 PM
 #56

Moonshadow, the person who does the labor is not really the issue. If there is a road, you have eminent domain and thats the state.  Whether the people doing the work are state employees or Build/Operate/Transfer contractors is just a detail.

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September 22, 2011, 08:08:35 PM
 #57

The thing I love most about the OP pictures is that the yard is what would be maintained by a government worker or government agency, required to maintain the bare minimum of their duties, while the gardens would be maintained by private owners, hoping to out compete their neighbor's garden to attract customers.

And yes, I do absolutely adore the public parks of Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and even Canada, so there is some irony there...

Oh, and on the topic of roads, I love trains, and really envy the European train transportation system, but apparently the main reason USA has such lack of train service is due to heavy government subsidation of roads, highways, gasoline, and trucking. Train companies couldn't compete, and thus the whole system practically fell appart. In Europe, rail tracks are government owned and subsidised (in US they're all private), so it's the other way around. I guess government can do things well. It's just not always the things we personally want.

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September 22, 2011, 08:22:55 PM
 #58

Moonshadow, the person who does the labor is not really the issue. If there is a road, you have eminent domain and thats the state.  Whether the people doing the work are state employees or Build/Operate/Transfer contractors is just a detail.

It's not a trivial detail.  The post that I was responding to questioned how public infrastructure, and particularly public roads, could exist in a libertarian government model.  A model that doesn't support the concept of taxpayer funded infrastructure, and the question "what about the roads?" is the one that every detractor always comes up with thinking that they can paint libs into an ideological corner.  I was just pointing out that the libertarian model abhores public funding of infrastructure, but that doesn't neccessarily lead to the conclusion that such infrastructure wouldn't exist.  Many privately highways have existed in the US in the past, and a few still exist in this modern world.  The question of funding isn't trivial either, but if it can be solved; and there is no reason to believe that it cannot under a libertarian form of governance, then the rest really is trivial because the vast majority of publicly funded infrastructure isn't publicly constructed at present.  That was my entire point, and it still is.  No matter how someone might wish to attack my perspectives, it's still true that most public projects are privately implemented.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 22, 2011, 08:28:20 PM
 #59

Moonshadow, the person who does the labor is not really the issue. If there is a road, you have eminent domain and thats the state.  Whether the people doing the work are state employees or Build/Operate/Transfer contractors is just a detail.

It's not a trivial detail.  The post that I was responding to questioned how public infrastructure, and particularly public roads, could exist in a libertarian government model.  A model that doesn't support the concept of taxpayer funded infrastructure, and the question "what about the roads?" is the one that every detractor always comes up with thinking that they can paint libs into an ideological corner.  I was just pointing out that the libertarian model abhores public funding of infrastructure, but that doesn't neccessarily lead to the conclusion that such infrastructure wouldn't exist.  Many privately highways have existed in the US in the past, and a few still exist in this modern world.  The question of funding isn't trivial either, but if it can be solved; and there is no reason to believe that it cannot under a libertarian form of governance, then the rest really is trivial because the vast majority of publicly funded infrastructure isn't publicly constructed at present.  That was my entire point, and it still is.  No matter how someone might wish to attack my perspectives, it's still true that most public projects are privately implemented.

Funding is easy.  Build/Operate/Transfer is a fine business model.

Making a road requires eminent domain.  As far as I know, that means you need a state of some kind.

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September 22, 2011, 08:29:11 PM
 #60


There isn't much evidence either way, but I'd say that no one in either of these two photos actually work directly for CalTrans.  They are all almost certainly employees of private contractors.  And those machines are not likely to be either owned, nor leased, by CalTrans or any other goverment agency of the State of California.

So thank you for proving the point so well.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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