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Hawker
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November 13, 2011, 07:39:43 PM
 #21

Its almost as if there were essential things that every society needs and that wherever you have people, you have to contribute to these essentials.

If you want something, pay for it. Don't demand other people pay for it. That's just common sense.

If something requires ongoing maintenance, for example the coast guard, and if it is in the national interest, then it needs to be paid for by everyone and in small regular instalments called tax.

That's just common sense.

Yes, public goods will be underproduced in the absence of government, BUT:

1.There is no objective way of measuring the "optimal" production of public goods.
2.There is no objective way of measuring to what extent something is a public good, as ALL goods are to some extent public.
3.Government is likely to take advantage of this and start to produce goods that it has no business producing, leading to excessive taxation.

Your coast guard example can be resolved with private insurance. Wanna be saved from your sailboat? Get insurance beforehand.  The advantage of this system is that you can choose a higher quality rescue team if you're willing to pay for it.  Presumably, there will also be a basic rescue package financed by charity.

This is exactly how it works for extreme mountaineers, by the way.  So why can't it work for sailors?

I'd rather have an underproduction of public goods than overtaxation.

But that's just me.

Exactly - its just you and millions like you.  Make the argument and change the system.  Its not so long since the telephone system was treated like the lighthouse system and state run.  Now in most countries there are many competing telecom providers and the reason is that those who believe in the market campaigned for privatisation.

Change is possible - all you have to do is make a good argument.

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NghtRppr
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November 13, 2011, 07:40:43 PM
 #22

Libertarianism is escapism.

Escape from thieves.
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November 13, 2011, 07:46:49 PM
 #23

Libertarianism is escapism.

Escape from thieves.

Clichés are abuse.

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November 13, 2011, 08:32:04 PM
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And yet so true. I'll accept any cliche that's true. Kinda rolls off the tongue with a certain ring to it.

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NghtRppr
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November 13, 2011, 08:46:52 PM
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So is changing the subject.
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November 13, 2011, 09:20:10 PM
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You started that...

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November 14, 2011, 04:24:18 PM
 #27

I didn't change the subject. Taxation is theft.

Too lazy to make an intelligent argument?  Want to spout stupid slogans instead?  I can do the same. 

Libertarianism is escapism. 

Common sense is just "common," not "sensible"

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November 14, 2011, 04:58:19 PM
 #28

Libertarianism is escapism.

Escape from thieves.

Libertarianism is escape from thieves, enslavers and murderers.

Just a little more technically accurate.

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BitMagic
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November 14, 2011, 04:58:36 PM
 #29

Its almost as if there were essential things that every society needs and that wherever you have people, you have to contribute to these essentials.

If you want something, pay for it. Don't demand other people pay for it. That's just common sense.

If something requires ongoing maintenance, for example the coast guard, and if it is in the national interest, then it needs to be paid for by everyone and in small regular instalments called tax.

That's just common sense.

Yes, public goods will be underproduced in the absence of government, BUT:

1.There is no objective way of measuring the "optimal" production of public goods.
2.There is no objective way of measuring to what extent something is a public good, as ALL goods are to some extent public.
3.Government is likely to take advantage of this and start to produce goods that it has no business producing, leading to excessive taxation.

Your coast guard example can be resolved with private insurance. Wanna be saved from your sailboat? Get insurance beforehand.  The advantage of this system is that you can choose a higher quality rescue team if you're willing to pay for it.  Presumably, there will also be a basic rescue package financed by charity.

This is exactly how it works for extreme mountaineers, by the way.  So why can't it work for sailors?

I'd rather have an underproduction of public goods than overtaxation.

But that's just me.

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

Please give me your money, because I am a shameless libertarian elite who deserves your money more than you do: 9Hkao8U82WWDp6SQGn4k7ad9gT1LWeL5s3
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November 14, 2011, 05:07:17 PM
 #30

Its almost as if there were essential things that every society needs and that wherever you have people, you have to contribute to these essentials.

If you want something, pay for it. Don't demand other people pay for it. That's just common sense.

If something requires ongoing maintenance, for example the coast guard, and if it is in the national interest, then it needs to be paid for by everyone and in small regular instalments called tax.

That's just common sense.

Yes, public goods will be underproduced in the absence of government, BUT:

1.There is no objective way of measuring the "optimal" production of public goods.
2.There is no objective way of measuring to what extent something is a public good, as ALL goods are to some extent public.
3.Government is likely to take advantage of this and start to produce goods that it has no business producing, leading to excessive taxation.

Your coast guard example can be resolved with private insurance. Wanna be saved from your sailboat? Get insurance beforehand.  The advantage of this system is that you can choose a higher quality rescue team if you're willing to pay for it.  Presumably, there will also be a basic rescue package financed by charity.

This is exactly how it works for extreme mountaineers, by the way.  So why can't it work for sailors?

I'd rather have an underproduction of public goods than overtaxation.

But that's just me.

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

Nobody has espoused no environmental regulation nor no utilities. All we want are accountable services not held by a government monopoly.
FredericBastiat
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November 14, 2011, 05:28:21 PM
 #31

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.

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Hawker
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November 14, 2011, 09:07:09 PM
 #32

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard. 

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November 14, 2011, 09:09:45 PM
 #33

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard. 
Yeah, like how the first competing postal company in the United States gave people cheaper mail and faster service. Thankfully the government put them out of business by fining them. Those Bastards. How dare they be profitable and give people better service.
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November 14, 2011, 09:11:43 PM
 #34

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard. 
Yeah, like how the first competing postal company in the United States gave people cheaper mail and faster service. Thankfully the government put them out of business by fining them. Those Bastards. How dare they be profitable and give people better service.

Why do I get the feeling you have left the facts that don't match your theory out?

BitMagic
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November 14, 2011, 09:13:15 PM
 #35

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.
To get at your question, many of these services would not come about without government. It's a really simple concept surrounding public goods (non-rival, non-excludable goods), has been for a very very long time with nearly every serious economist over the last 100 years, and has been the paradigm for a reason you don't like but should probably accept: it has been shown with convincing experimental evidence that these goods exist and will not be provided by the market in a way that allows the efficient exchange of resources.

There is nothing "magical" about "my" government, it just happens to be a better mechanism for certain kinds of exchange and resource management. No argument that probably most of the things you need in your life, along with nearly all of the things you want can be handled better by private organizations. But you have to stop acting like your mythical extreme is better simply because it hasn't been tried. Enough of that extreme has been tried and summarily rejected by massive worker revolt over the last two centuries.

Spend some time reading about the definition of monopoly before you start swinging it around in the context of government. The fact that there is no competition for those services is not enough to claim monopoly, and its power to siphon consumer surplus right to the owners of the organization.

Besides, it always cracks me up when you argue against "government monopoly" only to support free-market practices that lead to private monopolies, with the silly little BS argument "but that's only because the market wasn't free enough!

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard.  

Just because you say it's true does not make it true. The reason government got into many has nothing to do with standards, it has to do with the over-consumption of scarce resources because of their "public" nature.

Really, don't bother trying until you've read a bit more on the subject. Definitely don't tell me the reasons that government does anything until you know what you're talking about.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/tennessee-firefighters-watch-home-burn/

Tell me it's fair that if you can't quite afford $75 a month, that you deserve this.

Please give me your money, because I am a shameless libertarian elite who deserves your money more than you do: 9Hkao8U82WWDp6SQGn4k7ad9gT1LWeL5s3
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November 14, 2011, 09:14:38 PM
 #36

Yeah, you're just completely wrong. There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard. 
Yeah, like how the first competing postal company in the United States gave people cheaper mail and faster service. Thankfully the government put them out of business by fining them. Those Bastards. How dare they be profitable and give people better service.

Why do I get the feeling you have left the facts that don't match your theory out?

I haven't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Letter_Mail_Company
ALPHA.
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November 14, 2011, 09:18:49 PM
 #37

You make it sound as if these services wouldn't come about except thru government. Government is just people with special privileges and authority. If there is a market for trash collection, sewer systems, utilities, fire, protection and health related issues, don't you think some enterprising individual(s) would attempt to create a market?

Why does one have to have a monopoly to make it all happen? What do you think is so magical about your government? They don't have any more pixie dust than you. Oh wait, they don't have pixie dust, it was Kool Aid I was thinking of. I wouldn't drink too much of that though. You never can tell what they put in that stuff.
To get at your question, many of these services would not come about without government. It's a really simple concept surrounding public goods (non-rival, non-excludable goods), has been for a very very long time with nearly every serious economist over the last 100 years, and has been the paradigm for a reason you don't like but should probably accept: it has been shown with convincing experimental evidence that these goods exist and will not be provided by the market in a way that allows the efficient exchange of resources.

There is nothing "magical" about "my" government, it just happens to be a better mechanism for certain kinds of exchange and resource management. No argument that probably most of the things you need in your life, along with nearly all of the things you want can be handled better by private organizations. But you have to stop acting like your mythical extreme is better simply because it hasn't been tried. Enough of that extreme has been tried and summarily rejected by massive worker revolt over the last two centuries.

Spend some time reading about the definition of monopoly before you start swinging it around in the context of government. The fact that there is no competition for those services is not enough to claim monopoly, and its power to siphon consumer surplus right to the owners of the organization.

Besides, it always cracks me up when you argue against "government monopoly" only to support free-market practices that lead to private monopolies, with the silly little BS argument "but that's only because the market wasn't free enough!

Um, all those things were once done by the private sector.  The reason governments do it is that the private sector was not up to standard.  

Just because you say it's true does not make it true. The reason government got into many has nothing to do with standards, it has to do with the over-consumption of scarce resources because of their "public" nature.

Really, don't bother trying until you've read a bit more on the subject. Definitely don't tell me the reasons that government does anything until you know what you're talking about.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/tennessee-firefighters-watch-home-burn/

Tell me it's fair that if you can't quite afford $75 a month, that you deserve this.

What's wrong with a monopoly if people voluntarily accept it and are happy with its service as opposed to a government monopoly that is forced upon its people?
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November 14, 2011, 09:26:33 PM
 #38

There are many methods of elucidating the value of public goods to people. It's certainly harder than for normal goods, but it's not a blind shot in the dark.

Yes, you can use "scientific" measures such as child mortality, which even the most hardcore subjective value proponents will agree is something that 99.99% of us value.

Minimizing child mortality by increasing spending on public goods is all well and good, but there comes a point at which each additional tax dollar will buy an increasingly smaller reduction in child mortality.  The problem is that governments don't know where to stop and have a tendency to increase spending forever.  Zero child mortality will never be achieved, but a lot of governments set these kind of aims, regardless of the cost.  The mistake they are making is that they are only measuring what they choose to measure and ignoring unseen effects.  Spending on public goods always comes at the cost of something else.  Perhaps reducing child mortality has the result of increasing road deaths, because there is less money available for traffic lights.

These "scientific" measures only measure isolated sectors; there is no good scientific measure for the utility of the entire economy.

Needless to say, child mortality would also be reduced in a free market.

Btw, the above is the best case.  In practice, governments often consciously enact policies that are scientifically proven to be unfavorable in terms of above measures because they are pandering to the caveman instincts of ignorant voters who have little personal stake in the public good.    

A classic example is the blocking of cheap and highly effective needle exchange programs by right wing politicians, even though needle exchange is scientifically proven to reduce the chance of catching hepatitis and hiv, even for non-drug users.

 
Quote
And I'm sure you wouldn't love the underproduction of public goods when you saw how fucking miserable your life would be with out any environmental regulation, public trash and sewer systems, utilities in some cases, fire and police protection, and public health.

Fucking people espouse all these ridiculous ideas from a featherbed.

These ridiculous ideas don't come from a featherbed but from my personal experiences.  

I used to live in a country where I suffered from heavy air pollution, where the trash piled up in the streets, where the sewers were simply emptied into the sea, where I didn't feel safe in the street because the police didn't do their job, and where people died from treatable diseases because public hospitals had 10 years waiting time.

Despite the fact that people are forced to pay 1/3 of their income for those "services", as soon as they can afford to, they get private insurance, send their kids to private school, and move into gated communities that do a much better job of providing security and trash removal.  

A free market doesn't do a perfect job of providing public goods but government does an even worse job.
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November 14, 2011, 09:38:32 PM
 #39

What's wrong with a monopoly if people voluntarily accept it and are happy with its service as opposed to a government monopoly that is forced upon its people?

I don't know where to even start, Atlas. This is the dumbest thing I've seen come out of your mouth. You presume some supreme crap here, that has absolutely no basis in reality. Let me rephrase your question for you: "What's wrong with a monopoly that actively circumvents people so that they have no choice but to accept it's service, as opposed to an organization that can be changed yearly through organization-supported avenues, constitutionally protected collective action, and even violent protest?"

Stop talking and read, dude.

These "scientific" measures only measure isolated sectors; there is no good scientific measure for the utility of the entire economy.

There are plenty. Here's a nice one that's actually used today, and would not be taken into account by a private organization because of it's application to public goods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_of_life

Btw, the above is the best case.  In practice, governments often consciously enact policies that are scientifically proven to be unfavorable in terms of above measures because they are pandering to the caveman instincts of ignorant voters who have little personal stake in the public good.    

A classic example is the blocking of cheap and highly effective needle exchange programs by right wing politicians, even though needle exchange is scientifically proven to reduce the chance of catching hepatitis and hiv, even for non-drug users.

You do realize that your "caveman voters" are the same people that will be voting with their dollars? The problem with needle exchanges is they butt up against powerful moral objections that exist just as prominently in the private sector. Killing government does not make this go away.
 
These ridiculous ideas don't come from a featherbed but from my personal experiences.  

I used to live in a country where I suffered from heavy air pollution, where the trash piled up in the streets, where the sewers were simply emptied into the sea, where I didn't feel safe in the street because the police didn't do their job, and where people died from treatable diseases because public hospitals had 10 years waiting time.

Despite the fact that people are forced to pay 1/3 of their income for those "services", as soon as they can afford to, they get private insurance, send their kids to private school, and move into gated communities that do a much better job of providing security and trash removal.  

A free market doesn't do a perfect job of providing public goods but government does an even worse job.

Sorry, but only some people paying to avoid sewage in the bay does not provide you protection from cholera the way a publicly run sewer does. This is what I am talking about. Even with individual choice, there are actions taken by the few that can have severe, life-threatening effects on the many. And your privatization does not allow for the protection of the many.

I'm sorry, but this is all I got. Arguing with you folks really is like arguing with a brick wall.

Please give me your money, because I am a shameless libertarian elite who deserves your money more than you do: 9Hkao8U82WWDp6SQGn4k7ad9gT1LWeL5s3
Rassah
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November 14, 2011, 09:58:40 PM
 #40

What's wrong with a monopoly if people voluntarily accept it and are happy with its service as opposed to a government monopoly that is forced upon its people?

I don't know where to even start, Atlas. This is the dumbest thing I've seen come out of your mouth. You presume some supreme crap here, that has absolutely no basis in reality. Let me rephrase your question for you: "What's wrong with a monopoly that actively circumvents people so that they have no choice but to accept it's service, as opposed to an organization that can be changed yearly through organization-supported avenues, constitutionally protected collective action, and even violent protest?"

Organization-supported avenues, collective action, and violent protest sounds exactly like the things that brought down private monopolies of the late 1800s/early 1900s. Why is government the only thing that can be changed by those means? Also, did you forget that modern government is already way more influenced by private enterprise and money than by actual individual voters?

Sorry, but only some people paying to avoid sewage in the bay does not provide you protection from cholera the way a publicly run sewer does. This is what I am talking about. Even with individual choice, there are actions taken by the few that can have severe, life-threatening effects on the many. And your privatization does not allow for the protection of the many.

This is an often made mistake I was making until recently, too. You think through it, but then come to an acceptable conclusion, and stop. You thought through private ownership of sewers, but stopped before thinking the same about the bay. If the bay was privately owned, do you think the owner would allow peoples' sewage to be dumped into it without serious compensation or cleanup?

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