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Author Topic: Free markets and social problems:  (Read 7653 times)
bb113
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February 01, 2012, 02:02:35 AM
 #1

To avoid throwing the new global warming thread off topic:

The solution that is implied on this forum and is regurgitated day after day is "let the free market handle it".

The free market didn't handle ,

Slavery
Child Labor
Voter Discrimination
Gender Discrimination
Pollution Standards
and a list of millions of things that were NOT HANDLED BY THE FREE MARKET.

You know why?

Because it wasn't beneficial for the free market to do these things at the time.

Do you now see why the analysis of "letting the free market" handle green energy innovation is a ludicrous one?

I know this comes as a SHOCK to anyone in this forum (since it's closer here to a conspiracy community than an investment community) but the government is run BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE. It's just that it's up to the people to take ownership, vote for people who represent the same common interest, and hold them accountable when the next election comes around...

I'd first off say none of those practices took place in the context of a free market. As long as we have that out of the way:

Didn't the industrial revolution make slavery less economical before governments took action?
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bb113
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February 01, 2012, 05:31:21 AM
 #2

Europe I guess. I dunno, thats why I asked. I don't have time right now to research it beyond scanning wikipedia.
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February 01, 2012, 06:58:33 AM
 #3

When there is law (and oh boy there is law) men are not free to act to solve their problems. Freedom is no guarantee, but in the current situation would be free actors are stopped at every turn.

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February 01, 2012, 08:38:52 AM
 #4

Its important not to link markets and morality. Morality changes and markets change to suit it.  Just as we look in horror at slavery and racism today, its a fair bet that future generations will look back in disgust at mass abortion and at factory farming.  Markets operate within the moral frameworks of their societies - if those changes come to pass, the market in abortion services and in factory farmed pork will go away.

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February 01, 2012, 06:33:12 PM
 #5

When there is law (and oh boy there is law) men are not free to act to solve their problems. Freedom is no guarantee, but in the current situation would be free actors are stopped at every turn.

Your would-be-actors are still free to act. They are just oppressed at every turn when they have to consider the consequences of their every act, due to all of the "lawful" minutiae. Maybe we should differentiate between capable and free. I know what capable is. That's just science and physical fact. The real question is, what does it mean to be and act freely?

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February 02, 2012, 01:14:17 PM
 #6

The real question is, what does it mean to be and act freely?

There is only one logical answer to this.
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February 02, 2012, 01:57:25 PM
 #7

The real question is, what does it mean to be and act freely?

There is only one logical answer to this.

Which is what?

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February 02, 2012, 10:27:21 PM
 #8

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Nelson Mandela
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February 04, 2012, 03:04:31 AM
 #9

The real question is, what does it mean to be and act freely?

There is only one logical answer to this.

Which is what?

Free: Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.

That is, to take responsibilities for one's own action.

And in doing so, face the repercussions of those who you are willing to harm.
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February 04, 2012, 09:05:44 AM
 #10

The real question is, what does it mean to be and act freely?

There is only one logical answer to this.

Which is what?

Free: Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.

That is, to take responsibilities for one's own action.

And in doing so, face the repercussions of those who you are willing to harm.

So is an American citizen living in Boston in his own house a free man?

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February 04, 2012, 05:14:50 PM
 #11

Just about nobody is really free. There's always someone who has some power over you. Even if it's just your wife.

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February 04, 2012, 05:43:27 PM
 #12

Maybe in 200 years from now, people will be vegetarian and will argue the free market didn't/couldn't liberate animals back then.

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February 04, 2012, 09:00:23 PM
 #13

Maybe in 200 years from now, people will be vegetarian and will argue the free market didn't/couldn't liberate animals back then.

I can see that happening.  1000 years ago, slavery was normal and abortion was regarded as horrendous.  Nowadays, abortion is normal and slavery is regarded as horrendous.  Who knows how people will look back at us?

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February 04, 2012, 09:09:07 PM
 #14

Free: Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.

That is, to take responsibilities for one's own action.

And in doing so, face the repercussions of those who you are willing to harm.

So the murderer of a homeless man will face the repercussions of the homeless man?

The polluter will face the repercussions of those who don't know they were polluted?

The thief will face the repercussions of the victim even though the victim can't afford to pay someone to find who the thief was?

 
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February 05, 2012, 08:16:15 AM
 #15

Free: Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.

That is, to take responsibilities for one's own action.

And in doing so, face the repercussions of those who you are willing to harm.

So the murderer of a homeless man will face the repercussions of the homeless man?

The polluter will face the repercussions of those who don't know they were polluted?

The thief will face the repercussions of the victim even though the victim can't afford to pay someone to find who the thief was?

 

In all of those cases, the perpetrator is forced to act inconspicuously should they wish to remain in their state of lesser consequences, and their freedom is thus affected. The fear of being harmed is enough to persuade the fellows of those being harmed, that they must act to disarm the harmer would they be found out. The harmer has overwhelming incentive to hide, and the non-harmers have overwhelming incentive to remove the harmer (or themselves - flee) from their environment. If they didn't care about being punished (having a god complex), they may very well be punished by underestimating opposition, or be forced to defend themselves by destroying anyone that has cause to harm them (rebel), or to be isolated by the flight or extinction of prey.

One solution might be to kill all humans except yourself, then you'll mostly be free...but still subject to the whims of nature anyway.

The point of all this? None of us are free, and the modern world is the result of this duality between liberty and protection.

So is an American citizen living in Boston in his own house a free man?

No, save for the illusion of it. There is no available claim on this planet without contest, so the Boston man is shackled to a society (where can he go and stake an uncontested claim without an army?). His house is only his by law, the tenet of which is to refuse the freedoms of everyone else over that land. The system that gives him freedom over his own property is the same system that denies him freedom on every other. So, it is an illusion.
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February 05, 2012, 08:46:03 AM
 #16

So is an American citizen living in Boston in his own house a free man?

No, save for the illusion of it. There is no available claim on this planet without contest, so the Boston man is shackled to a society (where can he go and stake an uncontested claim without an army?). His house is only his by law, the tenet of which is to refuse the freedoms of everyone else over that land. The system that gives him freedom over his own property is the same system that denies him freedom on every other. So, it is an illusion.

Ah yet another "omg I am really a slave" poster.

If modern people in democratic states are not free, who is our master?

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February 05, 2012, 08:53:45 AM
 #17

So is an American citizen living in Boston in his own house a free man?

No, save for the illusion of it. There is no available claim on this planet without contest, so the Boston man is shackled to a society (where can he go and stake an uncontested claim without an army?). His house is only his by law, the tenet of which is to refuse the freedoms of everyone else over that land. The system that gives him freedom over his own property is the same system that denies him freedom on every other. So, it is an illusion.

Ah yet another "omg I am really a slave" poster.

If modern people in democratic states are not free, who is our master?

Rather than offer any counter argument to show them invalid, or any substance of your own, you try to belittle me?

If you ask "Who are our masters", the answer becomes more obvious.
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February 05, 2012, 10:46:18 AM
 #18

Depending on how loosely you define the term "slave", most men throughout history have been slaves: to a tribe, to a king, or to a state.  If you wish, you could define slavery in such a way so that the population of Western societies are considered "slaves".  Whether this is a useful term to apply to the members of Western society depends on your specific value scale.  Certainly, if they are slaves, they are the most pampered and prosperous slaves in the history of the species.  Given a choice, it seems feasible to me that most people would choose to be a middle class "slave" in the United States than a "free-man" living in the Scottish highlands.  However, those who love rustic living, kilts and the ability to distill and sell alcohol would likely choose the "free" Scottish life-style over the pampered, yet enslaved, existence of iPhones, XBoxes and internet.
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February 05, 2012, 01:45:11 PM
 #19

Didn't the industrial revolution make slavery less economical before governments took action?

Specifically where? As I understand it, the U.S. was unique in requiring a bloody civil war to "end slavery". Quotes because I don't think that's why the U.S. fought a bloody civil war.

You are absolutely correct.

The civil war was not about ending slavery. It was to supposedly "Save The Union". Abolition was a by product.

Lincoln wrote to Joshua Speed in 1855:
Quote from: President Abraham Lincoln
How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy

Lincoln wrote a letter in response to an editorial by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune which had urged complete abolition:
Quote from: President Abraham Lincoln
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
 I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.

Lincoln wrote to James C. Conkling on August 26, 1863:
Quote from: President Abraham Lincoln
There was more than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion before the proclamation issued, the last one hundred days of which passed under an explicit notice that it was coming, unless averted by those in revolt, returning to their allegiance. The war has certainly progressed as favorably for us, since the issue of proclamation as before. I know, as fully as one can know the opinions of others, that some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us our most important successes believe the emancipation policy and the use of the colored troops constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the Rebellion, and that at least one of these important successes could not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers. Among the commanders holding these views are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abolitionism or with the Republican party policies but who held them purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as being entitled to some weight against the objections often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures and were not adopted as such in good faith.
 You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.
 
I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do, in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive—even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.

Lincoln stated in a October 16, 1854 speech that:
Quote from: President Abraham Lincoln
My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia,—to their own native land. But a moment’s reflection would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible.

In analyzing Lincoln's position, historian Eugene H. Berwanger notes:
Quote from: Eugene H. Berwanger
During his presidency, Lincoln took a reasoned course which helped the federal government both destroy slavery and advance the cause of black suffrage. For a man who had denied both reforms four years earlier, Lincoln's change in attitude was rapid and decisive. He was both open-minded and perceptive to the needs of his nation in a postwar era. Once committed to a principle, Lincoln moved toward it with steady, determined progress.

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February 05, 2012, 01:47:06 PM
 #20

So is an American citizen living in Boston in his own house a free man?

No, save for the illusion of it. There is no available claim on this planet without contest, so the Boston man is shackled to a society (where can he go and stake an uncontested claim without an army?). His house is only his by law, the tenet of which is to refuse the freedoms of everyone else over that land. The system that gives him freedom over his own property is the same system that denies him freedom on every other. So, it is an illusion.

Ah yet another "omg I am really a slave" poster.

If modern people in democratic states are not free, who is our master?

Rather than offer any counter argument to show them invalid, or any substance of your own, you try to belittle me?

If you ask "Who are our masters", the answer becomes more obvious.

No it doesn't.

Really, if you are not free, someone or some group is oppressing you.  For example, in China, I can see its the Communists and in Bahrain, I can see its the Sunnis.  

In the US, who is oppressing you?

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