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Author Topic: renting out a house is armed robbery!  (Read 2504 times)
XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 08:51:25 AM
 #1

If the tenant doesn't pay his rent, MEN WITH GUNS show up and initiate violence against him! Anyone who believes in the NAP cannot ethically allow this! Overthrow landlords!
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February 28, 2012, 09:08:29 AM
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I don't agree with the NAP but I don't agree with trolling either.  The NAP allows violence if someone breaks an agreement with you.

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February 28, 2012, 09:14:51 AM
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Now  replace landlord with government and you'll see my point.
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February 28, 2012, 09:21:36 AM
 #4

See, if a property owner forces you out if you don't pay, that's cool. Even if other stuff like utilities that are included in the rent, it's still okay.

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.
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February 28, 2012, 09:41:28 AM
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If the tenant doesn't pay his rent, MEN WITH GUNS show up and initiate violence against him! Anyone who believes in the NAP cannot ethically allow this! Overthrow landlords!

If the tenant didn't pay rent, then they have stolen your property (called trespass in this case).  Trespass is an act of aggression so the NAP doesn't apply.

(You do know that the NAP is "thou shalt not initiate violence"?)

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.

Governments don't force you out of the country if you don't pay tax.

Firstly: you are forced to pay tax because it's mostly deducted before you get your money.  Secondly: it's deducted during any transaction.  Thirdly: anything else is just issued as a bill, and handled just like any other unpaid debt.

Government is the monopoly provider of force.  Depending on the degree of ones libertarianism/anarchism you accept that they must have that role.  It's pretty much a given that land ownership can only exist with a state there to register it with (some like to suggest that they don't need the state, that they will simply defend their borders... but that's a debate for a different thread I think).

Once you have a state as monopoly provider of force, then unpaid debts are simply extracted from you once a court has ruled on its legitimacy.

That is nothing to do with the ethicality/necessity of taxation in the first place.

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February 28, 2012, 09:44:04 AM
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Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?
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February 28, 2012, 09:47:54 AM
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I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

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February 28, 2012, 11:24:29 AM
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Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

How can it force you out of a house without threat of imprisonment?

What does socialism have to do with tax?  The USSR survived 60 years without any taxation.

I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

That makes no sense at all.  The whole idea of anarcho-capitalism is that there is no government.

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February 28, 2012, 11:37:05 AM
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Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

It's hard to follow what your point is now.  However, to answer your question: it's not okay because of the tax, not because of the forcing out.

  • What has "socialist" to do with it?  The state is the state regardless of its current operators
  • What's the difference between dealing with an unpaid debt to the state, and an unpaid debt to your grocer?  My argument is that on this point, the state is no different from anyone else.  Debt is debt.
  • For any practical society there will have to be some way of resolving the unpaid debt problem.  If there is no consequence to running up debt and never paying it why wouldn't everyone simply run up that debt?  The answer for libertarians is "contract law", but once you allow for contracts you allow that they must eventually be enforced by someone.  "Enforced" being the key word.  The state is the monopoly provider of force.
  • We were talking about the NAP and how it applies to tenants; and somehow you've leaped away from that.  The tenant presumably signed a contract which said "I will pay or I will get out", if they don't pay what is your proposed remedy other than the "MEN WITH GUNS" enforce that contract?  Let them stay forever?  How is that not an act of aggression against the property owner?

So -- I have no problem with forced compliance with contract.  The problem with taxation though is that there is no contact.  Everyone is treated as if they signed an agreement to pay taxes, and if they don't they are dealt with just like any breaker of contract.  The problem then is not the method by which contract defaulters are dealt with -- that must exist with or without taxation -- the problem is the taxation in the first place.

"Taxation" (without a contract) simply being another way of saying "theft".  That's the initiation of force.  It is that which libertarians should have a problem with.  Any other state-committed force doesn't break the NAP because it is always in response to some other trespass which was the initiation.

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February 28, 2012, 11:59:14 AM
 #10

See, if a property owner forces you out if you don't pay, that's cool. Even if other stuff like utilities that are included in the rent, it's still okay.

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.

Here's a key difference: I _signed_ an agreement with my landlord.
In other words, I made a promise and I am now trying to keep it.
I didn't sign anything with any governments. I owe them nothing.


That doesn't follow.

Your agreement with your landlord is a contract.  You don't have an agreement with your government.  It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.

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February 28, 2012, 12:13:00 PM
 #11

Your agreement with your landlord is a contract.  You don't have an agreement with your government.  It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.

That's one way of running a country -- not a million miles from Hobbe's social contract idea. I think the point libertarians want to make is that it's not the only way, and they'd like their way more.  What's more, their (our) argument is that a more libertarian country would end up better off in aggregate.

I don't suppose we'll ever know.  Turkey's don't vote for Christmas.

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February 28, 2012, 03:19:01 PM
 #12


It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.


That is incorrect and on multiple counts.

Government usually collect taxes from you if you _earn_ money on their territory.

Also, other than the US, most countries in the world only tax you in that case, and
not once you earn money someplace else.



Actually you need to check your facts.  Most governments tax spending and tax property as well as taxing income.  If you buy petrol or if you own a house, the government taxes you.  And the bigger point is that you are paying taxes without your consent.  You don't have a contract with the government the way you have a contract with a landlord.

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February 28, 2012, 03:56:05 PM
 #13

Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

It's hard to follow what your point is now.  However, to answer your question: it's not okay because of the tax, not because of the forcing out.

  • What has "socialist" to do with it?  The state is the state regardless of its current operators
  • What's the difference between dealing with an unpaid debt to the state, and an unpaid debt to your grocer?  My argument is that on this point, the state is no different from anyone else.  Debt is debt.
  • For any practical society there will have to be some way of resolving the unpaid debt problem.  If there is no consequence to running up debt and never paying it why wouldn't everyone simply run up that debt?  The answer for libertarians is "contract law", but once you allow for contracts you allow that they must eventually be enforced by someone.  "Enforced" being the key word.  The state is the monopoly provider of force.
  • We were talking about the NAP and how it applies to tenants; and somehow you've leaped away from that.  The tenant presumably signed a contract which said "I will pay or I will get out", if they don't pay what is your proposed remedy other than the "MEN WITH GUNS" enforce that contract?  Let them stay forever?  How is that not an act of aggression against the property ownewr?

So -- I have no problem with forced compliance with contract.  The problem with taxation though is that there is no contact.  Everyone is treated as if they signed an agreement to pay taxes, and if they don't they are dealt with just like any breaker of contract.  The problem then is not the method by which contract defaulters are dealt with -- that must exist with or without taxation -- the problem is the taxation in the first place.

"Taxation" (without a contract) simply being another way of saying "theft".  That's the initiation of force.  It is that which libertarians should have a problem with.  Any other state-committed force doesn't break the NAP because it is always in response to some other trespass which was the initiation.


Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?
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February 28, 2012, 04:03:23 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

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February 28, 2012, 04:33:07 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

My understanding is that the NAP is not compatible with a state because a state insists on a monopoly on violence and you pay taxes regardless of your opinion on on what the money is spent on.

Am I wrong?

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February 28, 2012, 04:39:20 PM
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I question the idea of owning land that you do not use yourself.

Also, for me personally the "social contract" is broken. This is because it turns out that the governments (at least the ones I would have a choice to live in) attack and murder their own citizens (i.e. false flags attacks) and then cover it up. So the idea of a "government" has lost all credibility for me. There should be no governments, just private organizations that don't have more rights than any individual.

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XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 05:37:48 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

Alright, thanks.

I'm thinking of a minarchist government that only enforces contracts and handles property rights, and then multiple private "microstates" with different rules.

See, I tend to lean more towards the socialist side of things (sorry, but if someone doesn't have enough money for a life-saving operation and can't convince people to donate enough to him, I don't think he should die.) However, a free market can be extremely effective. So, I think formalizing the social contract is the best way to provide for those less fortunate while maximizing individual freedom.

Similar to a microkernel, actually. The government/kernel provides only the basic rules and structure (contract enforcement and property rights/IPC and security) - individual people/daemons have no ability to modify that, although some people/daemons are more privileged than others (own property/have access rights to important files or device nodes).
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February 28, 2012, 05:39:44 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

My understanding is that the NAP is not compatible with a state because a state insists on a monopoly on violence and you pay taxes regardless of your opinion on on what the money is spent on.

Am I wrong?
Well, the usual solution there is to define breach of contract or trespassing as "violence". Odd, but it makes things come out right.
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February 28, 2012, 05:55:52 PM
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But you don't have a contract with the state.

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February 28, 2012, 05:57:39 PM
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But you don't have a contract with the state.

Well, the state needs to allow you to leave at any time if you have no unpaid debts.
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February 28, 2012, 06:19:09 PM
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But you don't have a contract with the state.

Well, the state needs to allow you to leave at any time if you have no unpaid debts.

What if they encourage everyone to take out student loans, enslaving a generation and deluding the value of their degrees?

Student loan debt can not be discharged, and unless Bitcoin makes me rich, I will have a negative net worth until I'm at least 35.

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Luther
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February 28, 2012, 06:21:59 PM
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I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

That makes no sense at all.  The whole idea of anarcho-capitalism is that there is no government.
Hence the contradiction in anarcho-capitalism. Any time you have a natural, long-term monopoly that everyone depends on, you have a government. The monopoly owner has great power over the people. Anarchists seem to think that as long as the government isn't "official", they can just look the other way.

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February 28, 2012, 06:49:36 PM
 #23

Sounds familiar!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_is_theft!

Before anyone lets this thread bother them too much, keep in mind that local monopolies would be extremely vulnerable without a state, and market forces will push towards greater efficiency (less monopoly abuse).
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February 28, 2012, 06:50:19 PM
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I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

That makes no sense at all.  The whole idea of anarcho-capitalism is that there is no government.
Hence the contradiction in anarcho-capitalism. Any time you have a natural, long-term monopoly that everyone depends on, you have a government. The monopoly owner has great power over the people. Anarchists seem to think that as long as the government isn't "official", they can just look the other way.

Assuming you need a monopoly for those things to function, which is not the case.

I think the point Luther is making is that you are under the power of the person who controls the resources and you best hope they are soft hearted.  Just because there is no state does not mean there is no scope for oppression.

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February 28, 2012, 06:56:11 PM
 #25

But you don't have a contract with the state.

Well, the state needs to allow you to leave at any time if you have no unpaid debts.

What if they encourage everyone to take out student loans, enslaving a generation and deluding the value of their degrees?

Student loan debt can not be discharged, and unless Bitcoin makes me rich, I will have a negative net worth until I'm at least 35.

Is it really aggression to encourage loans? If not, how does this violate the NAP?
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February 28, 2012, 07:45:37 PM
 #26

Hence the contradiction in anarcho-capitalism. Any time you have a natural, long-term monopoly that everyone depends on, you have a government. The monopoly owner has great power over the people. Anarchists seem to think that as long as the government isn't "official", they can just look the other way.

Assuming you need a monopoly for those things to function, which is not the case.
Let's see, agorists have already disproven the need for copyright (free software, Wikipedia, etc.) and fiat currency (Bitcoin). I'm still waiting for them to come up with a decentralized transit system and decentralized utilities. I'd do it myself, but I have no idea how such a thing could be possible, and, AFAIK, there are no historical examples.

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February 28, 2012, 07:48:18 PM
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My understanding is that the NAP is not compatible with a state because a state insists on a monopoly on violence and you pay taxes regardless of your opinion on on what the money is spent on.

Am I wrong?

That's correct, as the concept of a state is presently known.  However, a state that does not insist on such a monopoly on legitimate use of force is not inconceivable.  Most people don't know this, but once upon a time the United States was one such nation, and there were several (but never all) of the many states that did not insist on such a monopoly either.  Most of the Western territories (i.e. Utah, Wyoming, etc) didn't have a monopoly on force within those areas as a practical matter, and that is why (despite the relative peacefulness of the age as compared to today) history refers to this period as "The Wild West".

Following it's founding of the nation of Switzerland (of the old confederacy, circa 1291), that nation could also lay credible claim to a national government that didn't insist upon a monopoly on the use of force, as such powers rested in the 'cantons' for centuries, and as a matter of practiality, most of those cantons in turn expected the citizens and clans within to participate in the maintaince of the public order.

Even Great Britain can make some claim that their societies were not originally dependent upon a government monopoly on the use of legtimate force.  For starters, the prison known as "Old Bailey" was traditionally managed by a warden and guard force recruited from within the prison population itself; so the "criminal element" (mostly debt prisoners, really) literally policed their own during their sentences.  Also, the British had (at that time) a form of private police force, as anyone could be hired as a 'constable' (as opposed to a sheriff or his deputies) who acted much like how one would expect a private security guard/detective/thug would act.  Of couse, local governments could hire constables as well, and that is exactly how modern urban police forces 'evolved' as well as where we get the word "cop", as it's entomology of the word comes from "constable on patrol".  Where I live that legacy lives on, as while the Chief of Police (sheriff) is appointed by the mayor, there are two elected positions in each county in Kentucky called 'contables' that impose police powers upon the elected individual, but offers no salary.  In practice, the elected constable is just a businessman that runs a private security force and hires off duty or former cops to hang out in banks or hotel lobbies, or serve court summons to civil actions.

So it's not true that we don't have evidence that a state can't function within the NAP, or that a state can't co-exist with private protection services.  It's only in the modern world that most people can no longer imagine such a thing.

"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."

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February 28, 2012, 07:54:44 PM
 #28

decentralized transit system

Legs and taxicabs?
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February 28, 2012, 07:57:41 PM
 #29

But you don't have a contract with the state.

Well, the state needs to allow you to leave at any time if you have no unpaid debts.

What if they encourage everyone to take out student loans, enslaving a generation and deluding the value of their degrees?

Student loan debt can not be discharged, and unless Bitcoin makes me rich, I will have a negative net worth until I'm at least 35.

Is it really aggression to encourage loans? If not, how does this violate the NAP?

That depends on if you count fear mongering as aggression.  We were told we would be doomed to poverty without a degree.  We were too young to know they were full of shit.  Now we are told our degrees don't mean anything because everyone has one.

Also, just to be clear, I meant diluted, not deluded Wink.

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February 28, 2012, 08:04:16 PM
 #30

I'm still waiting for them to come up with a decentralized transit system and decentralized utilities. I'd do it myself, but I have no idea how such a thing could be possible, and, AFAIK, there are no historical examples.

Sure, there are historical examples of both utilites and transit systems.  If fact, historicly neither of these services were municipally owned enterprises.  In the modern world, examples of decentralized transit systems include 'jitney' cabs, Flinc (www.flinc.mobi), Avego (avego.com), Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) and RelayRides (www.relayrides.com); in addition to more obvious examples such as Greyhound (www.greyhound.com).

For that matter, the New York subway system was originally built and managed by private enterprises, but was 'nationalized' during the second world war and never given back.

As for decentralized utility services, that is really just you (or your condo association, etc) providing for itself as opposed to relying on the municipal water company or the power company to do it, but it's uncommon because the economies of scale tend to favor those municipal companies.  Even so, a local well for non-potable (i.e. toilet flushwater only) can pay for itself in no time, and there are many building in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky (where I live) that do have their own wells for that as well as for open cycle heat pumps.  I know of no private business that purifies it's own building potable water however, if only because of the liability if the filter should fail unnoticed and some old guy gets something from the water fountain that puts him in the hospital.  The municipal water service is indemnified from such events, so long as they can show that they made a 'reasonable' effort to monitor and prevent such things.

Likewise, anyone can put solar panels on their roof or buy a genset, but neither option compares to the peace and reliablility of the municipal power grid.

"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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February 28, 2012, 08:41:58 PM
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The Internet is basically a utility, as is the mobile phone network. Yet as far as I'm aware they're mostly privatley owned. And much more complex than other utilities. (and much cheaper)
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February 28, 2012, 10:52:46 PM
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The Internet is basically a utility, as is the mobile phone network. Yet as far as I'm aware they're mostly privatley owned. And much more complex than other utilities. (and much cheaper)

Private ownership does not mean private control.  The Internet is a government creation.  The US could destroy it if it wanted to by messing with the dns system. 

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February 29, 2012, 12:08:23 AM
 #33

The Internet is basically a utility, as is the mobile phone network. Yet as far as I'm aware they're mostly privatley owned. And much more complex than other utilities. (and much cheaper)

Private ownership does not mean private control.  The Internet is a government creation.  The US could destroy it if it wanted to by messing with the dns system. 

The US could temporarily inconvenience people, and make namecoin holders rich by messing with the DNS system.

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February 29, 2012, 12:35:43 AM
 #34

The Internet is basically a utility, as is the mobile phone network. Yet as far as I'm aware they're mostly privatley owned. And much more complex than other utilities. (and much cheaper)

Private ownership does not mean private control.  The Internet is a government creation.  The US could destroy it if it wanted to by messing with the dns system. 

1) the Internet is not a government creation

2) no one could realisticly destroy the internet by any means whatever.

And messing with DNS simply aggravates the naming system, which is a far cry from being a critical component of the network.  If the US government started to do any such thing, browser plugins that permit alternate DNS servers, or completely differant naming systems such as namecoin, would spread like wildfire.  Even if this isn't true, the DNS system mainly exists to support the "Wide world web", otherwise known as 'websites', which use the hypertext transport protocol.  HTTP isn't the Internet either, it's just one (quite popular) protocol that uses the Internet.  Bitcoin, as an example, doesn't even use DNS in any mission critical manner; so if the entire DNS system were to fall off the Internet, the bitcoin network might not even notice.  Most other Internet protocols aren't terriblely dependent upon DNS either; for example, most ftp clients can use DNS to resolve a server name, but save the IP address into it's account settings.  If your web browser does the same thing (none do, that I am aware) and DNS drops off the Internet, then you could still visit all of your bookmarked favorites and likely not notice any change.

"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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February 29, 2012, 05:45:12 AM
 #35

The Internet is basically a utility, as is the mobile phone network. Yet as far as I'm aware they're mostly privatley owned. And much more complex than other utilities. (and much cheaper)

Private ownership does not mean private control.  The Internet is a government creation.  The US could destroy it if it wanted to by messing with the dns system.  

1) the Internet is not a government creation

2) no one could realisticly destroy the internet by any means whatever.

And messing with DNS simply aggravates the naming system, which is a far cry from being a critical component of the network.  If the US government started to do any such thing, browser plugins that permit alternate DNS servers, or completely differant naming systems such as namecoin, would spread like wildfire.  Even if this isn't true, the DNS system mainly exists to support the "Wide world web", otherwise known as 'websites', which use the hypertext transport protocol.  HTTP isn't the Internet either, it's just one (quite popular) protocol that uses the Internet.  Bitcoin, as an example, doesn't even use DNS in any mission critical manner; so if the entire DNS system were to fall off the Internet, the bitcoin network might not even notice.  Most other Internet protocols aren't terriblely dependent upon DNS either; for example, most ftp clients can use DNS to resolve a server name, but save the IP address into it's account settings.  If your web browser does the same thing (none do, that I am aware) and DNS drops off the Internet, then you could still visit all of your bookmarked favorites and likely not notice any change.

You do know what ARPANET and DARPA were, don’t you MoonShadow? The rest of his post is bullshit but not that.


Yes, I do.  ARPANET was a project that received funding from DARPA, a sudo-government research agency. However, that's not the same as ARPANET was a government creation, it was not.  And ARPANET is not the Internet, either.  Difference between a primate and a human being is still more than just evolution.

"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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February 29, 2012, 08:21:02 AM
 #36

I'm still waiting for them to come up with a decentralized transit system and decentralized utilities. I'd do it myself, but I have no idea how such a thing could be possible, and, AFAIK, there are no historical examples.

[snip] In the modern world, examples of decentralized transit systems include 'jitney' cabs, Flinc (www.flinc.mobi), Avego (avego.com), Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) and RelayRides (www.relayrides.com); in addition to more obvious examples such as Greyhound (www.greyhound.com).
These things all require roads. Roads are a centralized transit system. Also, aside from Greyhound, all these services can only move a few people at a time, making them far less energy efficient then trains and buses. They will be the first things to become infeasible when oil starts to get really scarce.

For that matter, the New York subway system was originally built and managed by private enterprises, but was 'nationalized' during the second world war and never given back.
That's still a central monopoly power. What difference does it make if it's 'nationalized'? That's exactly the kind of double standard between official government and other monopolies that I disagree with.

As for decentralized utility services, that is really just you (or your condo association, etc) providing for itself as opposed to relying on the municipal water company or the power company to do it, but it's uncommon because the economies of scale tend to favor those municipal companies.  Even so, a local well for non-potable (i.e. toilet flushwater only) can pay for itself in no time, and there are many building in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky (where I live) that do have their own wells for that as well as for open cycle heat pumps.  I know of no private business that purifies it's own building potable water however, if only because of the liability if the filter should fail unnoticed and some old guy gets something from the water fountain that puts him in the hospital.  The municipal water service is indemnified from such events, so long as they can show that they made a 'reasonable' effort to monitor and prevent such things.

Likewise, anyone can put solar panels on their roof or buy a genset, but neither option compares to the peace and reliablility of the municipal power grid.
From this description, it would seem that the pressure for efficiency would push directly toward centralization. In the long run, my point still stands.

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February 29, 2012, 09:01:04 AM
 #37

Moonshadow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#Governance

Read the whole page.  The Internet is a government creation and was made available to private enterprise in the 90s.  The US government controls ICANN and could balkanise the network if it used its power to set up parallel top level DNS.  Should that happen, the Internet as we know it would be dead and we would have to choose between flavours of network management.

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February 29, 2012, 11:15:01 AM
 #38

Hey Hawker, do you regularly receive money from the UK government via job or benefit? If no, then sorry I stereotyped you (is it a different government in that case?) Again, if no, I apologize.

If yes, take a cold shower and reevaluate your life.  Grin

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February 29, 2012, 11:20:40 AM
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Hey Hawker, do you regularly receive money from the UK government via job or benefit? If no, then sorry I stereotyped you (is it a different government in that case?) Again, if no, I apologize.

If yes, take a cold shower and reevaluate your life.  Grin

I pay a lot more in tax than I can ever hope to get out of the system and I own part of a public company.

Your mistake is that you assume that if its my personal interest to shaft the poor, then that's the way I'd vote.  In most elections, you actually see the majority of taxpayers voting against their financial interests because values are way more important than money.

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February 29, 2012, 11:38:47 AM
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No I wasn't assuming anything about the way you vote, I just find that people who receive money directly from the government tend to support the government. And people who defend the government in as emphatically as you do tend to be from the UK.

I'm just issuing a hypothesis to test my current model of prejudice!

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February 29, 2012, 11:57:27 AM
 #41

No I wasn't assuming anything about the way you vote, I just find that people who receive money directly from the government tend to support the government. And people who defend the government in as emphatically as you do tend to be from the UK.

I'm just issuing a hypothesis to test my current model of prejudice!

I don't personally get anything from the Australian government other than what they provide everybody. I did briefly many years ago, but that was repaid many times over. I still defend the notion of government, independent of the notion of correct governance. I think libertarians have to give up this impossible idea of non-national-government, and just focus on what changes to government could make everyone slightly happier, and not just them.

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February 29, 2012, 12:01:37 PM
 #42

No I wasn't assuming anything about the way you vote, I just find that people who receive money directly from the government tend to support the government. And people who defend the government in as emphatically as you do tend to be from the UK.

I'm just issuing a hypothesis to test my current model of prejudice!

Prejudice is generally a weakness but my prejudice is that the more money you make, the more likely you are to be interested in living in a decent society.  A chicken sexer in Alabama who struggles to pay for electricity in his trailer park will be right wing as he cannot afford a cent in tax.  A billionaire will be left wing as he wants a safe place for his family to live and he wants a skilled workforce for his investments.

Of course, you may have better prejudices Smiley


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February 29, 2012, 12:03:14 PM
 #43

I pay a lot more in tax than I can ever hope to get out of the system and I own part of a public company.

I'm not actually saying the following is the case with you (how could I, I know nothing about you or your company); I'm merely saying that your evidence doesn't tell us anything.

Owning a public company and paying tax doesn't mean you aren't government funded (public sector employees often claim that they "pay their tax too", which is pretty bizarre when you think about where the tax that they "pay" comes from). Approximately £250 billion of the annual UK governmental expenditure is on services/goods supplied by private companies.  Undoubtedly some of that expenditure would still happen with the same companies if the £250 billion were left in the private sector; some of it most certainly would not.  The figure usually bandied around is that government spends between £1.50 and £2.50 for every £1 that the equivalent private sector spender would on the same production.

That means that of that £250 billion; at least £84 billion is wasted (in terms of opportunity cost).  If you happen to be one of the companies receiving that £84 billion, then you are (as near as makes no difference) just as much of a drain (and some might argue considerably more of one) as a benefits claimant.

A topical example is Emma Harrison, who ran a "welfare to work" private sector firm -- entirely taxpayer funded, who has recently resigned having failed and yet been paid £8.6 million.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106051/Emma-Harrison-resigns-A4e-quitting-government-role-amid-fraud-claims.html

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February 29, 2012, 12:10:18 PM
 #44

...snip...

Owning a public company and paying tax doesn't mean you aren't government funded.  Approximately £250 billion of the annual UK governmental expenditure is on services/goods supplied by private companies.  Undoubtedly some of that expenditure would still happen with the same companies if the £250 billion were left in the private sector; some of it most certainly would not.  The figure usually bandied around is that government spends between £1.50 and £2.50 for every £1 that the equivalent private sector spender would on the same production.
...snip...

That figure is bogus.  Look at health expenditure in the UK vs the US.  The medicines cost the same to each country but the Americans are shafted by it all being done in private institutions.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2105680/This-woman-emergency-op-Americas-hospital-stars-NHS-So-did-best-care.html

Long article but the key fact is this :
Quote
Of course, looming over all of this is the price tag. In America, the bill that landed on my doormat a month after I was discharged was £63,500 ($100,000). That did not include bills for the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the radiology department and the pathology laboratory, which added up to an extra £3,322 ($5,227).

Thankfully, my insurance covered most of it, but I still have to pay £4,766 ($7,500) of it myself — what in British insurance terms would be known as an excess.  

The NHS was not free to me because I have not lived in Britain for so long. I have yet to receive the bill, but the published cost of a gall bladder removal by laparoscopy is around £3,000 in the UK, so I am expecting a similar charge for my appendectomy in London.


The private enterprise-based system is ridiculously more expensive.

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February 29, 2012, 12:23:19 PM
 #45

That figure is bogus.  Look at health expenditure in the UK vs the US.  The medicines cost the same to each country but the Americans are shafted by it all being done in private institutions.

The private enterprise-based system is ridiculously more expensive.

This is not the thread for it; but the differences between the UK NHS and the American health system are considerably more complex than private/public division.

There is one thing for sure: America's private health system is not by any means a free enterprise.  If it were then there wouldn't be the metric tonne of legislation that gets passed regulating it.

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If you run the bandage company that has the NHS contract, then you are getting 50% more than you should for your product; and are therefore a parasite.

Finally: ignore the NHS if you want.  That still leaves my point in tact: there are a great many private companies that are, in reality, no such thing -- they are entirely dependent on government money; and they wouldn't exist in the private-sector equivalent arrangement of the state.  (Still don't believe me?  Ask yourself how the multiple failures of the NHS IT system can cost £15 billion; while, say, Facebook can be floated at £50 billion and be dealing with far more data and far more people).

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February 29, 2012, 12:55:26 PM
 #46

...snip...

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If ...snip...

Please provide a source for this.  It looks like a bogus number to me and we can't really have an intelligent conversation if one person is relying on made up figures.

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February 29, 2012, 02:29:18 PM
 #47

...snip...

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If ...snip...

Please provide a source for this.  It looks like a bogus number to me and we can't really have an intelligent conversation if one person is relying on made up figures.

Firstly: I was using the figure 1.5 as illustrative for that example; I have no idea what it actually is for the NHS.  Whenever it's looked at (in various sectors) it's greater than one.  I can see no reason to suppose it's any different in the NHS.  The figure I always read as a rule of thumb is 1.5 (hence my "bandied about" in my earlier post).

Regardless, I don't know what you're going to do with them when you have them (I'm not holding my breath on "wow, you're absolutely right"), here's some evidence that government gets ripped off/is bad at spending:


So... a variety of numbers, all sharing one thing in common: the factor is greater than one.  I will be extraordinarily surprised if you can find a single report on government spending where the factor is less than one (excluding waving papers by Keynes, which are just wishful thinking not fact).

There's a reason for this, and it's not really government's fault directly.  Friedman:

Quote
There are four ways to spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why you really watch out for what you're doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well then, I'm not so careful about the content of the present, but I'm very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else's money on myself. And if I spend somebody else's money on myself, then I'm going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else's money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else's money on somebody else, I'm not concerned about how much it costs, and I'm not concerned about what I get. And that's government. And that's close to 40 percent of our national income.

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February 29, 2012, 02:46:52 PM
 #48

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

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February 29, 2012, 02:52:03 PM
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realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

98% of statistics are made up on the spot.  This isn't an academic journal and you are silly to think this forum is anything but people wasting time on pointless arguments.

That said, he explained the basis of his estimate and provided sources to back it up.  You are ignoring all that.

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February 29, 2012, 03:58:16 PM
 #50

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

No, if you read what I wrote, I said that people "bandy around 1.5 to 2.2", then i used the lowest of those figures in an example.  I can't find every blog I've ever read it in; but I provided enough links to show where I got that order of number from.  As notme says; I'm not writing to the standard of an academic journal, and sometimes one has to go from memory.

It certainly doesn't materially affect my point ... which was "you don't have to be employed by the government to be dependent on them".

I notice you haven't addressed that point.  Is the source of your "tax" and the work your "public company" does primarily the government?  (You certainly don't have to answer, it's none of my business).

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February 29, 2012, 10:06:05 PM
 #51

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

No, if you read what I wrote, I said that people "bandy around 1.5 to 2.2", then i used the lowest of those figures in an example.  I can't find every blog I've ever read it in; but I provided enough links to show where I got that order of number from.  As notme says; I'm not writing to the standard of an academic journal, and sometimes one has to go from memory.

It certainly doesn't materially affect my point ... which was "you don't have to be employed by the government to be dependent on them".

I notice you haven't addressed that point.  Is the source of your "tax" and the work your "public company" does primarily the government?  (You certainly don't have to answer, it's none of my business).

I make game bots and sell to MMORPG gold farmers.  From time to time, I run my own gold farming operations. Its a global market and I'm pretty sure that no government agency has ever given me a penny.

http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/news/site-news/articles-interviews/329891-blizzard-honorbuddy-lawsuit-exclusive-interview-hawker-bossland-gmbh.html

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

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February 29, 2012, 10:10:28 PM
 #52

Actually ... Turkeys that can get through holes in fences can "vote with their feet".

Awesome. I'm a turkey FYI, happily living in South Korea.

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February 29, 2012, 10:37:13 PM
 #53

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

Logically, if public and private health were utilized under the same minimum-service standard, public should always be cheaper for healthcare because its profit is not measured in dollars. Technology advancements could still be developed for dollar profit and sold to public or private alike. In a 100% public and 100% private system, there are generally the same workers in either...that is, incompetence is everywhere, whereas in a split system (like in Australia), you see a lot more incompetence in the public system - people make their mistakes in the public system then graduate to the private system as consultants. This has the interesting effect of squeezing resources out of the public system and creating a lot more wastage in private...actually making public a worse place to be treated and private overly comfortable (but this is purely my own experience).

The incentive for healthcare can be life itself.

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February 29, 2012, 10:46:21 PM
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Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

Logically, if public and private health were utilized under the same minimum-service standard, public should always be cheaper for healthcare because its profit is not measured in dollars. Technology advancements could still be developed for dollar profit and sold to public or private alike. In a 100% public and 100% private system, there are generally the same workers in either...that is, incompetence is everywhere, whereas in a split system (like in Australia), you see a lot more incompetence in the public system - people make their mistakes in the public system then graduate to the private system as consultants. This has the interesting effect of squeezing resources out of the public system and creating a lot more wastage in private...actually making public a worse place to be treated and private overly comfortable (but this is purely my own experience).

The incentive for healthcare can be life itself.

If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less.  Once you have a decent sized private sector, that huge budget is broken into competing sectors like private vs public, rich area vs poor area and the prices of labour and drugs shoots up.

Ireland is the classic example.  Its exactly as you say Australia is but the staff are better paid in the public sector and it pays more for drugs. 

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February 29, 2012, 11:40:15 PM
 #55

I'm still waiting for them to come up with a decentralized transit system and decentralized utilities. I'd do it myself, but I have no idea how such a thing could be possible, and, AFAIK, there are no historical examples.

[snip] In the modern world, examples of decentralized transit systems include 'jitney' cabs, Flinc (www.flinc.mobi), Avego (avego.com), Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) and RelayRides (www.relayrides.com); in addition to more obvious examples such as Greyhound (www.greyhound.com).
These things all require roads. Roads are a centralized transit system.


Roads are an example of a decentralized transit system, if we are going to consider the infrastructure to be equal to the system.

Quote

 Also, aside from Greyhound, all these services can only move a few people at a time, making them far less energy efficient then trains and buses. They will be the first things to become infeasible when oil starts to get really scarce.


I would wager that the opposite is true, but time will tell.  In the meantime, I won't object to sceptism, but I wasn't suggesting that any of these systems had staying power, only that decentralized private transist systems actually exist.

Quote

As for decentralized utility services, that is really just you (or your condo association, etc) providing for itself as opposed to relying on the municipal water company or the power company to do it, but it's uncommon because the economies of scale tend to favor those municipal companies.  Even so, a local well for non-potable (i.e. toilet flushwater only) can pay for itself in no time, and there are many building in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky (where I live) that do have their own wells for that as well as for open cycle heat pumps.  I know of no private business that purifies it's own building potable water however, if only because of the liability if the filter should fail unnoticed and some old guy gets something from the water fountain that puts him in the hospital.  The municipal water service is indemnified from such events, so long as they can show that they made a 'reasonable' effort to monitor and prevent such things.

Likewise, anyone can put solar panels on their roof or buy a genset, but neither option compares to the peace and reliablility of the municipal power grid.
From this description, it would seem that the pressure for efficiency would push directly toward centralization. In the long run, my point still stands.

Not necessarily.  In the long run, access may prove to be more important than effiency.  I've seen a number of small PV installs around my city lately.  These people aren't putting them up for monetary reasons, primarily, unless they are stupid.

"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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March 01, 2012, 12:06:59 AM
 #56


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

"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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March 01, 2012, 02:10:46 AM
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If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Way to use an abstract reference no one has heard of.

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March 01, 2012, 09:07:53 AM
 #58


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors.  For example, I have an elderly wheelchair bound aunt who was travelling through Heathrow airport yesterday.  At some point, Omniserv, the American customer care company that helps disabled people in the airport, lost her.  Seriously, they could not find where she was left waiting and she was unable to attract anyone's attention so she missed her follow on flight.

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.

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March 01, 2012, 09:35:01 AM
 #59

I make game bots and sell to MMORPG gold farmers.  From time to time, I run my own gold farming operations. Its a global market and I'm pretty sure that no government agency has ever given me a penny.

Fair enough.

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest.

Eh, "remotely close"?  2.2 jobs destroyed for every one created;  3.7 jobs for every one;  1.1 (10%) over pricing in construction; 0.8 Keynsian multiplier = 1.25; 24 times too many flu jabs; 1.078 overspend in the NHS...

Whatever.  I use 1.5 as a rule of thumb... the links showed that isn't unreasonable.

As I said, I didn't expect any provision of evidence to affect you in any way.  You've got your ideas about the world, and I've got mine.  I would happily leave you to yours.  (The mark of the socialists though is that they aren't happy to leave me to mine). 

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March 01, 2012, 09:43:58 AM
 #60

realnowhereman - I can make lists of private organisations that get stuff wrong in a huge way.  Will that be evidence that all private organisations are bad?  Can I say that if one company has lost half of its shareholders funds, then all companies are going to lose 50% of the money you invest in their shares?

You can't just make up facts.  If you are making an argument based on a factual ratio, then have a factual source for the ratio.  Don't make it up.


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March 01, 2012, 10:04:50 AM
 #61

realnowhereman - I can make lists of private organisations that get stuff wrong in a huge way.  Will that be evidence that all private organisations are bad?  Can I say that if one company has lost half of its shareholders funds, then all companies are going to lose 50% of the money you invest in their shares?

What?  Shareholders losing money doesn't concern me.  That's their private loss.  It matters when government loses/wastes money because the only source of government funds is from taxpayers.

You can't just make up facts.  If you are making an argument based on a factual ratio, then have a factual source for the ratio.  Don't make it up.

Firstly: I accept that 1.5 wasn't from any source that I can find but I have provided you ample evidence for why it's not an unreasonable average in government finances.  It certainly wasn't made up.

Secondly: if you read my argument wasn't "based" on that number at all; that was merely an example to illustrate my argument -- which was that it's perfectly possible to be a private company and dependent on the state.  The literal number is utterly irrelevant to that, and yet you keep banging on about it as if it's fundamental.  Use whatever number you like from whatever source you like -- you won't find a source that has a factor less than 1, which is all that matters.

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March 01, 2012, 10:32:44 AM
 #62

realnowhereman - I can make lists of private organisations that get stuff wrong in a huge way.  Will that be evidence that all private organisations are bad?  Can I say that if one company has lost half of its shareholders funds, then all companies are going to lose 50% of the money you invest in their shares?

What?  Shareholders losing money doesn't concern me.  That's their private loss.  It matters when government loses/wastes money because the only source of government funds is from taxpayers.

You can't just make up facts.  If you are making an argument based on a factual ratio, then have a factual source for the ratio.  Don't make it up.

Firstly: I accept that 1.5 wasn't from any source that I can find but I have provided you ample evidence for why it's not an unreasonable average in government finances.  It certainly wasn't made up.

Secondly: if you read my argument wasn't "based" on that number at all; that was merely an example to illustrate my argument -- which was that it's perfectly possible to be a private company and dependent on the state.  The literal number is utterly irrelevant to that, and yet you keep banging on about it as if it's fundamental.  Use whatever number you like from whatever source you like -- you won't find a source that has a factor less than 1, which is all that matters.


Here is a set of numbers: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/08/14/uk-v-usa-the-basic-healthcare-facts/

Here are more numbers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/mar/22/us-healthcare-bill-rest-of-world-obama

Compare health spending in the UK with health spending in the US.  The US pays 40% more yet it gets worse clinical results.  The difference is that the UK uses a state budget nationwide to drive a hard bargain and the US has 100s of buyers competing against one another.

There are some situations where state spending is cheaper than private spending.  Health care is one of them.  Inventing ratios to pretend otherwise is childish.  Its not like you don't have access to Google.

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March 01, 2012, 11:36:25 AM
 #63

Here is a set of numbers: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/08/14/uk-v-usa-the-basic-healthcare-facts/

Here are more numbers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/mar/22/us-healthcare-bill-rest-of-world-obama

Compare health spending in the UK with health spending in the US.  The US pays 40% more yet it gets worse clinical results.  The difference is that the UK uses a state budget nationwide to drive a hard bargain and the US has 100s of buyers competing against one another.

As I said when you first raised this comparison: the USA is not a good comparison.  It's a long long way from being a free enterprise health care system.  It's a great deal more complex than just USA = privatised NHS.  The USA is, in fact, the worst of both worlds -- government controlled inefficiency plus the greed of a private sector.  That leads to rent seeking from the medical industry, which is always bad for the consumer.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/28/health-care-reform-obama-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia.html

http://mises.org/daily/3727

http://www.ncpa.org/healthcare/interstate-competition-in-the-individual-health-insurance-marketplace

For goodness sake: the USA are now legislating for contraception to be included in health benefits.  Care to guess what the price of a condom provided by an insurance company will be versus one provided by you walking into a chemist?

In those few areas were there is more free market competition, things like cosmetic surgery and lasik eye surgery prices have been dropping consistently for years.

There are some situations where state spending is cheaper than private spending.  Inventing ratios to pretend otherwise is childish.  Its not like you don't have access to Google.

Find me a single fair comparison (not USA healthcare versus UK) where government's procure more cheaply than the private sector.  I accept entirely that it's perfectly possible -- supermarkets run on that very principle.  It does not happen though.  Governments waste money because they are spending other people's money on other people.

Regardless.  I'm not interested any more.  You've resorted to name calling; you consistently refuse to acknowledge any counter I make to your "making up ratios" accusation; and you simply repeat the same point again and again; so what's the point in debating further with you?

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March 01, 2012, 11:46:05 AM
 #64

realnowhereman - don't get all touchy saying I am insulting you.  You made stuff and got called out on it.  And then you resorted to ad hominem attacks calling me a socialist.

You asked for another example where state spending is better value than private: try education.  State systems always are cheaper and where they are close to 100% they get better results than mixed state/private systems.

You can add policing.  Prisons.  There are plenty of situations where collective purchases prevent price gouging.  If you have cancer, or a thief is chasing you with a knife, you are not in a good negotiating position and a private company can charge whatever it wants.  A state organisation where the boss gets fired for going over budget and where there is an ethos of service works better.





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March 01, 2012, 11:56:52 AM
 #65

(Can't believe I'm still carrying on with this)

realnowhereman - don't get all touchy saying I am insulting you.  You made stuff and got called out on it.  And then you resorted to ad hominem attacks calling me a socialist.

Socialist isn't an insult.  You did call me childish.  Your views are manifestly socialist.

You asked for another example where state spending is better value than private: try education.  State systems always are cheaper and where they are close to 100% they get better results than mixed state/private systems.

Cheaper doesn't mean better value.  And the idea that state schools get better results than private schools is nonsense.  Those private schools would go bust instantly.

The swedish school system is widely recognised as one of the best in the world.  It runs on a voucher system and for profit educators.

Private sector schools in the UK consistently get better results than public sector schools.  It's difficult to determine what "value for money" means in this case -- we can certainly assume that those spending their money with them think they get better value in the private sector.  So much so that they are willing to give up their state-education entitlement and pay extra on top.

Policing and prison comparisons are very difficult to make, and certainly aren't primarily about price -- no developed country has yet found itself comfortable with the idea of private judiciary, police force or military.

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March 01, 2012, 12:22:01 PM
 #66

Seriously, where do you live?  I know of no group where calling a person a socialist is a compliment or where not wanting to overspend is considered evidence of socialism.

Lets move on to your suggestion that the Swedish education system is private and best in the world.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading

You will note that Sweden is well down the list.  The US system, which is largely state based, has a higher rank.

Once again, you really ought not make stuff up.  It undermines your whole argument if the "facts" behind it are convenient fictions.

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March 01, 2012, 12:43:21 PM
 #67

Seriously, where do you live?  I know of no group where calling a person a socialist is a compliment or where not wanting to overspend is considered evidence of socialism.

What?  In the UK.  Never heard of the "Socialist Worker's Party", they probably don't think they are insulting themselves?  It's neither a compliment nor an insult.  It's a political view point.

Lets move on to your suggestion that the Swedish education system is private and best in the world.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading

You will note that Sweden is well down the list.  The US system, which is largely state based, has a higher rank.

You're being pretty fast and loose with the "facts" here.  By "well-down" you presumably mean "in the top 15"; and the US having a higher rank you mean "one place higher than in the reading scores only".  Sweden is considerably higher than the US in maths, and the US is higher than Sweden in science.  I'd call it a wash to be honest.

I stand by my "one of the best in the world" I didn't say (despite your claim that I did) that it was the best.  Since you asserted that public sector education is better (while I didn't, I simply claim that private sector is better value for money), your chart disproves the very thing you claim.

That chart is pretty meaningless anyway; you only need to glance at the lines to see that the centre countries are all just jostling around the mean over a spread of about 10 points.

Once again, you really ought not make stuff up.  It undermines your whole argument if the "facts" behind it are convenient fictions.

Yet again, you are insulting.  I've manifestly not made anything up.  This really is the end now; I've got the distinct feeling I'm being trolled into oblivion.

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March 01, 2012, 12:47:50 PM
 #68

SWP members are known as Trots.  Trots is also a synonym for diarrhoea,  Its not a compliment.

Your "one of the best in the world" was correct - I misread you.  My bad. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Sweden

Sweden 's eduaction is state funded.  Like the NHS.  So my education as an example of where state provision makes more sense if its close to 100% of the population stands.

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March 01, 2012, 05:36:23 PM
 #69

Hold on, let me move the goalposts for you.
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March 01, 2012, 06:32:43 PM
 #70


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors. 

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.


There's another lesson to be learned here.  Both the US Marines & UK NHS are government run systems.  If the systems is private, they lose some measure of funding whenever mistakes are made.  Government agencies do 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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March 01, 2012, 07:28:50 PM
 #71


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors. 

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.


There's another lesson to be learned here.  Both the US Marines & UK NHS are government run systems.  If the systems is private, they lose some measure of funding whenever mistakes are made.  Government agencies do not.

Um no.  The airport is private.  They charged her £64 for being late and rebooking the flight.  Nice money if you can make it...

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March 01, 2012, 08:08:25 PM
 #72


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors. 

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.


There's another lesson to be learned here.  Both the US Marines & UK NHS are government run systems.  If the systems is private, they lose some measure of funding whenever mistakes are made.  Government agencies do not.

Um no.  The airport is private.  They charged her £64 for being late and rebooking the flight.  Nice money if you can make it...

Um, no.  The airlines are private (mostly), but airports most certainly are not.  Not even in Britain.

"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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March 01, 2012, 08:13:02 PM
 #73


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less.  

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors.  

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.


There's another lesson to be learned here.  Both the US Marines & UK NHS are government run systems.  If the systems is private, they lose some measure of funding whenever mistakes are made.  Government agencies do not.

Um no.  The airport is private.  They charged her £64 for being late and rebooking the flight.  Nice money if you can make it...

Um, no.  The airlines are private (mostly), but airports most certainly are not.  Not even in Britain.

They are.  BAA is a Spanish company.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAA_Limited  Its ownerhip of Heathrow is causing competition issues and it may be forced to sell other airports.

Why on earth would you argue about that?

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March 01, 2012, 10:17:42 PM
 #74

SWP members are known as Trots.  Trots is also a synonym for diarrhoea,  Its not a compliment.

Your "one of the best in the world" was correct - I misread you.  My bad. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Sweden

Sweden 's eduaction is state funded.  Like the NHS.  So my education as an example of where state provision makes more sense if its close to 100% of the population stands.

"Trots" is an insult, "socialist" is a political viewpoint.  Saying "socialist" is an insult because there is a derogatory word for it is like saying "Italian" is an insult because some people call Italians "Degos"[1].

So, no he did not use an ad hominem, and yes, you did.  Then you falsely accused him of such.  This is also known as slander and is illegal in most jurisdictions.  Good thing we're just screwing around on this internet thingy, not having a real public discussion in reality.

1. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dego

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March 01, 2012, 10:18:33 PM
 #75

SWP members are known as Trots.  Trots is also a synonym for diarrhoea,  Its not a compliment.

Your "one of the best in the world" was correct - I misread you.  My bad. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Sweden

Sweden 's eduaction is state funded.  Like the NHS.  So my education as an example of where state provision makes more sense if its close to 100% of the population stands.

"Trots" is an insult, "socialist" is a political viewpoint.  Saying "socialist" is an insult because there is a derogatory word for it is like saying "Italian" is an insult because some people call Italians "Degos"[1].

So, no he did not use an ad hominem, and yes, you did.  Then you falsely accused him of such.  This is also known as slander and is illegal in most jurisdictions.  Good thing we're just screwing around on this internet thingy, not having a real public discussion in reality.

1. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dego

You are correct.  I apologised to him.

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March 05, 2012, 03:46:11 AM
 #76

Tennant doesn't pay.

Lock him in the basement.

'ello guv'ner.

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