You shovel sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
I'm sorry Saint Peter, I can't go.
I owe my soul to the company store.
Most modern libertarians... which is who? I'm not aware of libertarians generally preaching that fraud can be ignored. Unless they are hardcore anarcho-capitalists, most libertarians, so far as I know, would agree that laws against fraud are important.
They are generally champions of deregulation, especially environmental and financial deregulation. And especially naive about what the purpose of protecting against fraud is - to ensure that both parties to a transaction are fully informed. This means knowing what's in the food you eat. Knowing the effects of the drug you are taking, and understanding their implications. This means people should not have to worry about the fine print, and that agreements they sign should be clearly written, understood and conscionable.
Based on what?
Basic market theory. Items like insurance, research, software, network effects (roads, phone systems, the Internet, and so on), etc. are not where infinite sellers + infinite buyers + fully informed populace produces the optimal solution.
In some cases it's because infinite sellers implies a massive duplication of effort (software and research). In some cases it's because infinite sellers (or an effectively large number to provide a reasonable market) is logistically infeasible - you can only lay so many fibers, so many pipes, pave so many roads.
In the event of insurance, you want as many people covered by a single pool as possible, to take the best advantage of statistics. Note that this only applies to things which everyone has a use for - it doesn't apply to auto insurance, for example, but does to things like health insurance and national defense.
I am highly skeptical of the source, but even if I accept it, I am not convinced that it means the war on drugs is perpetuated to provide cheap labor. I would need to see something more directly indicating cause and effect.
I'm not sure what you're skeptical of - you asked what private companies used prison labor. I gave you two sources. Or do you not believe in private prisons?
The private prison lobby is part of the force behind mandatory sentencing and three strikes
laws. I'm not aware of any direct links to drug laws, but these laws have an effect on incarceration rates and their intentions are not exactly noble.
I agree. I'm not trying to make the word pragmatic apply to everything. I'm trying to point out when, in my opinion at least, the so-called pragmatic solution has turned out to not be a pragmatic solution.
That has little relevance to the overall discussion of fiscal libertarianism. You're not going to find many social conservatives getting very far here, in general.
I fail to see why those are the only two options.
I said 'like'. But it always requires a government solution, assuming government has control over currency. In a liquidity trap, you need to get money into the hands of people as a whole, and the trickle down approach - bank bailouts, massive payoffs to the rich - does not work.
I disagree. I believe the problem is the erosion of buying power, which is to say, inflation.
Only partially. People's wages have stagnated over the past 30 years, while productivity has increased. People making less than $100k per year have lost out to those making more than ~$300,000 per year - they have gained most of the benefits of said increased productivity. This wage stagnation has led to a decrease in buying power.
Most of the inflation is not, in fact, inflation of general consumer goods. Elizabeth Warren has done some excellent research into this (look up "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class" - I've posted the video to this forum). Consumer spending on general goods has come down. What has gone up is health care costs, housing costs, and transportation costs. In addition, because the first tax dollar of a spouse is taxed after the last tax dollar of the head of household, the middle class is also taxed more.
Regardless, we've been actually suffering from near-deflation in general goods recently. If inflation was the only problem, we would be recovering faster.
Which is caused by the government.
No it isn't. Which is especially relevant considering that the government has actually been trying
to cause moderate inflation, and failing
, through increasing the monetary base. And now quantitative easing.
The government can more directly cause inflation - by handing it to people who will spend it - but the government isn't doing that. It's printing money and handing it to people who don't spend it.
Inflation can also be caused by genuine resource shortages. E.g. even if you moved to a non-inflationary currency policy (usually a bad idea) oil and land would still rise in price (the latter assuming rising population).
The amount of money means less than what one can buy for that amount of money. Saying people need to be paid more ignores the fundamental problem, in my opinion.
Your opinion is a drastic oversimplification of the facts. There is more to the economy - and even monetary policy - than inflation.