You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 04:18:35 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Libertarian and not ashamed  (Read 9429 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 12:44:07 AM »
I concede your point, we did not live in a libertarian society.  My point was that our approach to dealing with corporations was libertarian and it didn't work.  Libertarians are against gigantic corporations abusing their power, that's true, but irrelevant because they don't believe government should have the power to do anything about it.  They therefore put the responsibility on the masses and history has shown us time and again that when it's the public versus corporate, corporate wins unless government intervenes on behalf of the public.

This.

The Libertarians don't realize that, in the real world, the kind of system they advocate would result in plutocracy.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 01:51:06 AM »
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.


Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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).

Quote
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.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 02:13:32 AM »
Don't be ashamed of your outlook on things but be willing to listen, consider and compromise! That is what i tell folks to do. In all honesty, I don't think one party or philosophy will help us but the synergy of my view points using discussion and compromise.

Sadly that practice is dying.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 09:07:35 AM »
Here is what my ideal government would be in this country.

1. Libertarian in personal life concerns with the government neutral this means unless something hurts the community seriously it should be illegal and if not who cares. Most light drugs unless your in a profession like driving is really dangerous if adults do them in moderation and medical advice is used to mitigate harms. Gays and plural marriage like all marriage should be a simple legal contract not even given government status. I think most other crimes and such fall into this if you want to be a prostitute and your eighteen and not human trafficed you should be allowed to do that in your residence or in red light districts (adult zoned areas) its your body its no worst than a professiona fighter getting into a ring match for money.

2. Everywhere else the government should assure every citizen and legal resident a place to live, food, clothes, free education K-12 to include carreer training in High School over college and medical care and set-up strong laws to protect American industry while making this fair to workers in other nations so respective standards of living are the main concern. We can back this we are signees on many conventions we can argue supporting cheap goods made by slave labor is in violation so have to raise a large tariff to be fair when the workers get enough pay and benefits those will go away and we feel a person making shoes in a factory has to have a 40 hour workweek, a wage of $4 an hour, a retirement plan, health care and safety with the right to collective bargain. And enforce that for any goods even if from an American company contracting in China. I would also change the laws to make the duties of a company to be for profits AND an equal weight on community and national obligations with a ban on pouring rpofits into the company after say ten years requiring a dividend and a percentage fair to the company for operational growth. For example I would think 70% of profits must be in divdends and 30% kept for other things.

3. Taxes should pay for these things and cuts in areas not essential to the people of the nation. Like I militay is important but if its purely defensive with modest additions it could be far smaller. And people should be allowed to work as little or as much as they want I for one have no issue if someone just wanted to get by not work at all. Theymight opt to do volunteer work, better themselves in other ways or just sit around what is the big deal. Most people will want to work somewhat and they should and some might love working and do it alot. In the end things will balance out to most folks working for wants over needs like paying to go to college if they had a place to live and needs met for as long as needed as a right then they could afford to work just for going to school. And no one would have to slave away for all time just to make ends meet.

Shouldn't the ideal take into account the rights of people to be free to work less and do so without worrying about wants. Seems to me its all screwed up everyone should have a right to the basics in a society that can afford them then allow for people to do as they wish. I want people free from want and free to be who they wish to be as long as they are not hurting anyone.People will still work thy need money to spend unless really unable to a very high bar so most folks will work some even under my system. Just I might say I'm fine earning $400 a month, taxes are x% of that which covers all these things the government is providing for me so I have to work 80 hours a month that is fine.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 11:38:05 AM »
Indeed I have thought it through...and have seen what happens in the real world when people are given unlimited ability to indulge their whims.  And I say again, this notion that some guy with $1,000,000,000 is going to hesitate to screw over someone with $1,000 is wishful thinking.  If there's a thread that runs through human history from Day One it's that the strong will take advantage of the weak the moment they have the opportunity to do so.
Which explains why we should not expect the government to protect us.

The irony here is that Libertarians make the same error that the Marxists kitty-cornered from them on that political versus economic freedom chart make: that human nature is basically benevolent.  Like the Libertarians teach that corporate overlords will conscientiously respect the rights of the common man, so the Marxist teaches that the dictatorship created during the revolution will good-naturedly devolve its absolute power to the people and the State shall wither away.  Good luck with that one, too.

Not to put too fine a point on it...people are assholes, and power corrupts.  Whether it's the power of the State, or the power of wealth in a society where wealth is allowed to buy whatever it pleases makes no difference.
I would really like to see this libertarian argument that "corporate overlords will conscientiously respect the rights of the common man." Once again, I am seeing someone tell me libertarians believe something without any proof that what I am being told comes from a libertarian source. And since I have never, ever seen a libertarian espouse such a thing, I have to question the idea.

No, libertarians do not believe all corporations or all people who run them will be benevolent. They do, however, recognize that partnering corporations with government in the name of controlling an industry or the economy or both, does not result in protections for the little guy. What happens is competition is stifled, inordinately large barrier to entering the market are established, and power is concentrated with a few corporations and the politicians who work with them.

And who the heck was talking about unlimited ability to indulge whims? Find me the libertarian who preaches that. I want to see it.

And $1,000,000,000 over $1,000 is not "a little ahead". You changed the terms of the argument.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 11:40:51 AM »
Libertarians are against gigantic corporations abusing their power, that's true, but irrelevant because they don't believe government should have the power to do anything about it.
Prove it.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 11:41:55 AM »
The Libertarians don't realize that, in the real world, the kind of system they advocate would result in plutocracy.
Again, bullshit.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2011, 01:16:51 PM »
1) Name the effective Libertarian systems that have existed.
That would be a pointless exercise until I can establish what your view of libertarianism is. Because it is clearly outside the libertarian philosophy I have and have seen espoused by others. So anything I might claim to be a libertarian system would likely be denied by you as not really libertarian.

2) List what makes the Swiss or Singaporean systems ineffective.
I'll consider answering that when I find time to study their health care systems.

So the government can have near total control of who you can and can't hire? That's virtually the antithesis of libertarianism.
I don't recall saying that. Let me check.... Nope, didn't say that. Maybe Hans-Hermann Hoppe would say that, but I don't speak for him so I don't know. If you want to have that conversation, have it with him.

The whole "fire in a crowded theater" limitations on free speech... Are there libertarians against that?
Yes. If they're not then it's hard to argue they're libertarians.
Sigh. How about some examples of libertarians making that argument? Got any? Or am I supposed to just take your word for it even though I have never, ever seen a libertarian say such a thing?

Here's a simple one: it's an unacceptable limitation on free speech. It is the state controlling what you are allowed to say because of the way others react. You are causing no direct harm to anyone yet will still commit a crime.
Says who?

Let's look at where the example actually comes from; anti-war protesters handing out leaflets opposing the draft. According to the "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine, a crime and therefore a situation where free speech should be curtailed. Is that a libertarian position?
Whoa. Back up there. First of all, explain how handing out leaflets opposing the draft is like falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Second, I doubt most, if any, libertarians would accept that handing out anti-draft leaflets is or was like falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater. So you trying to use this as a means to prove something about libertarianism seems like you trying to define for libertarians what they believe.

So when you said "A government which mandates that everyone must buy health insurance and which promotes a "war on drugs" in the name of protecting people will most certainly end up doing those things if it gets control of the health care industry" you were saying what exactly?
I was saying it's going to happen here in the U.S. if the government gets control of the health care industry. I'll try not to be so esoteric next time.

Please expand on [anti-discrimination laws being wrong in principle]. I can somewhat see what I assume your logic is with regards to race, sex or gender but I struggle to see it for other areas covered by such legislation.
I should caution you against assuming. Anyway, anti-discrimination laws are about controlling choices people are allowed to make. But more than that, they explicitly say you as the employer do not have the authority to decide for yourself who you should hire or not hire. So, yes, they are wrong in principle.

I am still wondering who these fraud-tolerant libertarians are.
Again, anyone who's a true Libertarian instead of just using the term because it sounds nice.
Examples? That you keep saying "true" libertarians believe this does not make it so. And why are you determining for me who "true" libertarians are, exactly?

Em... I think you'll struggle to find any Libertarian who argued that economic harm wasn't acceptable...
Sigh. And I'm telling you I haven't. So perhaps you could provide some examples of libertarians saying fraud is acceptable.

Once again, at that stage they stop being a true Libertarian and come far closer to what I am.
In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?

Fraud is theft.
No, it isn't. Theft is a direct offence against property where as fraud is essentially a bad bargain with the inclusion of deliberate deceit. The entire reason fraud as a doctrine exists is because it is not theft. [...]Theft isn't fraud and fraud isn't theft. Outside of the fact both involve property there are little to no similarities.
Fraud is a different kind of theft than, say, picking your pocket or stealing valuables from your house or stealing your car. But it is theft. You might as well say robbery is not theft, or embezzlement is not theft. Of course they are theft. Fraud, in the terms we are talking about,  is also theft. Just because it involves deceit and not a firearm does not make fraud any less theft than robbery.

An anarcho-capitalist would be definition be against all fraud or theft laws created by the State. So it would not be "some" and it wouldn't require them to be "hardcore."
I'm not sure anarcho-capitalists would want you defining what they believe either, but accepting for the sake of argument you're correct on this, it still doesn't negate my point.

And as set out above and in previous posts fraud is simply bad bargain with deliberate deceit. Following libertarian theory the government should have no role in mitigating bad bargains and the market itself should be able to handle the deceit aspect... which leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud.
That might be true if I allow that you're determineing what is and is not "true" libertarianism, and that your definition of fraud is correct. But I don't and it isn't.

Rather than a flash video I find it's generally best to go back to the original sources.
Oh golly yes. Heaven forbid you should look at a flash video so that we might have some common understanding of the terms being used. Your third link did not work. But okay, let's look at "original" sources. How about Frédéric Bastiat? He is pretty well thought of by the libertarians I know. The Mises Institute even sells a T-shirt with Bastiat's face on it. Let's look at what he said.
                         I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance—as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it—without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud—to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.
I now await you telling me that Bastiat wasn't a "true" libertarian or "true" classical liberal or whatever. Or to tell me plunder isn't theft. Or some such thing that will let you keep defining all the terms as best suits this odd purity of libertarianism argument you seem to be making.

And just for good measure:

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2011, 01:52:23 PM »
[Libertarians] are generally champions of deregulation, especially environmental and financial deregulation.
Agreed.

And especially naive about what the purpose of protecting against fraud is - to ensure that both parties to a transaction are fully informed.
Not agreed. Examples please.

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.
I do not know of any libertarians who have spoken against these things.

And market based solutions only really apply to traditional goods. Insurance, software (and other digital goods where cost of entry is being driven to zero), resource shortages, etc.
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.
And this means market based solutions apply only to traditional good exactly how?

I'm not sure what you're skeptical of
Um, as I said, the source. Final Call is a website with an agenda. "It is the official communications organ of the Louis Farrakhan's Final Call Organization." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Call

- you asked what private companies used prison labor. I gave you two sources.
Yes, and the Wired site is more trustworthy, but it did not indicate people were being put in prison for the sake of use as labor.

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.
You'll not get much argument from me about that.

But it always requires a government solution, assuming government has control over currency.
Why?

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.
Yes. This is one of the reasons libertarians do not support such things.

As to inflation, yes, I know there is more to the economy and monetary policy than inflation. How you made a leap from me saying the problem we were discussing was inflation not the amount of money paid to assuming I meant that inflation is the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy, I have no idea. Unless you were saying the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy is people being paid enough money. And I doubt seriously that you were. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on that point.

Anyway, yes, inflation, long-term inflation is generally caused by the government. Inflation caused by fluctuations in demand or supply are usually short lived and usually do not effect the overall buying power of the individual. Long term inflation, however, is caused by government increasing the supply of money faster than the rate of economic growth.

And while in my previous reply to you the brief explanation I gave for my opinion might be simplistic, don't assume that one brief set of sentences is the extent of my economic knowledge or opinion. I promise I won't assume your brief explanation is the extent of your economic knowledge and/or opinion.

Offline Will

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2011, 03:00:47 PM »
Again, bullshit.

Libertarians want deregulation.  This seems to me to be necessarily at odds with any concept of consumer protection.  If it isn't, could you possibly explain why?  Any time this point has been made, you've been very dismissive with no real explanation.

Offline HairyHeretic

  • Lei varai barbu - The true bearded one
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2006
  • Location: Ireland
  • Gender: Male
  • And the Scorpion said "Little frog .. I can swim."
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2011, 03:12:21 PM »
Let's try and keep the discourse civil, ok? Things seem to be getting a little heated.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2011, 04:38:24 PM »
Libertarians want deregulation.  This seems to me to be necessarily at odds with any concept of consumer protection.  If it isn't, could you possibly explain why?  Any time this point has been made, you've been very dismissive with no real explanation.
I'm not sure the point has been made before this. Saying libertarianism would lead to nearly everyone being serfs of corporation overlords is not at all the same as saying deregulation seems to be at odds with consumer protection.

Anyway, I see a few problems with what you're saying. One is the apparent assumption that the only way to have consumer protection is government regulation. Another is the apparent assumption that government regulation equates to consumer protection. Both assumptions are, in my opinion, false.

Let me put this another way. You can now find foods labeled "organic" all over grocery stores now. Did anyone have to pass legislation to make organic food something food companies want to sell? No. Demand grew, food companies saw way to make money, and they began selling "organic" food. If you want to know whether a particular thing, say a car or an LCD television, is of a decent quality before you buy it, do you have to ask the government? No. You can check with Consumer Reports. Back in the 1930s (think) when the government was threatening to start making regulations about what could and could not be in films made by Hollywood, the film studios got together and made their own system of regulation. My point being that there are other ways than government regulations to inform consumers, promote healthy products and regulate industries.

At the same time, government regulation isn't always the best protection, and sometimes it overprotects. In a number of areas in the country, there are, essentially, black markets in hair braiding. People who would prefer to openly operate a business for braiding hair have to operate in secret because to operate openly would require them to get a cosmetology license. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but getting a cosmetology license requires paying for schooling in things that have nothing to do with braiding hair. But the law protects us from rogue hair braiders. Whoopdeedo.

Regulations also kept people from brewing and selling their own beer up through the late 1970s. Jimmy Carter (yeah, I know, hard to believe) signed a bill which changed that. The result has been a blossoming of small breweries that has literally changed the beer market.

No one, except the anarcho-capitalists, is advocating that all regulations of any kind should be eliminated. Not all regulations are helpful and beneficial, however. Often the main effect of regulations is to keep prices high and inhibit competition from growing or entering the market. That isn't consumer protection. That's crony capitalism.

Which reminds me to make another point often lost in these discussions. Pro-business is not the same as pro-market. Don't assume that because libertarians advocate for deregulation that they advocate for businesses being allowed to do anything businesses want. Libertarianism is about individual liberty, not protecting corporations.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2011, 04:43:30 PM »
I am guessing from the way this thread is going, there are not actually any other libertarians out there in Elliquiy-dom. Even those who say they are libertarian in some area then explain they are completely not in some other way.

That's okay. I'm used to being the only one.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2011, 04:52:49 PM »
Again, bullshit.

So, you're going to tell me--with a straight face--that Joe CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company isn't going to secretly dump his toxic waste into the river rather than pay the extra three cents per share profit to dispose of it properly (if no regulator is looking over his shoulder?).

You're going to seriously tell me that common workers making $30,000 are going to end up with the same rights as high rollers blowing that much on a hand of blackjack at Caesar's Palace? 

If you want a good look at what a libertarian society would look like, try Somalia or the Congo.  Oh, I know they're not libertarian now, but they began that way: societies with no functional government.  And so what happened?  The drug cartels, the warlords, the pirates, the mining companies, the gangs of fanatics--they all moved right into the vacuum.

Human nature is to have leaders and followers.  It's been like that from day one.  Love it or hate it, society-forming is hardwired into the human brain.  You're not going to change it, any more than Karl Marx or Mao or Jim Jones or anyone else who, for good or ill, has some notion of a "better way of life" has managed to change human nature.

There is no easy answer or system or religion or ideology that's going to fix this, Left, Right, Center, Up, Down, Sideways and Forwards, whatever.  There is an optimum way, imperfect as it is: we have government and corporations and labor and lodge and church and academy all holding power in their own spheres, competing with each other, so that none become too powerful.  And in the process, their wrestling with each other shakes down some goodies into the hands of the common man.

Is it Utopia?  Far from it.  It's the best we can do.  As George Carlin so eloquently put it, the public sucks.  This is the outcome.

Offline Will

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2011, 05:01:35 PM »
There are FDA regulations on what can be called "organic."  That's not really a very good example.

Consumer Reports can't cover every conceivable product everywhere.  That's not a practical solution.

Quote
Anyway, I see a few problems with what you're saying. One is the apparent assumption that the only way to have consumer protection is government regulation. Another is the apparent assumption that government regulation equates to consumer protection. Both assumptions are, in my opinion, false.

I understand that you disagree with that premise.  Government intervention isn't your thing.  But if you don't agree with the methodology, an alternative is necessary.

Just like any political philosophy, Libertarianism comes with own weaknesses, holes, problems, etc.  Getting rid of government causes issues; government fills necessary roles in our society (whether you think they do it well is another matter; I think it's clear we agree that consumer protection is necessary), and if it ceases to do so, then something has to fill that void.  I don't see any practical suggestions on that front.

I am guessing from the way this thread is going, there are not actually any other libertarians out there in Elliquiy-dom. Even those who say they are libertarian in some area then explain they are completely not in some other way.

That's okay. I'm used to being the only one.

There's no rule against double dipping on party platforms, is there?  Shouldn't we be fostering a variation in viewpoints, as opposed to toeing a line of uncompromising idealism?  As I said, every philosophy has its problems; following one and only one is a surefire way to drive the country into the ground.  And then deeper.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2011, 06:21:12 PM »
So, you're going to tell me--with a straight face--that Joe CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company isn't going to secretly dump his toxic waste into the river rather than pay the extra three cents per share profit to dispose of it properly (if no regulator is looking over his shoulder?).
You're seriously going to tell me that every CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company is an unethical, callous bastard while every politician and government bureaucrat is a highly ethical overflowing with entirely selfless concern for his fellow humans? See, I can play that game too. Unfortunately, it doesn't accomplish anything useful or make your case substantive.

You're going to seriously tell me that common workers making $30,000 are going to end up with the same rights as high rollers blowing that much on a hand of blackjack at Caesar's Palace?
No. I'm going to tell you they already have the same rights. Rights are not privileges, even though some people treat them that way.

If you want a good look at what a libertarian society would look like, try Somalia or the Congo.  Oh, I know they're not libertarian now, but they began that way: societies with no functional government.  And so what happened?  The drug cartels, the warlords, the pirates, the mining companies, the gangs of fanatics--they all moved right into the vacuum.
Oh good grief. The stupid old "libertarians want anarchy and chaos" nonsense rears its ugly, ignorant head. Even anarcho-capitalists have a plan for order in society. There was and is nothing libertarian about Somalia or the Congo. And only someone ignorant about libertarianism would say otherwise.

Human nature is to have leaders and followers.  It's been like that from day one.  Love it or hate it, society-forming is hardwired into the human brain.  You're not going to change it, any more than Karl Marx or Mao or Jim Jones or anyone else who, for good or ill, has some notion of a "better way of life" has managed to change human nature.
Here's a clue: libertarians are not trying to change that.

There is no easy answer or system or religion or ideology that's going to fix this, Left, Right, Center, Up, Down, Sideways and Forwards, whatever.  There is an optimum way, imperfect as it is: we have government and corporations and labor and lodge and church and academy all holding power in their own spheres, competing with each other, so that none become too powerful.  And in the process, their wrestling with each other shakes down some goodies into the hands of the common man.

Is it Utopia?  Far from it.  It's the best we can do.  As George Carlin so eloquently put it, the public sucks.  This is the outcome.
The best we can do? I'm glad other people don't think so. I'm really glad we don't live in a feudal society.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2011, 06:31:02 PM »
There are FDA regulations on what can be called "organic."  That's not really a very good example.
Regulations that are rather ridiculous as I understand it. But you seem to have missed the point.

Consumer Reports can't cover every conceivable product everywhere.  That's not a practical solution.
It's not practical because one company cannot do it all. Well, duh. I did not say Consumer Reports had to cover every good made every where. Stop thinking so small.

I understand that you disagree with that premise.  Government intervention isn't your thing.  But if you don't agree with the methodology, an alternative is necessary.
You're assuming that I need to have a whole plan worked out in detail. The beauty of the market is, no I don't.

There's no rule against double dipping on party platforms, is there?  Shouldn't we be fostering a variation in viewpoints, as opposed to toeing a line of uncompromising idealism?  As I said, every philosophy has its problems; following one and only one is a surefire way to drive the country into the ground.  And then deeper.
Well, let me put it this way, saying one is libertarian on issue A, but not on issues B, C and D, really doesn't mean one is a libertarian.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2011, 07:31:03 PM »
No. I'm going to tell you they already have the same rights. Rights are not privileges, even though some people treat them that way.

We all have the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers, and a zealous defense.  Tell me that the person who can afford a 'dream team' gets the same treatment as the person who can only get a public defender.

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2011, 07:53:54 PM »
Prove it.
I'd like to have a civil discussion with you because we both could probably benefit from it, but you seem very hostile.  If I am mistaken about this, we can chalk it up to an effect of the imperfect medium of innanetz.

If you find my point to be disagreeable, it would help if you presented some sort of explanation or educated me on your specific formulation of libertarianism.  I can only judge your political philosophy by what other adherents of it support unless you give your own stance, then we can discuss in more specifics what you believe and what I see to be the imperfections of it.

For the record, I like libertarianism.  I love Penn Jilette and the show Bullshit.  I just don't think it's an ironclad political philosophy.  It makes some valid points, but I have a hard time being ideological about pragmatic matters.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 08:23:15 PM by Jude »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2011, 08:02:50 PM »
I was going to jump in on some of the current day events that came as a direct result of the rampant deregulation going on but the sheer hostile attitude that Xajow is putting out makes me refrain from doing so.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2011, 08:13:56 PM »
Agreed.

Not agreed. Examples please.

You just did. The purpose of regulations - smart regulations - is to eliminate externalities and to prevent fraud. By supporting full deregulation, you, by definition, support externalizing and fraud.

As a supporter of deregulation, you support fraud.

Quote
I do not know of any libertarians who have spoken against these things.

You just did. You support deregulation, you support the right of corporations to put whatever they want in our food. Like say, sawdust.

Quote
And this means market based solutions apply only to traditional good exactly how?

I just gave examples, and reasons why. If you want to dispute individual items, or all of them, address the arguments in detail, but this is just dodging on your part.

Quote
Um, as I said, the source. Final Call is a website with an agenda. "It is the official communications organ of the Louis Farrakhan's Final Call Organization." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Call

That's not the source of the company list, however. It's difficult to find sources in the prison labor debate that don't have an agenda, because corporate media tends to gloss over it and more liberated media tends to be agenda-centric. The Economist has an article on it too, though they don't name people.

Quote
Yes, and the Wired site is more trustworthy, but it did not indicate people were being put in prison for the sake of use as labor.

You might also wonder what the purpose of 'tough on crime' legislation is, as opposed to when merely ten years ago we were complaining about overcrowded prisons.

Quote
Why?

A liquidity crisis occurs when you have a surplus of labor and a shortage of currency - people have goods and services to offer (their labor, genuine products, etc) - but they don't have currency to conduct trades with, and we are so far removed from barter systems and have so little support for alternative currencies that it is difficult to impossible to trade otherwise.

Essentially, in order for the economy to be kickstarted again, you have to get a form of currency into these people's hands, that they will all use. It's very difficult to separate this notion from government - if you magic into being a new currency that everyone is compelled (socially or otherwise) to use, you are the de facto head of government, because you have a lock on nearly all trade.

This sort of thing is why libertarians and progressives together want more transparency from the Fed, for example.

Quote
As to inflation, yes, I know there is more to the economy and monetary policy than inflation. How you made a leap from me saying the problem we were discussing was inflation not the amount of money paid to assuming I meant that inflation is the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy, I have no idea. Unless you were saying the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy is people being paid enough money. And I doubt seriously that you were. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on that point.


You claimed that the decrease in buying power was due solely to inflation. Specifically, government-caused inflation.

This is not happening.

Inflation, as a whole, has rendered the overall buying power of the average American stagnant, despite the average American being 50% more productive relative to inflation - i.e., the average person, if they were paid based on their productivity, would be getting paid 50% more.

What has caused the reduction in discretionary income is what I listed above - the massive rise in health care costs (a portion of which - medicare underpayment - is due to government, but not all), the massive rise in housing costs (partially due to financial deregulation and other forms of outright fraud, but government is not the direct cause here), increased taxation of married couples (certainly due to government), and increases in transportation costs (not due to government - people choosing to buy multiple vehicles, and increases in oil costs).

When discretionary income went negative several years ago, the economy collapsed.

Quote
Anyway, yes, inflation, long-term inflation is generally caused by the government. Inflation caused by fluctuations in demand or supply are usually short lived and usually do not effect the overall buying power of the individual. Long term inflation, however, is caused by government increasing the supply of money faster than the rate of economic growth.

Again, goods where there are genuine shortages (they ain't making any more land), or genuine increases in demand (food) are neither short-lived nor government-caused. Same with oil.

And government increasing of the money supply only drives inflation if there isn't a liquidity crisis - underutilized resources put to use (labor in general) do not reduce the overall wealth of the nation.

Whereas letting that labor atrophy does.

It's also possible for inflation to be caused if money is circulated (genuinely i.e. exchanged for goods and services) faster - because this is a raw increase in the overall size of the economy by increasing the cash flow multiplier. Most people would consider this a good thing, however.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2011, 09:03:26 PM »
We all have the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers, and a zealous defense.  Tell me that the person who can afford a 'dream team' gets the same treatment as the person who can only get a public defender.
I did not say everyone gets the same treatment or that there were no inequalities in the current system. I said everyone has the same rights.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2011, 09:13:08 PM »
I did not say everyone gets the same treatment or that there were no inequalities in the current system. I said everyone has the same rights.

Alright - then tell me how a system in which the person with more money (not even as excessively unbalanced as OSG put forward) gets better treatment than the person who has less money does not evolve into a plutocracy?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2011, 09:28:17 PM »
And how is deregulating helped us as a country?

It opened the country to RAMPANT exploitation. I was in California when the state thought it would be a BRILLIANT idea to deregulate the power industry. Almost overnight, power rates spiked upwards (which the folks selling the idea said it wouldn't), brown outs were rampant. There were charges of price fixing and purposely dropping power loads so 'rivals' would have to sell power to them. It was so bad I knew senior navy enlisted who had to sell their homes and move back into base housing. They literally couldn't afford to keep paying the power bills.

That is why I'm very wary of Gov. Walker selling off public utlities in closed bids..Not only am I sure that whoever buys them will get an AWESOME deal, we're almost certain they will do every thing to squeeze every dime they can out of the consumer.

Deregualition of the Airlines in the 70s/80s lead to the destruction of several American Airlines (In fact, I think it's fair to say of the 'Big 5' none of them exist except as a name bought to curry traditional brand recogniton). The lack of control of men like John Lorenzo in the airline industry led to a feeding frenzy where their bottom line was the only thing that mattered.

I think that careful consideration should be given before you throttle back the regulation of an industury. It would be a boon to reduce government oversight BUT you have to ask if the people you're removing oversight from truly have the public's best interest in mind?

Look at the mortgage industry of the last few years. I've hear a LOT of outright horror stories. And a LOT of them were things that had their been a bit more regulation and oversight could have been prevented. How many BILLIONS were lost because we didn't watch them carefully enough or have a structure in place to slow things down?


Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2011, 09:42:56 PM »
I'd like to have a civil discussion with you because we both could probably benefit from it, but you seem very hostile.  If I am mistaken about this, we can chalk it up to an effect of the imperfect medium of innanetz.
I do not intend to be hostile. I admit sometimes I can be aggressive in my manner, and it tends to occur when people talk down to me like I don't know what I'm talking about. You did not do that, and if I seemed hostile to you directly, I apologize.

If you find my point to be disagreeable, it would help if you presented some sort of explanation or educated me on your specific formulation of libertarianism.  I can only judge your political philosophy by what other adherents of it support unless you give your own stance, then we can discuss in more specifics what you believe and what I see to be the imperfections of it.
I would be pleased to have that discussion with you. Thank you for asking me.

Basically, libertarianism is about liberty for the individual. Which means libertarians tend be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. At least politically. Personally, I believe that the greater good of society is best served by ensuring liberty for individuals to make their own choices. I believe that Thoreau and others are correct to say "that government governs best which governs least." And I do think Thoreau was correct to say that when men are ready for it, they will have a government "which governs not at all." But I know that time is not now, and unlikely to come in my lifetime. (Unless someone solves the aging problem in the next 20 years.) So contrary to what you may have heard, I am not someone who promotes utopian ideas that have no practical application.

Also contrary to what you may have heard (or read), I am fully aware that in human nature some people lead and some follow. There is nothing about that which is contrary to libertarian philosophy. Some may say it is, but I have yet to see that demonstrated or supported in any substantive way.

Before I get too far along, I should define some things, just so you know what I mean when I talk about certain things. Rights are not privileges. Rights are inherent to each human being. They cannot be given us or taken away from us. Which is not to say that liberty cannot be given or taken away. But liberty and rights are not the same thing. A government may interfere with your liberty to exercise free speech, but it cannot take away your right to free speech. In my opinion, and in my political philosophy, this is fundamental. If, for example again, free speech is a privilege to be granted or removed by government, then it is a privilege, not a right, and people who are not allowed that liberty have no grounds to demand the liberty from their government. I believe it is a right, and not a privilege.

Since I'm using free speech as my example, I will mention the falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater scenario. Yes, doing that is wrong. Why? Because it puts people's lives in danger. The liberty of the individual is bounded by the liberty of every other individual. This is why libertarianism is not a license, as some would claim, to do anything one desires. Some people confuse libertarian with libertine. The two are not the same.

Nor are all libertarians the same. I personally believe we need a much more open immigration policy. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an influential libertarian thinker and teacher, says libertarians should by necessity support strict control of immigration. Some libertarians are in favor of legal abortion, some are not. It depends, usually, on whether the libertarian individual believes a fetus is a human being. Some libertarians are strictly against all use of force. Some, like me, have no problem with use of force in self-defense. A few might say that could include a nation engaging in a preemptive strike, but I think most would not.

I'm kinda tired. How's that for a start anyway? Feel free to ask questions. I'll do my best to answer any I can. I promise to try to be nice.