You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 09, 2016, 07:19:19 PM

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 9437 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2011, 09:49:04 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.
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2011, 09:57:51 PM »
I'm glad we managed to reset the discussion.  Thank you, I probably could've been nicer my wording too.  I'll try and be as polite as possible.

I agree with a lot of what you said.  I generally like to optimize liberty and minimize government, I just think that there are some situations where governmental intervention is necessary.

Example:  global warming.  Individuals will optimize their own interests and it's not in their interest to try and stop global warming because most individuals alive today will be dead before it has any disastrous consequences for humanity.  Yet we have a responsibility as a nation and a species not to destroy out planet through reckless industrialism because it effectively truncates the future of our species.  I think that only large-scale efforts spearheaded by government mandates can impact the situation for positive change because I just don't see everyone magically behaving on an individual level against their interests when there is no clear and present victim of their actions.

I think libertarianism and general fiscal conservatism is built on the notion that if everyone competes the best will win out and it will be good for everyone.  And while I think that's generally true, there are situations where if we all compete and are out for our own interests we will all lose.  Cooperation is a foundation of society and unfortunately it isn't always easy to secure willingly.

Thankfully, you don't seem like a liberty above all type.  You recognize that there are times for compromise, so I have to say that you take a lot more of a pragmatic stance than many fundamental libertarians do.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2011, 10:12:13 PM »
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.

Libertarian health care: no interference by the state in any way shape or form (outside of state employees being allowed to use their wages to buy healthcare)

Pre=National Insurance Act 1911 UK would be a solid starting point.

I'll consider answering that when I find time to study their health care systems.

If you're going to suggest that government run/controlled systems are inefficient it may be worth studying two of the most widely cited government health care systems... especially as the Swiss systems has several similarities to Obamacare.

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.

You class him as a Libertarian thinker... yet he would allow the government that control. That seems a very warped form of libertarianism.

I'm also not quite sure how you wish to extend the debate if you simply wish to cite people without defending or debating their positions.

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?

Well, the US Libertarian Party say: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself.

Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.

Jefferson infamously stated "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." While Jefferson may not have been a libertarian by modern standards (he kept slaves for example) there's not doubt that his theories form the basis of much modern Libertarian discussion.

Says who?

As above.

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.

Em... the entire "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine arises from handing out anti-draft leaflets. The very basic principle of the doctrine is about handing out anti-draft leaflets. The doctrine doesn't exist without people handing out anti-draft pamphlets.

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.

It may be better not to use a slippery slope argument at all... especially when other states have reached the same catalyst position without going down the slope...

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.

Oh, I understand that aspect of the point... and somewhat agree with it. It was the second part, saying that "we wouldn't have needed them if we did not first have laws enforcing discrimination.". While I can somewhat see a point with regards to certain traits commonly associated with discrimination, which I may or may not be the same as your point, I fail to see it for other aspects of discrimination and would be grateful if you could expand on this aspect further.

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?

Sigh. And I'm telling you I haven't. So perhaps you could provide some examples of libertarians saying fraud is acceptable.

It's hard to class Benjamin Franklin as a libertarian but perhaps his most well known quote: "those who sacrifice liberty for a little security deserve neither" is deeply libertarian.

P.J. O'Rourke, a self described libertarian states "There is only one basic human right, the right do do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."

Ayn Rand... who despite calling herself an objectivist is almost always included in the Libertarian camp has countless ones... such as "do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust or stupidity are good motives".

And let's get down to the really grit of the matter; you suggest that libertarians believe economic harm is wrong. Yet if I set up a successful business and drive my competitor out of the market, causing his own business to fail, I have no doubt committed an economic harm against him. If I am a more successful saleperson than my colleague who thus loses market share and gets less commission I have likewise harmed him economically. Is it really necessary for me to pull up quotes to say that that isn't a libertarian position?

In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?

In the 1960's Congo first used the name "Democratic Republic of Congo". It was clearly not democratic or really a republic and it was up to individual critical thinkers to examine the systems and beliefs that drove it. Likewise with North Korea and it's official title the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and Laos and it's official name of "the Lao People's Democratic Republic". Labelling or calling yourself something is not enough to be it...

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.

Fraud is, using UK common law, essentially the offence of dishonestly making a false representation, and intendsing by making the representation to make a gain for yourself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss (with additional provisions to relate to specific situations such as abuse of position or failure to disclose). In contrast, theft is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Other then the fact that both involve dishonesty and property they are not the same. Colloquially trying to tie the two together may be useful for unsophisticated readers but has little truth to it.

Obviously , fraud legislation differs between jurisdictions... but for example, the New York Business Law Statute holds: "Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful", which is essentially fraud... and again, is very different to theft.

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.

An anarcho-capitalist (I've highlighted the "anarcho" part) is by very definition going to be against the State doing anything... or even existing. Otherwise they're no longer an anarcho-anything.

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.

Expand.

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.

No, Bastiat was a great libertarian, one of the most successful pamphleteers in history and did much great work in changing the very tone of the debate. He was also a pamphleteer which is why most of his theories, especially those regarding economics, are generally ignored. Hayek himself puts that forward. Debating and discussing the intricacies of libertarian thought while using his works as a basis is the equivalent of using the ad campaigns in a modern Western election to discuss the positions each party holds and the consequences of such.

And just for good measure:

As above. "Simplifying" anything... be it legislation, political theory or even the attributes of a sports star to make it easily digestible by an unsophisticated audience causes it to lose the nuance required.

To pick up on a comment in a later reply:

Quote
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.

That is an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. Any dishonest speech that puts someone's life (is it only life is mere harm sufficient) should be restricted? Are there any qualifiers, any causation restrictions?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:39:08 AM by consortium11 »

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2011, 10:20:48 PM »
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.
Whoa there, genius. Please show me where I said I support full deregulation. And please provide these definitions you're using because they appear to be leading to some amazingly ridiculous (and that's putting it nicely) leaps of illogic about what I believe.

You just did. You support deregulation, you support the right of corporations to put whatever they want in our food. Like say, sawdust.
Really? So you're just going to make up things you don't like and tell me I support them? That is your argument as to libertarians being against people knowing what is in their food and medicine? Really? Do you expect me not simply call your argument nonsense? Because that is exactly what it is.

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.
Um, no. That you provided an inadequate explanation is not my fault.

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.
Tough on crime legislation is about what it is always about. Getting votes. If you want me to buy this putting people in prison for the sake of cheap labor theory, you'll have to do a much better job of supporting it.

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.
I am not really in agreement with you on this, but I am not an economist and I am tired, so I'm going to let this go for the most part. And the inflation thing too. I'll argue the economics with you another time.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2011, 10:23:53 PM »
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?
That depends. Are we talking about a society where people care about that, or some weird "you crazy libertarians" society where apparently no one ever cares about anything but money?

Offline Valerian

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2011, 10:29:24 PM »
Since it seems to have been forgotten already, let me reiterate: Please make sure that this discussion stays civil.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2011, 10:37:44 PM »
Example:  global warming.  Individuals will optimize their own interests and it's not in their interest to try and stop global warming because most individuals alive today will be dead before it has any disastrous consequences for humanity.  Yet we have a responsibility as a nation and a species not to destroy out planet through reckless industrialism because it effectively truncates the future of our species.  I think that only large-scale efforts spearheaded by government mandates can impact the situation for positive change because I just don't see everyone magically behaving on an individual level against their interests when there is no clear and present victim of their actions.
Everyone doesn't have to magically behave on an individual level against their interests. Many people are concerned about climate change. Top-down, large scale efforts run by government may effect some change, but I have yet to see that occur. Personally, I think bottom-up pressure and campaigns would be much more effective in changing how things are done and what corporations in particular do about how they effect the environment.

I think libertarianism and general fiscal conservatism is built on the notion that if everyone competes the best will win out and it will be good for everyone.  And while I think that's generally true, there are situations where if we all compete and are out for our own interests we will all lose.  Cooperation is a foundation of society and unfortunately it isn't always easy to secure willingly.
I would say libertarianism is built on the notion that individual liberty allows people to find their own good outcomes. It is also based on the notion of voluntary cooperation being better than coerced cooperation. Important here is what you are defining as being "out for our own interests". Sometimes that means competition. Sometimes that means cooperation. And not all competition is strictly win/lose.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2011, 10:49:26 PM »
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

I have.. repeatedly.. In person.

I was called a pinko and bleeding heart liberal for opposing the Patriot Act.
I got mocked for quoting Franklin and verbally warned for qouting Jefferson and others.
I have been called a turn coat and traitor for not falling in lockstep with my party. (Which is why I'm not longer a registered member of either party).


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 #58 on: April 05, 2011, 10:57:03 PM »
That depends. Are we talking about a society where people care about that, or some weird "you crazy libertarians" society where apparently no one ever cares about anything but money?

I am speaking of the current, American society, nothing more esoteric than that.

Offline Doomsday

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2011, 11:49:31 PM »
What is OP's opinion on capital punishment and the death penalty?

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2011, 12:48:56 AM »
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

I assume this is at least partly directed at me...

Let's remember I'm firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum... in many ways my positions don't differ significantly from theirs... as set out in my original post. I'm firmly in support of deregulation, limited government and negative freedom as the basis for virtually everything. I temper that idealism with certain pragmatic restrictions but the fact that I object to certain aspects of the libertarian "manifesto" certainly doesn't make me hostile to it... I'm far more appreciative of it than I am virtually any other of the mainstream political positions. Nestor Makhno's opposition to both mainstream Russian communism and most prevailing Anarchist thought at the time didn't make him hostile to either anarchism or communism... or the anarcho-communism he himself stood for...

Not so very long ago on this very sub-forum I was defending Rand...

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2011, 01:01:46 AM »
Libertarian health care: no interference by the state in any way shape or form (outside of state employees being allowed to use their wages to buy healthcare)
Nope.

You class him as a Libertarian thinker... yet he would allow the government that control. That seems a very warped form of libertarianism.
Yep. As previously stated, not all libertarians agree on everything.

I'm also not quite sure how you wish to extend the debate if you simply wish to cite people without defending or debating their positions.
I'm usually not going to defend a position I do not hold. If you want to debate his position as to being libertarian or not, I would say it does not seem so to me either. But that isn't much of a debate.

Well, the US Libertarian Party say: [ur=http://www.lp.org/issues/freedom-of-speechl]We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself.[/url]
Which comes under a heading of "Against Censorship". Context matters.

Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.
The website for his organization says "For us, freedom of speech is the right to say anything about public affairs, whether political, scientific, historical or otherwise." No limits on free speech in the context of government limiting political speech is a different argument than limits on free speech regarding fraud.

Jefferson infamously stated "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." While Jefferson may not have been a libertarian by modern standards (he kept slaves for example) there's not doubt that his theories form the basis of much modern Libertarian discussion.
I fail to see how that means libertarians would be okay with fraud.

Em... the entire "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine arises from handing out anti-draft leaflets. The very basic principle of the doctrine is about handing out anti-draft leaflets. The doctrine doesn't exist without people handing out anti-draft pamphlets.
Sigh. So basically your argument is that because Oliver Wendell Holmes said it it must be true? Really? Again, I doubt most libertarians would equate handing out anti-draft leaflets with falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Why you insist that they must, I cannot seem to get from you. Which leaves me no way to argue the point with you.

It may be better not to use a slippery slope argument at all... especially when other states have reached the same catalyst position without going down the slope...
So I don't need to worry about politicians trying to regulate things like salt and fat and Four Loko? Wow. What a relief. If only you could convince the politicians.

Oh, I understand that aspect of the point... and somewhat agree with it. It was the second part, saying that "we wouldn't have needed them if we did not first have laws enforcing discrimination.". While I can somewhat see a point with regards to certain traits commonly associated with discrimination, which I may or may not be the same as your point, I fail to see it for other aspects of discrimination and would be grateful if you could expand on this aspect further.
Perhaps if you were more clear on which aspects of discrimination you're talking about, I would have a better idea of how to address your request.

It's hard to class Benjamin Franklin as a libertarian but perhaps his most well known quote: "those who sacrifice liberty for a little security deserve neither" is deeply libertarian.
And that means libertarians think fraud is okay because...? So far your argument on this point seems to be that libertarians think fraud is okay because they promote liberty. If one were to apply this sort of thinking to other folks, I suppose one would say that Martin Luther King, Jr., was okay with fraud. Or the abolitionists. Or the suffragettes. But that would be ridiculous. But then, saying libertarians are okay with fraud is also ridiculous.

P.J. O'Rourke, a self described libertarian states "There is only one basic human right, the right do do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
He also said, "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." He doesn't seem to be okay with fraud.

Ayn Rand... who despite calling herself an objectivist is almost always included in the Libertarian camp has countless ones... such as "do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust or stupidity are good motives".
That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say. It does not, however, appear to have anything to do with the "libertarians think fraud is okay" notion.

And let's get down to the really grit of the matter; you suggest that libertarians believe economic harm is wrong. Yet if I set up a successful business and drive my competitor out of the market, causing his own business to fail, I have no doubt committed an economic harm against him. If I am a more successful saleperson than my colleague who thus loses market share and gets less commission I have likewise harmed him economically. Is it really necessary for me to pull up quotes to say that that isn't a libertarian position?
Wow. We've moved from fraud to putting people out of business. So person A being successful in business means if person B fails in business then person A caused economic harm. No doubt, you say. But your example seems highly simplistic and, ahem, lacking in necessary nuance. Not to mention the fact that you seem to have suddenly enlarged the definition of economic harm from things like fraud to basically anything that has a consequence that might be perceived to be negative. Perhaps that was your thinking all along. But arguing that libertarians are not against a business being more successful than another does not in any way mean they are okay with fraud. To assume that it does seems to me to be highly illogical.

In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?
In the 1960's Congo first used the name "Democratic Republic of Congo". It was clearly not democratic or really a republic and it was up to individual critical thinkers to examine the systems and beliefs that drove it. Likewise with North Korea and it's official title the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and Laos and it's official name of "the Lao People's Democratic Republic". Labelling or calling yourself something is not enough to be it...
No part of that addresses why you have set yourself up as an arbiter of what is and is not "true" libertarianism. And given that you seem to not understand libertarianism at a basic level, I am of the opinion you are not qualified to be such an arbiter.

Fraud is, using UK common law, essentially the offence of dishonestly making a false representation, and intendsing by making the representation to make a gain for yourself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss (with additional provisions to relate to specific situations such as abuse of position or failure to disclose). In contrast, theft is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Other then the fact that both involve dishonesty and property they are not the same. Colloquially trying to tie the two together may be useful for unsophisticated readers but has little truth to it.
Unsophisticated readers. Uh-huh. And I was worried I might come across as arrogant. Okay. This weird semantic game where deceptively acquiring the property of others and dishonestly acquiring the property of others are some how not both theft is, I am sure, very "sophisticated". It's also ridiculous. Yes, the singular act of deceiving someone is not in itself theft. Deceiving someone to gain their property and being successful, however, is theft. Because a lie is used and not a gun or a lockpick does not make it any less theft. Your "sophisticated" explanation is weak at best. That you can make something sound complicated does not mean that it is.

Obviously , fraud legislation differs between jurisdictions... but for example, the New York Business Law Statute holds: "Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful", which is essentially fraud... and again, is very different to theft.
Sigh. Yes, there are other kinds of fraud that do not necessarily result in the exchange of property. But in the context of what we were discussing, fraud is theft. Again, if I were to use your methods, robbery and embezzlement are not theft either. And yet, they actually are.

An anarcho-capitalist (I've highlighted the "anarcho" part is by very definition going to be against the State doing anything... or even existing. Otherwise they're no longer an anarcho-anything.
Against the existence of the state is not against the existence of order.

Expand.
I didn't believe what I said was difficult to understand. I don't accept your definitions of libertarianism or your "it's not theft" explanation of fraud so I reject your notion that libertarian theory "leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud."

No, Bastiat was a great libertarian, one of the most successful pamphleteers in history and did much great work in changing the very tone of the debate. He was also a pamphleteer which is why most of his theories, especially those regarding economics, are generally ignored. Hayek himself puts that forward. Debating and discussing the intricacies of libertarian thought while using his works as a basis is the equivalent of using the ad campaigns in a modern Western election to discuss the positions each party holds and the consequences of such.
Somehow I knew you would dismiss him.  He was a pamphleteer. Oh, well then what he said must be useless. Except that it isn't. Bastiat's works like The Law and Economic Harmonies are hardly the equivalent of 30 seconds of sound-bites. Notably, rather than address what he said, you simply dismiss the man.

As above. "Simplifying" anything... be it legislation, political theory or even the attributes of a sports star to make it easily digestible by an unsophisticated audience causes it to lose the nuance required.
Ah yes. The old "dismiss anything that contradicts you" bit.

That is an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. Any dishonest speech that puts someone's life (is it only life is mere harm sufficient) should be restricted? Are there any qualifiers, any causation restrictions?
Deliberately using deception to put other people's lives in danger seems to you an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. I must really be tired (even though I cannot sleep) because you're making less and less sense to me. Are you now going to defend falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2011, 01:06:31 AM »
I have.. repeatedly.. In person.

I was called a pinko and bleeding heart liberal for opposing the Patriot Act.
I got mocked for quoting Franklin and verbally warned for qouting Jefferson and others.
I have been called a turn coat and traitor for not falling in lockstep with my party. (Which is why I'm not longer a registered member of either party).
Not quite on the same level as what's been going on here, but fair enough. I apologize to you for appearing to be hostile. I tend to be hostile back to people who seem treat what I say with hostility. Not an excuse, it just is. I certainly meant no hostility toward you.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2011, 01:07:28 AM »
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?
Do we have a plutocracy now?

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2011, 01:12:55 AM »
Not quite on the same level as what's been going on here, but fair enough. I apologize to you for appearing to be hostile. I tend to be hostile back to people who seem treat what I say with hostility. Not an excuse, it just is. I certainly meant no hostility toward you.

I had a man I work for.. ACTIVELY try and pull my clearance. Because I disagreed with him.

So when I debate politics.. and beliefs, I try to keep it polite.

I agree with the concept of small government, unfortunately it doesn't work in the environment of the United States Business. Here it's the bottom line and how much profit I can squeeze out of THIS quarter or two quarters down the line.

Immediate profit without regard to the consequences has been a factor of American Business for a long time. It took the foundation of groups like the Food and Drug Adminstation, the passing of laws like the Anti-trust Act, and a butt load of Clean Air/Water legislation to get business to be responsible.

Business Ethics in the US is a joke. Has been for decades.

That has to change for the Government to stop being the 'minder' of big business. Figure out how to get Gordon Gecko out of Big Business planning and you can get the small government you want.. otherwise be VERY careful what you eat, drive and fly in.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2011, 01:21:33 AM »
Let's remember I'm firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum... in many ways my positions don't differ significantly from theirs... as set out in my original post. I'm firmly in support of deregulation, limited government and negative freedom as the basis for virtually everything. I temper that idealism with certain pragmatic restrictions but the fact that I object to certain aspects of the libertarian "manifesto" certainly doesn't make me hostile to it... I'm far more appreciative of it than I am virtually any other of the mainstream political positions. Nestor Makhno's opposition to both mainstream Russian communism and most prevailing Anarchist thought at the time didn't make him hostile to either anarchism or communism... or the anarcho-communism he himself stood for...

Not so very long ago on this very sub-forum I was defending Rand...
Having not been to this area of the site until a day or so ago and not encountered you elsewhere, I know nothing about you. I don't know what you said to others. Only what you said to me. If you would prefer I not consider your arguments hostile, perhaps you should reconsider your approach. I've nothing against a debate of libertarian ideas. I don't claim you have to agree with me to be libertarian. Telling me libertarians are okay with fraud, however, and basically telling me they are because you say they are, and implying I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't agree, that is not what I would call a friendly debate. I'm a nice guy but not meek. When pushed, I tend to push back. If that's a problem, then don't push.

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 #66 on: April 06, 2011, 01:24:50 AM »
Do we have a plutocracy now?

Despite an economy that’s twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent of earners have had less than a 1 percent gain in their earnings over the same time (adjusted for inflation).  In the same amount of time, the top 1 percent’s share of national income has doubled (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now), and they pay less percentage-wise in taxes than they did then.  I'm pretty sure the bottom 90% didn't lobby for those tax cuts.

Do we have a plutocracy?  *shrug*

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2011, 01:43:16 AM »
Despite an economy that’s twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent of earners have had less than a 1 percent gain in their earnings over the same time (adjusted for inflation).  In the same amount of time, the top 1 percent’s share of national income has doubled (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now), and they pay less percentage-wise in taxes than they did then.  I'm pretty sure the bottom 90% didn't lobby for those tax cuts.
So corporations and governments working together plays no part in any of this? Has there been no upward mobility amongst that bottom 90%?

I know a lot of people talk about the rich this and the rich that, and the government has to protect us. From what I've seen, the government is just as guilty for the state of things as whatever unscrupulous wealthy folks you want to name. And the government has done some pretty horrible things over the years. So why should I trust the the government is going to protect me from corporations and/or the wealthy? Corporations make huge mistakes, and what does the government do about it? They take taxpayer money and give it to the corporations. Shoveling money to corporate fat cats who have way more money than I will likely ever have doesn't seem like protection from a plutocracy to me.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 01:44:23 AM by Xajow »

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 #68 on: April 06, 2011, 01:48:48 AM »
Isn't the very definition of a plutocracy 'government by the wealthy'?  Unless I misread you, that's what you're describing. 

To return to my original question, is there a way for a system where the person with more money gets better treatment than the person who has less money not to evolve into a plutocracy?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #69 on: April 06, 2011, 02:06:07 AM »
Isn't the very definition of a plutocracy 'government by the wealthy'?  Unless I misread you, that's what you're describing.
I'm much tired. What I described... in my reply to you? Perhaps, but again, how is a government that is part of the problem going to protect us?

To return to my original question, is there a way for a system where the person with more money gets better treatment than the person who has less money not to evolve into a plutocracy?
Sure. People who care about it have to do something about it. Start a charity for legal cases. Start a campaign to have lawyers to do more pro bono work. There are probably a number of ways to help poorer people get better legal defense.

Is there a way for a system where government always and increasingly meddles in business to not evolve into a plutocracy?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2011, 02:27:21 AM »
Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.
After finally listening to the whole audio file, (Mr. Gabb does not show up until 9 minutes in) I feel the need to report that what Mr. Gabb actually said was "People should be at liberty to say anything they like about matters of public interest." This is decidedly not an advocacy for fraud being okay. So, again, your argument lacks support.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #71 on: April 06, 2011, 03:54:14 AM »
Nope.

Then we appear to be at an impasse. Do you wish to define a libertarian health system and we can debate the merits and negatives of that leaving aside any discussion as to whether it it libertarian or not?

Yep. As previously stated, not all libertarians agree on everything.

No they do not and I would not expect them to. But in the same way that an "anarchist" arguing for the existence of the state would no longer be an anarchist regardless of their other positions, someone arguing that the State should have that degree of control over who a business can and can not hire seems to me to be deeply anti-libertarian.

I'm usually not going to defend a position I do not hold. If you want to debate his position as to being libertarian or not, I would say it does not seem so to me either. But that isn't much of a debate.

Which does bring up the question of why you raised it... I believe it to be non-libertarian, you agree...

Which comes under a heading of "Against Censorship". Context matters.

We'll take note of this for later...

The website for his organization says "For us, freedom of speech is the right to say anything about public affairs, whether political, scientific, historical or otherwise." No limits on free speech in the context of government limiting political speech is a different argument than limits on free speech regarding fraud.

And as above, context matters. In the podcast he clearly argues for no restrictions on freedom of speech, even outside of political speech.

To expand on your later contribution, transcribing.

Host: And I would hope that you are a complete upholder of freedom of speech?

Sean Gabb: Got it in one.

No qualifiers used.

In the same piece he later goes on to mention the case of an Oxford student being prosecuted for noting that a mounted policeman's horse looked gay and is clearly negative about this: saying a horse looks gay is certainly not a comment on a matter of public interest.

Where he does mention public interest is in relation to the incitement laws that follow on from the "fire in the crowded theatre" doctrine... something he opposes.

I fail to see how that means libertarians would be okay with fraud.

Fraud no longer being a crime but instead being punished by the markets is an "inconvenience" due to too much liberty...

Sigh. So basically your argument is that because Oliver Wendell Holmes said it it must be true? Really? Again, I doubt most libertarians would equate handing out anti-draft leaflets with falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Why you insist that they must, I cannot seem to get from you. Which leaves me no way to argue the point with you.

From my very first post on the topic I have clearly been discussing the doctrine of "fire in a crowded theatre" as opposed to a specific example... I'm not even aware if there have been any specific examples although I'm sure there must have been some. If you wish to discuss individual cases then I'm amiable to that... but it is the doctrine itself that I was presenting... and presenting as non-libertarian. From what you've said above, I suggest you agree with me.
 
So I don't need to worry about politicians trying to regulate things like salt and fat and Four Loko? Wow. What a relief. If only you could convince the politicians.

No, you of course do have to worry about such things... and oppose them if you wish to. What you suggested was that once the government controlled healthcare it would "most certainly" start mandating what people could and couldn't eat and how much exercise they would be forced to do.

Perhaps if you were more clear on which aspects of discrimination you're talking about, I would have a better idea of how to address your request.

For example, many modern equality/anti-discrimination acts contain provisions against discrimination on the basis of philosophical (as opposed to religious) beliefs or the lack of such beliefs. I am unaware... although happy to be corrected... of any previous laws which held that Kantian theorists or proposers of natural law were prevented from getting jobs.

And that means libertarians think fraud is okay because...?

The liberty to make deceitful statements against the security of not being subjected to fraud.

So far your argument on this point seems to be that libertarians think fraud is okay because they promote liberty. If one were to apply this sort of thinking to other folks, I suppose one would say that Martin Luther King, Jr., was okay with fraud. Or the abolitionists. Or the suffragettes. But that would be ridiculous. But then, saying libertarians are okay with fraud is also ridiculous.

Well, considering Martin Luther King Jr's academic career it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say he was unconcerned by fraud but that's an aside.

My point is more this: if libertarians are against government interference in the marketplace then it seems strange for them to then argue that the government has a role in preventing deceitful bad bargains. From my original post onwards I've ventured that one of the key ways of defining a libertarian is using Mill's Harm principle on a strict basis (although it is worth pointing out that Mill himself was a utilitarian, a position that can find itself opposed to libertarianism) and a strict reading of the Harm principle would not include fraud.

He also said, "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." He doesn't seem to be okay with fraud.

He's using fraud in the colloquial sense. I'm using it in the criminal.

That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say. It does not, however, appear to have anything to do with the "libertarians think fraud is okay" notion.

Fraud legislation isn't motivated by a desire to do good? And it isn't backed with force?

Wow. We've moved from fraud to putting people out of business. So person A being successful in business means if person B fails in business then person A caused economic harm. No doubt, you say. But your example seems highly simplistic and, ahem, lacking in necessary nuance.

Just to point out I believe you introduced the concept of economic harm while I originally restricted my discussion to fraud. That may have been a slip of the tongue/keyboard by you... economic harm is an incredibly wide area and I'm not sure you really are arguing on that basis.

Not to mention the fact that you seem to have suddenly enlarged the definition of economic harm from things like fraud to basically anything that has a consequence that might be perceived to be negative.

It appears we're using economic harm in different contexts. I use it in the way it's used in the legal, business and philosophical world to describe anything that cause harm economically to an entity; there is extensive discussion on the topic with regards to tort law (with the leading case being Spartan Steel) for example. You appear to be using it in a far more specific sense to refer only to criminal(?) acts that involve economic loss. Is that so and, if that is the case, shall we bypass that aspect of the discussion as it doesn't appear to add anything to the topic that is not covered by our discussion on fraud?

Perhaps that was your thinking all along. But arguing that libertarians are not against a business being more successful than another does not in any way mean they are okay with fraud. To assume that it does seems to me to be highly illogical.

As above. As I've been using it Economic Harm is not limited to the likes of fraud, insider trading etc etc.

No part of that addresses why you have set yourself up as an arbiter of what is and is not "true" libertarianism. And given that you seem to not understand libertarianism at a basic level, I am of the opinion you are not qualified to be such an arbiter.

From your own definition/explanation of libertarianism in response to another post you held that it was concerned with individual liberty and is based around individual rights (as opposed to privileges). I understand and pretty much accept that. The issue is this: can you frame the right that means that fraud legislation is a valid act (in the moral sense to avoid the legal positivism angle) by the State? A right to not be deceived? A right to not be deceived if it leads to economic loss? A right to not be deceived if it directly leads to economic loss?

Unsophisticated readers. Uh-huh. And I was worried I might come across as arrogant.

"Sophisticated" and "unsophisticated" are terms widely used in the business and legal world (as well as probably others) to describe people who are not familiar with the terms and processes involved with no negative connotations. If a derivatives lawyer is buying property then he will understand many of the terms and situations a real estate lawyer will use even if not an expert much like if a commodity trader uses a wealth management fund. It means you can use the more technical and precise jargon without having to explain or simplify it.

Okay. This weird semantic game where deceptively acquiring the property of others and dishonestly acquiring the property of others are some how not both theft is, I am sure, very "sophisticated". It's also ridiculous. Yes, the singular act of deceiving someone is not in itself theft. Deceiving someone to gain their property and being successful, however, is theft.

As I set out, using the relevant statute laws, that simply isn't the case. Colloquially it may be... but in colloquial terms people describe both abortion and capital punishment as murder, neither of which is true. If fraud was theft why would there be the need for separate fraud legislation?

Because a lie is used and not a gun or a lockpick does not make it any less theft. Your "sophisticated" explanation is weak at best. That you can make something sound complicated does not mean that it is.

I hope I'm not presenting it as complicated as it simply isn't. Fraud is a separate offence that shares certain similarities (dishonesty and property) to theft... but certain similarities are not enough to make two things identical.

Sigh. Yes, there are other kinds of fraud that do not necessarily result in the exchange of property. But in the context of what we were discussing, fraud is theft. Again, if I were to use your methods, robbery and embezzlement are not theft either. And yet, they actually are.

Embezzlement is regarded as merely a type of fraud by most jurisdictions so the reasoning set out above applies. Robbery, at least at common law, actually requires a theft to occur so while they are technically different offences I fully accept that they are in many ways the same. Fraud has no such requirement.

Against the existence of the state is not against the existence of order.

Oh, I agree entirely. Which is why I was very careful to include the qualifier "created by the State" during that aspect of the discussion. I was slightly lax earlier in the discussion by just using the term "law", for which I apologise but that usage appeared to pass off without incident.

I didn't believe what I said was difficult to understand. I don't accept your definitions of libertarianism or your "it's not theft" explanation of fraud so I reject your notion that libertarian theory "leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud."

Should the government be involved in bad bargains?

Is fraud a bad bargain caused by deceit?

Is there a market solution to this issue?

Why is the state option preferable to a possible market solution?

Does there being deceit give the state the right to intefere?

Somehow I knew you would dismiss him.  He was a pamphleteer. Oh, well then what he said must be useless. Except that it isn't. Bastiat's works like The Law and Economic Harmonies are hardly the equivalent of 30 seconds of sound-bites. Notably, rather than address what he said, you simply dismiss the man.

As I set out previously he was a great writer and did huge amounts to influence the general public discourse on liberty as a topic. But there was a reason Schumpter infamously said that he was a brilliant economic journalist, but no economic theorist and that Hayek... while introducing his Bastiats own work... criticises his attempts to deal with economics. I don't dislike Bastiat... I rather like him in fact... but that doesn't mean I gloss over his (sometimes severe) limitations.

Ah yes. The old "dismiss anything that contradicts you" bit.

They're clearly colloquialising fraud to make it easier to understand for people not sophisticated in the legal terminology. In the same way certain derivatives are often described as "a type of insurance" when describing them to people not familiar with them or their operation.

Deliberately using deception to put other people's lives in danger seems to you an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. I must really be tired (even though I cannot sleep) because you're making less and less sense to me. Are you now going to defend falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater?

This construction is already better as it indicates that the intention behind the deceit has to be to put lives in danger as opposed to being strict liability. My issues still remain however: are there any causation requirements? Is mere physical harm enough or is (subjectively? Objectively?) lives being in danger the requirement?

Having not been to this area of the site until a day or so ago and not encountered you elsewhere, I know nothing about you. I don't know what you said to others. Only what you said to me. If you would prefer I not consider your arguments hostile, perhaps you should reconsider your approach. I've nothing against a debate of libertarian ideas. I don't claim you have to agree with me to be libertarian. Telling me libertarians are okay with fraud, however, and basically telling me they are because you say they are, and implying I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't agree, that is not what I would call a friendly debate. I'm a nice guy but not meek. When pushed, I tend to push back. If that's a problem, then don't push.

I certainly don't think you don't know what you're talking about (although there have been a few cases of loose language... but then I've done likewise) but putting forward an argument as to why logically a libertarian in name and deed should oppose fraud legislation is not a "hostile" argument, especially from someone who in their very first post on the topic noted how he admired anarcho-capitalism (where fraud would be a genuine and real concern... and one of the major arguments against it). Likewise someone, who from their very first post on the topic noted how they are firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum and only "not quite" a libertarian, pointing out some of the fairly innocuous flaws in general libertarian thinking doesn't seem to me to be hostile. I've even avoided some of the more contentious issues such as the tension between the widely held libertarian/classical liberal views on meritocracy/equality of opportunity and inheritance.

Debating someone's political or philosophical position is not an attack on them... most of my own positions in relation to many things contain several logical gaps which I'm well aware of and would fully expect someone to point out during any debate. I would defend them to the best of my ability but I wouldn't hint at a tone argument and I would engage with the criticism.

Online Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #72 on: April 06, 2011, 07:57:16 AM »
Whoa there, genius. Please show me where I said I support full deregulation. And please provide these definitions you're using because they appear to be leading to some amazingly ridiculous (and that's putting it nicely) leaps of illogic about what I believe.

Really? So you're just going to make up things you don't like and tell me I support them? That is your argument as to libertarians being against people knowing what is in their food and medicine? Really? Do you expect me not simply call your argument nonsense? Because that is exactly what it is.

I am specifically discussing regulations that prevent fraud and externalities. If you're for these - great - but it's not like progressives are going to argue for removing malregulation.

Here's an example - do you support or oppose the Clean Water Act?

Or another - do you support or oppose Glass-Steagall?

Or another - do you support or oppose Network Neutrality?

Do you support or oppose nuclear regulations?

Do you support or oppose antitrust regulations? This is a big one.

Do you support or oppose campaign finance regulations?

...I can go on.

I know most libertarians are all for transparency regulations - that's quite good - but transparency is not the end of the story. "This food contains sawdust" versus "this food contains cellulose pulp" versus banning sawdust in food. That singular element is just a microcosm, however - thousands of new chemicals are created each year. How do you handle that without a solid regulatory framework?

Yeah, my statement was an exaggeration and I apologize - but not as much of one as you want to think. The above regulations are what most progressives actually fight for. It's not like progressives actually support the idiotic power regulations that brought down California.

Quote
Um, no. That you provided an inadequate explanation is not my fault.

Wrong. You can describe how you find it inadequate, so a response can be formulated, or concede the point that the Market is not the magic solution to everything.

Quote
I am not really in agreement with you on this, but I am not an economist and I am tired, so I'm going to let this go for the most part. And the inflation thing too. I'll argue the economics with you another time.

So, I see this a lot.

"I am not an economist" - from people arguing economic theory.

Why is that?

I don't necessarily mean in the concept of a formal education.

In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable. This, ultimately, means that some positions are in fact untenable - they won't work, for one reason or another. You can choose to evolve your philosophy when faced with such a situation - but if you don't, your position will not be treated seriously. I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example.




Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #73 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:43 AM »
In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable. This, ultimately, means that some positions are in fact untenable - they won't work, for one reason or another. You can choose to evolve your philosophy when faced with such a situation - but if you don't, your position will not be treated seriously. I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example.

I'm sure you must have seen this position argued before but I'll present it regardless...

A monopoly is not a particular issue. To form the entity which has the monopoly must have driven their competitors out of the market and thus will be the company the consumers prefer... be it for quality, price, combination of the two etc etc which means as a starting point the entity with the monopoly will be at least somewhat consumer friendly. As time goes by the monopoly status means that there is no pressure on the entity and as such they can lower quality and/or raise prices. At that time there becomes a hole in the market for a competitor to exploit and thus capital will move in to profit from that gap, thus meaning that a monopoly no longer exists. If I remember correctly an anti-monopoly case was being considered against Toys R Us in the US because of their seeming domination of the toy market... but then other groups (notably Walmart) made a large push into the sector and the issue was essentially resolved.

You may well have seen it but there's a fairly extensive discussion on the topic in the context of Microsoft here. The author (François-René Rideau) follows a very legalistic definition of libertarianism but goes through the argument set out above in some detail.

Online Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #74 on: April 06, 2011, 09:39:16 AM »
For a second I thought you were going to present Mises' argument >_>

It's interesting that he focuses on Microsoft, but doesn't actually address what Microsoft actually did to BeOS, and how Microsoft prevented computer manufacturers from dual-booting. He doesn't address what it means to own an API, either, except in a roundabout sense.

In the former case - Microsoft's abuse of contract law - would Libertarians actually support the idea that that sort of contract should be illegal? In the latter case, would Libertarians support the idea that an API needs to be open?

This is to say nothing of the rather fragile nature of Microsoft's monopoly, as has been demonstrated by Google, Apple, and Linux.

Compare that to the situation posed by a coal company town at the dawn of the 20th century:

- Only employer in the region
- Workers are not paid in cash, but in company scrip
- Which is only redeemable at the company store
- Which is never enough to cover actual needs, driving the worker into debt.

I didn't quote the Sixteen Tons song on a lark. Wage slavery has been a real problem, and unions exist for a reason.