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Author Topic: Necessary Government Functions  (Read 6079 times)

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Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2011, 08:46:06 PM »
I don't think that is even remotely true.  Take Greece for example.  Huge welfare state relative to GDP, massively corrupt government on all levels and tax-dodging as a commonality across all levels of society.  Greece has a huge government relative to GDP and corruption is rampant.  Now they are threatening the strength of the entire centralized currency that is the Euro. 

A small government would be less corrupt because it wouldn't be able to do anything for corporations.  Check out corporatism, check out cronyism and regulatory capture.  Those are only consequences of a large government.

The real trouble of Greece, and the main root cause of their present economic stupor, is that they're chained down to the centralized currency, and to the European Central Bank which is sticking to the idea that holding down inflation is all that matters. Greece and other eurobloc countries in eastern and southern Europe (such as Portugal and Italy) were growing economically before the international crisis hit in 2008/09, but they were denied the space to move some vital ecomomic and financial gears because those had been locked up in the hands of the ECB bosses, who are always going to be more interested in listening to where France and Germany are standing; those countries, and their business, are the big boys.

In a time of crisis, if the government isn't given the space to change anything, it's either the currency or the jobs that takes the hit. Greece couldn't do anything about its currency (a drop in the currency value would have been helpful, it would've made its exports cheaper) or its interest rates, so production costs rocketed and the labour market bombed. I would agree that Greece has a reputation for begging their butt off in relations to the EU, but frankly no government, thin or fat, would have been able to save the situation if they were not allowed to put their hands on the gears of the financial and economic situation.

Of course tax enforcement in Greece is in a bad state but it's been a running problem for many years and it's not the real bottom line issue. Anyway, as I was on to, if you have a small and slim state it's likely not going to be able to squeeze in its taxes from the big honchos and corporations, nor will it be able to ensure fairness in public life.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 08:58:40 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online Vekseid

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2011, 09:06:01 PM »
I don't think that is even remotely true.  Take Greece for example.  Huge welfare state relative to GDP, massively corrupt government on all levels and tax-dodging as a commonality across all levels of society.  Greece has a huge government relative to GDP and corruption is rampant.  Now they are threatening the strength of the entire centralized currency that is the Euro. 

A small government would be less corrupt because it wouldn't be able to do anything for corporations.  Check out corporatism, check out cronyism and regulatory capture.  Those are only consequences of a large government.

No.

Take Norway for example.

Larger government relative to GDP than Greece. Unemployment rate of 3.6%. Wealthiest median income in the world or close to it, easily eclipsing that of the US. Very little corruption. Lots of northern European countries tell a similar story.

Lack of transparency is what causes corruption. The size of government has relatively little to do with it.

Offline BCdan

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2011, 09:34:41 PM »
No.

Take Norway for example.

Larger government relative to GDP than Greece. Unemployment rate of 3.6%. Wealthiest median income in the world or close to it, easily eclipsing that of the US. Very little corruption. Lots of northern European countries tell a similar story.

Lack of transparency is what causes corruption. The size of government has relatively little to do with it.

What I am trying to get at is that a big government has potential to do more damage if it becomes corrupt as opposed to a small government.  Sure a big government can work, its just much hard to make work.

Online Vekseid

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2011, 03:50:58 AM »
What I am trying to get at is that a big government has potential to do more damage if it becomes corrupt as opposed to a small government.  Sure a big government can work, its just much hard to make work.

A small government can also mean something like Somalia, or the Articles of Confederation. It doesn't, necessarily, work.

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2011, 03:32:37 PM »
Wow this got heated while I was away. I will point out that companies did write their own currency at one time in this country called company script. You got paid in it. Had to spend it at the company store. After which you realized you couldn't afford what the items cost and now were forever in the company's debt. Not true slavery but for all intensive purposes it was. This is one of the many reasons why only the government is allowed to have a currency.

As far as the government always wanting power and more power may I point out that the United States and its allies where the first governments to return conquered land to people they were at war with. Up to this time it was unprecedented to give back the land of a country you defeated in a conflict. I like to be on the optimist side of things a government is not there for power, its is there to do what is right and correct mistakes it made in the past if they weren't right.

So maybe that should be the reason for a government to do what is right.

Offline BCdan

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2011, 04:32:52 PM »
A small government can also mean something like Somalia, or the Articles of Confederation. It doesn't, necessarily, work.

Interestingly enough, Somalia is a failed communist state, turned military dictatorship, turned collapsed state.  Would Somalia be in a better position if it didn't have an all powerful military dictatorship and instead had a smaller government that was less authoritarian?  Probably. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2011, 07:44:02 PM »
Excaept you can't work for a dollar an hour because of minimum wage laws.  Instead your only option is unemployment. You are the one introducing force when you tell someone else how much they must pay you or else you will call the police to throw them in jail.

You know what happens when you eliminate minimum wage laws? You get a country that looks a little like China. A lot like China, actually, when you factor in the assumption that you're also against all other labor laws in effect, as well. Those people don't have to work eighteen hours a day for a dollar an hour, right? It becomes a race to the bottom and the only people who win are the people at the top. In a competitive job market, pretty soon you have people offering to work for a pathetic fraction of what they could be because what incentive does the employer have to pay more than he needs to? Working for less money for longer hours suddenly becomes a chance to see who can debase themselves the most -- how is that a desirable alternative? I assume you're probably against welfare, but I don't see how the government could not offer welfare if it eliminates minimum wage laws seeing as you can't live on a dollar an hour.

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Just because you aren't qualified to get a high paying job doesn't mean you should be able to demand someone else pay you more money.  Heres a good video about how Government interference in prices causes unemployment. 

I never made this point.

I'm saying that a minimum wage is set to ensure that a person who is working for it can support a minimum standard of living. In case you haven't taken a look around lately, it actually still doesn't. Living on minimum wage is damn near impossible, and you have neglected to mention the fact that employers aren't forced to hire people. You don't think your applicants are worth minimum wage? Don't hire them. It's already a non-issue.

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I was mainly arguing for the ethics of being allowed to make my own currency.  As I pointed out in a previous post, I would get a felony and five years in prison for engaging in purely voluntary behavior.  Your willing to commit violence against a peaceful person based on someones economic opinion.  I would like you to actually support that claim that the economy will melt down if we have multiple currencies, but thats not even the main point of my argument.  Its that in the really complex field of economics, you have an opinion so strong that you are willing to use violence to force it upon me. 

Right. Because when you're issued a speeding ticket, you never speed again, right? Now imagine you got punched in the face repeatedly for every mile over the limit you were going.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly advocating for violence in the place of a speeding ticket, but I have to say, the way you're using 'violence' in this context is largely unsettling. The police aren't kicking in your door, tazering you, and clubbing you to death with nightsticks. I don't consider prison time as necessarily 'violent'. I don't know how you'd propose we enforce our laws instead -- pillow fight? Tickle time?

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You could still have a government, it would just have to never initiate violence, the threat of violence or fraud against anyone.  Alternatively, you could have a government via contract, like a DRO.

A carebear police force? I still don't follow your proposal here because it does not occur to me as very practical.

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Its largely a myth that Scandanavia is significantly more controlling.  They have high taxes, but economic freedoms often beat out the US in many areas.  I don't think that the government is run by a room full of evil men who want to conquer the world, but I do think that government naturally invites parasites that want to increase their own power.  The only thing that has slowed them down is our freedom and checks and balances.  But that has only slowed them down.

You still have yet to provide any tangible proof that our government is in a glacial drift towards a totalitarian state except a reactionary bill provoked by a large-scale terrorist attack, in which case I would simply say "causation vs. correlation", which is a fallacy.

Also: Scandinavia and much of Europe have very socialist tendencies, which runs hard against what you're asking for here.

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Ok, I really have stuff to do and can't continue this discussion anymore or respond to the rest of your points.  Sorry about that.  I completely disagree with you on most everything.  :P

If you're too busy to discuss things, please don't waste my time. It's disrespectful and is not terribly conducive to a civil debate if you simply can't be arsed. If you don't have time to debate, then don't.

Online Vekseid

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2011, 08:09:01 PM »
The reason economists don't like the minimum wage isn't because of a desire to emulate China (at least not the senseless bits), but because it's attacking the wrong problem.

Low wages are a symptom of a lack of worker mobility. Setting a minimum wage is a temporary cure for the symptom, where you want to address worker mobility.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2011, 11:05:10 PM »

A small government would be less corrupt because it wouldn't be able to do anything for corporations.  Check out corporatism, check out cronyism and regulatory capture.  Those are only consequences of a large government.
Regulatory capture is not a feature of small government, you're right, because under a government that does not regulate, the big corporations have already won. If the Mineral Management Service had not existed, do you think BP would have been any more careful with Deepwater Horizon? Take a look at what Shell is doing in Nigeria, where government regulation is nonexistent - they get a spill on the level of Deepwater Horizon just about once a year!

Online Vekseid

Re: Necessary Government Functions
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2011, 11:48:16 PM »
Oi.

I saw the pictures from the results of a spill in Nigeria.

People come in, rush to gather as much oil as they can before it explodes.

Many don't make it, and get burned alive.