Antimatter Spork wrote:I don't think anyone's advocating a return to that system. I'm certainly not.
I apologize if I made it seem like you were. My point was that capitalism performs better than the previous system at lifting up the quality of life of everyone, and that it's far easier to get rich by providing low-income people with a product that materially improves their lives than by raising an army, conquering some farmland, and taxing the peasants. Fiat rewards exploiting people, capitalism rewards serving them (while keeping an eye on your profits).
Now, a Marxist would come along and agree with me, but then say "but! Socialism is a step above capitalism the same way that capitalism is a step above fiat, thus it's inevitable that there will be a switch to socialism." Culturally, I might agree- economically I don't. But that's an empirical claim that we can't really debate in a setting like this; history has not been kind enough to give us an experiment that can determine this (the best example we have, of the U.S. vs. the USSR, is seriously flawed and far from conclusive).
neon wrote:You also seem to be blissfully unaware that there are people in the world who want unbridled power.
Not really; my worldview depends
on them. The genius in capitalism is that it harnesses ambition positively.
neon wrote:Public schools worked just fine in this country for a long time.
I don't see "just fine" as good enough when there's a chance for improvement.
neon wrote:I wasn't talking about the GDP. You have an amazing ability to lose yourself in numbers and irrelevant detail while completely missing the larger point.
It's because numbers are easier to talk about. If you want a more qualitative comparison, look at, say, the role of the federal government from around 1850 to around 1870. Another jump is from around 1900 to around 1950. There was a point when the government didn't even have an income tax!
neon wrote:Think of it like a basketball game.
This is a bad analogy. Basketball is zero-sum- if I win, you lose. The economy is not- a trade between us can cause both of us to 'win.'
And, beyond that, there aren't anything like the teams of the basketball game in an economy (at least, in the sense I think you want to use the word team). Politically, groups of similar individuals tend to cooperate (most people in the top income bracket probably want the tax rate on that bracket to decline), but economically they compete
. There's not a billionaire's club where the rich get together to plan the economy; every billionaire is trying to play the market better than every other billionaire.
neon wrote:What libertarians want to do is to remove the referees from the game. They don't want to pay for them.
Some libertarians, sure. They tend to call themselves anarcho-capitalists and I think they're impractical. What most minarchists (like myself) want is for government to just
be a referee, and not a player as well. You don't need a third of GDP to referee.
neon wrote:But you're not dispassionate Vaniver. You are deeply partisan and putting forward an extremist position.
Deeply partisan? That's news to me. Putting forward an extremist position I might agree with (and lament that it's considered extremist).
As for dispassionate, I must claim that I am. I'm a numbers man (as you pointed out)- not an emotional one. You can claim my numbers are biased (hopefully with a better set in hand), but claims of me being passionately partisan are relatively unsubstantiated at this point.
neon wrote:You are also isolated and have little sense of how people live in the real world.
I have about as much sense of the entirety as one person can be expected to have. My world is no more imaginary than yours; they just might not intersect all that much.
neon wrote:You seem to be completely ignorant of anything outside of Libertarianism.
Because I don't mention it, or because I don't promote it?
neon wrote:You strike me as more like some global warming denialists that I've run into who go on and on about what great geniuses they are and what idiots real scientists are who believe in "AGW Mumbojumbo".
I'm not sure what about me would make you believe that, except for my position. I'm refrained (with a few slips) from making personal attacks, and have generally make fact or logic-based claims, which you have generally rebutted with claims based on neither fact nor logic. When I'm making the logos arguments and you're making the ethos arguments, I'm not sure why I'm the one that gets lambasted for calling myself a great genius and everyone else idiotic. I think you may want to seriously consider your role in an economics debate, and whether you're the one bringing facts or rhetoric.
neon wrote:Are you a practicing economist? A professor? A student? Or just some white dude in his mom's basement with a bag of Cheetoos and a can of Code Red?
neon wrote:Again Vaniver, you are utterly ignorant, parsing details and missing the bigger picture. Healthcare in this country is seriously broken and suggesting that people should make use of emergency rooms and free clinics is as stupefyingly idiotic as Marie-Antoinette's "Let them eat cake". And you know what happened to her, best pay attention hun.
We can argue about what you mean by broken, but I'll agree it could use improvement.
What about my "go to a free clinic" suggestion is idiotic?
And, you know that there's no proof that Marie Antoinette ever said "let them eat cake," right?
neon wrote:They would make a little less money that's all.
Ok. How much do you think pharamceutical research costs, how many lives do you think it saves, and where do you think the money comes from?