Weighing In on the Nolan chart

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby omgryebread » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

The problem with making regulators directly accountable is that involves elections. And elections tend to lead to more regulatory capture, not less.

I'm sure there's some very serious abuse that could go on at say, the Register of Wills. Most regulatory positions people aren't going to care about. Next time you vote, check out all the positions you don't pay attention to (what does a Register of Wills even do? I voted for the person with the coolest name.) Voting for regulators would add even more, as people probably won't care or know much about the dude in charge of regulating OTC derivatives, or about what he's supposed to do. The people who do care are probably going to be in that industry. That makes a fair bit of sense. The benefits from lesser regulation tend to be concentrated, a great effect on a few businesses and people, and the harm is diffuse, a little bit of harm on a lot of people. Or the harm is random, happening to some people some of the time. Most people probably don't care about air pollution or nuclear safety or mine safety or OTC derivatives enough, even though it harms them, to study the position of regulator and the candidates for it. On the other hand, the industry has plenty of interest, and plenty of money to contribute to get fliers out, signs on people's lawns, robo-calls, etc. Even if I don't know what Register of Wills does, a TV ad saying "Will Williamson will reduce spending and waste and clean up the corrupt office of Register of Wills" might have an impact on me.

The upshot is that the people contributing money and driving the campaign of the candidates are going to be the industry. So it doesn't even have to be corruption involved. Will Williamson, now running for mine safety regulator (I don't know what his old position did so I can't make an example) believes in stricter regulations, whereas Erika Erikson believes in loosening them, because she's anti-regulation in general. She doesn't even know any people in the industry. The industry will finance her, and she'll have a massive advantage. She's not even corrupt, and they've captured that office.

There's real life examples, in elections for some positions. Many elections for sheriff are funded by bail bondsman. The biggest contributers in judicial elections are lawyers.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

I knew the election issue would come up, and it is a very good point. There are a lot of stupid positions nobody cares about. I think a better solution would be to allow them to be appointed like in the current system, but when they screw up they people should be able to "fire" them. To use the fed example again since it was recent, there were a lot of people ticked off at the fed at the beginning of the recession because they were helping out their crooked banking buddies and it became apparent. At that point it would have been nice to have a vote of no confidence for Bernakie and his goons. There are different ways this could be initiated, but the concept of a vote of no confidence it one that is used in other developed and democratic countries and it is one that I am curious why we haven't adopted. Granted, like all things it can be abused, but there is no such thing as a perfect solution.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Zamfir » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
zmatt wrote:indeed, I think the area to bitch about is the seeming ease at which regulatory bodies can be corrupted. Thor is a similar problem with elected officials in general (that's why I don't trust politicians), where once they get "in" they get to comfortable with the system and the lifestyle. They no longer care about supporting Thor constituents, only juſt about keeping the nice jorb. They are also very vulnerable to lobbyists in general. I don't know about the EPA, but the Fed is a good recent example, Bernake were half-two o' the bankers, and he were helping his buddies in the industry out.
With the Fed y'all's also missing part o' the story. The actual people with Thor boots on the ground working at the fed have to be pretty competent and have a good understanding o' finance to be able to regulate finance. The federal government can't offer these people what actually working in finance can, so you end up with less qualified regulators than the people attempting to avoid regulation.


I am not sure how fundamental this is as problem. There are for example many fields of law where judges earn far less than the best-paid private sector lawyers. But being a judge is general a relatively popular, high-status job that doesn't rely on the left-overs of the private sector

One simple thing is that there is no reason for regulatory bodies to pay bad. They cannot justify spending public money on the very top wages found in some fields (be it law or finance or management), but there is no reason not to pay normal sector wages.

And while good regulators probably share a lot of skills and knowledge with good employees for the private sector, it's far less obvious that there is much overlap between good (or the best) regulators and the best (or best-paid) people in the private sector. Regulatory bodies do not have to compete for private-market top talents, but for the potentially good regulators within the set of decent employees for the private sector. In fact, if the system is set up that you need to rely on excellent personal skills in the regulatory body, the set-up of the system itself is flawed.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Cryopyre » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:16 am UTC

Just gonna drop this link. Chomsky weighs in on Libertarian Capitalism.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:41 am UTC

I'm just going to go ahead and drop this link, which I find to be more awesome.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

He is repeating an argument i find myself saying a lot and that is that people have no freaking idea what any of these terms actually mean. I definitely agree that figuring out how it's all been screwed up and what people like Adam Smith actually had to say is very important. Fox news and MSNBC are not legitimate sources of knowledge concerning political issues.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Dark567 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:He is repeating an argument i find myself saying a lot and that is that people have no freaking idea what any of these terms actually mean. I definitely agree that figuring out how it's all been screwed up and what people like Adam Smith actually had to say is very important. Fox news and MSNBC are not legitimate sources of knowledge concerning political issues.

Yeah, but he goes on to say that he considers himself in agreement with Adam Smith, and in agreement with libertarian socialism.... those two aren't really compatible. Adam Smith was an advocate for markets and small government. Sure not always completely laissez faire markets, particularly in cases of market failure and he wasn't against spending on the public goods. Smith was the Father of modern capitalism, though, to think that his advice is in anyway a endorsement of a socialistic government is incorrect. Some select parts of government, sure Smith would have been okay with some socialist policies(i.e. roads and education), but not as the main system to run an economy.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:33 am UTC

well the phrases seems to not make sense, but Libertarian Socialism is an establish political view. The name comes from the history of Anarchism, Socialism and Marxism. Although now a days the three are farther apart, they share similar beginnings. Marxism, like Socialism was a response to what was seen as the failings of capitalism and Classical Liberalism in general (when people say Socialism and Marxism are economic forms and not forms of government they are missing part of the discussion, often when people say form of government they mean political philosophy, which they also are). Anarchism branched off from Marxism because the Anarchists saw the Marxists as naive. They claimed that Marx's idea of the communists taking over the government and dismantling it was doomed to fail because humans would give in to temptation, the Anarchists were right. No Marxist uprising has ever made it past that stage, some dick always takes control. The "Libertarian Socialists" get their name because Anarchism now a days has a lot more in common with Libertarians in a practical sense and these "Libertarian Socialists" came from primarily Socialist circles. So on the surface yes, Libertarian Socialism does not make any sense, but if you understand the history and motivations behind the major political philosophies and where they formed, then it makes perfect sense. Which, is the point Chomsky is trying to make.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:47 am UTC

They may have related or even similar origins, but that doesn't mean they really agree on much of anything. Libertarianism relies heavily on private property ownership and economic freedom, in direct contrast to socialism and Marxism. Based on the wikipedia description, "libertarian socialism" sounds like anarchism that hopes that people are nice to each other, thereby missing another central requirement of libertarianism, a government that protects its citizens.

More immediately relevant, Chomsky's critique is incredibly ironic because he's the one misunderstanding Adam Smith. Smith's "perfect liberty" does not consist of freedom from wage labor (which Adam Smith describes in detail as unavoidable in the course of economic development), from ever having to obey anyone else (Smith notes the government must protect property, and I have no idea where Chomsky gets the idea that working for someone else is contrary to libertarianism, as it is simply the result, as Smith explains, of free, rational choices in a free market), or any other anarchical view (which is what it seems like Chomsky really believes, since he thinks wage labor is tyrannical).

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:03 am UTC

pizzazz wrote:They may have related or even similar origins, but that doesn't mean they really agree on much of anything. Libertarianism relies heavily on private property ownership and economic freedom, in direct contrast to socialism and Marxism. Based on the wikipedia description, "libertarian socialism" sounds like anarchism that hopes that people are nice to each other, thereby missing another central requirement of libertarianism, a government that protects its citizens.


The point is obviously lost on you. I'm not arguing the beliefs of one or another, I'm explaining the etymology behind the word. All Anarchists draw their roots from Marxism, it's a fact that Anarchism split from Marxism at some point before the turn of the century. Anarchists don't like Libertarians or Maxists because they see both of them as naive, Maxists believe that mankind will overcome the tyranny of the bourgeois and create a classless society, and libertarians believe in invisible hands. Anarchists are very cynical people. Now People like Chomsky were originally Socialists which is also like Marxism a reaction to Liberalism. However these particular Socialists decided that Anarchism was pretty cool, but they decided to hold on to some of their more "left" ideas and by this point Anarchism is a dirty word, so they chose the other side of the coin, Libertarians. If you think of Socialism as Marxism-lite, then Libertarian + Socialist = Anarchist. So Libertarian Socialist is a very pc way of saying leftist Anarchist without making your mom freak out and worry about Molotov throwing Eastern Europeans. <<A lot of destructive Anarchists in the 1900s were eastern european immigrants if you don't get the reference.

pizzazz wrote:More immediately relevant, Chomsky's critique is incredibly ironic because he's the one misunderstanding Adam Smith. Smith's "perfect liberty" does not consist of freedom from wage labor (which Adam Smith describes in detail as unavoidable in the course of economic development), from ever having to obey anyone else (Smith notes the government must protect property, and I have no idea where Chomsky gets the idea that working for someone else is contrary to libertarianism, as it is simply the result, as Smith explains, of free, rational choices in a free market), or any other anarchical view (which is what it seems like Chomsky really believes, since he thinks wage labor is tyrannical).


Chomsky is what I would call an Anarchist. It's been awhile since I have read the wealth of nations so I am foggy on the details, but you are right that wage labor being evil is a very Anarchist idea. Classical Liberals (which Smith was sort of) like wage labor. It goes right in with self determinism. If you believe that your time doing job x is equal to y dollars per hour then by all means do it. Personally I like wage labor over say salaries which allow the employer to work you to the bone for effectively unlimited hours as long as you get paid the agreed amount. It's one of the reasons I didn't study comp sci in college. The out of school pay is good, but they put you on salary and work you non stop and there isn't much in the way of mobility. it's also worth noting that Smith did not magically invent capitalism as we know it with wealth of nations.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:
pizzazz wrote:They may have related or even similar origins, but that doesn't mean they really agree on much of anything. Libertarianism relies heavily on private property ownership and economic freedom, in direct contrast to socialism and Marxism. Based on the wikipedia description, "libertarian socialism" sounds like anarchism that hopes that people are nice to each other, thereby missing another central requirement of libertarianism, a government that protects its citizens.


The point is obviously lost on you. I'm not arguing the beliefs of one or another, I'm explaining the etymology behind the word. All Anarchists draw their roots from Marxism, it's a fact that Anarchism split from Marxism at some point before the turn of the century. Anarchists don't like Libertarians or Maxists because they see both of them as naive, Maxists believe that mankind will overcome the tyranny of the bourgeois and create a classless society, and libertarians believe in invisible hands. Anarchists are very cynical people. Now People like Chomsky were originally Socialists which is also like Marxism a reaction to Liberalism. However these particular Socialists decided that Anarchism was pretty cool, but they decided to hold on to some of their more "left" ideas and by this point Anarchism is a dirty word, so they chose the other side of the coin, Libertarians. If you think of Socialism as Marxism-lite, then Libertarian + Socialist = Anarchist. So Libertarian Socialist is a very pc way of saying leftist Anarchist without making your mom freak out and worry about Molotov throwing Eastern Europeans. <<A lot of destructive Anarchists in the 1900s were eastern european immigrants if you don't get the reference.

I understand the etymology, but I don't think it's relevant, because I think libertarian socialist is a contradiction in terms. A society with no private property and no government is NOT libertarian.
I would also point out that words change in meaning over time; that is pretty unavoidable. "This is what a word used to mean" and "this is what a word means elsewhere" are not valid arguments for what a word should mean here and now. As long as everyone in the United States understands what is meant by "libertarian," than the US definition is perfectly valid.
pizzazz wrote:More immediately relevant, Chomsky's critique is incredibly ironic because he's the one misunderstanding Adam Smith. Smith's "perfect liberty" does not consist of freedom from wage labor (which Adam Smith describes in detail as unavoidable in the course of economic development), from ever having to obey anyone else (Smith notes the government must protect property, and I have no idea where Chomsky gets the idea that working for someone else is contrary to libertarianism, as it is simply the result, as Smith explains, of free, rational choices in a free market), or any other anarchical view (which is what it seems like Chomsky really believes, since he thinks wage labor is tyrannical).


Chomsky is what I would call an Anarchist. It's been awhile since I have read the wealth of nations so I am foggy on the details, but you are right that wage labor being evil is a very Anarchist idea. Classical Liberals (which Smith was sort of) like wage labor. It goes right in with self determinism. If you believe that your time doing job x is equal to y dollars per hour then by all means do it. Personally I like wage labor over say salaries which allow the employer to work you to the bone for effectively unlimited hours as long as you get paid the agreed amount. It's one of the reasons I didn't study comp sci in college. The out of school pay is good, but they put you on salary and work you non stop and there isn't much in the way of mobility. it's also worth noting that Smith did not magically invent capitalism as we know it with wealth of nations.

Exactly.
I was referencing Smith because Chomsky mentioned him several times in the above video.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:35 pm UTC

pizzazz wrote:I understand the etymology, but I don't think it's relevant, because I think libertarian socialist is a contradiction in terms. A society with no private property and no government is NOT libertarian.
I would also point out that words change in meaning over time; that is pretty unavoidable. "This is what a word used to mean" and "this is what a word means elsewhere" are not valid arguments for what a word should mean here and now. As long as everyone in the United States understands what is meant by "libertarian," than the US definition is perfectly valid.


first off what part about the etymology explains it's perfectly valid meaning do you not get? Taken separately yes it is a contradiction, that's obvious to everyone. But that doesn't matter, because the individual definitions form a new one. Don't take things literally. I already explained it's a pc way of saying someone who was a socialist who is now an anarchist. If you can think of a better way of saying that without being verbose or using the word anarchist then by all means. The Libertarian Socialists are Anarchists simply put, but nobody can discuss Anarchism in polite company and get away with it because of the stigma of the word. Therefore you have to be creative with your naming. Another personal favorite of mine are neo Conservatives. They actually first came form the democratic party. This explains things like why G. W. Bush passed some forms of welfare like no child left behind but was completely against others. The political landscape is far more nuanced and complex than terms like "libertarian" or "socialist" or "conservative" imply. I mean what it means to be a conservative is entirely dependent on what era you live in. The first conservatives were completely different than the ones we have today, but they are both equally valid in being described as conservatives.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:51 pm UTC

Couple of things:

On the motivation of libertarians: Part of the reason for libertarianism is that they (we) feel that government ought to be something simple, than can be figured out in a handful of questions, partially because simplicity is better, but also because complexity has a cost that we don’t feel is worth it. It’s akin to a business hiring an accounting firm, having that firm go over every sale, order, and transaction the business did over the past 12 months, and presenting you with a nice report that says that the business made profit of $50,000. . . and then charging them $100,000 for the service. A libertarian thinks that the laws should be as simple and intuitive as possible because if we took the money and the man-hours we now spend trying to get them as precise as possible and spent them on bettering the lot of the people living under the laws, it would be more efficient. It’s been said a couple of times in the thread that there is no perfect system. If we do concede that, the libertarian mentality is that we might as well have the cheapest one.

On the quiz: I think that this quiz is less addressed toward ingrained liberals or conservatives and more geared to moderates and those who don’t pay any attention to politics. The general tenor I’ve heard from those without an ideology is fairly close to libertarianism in practice—economically, there should be a safety net but it shouldn’t allow people to free ride and it shouldn’t cover everything; businesses should be regulated so they don’t wreck the economy or cheat people, but we don’t need people employed full-time to make sure they’re using the right kind of doorknob or some such. Socially, people ought to be allowed to do what they want, but there should still be a general encouragement to not be promiscuous or deviate too far from societal norms. The quiz is an attempt to provide those with the (what seems to me) popular American view of “little government interference, unless we really need it” with an ideology on which to support their positions on specific issues, and then argue against the positions that go against the ideology, or come to compromises such as having different jurisdictions have different policies, allowing those who desire to live under a position to choose his dwelling based on it.

On the current state of the economy: Libertarianism isn’t a quick-fix, but a long-term plan. Yes, the industries that have done the most harm by being the most corrupt should, by libertarian concepts that I support, be deregulated. No, this will not immediately result in their turning beneficial. It will result in the industry turning cannibalistic and doing even more harm in the short term, but after all the corruption has played itself out and the corrupt are supplanted by the honest, then the industries will be better poised for strength. The best analogy is to getting off drugs. The detox is far more painful than the addiction, but if the pain is endured, health is on the other side. Taking higher doses of the drug feels better, but leads to death.

On the Chomsky video: what the semantics are is merely a stumbling block to understanding. What the connotations are is the center of the debate. I don’t particulrly care for the way he assumes that American linguistics are the opposite and that European linguistics are the normal, as to me as an American, it’s the other way around, and it makes more sense to me to use the word libertarian to mean what Americans say it does because it is rooted in liber, freedom. Chomsky says that Adam Smith wanted free markets on the grounds that they would lead to total equality, a proposition with which he agrees. Whether or not it is what Smith meant is irrelevant, when my question is why total economic equality is a desirable goal, given that all people are not equals in what they bring to the economy. Or, Chomsky calls radical capitalism tyranny, implying that the economically powerful control the economically weak. That this is desert does not occur to him, and that it could be tyranny for the economically weak to control the economically powerful by non-economic means also does not.

He then pulls out the old saw of perfect libertarian capitalism already existing. . . in the third world, har de har, failing to acknowledge that no nation of any world has actually had the people holding power dedicated to the idea that they are serving the desires of the people, not ruling the nation to some specific end.

OllieGarkey wrote:Withholding necessities is identical to force at gunpoint. "Do this or you'll watch your children starve to death," is just as bad as "Do this or we'll kill you."

You realize that food riots are going on around the world right now, right? That people are starving to death when we have the capability to produce enough food for everyone that currently lives?

You realize that the US grows 120% of its needed food on 1% of its land, yes?

This is the reality: Economic force is force at gunpoint. They are the same. It is naiive to think otherwise.

As near as I can tell, you’re stating this as fact or inescapable logical conclusion. It is the sine qua non of libertarianism that it is a value judgment, one that we reject. I touched on this above, but here it is stated as plain as I can:

Each individual is unique, and therefore different from any other. Further, there exists no connection between any two or more individuals except as they create it. Therefore equality of economic results as regards consumption is completely artificial, and competely undesirable. Production should not go from each according to his ability to each according to his need, but from each according to his production to each according to how much he can convince others to voluntarily surrender to him or make use of himself. If I work hard, and work intelligently, and work within the structure of the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion and I become rich, I should be able to enjoy my riches even if it means another person starves. If I do not produce anything that I can eat or convince (again, without physical compulsion) someone else to give me something to eat for, I should starve, even if another person has plenty.

A libertarian considers this to be correct because of the reducto ad absurdum: If there is, anywhere, a right to any portion of another person’s production, that right can be compounded until there is a right to an infinite amount of production from that person, which means that person has an infinite obligation. Such an obligation is slavery. Libertarian goddess Ayn Rand: “. . . if they [my fellow men] believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act."

Now, this reducto can be avoided if you do not believe that rights can be compounded. If you have a formula by which the rights of one are balanced against the rights of another that still necessitates an economic transfer from the one to the other, then you are not libertarian, but neither are you automatically correct.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:44 am UTC

I was nowhere near a thought in the sixties, but I am pretty sure the phrase "libertarian socialist" was thrown around nearly as much as referring to police officers (not specific european countries) as "pigs." The hippies and all that were around at the same time Goldwater republicans started using the term libertarian to refer to themselves too.

Neither libertarian left nor libertarian right are contradictory, unless you want to throw away over 200 years of political theory and take the libertarian right as the only true libertarians (when they aren't even the only sorts in the american libertarian party). It has never been synonymous with anarcho-capitalism.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby OllieGarkey » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:41 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
zmatt wrote:He is repeating an argument i find myself saying a lot and that is that people have no freaking idea what any of these terms actually mean. I definitely agree that figuring out how it's all been screwed up and what people like Adam Smith actually had to say is very important. Fox news and MSNBC are not legitimate sources of knowledge concerning political issues.

Yeah, but he goes on to say that he considers himself in agreement with Adam Smith, and in agreement with libertarian socialism.... those two aren't really compatible. Adam Smith was an advocate for markets and small government.


The book is called Wealth of Nations because Nations are the backbones of an economy. He wanted free trade without mercantilism, but big, protective, regulatory government.

Read the book.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Dark567 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:06 am UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:The book is called Wealth of Nations because Nations are the backbones of an economy. He wanted free trade without mercantilism, but big, protective, regulatory government.
Smith wanted free trade with small , non-protective, regulatory government. To say he wanted "big government" in any way is misleading. Reading everything by him indicates he wanted expenditures and taxes low. Yes, he advocates for government expenditures on infrastructure and education, but he wrote that "government interference hinders industrial expansion" and keeps to that idea over and over. Smith advocates markets and self regulating markets at that. He isn't the anarcho-capitalist people make him out to be, but to claim he is anywhere within the realm of "libertarian socialism" is just manipulating the facts. He advocated for markets everywhere, except in cases of very explicit market failure. None of that is compatible with Chomsky's view, at all.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby OllieGarkey » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:33 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Each individual is unique, and therefore different from any other. Further, there exists no connection between any two or more individuals except as they create it.


Yes. And by living in the sovereign territory of the United States, you are accepting the services of the military, police, federal, state, and local governments.

There is no law preventing emigration. You could move elsewhere if you wish.

Production should not go from each according to his ability to each according to his need, but from each according to his production to each according to how much he can convince others to voluntarily surrender to him or make use of himself. If I work hard, and work intelligently, and work within the structure of the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion and I become rich, I should be able to enjoy my riches even if it means another person starves.


Unless your wealth is ill-begotten, through force, fraud, or coercion.

If I do not produce anything that I can eat or convince (again, without physical compulsion) someone else to give me something to eat for, I should starve, even if another person has plenty.


Unless the means of production have been stolen from you, or you're starving because of force, fraud or coercion on another's part.

A libertarian considers this to be correct because of the reducto ad absurdum: If there is, anywhere, a right to any portion of another person’s production, that right can be compounded until there is a right to an infinite amount of production from that person, which means that person has an infinite obligation. Such an obligation is slavery.


What if your production is made with goods and services that do not belong to you? These incur costs. Watch what happens when the US Government shuts down in a few days. It's going to be bad.

Now, this reducto can be avoided if you do not believe that rights can be compounded. If you have a formula by which the rights of one are balanced against the rights of another that still necessitates an economic transfer from the one to the other, then you are not libertarian, but neither are you automatically correct.


What you're ignoring is fraud, coercion, and access to the means of production.

If you make an invention, then you've produced an idea. Should not the worker who actually produced your widgets be paid a fair wage?

That may mean you're slightly less rich, but equitable trade, free of economic force, is my issue. Economic hardships are by definition coercion. Libertarian markets, unregulated markets, allow the market to artificially depress the value of labor by ignoring externalities in the cost of labor.

Those externalities need to be corrected, by a minimum wage for example.

The place of the government is to correct market failure and provide basic and effective safety regulations.

Taxes that seek to redistribute wealth are disgusting.

What you'll notice though is that most of those taxes are currently redistributing wealth upward. Any redistribution, up or down, is disgusting.

Over-regulation is a drag on the economy. Under-regulation allows for the coercive exploitation of market failure.

We want the same things, but I'm not naiive enough to think that either the government or the corporations are the good guys.

I'm interested in protecting the individual.

So I'll raise you a question: if I am faced with a coercive situation where the fruits of my labor are being stolen by my employer - a non producer, a leech who is stealing the products of the minds of scientists - because I have no other choice but to work for less than I need, because my employer is colluding with other organizations to artificially depress the value of my labor, if in addition to this, my government provides no legal remedy to this theft, am I justified in taking action against my employer?

If you argue that no, I do not have such a right, then coercive behavior is acceptable if the coercion does not come from the government.

If you argue that yes, I have such a right, libertarian logic agrees with communist revolution.

Not being a communist or a libertarian, I look at both extremes as naiive.
Dark567 wrote:
OllieGarkey wrote:The book is called Wealth of Nations because Nations are the backbones of an economy. He wanted free trade without mercantilism, but big, protective, regulatory government.
He advocated for markets everywhere, except in cases of very explicit market failure. [That is] Chomsky's view.


Fix'd.

Anarchism or libertarian socialism does not mean that there are no markets, it means markets without market power.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:28 am UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:Yes. And by living in the sovereign territory of the United States, you are accepting the services of the military, police, federal, state, and local governments.

There is no law preventing emigration. You could move elsewhere if you wish.

Neither is there anything to prevent the officials of the government from singling me out for denial of those services and then cutting my taxes as I want. I didn't ask for those services; I didn't agree to pay for them. I contend that their cost is taken from me by force, which you spend the rest of the post decrying.

Production should not go from each according to his ability to each according to his need, but from each according to his production to each according to how much he can convince others to voluntarily surrender to him or make use of himself. If I work hard, and work intelligently, and work within the structure of the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion and I become rich, I should be able to enjoy my riches even if it means another person starves.


Unless your wealth is ill-begotten, through force, fraud, or coercion.

Force, yes; fraud, yes; coercion, no. The difference is that while I can define force to limit its scope to that which will cause bodily injury or property damage by direct action upon the body or property, and while I can define fraud to limit its scope to injury or damage caused by a known falsehood, you cannot define coercion such that I cannot stretch its definition to cover all wealth and consumption everywhere throughout history. Can you tell me what rule you can institute to delineate a difference between these two cases:

- A wealthy industrialist buys up all the suppliers of the materials he needs to produce his product. His competitors close their businesses and must consume less because they don't have jobs.
- Someone on the other side of the world eats a piece of bread. I have to go buy a piece of bread with money I have worked hard for because no one brought me one for free.

What if your production is made with goods and services that do not belong to you? These incur costs. Watch what happens when the US Government shuts down in a few days. It's going to be bad.

Oh, I've no argument that production with appropriated production is an ill. But the US is not a libertarian state, and I accept no blame in my ideology's name for its failures and inefficiencies.

If you make an invention, then you've produced an idea. Should not the worker who actually produced your widgets be paid a fair wage?

By which definition of fair? A: That which the worker and I agree to without threat of force based on our personal values at the time we contract to have the work done, or B: that which a third party on its value standard uses force to get us to agree to?

That may mean you're slightly less rich, but equitable trade, free of economic force, is my issue. Economic hardships are by definition coercion. Libertarian markets, unregulated markets, allow the market to artificially depress the value of labor by ignoring externalities in the cost of labor.

Thought experiment: everyone is immortal and impervious to pain, so there are no economic hardships. Some people are shrewd entrepreneurs and produce luxuries (since everything must then be a luxury) that people want. Others are workers and, if they wish to do anything other that sit around all day being immortal, must labor. The workers agree to produce for the entrepreneurs such that luxuries will accumulate to the workers slightly, but to the entrepreneurs in great abundance, just as wealth does in this mortal coil. Is this amenable to you, or do you still consider it coercion?

In other words, is your complaint based on the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to (two Hamlet-speech references in two lines whoo!), or are you really saying that all economic production is equally valuable when it comes to consumption?

Taxes that seek to redistribute wealth are disgusting.

What you'll notice though is that most of those taxes are currently redistributing wealth upward. Any redistribution, up or down, is disgusting.

Agreed. Our disagreement lies in the desert of wealth both at up and at down.

So I'll raise you a question: if I am faced with a coercive situation where the fruits of my labor are being stolen by my employer - a non producer, a leech who is stealing the products of the minds of scientists - because I have no other choice but to work for less than I need, because my employer is colluding with other organizations to artificially depress the value of my labor, if in addition to this, my government provides no legal remedy to this theft, am I justified in taking action against my employer?


Premise question: if your employer does not produce, how does he have the wealth with which he employs you?

Premise question: who determined that you have no other choice but to work for this employer?

Premise question: if the collusion is an artificial depression of the value of your labor, why is the employer's use of the market as the means to pay your salary not an artificial increase of that value?

Answer: You are justified in taking any nonviolent action, including coercion, including collusion with other organizations to raise the value of your labor. You may justifiably unionize, for example. But if you call in the government to force negotiations on your employer, or to force him to accede to your positions, that is violent action and is unjustified. Or, if your employer is engaged in true theft, making you work under threat of a beating, you are justified in violent response, or in contracting out such response to the government. I think the one-word answer you are looking for is No.

If you argue that no, I do not have such a right, then coercive behavior is acceptable if the coercion does not come from the government.

Behavior that is coercive but not forceful or fraudulent is acceptable whether or not it comes from the government or from a private party. But government has control over the greatest force, so it is to be looked upon with the most skeptical eye.

Not being a communist or a libertarian, I look at both extremes as naiive.

You seem to favor that term as one of opprobrium. Naïvete is merely the refusal to proceed from conditions not accepted. The patron saint of the naïve is the boy who said that the emperor was naked.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:
Steroid wrote:
Production should not go from each according to his ability to each according to his need, but from each according to his production to each according to how much he can convince others to voluntarily surrender to him or make use of himself. If I work hard, and work intelligently, and work within the structure of the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion and I become rich, I should be able to enjoy my riches even if it means another person starves.


Unless your wealth is ill-begotten, through force, fraud, or coercion.

What do you consider coercion? It seems like you're considering any withholding of economic wealth to be coercion (or potentially be coercion?), which directly implies that no one has any right to consume any form of wealth, ie that people have no right to live.

A libertarian considers this to be correct because of the reducto ad absurdum: If there is, anywhere, a right to any portion of another person’s production, that right can be compounded until there is a right to an infinite amount of production from that person, which means that person has an infinite obligation. Such an obligation is slavery.


What if your production is made with goods and services that do not belong to you? These incur costs. Watch what happens when the US Government shuts down in a few days. It's going to be bad.

What do you mean, goods that do not belong to you? If they do not belong to you, and you have not obtained permission to use them, then you do are essentially committing theft (or possibly slavery), and as such do not have a right to that production. And what does the US government have to do with this?

If you make an invention, then you've produced an idea. Should not the worker who actually produced your widgets be paid a fair wage?

Who are you to tell two consenting, rational adults what is or is not a fair value on the labor of one of them?
That may mean you're slightly less rich, but equitable trade, free of economic force, is my issue. Economic hardships are by definition coercion. Libertarian markets, unregulated markets, allow the market to artificially depress the value of labor by ignoring externalities in the cost of labor.

Those externalities need to be corrected, by a minimum wage for example.

The place of the government is to correct market failure and provide basic and effective safety regulations.

Taxes that seek to redistribute wealth are disgusting.

What do you mean, externalities in the cost of labor? That just doesn't make sense.
A minimum wage doesn't correct anything, at best it just shifts money around from younger low-wage workers to older ones by leaving the least-experience unemployed. But its intention is to force employers (who initially control the wealth) to pay employees more, which is essentially a tax to redistributed wealth.
What makes you think the government will be any better at correcting market failure than the market? Politicians and bureaucrats are not necessarily any smarter than anyone else and do not necessarily have people's best interests at heart.

I'm interested in protecting the individual.

Protecting from whom/what? Sounds like you are trying to protect people from themselves because you think you know better than everyone else.
So I'll raise you a question: if I am faced with a coercive situation where the fruits of my labor are being stolen by my employer - a non producer, a leech who is stealing the products of the minds of scientists - because I have no other choice but to work for less than I need, because my employer is colluding with other organizations to artificially depress the value of my labor, if in addition to this, my government provides no legal remedy to this theft, am I justified in taking action against my employer?

If you argue that no, I do not have such a right, then coercive behavior is acceptable if the coercion does not come from the government.

If you argue that yes, I have such a right, libertarian logic agrees with communist revolution.


What kind of action? Not violent, no, because as above your "coercion" is fairly meaningless. If you have ever read Wealth of Nations, you know that Smith writes at length about the necessity of freedom of people to move between jobs.
What's stopping you from unionizing?

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:21 pm UTC

seems like those points have been well address. I'll just leave a fun fact. Leftists (by this I mean any offshoot of Marxism) do not like Unions, and are in fact anti union, marx said so in his own writings. While Libertarians are not necessarily against Unions.
clockworkmonk wrote:Except for Warren G. Harding. Fuck that guy.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zAlbee » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:41 am UTC

If I work hard, and work intelligently, and work within the structure of the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion and I become rich, I should be able to enjoy my riches even if it means another person starves. If I do not produce anything that I can eat or convince (again, without physical compulsion) someone else to give me something to eat for, I should starve, even if another person has plenty.


I take issue with this stance. I know a lot of people have this sentiment, even if they don't outwardly say it. It seems to be very deeply-rooted, as most people feel strongly about what they, or others, "deserve." Personally, this ideological sense of entitlement nauseates me, and not the other type of "entitlement" to basic food and shelter.

Why is it that a person having money automatically implies that the person worked hard and vice-versa? Money earned is not proportional to effort, and sometimes not related at all. Before you say "but that's because the market isn't truly free!", think about what the free market actually does for prices. Market prices are decided by supply and demand. That's right, effort and hard work are not factors in the equation.

Just like in school, where there are some people who slack off, never study, and get perfect scores, the same exists in the world of money, where you can be born rich, or simply born as someone with skills in high demand. Just like in school, where there are some people that do study hard yet still don't get anywhere, there are people born to poor societies, working 80 hours a week in sweatshops, or simply people born with skills in low demand. At school, I was acutely aware of people who tried harder, much harder, and still didn't get the results. It was frustrating. But I never blamed anyone's failing for not studying hard enough, and I never thought to myself, "I deserved this 100, not you."

Someone mentioned the fairness of the free market system. I laugh at that. Fairness is not guaranteed in any way. The most efficient market (theoretically) maximizes total value for everyone. That's an aggregate number. It says nothing about who gets what. The right and left can't agree on what is "fair." I'll make it simple - the market doesn't care either way.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:39 am UTC

zAlbee wrote:I take issue with this stance. I know a lot of people have this sentiment, even if they don't outwardly say it. It seems to be very deeply-rooted, as most people feel strongly about what they, or others, "deserve." Personally, this ideological sense of entitlement nauseates me, and not the other type of "entitlement" to basic food and shelter.

And I feel, if not nauseated, enraged by the opposite stance. But if I have food and you have none, and if you declare that you are entitled to food, and since God will not make it appear for you by magic you will take mine, either by direct theft or by taxing the income I use to buy food and buying some for yourself, then why should I not declare that I am entitled to a fancy car and a vacation, and take it from you by the same means?

Why is it that a person having money automatically implies that the person worked hard and vice-versa? Money earned is not proportional to effort, and sometimes not related at all. Before you say "but that's because the market isn't truly free!", think about what the free market actually does for prices. Market prices are decided by supply and demand. That's right, effort and hard work are not factors in the equation.


That implication is not in effect. What is in effect is that if great sums of money exist, and if that money is not hyperinflated but can buy goods and services in abundance, then somebody worked hard, and worked intelligently. If wealth exists in the world, someone's work went into it. Most of what we consume is not raw material from the earth, but much labor goes into the material. Effort and hard work are factors in the creation of wealth, but they are not the key factors. One moment of Eureka-like inspiration may be the root of a fortune, or one realization of the nature of a market, such as when Bill Gates figured out that a computer's operating system should not be produced and held by the company that makes the hardware, but should be sold as a separate product and licensed to third parties. Most of all, the critical factor is knowing what the consumers want and are willing to part with their dollars for. This is what I called "the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion" in the last post, but which you glossed over.

Just like in school, where there are some people who slack off, never study, and get perfect scores, the same exists in the world of money, where you can be born rich, or simply born as someone with skills in high demand. Just like in school, where there are some people that do study hard yet still don't get anywhere, there are people born to poor societies, working 80 hours a week in sweatshops, or simply people born with skills in low demand. At school, I was acutely aware of people who tried harder, much harder, and still didn't get the results. It was frustrating. But I never blamed anyone's failing for not studying hard enough, and I never thought to myself, "I deserved this 100, not you."

Why should being born with bankable skills or quick-wittedness deserve punishment or reduction in status? I was that fellow who got the 100s without studying in my school, and never did I think that I didn't deserve the mark. And I would have recoiled with horror and reacted with rage if someone told me that it didn't count because I didn't give up my nights of fun to pore over a book telling me what I already knew.

As far as money, you're looking at it the wrong way, from the present backwards. Someone who is born rich is the child of someone who is rich. That person worked for it, or their parents did, or someone in history. That worker who had the money by right elected to distribute it, not evenly among all people, but to those he loved best, his children. If you suggest that to favor one's children over strangers is an immorally selfish preference, I respectfully disagree.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:And I feel, if not nauseated, enraged by the opposite stance. But if I have food and you have none, and if you declare that you are entitled to food, and since God will not make it appear for you by magic you will take mine, either by direct theft or by taxing the income I use to buy food and buying some for yourself, then why should I not declare that I am entitled to a fancy car and a vacation, and take it from you by the same means?


This.

Steroid wrote:That implication is not in effect. What is in effect is that if great sums of money exist, and if that money is not hyperinflated but can buy goods and services in abundance, then somebody worked hard, and worked intelligently. If wealth exists in the world, someone's work went into it. Most of what we consume is not raw material from the earth, but much labor goes into the material. Effort and hard work are factors in the creation of wealth, but they are not the key factors. One moment of Eureka-like inspiration may be the root of a fortune, or one realization of the nature of a market, such as when Bill Gates figured out that a computer's operating system should not be produced and held by the company that makes the hardware, but should be sold as a separate product and licensed to third parties. Most of all, the critical factor is knowing what the consumers want and are willing to part with their dollars for. This is what I called "the free association of my fellow men without physical compulsion" in the last post, but which you glossed over.


Bill Gates has also given much of his fortune away to charity. Food for thought.

Steroid wrote:Why should being born with bankable skills or quick-wittedness deserve punishment or reduction in status? I was that fellow who got the 100s without studying in my school, and never did I think that I didn't deserve the mark. And I would have recoiled with horror and reacted with rage if someone told me that it didn't count because I didn't give up my nights of fun to pore over a book telling me what I already knew.


Indeed, it isn't immoral or wrong to be born smart, or stronger, or more attractive than someone. There is a difference between all men being created in the legal sense, and all men are created equal in the physical sense. If we are to use another example, is it wrong that Micheal Jordan is better than you at basketball? Did he not deserve to win all of those games just because you can't dunk? Of course not.

Steroid wrote:As far as money, you're looking at it the wrong way, from the present backwards. Someone who is born rich is the child of someone who is rich. That person worked for it, or their parents did, or someone in history. That worker who had the money by right elected to distribute it, not evenly among all people, but to those he loved best, his children. If you suggest that to favor one's children over strangers is an immorally selfish preference, I respectfully disagree.


Yes. It is your prerogative to decide where your wealth goes once you die. If the inverter of the post-it note gives his fortune to his children and they are all douchebags then too bad. It's his money he is allowed to do that. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept his legal right to it. if you don't like then go invent the next post-it not.e Complaining wont make you rich.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby omgryebread » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:And I feel, if not nauseated, enraged by the opposite stance. But if I have food and you have none, and if you declare that you are entitled to food, and since God will not make it appear for you by magic you will take mine, either by direct theft or by taxing the income I use to buy food and buying some for yourself, then why should I not declare that I am entitled to a fancy car and a vacation, and take it from you by the same means?
Plenty of progressives do think of it in this way. Alice has lots of food, Bob has none, Bob deserves some of Alice's food. But plenty, including myself, don't.

Not only is a wealth-transfer good for Bob, it's also good for everyone from Claire to Zachary. (A non-starved Bob means he can work more, providing more wealth, and can provide for his kids, and make them into even more useful wealth-creators, by getting assistance he is less likely to commit crime to make money, etc.)

Taking too much from Alice and giving it to Bob is a worse thing for Alice than taking a little, and it's also a bad thing for Claire-Zach because it discourages investment. It's why we're progressives, still capitalists, and not socialists.

[quote="zmatt]Yes. It is your prerogative to decide where your wealth goes once you die. If the inverter of the post-it note gives his fortune to his children and they are all douchebags then too bad. It's his money he is allowed to do that. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept his legal right to it. if you don't like then go invent the next post-it not.e Complaining wont make you rich.[/quote]Why is this a right? From what universal constant does this right stem?
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

I would say the concept of personal property is where that comes from. If it's my money I can do with it as a chose. That includes, giving to charity, burning it, blowing it on drugs, giving it to my kid,s investing it. It doesn't matter it's mine. If you don't like the concept of personal property then by definition you are an anarchist, and we should be discussing things on a different level altogether.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Czhorat » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:I would say the concept of personal property is where that comes from. If it's my money I can do with it as a chose. That includes, giving to charity, burning it, blowing it on drugs, giving it to my kid,s investing it. It doesn't matter it's mine. If you don't like the concept of personal property then by definition you are an anarchist, and we should be discussing things on a different level altogether.



It's technically no longer your money after you die; dead people can't own things, unless you believe in a physical-incarnation style afterlife.

I've been lurking here for the most part, but have a question for the strict libertarians here: It's been stated that things like environmental regulations would best be handled as crimes against property. Which means you'd need lawsuits and some kind of judgement to determine if some action caused damage, and at what value.Wouldn't these lawsuits create a legal precedence which would, de-facto, act as regulation? The difference is that it would only be created after the fact, come haphazardly and unpredictably on an ad-hoc basis, and be enforced more sporadically. I fail to see how this would be an improvement.

Anyone advocating removing government regulation of workplaces (safety laws, minimum wage, etc) should read up on the early history of industrialization and explain to me again how one expects market forces to create any kind of tolerable living for lower classes.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Plenty of progressives do think of it in this way. Alice has lots of food, Bob has none, Bob deserves some of Alice's food. But plenty, including myself, don't.

Not only is a wealth-transfer good for Bob, it's also good for everyone from Claire to Zachary. (A non-starved Bob means he can work more, providing more wealth, and can provide for his kids, and make them into even more useful wealth-creators, by getting assistance he is less likely to commit crime to make money, etc.)

That's as may be, but no wealth transfer is good for Alice. Even if the wealth transferred to Bob forms the critical mass of wealth that enables him to invent something that is good for Alice which otherwise she could never have, that wealth could still have come in the form of an investment on which she gets a return. But the point is that wealth is not the servant of what's good for people after the fact, but what they want before the fact.

Taking too much from Alice and giving it to Bob is a worse thing for Alice than taking a little, and it's also a bad thing for Claire-Zach because it discourages investment. It's why we're progressives, still capitalists, and not socialists.

There is a practical problem and a moral disagreement with this. The practical problem is that if you seek to take from Alice an amount just shy of "too much," and if Alice is aware that that is your policy, either by you stating it or by having it done to her last year, she will adjust her standard of what is too much to lower her production and investment in a dismal calculus. This is the principle behind the economics of Atlas Shrugged and this is what bends the Laffer curve down. This is quantum economics--neither the government nor an economic planner is an outside observer, but both affect the situation, and the stimuli you input produce responses stronger than it would be if they weren't motivated by your ends. In other words, if a storm should destroy 33% of what Alice produced in a year, she will likely produce the same or more next year to make up for the loss, even if such storms are regular occurrences, but if you tax Alice 33% of what she makes, she will likely produce less next year because you incentivize her to do so.

The moral disagreement is that you view an economy and the people within as a collective unit, while we libertarians view each person as their own unit. You are willing to force sacrifice on one person to enrich the entirety; we are willing that the entirety do with less to enrich the individuals who deserve it (desert is not a consideration in your view because there is only one entirety). You view the wealth of Alice as the means of investment to aid Claire-to-Zach; we view the investment as the means by which Alice can acquire wealth. You view a company as a means by which workers are employed, customers are served, and suppliers do business; we see customers, suppliers, and workers as the means to the profits of the owners of the company. Your view may not be socialism, but it is based in collectivist ethics, and we libertarians tend to be color-blind in that range, unable to tell socialism from non-socialistic collectivism just as I find it worthwhile to try to distinguish between conservative capitalism, religious capitalism, libertarian capitalism and so forth.

Czhorat wrote:It's technically no longer your money after you die; dead people can't own things, unless you believe in a physical-incarnation style afterlife.

No, but we're not talking about wills made after the willer is dead. You can own things while alive, and give them away. Willing property is a legal device to get around the fact that we don't know the exact moment of our death. If we did, we would sign over all our property in the hour before that moment.

I've been lurking here for the most part, but have a question for the strict libertarians here: It's been stated that things like environmental regulations would best be handled as crimes against property. Which means you'd need lawsuits and some kind of judgement to determine if some action caused damage, and at what value.Wouldn't these lawsuits create a legal precedence which would, de-facto, act as regulation? The difference is that it would only be created after the fact, come haphazardly and unpredictably on an ad-hoc basis, and be enforced more sporadically. I fail to see how this would be an improvement.

It would be an improvement because it would reduce the enforcement on actions which affected the environment but did not actually result in direct property damage or bodily injury. Someone would have to have a claim on the affected property that he thought was worth bringing the lawsuit. If I dump waste into a lake that no one swims or fishes in, or they do so so infrequently that they can't be bothered to fight for it, then I shouldn't be enjoined from such dumping solely on the ground that I'm affecting the environment or making it less green or whatever the cri de coeur is.

Anyone advocating removing government regulation of workplaces (safety laws, minimum wage, etc) should read up on the early history of industrialization and explain to me again how one expects market forces to create any kind of tolerable living for lower classes.

Before industrialization, the lower classes as you call them worked on farms. They were not dragged from those farms in chains and put to work in the industrial establishments. They came willingly, deciding that 16-hour shifts for a few pennies a day were still a better deal than sun-up to sun-down, every day, hoping that the crop would come in so you didn't starve.

The problem is that your standard of tolerable is an ethnocentric one, or I suppose chronocentric would be the better term since you view things from the 21st century where industry has been in force for many years and infrastructure makes our lives easier. But in the moral sense of economics, we are still beasts who must draw our bread from the soil and the sweat of our brows. We just have more intelligent ways to turn the sweat into the bread.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:21 pm UTC

Czhorat wrote:It's technically no longer your money after you die; dead people can't own things, unless you believe in a physical-incarnation style afterlife.


Indeed, however wills are written when you are alive, and we have generations of legal precedent for wills. It's not something you can break easily. even socialists will protect wills. the only people who wont again are those who don't believe in personal property as a concept. (not trying to make an attack or label anyone, that's just how the ideologies work out, liberalism, conservativism and socialism all believe in personal property rights)

Czhorat wrote:I've been lurking here for the most part, but have a question for the strict libertarians here: It's been stated that things like environmental regulations would best be handled as crimes against property. Which means you'd need lawsuits and some kind of judgement to determine if some action caused damage, and at what value.Wouldn't these lawsuits create a legal precedence which would, de-facto, act as regulation? The difference is that it would only be created after the fact, come haphazardly and unpredictably on an ad-hoc basis, and be enforced more sporadically. I fail to see how this would be an improvement.



I'm not a strict libertarian, but I will try to answer this.

Regulation implies that there is infrastructure involved. there is a bureau with employees that has been sanctioned by the government and works as part fo the government. These people are paid, and likely have pensions since they are gov employees. This creates overhead. using the existing legal framework does not because you use the same court rooms, the same judges, the same lawyers etc. Now I can see specialist lawyers coming around to fill this increased need, but that is just the market reacting to a demand. And you are also implying that regulation is proactive, which it isn't. For example, most car safety standards were put into effect after some study or book was written. The Kyoto protocol was signed only after global warming became a big deal. There are many examples. Regulators don't have a magic crystal ball to see into the future and find problems.



Czhorat wrote:Anyone advocating removing government regulation of workplaces (safety laws, minimum wage, etc) should read up on the early history of industrialization and explain to me again how one expects market forces to create any kind of tolerable living for lower classes.
[/quote]

I see what you are getting at, but it's a big logical fallacy, and one that is often made. Unionization isn't something that is looked down upon by libertarians or liberals in general. In fact in many situations it is the best way to solve a labor issue. The problem arises when you have entities like the UAW who abuse their power and become entitled thugs, but that is for another day.

We have had to come a long way to get to where we are now in society. There was a point in time where companies could get away with poor conditions and didn't treat their workers right. I won't say that such a thing is impossible in America today, but society is much more receptive to labor issues than it was then, we know much more about it, and there is a wealth of legal precedent for workplace abuse and unions are always there. If it's a problem where you are being discriminated, you confront them as an adult, if they continue to do wrong and ignore you, or worse fire you, then you sue the hell out of them. If it's a wider problem you either find people in the same situation and have a class action lawsuit or you unionize. None of that required any "regulation" of the work place. And I want to make a distinction here between "soft" and "hard" regulation. Soft regulation meaning a law, where if broken you are punished, hard regulation means there is an arm of the government involved (like the epa or nhtsa). Soft regulation does not increase the size of the government, but what it does do is give employees more legal leverage. Now this can be abused, but the best way around that is to have well written laws and a well functioning legal system. It also helps if your politicians aren't ignorant old fools who are in the lobbyists pockets.
clockworkmonk wrote:Except for Warren G. Harding. Fuck that guy.

zAlbee
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby zAlbee » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:32 pm UTC

(Re-ordered slightly)

Steroid wrote:And I feel, if not nauseated, enraged by the opposite stance. But if I have food and you have none, and if you declare that you are entitled to food, and since God will not make it appear for you by magic you will take mine, either by direct theft or by taxing the income I use to buy food and buying some for yourself, then why should I not declare that I am entitled to a fancy car and a vacation, and take it from you by the same means?

I have not advocated any of what you said at all. My argument is that people are using current wealth as a tautological measuring stick for what they did to deserve it. "If I have $x, then I deserved to have $x. I deserve $x because I have $x." This circular logic proves nothing, and we should stop believing in it. Your emotional reaction shows why we want to believe that -- it conjures the fear of losing what we already have.

Why should being born with bankable skills or quick-wittedness deserve punishment or reduction in status? I was that fellow who got the 100s without studying in my school, and never did I think that I didn't deserve the mark. And I would have recoiled with horror and reacted with rage if someone told me that it didn't count because I didn't give up my nights of fun to pore over a book telling me what I already knew.

As far as money, you're looking at it the wrong way, from the present backwards. Someone who is born rich is the child of someone who is rich. That person worked for it, or their parents did, or someone in history. That worker who had the money by right elected to distribute it, not evenly among all people, but to those he loved best, his children. If you suggest that to favor one's children over strangers is an immorally selfish preference, I respectfully disagree.

My response to this is the same as above. I said nothing about punishing those who happen to benefit from good fortune. I was vague in my original post, but yes, I too was one of those people. It wouldn't be fair to punish someone for being gifted; but it IS dickish to be all smug about being gifted. We should stop being so smug.

By the way, I have always felt good about giving back, in terms of helping and tutoring.

That implication is not in effect. What is in effect is that if great sums of money exist, and if that money is not hyperinflated but can buy goods and services in abundance, then somebody worked hard, and worked intelligently. If wealth exists in the world, someone's work went into it. ...

That's all fine, but doesn't change my point that money should not be used as a de facto measure of entitlement.

----

Here is what I see as the flaw of libertarianism. It places all its faith on the ability of free market system to award people of what they deserve fairly. This is only a feeling; the analysis can measure things like consumer surplus and deadweight loss, but not fairness. There is very good evidence that it is an effective system, but there are only very strong beliefs that it is a just system. In my opinion, these beliefs are mistaken, and perhaps naive.

The easiest way to see this is when you apply free-market dynamics to the justice system, allowing unrestricted trade of protection and force. Effective? Yes. Fair? Clearly not. I brought this up in the Nolan chart comic discussion and was met with swift rebuke from libertarians about the sanctity of non-aggression, etc. :roll:

The other flaw is the trust in a legal system that somehow pays for itself. Or that individualistic players would always find non-violent solutions to disputes because they cost less (we hope!). These things convince me more and more than libertarianism is an unachievable ideal. Just like communism was, but for the right-wing, if you will.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:16 am UTC

zAlbee wrote:(Re-ordered slightly)

Steroid wrote:And I feel, if not nauseated, enraged by the opposite stance. But if I have food and you have none, and if you declare that you are entitled to food, and since God will not make it appear for you by magic you will take mine, either by direct theft or by taxing the income I use to buy food and buying some for yourself, then why should I not declare that I am entitled to a fancy car and a vacation, and take it from you by the same means?

I have not advocated any of what you said at all. My argument is that people are using current wealth as a tautological measuring stick for what they did to deserve it. "If I have $x, then I deserved to have $x. I deserve $x because I have $x." This circular logic proves nothing, and we should stop believing in it. Your emotional reaction shows why we want to believe that -- it conjures the fear of losing what we already have.

It's not a tautology because that statement is only true under key assumptions. We really have
Y's labor worth X, and no wealth is taken from and Y takes no wealth from others forcibly=>Y has X
Y has X, and no wealth is taken from Y/Y takes no wealth forcibly=>Y's labor is worth X
which is obviously not a tautology.

In addition, you said you took issue with the stance that if someone earns wealth, that no one has the right to take it even if they are starving, which seems like advocating that confiscation of wealth to give to others should be allowed. The immediate problem, of course, is who decides when that is right, and under what conditions, and to what degree.

Here is what I see as the flaw of libertarianism. It places all its faith on the ability of free market system to award people of what they deserve fairly. This is only a feeling; the analysis can measure things like consumer surplus and deadweight loss, but not fairness. There is very good evidence that it is an effective system, but there are only very strong beliefs that it is a just system. In my opinion, these beliefs are mistaken, and perhaps naive.

Sure, but it is pretty close to an objective definition of fair: those who have the most are those who have made their labor the most valuable to other people, and so everyone gets to "vote" with their actions on an ever-changing basis. I can't think of a way that could actually be more fair without an omnipotent omniscient judge.
The easiest way to see this is when you apply free-market dynamics to the justice system, allowing unrestricted trade of protection and force. Effective? Yes. Fair? Clearly not. I brought this up in the Nolan chart comic discussion and was met with swift rebuke from libertarians about the sanctity of non-aggression, etc. :roll:

Yes, people will generally rebuke an attempt to discredit their philosophy that consists of applying the primary theory to the one case that is explicitly considered differently, which is necessarily contradictory.
The other flaw is the trust in a legal system that somehow pays for itself. Or that individualistic players would always find non-violent solutions to disputes because they cost less (we hope!). These things convince me more and more than libertarianism is an unachievable ideal. Just like communism was, but for the right-wing, if you will.

Um, what libertarian advocates removal of the justice system, or not paying for it with taxes?

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Glass Fractal » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:59 am UTC

pizzazz wrote:In addition, you said you took issue with the stance that if someone earns wealth, that no one has the right to take it even if they are starving, which seems like advocating that confiscation of wealth to give to others should be allowed. The immediate problem, of course, is who decides when that is right, and under what conditions, and to what degree.


I'm afraid I just can't see a philosophy that places property rights higher than human life as anything but insane not matter how passionate their rehtoric about freedom may be.

pizzazz
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:07 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
pizzazz wrote:In addition, you said you took issue with the stance that if someone earns wealth, that no one has the right to take it even if they are starving, which seems like advocating that confiscation of wealth to give to others should be allowed. The immediate problem, of course, is who decides when that is right, and under what conditions, and to what degree.


I'm afraid I just can't see a philosophy that places property rights higher than human life as anything but insane not matter how passionate their rehtoric about freedom may be.


That's nice. Maybe you'd like to respond to my point? It would certainly be a more productive use of board space. Here, I'll demonstrate by responding to your comment:
Firstly, this position does not necessarily put human rights to property over human rights to life: it is generally not considered acceptable to kill in defense of your property (you have to be physically threatened). Since this position may not be universal, I will move on to the next point, the one you ignored in my previous post, in greater detail, and respond by posting questions that spring to mind when considering your position.
To what extent, in your view, am I responsible for the life of fellow people? Your view seems to be that my property can be taken to save their life. Does this only apply to providing them with "necessities" (in itself a vague concept whose meaning changes through time and place), or do we also have to, say, pay to educate them on the dangers of smoking, sports, driving, etc, to protect them?
How much of my property can be taken, and how many people do I have to provide for? As many as is possible with my resources until I'm broke as well?
How can we declare that some people have responsibilities toward others greater than the responsibilities of those others to themselves (barring disabilities)?
Who decides how much is taken from whom and given to whom? Presumably a third party, so now we have an entity with the power to transfer wealth between two groups with a fair amount of discretion.
Related questions:
If my property is being taken to provide for someone else, do I have any extra power over them? If they gain the ability to pay me back later, do they have the responsibility to do so? Do I have any say in how the money is spent (say limitations on what food can be bought, or demanding that the person be taught useful skills)? If none of those is the case, how is this not simply robbery?
And finally, what incentives exist to encourage useful labor and discourage laziness? As someone else point out, if you can take resources from me for an inherently vague and subjective reason, nothing stops you from taking all my resources, reducing us a to a collectivist society that will simply starve to death (or at least revert to small, primitive tribes under 150 people), which is FAR more destructive to human life than libertarianism ever could be.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:15 am UTC

Pizzazz has relieved me of the necessity of addressing most of these points, but a couple I want to weigh in on.

zAlbee wrote:My response to this is the same as above. I said nothing about punishing those who happen to benefit from good fortune. I was vague in my original post, but yes, I too was one of those people. It wouldn't be fair to punish someone for being gifted; but it IS dickish to be all smug about being gifted. We should stop being so smug.

By the way, I have always felt good about giving back, in terms of helping and tutoring.

I have also felt a degree of noblesse oblige, I just think it ought to be more noblesse optione, and when people take my help and tutelage for granted, or if they show ingratitude, I'm quick to withdraw my help and cast them upon the breakers.

But being dickish, as you say, is not a moral ill--it is a choice with consequences that one can choose to pay. This is a bright line in my view: what I consider the moral wrongs of violence and fraud are to be met with such retribution as to strongly disincentivize them and to physically prevent them if possible. But other acts that I do not consider immoral should be reacted to only as other people feel about them, and if some are willing to allow it, others should not be permitted to prevent it if it doesn't affect them. Case in point: when a religious conservative tells me that it is wrong to commit adultery against a spouse, I agree with him, as it is breaking an agreement and usually involves fraud. But then I ask him if it is wrong to not take a spouse because I don't want to commit to that level of faith. He must either allow my right to do so, meaning I can be promiscuous without being adulterous, or admit that he does not respect my freedom and individuality, but wishes to impose his moral code on me even though I do no damage to him.

So it is here. I am smug about my abilities, because that is the payment I extract for using them. I could play nice and make more money or get more admiration, but I prefer to toot my own horn or feel self-satisfied in my own heart. What is the source of the "should" that you say I should apply to options 1 and 2 but not 3 and 4?

The easiest way to see this is when you apply free-market dynamics to the justice system, allowing unrestricted trade of protection and force. Effective? Yes. Fair? Clearly not. I brought this up in the Nolan chart comic discussion and was met with swift rebuke from libertarians about the sanctity of non-aggression, etc. :roll:

It's not even that. Free markets require that no one party in a transaction has the ability to use force to overwhelm the others. A mafia man extorting protection money is not a free-market transaction. It is necessary to have a third-party force that can compel any side. But in order to be free, that compulsion must be engaged to protect the participants' freedom to choose, not to ensure their quality of outcome.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Glass Fractal » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

pizzazz wrote:Firstly, this position does not necessarily put human rights to property over human rights to life


Yes it does. You state that people should pay taxes to run the courts and defend property. So that's an obligation. However if you see a person dying and can help there is *no* obligation to do anything. The person who lets his baby starve to death is not a criminal (in fact if letting the child die earned him a bit of extra money he should be celebrated for his ingenuity) but a person who forces him to give the child food *is* a criminal. Until Libertarianism can produce some way to get around that I'm happy to ignore everything else they have to say because it is fundamentally sickening to me.

But yes, you're to free whine about your rights. I don't honestly care. People like you have long since forfeited them anyway.

pizzazz wrote:To what extent, in your view, am I responsible for the life of fellow people?


To the level of sustaining their life against starvation, dehydration, and disease. You don't personally have to save everyone from everything, and no one expects you to. But as a member of society the money you pay in taxes should also be going to help ensure that people are safe from those things. You're free to do such work on your own, as well, markets can be very efficient, that basic tiny bit of human dignity should be ensured.

I know. Collectivism right? The next step is concentration camps in your view, I suppose.

pizzazz wrote:How much of my property can be taken, and how many people do I have to provide for?


Through a tax system, some fraction of what you earn. If you are personally involved in some kind of disaster your obligation is to do what you are able.

Again, I know the response because I've heard it all before. THEFT! INITIATION OF FORCE! SOCIALISM! "I will not live for another man!" "What about the rights of people that like letting people die?" Blah, blah, blah.

pizzazz wrote:How can we declare that some people have responsibilities toward others greater than the responsibilities of those others to themselves (barring disabilities)?


I'm not sure what this means.

Through bracketed tax systems people give the same percentage on a given income. This results in the absolute obligation of the rich being somewhat larger (which many Libertarians tell me will cause them all to suicide out of fears of collectivism) but the practical obligation being rather similar since the wealthy can give up a great absolute amount without taking a large negative impact to their life style (the insanely rich can probably give a great percentage of their wealth without it negatively impacting their lifestyle, but my limit for the top bracket, even for the guy who makes a billion dollars a year, is around 50%)

If one is personally involved in a disaster, well some people have the skills to do more things. A doctor's responsibility to provide me with medical treatments is greater than mine toward him because I don't know how to do that. My responsibility to provide him with psychological counciling is greater than his toward me because I have a bit of training in that and he has none.

pizzazz wrote:Who decides how much is taken from whom and given to whom? Presumably a third party, so now we have an entity with the power to transfer wealth between two groups with a fair amount of discretion.


Society, possibly as represented by a government, ideally with powers (of society or gov't) limited by some form of constitution. If you dislike the way your wealth is being used one can always join a different society or form a new one, that is the ultimate unrestricted market after all.

pizzazz wrote:what incentives exist to encourage useful labor and discourage laziness?


The exact same ones that exist in the modern Western world. Being more wealthy gets you more stuff and better quality of life. The idea that people's main motivation should be a constant fear of death is disgusting, but I guess if it's a thing that Libertarians want to fight for . . . hmm, no, it still sickens me. I must I hate freedom or something.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby pizzazz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:36 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
pizzazz wrote:Firstly, this position does not necessarily put human rights to property over human rights to life


Yes it does. You state that people should pay taxes to run the courts and defend property. So that's an obligation. However if you see a person dying and can help there is *no* obligation to do anything. The person who lets his baby starve to death is not a criminal (in fact if letting the child die earned him a bit of extra money he should be celebrated for his ingenuity) but a person who forces him to give the child food *is* a criminal. Until Libertarianism can produce some way to get around that I'm happy to ignore everything else they have to say because it is fundamentally sickening to me.

But yes, you're to free whine about your rights. I don't honestly care. People like you have long since forfeited them anyway.

No, it doesn't, and that example is terrible; children are dependents, and you do have a responsibility for your children. Since that problem was never even a problem to begin with, perhaps you could start listening (since it's obvious you don't really understand what they're saying).
And once again, you refuse to respond to my reasoning, instead objecting to my conclusion on (irrelevant) grounds.
pizzazz wrote:To what extent, in your view, am I responsible for the life of fellow people?


To the level of sustaining their life against starvation, dehydration, and disease. You don't personally have to save everyone from everything, and no one expects you to. But as a member of society the money you pay in taxes should also be going to help ensure that people are safe from those things. You're free to do such work on your own, as well, markets can be very efficient, that basic tiny bit of human dignity should be ensured.

I know. Collectivism right? The next step is concentration camps in your view, I suppose.

You do love strawmen and not reading posts, don't you?
They key word up there is "disease" which is incredibly broad. What level of disease protection are we talking about? Do we have to pay for expensive experimental treatments that might give them another 5% chance of surviving past 6 months if they have a terminal illness? What about cold medicine? In other words, is everyone entitled to spend as much of other people's money on health care as physically possible? (I won't even get into the fact that medical care changes in quality drastically over time, and even now there are many disease's we can't cure).
And what counts as sustaining their life? The argument could be made that clothing and shelter--clean ones at that, courtesy of someone else, of course--is also necessary for disease prevention, so we have to provide those as well.
pizzazz wrote:How much of my property can be taken, and how many people do I have to provide for?


Through a tax system, some fraction of what you earn. If you are personally involved in some kind of disaster your obligation is to do what you are able.

That doesn't answer my question at all (presumably you don't plan on taking more wealth from someone than they own).
Again, I know the response because I've heard it all before. THEFT! INITIATION OF FORCE! SOCIALISM! "I will not live for another man!" "What about the rights of people that like letting people die?" Blah, blah, blah.

Perhaps if you ever tried to listen or understand libertarianism, you would have better arguments than, "Strawman strawman irrelevant musing."
pizzazz wrote:How can we declare that some people have responsibilities toward others greater than the responsibilities of those others to themselves (barring disabilities)?


I'm not sure what this means.

So, in your view, people have a responsibility toward others, but apparently not a responsibility to take care of themselves (since everyone else is obligated to provide for them). I can't be sure, because you never responded to
If my property is being taken to provide for someone else, do I have any extra power over them? If they gain the ability to pay me back later, do they have the responsibility to do so? Do I have any say in how the money is spent (say limitations on what food can be bought, or demanding that the person be taught useful skills)? If none of those is the case, how is this not simply robbery?
.

If one is personally involved in a disaster, well some people have the skills to do more things. A doctor's responsibility to provide me with medical treatments is greater than mine toward him because I don't know how to do that. My responsibility to provide him with psychological counciling is greater than his toward me because I have a bit of training in that and he has none.

Why do you keep bringing up disasters? And now you're also saying that people have not just a responsibility to provide wealth, but also your skills and time can be co-opted by others? What is this nonsense? And because of your vague statement that people do what they are "able" (above), you are basically legitimizing the slavery of those who are willing to work by those who are unwilling.

pizzazz wrote:Who decides how much is taken from whom and given to whom? Presumably a third party, so now we have an entity with the power to transfer wealth between two groups with a fair amount of discretion.


Society, possibly as represented by a government, ideally with powers (of society or gov't) limited by some form of constitution. If you dislike the way your wealth is being used one can always join a different society or form a new one, that is the ultimate unrestricted market after all.

Ah, that will work. A society consisting only of the least productive won't starve, nosiree.
pizzazz wrote:what incentives exist to encourage useful labor and discourage laziness?


The exact same ones that exist in the modern Western world. Being more wealthy gets you more stuff and better quality of life. The idea that people's main motivation should be a constant fear of death is disgusting, but I guess if it's a thing that Libertarians want to fight for . . . hmm, no, it still sickens me. I must I hate freedom or something.

[/quote]
For most of human history, fear was most people's motivation out of necessity; the technology available was just not capable of producing enough food on a reliable basis. It is only the last hundred years or so that a few hundred million people don't have to worry about that (many still do). Perhaps if your ideology only applies to a situation that describes 10% of the world's population of the last 100 years, and effectively none for the previous 29000, you should rethink it a bit.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Steroid » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:But yes, you're to free whine about your rights. I don't honestly care. People like you have long since forfeited them anyway.

This is a telling statement and an interesting psychological insight. Those of us who argue most strongly for our rights have forfeited them, but those who acknowledge a responsibility and are willing to waive their rights at need retain them. Presumably a self-professed slave would have the most rights of all. The person who believes he should obtain the most wealth should be allowed to consume the least, but the aesthete who shuns material wealth should have unlimited means to achieve his ends. The ball clubs that win all the time should be broken up, and their best players given to the teams that always lose. To generalize the sentiment, the values that a person evinces as pursuing should be the values most denied to that person, and the values they eschew should be presented to them in abundance.

To my mind, this is perverse, and it is the exact 180-degree opposite of my thinking and how I live my life.

pizzazz wrote:To what extent, in your view, am I responsible for the life of fellow people?


To the level of sustaining their life against starvation, dehydration, and disease. You don't personally have to save everyone from everything, and no one expects you to. But as a member of society the money you pay in taxes should also be going to help ensure that people are safe from those things. You're free to do such work on your own, as well, markets can be very efficient, that basic tiny bit of human dignity should be ensured.

Then you're with us in being against housing assistance, since shelter was not on your list? Or is that part and parcel of disease, counting exposure as such? If I can get the AMA to classify boredom as a disease, will you accept your responsibility to entertain me? In any case, I refuse to pay for my groceries and medical care any more, so I'll expect your cheque for those by the end of the week.

pizzazz wrote:How much of my property can be taken, and how many people do I have to provide for?


Through a tax system, some fraction of what you earn.

But what fraction? Getting a collectivist to answer the question of "How much should someone be taxed" with an actual number, or even a formula, should be listed with the other recreational impossibilities. Because doing so would be admitting that there is a fraction that cannot be taxed or taken, and that is a right. So I ask you, what portion of my earnings is mine by right, such that even if that money means nothing but an idle trifle to me but to you is the difference between paradise and perdition you will still refrain from taking it, and recognize that your fate is in my hands, and that if I doom you to misery, accept it as the lot that you deserve?

If one is personally involved in a disaster, well some people have the skills to do more things. A doctor's responsibility to provide me with medical treatments is greater than mine toward him because I don't know how to do that. My responsibility to provide him with psychological counciling is greater than his toward me because I have a bit of training in that and he has none.

What then is the incentive to acquire skills, since doing so saddles you with responsibility, but staying incompetent wins you the powers of the doctors and the counselors?

Society, possibly as represented by a government, ideally with powers (of society or gov't) limited by some form of constitution. If you dislike the way your wealth is being used one can always join a different society or form a new one, that is the ultimate unrestricted market after all.

No, I cannot do this. I cannot withdraw from the society in which I live without also leaving the land which it claims, nor can I band together with others and declare that we are sovereign and need no further contact with the government without fear of physical retribution.

The exact same ones that exist in the modern Western world. Being more wealthy gets you more stuff and better quality of life. The idea that people's main motivation should be a constant fear of death is disgusting, but I guess if it's a thing that Libertarians want to fight for . . . hmm, no, it still sickens me. I must I hate freedom or something.

You do. You would deny me my freedom to fail, because you know that if I have that freedom, and do not fail but thrive, then my quality of life is improved far more than it could be by wealth that is not mine by right.

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby OllieGarkey » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:55 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Neither is there anything to prevent the officials of the government from singling me out for denial of those services and then cutting my taxes as I want. I didn't ask for those services; I didn't agree to pay for them. I contend that their cost is taken from me by force, which you spend the rest of the post decrying.


Actually, those services can't be taken from you, and niether can external costs. By existing in this territory, you are incurring a debt for use of various services that cannot be eliminated for one individual without being eliminated for all individuals.

If you don't want the services of the US government, don't live under it. There are plenty of places to move. Southeast Asians love Americans. Study something valuable and move to Indonesia if you don't want our services.

You are not forced to live here.

How is it that the military is going to not protect just you? How is it that the police are going to not protect just you?

Are they going to stop catching all criminals because one of them might some day come after you?

No. You want to be a free rider. A thief.

Force, yes; fraud, yes; coercion, no. The difference is that while I can define force to limit its scope to that which will cause bodily injury or property damage by direct action upon the body or property, and while I can define fraud to limit its scope to injury or damage caused by a known falsehood, you cannot define coercion such that I cannot stretch its definition to cover all wealth and consumption everywhere throughout history. Can you tell me what rule you can institute to delineate a difference between these two cases:

- A wealthy industrialist buys up all the suppliers of the materials he needs to produce his product. His competitors close their businesses and must consume less because they don't have jobs.
- Someone on the other side of the world eats a piece of bread. I have to go buy a piece of bread with money I have worked hard for because no one brought me one for free.


Simple. In the first case, a vertical monopoly has been created. In the second case, someone bought the bread. They're completely irrelevant to each other.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. To argue that government or charity provisions are free is ludicrous. Public works are not free works. Yet you enjoy public roads. They aren't free. They're public. There's a huge difference. Public food provisions around the world exist for a number of reasons that are far too complicated for our arguments here.

Oh, I've no argument that production with appropriated production is an ill. But the US is not a libertarian state, and I accept no blame in my ideology's name for its failures and inefficiencies.


Even if your ideology would make these failures much, much worse?

If you make an invention, then you've produced an idea. Should not the worker who actually produced your widgets be paid a fair wage?

By which definition of fair? A: That which the worker and I agree to without threat of force based on our personal values at the time we contract to have the work done, or B: that which a third party on its value standard uses force to get us to agree to?


C) That price which reflects the costs to the laborer of providing his labor, such as food, housing, and transportation costs, and which allows him not to break even, but to profit from his labor. Labor must be profitable for the laborer. He must not simply break even.

So Costs + Whatever profit you and he think is reasonable based on your values at the time of the contract.

That may mean you're slightly less rich, but equitable trade, free of economic force, is my issue. Economic hardships are by definition coercion. Libertarian markets, unregulated markets, allow the market to artificially depress the value of labor by ignoring externalities in the cost of labor.

Thought experiment: everyone is immortal and impervious to pain, so there are no economic hardships. Some people are shrewd entrepreneurs and produce luxuries (since everything must then be a luxury) that people want. Others are workers and, if they wish to do anything other that sit around all day being immortal, must labor. The workers agree to produce for the entrepreneurs such that luxuries will accumulate to the workers slightly, but to the entrepreneurs in great abundance, just as wealth does in this mortal coil. Is this amenable to you, or do you still consider it coercion?


If entrepreneurs were the ones profiting from their own ideas I would be ecstatic. You do realize that patent theft is a business model currently, yes? The thieves and leeches own the factories and production. If you were able to cut out those vile middlemen, the financiers and the property barons, those standing between the entrepreneurs and laborers, then you'd find that both sides would be able to reach fair agreements.

But this reality is just as much of a fantasy as yours.

In other words, is your complaint based on the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to (two Hamlet-speech references in two lines whoo!), or are you really saying that all economic production is equally valuable when it comes to consumption?


Neither. I'm saying that you cannot excise the leeches without a horrific violation of property rights. As a result, adjustments must be made. (I applaud your use of Shakespeare, good sir.)

Taxes that seek to redistribute wealth are disgusting.

What you'll notice though is that most of those taxes are currently redistributing wealth upward. Any redistribution, up or down, is disgusting.

Agreed. Our disagreement lies in the desert of wealth both at up and at down.


The ones who are up don't deserve to be there. If the wealthy were producers that actually created things and worked to get where they were, you wouldn't be hearing complaints from me. The issue is that the creator and laborer are both generally at the bottom rung currently. The middlemen have taken over.

So I'll raise you a question: if I am faced with a coercive situation where the fruits of my labor are being stolen by my employer - a non producer, a leech who is stealing the products of the minds of scientists - because I have no other choice but to work for less than I need, because my employer is colluding with other organizations to artificially depress the value of my labor, if in addition to this, my government provides no legal remedy to this theft, am I justified in taking action against my employer?


Premise question: if your employer does not produce, how does he have the wealth with which he employs you?


His ancestors produced, and used their wealth to buy the means of production. He does not even produce ideas, but thieves ideas from creators.

Premise question: who determined that you have no other choice but to work for this employer?


Why, capitalism, my dear boy, capitalism! The world is in economic crisis! There are no other jobs available so you take what you can get to avoid starvation!

Premise question: if the collusion is an artificial depression of the value of your labor, why is the employer's use of the market as the means to pay your salary not an artificial increase of that value?
Use of the market isn't artificial in this context no. In fact, by decreasing the cost of certain items and forcing other firms to do the same or go out of business, the employers use of the market constitutes a further depression of the labor's value.

Answer: You are justified in taking any nonviolent action, including coercion, including collusion with other organizations to raise the value of your labor. You may justifiably unionize, for example. But if you call in the government to force negotiations on your employer, or to force him to accede to your positions, that is violent action and is unjustified. Or, if your employer is engaged in true theft, making you work under threat of a beating, you are justified in violent response, or in contracting out such response to the government. I think the one-word answer you are looking for is No.


Then I raise you another question. Would a weak, underfunded government like that in a libertarian state be able to stop me?

Now that the internet exists, Pinkerton agents wouldn't be very effective either. If revolutionaries can hack into Pinkerton and murder the families of anyone who works for them, then they lose their efficacy in union busting don't they?

Imagine the Molly Maguires armed with fertilizer bombs, Barrett Arms .50 sniper rifles, and the ability to hunt down individuals who work for anti-labor organizations.

Is there any reason to believe that such an outcome wouldn't be likely under a libertarian state?

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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Dark567 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:15 am UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:
Premise question: if your employer does not produce, how does he have the wealth with which he employs you?


His ancestors produced, and used their wealth to buy the means of production. He does not even produce ideas, but thieves ideas from creators.

That happens sure, but it isn't the norm. The vast majority of business owners in the US are self-made, not heirs to businesses. Buffet, Gates, Jobs, Page, etc. Sure there are certainly exceptions, but it is more often not the case.

OllieGarkey wrote:
Premise question: who determined that you have no other choice but to work for this employer?


Why, capitalism, my dear boy, capitalism! The world is in economic crisis! There are no other jobs available so you take what you can get to avoid starvation!
Capitalism doesn't force you to have a job. Nature does. Back in ancient times nature forced people to be hunter gathers, if you didn't, you starved. Under feudalism, you would be a peasant, or you starved(or sometimes killed). Under every form of the socialist mode of production that has ever been practiced, the government tells you what to do, and if you don't you starve(or killed). Work or starve isn't something that Capitalism came up with, its a very fact of nature. For that matter Capitalism seems to be the system that provides the most choice.
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby folkhero » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:21 am UTC

If entrepreneurs were the ones profiting from their own ideas I would be ecstatic. You do realize that patent theft is a business model currently, yes? The thieves and leeches own the factories and production. If you were able to cut out those vile middlemen, the financiers and the property barons, those standing between the entrepreneurs and laborers, then you'd find that both sides would be able to reach fair agreements.

In general, the financiers are the only reason that the entrepreneurs have the resources to hire and pay a labor force. The reason entrepreneurs go into business with financiers is because a good idea isn't worth a whole lot if you don't have the money to turn it into reality. Venture capital is a very darwinian system, the investors that find successful ideas to fund have more money with which to look for more investment opportunities. Venture capitalists can also bring a great deal more than just money to a growing business; they have business experience and contacts that can be invaluable to an entrepreneur that is lacking in those areas.

In your dream world where all these financiers don't exist, how do entrepreneurs get the money to fund their businesses? Some sort of government bureau?
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Re: Weighing In on the Nolan chart

Postby Zamfir » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:39 am UTC

folkhero wrote:Venture capital is a very darwinian system, the investors that find successful ideas to fund have more money with which to look for more investment opportunities.

I have always found this "darwinian" analogy weird. Adaptation by natural selection is a slow and highly inefficient process, that takes many generations to work and where the far, far majority of changes doesn't lead to anything. if venture capital worked even vaguely like that, it would be a stupid system to invest in.

Any half-decent investor or entrepeneur looks around what others are doing, tries to implement succesful approaches of others, changes their modus operandi in response to changing situations. Pretty much the opposite of a darwinian world, where the critical element is that strategies are predetermined and are only transferred to offspring.


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