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Kraichgauer
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05 Apr 2013, 2:52 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:

Other businesses would step forward to care for those in need? Really? And when did that happen? Certainly not in the 19th century when big business had a free ride without any government competition or interference. I sincerely doubt they would care about those in need today, nor do I want to find out if they would.
The free market is NOT a deity that is all knowing and all good. In order to care for people in need, one needs to be free of the restraints of greed driven competition, so compassion can work.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


The Salk and Sabin anti-polio vaccines were not produced by a government project.

ruveyn


True, but Salk was a medical man, and not regularly involved in business. If business was run by humanitarians interested only in helping people, then maybe the notion of a caring free market might be possible. But in real life, it is not.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Gromit
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05 Apr 2013, 3:50 pm

Steinhauser wrote:
The police force that gets paid by state money has no motivation to do its job well, or at all. (In fact, if it does its job too well - under budget - its budget will be reduced. Talk about conflict of interest.)

That is a profit motive, which would apply even more to a private security force. If it abolished crime in an area, the residents would no longer need its service. A good strategy would be first to offer good enough service to get a regional monopoly, so that it would be expensive for a competitor to set up. Then allow enough crime that residents keep paying.

A private security force only needs to be seen to fight crime. If it's cheaper to fit someone up than to find the real culprit, the profit motive will provide the same incentive as winning an election for sheriff or political pressure from a law and order politician will do for a police force funded through tax.

There is also the financial incentive for a private security force find that crimes are committed by people who are not subscribers. Who wants to lose a paying customer? And what happens if your security force says I committed a crime, but I tell mine that I didn't, and I am a valued customer. Do they fight it out?

Private security forces look as bad as or worse than police when it comes to conflicts of interest.



Gromit
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05 Apr 2013, 3:55 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
If business was run by humanitarians interested only in helping people, then maybe the notion of a caring free market might be possible. But in real life, it is not.

It's worse than that for the free market ideology. Free market fundamentalists claim that the free market is a mechanism through which everyone's self-interest provides the most efficient services to everyone else. If there are services that can only be supplied through a humanitarian impulse, the altruism that Ayn Rand despised to intensely, that is a sign of market failure.



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05 Apr 2013, 4:57 pm

Steinhauser wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
But the free market can't provide those things at an affordable rate for the poorest. Just look at countries where these things aren't provided by the state, where generations of children aren't educated and live in squalor.

Do you have any examples?

How many of those countries would you consider to have free markets?

Take any country without free comprehensive education. DR Congo, Nepal, Chad, Ivory Coast, Tanzania.

Free markets do not exist.

In Britain, we have a good private schooling system, but it is never going to be affordable for the poor. We know from experience that privatisation is generally a bad idea. We privatised our railways, and now we're being ripped off by the companies who are aiming to make massive profits.



glow
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05 Apr 2013, 6:25 pm

in a sense. its daylight robbery mate. we're all out for what we can get but the truth is staring us all in the face, and that is denial and further disappointment what with all the cuts its no wonder we're left stranded out in the open ring of fire awaiting more of ed balls road-rage.. and camerons intolerance of real party leadership. should i even consider voting for a new borough councillor this year? just to have my face thrown back in the polls? the whole commisioners poll was a joke as i think all county's are under one regional police reform anyway. when you shut off these kind of governing bodies all you have left is the right to commision yourself and that means strapping on a safety pin to your money belt just to be sure that the next time we struggle under the mal-function of tory big cats we're at least given some shelter from a shadowed hand of fate.



Steinhauser
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05 Apr 2013, 11:07 pm

Gromit wrote:
You are interested in a moral argument. Here is a moral angle not mentioned yet. What is the moral basis for your ownership of the stuff you claim as your property? Taxation can only be theft if you are the legitimate owner of what is being taken.

Yes! Philosophy and morality. Super good. This is an unresearched answer, but I'd say (off the top of my head) ownership of property breaks down as follows:

- You own your own body.
- By extension, you own the products of your labour. Your time, physical energy, and mental efforts are spent creating something from existing resources, or discovering an unclaimed/unowned resource in nature.
- You own anything received through a voluntary transaction: trade, a gift, charity, inheritence, etc.
Gromit wrote:
The free market provides no incentive to develop treatments for poor people's diseases like malaria (because it affects mostly poor countries), even if those diseases kill lots of people.

Treatments already exist for all the diseases affecting poor countries; that's why they're not affecting rich countries. The free market may not directly be looking for ways to distribute cures, but rapid advances in technology are a hallmark of the world's freer markets. As technology improves, distribution of those cures will become trivial.
Gromit wrote:
The free market also encourages lobbying and advertising campaigns that classifies lots of conditions as diseases that need treatment.

Caveat emptor.

If there is a demand for consumer protection, watchdog organizations and certification boards will exist. (They already exist, even with state-enforced regulations.) No one need purchase a non-vetted product or service.
Gromit wrote:
And the free market encourages imposing externalities on others whenever possible.

Insurance can solve problems with externalities. If people in a region insure against, say, pollution, it's in the agency's best interest to curb pollution in that region as much as possible. They may pay the polluting companies incentives to reduce pollution, invest in cleaner technologies, etc.

Gromit wrote:
That is a profit motive, which would apply even more to a private security force. If it abolished crime in an area, the residents would no longer need its service. A good strategy would be first to offer good enough service to get a regional monopoly, so that it would be expensive for a competitor to set up. Then allow enough crime that residents keep paying.

A private security force only needs to be seen to fight crime. If it's cheaper to fit someone up than to find the real culprit, the profit motive will provide the same incentive as winning an election for sheriff or political pressure from a law and order politician will do for a police force funded through tax.

There is also the financial incentive for a private security force find that crimes are committed by people who are not subscribers. Who wants to lose a paying customer? And what happens if your security force says I committed a crime, but I tell mine that I didn't, and I am a valued customer. Do they fight it out?

Private security forces look as bad as or worse than police when it comes to conflicts of interest.

These are all very good points, and some proved to be quite the stumpers. I'll give them a go, but I'm going to have to do more research to be sure, so big thanks for bringing them up!

1. Consider the public's access to information. Let's say some security companies do what you suggest; maybe even 90% or more do. Crime stagnates at some nonzero number across 90% of regions.

But let's say 10% of the security companies do their job as advertised, and acheive complete crime prevention. This information is made public: the map clearly shows which regions have no crime, and which security companies are in charge of those regions. The corrupt 90% is then forced to conduct business honestly, or their now-informed customers simply switch to one of the good companies, which are happy to expand into their competitors' regions.

2. Dispute resolution organizations. If you're not familiar with DROs, they're hypothetical insurance agencies that would replace the justice system in nearly every practical capacity. If someone transgresses against a communally-agreed-upon standard of behaviour (let's say he steals, or rapes), his DROs blacklist him. Merchants would only conduct business with individuals whose DRO credit rating was clean, or else risk blacklisting themselves for aiding or harbouring a criminal.

Anyway, it's highly likely that security firms would not be hired by the public themselves, but by their representative DROs, who would pay them incentives to prevent crime, not be seen stopping it. DROs would also make sure coverage was not on an individual-by-individual basis, eliminating the problem of selective targeting of non-subscribers.

3. Peaceful parenting. We already know why violence occurs, and how to prevent it. Yes, all of it, for good.

Don't hit your kids. Yes, it's that simple. Almost every violent criminal is a victim of childhood trauma.

How will a stateless society stop parents from beating their kids? It won't have to. Peaceful parenting is how we get to a stateless society.

Yes, it sounds utopian, but it really is the ultimate practical solution for all the evil in the world. Don't hit your kids, don't molest them, don't neglect them or abandon them, don't lie to them or bully them. Instead of punishing them, teach them to negotiate.

You don't have to believe it's gonna solve the world's problems like I do. But (and this may be outside of the scope of this topic but I can't stress this enough) even if you're doing it only for their sake - don't hit your kids!!

The_Walrus wrote:
Free markets do not exist.

Whelp, that explains that. Bring in a free market and the children will be educated.

Hell, give a child a computer with internet, and he can give himself a better education than he'd get at public school.



Kraichgauer
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06 Apr 2013, 12:05 am

Or the kid will spend all his time looking at porn. Kids in most cases only get educated because they're made to be.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



androbot2084
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06 Apr 2013, 1:43 am

It is not morally wrong to steal from the rich using taxation.



MCalavera
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06 Apr 2013, 6:29 am

Steinhauser wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
I don't have a problem with a portion of my money being handed to the Government to take care of the primary needs of those less fortunate than me.

That's great! Everyone should be like you, willing to give a little to help those in need.

However, let me ask: Do you have a problem with another person's money being taken, at gunpoint, to support a cause that person absolutely does not agree with? Should a person be locked up because he doesn't want to fund a war, or see his money spent putting nonviolent drug users in jail?


The topic was originally about taxation, not about ways the money taxed is being used/misused.



Gromit
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06 Apr 2013, 8:19 am

Steinhauser wrote:
Gromit wrote:
What is the moral basis for your ownership of the stuff you claim as your property? Taxation can only be theft if you are the legitimate owner of what is being taken.

I'd say (off the top of my head) ownership of property breaks down as follows:

- You own your own body.
- By extension, you own the products of your labour. Your time, physical energy, and mental efforts are spent creating something from existing resources, or discovering an unclaimed/unowned resource in nature.
- You own anything received through a voluntary transaction: trade, a gift, charity, inheritence, etc.

To what degree are the wages you receive, or the profit you make the product of your labour? If you and your colleagues in the country where you work receive more than the global average remuneration for the kind of work you do, do you benefit from restricted immigration? You can't have a free market without free movement of labour. Restricted immigration is a form of protectionism, a service provided to you by your government. If you benefit, why should the government not take a cut from that joint venture?

Do you benefit from the economic infrastructure provided by government? The transport and communication networks, the legal framework, the education system? It may now be possible to pay for each service as it is used. For a long time, that was not economical. Just like early postal services found out that calculating postage according to distance was too expensive and they introduced a flat rate, so government mostly doesn't ask how much you use each service. It, rightly, assumes that if you live within its jurisdiction, you will make some use, and charge you for economic activity.

The moral argument is that government is your business partner. What you earn is not exclusively the product of your labour, but the product of a joint effort. The government claims its share.

I see a problem with another aspect of your claim to ownership.
Steinhauser wrote:
discovering an unclaimed/unowned resource in nature.

Libertarians (your question suggests you are one) often quote the principle "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose". I agree with that. How about you?

The problem with claiming ownership on "discovering an unclaimed/unowned resource in nature" is that as consumption increases, fists swing in wider arcs and with more power, and as population increases, noses are closer together. The atmosphere has long been treated as an unclaimed resource. The result is smog, acid rain, the ozone hole, a CO2 concentration causing ocean acidification and global warming (cue protest by ruveyn). There are so many people consuming so much that any additional load on ecosystem services will impose an externality on someone. That means you make a profit from their loss, without them having entered into a contract with you. Is that not theft?

Steinhauser wrote:
Gromit wrote:
The free market provides no incentive to develop treatments for poor people's diseases like malaria (because it affects mostly poor countries), even if those diseases kill lots of people.

Treatments already exist for all the diseases affecting poor countries; that's why they're not affecting rich countries.

No. Malaria doesn't affect rich countries because the mosquitoes that spread malaria don't do well in the climates of rich countries.

Steinhauser wrote:
Gromit wrote:
The free market also encourages lobbying and advertising campaigns that classifies lots of conditions as diseases that need treatment.

Caveat emptor.

If there is a demand for consumer protection, watchdog organizations and certification boards will exist.

Like the ratings agencies for banks? The question is who is easier to hold to account when stuff goes wrong, as it will. Those who believe that governments are more accountable than private companies, because private companies have all the incentives of government for malfeasance and the profit motive, will rather have a government, and finance it by taxation.

Steinhauser wrote:
Gromit wrote:
And the free market encourages imposing externalities on others whenever possible.

Insurance can solve problems with externalities. If people in a region insure against, say, pollution, it's in the agency's best interest to curb pollution in that region as much as possible. They may pay the polluting companies incentives to reduce pollution, invest in cleaner technologies, etc.

But that is not a solution. The externality remains. If I run a polluting company, I either make a profit from not cleaning up my act, or from being paid to clean up my act by those who otherwise have to bear the cost of my pollution. If I want to make more profit, I can do that by thinking of more ways to impose externalities on others. What you propose is merely to institutionalise blackmail.

Steinhauser wrote:
Gromit wrote:
That is a profit motive, which would apply even more to a private security force. If it abolished crime in an area, the residents would no longer need its service. A good strategy would be first to offer good enough service to get a regional monopoly, so that it would be expensive for a competitor to set up. Then allow enough crime that residents keep paying.

1. Consider the public's access to information.

The profit motive encourages truthiness rather than truthfulness. My trust in the public having access to accurate information would be even lower than it is now, at least until I see an example of it working. I would like to see a libertarian community large enough to test libertarian theories.

Steinhauser wrote:
2. Dispute resolution organizations.

Maybe.



Gromit
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06 Apr 2013, 8:48 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
Or the kid will spend all his time looking at porn.

Depends on how old the kids are and how you set up the computers: http://www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/Ict4d/workingpapers/Mitra1.pdf Page 8.

Kraichgauer wrote:
Kids in most cases only get educated because they're made to be.

Same source for conflicting data.



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06 Apr 2013, 10:48 am

Kraichgauer wrote:

True, but Salk was a medical man, and not regularly involved in business. If business was run by humanitarians interested only in helping people, then maybe the notion of a caring free market might be possible. But in real life, it is not.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You bat away counterexamples with your back-hand. The point is that counter example disproves your general statement. The exception proves (i.e. tests) the rule. If there is an exception the rule is false.

ruveyn



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06 Apr 2013, 2:46 pm

Steinhauser wrote:

The_Walrus wrote:
Free markets do not exist.

Whelp, that explains that. Bring in a free market and the children will be educated.

Hell, give a child a computer with internet, and he can give himself a better education than he'd get at public school.

You have taken that quote out of context. I mean genuine "free markets" can probably never exist.

I am a reasonably intelligent, intellectually curious individual who values his education. I have access to the internet. I attend comprehensive school. I have definitely learned more from schooling that from the idiot. For a start, reading and writing... Additionally, much of the science on the internet is kept behind a paywall, much of the philosophy on the internet is as incomprehensible for a child as the source material, the history on the internet rarely as broad as that taught in schools, and the internet has a lot of garbage, often prominently displayed. You're probably just slightly too old to have genuinely grown up with broadband internet. Believe me, right now it isn't very good for learning from.



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06 Apr 2013, 3:05 pm

Property is theft.


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Steinhauser
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06 Apr 2013, 4:20 pm

Gromit wrote:
If you and your colleagues in the country where you work receive more than the global average remuneration for the kind of work you do, do you benefit from restricted immigration? ... Restricted immigration is a form of protectionism, a service provided to you by your government.

I never asked for this 'service.'

Restricting movement, trade, and association through violence is just as morally unjustifiable as extracting money from people through violence.

If some local business owners payed an organization to violently intimidate "unwanteds" out of buying property or doing business in their city, would that be morally justified? Now, what if the organization didn't give the business owners a choice, and threatened non-paying businesses with violence? Even if local businesses saw greater profits, is the organization justified in its actions?
Quote:
Do you benefit from the economic infrastructure provided by government? The transport and communication networks, the legal framework, the education system?

No more than I'd benefit from voluntary free market alternatives.
Quote:
The moral argument is that government is your business partner.

I'm going to follow you around, and beat up anyone who approaches you who I think might threaten your earning ability. In return, you give me half of what you earn, or else I'll punch you in the stomach. Does that make us partners?

A contract can't exist unless it's voluntarily entered into. Otherwise, it's just an involuntary relationship imposed by force. This includes the "social contract."
Quote:
The problem with claiming ownership on "discovering an unclaimed/unowned resource in nature" is that as consumption increases, fists swing in wider arcs and with more power, and as population increases, noses are closer together. ... That means you make a profit from their loss, without them having entered into a contract with you. Is that not theft?

Quote:
But that is not a solution. The externality remains. ... What you propose is merely to institutionalise blackmail.

These are very good points, and I'm at a loss as to how externalities would be handled in a free market. I will have to do some digging and asking around.

Admittedly, I'm not an expert on potential free market solutions. I am still very convinced that the current, violence-based system is irrevocably immoral. Making a profit from another's loss may be theft; seizing another person's assets through force is most certainly theft.
Quote:
Steinhauser wrote:
Treatments already exist for all the diseases affecting poor countries; that's why they're not affecting rich countries.

No. Malaria doesn't affect rich countries because the mosquitoes that spread malaria don't do well in the climates of rich countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria#Treatment
Quote:
Like the ratings agencies for banks? The question is who is easier to hold to account when stuff goes wrong, as it will. Those who believe that governments are more accountable than private companies, because private companies have all the incentives of government for malfeasance and the profit motive, will rather have a government, and finance it by taxation.

That's the problem with taxation in a nutshell. Those who believe private companies are more accountable than governments don't want taxation. Those who believe governments are more accountable than private companies want taxation. Only one side is willing to point guns at the other while claiming the moral authority to do so.
Quote:
The profit motive encourages truthiness rather than truthfulness. My trust in the public having access to accurate information would be even lower than it is now, at least until I see an example of it working.

The companies providing the information would be in constant competition as well. Observed trends of which listings provide the highest informational accuracy would separate the good from the bad.
Quote:
I would like to see a libertarian community large enough to test libertarian theories.

Wouldn't we all!

MCalavera wrote:
Steinhauser wrote:
Should a person be locked up because he doesn't want to fund a war, or see his money spent putting nonviolent drug users in jail?

The topic was originally about taxation, not about ways the money taxed is being used/misused.

It still is. The relevant part is not how taxes are spent, but that people are being thrown in jail for not paying taxes.

The_Walrus wrote:
You have taken that quote out of context. I mean genuine "free markets" can probably never exist.

You didn't exactly provide a context other than the literal one in the statement. Why can't a free market exist?

Quote:
I have definitely learned more from schooling that from the idiot. For a start, reading and writing...

It's unfair to draw your conclusions from your personal experience. You couldn't possibly have learned to read and write on your own if you spent your youth locked in a school.
Quote:
Additionally, much of the science on the internet is kept behind a paywall

Wikipedia has as much material on the hard sciences as any high-school-level textbook I've seen, and at similar comprehension levels, for free.
Quote:
much of the philosophy on the internet is as incomprehensible for a child as the source material

Much of the philosophy taught in schools is incomprehensible to thinking adults. (*snarky comment quota reached)
Quote:
the history on the internet rarely as broad as that taught in schools

As a free market of information, I'd venture that ALL perspectives on history can be found on the internet. The history taught in schools is comparatively narrow, and always lacking in objectivity.
Quote:
and the internet has a lot of garbage, often prominently displayed.

Teaching children to identify and ignore garbage - critical thinking - is an essential life skill, and one that public school doesn't teach.
Quote:
Believe me, right now it isn't very good for learning from.

I'm not suggesting the internet, as-is, is a perfect or even a great tool for educating children. But I stand by my assertion that the public schools are worse.



Kraichgauer
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06 Apr 2013, 6:09 pm

I'd like to add here, if taxation is indeed theft, then theft through taxation by the government is allowed by the United States Constitution. And that would make the founding fathers just a bunch of thieving sons-of-bitches.
Is the founding fathers worshiping right going to concede that?

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer