Page 4 of 4 [ 63 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

08 Aug 2008, 8:37 am

Dogbrain wrote:
Orwell wrote:
In a libertarian world, the government would be too weak to intervene on either side. And of course the employer will try to hire strike-breakers, just as the unions will attempt to enforce a strike.


So, in a libertarian world, the government would be too weak to prevent organized violence against its own citizens. That's what a strike-breaker is, after all, a type of mercenary soldier. A scab is not a strike-breaker. A strike-breaker is hired specifically to engage in acts of organized violence against a union.

OK then, we were using different definitions of strike-breakers. Hiring mercenaries to beat up people who don't want to work for you would clearly be illegal.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
That's the problem with libertarianism--it still requires people to be angelic. They have to eschew violence and fraud for it to work.

No. I actually always perceive laissez-faire capitalism (which is mostly what I associate with libertarianism) to assume humans to be greedy and selfish. That's why capitalism works. Ideally, libertarianism would also involve the rejection of violence


In other words, it requires that people be angels.

No, it requires people to be people. Capitalism (the only form of libertarianism I am interested in) assumes people to be selfish bastards, which overall seems to be a pretty decent assumption.

Quote:
Quote:
whichever side "started it" would be liable to criminal penalties.


But you said the government would be too weak to impose criminal penalties--if it's too weak to combat strike-breakers, it's too weak to impose criminal penalties on anyone wealthy enough to hire strike-breakers.

The concept of limited government means that the power of government is restricted to certain areas. Within those areas, it may well be extremely powerful.


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Dogbrain
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 4 Aug 2008
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Posts: 290

08 Aug 2008, 9:38 am

Orwell wrote:
Quote:
In other words, it requires that people be angels.

No, it requires people to be people.


The rejection of violence requires people to be angels. It just doesn't happen in any sufficiently large group of people. There can be all kinds of high-minded claims about rejecting violence, but it doesn't ever actually happen in the long term.

Quote:
Quote:
whichever side "started it" would be liable to criminal penalties.


But you said the government would be too weak to impose criminal penalties--if it's too weak to combat strike-breakers, it's too weak to impose criminal penalties on anyone wealthy enough to hire strike-breakers.

The concept of limited government means that the power of government is restricted to certain areas. Within those areas, it may well be extremely powerful.[/quote]

If it's too weak to deal with strike-breakers--which you posited, it's too weak to impose criminal penalties, since strike-breakers operate specifically as criminals, using violence to enforce the will of an employer.



Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

08 Aug 2008, 10:09 am

Dogbrain wrote:
Orwell wrote:
Quote:
In other words, it requires that people be angels.

No, it requires people to be people.


The rejection of violence requires people to be angels. It just doesn't happen in any sufficiently large group of people. There can be all kinds of high-minded claims about rejecting violence, but it doesn't ever actually happen in the long term.

OK, and it doesn't happen in any system. I'm minarchist, not anarchist. I view the role of government as being to step in to deal with violence, but not to do much else. I'm still not sure where you're getting that the ideas I'm putting forward here require people to be angels. I'm assuming that they aren't, as I have said multiple times and you keep snipping out of quotes in order to cherry-pick.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
whichever side "started it" would be liable to criminal penalties.


But you said the government would be too weak to impose criminal penalties--if it's too weak to combat strike-breakers, it's too weak to impose criminal penalties on anyone wealthy enough to hire strike-breakers.

The concept of limited government means that the power of government is restricted to certain areas. Within those areas, it may well be extremely powerful.


If it's too weak to deal with strike-breakers--which you posited, it's too weak to impose criminal penalties, since strike-breakers operate specifically as criminals, using violence to enforce the will of an employer.

You are either indescribably stupid or are deliberately misrepresenting my claims. I already acknowledged the incongruency in terminology we were using- strikebreakers, meaning mercenaries or thugs, are engaged in violence and the government's job is thus to act against them. When I said "strikebreakers" initially I meant "scabs." No more strawmen, all right? I don't feel like engaging in a debate where all I do is correct your mischaracterizations of my views.


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Speckles
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 280

13 Aug 2008, 10:21 pm

Okay, it's taken me awhile to respond, my life is kind of busy lately :cry: . Anyways, please excuse me if some parts are kind of hurried.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Speckles wrote:
AG, this sentence makes no sense, and sounds like a verbose smokescreen. What exactly is "the development of society" supposed to mean? As far as I can tell, it's meaningless in the context of discussion.
Smokescreen? What I mean is that we live in an age where information and image are very important, probably more so than prior ages due to the relatively high diffusion of information, and the relatively high level of wealth and thereby economic choice of individuals within a society. The phrase isn't meaningless, it can have sense attributed to it, you simply refuse to give it any import.


No it still doesn't make any sense. From what I've heard from other people on forums, people are getting dumber and less informed as time goes on. I've also heard several libertarians claim that democracy doesn't work, including you, since people aren't smart or motivated enough to understand political issues. But now you are arguing that the same people, who are too dumb to vote and too lazy to read about the freely available information released by the government, are suddenly supposed to be smart enough to see through sophisticated, well-funded corporate propaganda and motivated enough to try to bargain or steal internal company documents? Because yeah, the tobacco industry was so forth-coming about the number of deaths caused by their products, and so friendly toward the people who tried to inform the public of the dangers of their product.

Quote:
Quote:
And using PR as a reason for corporations completely ignores the fact that corporations generally have more money then unions - they can spend far more money distorting the facts to people at large, or even outright lying then a union can. It's very much a plutocratic argument, ignoring the effect of money on controlling the public understanding.

The major issue is that information can impact the public understanding, but it cannot control the public understanding and it cannot destroy publicly available information. To be honest, I have not ignored anything, you merely overstate your position. Especially given that corporations do not just have actions, they have tactics, the latter leaving a much bigger impact.


If that's true, please explain why Americans seem believe that their health care system is less expensive then most other developed countries, when in fact it spends more then any other country in the world. Not in absolute terms, in per capita and % GDP (OECD study, 2004).
Why has the number of Americans who believe that Iraq actually had WMDs has increased over time. (Harris Study)
Why so many Americans still don't believe that global warming is a fact, that it is being caused by humans, and that it is a real danger; I'm not going to source this unless you ask, any doubt about those three assertions is just plain laziness, confirmation bias, or lying.

What else can explain this if not corporate and rich interests funding think tanks to distort the issues, and keeping dissenting voices out of the discussion by just overwhelming them with lobbying and propaganda campaigns?

Quote:
Quote:
It's also completely ignoring the fact that without regulation, companies have no reason to report on what they are doing at all. It costs a lot of money monitoring production, and slows everything down. Plus, why should companies have to share their secrets with the world at large? How dare they be forced to reveal 'trade secrets' that happen to be embarrassing and potentially fraudulent? Really libertarianism gives fraudulent a great smoke shield.

Um... ok? Where does the problem come in? Not only that, but corporations are going to monitor production anyway, every dollar's worth of bad product that goes out leads to much more significant losses in profit later on. Why should companies share their secrets? I don't see how this has an impact on anything, especially given that a lot of truths come out because companies either cannot prevent them from coming out, or because companies have a need to differentiate themselves from other companies by showing good information.


I'm not even going to take you up on this point. If you truly believe that clever, dishonest people like those who ran Enron are going to disappear in your Libertarian utopia, well I just have to say that I disagree. And if you truly feel people would be happier to suffer through what's going on with the debt crisis in the States instead of creating a law against usury, I'll consider you a plutocrat but otherwise let you be. I feel that you are ignoring or avoiding vast amounts of empirical evidence, but that is your privilege and I have to respect it. Just as you'd really have to respect if I were in fact the one too biased to see the truth.

Quote:
Quote:
Because in libertarianism is all about removing laws isn't it? It claims that people will behave better in the absence of regulation, in other words be angelic. Which is problematic because that is just manifestly untrue. Also, it's not his only criticism.

Umm... libertarianism is not about removing and maintaining certain laws at the same time. The argument I was arguing against still doesn't make sense in context and your defense of it fails for that reason. If you argue that libertarianism invokes angelicalness for it's arguments on regulation, then you really don't know a lot of libertarian arguments on regulation. Libertarians tend to argue that people will self-regulate based upon self-interest, not because they really give a sh** about other people, so I still do not see the argument.


Hmm, I'm tired of trying to show you that Libertarianism expects people to behave in an extremely and unrealistically moral manner. It really is no different then what communism expects in my eyes. I'm not going to convince you; it feels like trying to debate with a Jehovah's Witness, which in my experience just leads to frustration on both sides. If you are committed to your ideology, well I just have to respect that, even if I don't buy into it.

Anyways, the reforms I heard purposed by you and Orwell so far are very plutocratic, and will not actually lead to liberty as far as I am concerned. It took me awhile to find it, but this essay explains the plutocratic bias of most of the libertarian issues I've heard talked about here. It makes me fairly sceptical that none of the libertarians ever seem to bring up the nanny state issues brought up in this, and instead focus on the less damaging socialist welfare programs. It seems hugely hypocritical to me.


_________________
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.


Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

13 Aug 2008, 11:19 pm

Speckles wrote:
I'm not even going to take you up on this point. If you truly believe that clever, dishonest people like those who ran Enron are going to disappear in your Libertarian utopia, well I just have to say that I disagree.

Of course they won't disappear. And a libertarian state is not a utopia, nothing ever will be. But the issue with trying to use that point as an argument against libertarianism is that the current system has done nothing to prevent such things either. (Since you are not actively promoting an alternate system, I am assuming you to be in favor of preserving the status quo) It has been argued that some aspects of federal regulation were what opened up the opportunity for some of Enron's corruption, but I'm not going to deny that similar things would happen frequently under a libertarian state. I just say that such behavior will tend to be punished in the long run and people who are involved in those practices will end up in trouble later.

Quote:
And if you truly feel people would be happier to suffer through what's going on with the debt crisis in the States instead of creating a law against usury, I'll consider you a plutocrat but otherwise let you be.

What's the current system doing to solve the debt crisis? Hell, the government is contributing to it. The issue isn't "usury," it's that interest rates have been kept artificially low by the Fed, resulting in a distortion of the credit market.

Quote:
Hmm, I'm tired of trying to show you that Libertarianism expects people to behave in an extremely and unrealistically moral manner. It really is no different then what communism expects in my eyes.

No, libertarianism really does assume the majority of people to be greedy, selfish bastards. Where exactly are you saying that Libertarianism expects unrealistic behavior from people? You simply assert that as a fact, without giving any examples of in what manner people are expected to behave unrealistically.

Quote:
I'm not going to convince you; it feels like trying to debate with a Jehovah's Witness, which in my experience just leads to frustration on both sides. If you are committed to your ideology, well I just have to respect that, even if I don't buy into it.

Actually, my views are quite plastic, especially if I see some solid reason in opposition to them. And I have some beliefs that are decidedly un-Libertarian.

Quote:
Anyways, the reforms I heard purposed by you and Orwell so far are very plutocratic, and will not actually lead to liberty as far as I am concerned. It took me awhile to find it, but this essay explains the plutocratic bias of most of the libertarian issues I've heard talked about here. It makes me fairly sceptical that none of the libertarians ever seem to bring up the nanny state issues brought up in this, and instead focus on the less damaging socialist welfare programs. It seems hugely hypocritical to me.

I started to read it and got bored, pick a specific issue from there to discuss. Author seemed to believe in some type of conspiracy theory to explain why highly trained doctors are paid more than illiterate janitors, and that it would be impossible for such a thing to happen on its own. :roll:


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Speckles
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 280

14 Aug 2008, 12:56 am

@Orwell

I was more talking to AG then you - essentially, I can imagine an argument that might sway you to a different point of view. I'm quite happy to agree that your views are quite plastic. I can't for the life of me imagine any kind of argument that could persuade AG to a different viewpoint. Until I get some kind of idea of what he would consider proof that he may need to rethink his ideas, what is the point of continuing the debate? I do feel kind of bad for being so confrontational, but I'm not sure how else to advance the discussion.

As far as proof for me to reconsider his ideas, and yours too, I'd simply require an empirical example of libertarian utopia ideas actually working. Based on how many times I've effectively here that a particular example of unbalanced, unsuccessful deregulation is "No True Scotsman", I'm going to apply fairly strict standards to what I would consider a 'true' libertarian success story. Based on the burden of proof needed to show something is a failure, I can see no example that could be considered a success.

As far as the essay goes, if you actually read it it comes out fairly minanarchist, at least in my view. I'm pretty sure you did not, as the writer's complaint was NOT that doctors get paid more then dishwashers, it was that the conservative position preaches global competition for the dishwasher as right, then wusses out with the doctor. Why is it libertarian to submit the dishwasher to the free market, but insist on protectionism for the doctor? If competence is an issue, then it would be a simple matter to create an industry standard test that all foreign doctors must pass in order to practise in the States; is this any different then insisting China screen its products for lead if they want to ship to the US?

The fact is that Doctors are paid a lot more in the States then in the rest of the world. If the US deregulated the doctor market, the price of medicine logically would go down as foreign doctors came into the market charging lower wages, just like the way unskilled immigrants are willing to wash dishes for less. This argument holds true for other high-paying positions, like, for example, economists and university professors. He freely admits that you are going to find some foreign born people in upper-class jobs, but points out how the deck is stacked toward hiring American.

Only arguing that poor people be subjected to the true forces of the free market is hugely hypocritical, yet all I've heard from libertarians here is how the poor and stupid should fail if they can't compete; why shouldn't the wealthy and clever be subjected to the same standard? Thus my agreement with Dogbrain that most libertarians are in fact plutocrats. Regardless of whether you agree with the authors conclusions, he presents a lot of points about the nanny state that conservatives who preach the free market conveniently ignore.


_________________
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

14 Aug 2008, 1:11 am

Speckles wrote:
No it still doesn't make any sense. From what I've heard from other people on forums, people are getting dumber and less informed as time goes on.

From people on forums? How many forums do you think we had 30 years ago? To be honest, I think a lot of that just ends up being rose-tinted glasses towards the past, especially given that not a lot of knowledge is necessary to say "Oh, I won't shop at Wal-mart, they are evil".

Quote:
I've also heard several libertarians claim that democracy doesn't work, including you, since people aren't smart or motivated enough to understand political issues.

Political issues are difficult to properly understand, it takes significant education on the workings of the US government, on economic theories, on various historical matters and issues of international politics, and so on and so forth to come up to an understanding of political issues. Heck, most people do not even hold to consistent views on politics.
Quote:
But now you are arguing that the same people, who are too dumb to vote and too lazy to read about the freely available information released by the government, are suddenly supposed to be smart enough to see through sophisticated, well-funded corporate propaganda and motivated enough to try to bargain or steal internal company documents? Because yeah, the tobacco industry was so forth-coming about the number of deaths caused by their products, and so friendly toward the people who tried to inform the public of the dangers of their product.

Voting isn't a matter of reading the "freely available information released by the government", it is a matter of knowing a ton of material about the workings of society. Not only that, but no, they do not have to see through sophisticated, well-funded corporate propaganda, they have to listen to rumor mills and public opinions and the local protestors, and perhaps even, I dunno, buy a magazine telling them about good purchasing decisions such as Consumer Reports(which is different than politics by being more objective, less divided, and more personally relevant). The assumption being that people are good at getting information that serves their best interest, not that they are getting this information from loads of personal resources or anything of that nature, and not that the organization of a society, nation, and economy is equally difficult as figuring out whether or not to buy from Zip co. Frankly, I don't expect companies to be that friendly about it, but then again, since when have companies ever gotten the benefit of the doubt anyway?

Quote:
If that's true, please explain why Americans seem believe that their health care system is less expensive then most other developed countries, when in fact it spends more then any other country in the world. Not in absolute terms, in per capita and % GDP (OECD study, 2004).
Why has the number of Americans who believe that Iraq actually had WMDs has increased over time. (Harris Study)
Why so many Americans still don't believe that global warming is a fact, that it is being caused by humans, and that it is a real danger; I'm not going to source this unless you ask, any doubt about those three assertions is just plain laziness, confirmation bias, or lying.

Umm... because Americans are stupid and because these are political issues that do not impact their own personal choices? Like I have already stated, I view politics to be a different animal than purchasing decisions. Whether or not an American believes his health care system is better or worse than one in Europe has absolutely no impact on the workings of his life, but whether or not he wants to buy from Zip co very much as an impact on his life. The same with all of the other examples you gave.

Quote:
What else can explain this if not corporate and rich interests funding think tanks to distort the issues, and keeping dissenting voices out of the discussion by just overwhelming them with lobbying and propaganda campaigns?

The fact that these are political issues, and political issues do not have rational decision making processes applied to the conclusions thereof. I mean, the first issue just seems like American nationalism, the second issue just seems like a blatant national self-justification, and the third seems like American nonchalance about the environment. I mean, heck, I think that if you look at other nations you end up seeing other political traits pop up that are just as stupid, but in different directions.

Quote:
I'm not even going to take you up on this point. If you truly believe that clever, dishonest people like those who ran Enron are going to disappear in your Libertarian utopia, well I just have to say that I disagree. And if you truly feel people would be happier to suffer through what's going on with the debt crisis in the States instead of creating a law against usury, I'll consider you a plutocrat but otherwise let you be. I feel that you are ignoring or avoiding vast amounts of empirical evidence, but that is your privilege and I have to respect it. Just as you'd really have to respect if I were in fact the one too biased to see the truth.

No, I actually do not think that clever, dishonest people will disappear. Instead, I think that the market will handle these issues, such as through investors pursuing means of making sure that their investment is safe in both instances. I mean, really, I have not stated that the sky will rain lollypops, but just the same, I can argue as Orwell has, that the government does allow for these problems on some level, therefore libertarianism cannot be compared to another fake utopia.

Quote:
Hmm, I'm tired of trying to show you that Libertarianism expects people to behave in an extremely and unrealistically moral manner. It really is no different then what communism expects in my eyes. I'm not going to convince you; it feels like trying to debate with a Jehovah's Witness, which in my experience just leads to frustration on both sides. If you are committed to your ideology, well I just have to respect that, even if I don't buy into it.

Well.... um..... your arguments have tended to suck on that realm anyway. I mean, your argument was that "libertarianism (despite having laws against murder and contract violation) will allow for people to murder and violate contracts". I mean, such an argument is rather lame, and as Orwell stated, a lot of libertarians think that people are egoists.
Quote:
Anyways, the reforms I heard purposed by you and Orwell so far are very plutocratic, and will not actually lead to liberty as far as I am concerned. It took me awhile to find it, but this essay explains the plutocratic bias of most of the libertarian issues I've heard talked about here. It makes me fairly sceptical that none of the libertarians ever seem to bring up the nanny state issues brought up in this, and instead focus on the less damaging socialist welfare programs. It seems hugely hypocritical to me.

I think I've read that book before, I think I found it to suck. However, to go through the claims:

1) Most libertarians are a fan of allowing more immigration of all forms, including high-skilled. Same with freer trade of all forms, Ron Paul is actually known for not voting for NAFTA because he thinks it is too managed.

2) Libertarians actually tend to argue against regulations, such as bar exams and other supply restricting measures, because of the fact that they are anti-competitive, and this is a well-known libertarian position, it is just usually applied to corporations in discussions despite it's applicability to skilled labor as well. A major reason for this is likely because labor regulations are more popular than corporate regulations, but Milton Friedman is well-known for expressing his dislike of supply-restricting actions in medical work.

3) Secondary strikes very rarely come up in political debate, however, libertarians are likely not going to ban secondary strikes.

4) The discussion on the Fed does not address the long-run phillips curve very much, so I find it a bit disingenuous for that reason, as even though short run gains can happen, the long-run losses can be pretty steep in fighting that inflation, and the gains will basically only be short-run given the long-run phillips curve.

5) The discussion on CEO pay is rather lacking, as a fact that is ignored is that firm size has increased and arguably so has competition over top executives, both of these trends being particularly noted in the US. Other progressives, such as Bob Frank are willing to accept this occurrence as part of the market(not a positive part mind you).

6) I find the discussion on corporations to be rather disingenuous, yes, on some level corporations are a creation of the state, however, as Brad Edmonds argues, the basics of a corporation can simply be created through contract law anyway. http://mises.org/story/2816 However, it is true that some libertarians do argue against corporations, which prompted Edmonds to write his article.

7) The discussion on copyrights is one-sided as there are promoters of copy-rights, however, there are also a lot of libertarians who oppose copyrights. mises.org, a prominent site where I got the last link is noted for it's opposition to copyrights. I think a reason why IP is not brought up is simply because IP tends to be a complicated issue no matter who you are.

8) To be honest, I think that the major libertarian stance on bankruptcy is merely contractarianism.

9) I agree with allowing large contingent fees, a more perfect system would have the ability to have large contingent fees.

10) I have not heard many libertarians argue for small business handouts.

11) Tax money is our money, if wealth belongs to creators then tax money belongs to the generators of that wealth, the implied notion that tax money isn't ours is one of an unlimited social contract, something that nobody agrees with.

12) Libertarians generally do not like governmental actors, period. Too many other factors to consider when having a governmental actor, such as political manipulation and things of that nature.

But anyway, a major reason libertarians do not address these issues is because few people do.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

14 Aug 2008, 1:22 am

Speckles wrote:
I was more talking to AG then you - essentially, I can imagine an argument that might sway you to a different point of view. I'm quite happy to agree that your views are quite plastic. I can't for the life of me imagine any kind of argument that could persuade AG to a different viewpoint. Until I get some kind of idea of what he would consider proof that he may need to rethink his ideas, what is the point of continuing the debate? I do feel kind of bad for being so confrontational, but I'm not sure how else to advance the discussion.

Who says that I could be persuaded to a different view? I mean, heck, if you could prove that libertarianism would destroy humanity then that might even make me more zealous for it. I tend towards the notion that libertarian definitions of human self-ownership are correct, so therefore the rest follows from that.

Quote:
As far as proof for me to reconsider his ideas, and yours too, I'd simply require an empirical example of libertarian utopia ideas actually working. Based on how many times I've effectively here that a particular example of unbalanced, unsuccessful deregulation is "No True Scotsman", I'm going to apply fairly strict standards to what I would consider a 'true' libertarian success story. Based on the burden of proof needed to show something is a failure, I can see no example that could be considered a success.

Well, the major issue is that I don't think empirical evidence will be able to prove either side right or wrong, the argument really boils down more to theoreticals given it's nature. I mean, really, the issue is not based upon an actual example, because *nothing* is ever so clear-cut, but rather concepts which can be made clear cut.

Quote:
As far as the essay goes, if you actually read it it comes out fairly minanarchist, at least in my view. I'm pretty sure you did not, as the writer's complaint was NOT that doctors get paid more then dishwashers, it was that the conservative position preaches global competition for the dishwasher as right, then wusses out with the doctor. Why is it libertarian to submit the dishwasher to the free market, but insist on protectionism for the doctor? If competence is an issue, then it would be a simple matter to create an industry standard test that all foreign doctors must pass in order to practise in the States; is this any different then insisting China screen its products for lead if they want to ship to the US?

Well, the essay is mostly an attack on certain governmental interventions, the writer, if I remember him correctly(I've already read the stuff before) is actually a member of a liberal think-tank(forgive me if I am wrong, but I looked him up a year or so ago), I think he is a member of the EPI.

It isn't libertarian to argue for that at all, in fact, a good libertarian health-care policy would have us allow for foreign competition for doctors and things like that. Milton Friedman took up the argument for free immigration and getting rid of professional licensing years ago.

Quote:
The fact is that Doctors are paid a lot more in the States then in the rest of the world. If the US deregulated the doctor market, the price of medicine logically would go down as foreign doctors came into the market charging lower wages, just like the way unskilled immigrants are willing to wash dishes for less. This argument holds true for other high-paying positions, like, for example, economists and university professors. He freely admits that you are going to find some foreign born people in upper-class jobs, but points out how the deck is stacked toward hiring American.

Yes, it would be a very good thing for this to happen. Frankly, the idea of a free market is competition in all things to maximize efficiency.

Quote:
Only arguing that poor people be subjected to the true forces of the free market is hugely hypocritical, yet all I've heard from libertarians here is how the poor and stupid should fail if they can't compete; why shouldn't the wealthy and clever be subjected to the same standard? Thus my agreement with Dogbrain that most libertarians are in fact plutocrats. Regardless of whether you agree with the authors conclusions, he presents a lot of points about the nanny state that conservatives who preach the free market conveniently ignore.

That has some truth to it. I still think that Dr. Baker's writing is rather bad, and that his points are not that bad to ignore.



Speckles
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 280

14 Aug 2008, 3:29 am

@AG

I remain unconvinced that you could be convinced to another view. You basically just said that empirical evidence should be ignored; isn't that effectively the same as saying your viewpoint should be taken on as a matter of faith? How does this make you different then a Creationist? After all, the Creationist argument is perfectly logical so long as you accept their premises.

And I definitely don't want to argue theoretical with you, as you don't apply the same standard to your own argument as you do for others. For example, earlier in this thread you nitpicked on dongiovanni's premise that life expectancy is a good measure of societal success. As this is a premise, it can't be logically argued; however, common sense suggests that people would probably agree with dongiovanni's statement.

However, that the liberty to do what you like with what ever property you own without interference is the most important aspect of happiness is the central premise to your arguments. Why should this be taken as a given? I value this, but I also value dongiovanni's life expectancy; I would quite happily sacrifice some of my property liberty, and yours too for that matter, to be able to live 5 years longer. I also value the reduction of personal risk provided by the social security net, and once again would sacrifice some of my own and other's property liberty. I actually value the welfare state very highly, as it is unlikely I could have gotten through high school with high enough grades to advance to post-secondary if I didn't have access to some of the socialist structures in place. I definitely couldn't survive in post-secondary without them.

The thing in life I value most is the ability to keep advancing, followed by the desire to make it easier for the people following me. As I need some of the socialist structures in Canada in order to do both, I'd give up a decent amount of my life expectancy and everyone's property liberty to maintain it. All three things could be taken as premises to determine what makes a good society, with different levels of importance, along with any other number of values. So, why should property liberty be held before all?

Moving on, regarding people becoming stupider, I also agree that people are not getting dumber. I actually am more optimistic then you are, as I think that people are perfectly capable of understanding politics. It's actually a lot easier to understand for most people then economics; I don't think you truly appreciate how much not having a well-funded public channel, like the CBC in Canada or the BBC in Britain, in real competition with private networks helps the political discussion. I'm saying that you are contradicting yourself; saying people are too stupid to vote but smart enough to see through corporate fraud is ridiculous. Seriously, you think trying to understand some of the weird debt contracts that seem to be driving so many people bankrupt is easier to understand then the difference between Obama and McCain?

Also, I'm going to repeat one of my previous complaints - I don't care if there are some libertarian which believe something. It's a Red Herring argument; the fact remains that your arguments against me, diogiovanni, and Dogbrain, along with you and Orwell's ad hominim attacks against the document and the author, imply that the libertarians on the forum do not. This tact also weakens the Libertarian position in general; if Libertarians can't even agree how things should be run among each other, how can they be expected to create any kind of workable system?


_________________
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

14 Aug 2008, 4:28 am

Speckles wrote:
I remain unconvinced that you could be convinced to another view. You basically just said that empirical evidence should be ignored; isn't that effectively the same as saying your viewpoint should be taken on as a matter of faith? How does this make you different then a Creationist? After all, the Creationist argument is perfectly logical so long as you accept their premises.

Ok, I did not even try to convince you. No, the issue is one of epistemology, I simply argued that theory trumped empirical data for one allows for clear relations while the other can so easily be misused to leave things unclear. The issue between myself and a creationist is that I do not argue a subject very related to truth, while the creationist argues in a situation where truth and falseness can exist. Arguably that is true, however, the issue is that the premises of the Creationist are usually rejected before the conclusion, and the other vice versa.

Quote:
And I definitely don't want to argue theoretical with you, as you don't apply the same standard to your own argument as you do for others. For example, earlier in this thread you nitpicked on dongiovanni's premise that life expectancy is a good measure of societal success. As this is a premise, it can't be logically argued; however, common sense suggests that people would probably agree with dongiovanni's statement.

What standard should I apply that I do not? I think I tend to consistently argue that some level of subjectivity is necessary. I think my major issue with life expectancy was that other subjective factors can change the life expectancy of a society, and thus it cannot be taken as an end-all. This is a legitimate argument because life expectancy varies on more things than the health care system, or other institutions. One of the things I was keeping in mind was that the US does better on life expectancy ratings that are adjusted for the higher levels of various negative health-related factors than other countries do.

The premise given can be argued to some extent because the premise is not very foundational, but rather a synthetic one based upon other foundations. I don't give a crap about common sense though.

Quote:
However, that the liberty to do what you like with what ever property you own without interference is the most important aspect of happiness is the central premise to your arguments. Why should this be taken as a given? I value this, but I also value dongiovanni's life expectancy; I would quite happily sacrifice some of my property liberty, and yours too for that matter, to be able to live 5 years longer. I also value the reduction of personal risk provided by the social security net, and once again would sacrifice some of my own and other's property liberty. I actually value the welfare state very highly, as it is unlikely I could have gotten through high school with high enough grades to advance to post-secondary if I didn't have access to some of the socialist structures in place. I definitely couldn't survive in post-secondary without them.

Do I usually argue happiness? I once argued against dongiovanni based upon the right to be unhappy. I think I instead argue self-determination to a great extent. I may argue that greater happiness may need a means of dealing with subjective issues, but I am not a utilitarian.

I think I usually try to defend a liberal-utilitarian fusion whenever I use it based upon the notion of heterogenous desires.

Ok, you have individual preferences. I understand that, but these individual preferences are not universal ones necessarily if one keeps the proper view. Yes, people may claim that they want to be healthier, but they still like unhealthy food, and such I think that the revealed preference is important. Frankly, my official position is that I don't care what other people like, want, or anything like that, only that I have the freedom to determine myself.

Quote:
The thing in life I value most is the ability to keep advancing, followed by the desire to make it easier for the people following me. As I need some of the socialist structures in Canada in order to do both, I'd give up a decent amount of my life expectancy and everyone's property liberty to maintain it. All three things could be taken as premises to determine what makes a good society, with different levels of importance, along with any other number of values. So, why should property liberty be held before all?

Ok, you have individual values. Not everyone values the same thing, so I consider the entire notion of sacrificing "everyone's property" negatively. The issue is that we fundamentally disagree with our notions of society, I do not see society as a very important entity. I see individuals, and because of that, I do not hold the desires of some individuals above all individuals, nor do I think that the ideas of some individuals should be imposed upon all individuals.

Quote:
Moving on, regarding people becoming stupider, I also agree that people are not getting dumber. I actually am more optimistic then you are, as I think that people are perfectly capable of understanding politics. It's actually a lot easier to understand for most people then economics;

Problem: YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND POLITICS WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS.

I don't know how I can make that clearer, but the entire scope of politics has been described as "Who Gets What, When, and How", a question that is economic in nature. I would argue that if a person does not understand economics, then they really do not understand society, and thus cannot really be knowledgeable in their politics.

Quote:
I don't think you truly appreciate how much not having a well-funded public channel, like the CBC in Canada or the BBC in Britain, in real competition with private networks helps the political discussion.

I tend to doubt that the political discussion is actually much better in either country. I've read some of the political cartoons, and I've read polls about the idiocy of the brits in their knowledge of politics.
Quote:
I'm saying that you are contradicting yourself; saying people are too stupid to vote but smart enough to see through corporate fraud is ridiculous. Seriously, you think trying to understand some of the weird debt contracts that seem to be driving so many people bankrupt is easier to understand then the difference between Obama and McCain?

I don't see a contradiction, as part of the argument is a lack of motivation to know these things. Let's see, to handle the weird debt contracts, what you need is either caution, a friend who knows something about them, or some other mechanism. Economic problems can be very easily reduced to much smaller information problems. Political problems however suffer from the fact that it isn't *just* a difference between McCain and Obama, but also the difference between Obama and Clinton and McCain and Romney as well, and that there is feedback between the politicians and voters, and that voting carries massive externalities as opposed to personal economic decisions, and that people have a real need to be cautious in their economic choices but can just vote with their idiotic friends on the election without much loss. The position isn't self-contradictory, it has been argued by a few scholars already, heck, economist Bryan Caplan's book "The Myth of the Rational Voter" is based upon the notion of good economic choices and bad political choices.
Quote:
Also, I'm going to repeat one of my previous complaints - I don't care if there are some libertarian which believe something. It's a Red Herring argument; the fact remains that your arguments against me, diogiovanni, and Dogbrain, along with you and Orwell's ad hominim attacks against the document and the author, imply that the libertarians on the forum do not. This tact also weakens the Libertarian position in general; if Libertarians can't even agree how things should be run among each other, how can they be expected to create any kind of workable system?

Umm... that isn't a red herring if the issue is with the overall ideology of libertarianism. If there are a group of legitimate libertarians who believe in something, then they can be invoked freely as part of a response in relationship to the libertarian ideology. It is not a red herring. Frankly, I think you overstate your position on the brutality of our position. Not only that, but nobody has committed an ad hominem fallacy on Dean Baker, I have stated his intellectual background and expressed a negative opinion of his writings, but tried to address them, and Orwell may have made a strawman of his position, but no ad hominems are there.

WHAT IDEOLOGY AGREES ON EVERYTHING????? Look, do conservatives agree on everything? Do liberals? Do socialists? Do fascists??? *NO IDEOLOGY* is so dogmatically rigid as to have perfect insect-like agreement on all things, and very very very few broadly defined ideological categories come close!! Only the Objectivists have really tried, and they get insulted for being a cult across the board by everyone for trying to do so. So, in response, I have to say that this complaint is stupid, just plain stupid. The major issue about all libertarians is that they tend to hold common presuppositions of the nature of man and human organization, not that they are robots as you would wish. Frankly, libertarians are not concerned with "creating a workable system" so much as creating a system that can adapt to become workable, as a central part of the libertarian position is that markets are adaptable constructs, so if they are correct on that, then there is a lot of flex room and thus the criticism "oh my goodness, they don't all agree on everything" seems rather bad.



Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

14 Aug 2008, 3:40 pm

Speckles wrote:
I was more talking to AG then you - essentially, I can imagine an argument that might sway you to a different point of view. I'm quite happy to agree that your views are quite plastic. I can't for the life of me imagine any kind of argument that could persuade AG to a different viewpoint.

AG wasn't a full-fledged anarchist when I arrived at this forum, but now that he is he has some good "trump cards" to fall back on to avoid any necessity of changing views, such as deontologically promoting maximum freedom regardless of consequences or going moral nihilist.

Quote:
As far as proof for me to reconsider his ideas, and yours too, I'd simply require an empirical example of libertarian utopia ideas actually working.

As I said, libertarianism does not produce a utopia. It can be argued that it would produce a better world than the one we live in now, but only an idiot would believe that it would create any sort of utopia. You said you'd hold examples to fairly high standards, and you posted later that you weren't too interested in theoretical debate. In the late 19th century, many parts of the world experienced very high levels of economic growth, and this was a period of very unfettered free markets, but because of the transitional nature of the global economy during the Industrial Revolution of the time, it can be difficult to use examples from that time period. Now, it may not be extremely impressive, but this paper argues that Somalia has actually done better under anarchy than it did under government, and also better than the neighboring states of Kenya and Ethiopia did under government. Of course, the issue there is that African governments suck as compared to most Western ones. Free market economics can be seen in Singapore and Hong Kong with good effects, and civil libertarianism is seen in Amsterdam.

Quote:
The fact is that Doctors are paid a lot more in the States then in the rest of the world. If the US deregulated the doctor market, the price of medicine logically would go down as foreign doctors came into the market charging lower wages, just like the way unskilled immigrants are willing to wash dishes for less. This argument holds true for other high-paying positions, like, for example, economists and university professors. He freely admits that you are going to find some foreign born people in upper-class jobs, but points out how the deck is stacked toward hiring American.

The issue is probably that most well-off people aren't interested in leaving their home country to find work anyways. Most people hired in upper-class jobs are American because most foreigners in those fields are able to find good jobs where they are. But fine, let foreign doctors come in, I don't care. What obstacles were there other than the competence test that you mentioned? If there are others, I agree they should be eliminated.

Quote:
Regardless of whether you agree with the authors conclusions, he presents a lot of points about the nanny state that conservatives who preach the free market conveniently ignore.

The problem that you and dogbrain are having is that you are lumping libertarians in with conservatives. Liberals are pro-labor (favor the poor), conservatives are pro-business (favor the rich) and libertarians are pro-market (neither pro-labor nor pro-business). Conservatives are often in favor of government propping up failing corporations, while liberals are often in favor of government propping up failing workers. Libertarians don't want government to do much to help either.


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

14 Aug 2008, 4:05 pm

Orwell wrote:
Speckles wrote:
Quote:
As far as proof for me to reconsider his ideas, and yours too, I'd simply require an empirical example of libertarian utopia ideas actually working.

As I said, libertarianism does not produce a utopia. It can be argued that it would produce a better world than the one we live in now, but only an idiot would believe that it would create any sort of utopia. You said you'd hold examples to fairly high standards, and you posted later that you weren't too interested in theoretical debate. In the late 19th century, many parts of the world experienced very high levels of economic growth, and this was a period of very unfettered free markets, but because of the transitional nature of the global economy during the Industrial Revolution of the time, it can be difficult to use examples from that time period. Now, it may not be extremely impressive, but this paper argues that Somalia has actually done better under anarchy than it did under government, and also better than the neighboring states of Kenya and Ethiopia did under government. Of course, the issue there is that African governments suck as compared to most Western ones. Free market economics can be seen in Singapore and Hong Kong with good effects, and civil libertarianism is seen in Amsterdam.

Right, the major issue is that any example given of any society will end up having detractors, negative qualities, and all sorts of empirical noise to the point that the debate must almost essentially become theoretical to clean out all of this noise. I mean, no single example is likely clear enough to disprove something, and any example given, if it is to be of much use in disproof must prove that another theory works better. To be honest, I think the people who want to escape theory just have a very confused epistemology. Frankly, I'd sooner leave a lot of the empirics behind for commonly accepted theoretical frameworks for that reason, as that way we have a good theory, and one that likely matches the empirical evidence somewhat well, rather than engage in some meaningless data-throwing competition, as the latter will simply amount to cherry-picking some cosmetically appealing data.



Speckles
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 280

17 Aug 2008, 6:00 pm

@AG - Orwell is right, I value empirical proof far more then any kind of theoretical fantasy; trying to argue that the real world is complicated and so we should ignore it is weak. Logic and rationality are very much GIGO systems, as far as I am concerned; useful tools, but not the be all and end all of decision making.

Taking libertarianism in a fundamentalist fashion, like you are doing, is ridiculous. Two of the core axioms of the philosophy are pretty flimsy - that people are really rational and that reason trumps other forms of argument and deduction. In the end, libertarianism has to come back to reality and produce results to justify its supposed supremacy, just like every other political/economic philosophy.

Yes, it's hard to try to understand how to navigate real world issues - they can be counter-intuitive, illogical, or contradictory. By necessity you have to deal with incomplete information, and make subjective judgements that may turn out to be laughable as things progress. But, if the ends don't justify the means, then the means certainly don't justify the ends. No matter how lovely or logical or perfect an idea is, if it implodes upon contact with reality, it isn't a good idea.

And while it is possible to find flaws with any system, it doesn't follow that all flaws are going to be equally bad. It also doesn't follow that the system with the fewest flaws will be the best - the total benefits of another more flawed system may push it on top. It's also important to consider the human nature problem; if the system requires people to behave in a unnatural manner, it's may not succeed no matter how good it would be if people weren't stupid, greedy, lazy, or whatever. The implementation of the system on what currently exists is also key - it doesn't matter how good a system might be, if it can't be implemented it's not helpful. This is one reason why I'm a bit exasperated about the contempt for unions you and Orwell are showing; they'd be a key part of my plan if I were to try to implement large scale libertarianism.

Regarding voting being too complicated for most people, the resources that you described being available to decode the overly-complicated bank loan are also available for voting decisions. They are actually more available, as loan sharks are better positioned to fluster, charm, or strong-arm people into accepting contracts without fully understanding it. Medical loans signed in th emergency room before treatment are a good example of this - some of the stuff that goes on there is just plain evil.

Also, it's not true that every voter has to understand economics in order to make an informed decision - the existence of Malcolm Gladwell's Mavens for his book The Tipping Point are pretty accepted in socioeconomics. You only need a few Economics Mavens, perhaps combined with a Connectors or two to inform a very large number of people of the expected effects of a politician's plan. Obama's campaign presents a decent Maven with two recently released youtube videos to counter some of McCain's Taxman attack ads (Mavens don't need to be unbiased in order to work; if their facts don't add up to a decent degree of accuracy, then people stop consulting them. It's no different then your arguments for the market). link

Finally, about your moral nihilism, I can respect that, then proceed to be nihilistic right back. Why should I care if you want complete freedom? I like the welfare state, so why should I let it be dismantled because you can't stand the idea of paying rent to it? While I'm not always happy with it, overall I think my government is doing a decent job (1). Given that government is already established, and that you don't really care about what happens to society, it makes more sense for you to go off and figure out how to make your own country, instead of asking people like me to give you a handout of what we've already established. If you can't or just don't want to, then you'll just have accept the terms of whatever is available.

You've used this argument often enough against socialists complaining that the poor may have less freedom in a libertopia(2), I don't see why it doesn't apply to you as well. Bringing nihilism into the discussion actually increases the need for empirical evidence; unless your actions help me or my values, then I have every reason to oppose them. Which could lead to you losing out if we ever were in actual conflict, as I suspect I would invest more of my resources to support my view then you would.
___________________

(1) It's important to remember that I don't live in the US; I'm actually slightly amazed at how passively some Americans seem to bend down and take it from the Bush Administration. I probably don't actually have enough information to make a clear judgement, but that's my impression of the situation. Seriously, what's the point of having the ability to impeach presidents if you don't use it for situations like this? I don't care if it'll cost more, or that it would be mostly symbolic, sometimes you just have to remind the powers that be that you can punish them. If the American people seriously let Bush and friends slink away without real punishment, they are officially the government's b***h. I'm not totally being funny here - future administrations will know that so long as conclusive evidence of major corruption doesn't show up until their term is almost done, they can get away with it. Tit-for-tat, damnit.

(2) I'm aware you don't like me calling your proposed society a utopia. However, if it's not connected to reality that's what it is. I'd also currently consider dongiovanni's vision a utopia, but I since I haven't asked it's worthwhile giving him/her the benefit of the doubt

@dongiovanni - I hope you aren't bothered by me using you as an example in my posts. I should probably ask permission before I do stuff like that. I'd also welcome your comments on the discussion; after all, you were the one to get the conversation going in the first place :) . Sorry if I'm kind of dismissive at times :?


_________________
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

17 Aug 2008, 6:32 pm

Speckles wrote:
@AG - Orwell is right, I value empirical proof far more then any kind of theoretical fantasy; trying to argue that the real world is complicated and so we should ignore it is weak. Logic and rationality are very much GIGO systems, as far as I am concerned; useful tools, but not the be all and end all of decision making.

Right, and I value theory above any empirical evidence. Arguing that the real world is complicated therefore it should be ignored is actually a very solid position, in fact, for complicated subjects, that is the reason why theory can often be so emphasized, because empirics has difficulty establishing the real relations.
Quote:
Taking libertarianism in a fundamentalist fashion, like you are doing, is ridiculous. Two of the core axioms of the philosophy are pretty flimsy - that people are really rational and that reason trumps other forms of argument and deduction. In the end, libertarianism has to come back to reality and produce results to justify its supposed supremacy, just like every other political/economic philosophy.

Umm.... let's see I am aware of behavioral economics, it does not really prevent a libertarian position. In fact, there are libertarians who argue behavioral economics, like Bryan Caplan who I've likely mentioned a number of times who argued behavioral public policy. Also, I don't think that your philosopher really disproved logic as an epistemology, he only argued that it has flaws, and I don't think I would deny that, I mean, I am a fan of the existentialists and Hume, and have used the regress argument and others a number of times. In the end, every other political/economic philosophy must provide reason to justify it's supposed supremacy, and to be honest they all attempt to do that, so libertarianism does not stand against the rest of them.

Quote:
Yes, it's hard to try to understand how to navigate real world issues - they can be counter-intuitive, illogical, or contradictory. By necessity you have to deal with incomplete information, and make subjective judgements that may turn out to be laughable as things progress. But, if the ends don't justify the means, then the means certainly don't justify the ends. No matter how lovely or logical or perfect an idea is, if it implodes upon contact with reality, it isn't a good idea.

The means *do* justify the ends though. You may argue that the ends are the test of all things, but we can never consistently arrive at the right ends without the right means, and the right means is theory. We cannot escape the necessity of theory.

Quote:
And while it is possible to find flaws with any system, it doesn't follow that all flaws are going to be equally bad. It also doesn't follow that the system with the fewest flaws will be the best - the total benefits of another more flawed system may push it on top. It's also important to consider the human nature problem; if the system requires people to behave in a unnatural manner, it's may not succeed no matter how good it would be if people weren't stupid, greedy, lazy, or whatever. The implementation of the system on what currently exists is also key - it doesn't matter how good a system might be, if it can't be implemented it's not helpful. This is one reason why I'm a bit exasperated about the contempt for unions you and Orwell are showing; they'd be a key part of my plan if I were to try to implement large scale libertarianism.

Ok. Umm.... our system relies upon greedy people, and does not deny the laziness or stupidity of people at times, only that the long-run will adapt to these tendencies even if the short-run falters a bit at first.
Quote:
Regarding voting being too complicated for most people, the resources that you described being available to decode the overly-complicated bank loan are also available for voting decisions. They are actually more available, as loan sharks are better positioned to fluster, charm, or strong-arm people into accepting contracts without fully understanding it. Medical loans signed in th emergency room before treatment are a good example of this - some of the stuff that goes on there is just plain evil.

No they aren't. I disagree with you. I know my position. The average person is a moron who cannot think through his position and has no incentive for doing so. A major issue is that we have different standards for what is required for a good voter, and I am not going to agree with yours. Ok, loan-sharks *can* do that, but people do not have to put up with them necessarily. Systems adapt.
Quote:
Also, it's not true that every voter has to understand economics in order to make an informed decision - the existence of Malcolm Gladwell's Mavens for his book The Tipping Point are pretty accepted in socioeconomics. You only need a few Economics Mavens, perhaps combined with a Connectors or two to inform a very large number of people of the expected effects of a politician's plan.

No, I think it is very true. Look, I know about the idea of connectors, I rely somewhat upon the idea for my own notions of the market. I just do not think that they are applicable for politics due to the lack of truth-seeking in politics as compared to other fields such as consumption, the lack of reality testing in politics compared to other systems, and the fact that stupid opinions on significant issues are more common in politics than in consumption where most issues are not significant.
Quote:
Obama's campaign presents a decent Maven with two recently released youtube videos to counter some of McCain's Taxman attack ads (Mavens don't need to be unbiased in order to work; if their facts don't add up to a decent degree of accuracy, then people stop consulting them. It's no different then your arguments for the market). link

Except that it is different and I have been arguing that for a while now. I even have mentioned a book where the thesis is explicitly that these 2 realms are different. Mavens have to be less biased in politics to work due to bigger feedback issues, and less ability to check real accuracy, and less of a reason to distrust the wrong "mavens". I do not think I am going to give in to your position, as you are not saying anything that notable, only pushing the orthodox "markets efficient, politics efficient" position, which I am arguing is critiqued by the "markets efficient, politics inefficient" position, and done so effectively for X reason, and the rest of that goes down upon how true X reason is.

Quote:
Finally, about your moral nihilism, I can respect that, then proceed to be nihilistic right back. Why should I care if you want complete freedom?

Who says you should?

Quote:
I like the welfare state, so why should I let it be dismantled because you can't stand the idea of paying rent to it? While I'm not always happy with it, overall I think my government is doing a decent job (1). Given that government is already established, and that you don't really care about what happens to society, it makes more sense for you to go off and figure out how to make your own country, instead of asking people like me to give you a handout of what we've already established. If you can't or just don't want to, then you'll just have accept the terms of whatever is available.

Don't presume what I can or cannot do, I'll surprise you. Not only that, but asserting might is right does not win your argument at all and you know that. The whole stance of moral nihilism ends the argument finally.

Quote:
You've used this argument often enough against socialists complaining that the poor may have less freedom in a libertopia(2), I don't see why it doesn't apply to you as well. Bringing nihilism into the discussion actually increases the need for empirical evidence; unless your actions help me or my values, then I have every reason to oppose them. Which could lead to you losing out if we ever were in actual conflict, as I suspect I would invest more of my resources to support my view then you would.

No it doesn't. The issue is that I don't care about your values, and am fine telling you off whenever I want to. Trust me, if I ever decided to conflict with anything, then that opponent will lose. I have a willpower that scares most people.



Dogbrain
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 4 Aug 2008
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Posts: 290

17 Aug 2008, 6:35 pm

Speckles wrote:
Seriously, what's the point of having the ability to impeach presidents if you don't use it for situations like this?


You obviously don't have the faintest idea how impeachment works. It is not a public recall. The process is explicitly stated in the US Constitution. Only the House of Representatives (made up of 435 of the exact same members of political elites from which presidents come) can impeach a president--this impeachment is nothing more than an indictment. Then the Senate (100 more of those political elites) tries the president. The people as a whole have no say in the process--or I should say, they only have as much say as they have influence over individual Representatives and Senators. It would take tens of millions of ordinary people, at least, to exert enough influence to get an impeachment started--presuming that Representatives listen to their non-wealthy constituents, which they usually don't. Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter. You had better represent no less than 250,000 adults (100,000 voters) or prove that you do in order to be sure to sway a single Representative. (I didn't pull that number out of my ass. On average, a US Representative's district represents roughly 500,000 adults, most of whom don't vote). Now, tell me just how easy it is to do that at least 220 times (to get more than half the Representatives on your side). Of course, if you're obscenely wealthy and influential, it's much easier to do, but the common people have to face those numbers.

Quote:
future administrations will know that so long as conclusive evidence of major corruption doesn't show up until their term is almost done, they can get away with it.


FUTURE? FUTURE? It's been known by Democrat and Republican leaders for a very long time. Long before we passed the 100,000,000 population mark, rule of this country by competing elite interests was assured by sheer numbers, alone. A single Representative "represents" more people than live in some entire countries.