Just when you thought Libertarians couldn’t get any more revolting


Steven Landsburg carries out three “thought experiments”. They’re all pretty bad — one suggests that we have no grounds to complain about environmental destruction in Alaska if we’re living somewhere else, to which I’d have to reply, “You mean like Mars?” — but the third one…jebus, Mr Creepy McLiberturd is masturbating publicly here.

Let’s suppose that you, or I, or someone we love, or someone we care about from afar, is raped while unconscious in a way that causes no direct physical harm — no injury, no pregnancy, no disease transmission. (Note: The Steubenville rape victim, according to all the accounts I’ve read, was not even aware that she’d been sexually assaulted until she learned about it from the Internet some days later.) Despite the lack of physical damage, we are shocked, appalled and horrified at the thought of being treated in this way, and suffer deep trauma as a result. Ought the law discourage such acts of rape? Should they be illegal?

He provides his Libertarian philosophical answer.

As long as I’m safely unconsious and therefore shielded from the costs of an assault, why shouldn’t the rest of the world (or more specifically my attackers) be allowed to reap the benefits? And if the thought of those benefits makes me shudder, why should my shuddering be accorded any more public policy weight than Bob’s or Granola’s? We’re still talking about strictly psychic harm, right?

Maybe we could even talk about a positive advantage. You go in to a hospital for some essential medical treatment that involves anesthetizing you, and while you’re unconscious, the hospital pays for its services by leasing out your body to anyone willing to pay. Free health care! It’s a benefit, right?

It’s a remarkable claim from a Libertarian. If we’re not using our property at some moment, do we forfeit our rights to it? When Landsburg is not driving his car, is it OK if someone takes a joyride in it as long as it’s returned when he needs it, with the gas consumed replaced?

Is there really no cost to a person if their body is abused while they are unconscious? He writes as if this “psychic harm” is meaningless nothing. Reputation, security, trust…these are mere “psychic” phenomena, so they have no significance to a person?

And what gives this hypothetical rapist the right to use someone else’s body? Flip it around and try to justify the rapist’s exploitation of another for his personal benefit — by what right does that person deserve to “reap the benefits” of someone else’s unconsciousness…or for that matter, reap the benefits of the Alaskan wilderness? Mr Landsburg seems to naturally take the side of the takers and looters.

We’ve got a convenient phrase for what Landsburg is doing: it’s called JAQing off. He’s clearly a master.

Comments

  1. says

    so, sally – if i called you a female sexual organ whenever referring to you, that would be ok then?

    I would be able to parse tone from content and deduce that you have contempt for women as a class. Which is not okay.

  2. Tethys says

    Dietwald opined~ there are many instances of roads and railroads being build entirely by non-monopolistic organizations, for example: Great Northern Railroad

    Yet another data point in the libertarians are ignorant of history column.

    James J. Hill was all about monopolies.

    Hill undertook to establish a monopoly of the steamboat business; he was monopolizing coal, socializing with bankers, and buying other businesses at the same time

    And how did Mr. Hill make his fortune?

    The Great Northern was the first transcontinental built without public money and just a few land grants, except for the many that allowed him to build his fortune in the first place

    Just a few land grants means that it was indeed built due to private industry being given public land by the government, and is not an example of the principles of libertarianism in action.

  3. says

    tethys – did he establish a monopoly by having the government ban any competition, or by simply outcompeting everybody else? different. as i have alluded to earlier, a monopoly established through outcompeting others – not through banning competition – is not a problem from a pareto point of view.

    as for the land grants: that was, indeed, a wrong.

  4. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 10% more Straight!] says

    so, sally – if i called you a female sexual organ whenever referring to you, that would be ok then?

    Whoa!!!!

    Hey there, pardner. Let’s not go off half-cocked. I know that “diddums” language got’cha almost as riled up and irrational as an hysterical old woman, but ya gotta walk it off.

    That there “diddums” is just a just a synonym for “little kid”. I wouldn’t ever consider you of being a bibliophile, but if you were, you’d probably know that. While it may be disconcerting to have the weaker sex impugn your fortitude, resolve, and even, well, your ability to stand tall, you’ve got to be the bigger man.

    Besides, if you start throwing those words around, we’ll just get another lawsuit from the feminists, amirite?

    So put the gun back in the holster. That there Sally ain’t goin anywhere & we all know who’s the intellectual boss.

  5. sonderval says

    @dietwaldClaus
    The Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger gets much of its money from donations. This works because you see theor donation boxes very very frequently hereabouts. They have a budget of 18.8Million Euros and 185 paid workers. That it would be easily upscaled to finance a full fire fighting organisation for the whole country seems a bit doubtful. (Although firefighting in Germany does actually have a large volunteer basis…)

    Concerning privately owned railroads and hor great they would be – ask the british about it. Why is there no central railway station in London and you have to ride by subway from here to there? Because these lines started as private lines, not being owned (and organised) by government, and thus there was no central station planned. And hereabouts in Germany there is quite some fight to keep railways open on lines that are not fully financially sound and need to be subsidized but are needed to transport workers or schoolchildren….

    And please feel free to answer my comment at #453…

  6. says

    what exactly, for example, is the us government doing these days to effectively fight global warming? is it not true that it is captured by corporate interests, who use its power to write the laws in favor of corporate interests?

    How is that an argument for a free market solution? Regardless, the US government isn’t my go to. I’d seriously go to the Chinese government, who is one of the world’s leaders in investment in green energy. Abu Dhabi is doing pretty well on that, for being so fucking tiny. Of course, China’s huge and still stuck in a previous era, so not everything they’re doing is good, by any means.

    and which societies prior to the 1860s did better than the US, and which did better between the arbitrary time from 1860-1910?

    It wasn’t arbitrary – you insisted that competition is teh ubar optimal, and implied that competition is the natural state of the market. I chose a period with very little regulation on business in a period I’m pretty damn well familiar with, in which contrary to your assertions, the natural state of the market quickly became collusion – monopolies and trusts were the norm, not competing businesses.

    Which societies did better than the USA? Uh, dude, that’s the fucking height of the British Empire, so I’d go ahead with them for one. Shit, I don’t even need top dog – France, despite reeling from constant revolution, was doing better. Germany was as well (and I do mean unified Germany, a new major superpower of the period). The US didn’t do poorly, but I’m not sure it was in the top 5

    That’s the same as if I had said that “Paavo Nurmi was one of the fastest runners in human history until then”, and somebody then went and claimed that I said “Paavo Nurmi was the fastest runner in human history”.

    Are you under the mistaken impression that Spain conquered Aztec and Inca after the Robber Barons’ height or something? And seriously, if the fucking Gilded Era even *PLACED* amongst the most widespread economic benefits in human history (Which it would have to if your original statement was correct – the last 100 years aren’t exactly long) I’d STILL have to take a good, long look at whether the human race deserves to live. But again, it didn’t. It wasn’t even close. Most of that wealth ended up in the hands of the few. There’ve been a lot of more equal gains in wealth for population, even before discounting the modern era, because concentrating it THAT much isn’t at all common.

    there was a lot of government interference with banking at the time, just as a starter. i don’t measure government by the number of laws, but by the type of laws.

    There wasn’t ‘a lot of’ government interference. It wasn’t TOTALLY Laissez Faire, that’s true, but it’s a hell of a lot closer than most other states since the Industrial Revolution. If you want more laissez faire, we can go to the country Milton Friedman got to set up the economy for himself, Chile under Pinochet – but a country stagnant for 9 years before going bankrupt, all of which is despite US Support, is not exactly a winner either.

  7. says

    a monopoly established through outcompeting others – not through banning competition – is not a problem from a pareto point of view.

    Maybe I’m missing some critical distinction, but it would seem to me that a monopoly, regardless of origin, still deprives people of choice. If, as you say, “the more freedom individuals have to choose, the better things are for everybody”, then monopolies are always bad.
    Even if the monopoly is established because people choose one company over another, once the monopoly is in place, further choice is eliminated for everyone.

    Incidentally, this is what I consider a major problem of the free market; it’s inherently self-destructive. Any free market system will create a strong incentive for actors to achieve a monopoly and once they have a monopoly, you no longer have a free market. The free market idea itself prevents putting in any safeguards against the creation of a monopoly, so it’s inevitable that eventually monopolies will be created.

  8. says

    Also, I still don’t give two fucks over ‘economic growth’. I care about quality of life. GDP is meaningless wang measurement on its own. Economic growth CAN mean improved quality of life, but it does not NECESSARILY mean improved quality of life. I don’t care about capitalists’ wangs, I care about how people are doing.

  9. says

    did he establish a monopoly by having the government ban any competition, or by simply outcompeting everybody else? different.

    Why is it different? The way you got there differs but the outcome is the same. Apparently you care more about the means than the ends. Normally we have to remind people that the ends don’t justify the means–apparently we need to remind you that even if you like the means, if you have an undesirable outcome, the particular method by which you achieve that outcome doesn’t really matter.

    as i have alluded to earlier, a monopoly established through outcompeting others – not through banning competition – is not a problem from a pareto point of view.

    Sounds like a totally deficient point of view.

    Still no word on the failures of classical economics, diddums? Or would you prefer to issue more threats to the effect that you’ll behave in a sexist manner in retaliation for not getting the respect you delude yourself into thinking you deserve?

  10. says

    sonderval – i agree that the dgzrs model probably is not scalable, but what about the insurance angle? insurance is a necessity for many activities, and insurance companies have an interest in managing risk, including fire risk.

    i also agree that markets do not always result in optimal outcomes, and your railway example is a good one for that. my argument is that the sub-optimality of markets is still more pareto optimal than the sub-optimality of government.

    again, those are issues that can be debated – and should be debated. however, there really is no debate when one disparages those who have different opinions right from the get-go (which you have not done, which is appreciated).

  11. says

    a monopoly established through outcompeting others – not through banning competition – is not a problem from a pareto point of view.

    This is why economics courses are irrelevant, and libertarians have no fucking truck here. I still don’t give two fucks about pareto efficiency, because pareto efficiency has nothing to say about justice or equality. Also, you’re the one who insisted competition resulted in pareto efficiency – don’t you realize that even if I cared, you’re putting forth conflicting opinions? Competition is super important to pareto efficiency – except when a ‘fair’ monopoly emerges, then it’s just fine? Fuck, it’s like dealing with fucking 12 year olds, I’m seriously debating the virtues of going to go read up more about giant robots standing in for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this is nonsense.

  12. says

    rutee sez: “If you want more laissez faire, we can go to the country Milton Friedman got to set up the economy for himself, Chile under Pinochet”

    you seriously believe friedman set up the economy of chile under pinochet? Friedman met Pinochet once. Said some stupid things, and moved on. From that you construe Friedman was personally involved in setting up the Chilean economy under Pinochet?

  13. says

    sally, a monopoly established strictly through competition poses no pareto efficiency problem. that’s why it does not matter.

    Circular definition much?

  14. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Oh yeah. no foreseeable problems from a monopoly that out competed everyone. none at all.

    Competition is good till it ends…then the incentive to be a good buisness is what? punishment from fairies?

    Again not like there wasn’t a term for people who established monopolies and abused that power. a term like theif count or looter duke would be useful

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still not seeing any hard evidence from legitimate sources outside of DC’s mouth. But plenty from DC’s mouth. Which *floosh* is dismissed as pure OPINION on his part. His opinion that isn’t worth the electrons used to post it since it lacks the reality check necessary to be anything other than bullshit. I find it amusing you continues to think his OPINION means anything to us. It never did, never will, and who gives a shit about what he pontificates from arrogance and ignorance about.

  16. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus

    sally, a monopoly established strictly through competition poses no pareto efficiency problem. that’s why it does not matter.

    … so what’s exactly stopping said monopoly from misbehaving since there’s no longer any competitions?

  17. says

    you seriously believe friedman set up the economy of chile under pinochet? Friedman met Pinochet once. Said some stupid things, and moved on. From that you construe Friedman was personally involved in setting up the Chilean economy under Pinochet?

    You think it’s a coincidence that pretty much every single economic staffer the dude had was a Chicago-ite, that Pinochet followed his recommendations, that the contemporary Chicago School was bragging about how they ran Chile, and that it’s generally accepted by both historians and economists that the Chicago School was justified in taking credit for Chile?

    Again not like there wasn’t a term for people who established monopolies and abused that power. a term like theif count or looter duke would be useful

    Looter Duke might actually be better than Robber Baron.

  18. Ichthyic says

    sally, a monopoly established strictly through competition poses no pareto efficiency problem.

    let’s examine some of the methods of real world competition, shall we?

    -could produce a better product
    -could sell the product for a lower price
    -could maximize efficiency of production to minimize costs
    -could just put all your money into an advertising budget, smear the competetion, and produce a shit product at a higher than average price.

    now, which of those do you think the fortune 100 actually employs the most often?

    efficiency?

    ROFLMAO

    only if you are completely ignorant of how businesses work in the real world, but then, to BE a libertarian, one has to indeed be completely ignorant of not only that, but much of history besides.

  19. says

    A pareto efficiency problem is the only type of problem that matters to libertarians, is what I’m learning here.

    Which is exactly why I brought up the failures of classical economics. One of the most important failures is its flawed definition of efficiency.

    How is pareto efficiency different from other types of efficiencies (like, say, those measured in calories or joules), and why do those other efficiencies not count?

  20. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 20% more Straight!] says

    @ Dietwald, #512

    sally, a monopoly established strictly through competition poses no pareto efficiency problem. that’s why it does not matter.

    Hang on, Deeter. I thought we were talkin’ Freedom when we were talkin’ Libertarianism. Y’know, Freedom, good ol’ Merken values. That foreign-guy, he’s just talkin’ about how quick I can make a buck, right? He’s not talking about Freedom?

    So, which are you, the kind of guy who loves it when a small number of guys drill down into the motherlode, or the kind of guy who wants Freedom?

    Because if you’re about Freedom, son, then it’s not economic efficiency that matters, it’s Freedom. Because Freedom, right?

    Sorry to harp on this like a fishwife, but if libertarianism is about maximizing pareto-efficiency, then we can do that right quick by giving one person control of all the nukes in the world. If libertarianism is about Freedom, then it ain’t so much about Pareto-effeciency, and monopolies **might** still be a problem if they impact freedom.

    Sorry if you blew your wad on that argument, there, Deeter, but I just thought you’d be better off takin’ your medicine like a man, now, instead of ending up crying like a sissy after someone who ain’t in your corner whipped you with yer own words.

    @glodson, #506

    Thanks, ‘sonny. Hey, there. That’s enough. Step back. No homo.

  21. says

    Also, I still want to hear the answer to whether I just found a libertarian loophole that permits rape legally. To wit:

    So as a libertarian, I can rape you by threatening to withhold things you need in exchange for sex? It’s not aggression, it’s coercion, which is apparently always fine.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    From the wiki article on pareto efficiency:

    Under certain idealized conditions, it can be shown that a system of free markets will lead to a Pareto efficient outcome. This is called the first welfare theorem. It was first demonstrated mathematically by economists Kenneth Arrow and Gérard Debreu. However, the result only holds under the restrictive assumptions necessary for the proof (markets exist for all possible goods so there are no externalities, all markets are in full equilibrium, markets are perfectly competitive, transaction costs are negligible, and market participants have perfect information). In the absence of perfect information or complete markets, outcomes will generically be Pareto inefficient, per the Greenwald–Stiglitz theorem.[3]

    In other words, it is theoretical. No basis in reality. Typical liberturd thinking.

  23. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 30% more Straight!] says

    @Rutee, #523

    Now, now. That’s not fair. Libertarians say, “No blockades”. All adults are fully capable of going out and working on their own for whatever they need, especially in this age of modern medicine.

    Your ridiculous scenario in which you could actually have a libertarian approved rape would only happen if you had someone dependent enough on you that mere passive withholding of necessities would coerce consent without violence.

    And even then, the person could always call the cops, if they had enough money to pay the cops’ home-visit fee.

  24. says

    nerd – pareto efficiency is also used to argue for government intervention. it cuts both ways. if you don’t accept the logic of pareto efficiency, then you have no theoretical basis from which to argue for government intervention.

  25. says

    Rutee – no. Look up tort law.

    I think you’re avoiding the point. Does tort law require person A to give up their goods to person B, simply because person B needs them? Can person B demand said goods while also refusing to pay the price that person A asks for? Is it somehow illegal to set a price for goods you have for sale and to refuse to give them up if the price is not met?

    In what way is tort law relevant for the example?

  26. says

    Dude, I can and did read the wiki entry on pareto efficiency. It does not answer my question. If you cannot answer my question either then I shall conclude that it is not a question that libertarians can answer, which is another argument against libertarianism.

    Still no word on the failures of classical economics (pretty well summarized in the list of conditions that are necessary for pareto efficiency to be achievable), I see.

  27. Ichthyic says

    here’s a question for you, rutee: when the government imprisons political opponents, will the government protect you?

    Why not just quote Niemoller, you stupid shit?

  28. says

    So as a libertarian, I can rape you by threatening to withhold things you need in exchange for sex? It’s not aggression, it’s coercion, which is apparently always fine.

    If you have a monopoly on, say, food production, and withholding food from certain people unless they “consent” to having sex with you doesn’t disturb the pareto efficiency of the system, I can’t see how any argument against that would flow from Deitwald’s position.

  29. says

    ichthyc, it’s nothing to do with nimoller. it’s a simple problem associated with government: who protects you against the government? it’s a real problem in many countries around the world. north korea is a great example: no libertarian nonsense at all to be found there. a lot of monopoly. should be a great place to live.

  30. says

    Rutee – no. Look up tort law.

    The current tort law is not the libertarian ideal. I want to hear the libertarian argument that prevents this form of coercion. You’re the one who’s insisted that Libertarians never provide cover for rapists(This is blatantly false, but besides the point) – tell me the Libertarian answer. How, in your ideal law, is this a problem philosophically?

    here’s a question for you, rutee: when the government imprisons political opponents, will the government protect you?

    Depends on if I’m already in agreement or not with them, doesn’t it?

    Are you trying to make this an argument for private industry? Because private industry, given a lack of restraint, hired skull crackers to deal with unionists, socialists, and other inconvenient people. Also, are you under the mistaken impression that a USian socialist thinks a government can’t do wrong? Because we had presidential candidates jailed for ‘sedition’.

  31. says

    sally – the funny thing is that, right now, the primary source of coercion, rape, and such nastiness in the world is not private competitive firms, but governments. the greatest polluters right now, and the greatest destroyers of the environment in general, are governments.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    then you have no theoretical basis from which to argue for government intervention.

    That statement is so full of shit, it can be dismissed *floosh*, like everything you say. Pure and utter BULLSHIT. What an abject losers liberturds are. Don’t know economics, don’t know logic, don’t know politics, don’t know jackshit, but they do know arrogance inside and out.

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still waiting for you demonstration of 30 years continuous experience from a first world country using libertudism….And I’ll still be waiting 100 years in the future.

  34. says

    the funny thing is that, right now, the primary source of coercion, rape, and such nastiness in the world is not private competitive firms, but governments. the greatest polluters right now, and the greatest destroyers of the environment in general, are governments.

    Citation needed.

    Still nothing to say about the failures of classical economics and its inherently flawed definition of efficiency, diddums?

  35. says

    ichthyc, it’s nothing to do with nimoller. it’s a simple problem associated with government: who protects you against the government? it’s a real problem in many countries around the world. north korea is a great example: no libertarian nonsense at all to be found there. a lot of monopoly. should be a great place to live.

    No, but I can show you countries that don’t have libertarian nonsense that ARE decent places to live. Sweden is looking to be where I go to (And I plan to cheat so hard, by marrying a Dane – sorry y’all, we’re not putting up with this gay marriage shit the USA has.), but it’s not the only decent place. Tell me the Libertarian ideal where I would actually want to live. Keep in mind, the von Mises institute seriously offers up Somalia as this libertarian ideal:

    http://mises.org/daily/2066

  36. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 40% more Straight!] says

    Fair Warning y’all, my Trigger’s, is half-cocked:

    @ Dietwald Claus

    max – you seem unfamiliar with tort law. not surprising.

    First, I’ll compare my law school tort exam scores with yours any day – the prestige of my law school too.

    Second, you might just consider that rape occasionally gets perpetrated by persons with legal control over their victims’ access to things like court systems and anywhere else a legally binding signature is required.

    If my previous post wasn’t explicit enough: libertarianism doesn’t condone stranger rape. It just condones rape of the kids, because all the costs are internalized to the family, amirite? Internal costs are no barrier to efficiency, right? And there’s no violence, right?

    Persons with disabilities declared legally incompetent who are raped by their legal guardians are also denied tort remedy.

    Persons with no money for the filing fee are denied tort remedy, even though it’s an externality, right?

    So then, no rape is condoned by libertarianism except the rape of the poor, the dislabled, and the kids.

    I’ve got that now, right?

    It follows from monopolies are not a problem even when they threaten freedom because Pareto efficiency, right? So we know you don’t care about freedom if you can maximize pareto efficiency, right?

    Well, well, I think I understand your argument now.

    Hey, you know what might be a good way to re-internalized externalized costs by those rapists whose victims can’t sue because of imperfect knowledge or inability to access the justice system?

    What if we considered the psychic harm to 3rd parties. Look, let’s face it, we’re in this mess because the suffering of certain rape victims simply isn’t monetizable. But lots of folk are horrified about rape. What if we took their horror – let’s call it “psychic harm” into account when making public policy?

    Of course, that results in the sucky outcome that I can’t get my freak on with the internet-porn if some McCrankypants is all “Ooh, I feel bad just thinking about porn,” amirite?

    So what we need is a way to tell when you get to put into public policy practice the 3rd party harms to people, so I can laugh off McCrankypants and get off to porn secure in the knowledge that what I feel about some kid’s rape is more important than what that kid feels.

    Now THAT sounds like some excitin thinky we could be doin’. Just don’t tell the feminists, they tend to get a bit hysterical when they hear words like “rape” and lose all ability to run thoughts through those ladybrains of theirs.

  37. says

    Citation needed.

    Not to mention that, even if true, it’s irrelevant. It’s not as if governments and private companies are exactly identical in extent and domains of operation. So, it’s comparing apples and oranges and, as you point out, we don’t even have an accurate count of each.

    The more relevant question is “if private companies took over the obligations of governments, would those companies do more or less harm than the governments are currently doing.”

  38. Tethys says

    did he establish a monopoly by having the government ban any competition, or by simply outcompeting everybody else? different. as i have alluded to earlier, a monopoly established through outcompeting others – not through banning competition – is not a problem from a pareto point of view.

    Mr. Hill made his fortune directly due to help from the government in the form of land grants, and built the railroad with that capital and more land grants. (see how cause and effect works?)

    You could accurately say he had an unfair advantage when he created monopolies and railroaded any competitors out of business.

    Pareto efficiencies? You are seriously now going to abuse economics to prove libertarianism?

    Definition

    An allocation is Pareto efficient if there is no other allocation in which some other individual is better off and no individual is worse off.

    Since going bankrupt quite probably made the original owners of the railraods worse off, your logic fails on every level. Again.

    There is more

    Notes:

    There is no connection between Pareto efficiency and equity! In particular, a Pareto efficient outcome may be very inequitable. For example, the outcome in which I have all the goods in the world is Pareto efficient (since there is no way to make someone better off without making me worse off).

    Pareto efficiency is an absolute notion: an allocation is either Pareto efficient or it is not. If in the allocation x someone is better off and no one is worse off than in the allocation y then we say that x Pareto dominates y. The allocation x in this case may of course not be Pareto efficient: there may be some other allocation that Pareto dominates it.

    In general there are very many Pareto efficient allocations, some of which are very bad from the point of view of equity.

    source

  39. says

    Sally – you are aware of north korea, yes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_North_Korea

    somalia, is an interesting case – despite the chaos, there are a number of things that still seem to work, including things some people believe require a centralized government. of course, the biggest problem in somalia is too many people trying to set up a government. that’s generally a dirty process.

    but, if you want to argue that somalia is a libertarian model, then i can argue that north korea is a non-libertarian model. in many ways, north korea IS the ideal state.

  40. says

    sally – the funny thing is that, right now, the primary source of coercion, rape, and such nastiness in the world is not private competitive firms, but governments. the greatest polluters right now, and the greatest destroyers of the environment in general, are governments.

    No, that would probably be the warlords in Africa.

    The greatest polluters are governments? On what planet do you exist? Government is doing pretty much all of the work for cleanup. And if you want to talk about destroying the environment, look no further than fishers (Which government at least tries to restrict somewhat), the timber industry, the power industry (HELLO, REMEMBER THE BP SPILL!?), the auto industry, and the cattle industry.

  41. says

    Lykex actually brings up an intelligent point: “The more relevant question is “if private companies took over the obligations of governments, would those companies do more or less harm than the governments are currently doing.”

    that is, indeed, an excellent question. i would add that the question should be “if competitive private companies (a opposed to ‘private’ monopolies sanctioned by government) took over the obligations of governments, would those companies do more or less harm than the governments are currently doing.”

    i would argue ‘less harm’ (not ‘no harm’ – just ‘less’).

  42. says

    rutee – bp – protected by government LAW from having to clean up their mess. very bad. show me a heavily polluting industry, and i show you an industry protected by limited liability laws and such nonsense. corporatism. not competitive markets.

    here’s a rather simple approach to deal with this: abolish limited liability laws, remove all limits on tort, institute ‘loser pays’, have the greedy lawyers and insurance companies have a go at each other.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the smell of liberturds lying. All they have to do is to open their mouths. Truth requires evidence. They don’t have any, so they can’t tell the truth. And they refuse to recognize the truth, which is they believe in liberturdism the same way a communist believes in communism, or a theists believes in their imaginary deity. By presuming it works despite the evidence it doesn’t.

  44. says

    rutee – warlords ARE governments. pretty nasty ones, i admit. but you don’t get to define governments as only ‘governments i like’. government runs the gamut from swedish social democracy with a nominal king to north korea big brotherhood and somali war lords.

  45. says

    Max, for the record, this is by a wide margin the stupidest thing I’ve seen work outside of roleplaying games.

    that is, indeed, an excellent question. i would add that the question should be “if competitive private companies (a opposed to ‘private’ monopolies sanctioned by government) took over the obligations of governments, would those companies do more or less harm than the governments are currently doing.”

    More. Just look at water in the South American countries that actually privatized water rights (And were forced to, by the US Government).

  46. says

    nerd – you have yet to provide evidence that ‘libertarianism does not work’, but for that you have to define a) libertarianism, and b) works.

  47. says

    rutee – warlords ARE governments. pretty nasty ones, i admit. but you don’t get to define governments as only ‘governments i like’. government runs the gamut from swedish social democracy with a nominal king to north korea big brotherhood and somali war lords.

    By that logic, Wal-Mart is also a government, in which case, it is true that it’s governments who are responsible for the vast majority of pollution and human rights abuses in the world.

  48. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #548

    rutee – bp – protected by government LAW from having to clean up their mess. very bad. show me a heavily polluting industry, and i show you an industry protected by limited liability laws and such nonsense. corporatism. not competitive markets.

    I’m have a sudden urge to head-desk here…
    Tell me, WITHOUT government, how the fuck do ANYONE force a polluting industry to stop, well, polluting?

  49. Eristae says

    I’m reeeeeeally sleepy, so I’m not going to last much longer and I may not be making much sense at the moment, BUT:

    Erestae – look at the example of that german life saving organization. it is perfectly conceivable to organize fire fighting in a similar manner.

    I’ve been looking, and so far I basically can’t find any information about it. I’ll keep looking, but I can’t find anything so far that would lead me to conclude anything about it.

    alternatively, insurance companies can mandate subscription to a fire service as a condition of getting insurance.
    The people who are likely to willingly choose not to get fire protection are generally the ones who think it won’t happen to them, and as such are not likely get to insurance, either. Those who are financially unable to do so clearly won’t do so.

    and banks would require it as a condition for lending money for a mortgage.

    What incentive would banks have for doing this? I don’t know a lot about mortgages, but I don’t think that people get out of mortgages when their houses burn down. This would also cause issues in regards to people who don’t have mortgages (example: own their own house in the clear). Plus the whole, “If they can’t afford it” issue would cause even more barriers to home ownership for the poor, which has traditionally been something that has helped keep the poor in poverty (they must keep renting expensive apartments which they will never own and may be kicked out of). So, I’m not sure about this at all.

  50. says

    rutee – the ‘privatization’ of water in south america included massive violation of private property rights AND the establishment of legal monopolies by the government. blaming the results of government policy on markets.

  51. says

    what is it you are trying to say? that north korea is not an example of how government can go terribly wrong? please elucidate.

    Oh, were you trying to act as if someone here was maintaining that governments never go terribly wrong? Well, allow me to disabuse you of your self-imposed and self-serving delusion. Moving on.

  52. says

    rutee – warlords ARE governments. pretty nasty ones, i admit. but you don’t get to define governments as only ‘governments i like’.

    I don’t define governments as ‘only governments I like’. You see me referring to Pinochet’s dictatorship, don’t you? Warlords are only governments if you pretend the only thing about a government is force, as Libertarians are wont to do.

    rutee – bp – protected by government LAW from having to clean up their mess. very bad. show me a heavily polluting industry, and i show you an industry protected by limited liability laws and such nonsense. corporatism. not competitive markets.

    Oh? And what’s wrong with limited liability according to Libertarians? And yet you referred me, uncritically, to existing tort law? Ignoramus.

    And I still want to hear in what way coercion through the withholding of vital resources, in exchange for sex, is illegal to a libertarian, and operating under an actual libertarian ideal.

  53. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus

    the ‘privatization’ of water in south america included massive violation of private property rights AND the establishment of legal monopolies by the government. blaming the results of government policy on markets.

    And who enforces private property rights?

  54. says

    sally – which brings us back to the question: which is more dangerous: government going terribly wrong or private enterprise going terribly wrong? what’s the worst that can happen in either case? we know the worst case scenario for government going wrong is nazi germany, soviet russia, cambodia, and north korea.

    what’s the worst you have to offer? the ‘gilded age’ in the us? i think any sane human being would gladly take the ‘gilded age’ over any of the other extreme options.

  55. says

    rutee – limited liability is wrong because it is an agreement between a and b – enforced by c – to allow a and b engage in actions harmful to d, with c protecting a and b from having to pay d full compensation.

  56. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 50% more Straight!] says

    @Dietwald:

    here’s a rather simple approach to deal with this: abolish limited liability laws, remove all limits on tort, institute ‘loser pays’, have the greedy lawyers and insurance companies have a go at each other.

    Whoa! good one, Deeter!

    y’know what I really like about that system? I could set up an insurance company or a law office, y’see, and I could settle lawsuits through negotiations, y’see? But I’d be negotiation with another law office/insurance company.

    So as long as we could consistently underestimate the plaintiff’s loss, we could split the money we save from the big polluters and tortfeasors. They get to save some money, the individual plaintiff doesn’t know enough to know that they aren’t getting full value for their loss – and even if they did? Well, either that would be one suit that would go to trial b/c we had a particularly knowledgeable plaintiff, OR we’d have one dissatisfied plaintiff.

    But here’s the thing: the plaintiff is unlikely to be a repeat customer! The big corporate tortfeasors ARE likely to be repeat customers. So by consistently siding with the wronged party, but just shaving the damages, we can look like a reputable industry AND make money hand-over fist while still externalizing 1/2 of whatever we can save from the actual cost of the damages.

    It’s brilliant!

    Crack open a Molsen’s we need to celebrate this idea!

  57. says

    rutee – the ‘privatization’ of water in south america included massive violation of private property rights AND the establishment of legal monopolies by the government. blaming the results of government policy on markets.

    …you can’t complain about legal monopolies while trying to write in support of legal monopolies, you fucking jackass. Pick your fucking case and stick to it. And the simple fact is, they didn’t outright set up monopolies. Monopoly is the natural state of an unregulated business, and it arose quick enough though.

  58. says

    WharGarbl – who enforces private property rights? currently, nobody. unless you call the selective protection of selective property rights by governments. which would be selective enforcement, and the day somebody with better political pull wants your property, you get eminent domained.

  59. says

    rutee – limited liability is wrong because it is an agreement between a and b – enforced by c – to allow a and b engage in actions harmful to d, with c protecting a and b from having to pay d full compensation.

    So it’s okay to stop harmful things? Then what’s your fucking argument for free market economics, ya jackass?

  60. says

    rutee – i think you and i have different definitions of monopoly. for you, it only matters how many sellers there are. for me, it matters how the single seller emerged, because that tells me something about the possibility of competition to emerge. as usual, anti-libertarians ignore process.

  61. says

    rutee – my argument for free market economics is that it is not right to do harmful things to others without being liable for the damage. that’s at the very core of things. yes, it’s ok to stop harmful things. that’s what i have been arguing from the very beginning. that’s where this all started. rape is a violation of another person without that persons consent, hence not compatible with libertarian principles. it seems you fail to pay attention.

  62. says

    rutee – i think you and i have different definitions of monopoly. for you, it only matters how many sellers there are.

    That would be because I know what the word actually means.

    because that tells me something about the possibility of competition to emerge.

    Zero, regardless of the reason. A monopoly has the reserves to undercut the new guy out of business, the infrastructure already set up, and everything else they need to stop everything short a real life Tony Stark (the oxymoron is a hint, btw) from coming up with some new innovation that can actually put them out of business .

  63. says

    which is more dangerous: government going terribly wrong or private enterprise going terribly wrong?

    Wrong question. Regardless of which has worse consequences or is more prone to going wrong, we need protections against both. Democratic governments, at the very least, have theoretical avenues for citizens to rein in the abuses of those who gain power through political means. There are no such avenues for ordinary citizens to rein in the abuses of those who gain power through economic means. Most people don’t have the resources to detect environmental pollution, much less bring a lawsuit to force a company to stop it.

    what’s the worst that can happen in either case? we know the worst case scenario for government going wrong is nazi germany, soviet russia, cambodia, and north korea.

    In the case of private enterprise, it’s global warming. Seriously, you can’t pretend that it’s the presence, rather than the absence, of government regulation that has allowed humans to dump billions of tons of prehistoric CO2 into the atmosphere at an ever-accelerating rate. We don’t know the ultimate outcome of this, but it has the potential to destroy human civilization. Possibly human beings in general, though I rather doubt that.

    what’s the worst you have to offer? the ‘gilded age’ in the us? i think any sane human being would gladly take the ‘gilded age’ over any of the other extreme options.

    Sure, if by “sane human being,” you mean “straight white man.” Everyone else? Well, I guess that’s not in your purview as a libertarian, eh? Yet another data point supporting the hypothesis that libertarianism’s main effect is to preserve privilege for the already privileged.

    Still no word on the inherently flawed definition of “efficiency” as it’s used in classical economics?

  64. WharGarbl says

    #562
    Well, for one, we don’t live in a world where corporation have ZERO constraint (most of the time, there’s the government restraining them, how well said restraing them varies).
    If you want to know a few examples when such company act outside of government constraint (simply because they operate in another country or the government didn’t care.)
    East India Company
    Dutch East India Company
    United Fruit Company (now Chiquita)
    De Beer

    Oh, before you said all those “bad things” were done by the government, I must ask you, what’s stopping those company from just hiring mercenaries (or heck, form its own army) to do their dirty deeds?

  65. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 60% more Straight!] says

    Hey, Deeter. Gotta be careful, now, m’Man.

    you say:

    as usual, anti-libertarians ignore process.

    which I admit is a F’n Howitzer,

    but they’ll just come back with a Tomahawk:

    right: the libertarians ignore results

    I know, I know, you’re saying you don’t care about the result so long as the process goes according to libertarian plan. I’m with you. I once through this bomb in the 4th quarter, and I don’t care what anyone says, we won that game b/c that ball landed right in the back of the end zone where I planned my receiver to be.

    Nobody else thought it was a good play because he dropped the ball, but see, the plan is the thing: just go about the right process and don’t worry about the result.

    So I’m right there with ya’, little buddy. Hey, now, buck up, I’m agreeing!

    Oh, yeah, but you see the problem don’tcha. Your readers are going to react just like the crowd in the stands reacted to my perfect bootleg, the pick on the d-back, the receiver open in the corner – they’re going to insist on caring about the result.

    Well, see here: that’s what’s so great about compulsory education: we’ll force feed ‘em Pareto while they’re young, and we get some spectacular efficiency!

  66. says

    Seriously, you ignorant fuck, do you anything about how monopolies operated in the real world, without government directly assisting them? You keep trying to pretend it’s all government, but Standard Oil didn’t need it. Carnegie Steel only benefited in the most indirect way (Railroads need steel). They’re two of the biggest, and most high profile, examples of monopolies in real life.

    that’s at the very core of things. yes, it’s ok to stop harmful things.

    In what universe do workplace safety laws fall under ‘Free market economics’?

    what’s the worst you have to offer? the ‘gilded age’ in the us? i think any sane human being would gladly take the ‘gilded age’ over any of the other extreme options.

    Is that why, in real life, most people in industrialized countries STAYED in industrialized countries?

  67. says

    my argument for free market economics is that it is not right to do harmful things to others without being liable for the damage.

    It’s not enough to be liable for the damage. History has clearly shown that mere liability is not enough to incentivize companies which stand to make large profits from doing damage to the communities and the ecosystems in which they operate.

  68. Tethys says

    for me, it matters how the single seller emerged

    Apparently not since you keep ignoring the historical facts on the matter.

  69. says

    Argh.

    History has clearly shown that mere liability is not enough to incentivize companies which stand to make large profits from doing damage to the communities and the ecosystems in which they operate to avoid doing the damage in the first place.

  70. says

    as even one of my opponents agreed earlier on, there is a direct link between eminent domain (government policy), limited liability (government policy), and global warming. frankly, i am flabbergasted whenever i hear a libertarian deny global warming when – in my opinion – the greatest indictment of government IS global warming. the single largest threat to human survival is the direct result of government policy (on behest of politically connected economic interests): eminent domain to build pipelines and the highway system, the subsidization of suburbia, the destruction of the city, limited liability for polluters, and so on.

    sally – are you trying to argue that living in north korea, or stalin’s ussr, or nazi germany, or under the khmer rouge was BETTER than living in the ‘gilded age’? seriously? if yes, then i rest my case.

    i was comparing what you seem to think is the worst excess of ‘markets’ with what i think is the worst excess of government. given the choice (and a lousy choice it would be) between either of these extremes, even a transvestite disabled person with very high melanin count would probably choose the ‘gilded age’. a lousy choice, but not as lousy.

  71. WharGarbl says

    WharGarbl – who enforces private property rights? currently, nobody. unless you call the selective protection of selective property rights by governments. which would be selective enforcement, and the day somebody with better political pull wants your property, you get eminent domained.

    Let me point back to what you stated.
    “massive violation of private property rights ”
    Who, in your mind, would enforce said private property rights?
    How would you define a property as your “private property”?

  72. says

    sally – are you trying to argue that living in north korea, or stalin’s ussr, or nazi germany, or under the khmer rouge was BETTER than living in the ‘gilded age’? seriously? if yes, then i rest my case.

    I believe that would be called a “straw man.”

    My thesis is that neither is acceptable. Do you dispute that? If so, on what basis?

  73. says

    but, if you want to argue that somalia is a libertarian model, then i can argue that north korea is a non-libertarian model.

    Nobody on the non-libertarian side is making any arguments in favor of a totalitarian state like North Korea; a sizable portion of those in the “liberty movement” (does the non-corporatist brand of libertarianism still call itself that?) are anarcho-capitalists or “voluntaryists”, and they’re blatantly arguing in favor of Somalia.

    in many ways, north korea IS the ideal state.

    If and only if your definition of “ideal state” is “a state which has aggregated the greatest degree of dominion over its subjects”; not a definition that any progressive or socialist would use. But it’s a rather useful strawman of an “ideal state” for a desperate libertarian.

  74. says

    sally – please show me where a legal system based on unlimited liability a) exists and b) does not prevent pollution?

    rutee – since you seem to like history, please compare working conditions in the USSR of the 1930s to those in the US of the 1930s. where do you think workers were better off? or, say, china today (and if you want to argue that they have libertarian conditions there, you are really beyond reason)

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    are you trying to argue that living in north korea, or stalin’s ussr, or nazi germany, or under the khmer rouge was BETTER than living in the ‘gilded age’? seriously? if yes, then i rest my case.

    Your are lying and trying to put words in her mouth. Because you have no real rebuttal. Nothing but arrogance, ignorance, and bad attitude. If you have evidence, lead with it. If you don’t, shut the fuck up if you have honesty *snicker* and integrity *snicker*. Those who can’t put up, and can’t shut up, are liars and bullshitters. Which include every liberturd who has posted here…

  76. Max Dick McMacho [100% all manly, virile, masculine, male, manliness - now with 60% more Straight!] says

    It’s seriously bizarre that someone is really arguing, not that the ends justify the means, but that the means justify the ends.

    Dammit, it’s like that woman’s a witch – she read my mind.

    C’mon, Deeter – we need to throw up an Iron Dome and drop that Tomahawk – quick, how do we shoot down this, “Libertarians don’t care about results” attack?

  77. says

    sally – neither is acceptable, but – which is worse? we are talking about what happens when things go bad, and which bad is worse. we are not talking about comparing real conditions to utopian ideals.

    the ‘gilded age’ was real. north korea is real. both seem to represent the most extreme case of the libertarian and statist model respectively. which would you rather live in?

  78. says

    frankly, i am flabbergasted whenever i hear a libertarian deny global warming when – in my opinion – the greatest indictment of government IS global warming.

    I suppose if you live in a fantasy world where industry is doing something to stop global warming (My bet would be Marvel’s), that’s a fascinating point, but in the real world, all you actually have is the USA’s government policy – which is to side with the market, not the people.

    sally – are you trying to argue that living in north korea, or stalin’s ussr, or nazi germany, or under the khmer rouge was BETTER than living in the ‘gilded age’? seriously? if yes, then i rest my case.

    Why do you have such a hard on over how ‘extreme government’ is bad? You specifically want the gilded age, but with even fewer safeguards. Not a god damn one of us wants the USSR.

  79. WharGarbl says

    #578

    as even one of my opponents agreed earlier on, there is a direct link between eminent domain (government policy), limited liability (government policy), and global warming. frankly, i am flabbergasted whenever i hear a libertarian deny global warming when – in my opinion – the greatest indictment of government IS global warming. the single largest threat to human survival is the direct result of government policy (on behest of politically connected economic interests): eminent domain to build pipelines and the highway system, the subsidization of suburbia, the destruction of the city, limited liability for polluters, and so on.

    And let me try to ask this, one more time.
    Eminent Domain – I don’t need eminent domain when I got the money to hire a bunch of guns to slaughter those damn useless squatters.
    Limited Liability – I don’t need that when I got the money to hire a bunch of guns to make sure you keep your trap shut about me polluting the world.

  80. says

    for me, it matters how the single seller emerged, because that tells me something about the possibility of competition to emerge

    No, it doesn’t. What determines whether a monopoly can be broken has more to do with how difficult it is for a new actor to set up shop in the market; startup costs, distribution network, market presence, etc. Just because a company has legitimately out-competed all others doesn’t mean that it’s easy for new competition to emerge.

    Once the monopoly exists, it’s often quite easy to crush any emerging competition, regardless of how the monopoly came about. The existing monopoly always has the advantage and can employ methods that the emerging competition will have trouble using; such as price-dropping.
    Since the new competition doesn’t have an income base yet and already is facing huge start-up costs, they’re facing a much bigger problem with dropping prices. This is doubly true if you’ve got a large, segregated market. Then the monopoly holder can drop prices where-ever competition surfaces, but maintain higher prices where the monopoly remains.

    Then there’s the issue that in many cases, rather than competing, businesses will simply merge. It’s not as if you can force them to compete and since there’s no real benefit in doing so, why should they? If you’re about to win the competition, you take over the loser. If you’re about to lose, you sell out while your company still has some value.
    If there’s no clear winner, don’t compete; merge. Instant monopoly at a much lower expense that a protracted trade war and the soon-to-be skyrocketing income will more than make up for the fact that you have to share ownership with the other guy. Overall, you’ll come out way ahead at the expense of the consumers. But it’s not as if they’ve got anywhere else to go.

    This is all pretty much conventional wisdom and common sense. If you think otherwise, I think you need to back it up.

  81. says

    rutee – since you seem to like history, please compare working conditions in the USSR of the 1930s to those in the US of the 1930s. where do you think workers were better off?

    1930s USA was the home of the New Deal and the Welfare state, so you’re not offering me the choice you seem to think you’re offering me.

    or, say, china today (and if you want to argue that they have libertarian conditions there, you are really beyond reason)

    Why? They’re actually pretty free market in a lot of ways

  82. says

    lykex – there is not a single example of successful price dumping leading to the sustained elimination of competition in the history of economics. nor does the concept exist in economic theory. you’d be hard-pressed to find many professional economists making that case (unless they work for trade lawyers and launch WTO cases). it’s sheer economic fantasy. next.

  83. says

    Thanks for the article. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://www.Libertarian-International.org ….

    Some points:

    >This professor isn’t a pledged Libertarian no matter what he says. He may claim he’s te same by being ‘hard core’ but that’s usually a tip-off among Libertarians this is a newbie with no idea what he’s talking about.

    >As an aspiring law student it seems to me paradoxes and think-throughs like this are how you learn why the law is the law, statutes statutes, and what is recovery. Psychic recovery is a new and unsettled field in US practice, and the need was I understand first advanced by Libertarian thinkers. You get into international and comparative law and societies that don’t have or de-emphasize criminal systems, good luck if you haven’t thought things through.

    >Libertarians favor non-punitive responses and social pro-action including in law, and build law around rightrs and voluntary ways of preserving those. There’s e.g. a whole body of discussion such as restorative justice one needs to keep in mind, though this is not what the Prof is talking about from what I see.

    I don’t see any benefit to dragging in modern Libertarianism and acting scandalized until you know what they’re actually doing or proposing. I do see a field where many people go on a tear without being aware of the elementary distinctions in that field. I see a lot of people or arguments quoted here have nothing to do with Libertarianism.

  84. says

    WharGarbl – you mean that if you act like a government you can get away with pollution and murder? no shit. i would have never thought that.

  85. says

    Also, not to belabor the point, but 1930s USSR was actually experiencing a period of pretty serious growth, and this growth actually lead to a lessening of starvation and better circumstances for a lot of the USSR’s people. Seriously dude, I know you learned the bogeyman version of fake history that’s popular in USA high schools, but can you please make it less obvious in dealing with me?

    Also, the USSR, even if it were doing bad, is still ultimately a backwater and not a superpower in the era, and and and..

  86. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #586

    sally – please show me where a legal system based on unlimited liability a) exists and b) does not prevent pollution?

    Please explain to me how the hell do a legal system exist without an enforcer (for example… a government?)

    Or to be more precise, exactly what kind of Libertarianism are you trying to support? To help you get started…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism
    Or for a more concise list.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Libertarianism_by_form

  87. says

    @Dietwald Claus
    I guess I shouldn’t have use that example then, since it allowed you to ignore everything I was actually saying. You did notice that there was more in that post, didn’t you?

  88. says

    what’s the worst you have to offer? the ‘gilded age’ in the us? i think any sane human being would gladly take the ‘gilded age’ over any of the other extreme options.

    I’d say any reasonable human being would realize that, if you were going to be put in as a worker in the gilded age, there’d be very little, if any, functional difference between them.

    Whether you’re working sixteen hour days, seven days a week, with no benefits (and starving to death if you can’t work) for the profit of the Boss, or for the glory of the Party, the end result is still the same. You’re working sixteen hour days, seven days a week, without benefits, and starving the moment you can’t continue.

    The difference between government abuse and abuse by private businesses is entirely cosmetic.

  89. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #593

    WharGarbl – you mean that if you act like a government you can get away with pollution and murder? no shit. i would have never thought that.

    And you never seem to understand that there’s nothing to stop anyone with the resource to act like a government.
    A government will always exist, a weak government just means that it will be usurped by another “government”, whether you want to call it government, warlord, or corporation.

  90. says

    WharGarbl – i’m regularly accused by rothbardians and randians to be a despicable left-libertarian, the kind who tends to be characterized as a ‘bleeding heart libertarian’. you know, the kind who gets pissed off when he hears racist jokes, sexist comments, who’s pro-gay marriage, and who is concerned about the environment, and thinks that science has the answer to pretty much everything except morality. in other words, somebody who – in the primitive view of myers and yourself – can’t possibly exist.

  91. says

    Kennon Gilson:

    This professor isn’t a pledged Libertarian no matter what he says.

    Would you like a cookie for demonstrating your inability to read the *two* pages of comments in this thread? Here ya go, have a cookie and be sure to cram it.

    The proper thing to do here is go to the professor’s thread and inform him he’s not a libertarian.

  92. says

    WharGarbl – just because somebody will always be there to do evil means i have to accept evil as good? that’s a rather defeatist attitude. i like to argue against things that are evil in the hope of convincing a sufficiently large number of people to oppose it. by your logic, why oppose slavery, rape, racism, environmental pollution – after all, somebody will always be there to engage in these acts. the most important thing, in my opinion, is to recognize evil as evil. and pollution, rape, theft, kidnapping, etc. is evil. once that is accepted, we can talk about how to diminish, if not eliminate it.

  93. Tethys says

    there is not a single example of successful price dumping leading to the sustained elimination of competition in the history of economics

    What nonsense are you spouting now? This is SOP for several big box retailers.
    Perhaps you have heard of the tiny little chain called Walmart?

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    his professor isn’t a pledged Libertarian no matter what he says.

    Who gave you permission to decide who is and isn’t a a liberturd. Show your documentation, or shut the fuck up about this.

  95. says

    shockna – the difference between living in the gilded age and in north korea is that in the gilded age, if you couldn’t take it anymore, you could at the very least run off into the woods, and nobody would try to catch you and drag you back.

  96. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #599

    left-libertarian, the kind who tends to be characterized as a ‘bleeding heart libertarian’.

    So, this?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism
    That’s… a bit funny, considering from that article…

    In a broad sense, people who may share with “traditional socialism a distrust of the market, of private investment, and of the achievement ethic, and a commitment to expansion of the welfare state” might sometimes be described as “left-libertarians.”

    Emphasis mine.
    And yet you’re argument the virtue of free market competition?

  97. says

    tethys – you can’t even understand what you are saying yourself: “This is SOP for several big box retailers.” note how you use the word ‘several’?
    also, that’s not even SOP for any of them. shareholders would kill management if it were.

  98. says

    WharGarbl – do you understand the semantic importance of the words “may” and “sometimes”? Also, do you base your entire understanding of the world on wikipedia entries?

  99. says

    the difference between living in the gilded age and in north korea is that in the gilded age, if you couldn’t take it anymore, you could at the very least run off into the woods, and nobody would try to catch you and drag you back.

    And you still end up dead in the woods either way, whether by slow starvation (as a gilded age worker, you’re not going to have the tools, nor the knowledge to survive), or by being shot by some bowibu thug. A difference in the means by which you end up dead isn’t particularly relevant.

  100. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #602

    just because somebody will always be there to do evil means i have to accept evil as good? that’s a rather defeatist attitude. that’s a rather defeatist attitude. i like to argue against things that are evil in the hope of convincing a sufficiently large number of people to oppose it.

    And how do said large number of people who oppose it get to enforce THEIR way?

  101. says

    what’s the worst you have to offer? the ‘gilded age’ in the us? i think any sane human being would gladly take the ‘gilded age’ over any of the other extreme options.

    FYI, I don’t know about modern North Korea or Cambodia, but the USSR also, factually, had better conditions for the workers than Gilded Age USA. This isn’t an accomplishment, nor is it because the USSR was teh ubar awesome. Conditions for workers in the Gilded Age were THAT BAD.

    there is not a single example of successful price dumping leading to the sustained elimination of competition in the history of economics

    You’re seriously going to sit here and pretend to me that Standard Oil is a figment of my imagination then? Or yeah, Wal-Mart?

  102. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    i guess that’s why north korea – like america in the gilded age – has to fight hard to keep all those immigrants out.

    The ignorance and arrogance continues unchecked by reality. What an abject loser. Typical of all liberturds, divorced from reality…

  103. says

    rutee – you realize that if you mention ‘price dumping’ as a serious argument in any advanced economics class, you’ll be laughed out of the room? find me an econ text book used at a leading university in econ 101 that uses that argument, and i will personally send you a brownie.

  104. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #609

    WharGarbl – do you understand the semantic importance of the words “may” and “sometimes”? Also, do you base your entire understanding of the world on wikipedia entries?

    Have to start somewhere, since you don’t seems to think that government can do anything right, I would guess that you’re anarcho-libertarianism. Which means that you seems to have this bizzare idea that you can get everyone to follow rules without having some enforcement mechanism.

  105. says

    i actually have already stated at least once that governments fulfill many important and necessary functions. i simply think they don’t do so very well. i also never argued that one does not need an enforcement mechanism. i simply argue that governments are a very lousy enforcement mechanism.

  106. says

    shockna – i guess that’s why north korea – like america in the gilded age – has to fight hard to keep all those immigrants out.

    Oh, this canard? FYI, Gilded Age immigrants were primarily from unindustrialized countries – Mexicans, Chinese, Irish, Scandinavians, Eastern Europeans, south Italians, etc. Very little immigration came from the Low Countries, Great Britain (Ireland excepted), Germany, and the like, by the time the Gilded Age actually showed up. Further, those immigrants didn’t all go to the USA – The Americas, as a whole, were popular..

    The difference between N. Korea is that N. Korea isn’t materially ahead of a slew of countries. It’s competing with S. Korea directly, also.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    it’s really hard to discuss economics with people who have not the first idea about the subject matter.

    Which is you. You have no idea what you are talking about, and it shows. All liberturds are ignorant of economics. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be liberturds….

  108. says

    i also argue that governments are as much a product of competition as any other human institution. after all, they didn’t just pop up or were dropped by aliens. but, that would lead to a further complication of the discussion and i can’t be bothered to get into that.

  109. says

    rutee – you realize that if you mention ‘price dumping’ as a serious argument in any advanced economics class, you’ll be laughed out of the room?

    I have reason to suspect this isn’t true (unless the economics classroom is run by monetarists) but if it is, it’s yet another data point for ‘economics has nothing to do with reality’. It happened. Standard Oil seriously did this, and it seriously worked. I don’t care what pretty models you have that say it doesn’t work. Empirical evidence trumps wannabe scientists who think math makes them smart.

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still no evidence from DC showing he is an expert. His OPINION is *floosh* dismissed. Funny how all he has is OPINION. EVIDENCE is lacking. But not arrogance, ignorance, attitude, arrogance, ignorance, and idiocy.

  111. says

    rutee – you must be getting your economic history from cartoons. like your immigration history.

    Are you projecting because you got yours out of Don Bluth movies? And you’re seriously going to argue that Standard Oil is a figment of my imagination then? Okay, guess empirical evidence really doesn’t matter to you.

  112. Eristae says

    I’m just going to put it out there that if I had to choose between living in North Korea or Somalia, I’d pick North Korea.

    But I don’t have to pick between those two if I want big government or small government. I can, for example, choose between Denmark and Somalia. Or I could pick between the “gilded age” and Denmark.

    And comparing the “best” example of libertarian principles on a large scale (the “gilded age”) to the worse examples of big government on a large scale (things like North Korea), we’re not really comparing the same thing.

  113. oaksterdam says

    I’m just going to be over here hoping this thread turns into a Louis / Max routine. Anyone bring snacks?

  114. says

    I mean, let’s say I concede I misremembered Germany, because it’s not that big a deal – the British (Irish aside) still stopped. North Italians didn’t really show up. The Low countries didn’t really show up. You’re seriously trying to pull the high school myth of Merika as a land of opportunity for everyone. It wasn’t. A lot of people were better off, and they knew it, and they didn’t show up. The majority of the immigrants were those from unindustrialized countries, which changes the benefits calculus substantially.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and DC, you are setting off PZ’s arrogance and motormouth sensors with your continuing hasty and ill-thought-out-and-evidenced posts….

  116. says

    shockna – i guess that’s why north korea – like america in the gilded age – has to fight hard to keep all those immigrants out.

    If North Korea had a reputation for being a place where a man could make a new life (which America had already earned prior to the gilded age), and those wanting/needing to migrate were entirely ignorant of the actual conditions, there’s no reason to say they wouldn’t experience the same thing.

    People didn’t immigrate to the US to work in factories where they knew they’d be slaving to death for 12+ hours a day for a vanishingly small paycheck (or worse; company store credit). Most had an unrealistic expectation of earning a good wage, saving money, and returning to their home country. The others expected their labor to earn them a better living than in their home countries; almost to a man, immigrants of the era were ignorant of the actual conditions in the labor force.

    If you haven’t read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, do so ; the protagonists expectations at the start of the book match the average immigrants expectations upon arriving in the US.

  117. WharGarbl says

    @Dietwald Claus
    #618

    i simply argue that governments are a very lousy enforcement mechanism.

    As compared to what? Private corporations?

  118. says

    Also, ‘Austrians’ considered themselves ‘Germans’ in the era, even though they weren’t part of Germany, in addition to Ellis Island flat out fucking things up.

  119. jefrir says

    given the choice (and a lousy choice it would be) between either of these extremes, even a transvestite disabled person with very high melanin count would probably choose the ‘gilded age’. a lousy choice, but not as lousy.

    Maybe so, but a white working-class woman would probably be best off choosing the USSR, and a white working-class man might well be best off under the Nazis.

  120. says

    People didn’t immigrate to the US to work in factories where they knew they’d be slaving to death for 12+ hours a day for a vanishingly small paycheck (or worse; company store credit). Most had an unrealistic expectation of earning a good wage, saving money, and returning to their home country. The others expected their labor to earn them a better living than in their home countries; almost to a man, immigrants of the era were ignorant of the actual conditions in the labor force.

    It’s plausible they might have gone anyway – remember, a lot of unindustrialized countries were seriously getting hammered by the fact that factory production outproduces non-factories, and getting your own startups without heavy protectionism is hard. It’s.. less likely, to be sure, but a gilded age factory job vs. unemployment because there’s no local factories (And there will be no local factories for a long time) changes the benefits calculus a lot.

  121. says

    Oh, other notes:
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0201398.html

    Notice that Ireland, – IRELAND – produces 75% as many immigrants as Germany. Ireland is fucking tiny, in comparison, and was nailed by serious restrictions when white people realized that the irish were showing up. (Which wasn’t a country at all for almost the entire era, so it isn’t distinguishing between say, Lombardia and Sicily). Some poles counted as Germans. Eastern Europeans and South Italians faced higher quota restrictions. And Germany is one of the largest continental powers in Europe in the modern era, and was even larger then. To nearly be beaten by ‘Italy’ (didn’t exist yet) and Ireland is pretty fucking astounding.

  122. Tethys says

    Rutee

    Also, ‘Austrians’ considered themselves ‘Germans’ in the era, even though they weren’t part of Germany, in addition to Ellis Island flat out fucking things up.

    Not to mention the fact that there was no such thing as the country currently called Germany in 1848.

  123. says

    given the choice (and a lousy choice it would be) between either of these extremes, even a transvestite disabled person with very high melanin count would probably choose the ‘gilded age’. a lousy choice, but not as lousy.

    Nope. As a Queer WoC, I’d seriously take the USSR over the Gilded Age. We actually have the data here, and it’s better for the USSR over the Gilded Age. Again, it’s not like Stalin was great shakes, the Gilded Era was just THAT BAD.

  124. echidna says

    Also, ‘Austrians’ considered themselves ‘Germans’ in the era, even though they weren’t part of Germany,

    No. Just no.

    Notice that Ireland, – IRELAND – produces 75% as many immigrants as Germany. Ireland is fucking tiny, in comparison…To nearly be beaten by ‘Italy’ (didn’t exist yet) and Ireland is pretty fucking astounding.

    Are you surprised the numbers of Irish escaping the potato famine? Really? Also, the exodus of Italians to the US followed the re-unification of North and South Italy, which caused economic hardship in the South.

  125. says

    No. Just no.

    Yeah. Just yeah. You remember the part where they cheered their annexation in the 1930s, right? A seperate austrian identity on the part of the austrian people is a modern invention. The german-speaking people of Austria and Bohemia, aside from the elite of the elite, generally considered themselves german, despite not being part of Germany.

    Are you surprised the numbers of Irish escaping the potato famine? Really?

    Considering that we quota-limited them ASAP? Yeah, I still am in spite of that. Those are long term numbers.

    Also, the exodus of Italians to the US followed the re-unification of North and South Italy, which caused economic hardship in the South.

    *Shrug* That might be – it still doesn’t change that it’d be primarily Southern Italians, which is a historically much poorer region than Northern Italy.

  126. says

    ré nym:
    What about Biggus Dickus?

    […] a simple way to tell libertarians from non-libertarians is their take on rape.

    You mean, they come into a thread on a disgusting “thought-experiment” on rape and argue about libertarianism?
    Why am I not surprised?

  127. says

    I see that Dietwald STILL has nothing to say about the inherently flawed definition of “efficiency” that is used in the economics classes that have impressed him so.

  128. shala says

    Tenet, and I am good at summing up.

    Damn, I knew posting in the morning was going to lead to sniny results!

  129. says

    You mean, they come into a thread on a disgusting “thought-experiment” on rape and argue about libertarianism?

    In retrospect, I feel bad about contributing to the derail.

  130. echidna says

    Yeah. Just yeah. You remember the part where they cheered their annexation in the 1930s, right? A seperate austrian identity on the part of the austrian people is a modern invention.

    My mother was born a German in that time, but never thought of herself as such. She thought of herself as Tyrolian first and foremost, Austrian second, Germanic a distant third. But not German.

  131. says

    it’s really hard to discuss economics with people who have not the first idea about the subject matter.

    It’s interesting that you should say this, because I never have trouble discussing subjects about which I am knowledgeable with people who are less informed about the subject. Whether it’s climate change, feminism, or folk music, I can easily converse with someone who’s a newbie on the subject at pretty much any level, and have a conversation that’s interesting and informative for both of us. I find that explaining somewhat complicated concepts in accessible language tests and refines my understanding in the process.

    Lack of knowledge is never a problem. Willful misinterpretation can be, but that’s a whole nother barrel of worms.

    I wonder why it’s different for you.

  132. says

    My mother was born a German in that time, but never thought of herself as such. She thought of herself as Tyrolian first and foremost, Austrian second, Germanic a distant third. But not German.

    Your mother was born in 1870? And is a statistically relevant sampling in what way?

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I wonder why it’s different for you.

    DC, being an arrogant and ignorant liberturd, expects he word to be taken as gospel. Whereas, based on past experience with liberturds, we expect them to lie and bullshit like DC has done.

    He just doesn’t get why we are skeptical of everything he says. Something to with theology versus rational thinking. With the former, you can’t be wrong. With the latter, you can be. He can’t be wrong…but he is.

  134. says

    Dietwald might be an idiot, but hey, at least it’s still not someone straight up apologizing for this shit and demanding rape culture 101. So, hey, small favors.

    Now on to the cat-toy du jour. First of all, dude, c’mon. Your argumentation style is so freshman philosophy major in terms of how badly it executes its bad faith “communication as tactic vs. communication as defense of arguments” and how quickly it jumps to sub-arguments to avoid having to admit past failures that you might as well be throwing up ELIZA Libertarian scripts. Now, a few choice bits I latched onto while catching up.

    Yup, what Landsburg is espousing is not libertarianism-it’s just fuckwittery. Few libertarians have ever denied property rights to such an extent as Landsburg has.

    I take it back on the rape-minimization bit…

    I mean, seriously dude? SERIOUSLY?!? Rape as a property rights issue?

    And you wonder why libertarianism is viewed as synonymous with scum to anyone who views women as people? Maybe it’s because their continual treatment of women as the property of men pisses people of conscience right the fuck off. But hey, I guess this explains why nearly every libertarian is anti-reproductive freedom. Because one’s property going off and making decisions on its own about its nature is about as unthinkable as one’s toaster deciding it doesn’t want to toast bread anymore.

    And you’re the “good choice”? I wish I could say this wasn’t par for the course for libertarians.

    it weakens efforts among libertarians to promote critical thinking, environmentalism, feminism, and anti-corporatism.

    No, the fact that libertarians are nearly universally opposed to critical thinking, environmentalism, feminism, and anti-corporatism is what’s blocking you from making in-roads. It’s kinda why you can’t find anywhere on the internet that is safe enough to expose them to reality without “violating” one of their tenets or “offending” their delicate sensibilities.

    Also, weren’t you earlier trying to argue that libertarians were so very anti-rape and not at all the regressive hacks we’ve come to know them as and now here you admit that you can’t even get them to look at evidence regarding human rights without them going “eee, they’re mean to libertarians, I now refuse to treat people as human beings”?

    And yeah, that’s sort of the problem. We encounter endless scores of libertarians siding politically, monetarily, and in physical support with regressive actions, laws, and positions. Then the “good” libertarians complain about us rightfully seeing them as inherently regressive and anti-freedom for minority group members and assert that their band of goody-two-shoes libertarianism is the dominant form. And then when it’s time for a minority group to stand up for their rights, there’s no sign of said “good” libertarians, but a whole lot of assholes on the other side of the fence. Fuck, if the goddamn ANARCHISTS can be arsed to march in solidarity with minority groups facing oppression, then I don’t see what the excuses of the libertarians are.

    libertarians don’t condone rape anymore than communists condone private ownership over the means of production. that’s really all there is to it.

    Dudes, I regularly read libertarians for my snark blog. They’re nearly universally on the side of rapists and rape apologists every time a public discussion on rape culture begins. They certainly are never seen generating any scholarship on rape culture or working in solidarity with feminists to end rape culture. But they sure are seen in frightening abundance in groups like the MRAs or in solidarity to them.

    So, yeah, you may want to believe otherwise, but anti-rape is not a central policy goal of the libertarian movement.

    addressing landsburg directly are some serious heavy hitter libertarians, like horowitz

    HOROWITZ?!?

    This Horowitz? Mr. Newt Gingrich was right, Palestinians and global warming are liberal conspiracies Horowitz?

    Yeah, libertarians heavy hitters are some impressive intellectuals to say the least!

    1860 – 1910 – you mean the period in US history that experienced some of the fastest and most widespread economic growth of pretty much any society in human history until then?

    Everyone else has already made merry mincemeat of this, but I felt I had to slip my boot in because your various bad faith flailings to try and undo this reflexive defense of unbridled corporate greed has been incredibly entertaining to say the least.

    You straight up tried to defend the fucking GILDED AGE as the greatest, most-widespread economic growth in human history up to that point. The age which was characterized by brutal oppression of the lower class, the beginning of the entrenchment of segregation to undo the victories post-civil-war, and so on and so forth.

    It’s just clueless reflexive libertarianism at its most libertarian.

    Right down to the assumption that rich, white, male monopoly owners are the only real people that ever matter in terms of calculating economic and social growth.

    Which would be Reason 1 on why anyone who isn’t for white male supremacy tends to view Libertarians as scum.

    it seems that ‘skeptics’ – with the exception of Eristae, who seems genuinely interested in an honest debate – are more interested in spewing hateful insults at every opportunity than actually debate.

    I also want to point out how this particular bit erupted right after a spat of being called out on citing the Gilded Age as a great time for all and then trying to deny he did any such thing.

    So apparently “hateful insults” means actually calling Libertarians on their shit. But hey, that argument would be giving libertarians too much credit, as we both know this batch of bad faith was just one of the most poorly executed “oh shit, I might have to admit to fucking up, you’re the real assholes” gambit I’ve ever seen in my life and why I noted above that libertarians such as Dietwald view conversation as a tactic.

    the ussr had worse human rights and environmental abuses than, say, the us or the uk. there are more human rights abuses and abuses of the environment in china than there are in sweden.

    So your argument is that authoritarian societies have less freedom than non-authoritarian societies and you’d like to throw in that little Libertarian dodge that equates Sweden and the US on one side rather than comparing them head to head and seeing how the civil liberties compare vs the “economic liberties” libertarians code-name eliminating any means of allowing people to meaningfully resist corporate oppression.

    Yeah, no, increased social protections for marginalized groups improve civil liberties. In the same way as well-regulated economies, strong safety nets, and protections for the underclass is what improves economic strength. Which would be why plucky Sweden is currently kicking our ass in both civil liberties and economic strength AND entrepreneurship.

    if i called you a female sexual organ whenever referring to you, that would be ok then?

    Mmm hmm. Curiouser and curiouser.

    rutee – bp – protected by government LAW from having to clean up their mess. very bad. show me a heavily polluting industry, and i show you an industry protected by limited liability laws and such nonsense. corporatism. not competitive markets.

    That’s always the libertarian argument, isn’t it? No matter how much deregulating industries prove to increase not decrease amount of pollution, price-gouging, and destruction of civil and economic freedom, they always blame the existence of some government somewhere.

    In counter, when Keynesian improvements are implemented half-heartedly and only minimally, they provide minimal improvements, not massive collapse. It’s almost like when something isn’t based on a fairy tale, it actually has real world effects to back it up or something.

    rutee – warlords ARE governments. pretty nasty ones, i admit. but you don’t get to define governments as only ‘governments i like’. government runs the gamut from swedish social democracy with a nominal king to north korea big brotherhood and somali war lords.

    And more libertarian redefinition.

    Except, whoops, here we come to a central problem of libertarianism. And it’s the same problem that communism and anarchism have. That is they have no plan on how to enforce the utopia once “the revolution comes”. When you remove the oppressive state, how do you prevent the rise of new more authoritarian states without creating a central authority that can be corrupted?

    And the worst part is this no government fetishism doesn’t even come from the well-intentioned core that communism and anarchism do. It’s just a desire to eliminate competition for authoritarianism for corporations and rich white men in general. Which is why it’s a bankrupt philosophy which has little to show for itself in terms of real improvements to people’s lives.

    since you seem to like history, please compare working conditions in the USSR of the 1930s to those in the US of the 1930s. where do you think workers were better off?

    You mean the working conditions after a whole mess of labor protection laws were passed after the rise of a whole Progressive movement to undo the horrible damages of the Gilded Age you were praising before?

    Yeah, someone might want to brush up on US history before they spout their mouth off here. Or at least stop assuming we’re as ignorant about American history as conservative ideologues seem to want us to be.

    he ‘gilded age’ was real. north korea is real. both seem to represent the most extreme case of the libertarian and statist model respectively. which would you rather live in?

    Dude. The “Gilded Age” wasn’t even close to the “most extreme case of the libertarian model”. That’s like comparing Obama to Franco as a comparison of the “most extreme versions of liberalism and conservatism”. And yet even a relatively mild period of libertarians getting their way was horrifying for anyone who wasn’t a Robber Baron.

    Which also brings up the ludicrous idea most libertarians have that if they lived in their “better societies” of the past, they’d be in the position of the men in the opulent mansions than the people being paid less than it cost to live to toil and die in a roasting factory of death.

    Sorry, pal, but unless your last name is Koch, in your ideal society, you’d be stuck in shitville with the rest of us.

    i’m regularly accused by rothbardians and randians to be a despicable left-libertarian

    And if you’re the example of “left-libertarianism”, why do you find us being so down on libertarians so hard to believe. I mean, for fuck’s sake, if you’re considered the “left-wing” of libertarian thought, that really doesn’t speak well for where the center lies.

    also, that’s not even SOP for any of them. shareholders would kill management if it were.

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Who do you think requests for them to do the price-gouging and destruction of smaller businesses? After all, what’s good for share value is… the only thing that matters. Period.

  135. says

    Eristae @629

    You do realize it’s inherently “anti-freedom” to prefer Denmark and its mixed economy and healthy skepticism of both libertarian anti-economic horse-shit and rich people arguing for their own enrichment garbage, right?

    You can go to Libertarian Hell for pointing out that it’s a pretty damn good country to live in and “libertarian economic freedom” had fuck all to do with making it that way.

  136. says

    I take it back on the rape-minimization bit…

    As long as we’re being marginally fair, that was some other idiot. I think Dietwald held onto his ‘minimal standard of human decency’ cookie for a long time for a libertarian.

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Who do you think requests for them to do the price-gouging and destruction of smaller businesses? After all, what’s good for share value is… the only thing that matters. Period.

    I think cupcake heard a pretty model somewhere in a monetarist’s class. Standard Oil had words to say with his model.

    Also Denmark is having problems with Libertarians gutting their social programs by using the racism in danish society. Their government also handed private industry mineral rights worth a fucking lot of money, on a silver platter, because that’s how the USA does it and prestige matters more than empirical reality in a lot of places…

    There’s a reason I’m marrying a Dane so we can move to Sweden and not Denmark. Not that Sweden is entirely Socialist Paradise, but it’s doing pretty well in general.

  137. PatrickG says

    You can go to Libertarian Hell

    Wait, I can? Sign me up; all available metrics indicate that hell for libertarians must be a pretty damn nice place to live!

  138. says

    Yo, Dietwald, first you said a certain period of US history was really wunnerful because of Free Enterprise. Then, when it was pointed out to you that that period wasn’t really so wunnerful, you blamed government for making things not-wunnerful in some unspecified way. So was that period a good time or a bad time? Are you even smart enough to understand how badly you contradicted yourself?

    Yet more proof of what breathtakingly self-centered, stupid, infantile asshats libertarians are. There’s a reason we call them libertards.

  139. says

    Libertarian Hell is New York and California, right? Maybe with a DARPA-funded teleportation system for travel between the two places?

  140. sonderval says

    @Dietwald Claus

    what about the insurance angle?

    Yes, what about it? Would you force everyone to have an insureance? Then I don’t see the big difference to taxes. Or would you not? Then when someone calls the fire department, they would look in their insurance table and just go to that place and simply contain the fire so it would not spread to the neighbours?

    my argument is that the sub-optimality of markets is still more pareto optimal than the sub-optimality of government.

    So far, that’s not an argument, it’s an assertion, and an unfounded one. You claimed that private railroads would work great, a comparison of countries with privately and governmentally organised railroads shows that the latter is better (AFAIK, the british system did not even agree on trackway width, so that trains were physically excluded from going from one net to the other).

    So so far you gave two examples, one could not be upscaled, the other is disproven by reality.

    Another example from Germany: So far, the government is in control of our drinking water facilities, making the German water exemplary clean (and it is not too expensive either). There is some discussion now that private companies should be able to take over (due to some stupid EC laws). So if company X now buys the water supply system of my hometown, which, as a company, has the primary goal of making money (and which would have a monopoly obviously, because there is only one water line running to my house), why would this be beneficial to me? How could I expect the company to uphold the high standards we have here? What would be the incentive?

    there really is no debate when one disparages those who have different opinions right from the get-go

    As already remarked before, PZ is quite aware that Landsburg’s point of view is highly unusual for a Libertarian (my still unanswered comment at #453…). And it is not “from the get-go”, since (as many here have told you) you are not the first (or tenth) Libertarian to come here.

  141. Maureen Brian says

    I’m putting in a bid to preserve this thread as an historical monument.

    Why? Because it is an outstanding example of how one person, having been checkmated on several points of fact, can only keep going – for 100 posts and more, certainly – by steadily and systematically assuming and saying that everyone else is totally stupid and totally ignorant. And there’s only one of him: imagine a mob.

    Those arguing with him are pretty tough and take that nonsense in their stride but as I’ve just been reading along I may be more aware of it.

    As this thread is now about economics and political philosophy rather than the rape fantasies of idiot professors, it will prove to be an excellent example of systematic disparagement and chilly atmosphere creation where we really can’t be accused of being too emotional or too sexually excited to understand what is happening!

    The fact that it isn’t working is down to the sheer quality of the Pharyngula Horde.

  142. says

    find me an econ text book used at a leading university in econ 101 that uses that argument, and i will personally send you a brownie.

    How about a page from the Danish Competition and Consumer Directorate, under the Ministry of Economics? Linky. This is a brief summary of a chapter from a competition report from 2004.
    Legislation is not always the best guide for reality, but the fact that laws have been deemed necessary on this subject might indicate that there’s something to it.

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this and I’m wondering if Dietwad is maybe engaging in some kind of fishy, behind-the-scenes redefining. E.g.

    there is not a single example of successful price dumping leading to the sustained elimination of competition in the history of economics

    I wonder what he really means by that qualification. Does it mean that if you eliminate only some of your competitors, it doesn’t count? The comment, “…note how you use the word ‘several’?” seems to also hint at something like that.

    I’m nowhere near an expert on economics, but this blanket dismissal is setting off my bullshit detector. If Dietwald returns, I’d like some further clarification on this point. And, of course, the other points I made in that post still stand unanswered.

  143. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    But, but, Maureen…!

    We don’t *allow* dissent here. How could there be persistent dissent?

    Oy, my ladybrainz hurtses.

  144. shala says

    Why? Because it is an outstanding example of how one person, having been checkmated on several points of fact, can only keep going – for 100 posts and more, certainly – by steadily and systematically assuming and saying that everyone else is totally stupid and totally ignorant. And there’s only one of him: imagine a mob.

    This is generally why arguing with libertarians can be so annoying. It’s a totally different world for them, you see, because they only believe in the rights of the individual, not group rights. This has several important rejections of reality to consider. For one, everyone is already equal, right now, and always have been.

    If everyone should already be equal, and everyone already “is” equal, then under their point of view an era like the Gilded Age was just swell! If you’re being treated like shit and no one will let you shop at their stores or anything like that, well, the free market will take care of them. Somehow.

    (off-topic: Surprise, this is the first time I’ve used blockquote in the almost-3-years I’ve been here! I’m so proud of myself!)

  145. Ulysses says

    If the Gilded Age was such an economic bonanza for everyone, why was it the period that socialism had its greatest popularity in the US? In 1912 Eugene Debs won 6% of the popular vote as a presidential candidate. In 1910 most of the Milwaukee city council, including the mayor, were socialists. It was the World War I Palmer Raids, the split between the Socialist Party and the IWW, and the post-war Red Scares which eliminated socialism as a political force in the US.

    See Dietwald, knowing some history actually helps one to make political arguments. Maybe you should consider learning history (and non-Austrian School economics).

  146. Caveat Imperator says

    It’s a totally different world for them, you see, because they only believe in the rights of the individual, not group rights. This has several important rejections of reality to consider. For one, everyone is already equal, right now, and always have been.

    And their idea of what constitutes an “individual” gets fudged a lot. For example, how is a profit-seeking company not collectivist, at least by some definitions? Any large enterprise, even one owned by a single individual or family, is a group of people exchanging things to produce results larger than would be produced if they did not act together. Government is actually rather similar, just on a larger scale and with goals other than profit. And I would argue that the “goals other than profit” part is absolutely critical for human society to function.
    If I had to pick one and only one libertarian idea that amuses and shocks me to no end, it would be the opposition to labor unions. Not because it’s the worst idea to come out of libertarian ideology, but because it’s one that exposes their hypocrisy so blatantly. If shareholders can collude and form a corporation in order to offer goods to the public, what should prevent laborers from colluding to offer services to corporations?

  147. says

    It’s a totally different world for them, you see, because they only believe in the rights of the individual, not group rights.

    And when many individuals work together as a group to stand up for the same set of individual rights, that’s “group rights,” and “group rights” are antithetical to individual rights.

  148. Eristae says

    @Cerebus/654

    If Libertarian Hell is like Denmark, I’d happily go to Libertarian Hell. Sounds like a nice place to settle down. ^_^

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If Libertarian Hell is like Denmark, I’d happily go to Libertarian Hell. Sounds like a nice place to settle down.

    Funny how liberturds never claim a first world country they think is paradise. Only third world hell-holes need apply. That does say something about their theology. None of it good…

  150. sonderval says

    And funny how, after all his baseless assertions have been dismantled, he is not answering anymore…