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Myster X
10-12-05, 12:31 AM
He's losing it for not blaming Bush directly.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,16869358-1702,00.html?from=rss

VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez has blamed global capitalism for earthquakes hitting India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as for mudslides that have struck Central America and Mexico.

On his weekly radio and television call-in program, "Hello, Mr. President," Mr Chavez said these catastrophes were nature's answer to the "world global capitalist model".
"This model is destroying the world. The world is in danger. Never has there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains. Incredible! The world is dangerously off balance," he said.

Earlier yesterday, US television evangelist Pat Robertson, who caused ripples weeks ago calling for Mr Chavez' assassination, said the natural disasters pointed to the end of the world and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

"These things are starting to hit with amazing regularity," Mr Robertson told CNN, remarking on the coincidence of a major earthquake that killed thousands in Asia on Saturday and recent killer hurricanes slamming the US.

Those disasters come less than a year after a huge tsunami levelled huge portions of South Asia, killing more than 20,000 people and leaving a million homeless.

Mr Chavez said he had prayed for those lost and injured.

Superboy
10-12-05, 12:43 AM
Wow, I guess every country has it's share of crazies. Here we got Religious Fundamentalists screaming that it was "abortionists, homosexuals, single mothers, unmarried cohabitating couples" etc etc. Why can't we all get along?

grundle
10-12-05, 05:40 AM
Plate techtonics, hurricanes, heavy rain, and drought never existed until we had capitalism.

OK. That sounds about right.

Tracer Bullet
10-12-05, 08:31 AM
"Hello, Mr. President" :lol:

Th0r S1mpson
10-12-05, 09:10 AM
It would have been better if he had said this was proof that their weather machines are working and left it at that.

DodgingCars
10-12-05, 09:44 AM
Now, did capitalism cause these disasters because capitalism is causing global warming and global warming is causing these disasters (ok, not sure if they've figured out how to blame global warming on earthquakes, yet) or is he saying that capitalism makes God angry?

JasonF
10-12-05, 09:59 AM
I think it goes like this:

1. Capitalism is using up the Earth's scarce resources.
2. ?
3. Natural Disasters!

I don't think we have any more natural disasters than we ever did. It's just that there are so many more people these days that when a quake or a hurricane or whatever happens, more people are directly and indirectly affected by it.

Ranger
10-12-05, 10:45 AM
I can't make sense of Chavez's comment, but I'd be curious to see his whole speech which might shed some more light on it.

As for Robertson's 'world is ending' comment, well, I can't wait. :)

DVD Polizei
10-12-05, 10:51 AM
I think it goes like this:

1. Capitalism is using up the Earth's scarce resources.
2. ?
3. Natural Disasters!

I don't think we have any more natural disasters than we ever did. It's just that there are so many more people these days that when a quake or a hurricane or whatever happens, more people are directly and indirectly affected by it.

And don't forget we have the technology to be at a disaster only seconds after it strikes. Just imagine having today's media technology (and personalities) during the times of the 1600's - 1800's. We would be having world doom news stories every other day, along with evil dictators. :lol:

grundle
10-12-05, 11:19 AM
A country with a per capita GNP of $30,000 will deal far, far, far better with natural disasters than a country with a per capita GNP on $1,000. That's why the death tolls from natural disasters are so much higher in poor countries. In rich countries, the buildings will be stornger, the warning/communication systems will be better, the emergency/medical responses will be better, etc.

We don't "use up" resources. The total quantity of mass/energy is fixed. We can't "use up" anything. All we can do is rearrange things to make our lives better.

Before the 19th century, petroleum had negative value, because it was a nuisance that got in the way of people who were digging water wells. It was only after a person with a brain figured out a use for the petroleum that it became a "resource."

Today we take worthless sand and turn it into computer chips worth trillions of dollars.

We will never run out of technology, ideas, or ingenuity.

It always cracks me up when people say there's not enough water. 70% of the earth's surface is covered in water, to an average depth of 2 miles. And we can desalinize that water for less than a penny per gallon.

There is a problem with government keeping the price of water artificially low, and this creates an artificial shortage. But there is no actual physical shortage of water.

In the western U.S., 90% of the water that's used is subsidized water that farmers use to grow crops in the desert. Get rid of those subsidies, and shortages of water will disappear.

Anywhere in the world, raise the price of water by 1/2 penny per gallon, and water shortages will disappear forever.

The fact that long term commodity prices of pretty much every resource keep falling is proof that resources keep becoming more abundant. We are not using them up.

But if anyone really does think that we are running out of any resource, then just put your money where your mouth is, and if you're correct, you'll make a fortune in the commodities market.

But I wouldn't recommend it. Because the truth is that rersources are becoming more abundant over time, and so such an investment would cause you to lose your money.

sfsdfd
10-12-05, 12:04 PM
In the western U.S., 90% of the water that's used is subsidized water that farmers use to grow crops in the desert. Get rid of those subsidies, and shortages of water will disappear.
This would merely trade a shortage of water for a shortage of food.
Anywhere in the world, raise the price of water by 1/2 penny per gallon, and water shortages will disappear forever.
You're going by the definition of "shortage" as a gap between units available for sale and units that buyers are willing and able to purchase. So if you raise prices, you make people unable to buy as much, and supply meets demand.

I'm going by a definition of "shortage" as having less quantity than the population can effectively utilize. Raising prices causes a reallocation of water to people who have money.

In other words, your solution - as always for libertarians - is to screw the poor. We sock up our quantitative shortage by limiting the quantities that the poor can buy. There's no "shortage" if they simply can't afford it; and if they whine, we just tell them to get a better job. Problem solved!

In a related observation: The phrase "compassionate conservatism" generates 494,000 hits on Google, while the phrase "compassionate libertarianism" generates 270 hits. I wonder why that is?

- David Stein

kvrdave
10-12-05, 01:16 PM
In the western U.S., 90% of the water that's used is subsidized water that farmers use to grow crops in the desert. Get rid of those subsidies, and shortages of water will disappear.


link?

grundle
10-12-05, 01:40 PM
This would merely trade a shortage of water for a shortage of food.

No it wouldn't. Because the government does not set caps on the price of food.

Food prices would adjust, and people would respond to that.

People would switch from more expensive food to less expensive food. Beef, in particular, is very intensive in water usage.


You're going by the definition of "shortage" as a gap between units available for sale and units that buyers are willing and able to purchase. So if you raise prices, you make people unable to buy as much, and supply meets demand.

Raising the price by 1/2 penny per gallon would not cause anyone to die of thirst.

But it would discourage waste.

And it would be enough extra money to pay for desalination, so there would be more water available.


I'm going by a definition of "shortage" as having less quantity than the population can effectively utilize. Raising prices causes a reallocation of water to people who have money.

In other words, your solution - as always for libertarians - is to screw the poor. We sock up our quantitative shortage by limiting the quantities that the poor can buy. There's no "shortage" if they simply can't afford it; and if they whine, we just tell them to get a better job. Problem solved!

The poor would be better off.

Right now, a lot of poor people spend 1/3 of their waking hours walking to get water, and carry it back home.

Under my system, they would simply turn on a faucet.


In a related observation: The phrase "compassionate conservatism" generates 494,000 hits on Google, while the phrase "compassionate libertarianism" generates 270 hits. I wonder why that is?

I never claimed to be compassionate.

I care about accuracy.

grundle
10-12-05, 02:01 PM
link?

I was wrong to say it was 90% in the entire western U.S.



http://www.juliansimon.com/writings/Ultimate_Resource/TCHAR10.txt

The most important fact for consumer water supply is that most water is used in agriculture. For example, irrigation takes 80 percent of the water used in Utah and 90 percent in New Mexico.

An acre foot of water is the amount of water that would cover one acre of land in water that's one foot deep. It's approximately 325,000 gallons, which is enough for a typical household for two years.


http://www.pacificresearch.org/pub/sab/enviro/watermkts/main.html

The Central Utah Project (CUT) currently delivers water to Utah farmers at the subsidized price of $8 per acre-foot. The farmers in turn produce crops that yield $30 per acre-foot, yet the water costs taxpayers about $300 per acre-foot.



http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=1557

Water for farming from the federal Bureau of Reclamation sells for $10 to $15 per acre-foot, and the cheapest subsidized water sells for as little as $3.50 per acre- foot, even though it may cost $100 to pump the water to the farmers…Meanwhile, households in Palo Alto pay about $65 for the same quantity of water, and some urban water users pay as much as $230. The most desperate nonagricultural communities along the Pacific coast of California have gone as far as to build desalination plants to obtain potable water from the ocean at a cost of approximately $3,000 per acre-foot. (Since this was written, it is not now possible to desalinate ocean water at about $1,000 an acre-foot.)

How much of the cheap water is used? One agricultural use alone, irrigating pastures for grazing cows and sheep, used 5.3 million acre-feet of water in 1986. This is enough water to cover the District of Columbia to a depth of 1,250 feet! …Yet the industry of raising cattle and sheep on irrigated pasture in California had gross revenues for that year of less than $100 million. Plainly, devoting so much water to such a low-value use is possible only because the water used to irrigate pastures is sold so cheaply.

sfsdfd
10-12-05, 02:36 PM
No it wouldn't. Because the government does not set caps on the price of food.

Food prices would adjust, and people would respond to that.
Again, you're using "shortage" to mean that demand outstrips supply. So letting prices "adjust" to compensate for this "shortage" is acceptable to you. I see it as rationing among the poor by pricing it out of their reach - which is fine for entertainment goods, but not for basic necessities like "food."
Raising the price by 1/2 penny per gallon would not cause anyone to die of thirst.

But it would discourage waste.
Well, let's do the math.

According to <a href="http://www.jnf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=PR_IALC_080803_Water_Facts">this site</a>, the average American uses 100 gallons of water per day (including drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering, laundry, lawn care, etc.) That translates to 3,000 gallons/person-month. Raising the price $0.005/gallon = an extra $15/person-month in water bills. For a family of four, that's $60/month.

Now, do you think the average upper-class family of four is going to balk at an extra $60/month? Will it impact their behavior? Of course not. The poor, on the other hand, will be forced to cut back on cleaning, lawn care, etc.

In other words, the wealthy will not be affected, and the poor will be forced to cut back on basic necessities. So, yes, this is a "screw the poor" maneuver - the same specter lurking just behind the thin veil of many libertarian policies.

- David Stein

classicman2
10-12-05, 02:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grundle
In the western U.S., 90% of the water that's used is subsidized water that farmers use to grow crops in the desert. Get rid of those subsidies, and shortages of water will disappear.

Quote: Originally Posted by sfsdfd
This would merely trade a shortage of water for a shortage of food.
_________

David,

As a mod you should know that the use of logic on this forum is strictly prohibited. ;)

Th0r S1mpson
10-12-05, 03:38 PM
You can survive 30+ days without food but only a few days without water. But we should still clearly be moving towards a compromise of no potential watermelon shortages.

Mordred
10-12-05, 03:40 PM
You can survive 30+ days without food but only a few days without water. But we should still clearly be moving towards a compromise of no potential watermelon shortages.Stop trying to kiss Randy's ass.

DodgingCars
10-12-05, 04:49 PM
Stop trying to kiss Randy's ass.

Better than kissing his melon! :yack:

movielib
10-12-05, 04:56 PM
In other words, the wealthy will not be affected, and the poor will be forced to cut back on basic necessities. So, yes, this is a "screw the poor" maneuver - the same specter lurking just behind the thin veil of many libertarian policies.

- David Stein
Actually, one of my main reasons for being a libertarian is that I do care about the poor.

It's not my #1 reason. #1 is that I believe in the freedom principle. That people have the right to live as they want as long as they do not interfere with the identical right of others to live as they want, which generally means that people should be able to live as they want as long as they do not initiate force or fraud or the threat of force against others. I think that is the correct moral principle by which people should live.

But I also care about all human beings including those less fortunate. I have seen that the freer a country is in both personal and economic freedom, the better off are its citizens. The poor in countries that are more free are far wealthier than almost all people in countries that suppress freedom and free markets.

Now I could be wrong in my assessment (obviously I do not think so) but to attribute a "screw the poor" attitude to me or, I think, the vast majority of libertarians is just plain wrong. We really do believe freedom and free markets are better for the poor and are a much better framework for their advancement into the ranks of the wealthier.

So accuse us of being wrong but not of having the intention of "screwing the poor."

al_bundy
10-12-05, 04:59 PM
This would merely trade a shortage of water for a shortage of food.

You're going by the definition of "shortage" as a gap between units available for sale and units that buyers are willing and able to purchase. So if you raise prices, you make people unable to buy as much, and supply meets demand.

I'm going by a definition of "shortage" as having less quantity than the population can effectively utilize. Raising prices causes a reallocation of water to people who have money.

In other words, your solution - as always for libertarians - is to screw the poor. We sock up our quantitative shortage by limiting the quantities that the poor can buy. There's no "shortage" if they simply can't afford it; and if they whine, we just tell them to get a better job. Problem solved!

In a related observation: The phrase "compassionate conservatism" generates 494,000 hits on Google, while the phrase "compassionate libertarianism" generates 270 hits. I wonder why that is?

- David Stein

Uncle Sam is the biggest reason why the price of food is so high. We pay farmers not to grow food to keep the prices up

sfsdfd
10-12-05, 06:28 PM
#1 is that I believe in the freedom principle. That people have the right to live as they want as long as they do not interfere with the identical right of others to live as they want, which generally means that people should be able to live as they want as long as they do not initiate force or fraud or the threat of force against others. I think that is the correct moral principle by which people should live.
I heartily agree. It's a social principle that libertarians and liberals share. Economics, however, is a much different story.
But I also care about all human beings including those less fortunate. I have seen that the freer a country is in both personal and economic freedom, the better off are its citizens.
OK - how about we remove the minimum wage laws? That is certainly one way to promote "economic freedom."

Ditto, workplace safety laws. Companies could bank on economics to determine just how safe to make their workplaces.

Ditto, workers' compensation laws. Companies could decide whether or not to offer it.

Ditto, unemployment benefits. Let's let the companies decide whether or not they want to pay severance for terminated employees.

Ditto, usury laws. Companies could offer loans to people in need of money on any lending terms they wish.

Do you think any of these forms of "economic freedom" would be in the best interests of the poor?

- David Stein

classicman2
10-12-05, 06:51 PM
That people have the right to live as they want as long as they do not interfere with the identical right of others to live as they want, which generally means that people should be able to live as they want as long as they do not initiate force or fraud or the threat of force against others. I think that is the correct moral principle by which people should live.

Problem: I want to keep a couple of hogs, a couple of goats, and a camel in my back yard. Without zoning laws, what do you do? Maybe all the neighbors, with the exception of one, may not any problem with my animals. Only one does. What do you do?

GFM
10-12-05, 06:52 PM
I heartily agree. It's a social principle that libertarians and liberals share. Economics, however, is a much different story.


I think it's a principle most people being conservative, libertarian or liberal share. For every right winger against porn, there's a left winger against Grand Theft Auto. Lefties like their sex; righties like their violence; libertarians get the best of both worlds.

movielib
10-12-05, 09:31 PM
Problem: I want to keep a couple of hogs, a couple of goats, and a camel in my back yard. Without zoning laws, what do you do? Maybe all the neighbors, with the exception of one, may not any problem with my animals. Only one does. What do you do?
In the absence of zoning laws you would have homeowners' and business owners' agreements. There would be a want and a need for them. Why would it not happen?

There are other (voluntary) solutions besides government (force).

movielib
10-12-05, 09:47 PM
I heartily agree. It's a social principle that libertarians and liberals share. Economics, however, is a much different story.
But that principle applies to economic freedom also. It seems liberals just want to throw it away when it comes to that. To my way of thinking, personal freedom and economic freedom are two sides of the same coin. They are both equally vital to a free society. Just to take one of your examples below, minimum wage laws violate this principle. If a business owner wants to offer a certain wage and someone is willing to work for that wage, they are not allowed to do so. Regardless of whether you think it is good or bad, minimum wage laws do violate the principle you just endorsed in the noneconomic realm. I endorse it in the economic realm because of (a) the principle which I see as the highest moral principle and (b) because I think minimum wage laws are harmful to society and to the poor in the long run.

OK - how about we remove the minimum wage laws? That is certainly one way to promote "economic freedom."

Ditto, workplace safety laws. Companies could bank on economics to determine just how safe to make their workplaces.

Ditto, workers' compensation laws. Companies could decide whether or not to offer it.

Ditto, unemployment benefits. Let's let the companies decide whether or not they want to pay severance for terminated employees.

Ditto, usury laws. Companies could offer loans to people in need of money on any lending terms they wish.

Do you think any of these forms of "economic freedom" would be in the best interests of the poor?

- David Stein
Yes, I am saying just that. You may be right for short term solutions but they undermine the way a free economy can build up wealth in the long run. If our society had had such a free economy for the last hundred years I believe we would be incomparably wealthy compared to what we are today. I think our "poor" would be living better than the richest people today.

You know, I could say that liberals want to "screw the poor" by building a welfare state that sends all the wrong messages and creates all the wrong incentives and tries to trap the poor in a vicious neverending cycle of poverty. I could say liberals want to "screw the poor" by taxing and regulating people to death and sucking huge percentages of potential increases in technolgy and wealth out of the system and preventing everyone from becoming much wealthier. I do believe that that is what those policies do. I also believe that liberals disagree and genuinely think their way is the best for society and the poor. I accuse them of being wrong but not of having evil intentions. You could give the same courtesy to libertarians instead of labeling them as people who deliberately want to "screw the poor."

Every item on your list has been discussed to death on the forum. Few, members, if any, have ever changed their minds because of these discussions. 25 years ago, I did change my mind and went from being a lifelong (33 years at the time) liberal (coming pretty close to being a socialist at times) to being a libertarian. I know most liberals are well-intentioned. I also know most libertarians are well-intentioned. Let's give them both that.

DVD Polizei
10-12-05, 10:37 PM
I think most voters are well-intentioned.

But as a collective, such as a corporation, this well-intent is tossed out on the way to higher profits. This is the nature of Capitalism. Capitalism has no empathy for the poor. Capitalism has no safety net for economically missituated families. All it is concerned with, is making money and living off of others' cheap labor.

eXcentris
10-12-05, 11:49 PM
I think most voters are well-intentioned.

But as a collective, such as a corporation, this well-intent is tossed out on the way to higher profits. This is the nature of Capitalism. Capitalism has no empathy for the poor. Capitalism has no safety net for economically missituated families. All it is concerned with, is making money and living off of others' cheap labor.

Exactly. Human nature is such that if you base a society exclusively on producing as much wealth as possible, then a fair segment of the population will invariably get exploited. Free market capitalism is strictly an economic model, social concerns do not enter into that model at all. The "the more wealth a society creates, the more wealth there is for everybody" sounds nice in theory, but it assumes a perfect world. In the real world, it doesn't work. And I've yet to see a real world example that would make me believe otherwise. Fact is, if you look strictly at social indicators, the less productive members of society (the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, etc...) are much better off living in social-democracies (i.e. countries with an extensive social safety net) than anywhere else.

grundle
10-13-05, 12:16 AM
Problem: I want to keep a couple of hogs, a couple of goats, and a camel in my back yard. Without zoning laws, what do you do? Maybe all the neighbors, with the exception of one, may not any problem with my animals. Only one does. What do you do?
Houston is the only major U.S. city that has no zoning laws.

There are hundreds of private housing communities, each with its own set of rules.

Because of Houston's lack of zoning, they build huge amounts of housing for people of all income levels. The peak year of construction was 1982, when 60,000 units of housing were built.

There's so much vacant housing, that prices remain low, and landlords have to keep their apartments in great condition in order to attract and keep tenants.

That's why the city was so easily able to absorb all those Katrina victims. The city always has "for rent" signs everywhere.

Every now and then, someone tries to get the government to adopt zoning. The poor people and small business owners are always against it.

Houstons's free market in housing is good for the poor.

Even when a million dollar home is built, it's good for the poor. Because the person who buys the million dollar house sells his $500,000 house. And the person who buys that house sells his $300,000 house. And the person who buys that sells his $150,000 house. And the person who buys that moves out of his $500 apartment. So all that housing gets cycled, and people of all income levels benefit.

Contrast this with the ultra-liberal cities of northern California, which have the toughtest anti-development laws in the country. Almost no new housing gets built there. So even a 1,000 sqaure foot house can cost half a million dollars or more. The poor and the middle class really get screwed.

A free market is housing is good for the poor.

The biggest obstacle to affordable housing for the poor and the middle class is radical liberals who prevent the free market from functioning.

Sometimes liberals will force a developer to set aside a certain percentage of new housing as "low income housing." But that's just like any other price control. It results in fewer units of housing being built. So less hosuing gets cycled. So less housing is available for the middle class and the poor. So these price controls actually cause housing to be more expensive.

It cracks me up that the people who complain the loudest about homelessness are the same people who have done the most to prevent affordable housing from being built.

This week's liberal agenda:

Monday: Protest to prevent a greedy developer from building 5,000 suburban sprawl houses.

Tuesday: Protest about the lack of affordable housing.

grundle
10-13-05, 12:26 AM
I think it's a principle most people being conservative, libertarian or liberal share. For every right winger against porn, there's a left winger against Grand Theft Auto. Lefties like their sex; righties like their violence; libertarians get the best of both worlds.
Actually, Hillary Clinton's complaint about Grand Theft Auto was about the sex, not about the violence.

Al and Tipper Gore's concern about music lyrics was about the sex.

Bill Clinton wanted the V-chip law to rate the fictional sex on fictional TV shows. But his V-chip law gave an exemption to the news programs that reported on his own real life sexual antics.

grundle
10-13-05, 12:33 AM
I think most voters are well-intentioned.

But as a collective, such as a corporation, this well-intent is tossed out on the way to higher profits. This is the nature of Capitalism. Capitalism has no empathy for the poor. Capitalism has no safety net for economically missituated families. All it is concerned with, is making money and living off of others' cheap labor.
It was FEMA that blocked Wal-Mart from delivering emergency supplies, not the other way around.

grundle
10-13-05, 12:38 AM
Exactly. Human nature is such that if you base a society exclusively on producing as much wealth as possible, then a fair segment of the population will invariably get exploited. Free market capitalism is strictly an economic model, social concerns do not enter into that model at all. The "the more wealth a society creates, the more wealth there is for everybody" sounds nice in theory, but it assumes a perfect world. In the real world, it doesn't work. And I've yet to see a real world example that would make me believe otherwise. Fact is, if you look strictly at social indicators, the less productive members of society (the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, etc...) are much better off living in social-democracies (i.e. countries with an extensive social safety net) than anywhere else.
Poor people benenfit tremendously from capitalism, free markets, mass production, mechanized farm equipment, supermarkets, refrigerators, light bulbs, washing machines, telephones, TVs, CD players, DVD players, clothing, computers, books, etc.

Michael T Hudson
10-13-05, 08:03 AM
Problem: I want to keep a couple of hogs, a couple of goats, and a camel in my back yard. Without zoning laws, what do you do? Maybe all the neighbors, with the exception of one, may not any problem with my animals. Only one does. What do you do?


Move to Houston. ;)

GFM
10-13-05, 08:46 AM
Actually, Hillary Clinton's complaint about Grand Theft Auto was about the sex, not about the violence.

Al and Tipper Gore's concern about music lyrics was about the sex.

Bill Clinton wanted the V-chip law to rate the fictional sex on fictional TV shows. But his V-chip law gave an exemption to the news programs that reported on his own real life sexual antics.

Yeah, you're right, that's what happens when you type without thinking too much.

Myster X
10-13-05, 10:59 AM
I think most voters are well-intentioned.

But as a collective, such as a corporation, this well-intent is tossed out on the way to higher profits. This is the nature of Capitalism. Capitalism has no empathy for the poor. Capitalism has no safety net for economically missituated families. All it is concerned with, is making money and living off of others' cheap labor.

You forgot to mention that America is a free society. You have a choice to get up every morning and get your ass or go out and find a job. I won't blanket that statement over all poor folks. There are plenty of "poor" out there chose to be that way.

kvrdave
10-13-05, 11:17 AM
This would merely trade a shortage of water for a shortage of food.


Not entirely true, though I agree with you on the issue.

As an example, I have 16 acre feet of irrigation rights on my land. That's around 5 million gallons of water per year that I can use. I make sure that I do use it becuase if you don't use your water right, you lose it without compensation. So I keep the field green, and sometimes cut it, but sometimes don't. :shrug:

There are probably lots of people like me that have some type of water right that is similar. But much of what I use would simply go to the Columbia River and out to the Ocean if I didn't use it.

But I don't get any subsidies for it :grunt:

Actually, I am elligable for several, but choose not to deal with the crap involved :lol:

sfsdfd
10-13-05, 11:23 AM
To my way of thinking, personal freedom and economic freedom are two sides of the same coin.
The difference is that when we talk about personal freedom, we're almost always discussing either a sole individual or consenting adults who want to engage in an activity. It's that individual or group vs. something intangible: a shadowy (i.e., imaginary) threat to our security, our sense of morality, etc.

Economics is inherently and ubiquitously competitive. It may not always be a zero-sum game, but the players are always opponents. All of the situations I mentioned involve a powerful company vs. a powerless individual in a competitive situation. In every such case, the individual loses. There is no incentive to be fair when we have a labor surplus - someone more desperate will come along.
Just to take one of your examples below, minimum wage laws violate this principle. If a business owner wants to offer a certain wage and someone is willing to work for that wage, they are not allowed to do so. Regardless of whether you think it is good or bad, minimum wage laws do violate the principle you just endorsed in the noneconomic realm. I endorse it in the economic realm because of (a) the principle which I see as the highest moral principle and (b) because I think minimum wage laws are harmful to society and to the poor in the long run.
Moral principles are fine, unless they are unrealistic. You suggest that companies will respond to "economic freedom" by offering their commodity employees a fair wage, through the magic of competition. I stridently disagree. Companies have a habit of collusion, and wouldn't hesitate to do so to keep wages artificially low. It's the nature of the free market, which is why completely "free" markets inexorably break down.

Adam Smith, the (unwitting) poster boy for the laissez-faire economic policy of libertarians, maintained a deep suspicion of corporations. He strongly advocated economic regulation to prevent market consolidation and trusts. So it's ironic that the political group purportedly carrying his banner shares no such concern - it's like <i>ala carte</i> economic policy.
You may be right for short term solutions but they undermine the way a free economy can build up wealth in the long run.
If by "build up wealth" you mean that corporate holdings swell, I agree.

If by "build up wealth" you mean that the working population as a whole becomes accumulates wealth, I hugely disagree.
You know, I could say that liberals want to "screw the poor" by building a welfare state that sends all the wrong messages and creates all the wrong incentives and tries to trap the poor in a vicious neverending cycle of poverty.
You could, but that would ignore the heavy emphasis placed by liberals on education, equal-opportunity workplaces, and economic mobility.
I know most liberals are well-intentioned. I also know most libertarians are well-intentioned. Let's give them both that.
I believe that most libertarians are misguided. I also believe that a significant minority of libertarians are at least a bit malevolent in their naivete. I believe that many espouse supply-side economics as a panacea, but don't actually believe that it actually works as they claim for the poor. They may want to believe that it's true without logically considering it, or they may just not care.

For those who earnestly hold these beliefs - as you do - I hold no malice or cynicism. But I will be eager to discuss what I see as flaws in your principles.

- David Stein

movielib
10-13-05, 11:45 AM
For those who earnestly hold these beliefs - as you do - I hold no malice or cynicism.
That's all I was asking for. I had no intention of or interest in rehashing all the old arguments on those points you brought up.

I believe that most libertarians are misguided. I also believe that a significant minority of libertarians are at least a bit malevolent in their naivete. I believe that many espouse supply-side economics as a panacea, but don't actually believe that it actually works as they claim for the poor. They may want to believe that it's true without logically considering it, or they may just not care.
All I can say is that I think you are utterly wrong about that. I think the vast majority of libertarians fall into the category of those who earnestly hold these beliefs. I have never personally known a libertarian who did not fall into this category. Furthermore, as you probably figure, I read libertarian books, magazines, online articles and other publications extensively. I simply do not see the malevolence or uncaring you attitudes you refer to.

Tracer Bullet
10-13-05, 12:06 PM
But that principle applies to economic freedom also. It seems liberals just want to throw it away when it comes to that. To my way of thinking, personal freedom and economic freedom are two sides of the same coin. They are both equally vital to a free society. Just to take one of your examples below, minimum wage laws violate this principle. If a business owner wants to offer a certain wage and someone is willing to work for that wage, they are not allowed to do so. Regardless of whether you think it is good or bad, minimum wage laws do violate the principle you just endorsed in the noneconomic realm. I endorse it in the economic realm because of (a) the principle which I see as the highest moral principle and (b) because I think minimum wage laws are harmful to society and to the poor in the long run.


Yes, I am saying just that. You may be right for short term solutions but they undermine the way a free economy can build up wealth in the long run. If our society had had such a free economy for the last hundred years I believe we would be incomparably wealthy compared to what we are today. I think our "poor" would be living better than the richest people today.

I find this topic extremely interesting because I once considered myself a libertarian, but I changed my mind on economics and went closer to being a liberal. To me, the problem arose when you dealt with individuals vs. groups. Libertarian economic freedom is based on the idea that, all things being equal, people rationally work towards what is it their best interest. I don't even necessarily disagree with this. But everything is not equal, because the balance of power between a worker and an employer is biased towards favoring the company.

When you start talking about the poor, it gets so out of whack that it seems laughable to suggest that the worker holds any power at all. Only in extreme circumstances do poor workers hold enough power that an employer will offer higher wages and benefits. grundle posted an article about Burger King offering huge bonuses for signing on for a specific period of time. Libertarians would use this as an example of the elasticity of power between the two groups. I see validation of the idea that companies won't willingly pay their poorest workers more unless forced to by extraordinary circumstances. Who's right?

sfsdfd
10-13-05, 12:28 PM
I think the vast majority of libertarians fall into the category of those who earnestly hold these beliefs. I have never personally known a libertarian who did not fall into this category.
You've never heard a libertarian express the <b>al bundy</b>-like view that if the poor can't survive in a laissez-faire economy, it's just their fault for being lazy or unmotivated? I've heard that more than once.

But I believe your statement that your experience has been different, and it's not unreasonable. I guess that ends this particular discussion.

- David Stein

classicman2
10-13-05, 12:32 PM
I've heard libertarians express that view.

David,

I'm shocked at your agreement (somewhat) with libertarians on anything. I thought you had a view of the social contract that's totally alien to what they believe.

movielib
10-13-05, 12:42 PM
You've never heard a libertarian express the <b>al bundy</b>-like view that if the poor can't survive in a laissez-faire economy, it's just their fault for being lazy or unmotivated? I've heard that more than once.
Of course I've heard that view. But seldom from libertarians. I've never considered our al bundy to be a libertarian. Have you ever heard it from Red Dog or Duran or me or others like us?

In my experience and reading, libertarians are usually very big on advocating voluntary charity for those who are truly in need. We recognize that most poor people are not just lazy bums. We also think that in a free economy there will be a lot less poor people to begin with and thus a lot less need.

But I believe your statement that your experience has been different, and it's not unreasonable. I guess that ends this particular discussion.
OK.

classicman2
10-13-05, 12:49 PM
What's a free economy?

Is it something like the non-existant free market?

:lol:

movielib
10-13-05, 12:54 PM
What's a free economy?

Is it something like the non-existant free market?

:lol:
It's the non-existent framework (wherein the government does not regulate the economic system except to protect people's non-existent rights) for the non-existent free market.

classicman2
10-13-05, 01:17 PM
Thank you.

Finally - a libertarian admits he doesn't live in a real world.

:)

Red Dog
10-13-05, 02:16 PM
Problem: I want to keep a couple of hogs, a couple of goats, and a camel in my back yard. Without zoning laws, what do you do? Maybe all the neighbors, with the exception of one, may not any problem with my animals. Only one does. What do you do?



Is this....could it be.....a hypothetical? Hmmmm.

movielib
10-13-05, 02:40 PM
Thank you.

Finally - a libertarian admits he doesn't live in a real world.

:)
In a real world? Only a non-existent god knows how many you inhabit. ;)

sfsdfd
10-13-05, 02:55 PM
David,

I'm shocked at your agreement (somewhat) with libertarians on anything. I thought you had a view of the social contract that's totally alien to what they believe.
Well, I heartily believe in the classic social contract. And I believe that this contract requires citizens to act and refrain from acting in certain ways. Of course, I don't believe that the contract should be stretched to require citizens to act "morally" where those actions don't otherwise benefit society. Anti-sodomy laws, for instance, provide no benefit to anyone, except for some smudgy notions of upholding moral character. In this, I side with libertarians over social conservatives.

But for the record, I do consider most libertarians to be aliens. ;)

- David Stein

SuprVgeta
10-13-05, 02:55 PM
Plate techtonics, hurricanes, heavy rain, and drought never existed until we had capitalism.
:lol: My thoughts exactly.

Red Dog
10-13-05, 03:10 PM
But for the record, I do consider most libertarians to be aliens. ;)

- David Stein


We're Vulcans - highly logical; unlike the rest of you conflicted inconsistent humans. ;)

sfsdfd
10-13-05, 04:46 PM
We're Vulcans - highly logical; unlike the rest of you conflicted inconsistent humans. ;)
I think that's a pretty good rating on the Red Dog Scale of Value, which, last I checked, goes like this:

Libertarians
Conflicted inconsistent humans <----- sfsdfd goes here
George W. Bush
Carbon blobs
Madam Justice O'Connor


How close is this to an accurate scale? Can you fill in the gaps? :D

- David Stein

movielib
10-13-05, 06:36 PM
...
But for the record, I do consider most libertarians to be aliens. ;)

- David Stein
Just don't mistake us for that Gene Roddenberry wretched unwittingly idiotic supposed representation of capitalists, the Ferengi. :)

kvrdave
10-13-05, 06:47 PM
I have no problem with the Ferengi. :shrug:

grundle
10-14-05, 09:34 AM
Yeah, you're right, that's what happens when you type without thinking too much.
Oh, that's all right.

When I post here, I usually just close my eyes and type keys at random. The fact that a small percentage of my posts might be occasionally comprehensible is just a statistical fluke.

If there is anyone here who types without thinking, it's me.

Red Dog
10-14-05, 09:52 AM
Just don't mistake us for that Gene Roddenberry wretched unwittingly idiotic supposed representation of capitalists, the Ferengi. :)


Ferengi Rule of Acquisition Rule 162 is applicable in this thread: "Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit."

Red Dog
10-14-05, 09:53 AM
I think that's a pretty good rating on the Red Dog Scale of Value, which, last I checked, goes like this:

Libertarians
Conflicted inconsistent humans <----- sfsdfd goes here
George W. Bush
Carbon blobs
Madam Justice O'Connor


How close is this to an accurate scale? Can you fill in the gaps? :D

- David Stein


Not sure about the Bush placement. I can't decide whether to flip him and the carbon blobs or just say he is one of the blobs.


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