Daily Topics - Friday June 4th 2010

Daily Topics - Friday June 4th 2010

Thom is "live" from the United Nations...in NYC

Senator Bernie Sanders is here "Brunch with Bernie" http//sanders.senate.gov

Comments

gerald
gerald's picture
Monsanto is a terrorist

Monsanto is a terrorist corporation.

RandyWinn
RandyWinn's picture
C4ss and Libertarianism in

C4ss and Libertarianism in general have a small problem and a big problem.

The small problem is that they really aren't very good at economics. C4ss says that in a real stateless world, BP would not cause more damage than it could clean up because insurers and/or the threat of lawsuits would deter them. But this is simply false; it is economically rational to gamble more than you can afford to pay if you lose, if the potential payout is sufficient ... and "sufficient" has no relationship to the potential losses of your victims.

Hypothetical: you have zero net assets (real assets vs. debt) PLUS the opportunity to do X (what "X" may be doesn't matter; it could be flipping a coin or it could be drilling a well) which has a 50% chance of yielding you $1 Gazillion dollars, and a 50% chance of inflicting $2 Gazzillion of damage on your neighbors for which you would be liable. Do you take the chance?

Of course you do. If you lose the bet, you lose nothing because you can't pay off. The company folds, the executives go elsewhere. But if you win ah! you are fantastically wealthy.

Whenever I ask Libertarians about this hypothetical, they sputter something about how executives would never do that because it'd look bad on their resume. Apparantly they never heard of Carly Fiorina running HP into the ground and emergin' enough cred to run for Senator.

That's the small problem. The big problem is that humans don't follow *only* the laws of economics; there's a lot more going on. Running a society on Libertarianism is like running a car on gasoline but not lubricating it..

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
What is the difference

What is the difference between the economics of Libertarianism  and laissez faire capitalism?

Thom has stated over and over, laissez faire capitalism has never worked.

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
What is the difference

What is the difference between the economics of Libertarianism  and laissez faire capitalism?

Thom has stated over and over, laissez faire capitalism has never worked.

I always prefer the empirical over the theoretical (aka imaginary).

Galileo over Aristotle.

harry ashburn
harry ashburn's picture
"You think this is

"You think this is hell..wait'll the Devil comes along in his speedboat!"