Why Thom is wrong on the economy.

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Quote truth to power:

Nope, government corruption, inefficieny, waste, et al correlates directly and positively with the amount of tax and regulatory power that government possesses.

Once again, cite your source please.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

Truth to Power says:

"...Thom and others think that the 'solution' to government corruption is to feed the beast, make it bigger, give it more power. .."

To say that our proposals are impractical is irrelevant. We feel the same way about yours. You can prove that our proposals have been tried a thousand times and failed, and we just respond that they were not tried in exactly the manner which we advocate.

The same is exactly true for your side.

It is a profoundly irrelevant argument.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote truth to power:

ah2,

you really stepped in it now!

My graph presented two variables -- gross government spending and government spending as a percentage of GDP

YOur statement:

I am confused, however, by the arguments presented by the author of that article. First, the graph that they present is one that measures DEBT % of GDP NOT Gross governmental spending % of GDP.--ah2

And your further 'explanation':

Second, the graph has an error somewhere. Look at the second column of numbers. Sweden is marked as having 49.1% but the line would suggest that they are sandwiched between France (94.1%) and Britain (82.4) and the US's line is at the bottom despite the numbers completely not reflecting that at all. So, what the hell is going on with that graphic?--ah2

No, the graph is fine, your in error since you didnt see that the higher percentages represent a different variable, hence two variables on the same graph both showing without question that Sweden's government reduced expenditures relative to overall GDP. Hence private sector spending increased relative to public spending

Hey thanks for pointing that out. The way they have the graph written is really really weird. So, as I understand it, the lines show government spending as % of GDP and the number in the boxes represents the % of the debt making up the GDP. Of course the analysis is still a little off. If Sweden had been paying off their debt over that period of time, they could theoretically reduce the amount they were contributing to the debt as they paid it down as a result of the reduced accumulated interest and make no changes in their governmental program spending at all. It would take a lot more aggregated data for us to make such broad claims about their fiscal policy. Additionally, even with that clarification, the comment I made about your previous claims still holds true. You cannot use Sweden reducing its spending from almost 60% of its GDP down to something like 54% as a rationale for why we need to reduce ours when we are barely above 43%.

As a good supply sider, you certainly have heard of the Laffer Curve... Thing about that theory is that Republicans have always claimed that our problem is that we are on the high side of the curve and need to reduce tax rates to generate the most revenue for the government. Well, looking at this data it would seem to me that they are completely wrong and that the peak of the curve is somewhere between where we are now and where Sweden is. Additionally, because Sweden's economy and debt reduction has been so drastic, one could also make a reasonable claim that they are closer to the apex than we are. Thus, we should INCREASE governmental spending and tax rates to closer match theirs - we are obviously on the down side of the Laffer Curve and cutting more would result in economic harm.

Additionally, NOTHING on the graph indicates what they are doing with their tax rates which has been one of your primary places of contention.

this back and forth is a fundamental waste of my time due to your inability or unwillingness to meet me at least 1/4 of the way from your ideological rigid stance.

I have presented only one claim - that worker owned firms would be a better organizational structure for a free market economy than a capitalist one. EVERYTHING ELSE I HAVE DONE IN THIS THREAD HAS NOT BEEN MY OPINION BUT POINTING OUT FALLACIES, FALSE CLAIMS, and INNACCURACIES IN YOUR EVIDENCE.

so for the fourth time, do you agree or disagree with my assertion that as government tax and regulatory power increases -- that the amount of lobbyist influence in Washington increases ?

for example, do you agree or disagree that this lobbyist money flowing into politicians coffers influences legislative outcomes based on the amount of money dispensed ?

and lastly, do you agree or disagree that an increase in the influence of lobbyists based on campaign largesse, bribes, and political connectedness versus economic realities present in the free market absent government interference ?

I have received no apology for you falsely accusing me of committing logical fallacies, so I will not answer these questions yet. You need to be held accountable for the shit you say. Clearly no one has done that with you before and it is a lesson that must be learned if you wish to engage in serious debate about serious issues. Once that is done, I will continue the discussion at your leisure.

Hope you had fun at the beach with your kids.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote truth to power:

Moreover I welcome opposing views, that is why I am persusing this site. By any objective, independent thinking and rational measure -- my presence here confirms my objectivity for seeking truth.

Sorry, mere presence is not enough to confirm objectivity.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote truth to power:
Truth To Power's position is that government is too easy too corrupt and that coercion stifles competition and the individual's ability to make a better society is through choosing commerce that fits their beliefs. -- micahjr

Nope, government corruption, inefficieny, waste, et al correlates directly and positively with the amount of tax and regulatory power that government possesses.

This is still an empty claim for which you have provided no evidence. I still refer you to my previous challenge. Please prove that Sweden (or France, or Britain) has a more corrupt government than the US. Please prove that Somalia has a less corrupt government than the US.

Reduce the size and scope of government and waste, corruption, inefficiency will decentralize and decrease punishing only those free market actors who made greedy, ill-informed, or bad judgments. Capital and valued resources will flow to those actors whose innovative, sound, and dynamic decisions best satisfy consumer and business preferences with the least cost and consumption of valued resources.

Please prove that Enron is less corrupt than all governments in the world. If markets are ALWAYS less corrupt than government, then ALL corporations are less corrupt than ALL governments. I also find it odd that you are saying that governments are corrupt but what you claim is corrupting them are the corporations. Sort of a contadiction don't you think?

Societal producitivity, growth, and living standards will increase under this framework because it is far more productive since it is based on economic realities that benefit the majority on Main Street instead of political connectedness that benefits the elitist few.

Please prove that markets are more efficient than governmental programs in all cases. Please provide evidence and cite your sources.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

Truth To Power,

I think that you and I have begun to go in circles, I think, and I think that we both need to give more solid evidence because our discussion is becoming full of circular logic on both our parts. As an example:

I make the contention that using "coercion" to stop someone from doing something is different from using "coercion" to obtain compensation for property lost or damaged due to the commerce of others. Your position is that this matter would belong in a court, for an impartial decision on "who owes who what." However, that is only half of the situation! The other half is about stopping the "bad" first, so no new damage and loss to property is sustained. This is where regulations come in. It is regulations that decide what is or is not the governments business to get involved in. When the authorities are called, they can only stop actions that the law (regulations) allows them to do so. If an action is not described as illegal by the regulations, then the authorities have no power to stop it, let alone provide a court willing to award for damages.

Truth to Power, I challenge you to come up with at least one (preferably two) instances of when the presence of regulations actually impeded A) stopping an action from happening, and B) impeded the courts from awarding damages because what actions did take place.

Now, Iam not saying that all regulations are "good." I am not saying that all regulations are "efficient." What I am saying is that with no regulations the authorities have no real power at all to stop "bad" commerce. And were the regulators to have no power to stop something, how can they award damages or even put the criminally negligent in jail?

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
There are, however, problems with you theory - it is not falsifiable. In other words, how do you know the interest rate is wrong? -- dr. econ

of course consumer time preferences, production and consumer demand would set the natural rate of interest to a rational level.

government lowers interest rates below the natural level that encourages a malinvestment in production goods that leads to unsustainable bubbles.

by any objective, rational, and independent thinking measure --- fed manipulation of the money supply and interest rates creates unintended consequences which result in economic distortions that lead to misallocation of resources or malinvestment and collapse.

Since we have had a federal reserve which was specifically created to prevent bank collapses, strengthen the dollar, and prevent cyclical downturns ---- the dollar is worth 4% of what it was in 1913, we have had thousands of bank runs and collapses, and dozens of cyclical downturns including the great depression and recession.

it is another institution that politically connected elites 'game' at the expense of Main Street and the middle class, see bank bailout.

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truth to power
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Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm

Truth To Power,

May I know your position on states rights, and the rights of counties within states? I know this may sound strange, but I think your position would make more sense about "competition" and "decentralization" if more power was given to states and less power was given to the federal government.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

So we should... destroy our government in order to save our government?

Should we also kill our children to save them from a sinful world too?

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hodenkat
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Jul. 21, 2011 12:00 pm

Truth to Power finally responds:

Dr. Econ : There are, however, problems with you theory - it is not falsifiable. In other words, how do you know the interest rate is wrong?

Truth To Power: "...government lowers interest rates below the natural level ..."

You didn't answer the question. I know what your 'mal-investment' hypothesis says. I want you to tell me how you know the interest is wrong with evidence - i.e., that you have a hypothesis that can be falsifiable. I gave two pieces of evidence to show that your hypothesis is false which you neglected to quote for some reason...

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You have it backwards.

Lobbyists representing powerful corporations are the ones with the power and pulling the strings of the puppet politicians in the form of campaign cash. And in the case of an obstinate politician, corporations and their lobbyists can throw unlimited amounts of cash into advertising against said obstinate politician thanks to rightwing crazies on the Supreme Court in their Citizens United v FEC decision.

In other words, you do it my way or you lose your seat in Congress.

Who has the leverage? You walking into a bank seeking a loan or the bank?

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matmar83
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote truth to power:

all government is corrupt, inefficient, and wasteful. although when it is on the local and state level, it is far easier for citizens to vote with their feet. ... Thom is of the naive opinion that his crooks are uncorruptible and that the system can only be corrected by his 'angels'. Thom believes that only Republicans are corrupt and that by and large Democrats are honest ?!

I guess he hasnt seen the short list of democrat corruption that is at least as long as any republican list: ...

Wow, this as dangerous as it is naive since it rejects the fundamental nature of man as a self-serving entity who generally surrenders reason to passion. However, the best solution to check unbridled and damaging passion associated with self-interest is to decentralize it and its consequence from others within a non-coercive, peaceful voluntary free market framework that punishes avarice, bad judgment, excessive impatience or caution, sloth, corruption, et al versus creating a massive centralized behemoth that has control over all aspects of our life, liberty, and private property by entrusting these precious rights to characters like those above and numerous more in the republican party not mentioned.

Since June 1996, the Federal Trade Commission has filed maybe 10,000 claims against private enterprises for fraud and other illegal business practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed actions against a similar number of companies over the same time period.

Free markets punish averice, bad judgment, excessive impatience or caution, sloth, and corruption? Ha-ha! You so funny.

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Ixtelan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Dr. Econ:

Truth to Power finally responds:

Dr. Econ : There are, however, problems with you theory - it is not falsifiable. In other words, how do you know the interest rate is wrong?

Truth To Power: "...government lowers interest rates below the natural level ..."

You didn't answer the question. I know what your 'mal-investment' hypothesis says. I want you to tell me how you know the interest is wrong with evidence - i.e., that you have a hypothesis that can be falsifiable. I gave two pieces of evidence to show that your hypothesis is false which you neglected to quote for some reason...

His method of "argument" has become pretty clear at this point.

EDITED: I forgot a step.

1. State and restate dogmatic views with no evidence until people stop questioning them.

2. If people continue to question them, lash out with claims of fallacies despite not know what they actually are.

3. Provide "evidence" for claims that either doesn't actually support the claim made or is only a fraction of the evidence needed to actually prove a claim. Make broad generalizations on this limited information.

4. If all else fails, ignore evidence contrary to any claims you have made and begin at #1.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote matmar83:

You have it backwards.

Lobbyists representing powerful corporations are the ones with the power and pulling the strings of the puppet politicians in the form of campaign cash. And in the case of an obstinate politician, corporations and their lobbyists can throw unlimited amounts of cash into advertising against said obstinate politician thanks to rightwing crazies on the Supreme Court in their Citizens United v FEC decision.

In other words, you do it my way or you lose your seat in Congress.

Who has the leverage? You walking into a bank seeking a loan or the bank?

This has been exactly my point all along. If corporations are powerful enough to infiltrate, corrupt, and control the government, then the government is not where the power is centralized. That is an illusion. The corporations have the power and the government is acting as the mechanism by which they exercise it. Eliminate government, and they will exercise their power directly.

If you want to decentralize power, then you have democratize capital.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

"government" is the people's way of protecting themselves from corporate power. That is why corporations want to infiltrate and defang government.

Eliminating government leaves us at the mercy of the corporations directly.

Did you watch Bill Maher last Friday? He had on as a guest Harry Markpolos - the whistleblower for the SEC who outed Madoff. He explained how corporations (in this case banks, and Wall Street) defang the regulators by infiltrating government, making sure regulatory agencies have bad budgets and hire incompetent people.

It's called regulatory capture.

All designed to make sure we the people are not protected.

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matmar83
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Truth To Power,

Another reason why there need to be regulations is because "damage or loss of property" doesn't always fit.

What I am about to say is an analogy, but I count it as evidence and not just rhetoric, because similar situations happen many times for real... If you have any doubts, just go to a party with lots of drunk people, and my analogy becomes real...

Say you are home trying to get some sleep. Next door there is a party, the music is extremely loud and there are lots of boisterous people making noise. You can't sleep. You call the police to stop the party or at least tone it down severely. How can it be stopped if there is no damage to your property that can be measured in dollars? Regulations (Laws!)! If there were no laws against "disturbing the peace" or something similar, the police would have no power to stop it. Now apply this to commerce in general, and it shows that there must be some minimal level of regulations to give the authorities teeth to say,"You can't do that!"

I know that this is an analogy, but I consider it real enough to count as "evidence." Now, I can get what you say against centralized power. Just give more power to local communities and the states! If you are worried about corruption of politicians, then increase the power of citizens to hold elected officials accountable! I say that if power corrupts, don't get rid of power, turn it on itself through "checks and ballances!"

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote micahjr34:

Truth To Power,

Another reason why there need to be regulations is because "damage or loss of property" doesn't always fit.

What I am about to say is an analogy, but I count it as evidence and not just rhetoric, because similar situations happen many times for real... If you have any doubts, just go to a party with lots of drunk people, and my analogy becomes real...

Say you are home trying to get some sleep. Next door there is a party, the music is extremely loud and there are lots of boisterous people making noise. You can't sleep. You call the police to stop the party or at least tone it down severely. How can it be stopped if there is no damage to your property that can be measured in dollars? Regulations (Laws!)! If there were no laws against "disturbing the peace" or something similar, the police would have no power to stop it. Now apply this to commerce in general, and it shows that there must be some minimal level of regulations to give the authorities teeth to say,"You can't do that!"

I know that this is an analogy, but I consider it real enough to count as "evidence." Now, I can get what you say against centralized power. Just give more power to local communities and the states! If you are worried about corruption of politicians, then increase the power of citizens to hold elected officials accountable! I say that if power corrupts, don't get rid of power, turn it on itself through "checks and ballances!"

The narrow view of Libertarian property rights also cannot account for ANY good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludeable. Who owns the property rights to air? How about the water table? The Ocean? Sure you can draw imaginary lines and say, "This area belongs to me" but the matter itself - water and air molecules, etc. are not obtainable or ownable by anyone. They are inherently transient.

It is with goods like these that regulations become necessary. One could prove, for example, that a company was placing 123987409283741098 ppm of a particular carcinogen into the air but trying to then follow that pollution to where it spreads, who it affects, whether it consitutes a personal harm to an individual indepenedent of other contributing factors, etc., etc., etc. WOULD BE COMPLETELY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE.

This is why we put regulations in place: to prohibit what we KNOW would constitute a harm but have NO WAY of determining where, who, or to what degree that harm would lie on any given day.

This might bring to mind Jon Stewarts recent segment on the 911 health care bill that passed where they are now finding that Congress put in an exemption for CANCER. The number one ailment that all 911 emergency workers are getting as a result of the toxic fumes they were inhaling, the government won't cover. Why? Because they claim that it is impossible to separate out whether the cancer was caused by the fumes or some other factors, and if other factors contributed, there is no way to determine what "percentage" of the cancer was caused by their exposures at 911.... complete and utter bullshit but it highlights the problem of any dogmatic anti-regulatory scheme where people believe that somehow the market will just figure that crap out on its own and people will easily be able to sue those who have caused them harm in this way. COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAP.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

You said it. In a completely Libertarian (100%) society where there is absolutely no authority that protects rights that go beyond cash value/property, if there was an extremely boisterous party going on next door, I would have to NEGOTIATE with them to stop it or turn things down.

"Please, please! Turn it down! I am trying to sleep!"

"Vote with your feet! Go sleep somewhere else! We are not damaging your property in any way that involves money, so shut the ------ up! Next time you come here to complain we will get out our guns!"

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote truth to power:

Nope, government corruption, inefficieny, waste, et al correlates directly and positively with the amount of tax and regulatory power that government possesses.

For the THIRD TIME IN TWO DAYS,

CITE YOUR SOURCE.

You have shown consistently that you make false claims, lie, claim opinion as fact, fail to cite sources over ridiculous claims and rely heavily on strawmen and red herrings to "debate".

Your method of such delivery speaks volumes about your integrity and character.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

I haven't looked at this thread until now. I read the first few comments and a couple at the end, and sure enough it's good 'ol ah2 and polycarp "holding down the fort" against yet another poster employing the same old tactic of repeating the same sophistical rhetorical assumptions such as "government is evil." It's disturbing to see how factions such as the Tea Party and those who call themselves "libertarian" are adopting rhetoric to make themselves appear idealistic and attract those who are seeking an idealistic position. They are adept at talking out of both sides of their mouth. On the one hand the condemnation of naivetee is axiomatic for them; on the other they reassure us of their good intentions. Poseurs. My apologies if I've mischaracterized truthtopower.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Nimblecivet,

Do I not hold down the "fort?" I would like to think that my posts are constructive and benefit the general discourse on any thread that I add to. If you have a problem with what I post, I give you full permission to lay it on me, Nimblecivet. If what I post is garbage or useless, please tell me so that I can develop more as a person and not just only as a "blogger."

micahjr34

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote ah2:
Quote micahjr34:

Truth To Power,

Another reason why there need to be regulations is because "damage or loss of property" doesn't always fit.

What I am about to say is an analogy, but I count it as evidence and not just rhetoric, because similar situations happen many times for real... If you have any doubts, just go to a party with lots of drunk people, and my analogy becomes real...

Say you are home trying to get some sleep. Next door there is a party, the music is extremely loud and there are lots of boisterous people making noise. You can't sleep. You call the police to stop the party or at least tone it down severely. How can it be stopped if there is no damage to your property that can be measured in dollars? Regulations (Laws!)! If there were no laws against "disturbing the peace" or something similar, the police would have no power to stop it. Now apply this to commerce in general, and it shows that there must be some minimal level of regulations to give the authorities teeth to say,"You can't do that!"

I know that this is an analogy, but I consider it real enough to count as "evidence." Now, I can get what you say against centralized power. Just give more power to local communities and the states! If you are worried about corruption of politicians, then increase the power of citizens to hold elected officials accountable! I say that if power corrupts, don't get rid of power, turn it on itself through "checks and ballances!"

The narrow view of Libertarian property rights also cannot account for ANY good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludeable. Who owns the property rights to air? How about the water table? The Ocean? Sure you can draw imaginary lines and say, "This area belongs to me" but the matter itself - water and air molecules, etc. are not obtainable or ownable by anyone. They are inherently transient.

It is with goods like these that regulations become necessary. One could prove, for example, that a company was placing 123987409283741098 ppm of a particular carcinogen into the air but trying to then follow that pollution to where it spreads, who it affects, whether it consitutes a personal harm to an individual indepenedent of other contributing factors, etc., etc., etc. WOULD BE COMPLETELY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE.

This is why we put regulations in place: to prohibit what we KNOW would constitute a harm but have NO WAY of determining where, who, or to what degree that harm would lie on any given day.

This might bring to mind Jon Stewarts recent segment on the 911 health care bill that passed where they are now finding that Congress put in an exemption for CANCER. The number one ailment that all 911 emergency workers are getting as a result of the toxic fumes they were inhaling, the government won't cover. Why? Because they claim that it is impossible to separate out whether the cancer was caused by the fumes or some other factors, and if other factors contributed, there is no way to determine what "percentage" of the cancer was caused by their exposures at 911.... complete and utter bullshit but it highlights the problem of any dogmatic anti-regulatory scheme where people believe that somehow the market will just figure that crap out on its own and people will easily be able to sue those who have caused them harm in this way. COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAP.

If this person truly was sincere they would have at leat attempted to answer a very simple question/challenge I posed to libertarians visiting this site and lo and behold he/she has steered clear away from it.

Hell he has been conviniently ignoring me asking him to cite a source of a opinion that he passes as fact for over two days.

There is no way to "debate" this person because he/she plays by a different rule set and makes things up as they go along to justify whatever bullshit claims they are making.

All I have seen from this poster is strawman after strawman. They need to let up because the national straw supply is running out.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

Its very possible he was banned over the last few days. These folks never last here very long.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote ah2:

Its very possible he was banned over the last few days. These folks never last here very long.

He was posting but conviniently ignoring the shit he couldn't hang with. That's why I was calling him out.

That said, he may be banned atm.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

In Libertopia, you have to sue your neighbors that are making too much noise.

And that's plainly ridiculous.

It's also ridiculous to assume that I have bear the cost of the suit, and if I'm too poor, then, in fact, I don't really belong to Libertopia, because I can't defend my property rights. And what if I needed a witness to a crime who is now in another state and he doesn't want to testify? I don't even think a system of justice could work in a libertarian state.

As to the air and water, well, the Coase theorm assumes that proptery rights can be defined. And if they can't, well, that's something Libertarians never address.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Dr. Econ:

In Libertopia, you have to sue your neighbors that are making too much noise.

And that's plainly ridiculous.

It's also ridiculous to assume that I have bear the cost of the suit, and if I'm too poor, then, in fact, I don't really belong to Libertopia, because I can't defend my property rights. And what if I needed a witness to a crime who is now in another state and he doesn't want to testify? I don't even think a system of justice could work in a libertarian state.

As to the air and water, well, the Coase theorm assumes that proptery rights can be defined. And if they can't, well, that's something Libertarians never address.

My favorite was when a libertarian came on here and tried to explain that even courts should be privatized and that because they would be part of a market they would be immune to corruption. That was hilarious.

As for the Coasian Theorem, it doesn't assume property rights can be defined, it requires it as a prerequisite for the theorem to work. The examples I provided would be impossible to define property rights and, thus, the Coasian theorem would not work in those cases.

Caose apparently used radio frequencies to illustrate his ideas. They don't have the same properties as air molecules.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

Yesterday Thom talked about food-poisoning absent the FDA. Couldn't testing be handled by the University, with dissemination and monitoring by an independant Press like Woodward and Thom?

choctaw willy's picture
choctaw willy
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Jul. 13, 2011 2:08 pm
Quote choctaw willy:

Yesterday Thom talked about food-poisoning absent the FDA. Couldn't testing be handled by the University, with dissemination and monitoring by an independant Press like Woodward and Thom?

And the university receives funding from whom? If this is what your solution is, all that would happen is that the university food testing labs and programs would balloon to the size of the FDA. It would be LESS efficient than having a specialized agency. The university does not exist to test the food you eat. Their charter is about doing research and educating people, not being a watch dog regulatory service. Coordinating an effort like this across several campuses that have no affiliation to one another would increase the overhead to adminstrate such an effort as well. This is not a good idea. Take it from someone who works at a university.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

I'm not sure about your specific point. Do you mean the government would 'privatize' the FDA to a private university?

I think there would be some conflict of interest if you sent it to a University that got lots of money from drug companies to do research. But if you sent it to, say, 'The New School of Social Research", I guess I wouldn't mind.

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

@Truth and Power

You lost me entirely with "As a tea party member, I intuitively understand the mechanisms driving our current problems." Do I understand correctly that becomming a tea party member will imbue me with special abilities. I guess it is the same as me saying that, 'as a Progressive, I inuitively understand that you're rediculous.'

militant mind's picture
militant mind
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Mar. 31, 2011 2:14 am
Quote militant mind:

I guess it is the same as me saying that, 'as a Progressive, I inuitively understand that you're rediculous.'

Actually you don't need to be progressive to know that the OP is ridiculous.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

I am mightily confused:

"... this is precisely why the Tea Party was formed to defeat the duopoly of govt and special interests. We seek to reduce the power of lobbyists and govt to coerce hard earned wealth from Main Street and redistributed it to their friends on Wall Street, big oil , big pharma, big agri, big alternative energy, environmental lobby, big unions, defense industry, et al " - TTP

I thought this is what the R's have been doing for a long time now, and what liberals are trying to reverse by taxing pig oil, pig pharma, pig agri, etc. and giving it back to Main Street; and the Tea Party has virtually stopped the liberals,

The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy?

As Thom pointed out yesterday on the radio, 'Libertarianism' has great appeal to the naive idealist - him, me, and apparently TTP.

BTW: The slogan of the original Tea Party, in Boston, was "No taxation without representation" - they weren't anti-tax, they just wanted the right to vote for them.

choctaw willy's picture
choctaw willy
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Jul. 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Once we are able to acheive real reform of the financial industry we will be able to see an effective balance of interests in D.C., between "big" corporations and main street. "The people" have to carefully evaluate how their limited resources will be used at the federal level. Some things are better accomplished at the local level, but at the same time the corporatocracy is adept at pitting localities against each other in the "race to the bottom."

The Republicans are waiting for the Bush tax cuts to expire so they can argue that they are the ones who have been fighting to prevent tax increases on the middle class. The reality is that they know that the majority of the people see the need to increase taxation on Wall St., but if they can join forces with corporatist democrats they will be able to prevent tax increases on the super-wealthy.

You might have heard the caller that asked Thom if its time for a third party. Thom answered "no"; but I wonder if the "radical middle" can agree which party is best to "infiltrate." To me, it seems better to gather like minded people who will not spend time fighting for power within an already established party. Some elements of a third-party platform could include:

1) eliminate the "individual mandate", if necessary by amendment to the Constitution

2) public financing of elections

3) a "right to work" via the government as the employer of last resort

etc.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote choctaw willy:

BTW: The slogan of the original Tea Party, in Boston, was "No taxation without representation" - they weren't anti-tax, they just wanted the right to vote for them.

Actually Willy, the colonists were pissed off about the monopoly that the British East India Company had over the colonies with one of those commodities being tea.

From the Wikipedia entry

"The arrival of tax-exempt Company tea, undercutting the local merchants, triggered the Boston Tea Party in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, one of the major events leading up to the American Revolution."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

Well, it occured to me there were plenty of chem and bio majors, say at State schools like Aggies, doing bs lab work anyway, why can't they do something constructive? Maybe it would take too much away from esoteric research. I take your point...

choctaw willy's picture
choctaw willy
Joined:
Jul. 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Maybe the Corporatocrats have bought into the 2012 [myth] and are trying to live as high off the hog as they can until 'haoN's Fire', after which they won't care and neither will anyone else... ;)

choctaw willy's picture
choctaw willy
Joined:
Jul. 13, 2011 2:08 pm

I think we all share disappointment with the government and it seems simple to remove some of their power to fix that. The problem is that though flawed, the government is still accountable to the people and we can vote them in and out of office.

Large corporations and super wealthy private citizens will fill the power vacuum if the government is shrunk (privatization of public entities etc etc - already happens all the time).

We cannot vote on the members of these corporations nor do they have any sort of mandate to operate for the public good. Profits only.

The government is a frustrating dysfunctional beaurocracy that protects us from a much worse reality - lawless agressive capitalism. We need to keep our interests at heart here not act out of frustration.

illustrium's picture
illustrium
Joined:
Aug. 5, 2011 3:26 pm
We cannot vote on the members of these corporations nor do they have any sort of mandate to operate for the public good. Profits only. -- illustruim

We vote for the private corporation of our choice everyday, sometimes every hour. In contrast, we can only vote for an elected representative once every few years and we are never completely satisfied with all of their decisions. Hence, we must share the good with the bad.

Regarding private corporations, we are generally 100% satisfied or we patronize their competitor, or we form our own firm to compete.

In sum, government is a vast inefficient, corrupt, wasteful, self-serving bureaucray with all the guns and legal power --- to assert that this is preferable to competition, free choice, and accountability is not supported by fact, logic, and empirical evidence.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm

Dominic C,

Directly from your source:

The Company long held a privileged position in relation to the British Government. As a result, it was frequently granted special rights and privileges, including trade monopolies and exemptions. These caused resentment among its competitors, who saw unfair advantage in the Company's position. Despite this resentment, the Company remained a powerful force for over 250 years.--wiki

This is another example of the enduring duopoly between government and special interests (in this case the British East India Company) that confirms my assertion that rather then act as a check on monopoly, government facilitates the creation of monopolies through campaign contributions, bribes, and influence peddling.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm
Quote choctaw willy:

I am mightily confused:

"... this is precisely why the Tea Party was formed to defeat the duopoly of govt and special interests. We seek to reduce the power of lobbyists and govt to coerce hard earned wealth from Main Street and redistributed it to their friends on Wall Street, big oil , big pharma, big agri, big alternative energy, environmental lobby, big unions, defense industry, et al " - TTP

I thought this is what the R's have been doing for a long time now, and what liberals are trying to reverse by taxing pig oil, pig pharma, pig agri, etc. and giving it back to Main Street; and the Tea Party has virtually stopped the liberals,

The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy?

As Thom pointed out yesterday on the radio, 'Libertarianism' has great appeal to the naive idealist - him, me, and apparently TTP.

BTW: The slogan of the original Tea Party, in Boston, was "No taxation without representation" - they weren't anti-tax, they just wanted the right to vote for them.

Willy, Thom openly self-describes as a Democtratic Socialist, not a Libertarian.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
1) eliminate the "individual mandate", if necessary by amendment to the Constitution -- nimblecivet

I dont know where your going with this, but I like it, so far.

2) public financing of elections

The corruption will simply become criminal and covert -- like illicit drug use. hence if there is money to be made, then corruption will follow. You think the drug war is problematic, try preventing special interests from making politics the biggest criminal enterprise in the history of mankind.

3) a "right to work" via the government as the employer of last resort

empirically proven to be wasteful, corrupt, inefficient, and unsustainable

But I like your train of thought relative to the pure ideologues that seem to dominate the democrat and republican parties.

Once we are able to acheive real reform of the financial industry we will be able to see an effective balance of interests in D.C., between "big" corporations and main street.--nimblecivet

We had reform when the financial markets collapsed. The greedy, politically connected, and inefficient financial firms went belly-up. The CEOs and their stupid shareholders should have been punished as the free market dictated in its infinite wisdom.

But guess what happened ?

Obama, Bush, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, et al bailed them out ?!

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm
If this person truly was sincere they would have at leat attempted to answer a very simple question/challenge I posed to libertarians visiting this site and lo and behold he/she has steered clear away from it.-- dominic C

Give me a break dude, I got a life.

Say you are home trying to get some sleep. Next door there is a party, the music is extremely loud and there are lots of boisterous people making noise. You can't sleep. You call the police to stop the party or at least tone it down severely. How can it be stopped if there is no damage to your property that can be measured in dollars? Regulations (Laws!)! If there were no laws against "disturbing the peace" or something similar, the police would have no power to stop it. Now apply this to commerce in general, and it shows that there must be some minimal level of regulations to give the authorities teeth to say,"You can't do that!" -- Dominic C

There is a simple, voluntary, non-coercive solution to this 'problem' -- it is called a home owners association contract that specifies the db level that is permissible at a given time of the day.

The local, state, and federal authorities would protect contract and private property rights without picking winners or losers since all residents would be required to peruse the home owners association guidelines and decide whether they wanted to live in this community.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm
In Libertopia, you have to sue your neighbors that are making too much noise.

And that's plainly ridiculous. -- Dr. Econ

In 'libertopia' private property rights and contracts are impartially protected by local, state, and Federal government judiciary and law enforcement entities.

The primary difference is that the government has little or no control over private property, hence far less corruption, waste, and inefficiency since the lobbyists, bribes, and influence peddling go to where the tax and regulatory policy resides.

If government is only an impartial arbiter with no horse in the race -- then the likelihood of corruption is significantly reduced.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm
His method of "argument" has become pretty clear at this point.

EDITED: I forgot a step.

1. State and restate dogmatic views with no evidence until people stop questioning them.

2. If people continue to question them, lash out with claims of fallacies despite not know what they actually are.

3. Provide "evidence" for claims that either doesn't actually support the claim made or is only a fraction of the evidence needed to actually prove a claim. Make broad generalizations on this limited information.

4. If all else fails, ignore evidence contrary to any claims you have made and begin at #1. -- ah2

Let me challenge you by asking you a series of questions without any input from myself, this can hardly be considered a fallacy (since when is issuing a question a fallacy?)

As the amount of tax and regulatory policy in Washington increases, does the amount of lobbyist spending, bribes, and influence peddling increase or decrease ?

Simple question that I have challenged you to answer probably a half dozen times and you have failed to respond to this challenge, save prolific diversionary charges of fallacious arguments.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm
Since June 1996, the Federal Trade Commission has filed maybe 10,000 claims against private enterprises for fraud and other illegal business practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed actions against a similar number of companies over the same time period. -- Ixtelan

And I bet most, if not all of them, was inspired by some politician acting on behalf of a generous special interest group that wanted government to intervene on its behalf to squelch potential competitors.

For example, I will be extremely generous and allow you to present your choice of the most grievous of this illegal business practices and I will proceed to expose it for what it is ---- crony capitalism or political opportunism.

Note that every single line of regulation and tax subsidies has some constuiency or campaign contributor attached to it. Indeed, government is more likely to facilitate 'free market' transgressions then to correct them ---- remember govt. does not bite the hand that feeds it.

Since I have a life, I will eagerly await your example and respond to it within a week.

truth to power's picture
truth to power
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2011 7:21 pm

That bailout, was that the one conservative Republican Bush, and conservative Bernanke, and the rest of the Bush econ team stopped the election campaign season for?
Ever notice every time some rich White guy is about to become poor, allthe conservatives suddenly discover a role for govt in the markets.
LTCM, the airlines, Wall Street banksters, AIG all were conservative free market rescue projects. Add in Enron calling Shotgun Cheney to save their butts, and you get the idea.
I wonder why you failed to include all the conservatives who lead the way on bailing out Wall Street? Are you merely forgetful, or are you just dishonest?

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
Joined:
Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

Truth To Power,

Concerning the power to enforce contracts, contracts are not the final arbiter. The constitution and the bill of rights supercedes all private contracts when it comes to citizen rights, followed by national laws, then by state constitutions, state laws, and then by city/municipality laws. The only example of a current system of contracts that goes against this rule of thumb are contracts with "bail bond" agencies, and I even think that such contracts are garbage.

When it comes to home owners associations, those contracts are not absolute in their authority. Besides, what if your neighbors are doing something that is not mentioned in the contract? I would still have the right to call the police and have them "coerce" you into stopping what ever it was that you were doing. Truth To Power, the use of government regulations to stop an activity and the use of the courts to award for damages are two different things. If I would ever sign a contract with you limiting my ability to use "coercion" to stop you from interfering with my "property rights" I would just tear up that contract and let you take me to court. Any contract that limits my ability to "coerce" people through government protection that are interfering with my life is a bad one. I reserve my right to have the government protect me, and if that means letting the government coerce you into stopping something that you are doing to me, all contracts are out. I refuse to sign any contract that limits my rights to government protection, and if I have signed one, you can sue me!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

Truth To Power,

You have not proven that a law enforcement through contracts and a court that enforces those contracts are any better than a government protecting ME through laws. If you find it "coercive" for the government to pass laws that protect people outside of "contracts" in the private sector, then all I can say is that you will have to get used to it. I respect your right to live and pursue your happiness. However, I do believe in government authority, held accountable to the people through elections, and that supercedes the "protection" of contracts that only serve the power of FOR PROFIT organizations. If that means that you have to stop doing something because it hurts someone else, and no contract between you and that person exists, then you are just going to have to be "coerced." If being protected by the government makes me a "coercionist," then so be it!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

Truth to Power,

You have not proven in any way that it is essentially immoral or unethical for people to be protected from other people through "coercive" laws. Everything you have been saying is based on "contract theory." Well, when it comes to protection from crime (through force, fraud, or otherwise), I will not negotiate. I am willing to negotiate concerning damages to property, but some things can't be measured in terms of property. If you are doing something to me, YOU will stop it, even if I have to call the police and have them "coerce" you into stopping it, contracts or no contracts. However, when it comes to damages and compensation for property, that can be another matter.

Truth To Power, you need to get used to the authorities stopping you from doing things to others that is hurting them. If you need to be coerced into not hurting me, that is what I'll do.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote truth to power:
His method of "argument" has become pretty clear at this point.

EDITED: I forgot a step.

1. State and restate dogmatic views with no evidence until people stop questioning them.

2. If people continue to question them, lash out with claims of fallacies despite not know what they actually are.

3. Provide "evidence" for claims that either doesn't actually support the claim made or is only a fraction of the evidence needed to actually prove a claim. Make broad generalizations on this limited information.

4. If all else fails, ignore evidence contrary to any claims you have made and begin at #1. -- ah2

Let me challenge you by asking you a series of questions without any input from myself, this can hardly be considered a fallacy (since when is issuing a question a fallacy?)

As the amount of tax and regulatory policy in Washington increases, does the amount of lobbyist spending, bribes, and influence peddling increase or decrease ?

Simple question that I have challenged you to answer probably a half dozen times and you have failed to respond to this challenge, save prolific diversionary charges of fallacious arguments.

My charges were substantiated with evidence. You know what I am waiting on. Suck it up.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

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