Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jonathan Macey schools Krugman on private equity

There is life imitating art, art imitating life, and then there is make-believe. Not surprisingly, Paul Krugman chooses the third option, at least when it comes to his belief that Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" gave an accurate picture of how private equity firms work.

(I do agree with Krugman's contention that government is not a business and that a businessman is any more capable of being an effective president than a career politician. Nonetheless, Krugman then wants us to believe the same tired song that government creates prosperity by spending, while businesses create recessions by becoming more efficient and by employing more capital. I can see a politician making such a statement, but an academic economist is supposed to understand something about the Law of Opportunity Cost.)

In his most recent column, Krugman quotes Gordon Gekko's famous "greed is good" speech as though that actually were accurate economics -- that corporate raiders could make money by buying healthy firms and then destroying their value.

What Krugman wants us to believe is that companies like Bain Capital would target successful, healthy, profitable firms, purchase them, and then make money either by running them into bankruptcy and then selling their assets. Now, perhaps at Princeton University, they teach that firm owners become wealthy by driving their firms into insolvency, but I would like to know how the market value of a company would INCREASE when it is careening into failure.

In an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal, Yale law professor Jonathan Macey explains how the private equity system actually works (as opposed to how Krugman says it works). (I don't have the full article available, and if I am able to do it later, I will post it.)

Macey's point is simple; a firm like Bain Capital purchases a firm that is underperforming relative to similar companies, restructures it, and then sells it. In order to profit, the private equity firm must be able to sell the firm (or its assets) for more than it paid for the company at the beginning.

Some common sense is in order, as Macey notes. A company cannot purchase a healthy company, run it into the ground, and then sell it for more than for the purchase price. While Krugman might believe that business people are utterly stupid (as opposed to professors and politicians), they are not so stupid as to buy high and sell low and do it consistently -- and remain in business.

If the Bain Capitals of the world are going to make profits, then they have to sell businesses or their assets (or both) for more than what they paid for the company, and they are NOT going to be able do that by looting a company. That simply makes no sense, which is why I hardly am surprised that both Krugman and Newt Gingrich seem to share the belief that businesses can profit by buying healthy companies, destroying them, and then getting even more value from their sale.

None of this means I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. I hardly am enamored with his candidacy, but when people like Krugman and Gingrich demonstrate that they are utterly ignorant of how the leveraged buyout process works while condemning the whole practice, I'm going to speak up for the simple reason that someone needs to be able to explain some of the simple yet profound tools of economics without the political baggage.

211 comments:

1 – 200 of 211   Newer›   Newest»
American Patriot said...

Professor, you make the same points I made in my American Thinker post this morning
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/gop_field_devours_its_own.html

Progressives do not comprehend that private equity firms play a valuable role in a competitive free market economy. Any job losses that may occur when they get involved pales in comparison to what would happen if they did not exist.

William L. Anderson said...

Your comments are well-taken. There really is no excuse for the scorched-earth campaigning of Gingrich and Perry except to prove that neither of them should be in the White House in the first place, and especially Gingrich.

As for Krugman, since he sees no relationship between production and consumption, and since he believes that the Law of Opportunity Cost is suspended during a depression, he really has no clue what a firm like Bain would do. For that matter, he has no idea that business restructuring is a good thing for the economy overall.

We saw the same kind of nonsense with Michael Milken and the way that the "conservatives" like Giuliani and Ben Stein went after him. In the end, the United States, a nation that gained its economic prowess from entrepreneurship, is turning into a country where the political/economic establishment hates entrepreneurs.

Zachriel said...

William L. Anderson: A company cannot purchase a healthy company, run it into the ground, and then sell it for more than for the purchase price.

Poor widow Johnson, though she has plenty of equity, has been running late on her mortgage payments since her husband's untimely death. Snidely Whiplash buys up the note, and then threatens to foreclose. With a twirl of his moustache, Snidely Whiplash has her sign over the house at a firesale price, above the auction price, but less than the market value. He kicks her out and sells the house for a profit.

Vultures have an important role in the ecosystem, by removing dead carcasses, but they can certainly get out of hand, and don't necessarily work for the best interests of their clients.

Major_Freedom said...

"Poor widow Johnson, though she has plenty of equity, has been running late on her mortgage payments since her husband's untimely death. Snidely Whiplash buys up the note, and then threatens to foreclose. With a twirl of his moustache, Snidely Whiplash has her sign over the house at a firesale price, above the auction price, but less than the market value. He kicks her out and sells the house for a profit."

The market value IS "the firesale price."

Market prices aren't some ephemeral, Platonic concept in never never land, that humans in their actual exchanges can only match, trade below, or trade above.

The "market" is the totality of exchanges, not what you think up on paper or in your mind as "what is fair". If the exchange is made at a price that you label as "firesale", then that price IS the market price.

"Vultures have an important role in the ecosystem, by removing dead carcasses, but they can certainly get out of hand, and don't necessarily work for the best interests of their clients."

Deadbeat borrowers have an important role in the economic system to play for anti-capitalists. Namely, they serve as metaphors being pointed out by people who don't actually help them personally, but point their fingers at them for self-interested political purposes and say "See? My hatred is justified. Can we stop respecting property rights and start violating them already?"

Meanwhile, the poor widow would have stood a better chance at keep in her house if there were a free market, since people would have been far wealthier and able to start charities or insurance companies to mitigate the effects of losing one's spouse.

But yeah, let's ignore opportunity costs and just call for more wealth redistribution "when things get too far."

Major_Freedom said...

Anderson:

"We saw the same kind of nonsense with Michael Milken and the way that the "conservatives" like Giuliani and Ben Stein went after him. In the end, the United States, a nation that gained its economic prowess from entrepreneurship, is turning into a country where the political/economic establishment hates entrepreneurs."

This is why the Krugmans, Giulianis and Steins of the world are so dangerous and destructive to human life. Respect and appreciation of individual entrepreneurs and innovators is the very foundation of western world prosperity.

Even when "corporate raiders" end up changing capital allocations that result in some people's expectations being shattered, and their having to derive new expectations, new plans, and new actions, it is something that must be respected and appreciated.

It is hard for most people because they cannot help but visualize themselves being next, and it's also very hard given the fact that there are so many perpetual cheaters and fraudsters who get bailed out while others don't. But we cannot lose sight of the fundamentals of prosperous civilization, and never tire in pointing out when the emperor has no clothes.

JG said...

Anderson,

Once again, I find you writing fiction. At no point in Krugman's column does he suggest that he believes P.E. firms "target successful, healthy, profitable firms, purchase them, and then make money either by running them into bankruptcy and then selling their assets". What Krugman is criticizing is Romney's claim that P.E. firms create jobs when their true purpose is to improve efficiencies. Improving efficiency is a good thing, but this usually means cutting costs (i.e. jobs). All of which is fine, but Romney shouldn't be lying to the public by saying he was a job-creator.

But forget about P.E. and Romney for a moment. Why do you need to twist Krugman's words? This isn't the first time I've found you putting words in Krugman's mouth and then attacking those very words that he never actually said. If you want to attack them man then attack what he actually says and believes, don't put words in his mouth and then attack things he never actually said or supports. I guess what I'm trying to say is please stop being such a fraud.

Daniel Hewitt said...

Vox Day alerts us to the real problem with Romney. Quite funny that Krugman couldn't care less about this....


Hope and Change: Republican style

Mitt Romney's top ten campaign contributors:

Goldman Sachs
Credit Suisse Group
Morgan Stanley
HIG Capital
Barclays
Kirkland & Ellis
Bank of America
PriceWaterhouseCoopers
EMC Corp
JPMorgan Chase & Co

At least Obama had the decency to lie to America and pretend that he wasn't going to hold her down while the bankers took turns raping her. If the Republicans are foolish enough to nominate Mitt Romney and he wins the general election, he is going to permit the pillaging of the American economy in a manner that hasn't been seen since the Roman legions pillaged Carthage.

Daniel Hewitt said...

Poor widow Johnson, though she has plenty of equity, has been running late on her mortgage payments since her husband's untimely death. Snidely Whiplash buys up the note, and then threatens to foreclose. With a twirl of his moustache, Snidely Whiplash has her sign over the house at a firesale price, above the auction price, but less than the market value. He kicks her out and sells the house for a profit.

Why would her creditor sell the mortgage? The creditor would have to sell the mortgage for less than the resale price, for the reseller to make a profit. Why the discount? It cannot be due to risk, since "she has plenty of equity".

How does she fall behind in the first place, if she has plenty of equity?

Why doesn't she sell her house on the open market?

Vultures have an important role in the ecosystem, by removing dead carcasses, but they can certainly get out of hand

How can they "get out of hand" if they only feed on the dead?

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

You're ignoring Anderson's actual argument, and interestingly enough you are arguing against a straw man, which is the very criticism you are making against Anderson.

Anderson said:

"What Krugman wants us to believe is that companies like Bain Capital would target successful, healthy, profitable firms, purchase them, and then make money either by running them into bankruptcy and then selling their assets."

Anderson is not saying that Krugman is explicitly saying this. He is saying that is what Krugman wants people to believe by reading this column.

You accusing Anderson of making the claim that Krugman actually said the above, is itself a straw man against Anderson.

In your characterization of Krugman's article, you said:

"What Krugman is criticizing is Romney's claim that P.E. firms create jobs when their true purpose is to improve efficiencies. Improving efficiency is a good thing, but this usually means cutting costs (i.e. jobs)."

"Improving efficiencies" IS what creates jobs, especially in a globally competitive marketplace.

Putting employment on the one side, and economic efficiency on the other, and treating them as mutually exclusive, such that the only purpose of firms like Bain is to destroy viable, profitable, and employable companies, is what Anderson is saying Krugman wants us to believe. It is clear that yes, that is what Krugman wants his readers to believe (or, what is more likely, his readers want to read in order to reinforce their exising prejudices).

Krugman's error is that he doesn't understand that employment is benefited when economic efficiency is improved. Improving economic efficiency, even if it leads to temporary unemployment, is nevertheless GOOD for the labor market in general. Workers are much better off living and applying for jobs in an economically efficient area of the world, than an economically inefficient
area of the world. Companies that are more economically efficient, because they are healthier, stand in a superior relation to labor, compared to companies that are inefficient.

Policies focused towards improving employment, which come at the expense of economic efficiency, will have neither, and will lose both.

This is what Anderson is saying Krugman wants us to NOT believe. Krugman wants his to believe that companies like Bain are bad for employment because they are good for economic efficiency. In other words, companies like Bain destroy healthy employable firms.

Nobody is twisting Krugman's words. When you read someone for long enough, you begin to know EXACTLY what they really mean when they say something in a given isolated article, that only casual readers will take too literally because they don't have the background.

William L. Anderson said...

You guys have to understand that the Krugman defenders here believe that INEFFICIENCIES are better. Krugman himself even defended cost overruns a few years back by saying they lead to more spending.

To the Krugmanites, the higher the costs, the more spending, and the "more jobs" that are created. To them, there is no real connection between a job and production. A job is just something to do in which someone receives income so he can spend more money and grease the system.

I can't understand why Krugman and company don't just go whole hog and claim that all we need to do to fix this recession is have the government send everyone a million dollars. Yeah, we'll all be rich AND NO ONE WILL HAVE TO WORK. (After all, goods just magically appear when there is spending.)

Daniel Hewitt said...

"In 1800, it took nearly 95 of every 100 Americans to feed the country. In 1900, it took 40. Today, it takes just 3... The workers no longer needed on farms have been put to use providing new homes, furniture, clothing, computers, pharmaceuticals, appliances, medical assistance, movies, financial advice, video games, gourmet meals, and an almost dizzying array of other goods and services... What we have in place of long hours in the fields is the wealth of goods and services that come from allowing the churn to work, wherever and whenever it might occur"

Myths of Rich and Poor
W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"Anderson is not saying that Krugman is explicitly saying this".

Actually, that is EXACTLY what Anderson is saying. That's why I quoted him in my reply. If you read Krugman's column you'll see that he's not attacking the P.E. industry but rather attacking Romney's claims of being a job creator, which runs contrary to the cost cutting (i.e. job cutting) that P.E. firms like Bain specialize in. Those are two very different arguments, which Anderson must realize and has deliberately confused.

JG said...

@ Anderson -

"You guys have to understand that the Krugman defenders here believe that INEFFICIENCIES are better."

Wrong. They believe that efficiencies lead to long-term prosperity BUT ALSO to short-term dislocation in the job market, which carries its own costs on the larger economy. It's those latter costs that tend to be ignored by proponents of the efficiences that P.E. firms promote.

Daniel Hewitt said...

JG,

Krugman has attacked the PE industry recently. Example:

"So Mr. Romney made his fortune in a business that is, on balance, about job destruction rather than job creation. And because job destruction hurts workers even as it increases profits and the incomes of top executives, leveraged buyout firms have contributed to the combination of stagnant wages and soaring incomes at the top that has characterized America since 1980."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/opinion/krugman-all-the-gops-gekkos.html

This is exactly what Freedom meant when he said "when you read someone for long enough, you begin to know EXACTLY what they really mean when they say something in a given isolated article".

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

Let me clarify my last post. Yes, Anderson throws in the words "wants us to believe" but that is no different than saying "this is what is said". It has the same effect of taking PK's actual words and portraying them as something other than what the real intention was. So yes, in terms of pure semantics he wasn't misquoting Krugman so much as misrepresenting him. Sorry for not making that immaterial distinction in my earlier post. But my point remains the same, Anderson isn't attacking PK's actual words, he's attacking ideas that PK never actually presented or even implied. And there you have it, pretty much the definition of a straw-man.

JG said...

@ Daniel Hewitt -

That's another discussion separate from his other post being critical of Romney, but point taken. He is clearly critical of the P.E. industry in the post you pointed out.

But the overall point that Krugman is making isn't that P.E. firms shouldn't root out inefficiencies. His argument is that P.E. firms (or former P.E. execs running for president) shouldn't be claiming to be job creators when their primary method of increasing efficiency is through eliminating jobs. He is making the case that overall P.E. firms are net job destroyers, and that is an argument that seems to be supported by the facts.

JG said...

@ Dan Hewitt -

"In 1800, it took nearly 95 of every 100 Americans to feed the country. In 1900, it took 40. Today, it takes just 3..."

Very true. What is also true is that in the gain from those workers who were no longer needed on the farms took a long time to find new homes in other industries. Efficiencies build properity in the long-term, but people need to eat in the short-term. Let's not ignore the short-term pain in our celebration of the long-term gain.

Anonymous said...

"What Krugman wants us to believe is that companies like Bain Capital would target successful, healthy, profitable firms, purchase them, and then make money either by running them into bankruptcy and then selling their assets."

Where did he say anything remotely close to what you claim in his blog piece? Maybe he does want us to believe that. But, he doesn't make that assertion in the blog piece you linked to.

This kind of invalidates your entire piece, BTW. Because, you started with this supposed assertion or claim by Professor Krugman as the premise that professor Macey supposedly demoslished (when, actually he didn't really address anything Krugman said).

It may be better stated that YOU want us to believe that is what Krugman wants us to believe. Because, that makes it easier for you to attack a straw man argument never advanced by Paul Krugman.

Anonymous said...

Also, too, consulting fees and dividends paid to PE leveraged buyer. It is entirely possible for PE firms to profit off of companies they drive into bankruptcy.

They may make more when they don't, but if the turnaround isn't as quick or easy as they think, bk is a solid second-best option.

Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

You people are so naive about economics. Once you say crazy words like "efficient" in the context of human beings, I start laughing. Value is psychological. Economics is not rational. It is a branch of psychology. About as predictive long term.

But please, keep posting and sermonizing. Keep fighting with your foil theologian Krugman about how many dollars can dance on the head of a pin.

I need the entertainment.

young austrian said...

@Anonymous

If value is psychological (the correct word, actually, is "subjective"), then should it be apparent to you that the fact that you don't value economics has no bearing on whether or not other people should, and isn't much of a reason to be condescending to them?

@JG

you make the point that "overall P.E. firms are net job destroyers, and that is an argument that seems to be supported by the facts."

But that depends on what you facts look at, and if the facts are even capable of quantifying "net jobs." Entities restructured by P.E. firms may lose jobs during that process, but the economic efficiency that comes out of it allows for capital to be redirected to more highly valued uses, thus freeing it up to, at least in part, pay wages for jobs that are more valued in the market. It is impossible to say where those jobs are or "went," but by freeing them from their malinvestment we can redirect them to jobs that are actually worth something.

This is Bastiat's basic lesson. You cannot look only at what is seen (as Krugman and other critics of P.E. firms have been doing in recent weeks), but also at what is not seen. When it comes to P.E. firms, the job creation that comes out of the increase in efficiency is not seen, but it still offsets the job "destruction" that is seen.

JG said...

@ Young Austrian -

"It is impossible to say where those jobs are or 'went,' but by freeing them from their malinvestment we can redirect them to jobs that are actually worth something."

In the short-term it is very easy to calculate the net job gain or net losses from P.E. restructurings and there are facts to support the case that such buyout activities does indeed destroy jobs. Even in the long-term, efficiencies are frequently gained through automation or consolidations. In either time frame it is very difficult to accept Romney's claim of being a job creator while he was at Bain. And that was the point that Krugman was making in his column.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Let me clarify my last post. Yes, Anderson throws in the words "wants us to believe" but that is no different than saying "this is what is said"."

Absolutely false.

There is a difference between what you want people to believe by saying X, and what X itself literally says.

This is called being able to read between the lines, emotional intelligence, etc. This comes with experience.

"It has the same effect of taking PK's actual words and portraying them as something other than what the real intention was."

Ah, do you see what you just said? You yourself just identified that there is a difference between what is literally said, and the intention of saying it. You're agreeing to what is literally said, you just disagree with Anderson about what Krugman wants his readers to believe.

Anderson has been reading the garbage Krugman has been saying for quite some time now, and so he has, quite frankly, a better idea of what Krugman wants his readers to believe.

"So yes, in terms of pure semantics he wasn't misquoting Krugman so much as misrepresenting him. Sorry for not making that immaterial distinction in my earlier post. But my point remains the same, Anderson isn't attacking PK's actual words, he's attacking ideas that PK never actually presented or even implied."

You see that again? You are claiming to know what Krugman implied and meant. You say Krugman doesn't want his readers to believe what Anderson argues is the case, but something else instead.

"And there you have it, pretty much the definition of a straw-man."

Non sequitur. It's not a straw man to argue the fallacies of what someone wants another to believe.

Major_Freedom said...

Anonymous:

"You people are so naive about economics. Once you say crazy words like "efficient" in the context of human beings, I start laughing. Value is psychological. Economics is not rational. It is a branch of psychology. About as predictive long term."

You are so naive. You actually believe that there are no such things as economic laws, and the nature of the relationship of production and consumption.

Value is psychological yes, but that doesn't mean we can't talk of efficiency. Efficiency is a measure of the production of goods and services given scarce resources and labor. Efficiency is not something to laugh at.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"In the short-term it is very easy to calculate the net job gain or net losses from P.E. restructurings and there are facts to support the case that such buyout activities does indeed destroy jobs. Even in the long-term, efficiencies are frequently gained through automation or consolidations. In either time frame it is very difficult to accept Romney's claim of being a job creator while he was at Bain. And that was the point that Krugman was making in his column."

Why does Romney's claim have to only apply to the short term? Why can't it apply to the long term, in which case increasing efficiency does not destroy jobs, and in a global marketplace, actually increases them?

Economists should not be focusing only on the short term.

Henry Hazlitt in "Economics in One Lesson" argued:

"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

Krugman is, like all Keynesians, ignoring the longer term effects.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

There is a huge difference between reading between the lines and putting words in someone's mouth. Anderson is doing the latter. He can't find legitimate fault in Krugman's actual statements so he puts forth an interpretation of those statements that is easier to attack. In other words, putting words in Krugman's mouth.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"Economists should not be focusing only on the short term."

Nor should they ignore the short-term because people have to live in the short-term. By focusing on only the long-term efficiency gains and ignoring the short-term damage caused by job losses and the destruction of human capital that comes with it you distort the full picture of the situation.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: The market value IS "the firesale price."

That is certainly not correct. If you were given 3 days to sell your house, you would receive less than if you have a year to look for buyers.

Major_Freedom: Meanwhile, the poor widow would have stood a better chance at keep in her house if there were a free market ...

That wasn't the issue we raised, but the activity of vultures.

Daniel Hewitt: How can they "get out of hand" if they only feed on the dead?

Vultures are opportunistic and don't only feed on the dead.

Tel said...

Zac, you started out with "has been running late on her mortgage payments since her husband's untimely death", and finally switch over to, "given 3 days to sell your house". Well I'm sure you are intelligent enough to figure out the inconsistency for yourself, but maybe you don't realize how easily other people can see through tricks like that, and how little it does to advance your argument.

Anyhow, back to Krugman: sure I agree that we can interpret what he says in various ways. Anderson has been reading and commenting on Krugman for years so he has his own personal feeling for where Krugman is coming from (not just based on this article but many others and huge amounts of context). If you prefer specific quotes then try this:

But what really struck me was how Mr. Romney characterized President Obama’s actions: "He did it to try to save the business." No, he didn't; he did it to save the industry, and thereby to save jobs that would otherwise have been lost, deepening America’s slump. Does Mr. Romney understand the distinction?

Obama had a number of options in the case of the auto-industry. He could have chosen protectionism, blocked the foreign imports. He could have chosen a dollar-for-dollar government boost on research and development, or tax breaks on new car designs that achieved some fuel efficiency targets, or lots of similar stuff.

I know there are Austrian economists on this blog who will argue against such measures, but that's not the point I'm making here. Point is that Obama had a range of industry wide policy options that would not favour any particular business.

Instead Obama chose to hand money to particular businesses. He did indeed work to save particular businesses and he did not work for the industry as a whole.

On this particular issue, Romney clearly shows much more accurate understanding of what happened than Krugman is able to demonstrate. Indeed, the whole confusion of not being able to recognize the difference between saving one particular business and saving the industry as a whole goes right to the heart of what Anderson has been saying.

I've been closely involved with the IT industry for more than two decades now, and I've seen plenty of businesses fail. Even business that had a very good product, with plenty of promise, have failed because their competitor just narrowly beat them in the market. However, the industry as a whole is thriving. New players come along every other afternoon.

JG said...

Tel,

The IT industry is not nearly as centralized and inter-dependent as the automotive industry. If Google or Amazon or even IBM were to fail its demise wouldn't cripple an entire industry.

The automotive industry is totally different. GM (and the suppliers who depend on it) are so central to the automotive industry that letting GM fail would have been tantamount to letting the entire industry fail. So when Obama steped in to rescue GM he was essentially acting on behalf of the entire U.S. automotive industry.

Zachriel said...

Tel: you started out with "has been running late on her mortgage payments since her husband's untimely death", and finally switch over to, "given 3 days to sell your house".

Seriously? Are you really having troubles following a simple scenario? We even used Snidely Whiplash curling his mustache so you could more easily picture the situation.

Whiplash buys up the note on the widow Johnson's house. He then tells her he will foreclose immediately unless she agrees to his price. His price is above the foreclosure auction price, but below what the house would normally garner if someone took their time to sell, which is the price Whiplash will finally receive after he kicks the widow out and liquidates the asset at a profit.

Now, you could argue that she should have sold the house herself sooner, but circumstances were such that the sudden death of her husband left her destitute with little time to make such a sale—assuming she were witted enough in her grief and had time to complete the transaction.

Widow Johnson is just carrion for the vulture Snidely Whiplash.

young austrian said...

No one argues that a free market is a "perfect world," in which every single person and business (widow johnson included) can thrive. What we're arguing is that, in free markets, these unfortunate instances to which you are pointing are minimized. I mean, if you want to talk about people not being able to afford your homes, we just had a mortgage crisis that was completely brought on by the government meddling in the marketplace. So the argument is not that Widow Johnson would never be in harm's way, but that it would happen less often, and not at the hands of a state that claims to protect her.

As for what JG said, the automotive industry was so reliant on GM not because of some magical interconnectedness, but because of the protectionism that the state gave to it over the last 30 years. This measures obviously serve to weaken the industry to the extent that yes, it can all be brought down once it becomes clear that the emperor has no clothes.

Zachriel said...

young austrian: What we're arguing is that, in free markets, these unfortunate instances to which you are pointing are minimized.

Sure, and we can have that discussion. However, that wasn't the claim we took issue with.

Markets are an important mechanism for the allocation of goods and services. No system without robust markets, the protection of private property, and other civil liberties, can be successful over the long term. But you don't want to engage in black-and-white thinking. Yes, government intervention causes 'distortion' in the market. But sometimes those distortions are essential to social and economic development, such as creating a standard set of rules for everyone to follow, to protect common resources that would otherwise be pillaged by free markets, to provide some modicum of opportunity to children such as education, and to prevent the worst excesses of market failures, individual and collective.

young austrian: I mean, if you want to talk about people not being able to afford your homes, we just had a mortgage crisis that was completely brought on by the government meddling in the marketplace.

It was demand driven, just like most bubbles. The unregulated shadow market for securities grew to be as large as the conventional banking system.

young austrian: As for what JG said, the automotive industry was so reliant on GM not because of some magical interconnectedness, but because of the protectionism that the state gave to it over the last 30 years.

Thought it had more to do with the insular nature of U.S. auto executives who couldn't see ahead to a time when most people wouldn't continue to buy gas-guzzlers. Suppose, you could blame "Morning in America", when the U.S. decided that cheap oil provided by military hegemony in the Middle East, and accommodation with dictators, was the best course, rather than conservation and innovation (so boring!). It was a cultural thing.

JG said...

"...the automotive industry was so reliant on GM not because of some magical interconnectedness, but because of the protectionism that the state gave to it over the last 30 years."

That's an odd position to hold considering all the free trade agreements that have the government has signed that have been to the detriment of GM's market share. If the state has been protecting GM for the past 30 years then GM needs a new guardian because the Japanese have been kicking their teeth in since the 1970's.

Fearsome Tycoon said...

If GM had failed, Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, and the many other auto manufacturers with US plants wouldn't have simply closed up shop (and I doubt GM would have filed Chapter 7, Ch 11 was more likely). The claim that we would have no domestic auto manufacturing if GM failed is laughable. Obama could have ended CAFE requirements, giving GM the opportunity to prove that it could survive if not forced to make the compact cars other manufacturers provide much more effectively, but he chose to bail out UAW instead.

Regarding Mr Whiplash, if the creditor sold Mr Whiplash the mortgage, they were probably close to foreclosure anyway. So Old Widow Johnson got a pretty good deal if Mr Whiplash offered her more than the foreclosure price for the house. Further, Mr Whiplash is deliberately making less money than he could for the benefit of Mrs Johnson, since he could have foreclosed and bought the house at auction.

Regarding Mr Krugman, the only way his complaints even make sense is if he believes PE companies buy healthy firms.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"That is certainly not correct. If you were given 3 days to sell your house, you would receive less than if you have a year to look for buyers."

That is not necessarily the case. You can't prove a counterfactual. It is possible that the price in 3 days is the highest price that can be fetched. And even if the seller could have otherwise gotten a higher price if they waited, that certainly does't mean they paid less than "the market price" by selling for the price within 3 days.

The "market price" IS by its very nature whatever price is paid at the moment, between two parties, voluntarily. The "market price" is NOT the price that is highest, or the price that exists in some counterfactual world where the seller waits for longer than they do in the real world. The "market price" is NOT the highest price possible in a world of perfect information. The market price is the prices that exist in actual exchanges.

You were schooled in this very topic the last time you tried to spew your nonsense here, and so seeing you repeat it again can only mean you are not learning and are unfortunately stagnating in your ignorance, as if you believe that you weren't refuted the last time, as if you believe repeating it over and over again can make it true. For you to say "that is certainly not correct" against a true statement means that not only are you wrong, but your attitude is pathetically dogmatic.

"Major_Freedom: Meanwhile, the poor widow would have stood a better chance at keep in her house if there were a free market ..."

"That wasn't the issue we raised, but the activity of vultures."

Again with this "we". Who are you talking on behalf of? I was responding to your comment. And the "issue" that was raised is what I said the issue was, because I am speaking for me.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"There is a huge difference between reading between the lines and putting words in someone's mouth."

And that is precisely why you are wrong to accuse Anderson of putting words in Krugman's mouth. Anderson was doing the former.

"He can't find legitimate fault in Krugman's actual statements"

Oh but he did find faults.

"so he puts forth an interpretation of those statements that is easier to attack."

You just disagree on the interpretation.

"In other words, putting words in Krugman's mouth."

Non sequitur.

"Nor should they ignore the short-term because people have to live in the short-term."

The long term is what people always experience in the present, because the long term past is always in the present.

Economists should focus on the long term, because it is what provides people with their standard of living in the present, so by focusing on the long term, it follows that at any time in the present, we are living a maximally prosperous life.

"By focusing on only the long-term efficiency gains and ignoring the short-term damage caused by job losses and the destruction of human capital that comes with it you distort the full picture of the situation."

The truth is exactly the opposite to what you claim.

By focusing only on the short term gains and ignoring the long term costs, the short term eventually catches up with people, and the long term becomes worse and worse, and hence the present at any given time becomes worse and worse as well.

You and I are living in world that has been caused by a prevalence of short term solutions made in the past that ignored long term costs, and so we are now experiencing those long term costs in our present. If we again focus only on short term solutions, that have long term costs, we will just commit ourselves to an even worse future, once those long term costs catches up with us, and becomes our present.

Nobody dies because they got laid off in this country, and in a free market getting laid off would be like being told by a restaurant that there is no table available that night. The more rigid the labor market is, the more the government tries to "ease" the transition due to efficiency gains, the more terrifying the labor market will be, and the more short term solutions will be sought.

The art of economics is thinking in the long term. The more long term our solutions are, the better our present will be that is a function of good long term solutions made in the past.

Zachriel said...

Fearsome Tycoon: Old Widow Johnson got a pretty good deal if Mr Whiplash offered her more than the foreclosure price for the house.

Yes, Whiplash is well known for his humanity.

Major_Freedom: That is not necessarily the case. You can't prove a counterfactual. It is possible that the price in 3 days is the highest price that can be fetched.

Experts in real estate know that if you have to sell in a hurry, then you will receive, on average, considerably less. If you are going to make objections, at least make reasonable ones.

JG: He can't find legitimate fault in Krugman's actual statements

Major_Freedom: Oh but he did find faults.

William L. Anderson's claim is based on a faulty reading of Krugman and on a faulty premise. We have not taken a position on Bain Capital's actual actions.

Major_Freedom: Nobody dies because they got laid off in this country, and in a free market getting laid off would be like being told by a restaurant that there is no table available that night.

"In this country"? The U.S? In any case, why don't they die? Is it because there is a social safety net?

Zachriel said...

Fearsome Tycoon: So Old Widow Johnson got a pretty good deal if Mr Whiplash offered her more than the foreclosure price for the house.

A pretty good deal. Heh. Oh? You work for Mr. Whiplash?

In any case, the difference is the cost of foreclosure, which would incur against the property, the possibility of someone trying to rescue her, and a hedge against the uncertainty of a public auction. Better to get the widow Johnson to sign now, while you have her on the ropes. Convince her she has no choice. Use some salesmanship! Snidely may even know there is a rescue on the way.

It's vulture behavior. You don't wait to feast when given the opportunity. Close the deal. Kick her out. Move on to the next widow in trouble.

Zachriel said...

Young austrian is the only one to have made a reasonable objection.

young austrian: What we're arguing is that, in free markets, these unfortunate instances to which you are pointing are minimized.

Those who insist that the free market can never be abused, that the price paid is always fair, do not make a valid argument. There are abuses sometimes, and there are less than ideal results sometimes. A market is a highly functional, distributed intelligence, but a market is not omniscient.

Major_Freedom: By focusing only on the short term gains and ignoring the long term costs, the short term eventually catches up with people, and the long term becomes worse and worse, and hence the present at any given time becomes worse and worse as well.

Sure, but the converse is true, too. You can't only focus on the long term when people have to live today. Market downturns are a fact of life. At some point, people lose hope, and, in effect, when you lose your motivated workforce, you are losing your seed corn. All developed economies have a variety of mechanisms to help deal with these downturns, including unemployment insurance, reeducation, and other safety net programs.

Zachriel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zachriel said...

Zachriel: if you have to sell in a hurry, then you will receive, on average, considerably less.

Speaking of distributed intelligence: When a new house goes on the market, it takes time for this information to propagate among market participants. If the house has to be sold in three days, then the available pool of buyers will be much smaller than if the house is marketed over a period of a few weeks. Even in a declining market, it is doubtful that trying to sell the house in three days would likely to bring a price equal to a more reasonable sales period.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom,

I don't have the time or space here to list everything that is wrong with you last post but I will agree with one statement that you made:

"You and I are living in world that has been caused by a prevalence of short term solutions made in the past that ignored long term costs."

Long-term solutions require long-term investments. This country became prosperous in large measure because we invested in infrastructure (interstates, bridges, airports) and education (G.I. Bill, unviversal primary education). These long-term investments are being sacrificed in the pursuit of short-term gain (tax cuts).

We need to stop chasing the mirage that is trickle-down economics, stop listening to populist ideologues like Ron Paul and start spending money on the future because while our leaders are busy signing silly pledges about not raising taxes our competitors in China are building the infrastructure that will launch their economy into the 21st century.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Experts in real estate know that if you have to sell in a hurry, then you will receive, on average, considerably less. If you are going to make objections, at least make reasonable ones."

LOL, the objection to your nonsense is reasonable, because it's fact.

Fetching any price in exchanges is market prices by definition. Again, just because someone got a lower price by not waiting, does not mean they are receiving a lower than market price. The market price is not the highest price given perfect information. Those prices do not exist because the exchanges do not exist.

Market prices are ONLY borne out of exchanges, not make believe worlds where people get higher prices if they lived in some different dimension, where they had different minds, different preferences, and different needs.

Market prices are ONLY contained in exchanges, and to the extent that exchanges take place, those are the market prices. There is no such thing as a single market price for a particular type of sale. There are only market prices for the actual trades in question.

"JG: He can't find legitimate fault in Krugman's actual statements"

"Major_Freedom: Oh but he did find faults."

"William L. Anderson's claim is based on a faulty reading of Krugman and on a faulty premise."

No, his reading is based on a reasonable reading of Krugman and on a premise that you don't understand because you're failing to think outside the literal box due to not having read Krugman for enough time to know what he means.

"We have not taken a position on Bain Capital's actual actions."

Who is this "we" you are talking about? You're talking as if you and JG are on some team, ganging up on me, and pretending that because I am standing alone, I must be wrong.

"Major_Freedom: Nobody dies because they got laid off in this country, and in a free market getting laid off would be like being told by a restaurant that there is no table available that night."

"In this country"? The U.S? In any case, why don't they die? Is it because there is a social safety net?"

No, it's because there is enough production in the private market to sustain people who are laid off. Without that "safety net", not only will those resources still be there, but there will be even more resources there because the rate of savings and investment to total consumption spending would be far higher.

"Major_Freedom: By focusing only on the short term gains and ignoring the long term costs, the short term eventually catches up with people, and the long term becomes worse and worse, and hence the present at any given time becomes worse and worse as well."

"Sure, but the converse is true, too."

No, it isn't true in the converse, if people are free to think about, plan for, and act in accordance with long term thinking without being coerced by short term, myopic statesmen who FORCE short term thinking and solutions on people.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"You can't only focus on the long term when people have to live today."

But I'm not the one advocating that long term solutions be FORCED on people through the power of the state. I am not saying only focus on the long term. I am saying the art of economics is to understand the long term. Keynesians and other statists like you want to FORCE short term plans on the people, who would otherwise have made more long term plans based on long term thinking, which would have had the effect of making the present more optimal once people catch up with the long term and make it the present.

You can't only focus on the short term when people have to live in the future too.

"Market downturns are a fact of life."

Such facts have causes that short term minded people like you fail to understand. The causes are often previous short term solutions that had negative long term costs that eventually caught up with people. In the case of the business cycle, the cause IS previous short term solutions that had negative long term costs. Negative effects that short term thinking people cannot understand how to solve except MORE short term solutions that have more long term costs. Then the next crisis is even worse. Then worse again.

Over and over again, and short term thinking people who don't know the art of economic thinking, make the present lives of people worse and worse and worse, believing that there is something inherently destructive about "the market", completely ignoring the fact that the destruction was actually unleashed by their own short term solutions.

It's like a heroin addict wanting to avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms by using short term solutions like getting high again and again, making the long term worse and worse, and once the long term catches up, his present life becomes worse and worse. Then yahoos like you believe there must be something wrong with the human body that it cannot take "good" short term solutions for the long term.

"At some point, people lose hope, and, in effect, when you lose your motivated workforce, you are losing your seed corn."

Speak for yourself you miserable guilt spreading parasite. People lose hope when they lose their freedom. They don't lose hope when they are free. You want people to just go ahead and think and act as if the destructive short term solutions are past and settled and don't have any long term costs that are thrown upon innocent people. Innocent people work hard, don't hurt others, and they find that the world isn't responding to them in the way they want, because others in the past have destroyed it for their own short term parasitical gains, either to bribe voters to get elected, or bribing corporations to get hired once they leave office.

"All developed economies have a variety of mechanisms to help deal with these downturns, including unemployment insurance, reeducation, and other safety net programs."

And as a result all developed economies have created unnecessary unemployment and lower standards of living than they other would have had.

You are committing the fallacy of conflating correlation and causation. Just because developed nations have X, it doesn't mean X is the cause for their being developed or prosperous.

By that silly logic, I could tell you that developed economies have more white collar crime, and so white collar crime is a cause for an economy being developed and prosperous.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: LOL, the objection to your nonsense is reasonable, because it's fact.

Seriously? You're hinging your position on the claim that the average price of a house that is forced to be sold in three days is the same as the price if the seller has several weeks?

Major_Freedom: No, his reading is based on a reasonable reading of Krugman and on a premise that you don't understand because you're failing to think outside the literal box due to not having read Krugman for enough time to know what he means.

Then it would be William L. Anderson's responsibility to provide that context, and not cite an article that doesn't support his position.

Major_Freedom: No, it isn't true in the converse,

Of course the short term matters. A simple example should suffice. A family is starving in winter. The long term plan is to save the seed corn, but if they do, they die. Instead, they eat the seed corn in the hopes that the spring will bring other opportunities. The short term necessity takes precedence over the long term plan.

Major_Freedom: But I'm not the one advocating that long term solutions be FORCED on people through the power of the state.

You just contradicted yourself, nor were we referring to state planning, but just the simple fact that there is reason to consider both long and short term factors in planning, contrary to your previous statement.

Major_Freedom: Negative effects that short term thinking people cannot understand how to solve except MORE short term solutions that have more long term costs. Then the next crisis is even worse. Then worse again.

Yet, in the real world, people are often faced with balancing short term needs with long term plans.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"I don't have the time or space here to list everything that is wrong with you last post"

You could have just said you don't know how to refute it, so you'll pretend to have done so in your mind, only to not have time to write it down to prove it to myself and others.

"but I will agree with one statement that you made:"

"You and I are living in world that has been caused by a prevalence of short term solutions made in the past that ignored long term costs."

We should engage in more short term solutions so that this will never happen again.

"Long-term solutions require long-term investments. This country became prosperous in large measure because we invested in infrastructure (interstates, bridges, airports) and education (G.I. Bill, unviversal primary education)."

No, this country became prosperous in TOTAL measure because private investors were free to invest in long term projects that boosted people's standard of living, which governments then intervened to consume resources of their own, such as large durable consumer goods like roads and bridges, which you then believe is the cause for the original production.

"These long-term investments are being sacrificed in the pursuit of short-term gain (tax cuts)."

False. These long term CONSUMPTIONS are not only not being sacrificed, but are expanding, and tax cuts are not short term gains, they are allowing people to engage in more long term investments.

"We need to stop chasing the mirage that is trickle-down economics, stop listening to populist ideologues like Ron Paul and start spending money on the future because while our leaders are busy signing silly pledges about not raising taxes our competitors in China are building the infrastructure that will launch their economy into the 21st century."

We need to stop chasing the mirage that is stimulus spending economics, stop listening to populist ideologues like Paul Krugman and start allowing people to spend their own money on the future because while our leaders are busy signing silly pledges about raising spending our competitors in China are busy building the mother of all bubbles that will launch their economy into the 21st century BC.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: LOL, the objection to your nonsense is reasonable, because it's fact."

"Seriously? You're hinging your position on the claim that the average price of a house that is forced to be sold in three days is the same as the price if the seller has several weeks?"

No, you moron, I never said that. Pay attention. I am saying that the price that is paid is the market price, contrary to your assertion that the market price is the highest price that is not had in the exchange, as if the market exists in some fantasy land of omniscience.

"Then it would be William L. Anderson's responsibility to provide that context, and not cite an article that doesn't support his position."

He has already done that repeatedly. You can't fault him for you being ignorant.

"Of course the short term matters. A simple example should suffice. A family is starving in winter. The long term plan is to save the seed corn, but if they do, they die. Instead, they eat the seed corn in the hopes that the spring will bring other opportunities. The short term necessity takes precedence over the long term plan."

People don't die in this country when people are laid off, you know, the context that you presumed when you said screw the future, let's just focus on the present at the expense of the future. Bad analogy.

"Major_Freedom: But I'm not the one advocating that long term solutions be FORCED on people through the power of the state."

"You just contradicted yourself"

No, I didn't. I did not argue nor imply anywhere that the government force either short or long term solutions on the people. I cannot possibly contradict myself by saying I am not advocating that long term solutions be FORCED on people through the power of the state.

You just ignorantly believed I did contradict myself because in your worldview, we must choose between the government forcing short term solutions, or the government forcing long term solutions, with no third option of letting the people decide which time frames they are going to put more emphasis on with their actions and plans. Therefore, in your silly world, if I say I want people to be allowed to engage in long term plans, you perceive that as me saying the government must FORCE long term plans on people.

"nor were we referring to state planning, but just the simple fact that there is reason to consider both long and short term factors in planning, contrary to your previous statement."

No, it is contrary to your assertion that we only focus on the short term, at the expense of the long term. You are pretending to be advocating for both short and long term solutions, but you want the government to force short term solutions. You can't claim to be in favor of both, while saying the short term must be forced. Even if you say the long term should be forced as well, that still leads to short term solutions on the part of the people whose long term interests are increasingly threatened.

"Major_Freedom: Negative effects that short term thinking people cannot understand how to solve except MORE short term solutions that have more long term costs. Then the next crisis is even worse. Then worse again."

"Yet, in the real world, people are often faced with balancing short term needs with long term plans."

Not when the government forces short term solutions, which is what you advocate.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Speaking of distributed intelligence: When a new house goes on the market, it takes time for this information to propagate among market participants. If the house has to be sold in three days, then the available pool of buyers will be much smaller than if the house is marketed over a period of a few weeks. Even in a declining market, it is doubtful that trying to sell the house in three days would likely to bring a price equal to a more reasonable sales period."

"Reasonable" is subjective and up to the individual, their needs, and their preferences.

You cannot claim that just because someone gets a certain price that you think is lower than they otherwise would have gotten if they were different people, with different needs, and different information, that the price they did get is somehow not a market price.

The market is the sum total of all voluntary exchanges. Firesale prices are included in market prices.

ekeyra said...

Major Freedom,

How do you have the patience to read through their ignorance and form thoughtful coherent arguments instead of giving in to the urge to punch your computer monitor?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Major_Freedom said...

ekeyra:

"How do you have the patience to read through their ignorance and form thoughtful coherent arguments instead of giving in to the urge to punch your computer monitor?"

"Inquiring minds want to know."

You have to enjoy reading through people's arguments, even if you know they are misguided, even if you suspect that they are intellectually incapable of seeing their errors.

You also have to find solace in the thought that even if you are surrounded by people who are wrong, you will die as someone who knew the truth.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I am saying that the price that is paid is the market price, contrary to your assertion that the market price is the highest price that is not had in the exchange, as if the market exists in some fantasy land of omniscience.

Giving it the label "market price" doesn't change the fact that if someone is forced to sell a house quickly, they will generally receive less than they would if they were given time. Whiplash can buy the house at a discount by working behind the scenes to reduce the widow's available options. This directly contradicts William L. Anderson's original contention.

Major_Freedom: ... the context that you presumed when you said screw the future ...

As that is directly contrary to our stated position, the rest of your argument has no foundation.

Major_Freedom: ... in your worldview, we must choose between the government forcing short term solutions, or the government forcing long term solutions, ...

We never argued about government solutions.

Major_Freedom: No, it is contrary to your assertion that we only focus on the short term, at the expense of the long term.

Again, that is directly contrary to our explicitly stated position. Perhaps you could try to reread our comments, this time for content.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

" this country became prosperous in TOTAL measure because private investors were free to invest in long term projects that boosted people's standard of living..."

Bull shit. EVERY major infrastructure project in the history of the USA was conceived of, financed by and constructed by the public sector.

This delusion that the public sector is somehow an obstacle to prosperity is a harmful and dangerous lie spread by ideologues and liars. The roads you drive on, the pipes that carry the drinking water to your home and the internet you're blogging on right now wouldn't exist without the support of public sector investments.

JG said...

@ ekeyra,

Do you have something of substance to add? Or just more smart-alec, dick-nose comments? Inquiring minds want to know.

libertarian89 said...

Economic growth and higer standards of living were occuring way before governments "invested" in roads and bridges. Government spending on "infrastructure" is not necessary for economic growth.

Its the growth that enables the government to spend in the first place because without wealth creation and production taking place in the private sector, there would be no revenue for the government to fund these projects.

It all starts with the private sector. Government has nothing. It has no resources. The revenue necessary to fund these projects come from the private sector as government simply diverts real funding away from projects that are more in tune with consumer preferences.

BTW government can't invest because it obtains its revenue through coercion. If you obtain your revenue through coercion, you are not investing, you are simply spending other peoples money. Politicians tend to spend OPM on boondoggles by giving it to their friends and others who are politically connected. It can't be any other way.

Resources should be allocated for economic reasons, not political ones. And for government, only the latter is possible, not the former, and for that reason alone, the government should spend as little as humanly possible.

No public sector investment is even possible without a vibrant wealth generating private sector. And of course, those can and have existed before government started spending OPM on infrastrucutre.

ekeyra said...

Jg,

Nope. All dick-nose, all the time.
Oh, and your wrong. About everything.

ekeyra said...

JG,

"The roads you drive on, the pipes that carry the drinking water to your home and the internet you're blogging on right now wouldn't exist without the support of public sector investments."

Well then I think you just made the case for corporate welfare. Im sure none of those private businesses would exist without government support, so support all of them. If you have a business, you get some money, or a road, or internet access, because without the government providing it, it would surely not exist.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: I am saying that the price that is paid is the market price, contrary to your assertion that the market price is the highest price that is not had in the exchange, as if the market exists in some fantasy land of omniscience.

"Giving it the label "market price" doesn't change the fact that if someone is forced to sell a house quickly, they will generally receive less than they would if they were given time."

First, that is not necessarily true. In some instances, the firesale price is the highest price possible. See the housing market just before the crash.

Second, giving the imaginary, non-existent price the label "market price", doesn't change the fact that the firesale price is the actual market price.

Third, nobody is claiming that (correctly) labeling the "firesale" price "the market price" is somehow also an implicit claim that the price is the highest possible price in a world of perfect information. By (correctly) identifying the firesale price as "the market price", I am not trying to "cover up" the fact that the price may have been higher if things were different, such that I point my finger at the buyer and say "nah nah nah, stop complaining, you got the market price, just like everyone else, nothing you could have done would have changed that."

You're imagining things that feels bad, and rather than understanding economics, you'd rather change the meaning of words in your mind, in order to quell your emotions, and then suspect those who disagree are secret agents who are trying to use economic verbiage to cover up their agenda. You only see agendas in others because you yourself have one.

In reality, I am just correctly identifying market prices as market prices, regardless of whether higher or lower prices are paid in some imaginary world of perfect information and zero time.

"Whiplash can buy the house at a discount by working behind the scenes to reduce the widow's available options. This directly contradicts William L. Anderson's original contention."

Whiplash cannot "reduce" the widow's options. He can only provide a better offer to others.

"Major_Freedom: ... the context that you presumed when you said screw the future ..."

"As that is directly contrary to our stated position, the rest of your argument has no foundation."

Huh? That makes no sense. If you tacitly agreed "that" is your presumed context, but you say it is "directly contrary to our stated position", then that says nothing about my utilized foundation, and everything about yours.

"Major_Freedom: ... in your worldview, we must choose between the government forcing short term solutions, or the government forcing long term solutions,"

"We never argued about government solutions."

"We"? Who is this "we" you're habitually referring to? And you don't have to explicitly argue this every time you speak for me to know that it is what you want. You're pretending as if this is the first time you have written on this blog, and as if nobody can read between the lines.

"Major_Freedom: No, it is contrary to your assertion that we only focus on the short term, at the expense of the long term."

"Again, that is directly contrary to our explicitly stated position."

You're again making no sense. Not only is it the case that we didn't even have "an explicitly stated position", but it is also the case that correcting the implication of your assertion that we focus on the short term at the expense of the long term, is supposed to be directly contrary to your stated position. It is not wrong to be against an incorrect position.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"this country became prosperous in TOTAL measure because private investors were free to invest in long term projects that boosted people's standard of living..."

Bull shit. EVERY major infrastructure project in the history of the USA was conceived of, financed by and constructed by the public sector.

You're not understanding the argument.

I do not reject the belief that "EVERY major infrastructure project in the history of the USA was conceived of, financed by and constructed by the public sector."

I reject the belief that people gained prosperity by such "infrastructure" spending. I hold ALL "infrastructure" spending to be consumption activity. Even gigantic, long term projects like the Hoover Dam, I hold to be consumption activity. This is because the government did not produce a single resource that went into those projects, and did not intend to finance them (by taxpayer money) to make a profit.

I hold all spending that is not for the purpose of making subsequent sales to be consumption, regardless of the physicality or use of the projects themselves. Once the government spends the money on these projects, they do not have the means to bring in subsequent sales, to replace the projects as they wear out and are used up over time. In order to replace and repair these projects, the government has to find a fresh new source of funds totally apart from the projects.

I hold that consumption activity does not generate prosperity. I hold that in a division of labor society, ONLY saving and investment, for profit, can generate prosperity. EVERYTHING ELSE is consumption activity and reduces resources.

"This delusion that the public sector is somehow an obstacle to prosperity is a harmful and dangerous lie spread by ideologues and liars."

This delusion that the public sector is somehow a source of prosperity is a harmful and dangerous lie spread by ideologues and liars.

"The roads you drive on, the pipes that carry the drinking water to your home and the internet you're blogging on right now wouldn't exist without the support of public sector investments."

Why am I not surprised that yet another statist stooge ignores the law of opportunity costs, or worse, fails to even comprehend it?

Every single road and pipe the government finances came at the expense of goods that are more urgently needed by the people, and thus incurred a net loss. This is because in order to finance these projects, the government has to initiate violence and threats of violence against people, through taxation and monopoly enforcement. If they don't initiate violence and threats of violence, then people will naturally go ahead and use their own money to produce and consume more urgently needed goods, rather than the roads and pipes the government financed. This of course includes more urgently needed goods such as different roads and pipes than the roads and pipes the government financed.

You expect me to be thankful that the violence unleashed by the government in people's economic lives has forever eliminated what could have been produced and consumed if people had the freedom to produce and consume what they actually want? Cripes, if we were living in a concentration camp, you'd tell the prisoners to be thankful that the prison guards give them food, clothing and shelter.

Sorry JG, I just don't adhere to your religion. I do not feel thankful for the crumbs the government leaves us. I know there is a better way that they are not letting happen. I find your religion dangerous, destructive, and directly contrary to human prosperity and well-being.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"I hold ALL 'infrastructure' spending to be consumption activity."

That right there is where you're wrong. Investment is not the same as consumption. Companies don't view research and development as mere consumption, they view it as an investment in their future. Infrastructure and education are no different than R&D spending, it's money spent today that will enable greater commerce and prosperity tomorrow.

This idea that all spending is consumption only makes sense if you only care about immediate, short-term gains. People who care about the future make the distinction between investments and consumption. People who don't care about tomorrow make no distinction because all they care about is today.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"ONLY saving and investment, for profit, can generate prosperity. EVERYTHING ELSE is consumption activity and reduces resources."

So when a private company builds a bridge that bridge generates prosperity but when a state or county builds that same bridge it's magically a waste of resources....wow, and I thought only Catholics believed in transubstantiation.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"in order to finance these projects, the government has to initiate violence and threats of violence against people, through taxation and monopoly enforcement."

That's right, it's only tyranny when the government makes you pay for the stuff you use. When a private company makes you pay for the goods and services you use it's the miracle of the free market.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"I hold ALL 'infrastructure' spending to be consumption activity."

That right there is where you're wrong. Investment is not the same as consumption.

LOL, that consumption is not investment is precisely what underlies my position that infrastructure spending is consumption activity. I didn't explicitly or implicitly claim that investment is the same as consumption. That is, amusingly, what you are claiming is the case. You are claiming that government spending, which is consumption activity, is somehow also an investment.

"Companies don't view research and development as mere consumption, they view it as an investment in their future."

Companies invest in R&D in order to earn a profit, meaning in order to EARN subsequent sales revenues.

Government spending is not an investment. It is spending not for the purposes of making subsequent sales (profit).

"Infrastructure and education are no different than R&D spending, it's money spent today that will enable greater commerce and prosperity tomorrow."

Government spending, even if it's on infrastructure and education, is still a consumption activity.

It enables greater commerce and prosperity tomorrow? Again you are ignoring opportunity costs. In order to infrastructure and education by government to be carried out, other, more urgently needed goods and services have to be sacrificed by force, which means there cannot possibly be a gain to commerce and prosperity.

It would be like me taking your money, then financing my nephew's private education. Yes, he can then go earn a higher income, but that doesn't mean my actions are a generation of prosperity. I am reducing your prosperity and what you could have produced and consumed, for the sake of my nephew's benefit.

"This idea that all spending is consumption only makes sense if you only care about immediate, short-term gains."

No. The reason why all government spending is consumption activity is because the government does not spend money for the purposes of making subsequent sales. They spend money to buy votes, and after they buy the votes, the money is gone and those who incurred the costs of it, are not rewarded in accordance with their own plans.

This idea that government spending is "investment", because one can point to some people benefiting, like calling me an investor because I gave your money to my nephew.

"People who care about the future make the distinction between investments and consumption."

LOL, that is exactly what I am doing, and that is exactly what you fail to do. You are conflating the two when government spends money.

"People who don't care about tomorrow make no distinction because all they care about is today."

LOL, are you for real? You're arguing against your own position.

JG said...

@ ekeyra,

"Oh, and your wrong. About everything."

If you say so then it must be true. So sayeth the Lord, Jesus von Mises. Keep up the good work, dick-nose.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"in order to finance these projects, the government has to initiate violence and threats of violence against people, through taxation and monopoly enforcement."

That's right, it's only tyranny when the government makes you pay for the stuff you use. When a private company makes you pay for the goods and services you use it's the miracle of the free market.

I can choose not to use the goods or services of a private company, and they don't take my money by force. I can choose to not walk into Wal-Mart and choose to not buy any of their goods, and they won't take my money.

With government, I can't choose NOT to use their "services" and then NOT pay for them. I am FORCED to pay the government whether I "use" their services or not, and in the case of their police and court "services", I can't even choose not to use them even if I tried. So if they are going to take money regardless of what I want, then it's not a sanction for continued taking of my money to get back something, like using the roads I paid for.

Just like it wouldn't be a sanction for me to keep taking your money if you accepted food from me that was financed by me taking your money by force, so too is it not a sanction for the government to continue to take my money if I got back something of what I already paid for by force anyway.

You are ignoring the fact that business activity is based on voluntary consent, and government activity is based on coercion and violence.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Oh, and your wrong. About everything."

If you say so then it must be true. So sayeth the Lord, Jesus von Mises. Keep up the good work, dick-nose.

He said so because it is in fact true. You are in fact wrong about everything you have written here.

JG said...

"With government, I can't choose NOT to use their 'services' and then NOT pay for them."

Yes, you can. You can leave. Vote with your feet and get the hell out.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Giving it the label "market price" doesn't change the fact that if someone is forced to sell a house quickly, they will generally receive less than they would if they were given time.

Major_Freedom: First, that is not necessarily true. In some instances, the firesale price is the highest price possible.

Perhaps you are struggling with the term "generally".

Major_Freedom: Second, giving the imaginary, non-existent price the label "market price", doesn't change the fact that the firesale price is the actual market price.

Perhaps, Snidely Whiplash has a better understanding of the situation. He intends to make money on the transaction by forcing the widow's hand.

Major_Freedom: Whiplash cannot "reduce" the widow's options. He can only provide a better offer to others.

By threatening immediate foreclosure rather than giving her time to either sell or make up the payments, he has reduced her options.

Major_Freedom: ... the context that you presumed when you said screw the future ...

We, Zachriel, never said "screw the future" or anything of the sort, and indeed, said quite the contrary. Please quit misrepresenting our position.

Major_Freedom: It is not wrong to be against an incorrect position.

No. But it is rather silly to fight against strawman.

Zachriel (from above): there is reason to consider both long and short term factors in planning

JG said...

I'll tell you what, Major Freedom. I will respect your anti-tax, anti-government position when you abide by the following:

(1) The next time you get into a car accident or need emergency medical services instead of taking an ambulance to the nearest hospital you can take a taxi to the nearest privately funded clinic.

(2) Instead of calling the police when your home is broken into you can call your own private security guards that you keep on 24-hour standby.

(3) Instead of driving down main street to do you grocery shopping you only drive on roads built by private contractors who funded their construction by private tolls.

(4) You agree to never use the services of the U.S. Postal Service and promise to hire FedEx or UPS to deliver your holiday cards next year.

When you do all of those things I will stop viewing you as a free-riding hypocrite and then I'll start taking your anti-government rants more seriously.

Sam said...

"Yes, you can. You can leave. Vote with your feet and get the hell out."

The funny thing is the U.S. government would still come after you tring to collect taxes.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"With government, I can't choose NOT to use their 'services' and then NOT pay for them."

Yes, you can. You can leave. Vote with your feet and get the hell out.

Hahaha, so if I "offered" you the "choice" of paying me $500 for my protection services, or else you have to leave your own property, then my actions are justified, and by you staying, you have agreed for me to take your money, and if you stay and yet resist paying me, I can kidnap you and throw you into a cage?

You see, if you are compelled to retreat to the position that the person you disagree with has to leave their own property, so that it can be confiscated, then you have proven your position to be based on nothing but brute violence against innocent people.

Just because someone has the freedom to leave a violent area, it doesn't mean the violence doesn't exist and that those threatening others with violence are somehow justified.

Major_Freedom said...

Sorry, that last was for JG, not Zachriel.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Zachriel: Giving it the label "market price" doesn't change the fact that if someone is forced to sell a house quickly, they will generally receive less than they would if they were given time."

"Major_Freedom: First, that is not necessarily true. In some instances, the firesale price is the highest price possible."

"Perhaps you are struggling with the term "generally"."

Perhaps you are struggling with the term "market." The generally isn't even true.

"Major_Freedom: Second, giving the imaginary, non-existent price the label "market price", doesn't change the fact that the firesale price is the actual market price."

"Perhaps, Snidely Whiplash has a better understanding of the situation. He intends to make money on the transaction by forcing the widow's hand."

It has nothing to do with "Snidely's" understanding. It has to do with understanding the fact that the price fetched is a market price, because it is based on private property rights, and thus private property rights enforcement.

"Major_Freedom: Whiplash cannot "reduce" the widow's options. He can only provide a better offer to others."

"By threatening immediate foreclosure rather than giving her time to either sell or make up the payments, he has reduced her options."

No, he offered a better price for the widow's loan than anyone else at the time. The loan contract always contained the foreclosure clause in the event of default. Snidely didn't create it. The widow and the original lender created it.

"Major_Freedom: ... the context that you presumed when you said screw the future ..."

"We, Zachriel, never said "screw the future" or anything of the sort, and indeed, said quite the contrary. Please quit misrepresenting our position."

Quit misrepresenting pronouns and start using them according to their commonly accepted definitions, or you risk being misrepresented.

"Major_Freedom: It is not wrong to be against an incorrect position."

"No. But it is rather silly to fight against strawman."

It's not a straw man to address an "our" in its commonly accepted definition.

"Zachriel (from above): there is reason to consider both long and short term factors in planning"

That's what individuals do when they are free to plan for their future. Keynesian policies FORCE the short term solution at the expense of the long term.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"I'll tell you what, Major Freedom. I will respect your anti-tax, anti-government position when you abide by the following:"

Obey you or else in 3, 2, 1...

(1) The next time you get into a car accident or need emergency medical services instead of taking an ambulance to the nearest hospital you can take a taxi to the nearest privately funded clinic.

(2) Instead of calling the police when your home is broken into you can call your own private security guards that you keep on 24-hour standby.

(3) Instead of driving down main street to do you grocery shopping you only drive on roads built by private contractors who funded their construction by private tolls.

(4) You agree to never use the services of the U.S. Postal Service and promise to hire FedEx or UPS to deliver your holiday cards next year.

....and 0. We have lift off! Space shuttle Government Goon on route to "pay up, or else" idiocy land.

"When you do all of those things I will stop viewing you as a free-riding hypocrite and then I'll start taking your anti-government rants more seriously."

When you stop complaining about me robbing you of your money, and leave your own property to avoid me, then I will start listening to your complaints, but until then, you'll just be another hypocrite who really wants what I am doing, he just doesn't have the gumption to put his money where his mouth is, and leave.

The following is what I agree to, and if you don't like it, then the obligation is on you to cease and desist harassing me to give up my money or property:

(1) The government will henceforth cease and desist taxing me by force.

(2) The government will henceforth cease and desist preventing, hindering, red taping, or in any way obstructing either myself or others from offering any services we want, including roads, bridges, schools, and even contract enforcement.

(2) The government will henceforth offer their specific services to me in a pay as you go system, based on explicit voluntary contracts and the rule of law only.

Should the government violate any one of the above 2 criteria, then my offer is immediately rescinded, and the obligation to cease and desist will remain with those in government, NOT me, or any other victim.

Major_Freedom said...

Sorry, 3 criteria.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"When you do all of those things I will stop viewing you as a free-riding hypocrite and then I'll start taking your anti-government rants more seriously."

You have it exactly backwards. It is precisely those who acquire their money by force, and not consent, who are "free riding." Government force generates free riding off the productive, for everything the government gives to some people, it has to take away from other people, and if the government gives to the same people they take away from, it requires the difference to also come from the productive.

Those who want the violence to stop are not free riding. Those who want government are wanting to free ride.

When you accept the 3 things I listed above, I will stop viewing you as a free-riding hypocrite and then I'll start taking your anti-market rants more seriously.

JG said...

"...the government gives to some people, it has to take away from other people"

And there you have it. In a nutshell you just summed up your entire Randian religion. They're gonna take my stuff and give it away to someone else. All the rest of the efficient market baloney and Austrian nonsense is just a big smokescreen to conceal a little child who says "It's mine, all mine, don't take my stuff".

You are a free-rider. You live under the security and stability that others have provided and then you pretend that you did it by yourself. Your job, your business, the safety that you enjoy is the product of the regulations and infrastucture that you condemn. You are an ungrateful child who gladly takes and complains when he is asked to contribute. You are a true Austrian.

Major_Freedom said...

"...the government gives to some people, it has to take away from other people"

And there you have it. In a nutshell you just summed up your entire Randian religion.

I am not a "Randian." But nice try in trying to refute me by merely calling me a name.

"They're gonna take my stuff and give it away to someone else."

It's not that they are going to. It's that they have, they are, and if government is to continue to exist, they will. This is reality.

"All the rest of the efficient market baloney and Austrian nonsense is just a big smokescreen to conceal a little child who says "It's mine, all mine, don't take my stuff".

You're psychologically projecting again. All your nonsense of the inefficient market balogna and Keynesian nonsense is just a big smokescreen to conceal a little child who says "I want what they have! Take my stuff, but give a net gain back to me!"

"You are a free-rider."

No, YOU are a free rider, because you want to benefit at other people's expense.

"You live under the security and stability that others have provided and then you pretend that you did it by yourself."

Hahaha, am I talking to Colonel Jessup?

"Your job, your business, the safety that you enjoy is the product of the regulations and infrastucture that you condemn."

False. The infrastructure is the product of robbing from the productive. The regulations are the product of adhering to a philosophy of exploitation, such that some groups benefit at the expense of other groups.

"You are an ungrateful child who gladly takes and complains when he is asked to contribute."

You are unable to understand the world around you in any other way than through a parent-child relationship, despite the fact that the subject matter is consenting adults.

I don't "take" anything. The government takes my money, and imposes draconian legislation on me.

"You are a true Austrian."

You are a true violence advocating statist.

JG said...

That did sound a little like Colonel Jessup, haha. But the point remains, the wealth and prosperity that the private sector generates could not exist without the legal protections, physical protections and infrastructure that the public sector provides. The public sector is the enabler of the private sector, which is a key point that most free market zealots refuse to acknowledge because it contradicts their narrow worldview that says government = bad, market = perfect.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Hahaha, so if I "offered" you the "choice" of paying me $500 for my protection services, or else you have to leave your own property, then my actions are justified, ...

You don't have to leave your property. You can sell it at market value.

Major_Freedom: ... and by you staying, you have agreed for me to take your money, and if you stay and yet resist paying me, I can kidnap you and throw you into a cage?

It's called taxation with representation. Yes, you can repudiate your citizenship, sell your property, and leave. Not saying your should, but it is certainly an option, especially if you reject the foundation of American governance, which is representative democracy.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"That did sound a little like Colonel Jessup, haha."

And just like your movie idol was wrong, so are you.

"But the point remains, the wealth and prosperity that the private sector generates could not exist without the legal protections, physical protections and infrastructure that the public sector provides."

No, that point does not still remain. It is false. It is not true that without government, wealth and prosperity that the private sector generates wouldn't exist. Government is an impediment on production and on prosperity.

This is not to say that contract enforcement and protection of private property are not necessary to prosperity. It is to say that government qua government is not necessary nor is it responsible for wealth and prosperity. Government is an ancient institution of social parasitism. It REDUCES prosperity from where it otherwise would have been, had society been 100% private law.

The government we have is the largest government the world has ever seen, and yet 40 million people are on food stamps, more than 10 million more are unemployed, our children are graduating from government schools as virtual illiterates, and the middle class is being wiped out.

For you to sit there and tell me that an institution that initiates violence is somehow responsible for our wealth and prosperity, is tantamount to claiming that rape and murder and theft are productive activities.

The public sector is the enabler of the private sector, which is a key point that most free market zealots refuse to acknowledge because it contradicts their narrow worldview that says government = bad, market = perfect.

False. The private sector is the enabler of the public sector. Without the private sector's tacit or explicit support, the public sector would collapse. There is no way that the public sector would survive if 300,000,000 million people cease tolerating it.

Sorry, I don't buy your silly religion that violence increases people's standard of living.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Hahaha, so if I "offered" you the "choice" of paying me $500 for my protection services, or else you have to leave your own property, then my actions are justified,"

You don't have to leave your property. You can sell it at market value.

Hahaha, and if I don't want to sell my property?

Can't you think more than one step ahead? I know it's tough, but at least try to make an effort.

"Major_Freedom: ... and by you staying, you have agreed for me to take your money, and if you stay and yet resist paying me, I can kidnap you and throw you into a cage?"

It's called taxation with representation.

Call the theft whatever you want. it's theft because it is backed by violence, not consent.

"Yes, you can repudiate your citizenship, sell your property, and leave."

And if I don't leave because I would like to remain on my property, as is the right of a property owner?

Not saying your should, but it is certainly an option, especially if you reject the foundation of American governance, which is representative democracy.

The ability to leave a violent situation does not mean that situation is not violent.

I don't want to abolish the government for others. I just want the freedom to opt out of it. If you want to continue paying a bunch of sociopaths who believe they have the right to kidnap you, imprison you, torture you, and kill you, all without trial, lawyer, or due process, then that's your freakshow, and I would like you to afford myself and every other peace loving person the dignity of leaving us out of that madness and to keep that to yourselves.

Democracy is evil for the same reason monarchy is evil for the same reason fascism, communism, and every other form of government is evil.

It is vicious and immoral to believe that 51 people can vote away the freedoms of 49 people just because they outnumber them. Democracy condones rape, theft, torture, murder, genocide, every single evil that can possibly be carried out, as long as the magical majority agree to do it.

Democracy is a silly social system that was devised by ancient people who lacked a requisite knowledge of establishing a superior social system. Democracy does not appear once in the declaration of independence, articles of confederation, or the constitution. It is unamerican.

JG said...

"It is not true that without government, wealth and prosperity that the private sector generates wouldn't exist."

This prosperity that you speak of requires a few things to happen. It requires the rule of law (the legal system), it requires physical security (police), it requries the ability for goods and services to be transported (roads, airports, bridges), it requries an educated workforce (public schools). Could these things be provided by the private sector? No, it couldn't, and it certainly didn't before perform any of those key duties prior to the public sector stepping in. The absence of the public sector would make it harder for commerce to prosper.

Just because you're in denial and won't admit this doesn't make it so.

JG said...

"Government is an ancient institution of social parasitism."

Only in the fevered imaginations of anti-goverment zealots. The government has been a partner of the private sector enabling and sponsoring many of the commerical and technological breakthroughs of the 20th century. The internet, jet propulsion, nuclear energy, all of these things (and many others) were developed by the public sector. But go ahead, tell me about how the government is just a parasite because it has the audacity to expect you to pay taxes.

JG said...

"Democracy is evil for the same reason monarchy is evil for the same reason fascism, communism, and every other form of government is evil."

And the alternative to democracy is what? I'd love to hear your idea for what will replace democracy?

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"It is not true that without government, wealth and prosperity that the private sector generates wouldn't exist."

This prosperity that you speak of requires a few things to happen. It requires the rule of law (the legal system), it requires physical security (police), it requries the ability for goods and services to be transported (roads, airports, bridges), it requries an educated workforce (public schools).

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

Could these things be provided by the private sector? No, it couldn't

Yes, it could have.

and it certainly didn't before perform any of those key duties prior to the public sector stepping in.

Actually it was. There was private roads, bridges, law enforcement, and schools. Learn your history.

"The absence of the public sector would make it harder for commerce to prosper."

No, it's the opposite. It would make it easier for commerce to prosper because there would be a violent backed monopoly of taxation.

Just because you're in denial and won't admit this doesn't make it so.

You're in denial, not me.

"Government is an ancient institution of social parasitism."

Only in the fevered imaginations of anti-goverment zealots.

Only in reality.

The government has been a partner of the private sector enabling and sponsoring many of the commerical and technological breakthroughs of the 20th century.

The government has been a parasite of the private sector reducing and eliminating many commercial and technological breakthroughs that never saw the light of day.

You are ignoring opportunity costs.

The internet, jet propulsion, nuclear energy, all of these things (and many others) were developed by the public sector.

All came at a cost that was higher than people were actually willing to incur, which is why the money used to finance these things had to be stolen from the people instead of donated/paid by the people.

But go ahead, tell me about how the government is just a parasite because it has the audacity to expect you to pay taxes.

The government is just a parasite and steals people's money, and imposes draconian laws on them that violate property rights.

"Democracy is evil for the same reason monarchy is evil for the same reason fascism, communism, and every other form of government is evil."

And the alternative to democracy is what? I'd love to hear your idea for what will replace democracy?

Private law society.

Major_Freedom said...

JG

Correction:

"The absence of the public sector would make it harder for commerce to prosper."

No, it's the opposite. It would make it easier for commerce to prosper because there would not be a violent backed monopoly of taxation.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: if I don't want to sell my property?

Then you will remain in a nation of laws.

Zachriel: It's called taxation with representation.

Major_Freedom: Democracy does not appear once in the declaration of independence, articles of confederation, or the constitution.

Government does, which is your real objection.

Major_Freedom: Democracy is evil for the same reason monarchy is evil for the same reason fascism, communism, and every other form of government is evil.

Thank you for clarifying your position. Not sure anyone will find your argument convincing, as your position is based on absolutest principles that few share. Meanwhile, you still have to abide by the laws. And when you purposefully refuse to stop at a red light, most people will consider you to be at fault, and find you responsible for death or injury as a consequence.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: if I don't want to sell my property?

Curious. Why don't you want to sell your property for fair market value, then leave?

JG said...

"The government is just a parasite and steals people's money, and imposes draconian laws on them that violate property rights."

That's right. Who do they think they are estabishing an enforcing these so-called "laws". Why can't they just leave me alone in my bunker where I can make my own rules and listen to Lew Rockwell books on tape.

JG said...

"And the alternative to democracy is what?

Private law society."

Ahhh...so you're going with Little House on the Prairie model of society. Make your own laws, buy a rifle and shoot anyone who gets to close to your land. That sounds perfectly reasonable and in no way impractical for a modern society of 300 million people.

JG said...

"The internet, jet propulsion, nuclear energy, all of these things (and many others) were developed by the public sector.

All came at a cost that was higher than people were actually willing to incur, which is why the money used to finance these things had to be stolen from the people instead of donated/paid by the people."


So, I guess because taxpayers weren't skipping and gleefully donating their money to Uncle Sam that means that the wealth and prosperity and commercial benefits that those innovations created are thereby null and void?

Yes, there are opportuntity costs associated with publicly funded development, just like there are with every other decision in life. What is the point that you're trying to make? That taxpayers should have a line-item veto on every investment decision? Or are you protesting the fact that you live in a modern democracy that requires you to surrender a measure of spending autonomamny by requiring you to pay a portion of your income as taxes? If it's the latter then you can, as I've suggested before, vote with your feet. Just don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: if I don't want to sell my property?"

"Then you will remain in a nation of laws."

We are not in a nation of laws. We are in a nation of outlaws.

I do not prefer to live in an area with zero laws. You are tacitly implying that I have to choose between the government's laws, or no laws at all.

I choose the third option you are conveniently ignoring: I prefer to live in a place of private law, not coercive, anti-property monopoly law that currently exists.

"Zachriel: It's called taxation with representation.

"Major_Freedom: Democracy does not appear once in the declaration of independence, articles of confederation, or the constitution."

"Government does, which is your real objection."

But I wasn't using existing law (constitution) to justify my arguments. You were. So I am entitled to criticize your arguments assuming you hold your own premises. I do not hold those same premises, so you cannot argue against my position assuming I hold your premises.

"Major_Freedom: Democracy is evil for the same reason monarchy is evil for the same reason fascism, communism, and every other form of government is evil."

Thank you for clarifying your position. Not sure anyone will find your argument convincing, as your position is based on absolutest principles that few share.

First, everyone shares absolutist principles. Those who say they don't, are just hiding the fact, intentionally or unintentionally, that they believe their own opinion is the absolutism. All meaningful, coherent propositions are absolutist. Even the propositions you think are weak, fuzzy, non-committed, tentative, etc, are all absolutist propositions, for as long as they say one thing and nothing else, that is absolutist.

Second, I don't care about your opinion on who you believe will be convinced and who won't. All such an opinion really tells me at the end of the day is just what your own opinion on epistemological absolutism. I already know it by what you write.

My goal is not to accept what most people already believe. My goal is to find what's right.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

Meanwhile, you still have to abide by the laws. And when you purposefully refuse to stop at a red light, most people will consider you to be at fault, and find you responsible for death or injury as a consequence.

First, it is telling that you have to characterize me as a menace to society for being anti-government, as if being anti-government means one has to be anti-laws, such that we just can't wait for the government to be abolished so that we can run red lights at 100 mph, endangering our fellow human beings out of spite.

You clearly have never read anarchist literature. Your view is the typical molotov cocktail throwing hater of peace and prosperity. Anarchism is not anti-law. It is pro-private law.

How about if I wanted to not give money to people who I know are going to use that money to finance the killing of defenseless babies in Muslim countries, assassinate American citizens without trial or lawyer, and bailing out corrupt bankers?

Would you in your frothing at the mouth quest consider people like that to be a destroyer of humanity for not paying those taxes?

"Major_Freedom: if I don't want to sell my property?"

Curious. Why don't you want to sell your property for fair market value, then leave?

Obviously because I want to "free ride". Just kidding, I just wanted to give you your psychological fix because it's clear you need it for some reason.

The truth is that I am making a moral argument. Attacking me or my actions may expose me as a hypocrite (it actually doesn't, but that is besides the point), but it cannot possibly be a valid foundation for attacking the moral argument I am making. For that would be ad hominem or ad hominem tu quoque.

You have to address the moral argument I am making, and not try to make me look bad on the basis that I am not acting in accordance with the moral argument I am advancing.

Now, this is not to say that it is impossible to refute my moral argument on the basis of my action, but this would delve into praxeological, performative contradictions, which do not apply to this particular moral argument I am making. I would commit a performative contradiction if I advocated what you advocated.

To answer your question, it's not necessary that I leave or stay, because the moral argument I am advancing calls for non-property owners to leave property owners alone in the case of voluntary disassociation. They ought to leave the property of the owner, and the property owners can stay to exercise their property rights.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I choose the third option you are conveniently ignoring: I prefer to live in a place of private law, not coercive, anti-property monopoly law that currently exists.

Then move to such a place.

Major_Freedom: I choose the third option you are conveniently ignoring: I prefer to live in a place of private law, not coercive, anti-property monopoly law that currently exists.

What do you do about someone who rejects your "private law"?

Major_Freedom: But I wasn't using existing law (constitution) to justify my arguments.

It was descriptive. Meanwhile, please try to keep track of your own claims. You had used ridiculous exaggeration to claim that taxation with representation is equivalent to kidnapping.

Major_Freedom: To answer your question, it's not necessary that I leave or stay, because the moral argument I am advancing calls for non-property owners to leave property owners alone in the case of voluntary disassociation.

But your claim was that you didn't have a choice. If you receive market value, and if market value is the only value at issue, then there is no reason not to leave.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"The government is just a parasite and steals people's money, and imposes draconian laws on them that violate property rights."

That's right. Who do they think they are estabishing an enforcing these so-called "laws". Why can't they just leave me alone in my bunker where I can make my own rules and listen to Lew Rockwell books on tape.

Aaaaand you lost. This is where I conclusively win. When you resort to personal attacks, it means you have nothing left in your rotten, sewage infested tank.

"Private law society."

Ahhh...so you're going with Little House on the Prairie model of society. Make your own laws, buy a rifle and shoot anyone who gets to close to your land.

Actually I was thinking more like the world as a whole today, with no central government. But yeah, the world is like Little House on the Prairie until we have a world government. Then we will move into the promised land of infinite abundance and no more scarcity.

That sounds perfectly reasonable and in no way impractical for a modern society of 300 million people.

A single group of people in charge of 300,000,000 individuals sounds perfectly reasonable, and in no way impractical, in any way, shape or form.

But, anything less and anything more than that magical number, then it becomes unreasonable and impractical. Why? Don't care, because I don't know. It just does. The magic numbers all over the world also just happen to exactly match current political boundaries and everyone in them. This is a total and utter coincidence. I did not take those arbitrary political boundaries into account when I said "society of 300,000,000 people". I mean, Americans aren't living on planet Earth. We're living in America. Earth society? Bah.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"All came at a cost that was higher than people were actually willing to incur, which is why the money used to finance these things had to be stolen from the people instead of donated/paid by the people."

So, I guess because taxpayers weren't skipping and gleefully donating their money to Uncle Sam that means that the wealth and prosperity and commercial benefits that those innovations created are thereby null and void?

Aaaaand when you can't debate the arguments, why not some straw man too? Hey, you're on a roll.

No you moron, I didn't argue that the wealth created on the basis of such technological innovations are "null and void".

Your mind is just so ignorant that you keep failing to understand the concept of the law of opportunity costs. By your asinine worldview, if I robbed the money from an entire country, and then financed the construction of a gigantic space station, and then afterwords all sorts of technological breakthroughs were made, your ignorant mind, since it does not understand opportunity costs, believe that we should only focus on what happens to exist given the past widespread theft.

We should sing glory and praises at all the wonderful wealth and prosperity that I generated.

But then we would again be ignoring all the value that could have been made, but was not. Since this thinking takes imagination, people like you are left behind still glorifying at the shiny things you can only see. You can use your eyes, but you can't use your mind. That's why you believe the government creates value instead of destroying the value that would otherwise would have existed had the people been free to plan for their own economic lives.

At this point I suspect that your mind is now trying to belittle that value, and so you will almost certainly try to rationalize your religion by pretending that the people's values must be oppressed for the sake of the government's values. Because left to their own individual, selfish, petty pursuits, individuals won't agree to pony up the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary for the "grand", "epic", "noble" pursuits that only the wonderful government can bring about. Those murders and torturing and the war on the people's health and what they ingest? It's "all worth it" because we got velcro and zippers out of it.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


Yes, there are opportuntity costs associated with publicly funded development, just like there are with every other decision in life.

Well would you look at that! You aren't a total ignoramus. Your mind does have hope. Keep thinking about this and ask what values should be promoted and what values should be oppressed. Then ask why, then ask why again, then keep asking until you can't answer any more. Then you come back here and tell me what that premise happens to be.

What is the point that you're trying to make? That taxpayers should have a line-item veto on every investment decision? Or are you protesting the fact that you live in a modern democracy that requires you to surrender a measure of spending autonomamny by requiring you to pay a portion of your income as taxes?

Why can't you think outside the bubble you have created for yourself?

I am saying that taxpayers should be able to opt out of every single service the government offers, including protection and security, and opt out of paying a single dime to them. Then, those in the government can communicate what they want to offer others, and just like private businesses do this everyday, they and their customers can get together and agree to interact on a voluntary basis. For those who don't interact voluntarily, others have a right to use force to stop them and seek punitive damages.

This isn't rocket science. It's how regular people choose to interact with others every day, not because they will get punished if they commit violence, but because they value other people enough to not want to commit violence. Of course there are violent people, but then this fact doesn't justify establishing a monopoly that initiates violence.

If it's the latter then you can, as I've suggested before, vote with your feet. Just don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Leave where? The country? You don't own it, and neither does the government. The people who must leave in the case of voluntary disassociation are the non-owners, not the owners.

If I called you up and said I am hereby your protector, and I have the support of many friends, and that I expect you to pay me 40% of your income by year's end, and if you resist, then you must move away and I take ownership of your house, then surely your mind isn't so warped that you would believe my actions are justified.

Well, that's exactly what those in the government do. It's just more elaborate, with more intellectuals brainwashing the people, and more smoke and mirrors. But at its core it's the same immoral foundation.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: I choose the third option you are conveniently ignoring: I prefer to live in a place of private law, not coercive, anti-property monopoly law that currently exists. "

Then move to such a place.

So that I can expect people like you to come in and wreck the place again, just like you did after North America was colonized?

What I am talking about requires a whole new way of looking at humanity, the same way that occurred during the enlightenment.

And the obligation is not on me to move away from my own property. The obligation to cease and desist is on the part of non-owners, i.e. you and your mommy and daddy government.

What do you do about someone who rejects your "private law"?

I defend my property rights of course, the same way that people defend their property rights in our society when it comes to home invaders.

Except in your ideal world, the home invaders should be armed SWAT teams, where people are not permitted to protect their property rights, because obviously they did something wrong if the SWAT teams bash people's doors down, right?

"Major_Freedom: But I wasn't using existing law (constitution) to justify my arguments."

It was descriptive. Meanwhile, please try to keep track of your own claims. You had used ridiculous exaggeration to claim that taxation with representation is equivalent to kidnapping.

LOL, first, I didn't lose track of that. And it wasn't even an equivalence argument. I didn't say taxation with representation is equivalent to kidnapping. I said that if you peacefully resist the "taxation with representation", and you peacefully resist their calls to get you to appear in one of their kangaroo courts, then yes, you will be kidnapped. Armed men will eventually come to your door, and they will not be asking you nicely. They will coming to forcefully remove your person from your home, which is kidnapping, and they will then drive you to a place full of rapists, and throw you into a cage where you will most certainly be sexually assaulted, and not just by the other caged prisoners, but by the prison guards themselves (bet you didn't know that the majority of sexual abuse in prisons is from the guards, did you? No, of course you didn't, because you're stupid.)

You can call this "enforcing the law", or "punishing people for not paying their fair share". Call it whatever you want. But I know it's kidnapping.

"Major_Freedom: To answer your question, it's not necessary that I leave or stay, because the moral argument I am advancing calls for non-property owners to leave property owners alone in the case of voluntary disassociation."

But your claim was that you didn't have a choice.

No, I said that I didn't have a choice given the fact that I don't leave my property, which is my right as a property owner so I didn't emphasize it repeatedly.

If you receive market value, and if market value is the only value at issue, then there is no reason not to leave.

I don't want to sell my house. I am not interested in receiving the market price for my house, in exchange for my house. I am interested in my house, which is why I bought it in the first place.

So, any other pathetic defenses besides "move away", that you'd like to share?

burkll13 said...

"Those murders and torturing and the war on the people's health and what they ingest? It's "all worth it" because we got velcro and zippers out of it."

Bravo, sir.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Actually I was thinking more like the world as a whole today, with no central government.

The world has constantly used war to settle disputes. That's hardly a recommendation for anarchy. Meanwhile, the world is moving towards some sort of central governance, on trade, on war, on rights.

Major_Freedom: A single group of people in charge of 300,000,000 individuals sounds perfectly reasonable, and in no way impractical, in any way, shape or form.

Actually, in a democratic republic, the people are sovereign, and they rule through elected representatives as a nation of laws.

Major_Freedom: I am saying that taxpayers should be able to opt out of every single service the government offers, including protection and security, and opt out of paying a single dime to them.

When a people are under threat, whether internally or externally, market forces will not protect them. Anarchy means a power vacuum, and a power vacuum will be filled. The only question is what form of government there will be, whether the people will rule, or be ruled.

Major_Freedom: You can call this "enforcing the law", or "punishing people for not paying their fair share". Call it whatever you want. But I know it's kidnapping.

It's called the rule of law.

Major_Freedom: I don't want to sell my house.

That's fine. There are clearly other factors, then, than market pricing in your calculation. Go figure.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Actually I was thinking more like the world as a whole today, with no central government."

The world has constantly used war to settle disputes.

False. Some people have used war, others have used peace. Stop making sweeping generalizations on the basis of cherry picking the actions of only some people.

That's hardly a recommendation for anarchy.

So you're in favor of world government to finally establish world peace? You're a veritable contradiction walking around in cheap shoes.

World government would be world violence.

You don't want to accept that in order to fight wars, governments have to have already engaged in wars against the property owners who reside in the "country."

Meanwhile, the world is moving towards some sort of central governance, on trade, on war, on rights.

And meanwhile, human rights abuses have skyrocketed, both at home and abroad. But that's just a coincidence. We just need to get over that hump of competing governments, then when there is one world government, there will be no more violence, and we shall have peace, because after all, human nature will have changed at that point, and the incentive to take advantage of a power center that is no longer constrained by any other force, will just not use that power.

"Major_Freedom: A single group of people in charge of 300,000,000 individuals sounds perfectly reasonable, and in no way impractical, in any way, shape or form."

Actually, in a democratic republic, the people are sovereign, and they rule through elected representatives as a nation of laws.

No, the people are not sovereign if they cannot opt out without having to leave their homes.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Major_Freedom: I am saying that taxpayers should be able to opt out of every single service the government offers, including protection and security, and opt out of paying a single dime to them."

When a people are under threat, whether internally or externally, market forces will not protect them.

You are conveniently ignoring private security.

Anarchy means a power vacuum, and a power vacuum will be filled.

False. That is just a silly talking point. Power doesn't exist in some ephemeral world where its absence somehow attracts it. Political power is exercised when and where it political power is legitimized. It cannot form if the people refuse to accept it. Humans create their own futures. We aren't trapped into perpetual conflict.

Anarchy contains little to no "power" because there are no violent states.

You can call this a "vacuum", but that's only because you view reality to be inherently violent, and wherever violence is absent, so is reality, thus giving the impression that there is a "vacuum".

The only question is what form of government there will be, whether the people will rule, or be ruled.

False. There is also the question of whether there should be government at all.

The fact that you believe the myth that the only choice open to the human race is rule or be ruled, is nothing but a product of your depraved philosophical worldview. It is not scientific, it is not logical. It is not rational. It is simply your worldview that my guess was instilled in you by abusive parents, who made you believe the myth that this control and abuse is inherent in the human race.

Economics has shown that myth to be false.

"Major_Freedom: You can call this "enforcing the law", or "punishing people for not paying their fair share". Call it whatever you want. But I know it's kidnapping."

It's called the rule of law.

It's called kidnapping.

"Major_Freedom: I don't want to sell my house."

That's fine. There are clearly other factors, then, than market pricing in your calculation. Go figure.

Yes, there is the moral argument I am making. Convenient that you ignored that and instead are trying to paint me as some sort of hypocrite. Go figure.

JG said...

"Aaaaand you lost. This is where I conclusively win. When you resort to personal attacks, it means you have nothing left in your rotten, sewage infested tank."

It's called sarcasm, which is really the only appropriate response to someone who is so hopelessly and stubbornly resistant to any facts or ideas that don't support his preconceived view of the world.

Let me know how that "private law society" works out. I'm sure once you do away with representative democracy and any remnants of collective organization that you'll prosper and show all us collectivists how paradise is really possible once the government just gets out of your way.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Aaaaand you lost. This is where I conclusively win. When you resort to personal attacks, it means you have nothing left in your rotten, sewage infested tank."

It's called sarcasm, which is really the only appropriate response to someone who is so hopelessly and stubbornly resistant to any facts or ideas that don't support his preconceived view of the world.

Aaaaaand you are a sore loser to boot. Color me surprised.

You haven't even presented any "facts" or "ideas" that contradict my convictions, so how in the world can you expect me to just drop my ideas? I take ideas seriously, unlike you who probably drops them at the seat of his pants whenever his beliefs are threatened by whoever happens to cross his path.

Let me know how that "private law society" works out.

Why? You want to be a part of it? Or are you just mocking?

I'm sure once you do away with representative democracy and any remnants of collective organization that you'll prosper and show all us collectivists how paradise is really possible once the government just gets out of your way.

First, being against democracy or statism does not imply one is against collective organization. I am against coercive collective organization that violates property rights. However, as long as the collective organization is voluntary, then people can get together, and/or pool their resources, and engage in any behavior they want, provided they don't initiate force against other people or their property.

This all shouldn't be hard to grasp. Yes, most of us have been brainwashed in government schools, but that doesn't excuse you from letting your emotions run your thinking on non-emotional topics like politics and economics.

Second, I will be glad to tell you how it works out, just as soon as the government ceases being mandatory. But if they did that, then I won't have to show you, for you could see it for yourself.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: You are conveniently ignoring private security.

Not at all. But let's try to understand how you think your anarchist society would work. Consider a simple case. There are two societies. The first is composed of strictly decentralized private organizations. Call them the Anarchists. The second is a mixed system with a central government. Call them the Centralists. Let's assume the Centralists build a vast army and attack the Anarchists. Oh, and the Centralists bribe a few of the private organizations among the Anarchists to join them. How do you think the situation will end?

Major_Freedom: Second, I will be glad to tell you how it works out, just as soon as the government ceases being mandatory.

It's hard to believe that you are actually arguing against democracy, against the rule of law.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: You are conveniently ignoring private security. "

Not at all.

Yes, you did. You said "When a people are under threat, whether internally or externally, market forces will not protect them." This ignores private security!

But let's try to understand how you think your anarchist society would work. Consider a simple case. There are two societies. The first is composed of strictly decentralized private organizations. Call them the Anarchists. The second is a mixed system with a central government. Call them the Centralists. Let's assume the Centralists build a vast army and attack the Anarchists. Oh, and the Centralists bribe a few of the private organizations among the Anarchists to join them. How do you think the situation will end?

I don't know how such a hypothetical example would end. It's your agenda driven story of self-aggrandizement and reinforcement.

I could just as easily propose this:

But let's try to understand how you think your statist society would work. Consider a simple case. There are two societies. The first is composed of strictly decentralized private organizations. Call them the Anarchists. The second is a mixed system with a central government. Call them the Centralists. Let's assume the Anarchists build a vast army and attack the Centralists. Oh, and the Anarchists bribe a few of the politicians and generals among the Centralists to join them. How do you think the situation will end?

It's easy to create a story that presupposes your worldview, but that isn't how to discuss these issues.

"Major_Freedom: Second, I will be glad to tell you how it works out, just as soon as the government ceases being mandatory."

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

It's hard to believe that you are actually arguing against democracy, against the rule of law.

Again, I am not arguing against the rule of law. I am arguing against coercive monopoly law that violates property rights. There is a huge difference.

As for democracy, I have no qualms arguing against it. It is extremely immoral, destructive, and incommensurable with individual freedom.

It only seems so crazy to critique it in your mind because you've been brainwashed since birth to worship it as if it's the end of history.

In truth, Democracy is an ancient and very flawed system of statism. The last time democracy swept the world, in ancient Greece and (somewhat) Rome, it invariably collapsed (as anarchists know happens) into dictatorship, which was then followed by almost a thousand years of brutal oppression, poverty, and mysticism called the dark ages.

The American experiment, which was NOT based on democracy or democratic principles at all, was the closest largest scale attempt at private property anarchy.

The catastrophic error of the experiment that made it fail, was that it contained a small, minimalist state to begin with, which had the legal authority to violate private property rights, even if it was very minimal. That seed, which contained an utterly evil DNA, then germinated into the gigantic behemoth state we see today, that is on a world war rampage abroad and more and more at home.

If only the founders just established a private property, private law society, without the minimal state. This country in 2011 probably would have looked like the Jetsons by now. Instead, we got the next best thing, which was the most prosperous and wealthy economy the world has ever seen.

I just don't believe in the religion called democracy. It rests on the faith that the majority are morally and intellectually right.

You say you find it hard to believe I am arguing against democracy. I say I find it hard to believe that anyone can say murder or theft are morally justified, as long as the majority of people support a group of people who engage in that behavior. I simply cannot fathom how any reasonable, otherwise peace loving person can say that theft of property, or any other violent crime, is justified as long as the majority support it. I find people like you to be morally repugnant, even if you're in large numbers.

Even if the entire world (except me) was in favor of killing or robbing from others, I'd be against it and know it to be wrong.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I don't know how such a hypothetical example would end.

Without the handwaving, when confronting a mixed society with a central government and a large military, how will the anarchist society respond?

Major_Freedom: Oh, and the Anarchists bribe a few of the politicians and generals among the Centralists to join them. How do you think the situation will end?

Having the rule of law, the traitors will be hanged.

Major_Freedom: As for democracy, I have no qualms arguing against it. It is extremely immoral, destructive, and incommensurable with individual freedom.

Yes, the worst of all systems.

JG said...

"You haven't even presented any "facts" or "ideas" that contradict my convictions..."

Of course I did, go back and read the earlier posts on this thread. I've given you several examples of when the public sector has fostered innovation and enabled the prosperity of the private sector, mobilizing resources on a massive scale that the private sector could never do. And your weak response was some babble about opportunity costs, as if that somehow invalidated the examples I put forth.

You won't consider even for a moment that the public sector has done any good because that would require admitting that maybe the public sector is worth funding, and that is anathema to the anti-tax religion you're apparently a disciple of.

"If only the founders just established a private property, private law society, without the minimal state. This country in 2011 probably would have looked like the Jetsons by now."

Yeah, but they didn't because the type of society you're describing could never work for any group of people bigger than a tribe of hunter-gatherers or maybe a hippie commune living in the woods. Mutually agreed to private laws work for small tribal societies where everyone has the same values and priorities. Large, diverse societies like modern day America will never arrive at that level of agreement because we have too many different agendas and opinions about how things should be run. That's why we have a democracy. That's why we need a "coercive" government to enforce the laws that the majority agrees on. And that's why your naive solution of a "private law society" is impossible.

Your ideas about government and naive and silly. Your attitudes about taxation are rigid and resistant to facts that don't conform to your beliefs. In summary, you are an ideologue and there is no changing the mind of someone who has decided that he likes what he believes and will not change them come facts or high water.

libertarian89 said...

Rothbard has already evicerated JG's silly cemented headed statist clap trap arguments that you would probably expect some gung ho progressive freshmen at some liberal arts university blab out in some usless class. Pathetic.


http://mises.org/rothbard/public.asp


These statists are hopeless. Im sure MF will be back to completely school you like he has for this entire thread.

Major_Freedom said...

"Major_Freedom: I don't know how such a hypothetical example would end."

Without the handwaving, when confronting a mixed society with a central government and a large military, how will the anarchist society respond?

I said I don't know how YOUR hypothetical story designed to advance your agenda, will end.

In anarchy, people respond to violence just like they do in statist societies: They defend themselves.

"Major_Freedom: Oh, and the Anarchists bribe a few of the politicians and generals among the Centralists to join them. How do you think the situation will end?"

Having the rule of law, the traitors will be hanged.

Anarchy has laws as well. Can't say the traitor anarchists will be hanged or not, because anarchy is not planned in terms of these things.

"Major_Freedom: As for democracy, I have no qualms arguing against it. It is extremely immoral, destructive, and incommensurable with individual freedom."

Yes, the worst of all systems.

I didn't say that.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"You haven't even presented any "facts" or "ideas" that contradict my convictions..."

Of course I did, go back and read the earlier posts on this thread. I've given you several examples of when the public sector has fostered innovation and enabled the prosperity of the private sector, mobilizing resources on a massive scale that the private sector could never do. And your weak response was some babble about opportunity costs, as if that somehow invalidated the examples I put forth.

The law of opportunity costs is not a "weak response." It totally demolishes your entire worldview about prosperity, wealth, and progress in the private sector that was a result of public sector spending.

The law can prove that because money had to be taken by force from people, WHATEVER was financed subsequent to that IMMEDIATELY incurs a net loss on society, because by definition what is financed is at best only the second best that would have otherwise transpired. That is what happens when people are forcefully extracted of their money to pay for public works. If the public works was the best alternative, then people would have voluntarily paid for it without being taxed.

And just because the public sector "mobilized resources on a huge scale", that doesn't mean net gains were made. It means net losses were incurred. Bigger doesn't mean better. It is better for 100 million people to each eat a small quantity of food, if that is what they wanted to do had they been able to spend their money, than the government taking their money by force in order to finance "large", "noble" projects like space stations, or pyramids if you're Keynesian.

You won't consider even for a moment that the public sector has done any good because that would require admitting that maybe the public sector is worth funding, and that is anathema to the anti-tax religion you're apparently a disciple of.

You're only preaching this religion to me because YOU won't consider even for a moment that the public sector has done actual harm, because that would require admitting that the public sector is not worth funding, and that is anathema to the pro-tax religion you're definitely a disciple of.

I won't ever consider theft doing good for its victims. You can believe it, but I won't, because I'm not crazy like you.

"If only the founders just established a private property, private law society, without the minimal state. This country in 2011 probably would have looked like the Jetsons by now."

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


Yeah, but they didn't because the type of society you're describing could never work for any group of people bigger than a tribe of hunter-gatherers or maybe a hippie commune living in the woods.

False. It can work on any scale, from the individual all the way to the entire world's population. You just don't want to accept that it can work, because you don't understand it, and that which you don't understand, seems like an impossibility.

The entire world is on a pseudo-anarchist orientation, since there is no world government, and never has been. So 250,000 years of no world government has shown that humans across countries don't require a single state in order to cooperate.

In theory, private property anarchy is not, unlike communism, a priori contrary to human life. It makes no difference that it has never been fully tried, for the same reason it made no difference to democracy that it wasn't tried the world over until only around 100 years ago.

Mutually agreed to private laws work for small tribal societies where everyone has the same values and priorities.

It's not necessary that everyone have the same values, just enough people, which is no less true for democracy as well. If enough people are for or against democracy, it will or will not occur.

Yes, anarchy requires that enough people adopt the "crazy" notion that theft of property is immoral, no matter if the thieves are large in number, or few in number but have the "support" of large numbers of people.

Most people who aren't sociopaths know that theft is immoral. The only thing that is preventing people from abolishing the state is not being able to IDENTIFY evil where it exists. Too many people unfortunately believe that taxation is not evil. Once they do realize it, then it's game over for the territorial monopoly organized crime family called the state.

Large, diverse societies like modern day America will never arrive at that level of agreement because we have too many different agendas and opinions about how things should be run.

That's a major reason why statism especially does not work in America.

It is precisely because people disagree on economic plans, that one size fits all solutions like the state are antithetical to the people who are governed.

Almost everyone agrees to respecting each other's property rights. It's just a failure to identify the state as systematic destroyer of property rights and thus of individual human values.

That's why we have a democracy. That's why we need a "coercive" government to enforce the laws that the majority agrees on.

Just world fallacy. No, we have democracy because of a prevalent philosophical influence from European socialism. Democratic values came over from European intellectuals, which ruined America's system of individual based constitutionalism. After WW1 ended, European monarchy collapsed, and the fact that America was the dominant culture and economy in the world at the time, then led to Europe adopting American style social democracy, by default. In Eastern Europe, socialism remained, and once that collapsed, they too adopted the default democratic socialism.

That's why "we" have democracy.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

And that's why your naive solution of a "private law society" is impossible.

Total non sequitur. That does not follow in any way, shape or form from anything you said prior.

Saying a series of "that's why's" is not a proper syllogistic form of argumentation. It's nothing but assertions unbacked by any supporting premises.

Whenever you say "that", you haven't even proven "that" to be the case.

Your ideas about government and naive and silly. Your attitudes about taxation are rigid and resistant to facts that don't conform to your beliefs. In summary, you are an ideologue and there is no changing the mind of someone who has decided that he likes what he believes and will not change them come facts or high water.

Your ideas about government and naive and silly. Your attitudes about taxation are rigid and resistant to facts that don't conform to your beliefs. In summary, you are an ideologue and there is no changing the mind of someone who has decided that he likes what he believes and will not change them come facts or high water.

You see, whenever I can just throw you people's assertions right back at you like this, without making any logical or syntactical errors that create a disjoint between that and what you have said, it means your assertions are nothing but hot air that do not address the actual arguments I am making.

You say my ideas about government are "naive and willy" without showing why. I could just as easily say the same thing about your view of government without showing why.

You say my attitude about taxation is "rigid and resistant to facts that don't conform to my beliefs", without showing what those facts are. I could just as easily say the same thing about your attitude about taxation being resistant to facts without showing what those facts are.

You say I am an ideologue in a pejorative manner, without showing why adhering to an ideology is wrong, and without even realizing that you are just cutting the ground from underneath your own ideology of pro-taxation and pro-government. I could just as easily say the same thing about you having an ideology, and thus being an ideologue.

You say you cannot change my mind, without showing why it is wrong for me not to change my mind. I could just as easily say the same thing about you not changing your mind.

In other words, you're nothing but a contradictory, hypocritical fool who can't argue on ideas and ideas alone, and feels constantly compelled to attack the person. You are proving yourself to lack the requisite knowledge to even have a rational discussion. You're just yammering on as if you have Stockholm Syndrome, urging the other sheep not to rock the boat, and who just shut up and obey and not ask questions.

It's precisely the primitive and barbaric minds such as yours that prevents human life from progressing where it can progress.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I said I don't know how YOUR hypothetical story designed to advance your agenda, will end.

Of course you do. Anarchy will either form into a government capable of mounting a unifed defense, or will collapse in the face of the aggressor.

Major_Freedom: In anarchy, people respond to violence just like they do in statist societies: They defend themselves.

In military terms, it's called being defeated in detail.

Major_Freedom: As for democracy, I have no qualms arguing against it. It is extremely immoral, destructive, and incommensurable with individual freedom.

Zachriel: Yes, the worst of all systems.

Major_Freedom: I didn't say that.

No, that was Winston Churchill.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: And just because the public sector "mobilized resources on a huge scale", that doesn't mean net gains were made. It means net losses were incurred. Bigger doesn't mean better.

Not necessarily, but the scope, in terms of size and in terms of time, of collective actions are necessarily larger than that of independent businesses. That means there are some projects that can only be done by government. While you can debate whether this project or that project is worthwhile, clearly, some of them are, including national defense.

Major_Freedom: The entire world is on a pseudo-anarchist orientation, since there is no world government, and never has been. So 250,000 years of no world government has shown that humans across countries don't require a single state in order to cooperate.

Wars to resolve disputes or simply for the purpose of conquest has been an occurrence throughout history.

Major_Freedom: That's why "we" have democracy.

The U.S. established a central government with the power to tax and to compel in 1789. That was their goal: taxation with representation.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: I said I don't know how YOUR hypothetical story designed to advance your agenda, will end."

Of course you do.

Of course I do? No, I actually don't. You have an agenda and conclusion in your mind. Your story does not have enough information to say what will happen.

Anarchy will either form into a government capable of mounting a unifed defense, or will collapse in the face of the aggressor.

False dichotomy. You are ignoring the possibility of the centralized army being defeated. If you doubt this is possible, then I submit exhibit Afghanistan not having a centralized force, and yet defeating the gigantic Soviet army.

By your asinine logic, there should have already been a world government by now, as one large army should have taken over the whole world and not be stopped because there is not world government.

You do not understand that in an anarchist society, there is no one single power center to destroy in order to take control over the entire region. This is why the world internet never goes down no matter how many attacks are thrown upon it.

"Major_Freedom: In anarchy, people respond to violence just like they do in statist societies: They defend themselves."

In military terms, it's called being defeated in detail.

You're just assuming that to be the case. You're presuming a hypothetical that suits your agenda, then you mistakenly believe you're talking about reality.

"Major_Freedom: I didn't say that."

No, that was Winston Churchill.

No, Churchill said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other forms that have been tried."

I am not proposing a "form of government."

"Major_Freedom: And just because the public sector "mobilized resources on a huge scale", that doesn't mean net gains were made. It means net losses were incurred. Bigger doesn't mean better."

Not necessarily, but the scope, in terms of size and in terms of time, of collective actions are necessarily larger than that of independent businesses.

BIGGER PROJECTS DOES NOT MEAN BETTER PROJECTS.

Big projects can incur huge net losses, and in the case of theft financed projects, it's definitely a net loss.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

That means there are some projects that can only be done by government.

It doesn't mean they should be done.

While you can debate whether this project or that project is worthwhile, clearly, some of them are, including national defense.

"National defense" is a misnomer. What is meant by "national defense" is really just continuance of the state. It means protecting the state from being abolished.

The word "national" makes it seem like those who are constantly being attacked by the state, are also being defended by the state.

"Major_Freedom: The entire world is on a pseudo-anarchist orientation, since there is no world government, and never has been. So 250,000 years of no world government has shown that humans across countries don't require a single state in order to cooperate."

Wars to resolve disputes or simply for the purpose of conquest has been an occurrence throughout history.

Not everyone engages in war you fool. There are MANY people who live across countries who don't go to war with each other even though there is no single state between them.

You just perceive war as only being between governments, when in order for governments to even go to war, they must first be at war with "their" citizens. A state cannot finance an army if it doesn't first engage in economic warfare against private property owners domestically.

"Major_Freedom: That's why "we" have democracy."

The U.S. established a central government with the power to tax and to compel in 1789. That was their goal: taxation with representation.

And look at how that "goal" turned out. The inner core of permitting theft of property "for the social good" has spawned the largest state that ever existed, which is now fighting a world war against unnamed "enemies" that stand in their way, both foreign and domestic.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: If you doubt this is possible, then I submit exhibit Afghanistan not having a centralized force, and yet defeating the gigantic Soviet army.

Actually, they were supported with weapons by the West, including surface-to-air missiles. This is similar to the American colonialists defeating the British, or the Vietnamese defeating the Americans. It was a proxy war between superpowers.

But, in any case, is your model of "private law society" a primitive, non-technological tribal society with barely functioning markets?

Major_Freedom: By your {} logic, there should have already been a world government by now, as one large army should have taken over the whole world and not be stopped because there is not world government.

Not at all. Again, you don't read our comments for content, but insist upon inserting your preconceptions. Human societies operate at many levels of organization, including global. Communication on the global level is fairly recent, and it takes time for order on a global scale to develop. It may not mean a global government, and there may be something more akin to a loose confederation, but the idea that governments will just wither away is just not plausible.

Major_Freedom: You're just assuming that to be the case.

No, we're arguing the case. Your only counterexample was a proxy war between superpowers, and a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets.

In any case, your "private law society" seems to be subject to pillaging by external governments, meaning it is unstable.

Major_Freedom: Churchill said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other forms that have been tried."

That's right.

Major_Freedom: BIGGER PROJECTS DOES NOT MEAN BETTER PROJECTS. Big projects can incur huge net losses, and in the case of theft financed projects, it's definitely a net loss.

*Not necessarily.* That's right. There is a risk in any venture, however, it opens up possibilities that were not there without coordination on the central level.

Major_Freedom: It doesn't mean they should be done.

That's right. It depends on the particulars.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: And look at how that "goal" turned out.

Your recounting of history indicated that lawful coercion in the U.S. was a late development. It was not. Virtually all of the Founders realized the necessity of government. They just insisted upon representation.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Actually, they were supported with weapons by the West, including surface-to-air missiles. This is similar to the American colonialists defeating the British, or the Vietnamese defeating the Americans. It was a proxy war between superpowers."

Because anarchist societies are unable to produce surface to air missiles, or buy missiles from other anarchist or statist societies?

All this does not refute the empirical fact of history that decentralized societies, even poor ones, are not inevitably at the mercy of statist societies.

"But, in any case, is your model of "private law society" a primitive, non-technological tribal society with barely functioning markets?"

Please don't be an idiot.

"Major_Freedom: By your {} logic, there should have already been a world government by now, as one large army should have taken over the whole world and not be stopped because there is not world government."

"Not at all."

Yes at all. You have only ever argued that the lack of a monopoly state over area X inevitably leads to a monopoly state over area X. Well, X = Earth falsifies that absurd conjecture.

"Human societies operate at many levels of organization, including global. Communication on the global level is fairly recent, and it takes time for order on a global scale to develop."

Oh I get it, you're a millenialist who believe that his views can never be falsified, because if it hasn't happened yet, just wait a little more.

"It may not mean a global government, and there may be something more akin to a loose confederation, but the idea that governments will just wither away is just not plausible."

Of course it's plausible. Just because you don't understand it, it doesn't mean it's not plausible.

"Major_Freedom: You're just assuming that to be the case."

"No, we're arguing the case."

No, you're just assuming it to be the case. You're not arguing it. If you believe you're arguing it, then egad your arguments are exactly like bare assertions.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Your only counterexample was a proxy war between superpowers, and a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets."

And yet the Soviets couldn't conquer it, which refutes your assertion that anarchist societies are inevitably going to be conquered.

I wasn't defending Afghanistan's economy.

And what's more, even if Afghanistan was taken over by the Soviets, it STILL wouldn't refute the validity or viability of anarchism. If you think it does, then statism would be invalidated on the same basis, because states are also conquered.

"In any case, your "private law society" seems to be subject to pillaging by external governments, meaning it is unstable."

"Seems to be" is just your bare assertion devoid of facts, logic, or any justification whatsoever.

No, history is not proof of anything other than what people knew and did that that time. It says nothing for or against the optimal social system for humanity.

"Major_Freedom: Churchill said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other forms that have been tried."

"That's right."

I don't need you to tell me that it is right. I'm the one who told you.

"Major_Freedom: BIGGER PROJECTS DOES NOT MEAN BETTER PROJECTS. Big projects can incur huge net losses, and in the case of theft financed projects, it's definitely a net loss."

"*Not necessarily.*"

YES NECESSARILY.

Theft generates a loss for those who are robbed. If it didn't, then the person would voluntarily pay the money, and it wouldn't be taxation in the first place, but voluntary revenues.

Robbery generates losses.

"Major_Freedom: It doesn't mean they should be done."

"That's right. It depends on the particulars."

It depends on whether the money was stolen or consensually acquired. In the case of taxation, it is coercively acquired, which means it generates losses, not gains.

"Major_Freedom: And look at how that "goal" turned out."

"Your recounting of history indicated that lawful coercion in the U.S. was a late development."

No, I didn't say it was a recent development. I said it has gotten progressively worse.

It was coercive as soon as the government was formed and started to violate private property rights of existing property owners. It was coercive since the very beginning.

"Virtually all of the Founders realized the necessity of government. They just insisted upon representation."

There is no necessity of government, so it can't be "realized."

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"..... WHATEVER was financed subsequent to that IMMEDIATELY incurs a net loss on society, because by definition what is financed is at best only the second best that would have otherwise transpired."

So, by this logic if people aren't fielding their own armies and enforcing their own national borders those activities must be the second best thing that money could have been spent on because otherwise people would have bought those services on their own.

My position is that the public sector not only can but historically HAS played a key role in facilitating wealth creation through the projects it funds. Your position is that the public sector is a burden on society and that the money they tax would have been put to better use elsewhere. Let's settle this argument once and for all. In my next post I will provide you with a real life example of when the private sector could not or would not step up the plate and the public sector stepped up and generated enduring wealth and prosperity that ended up benefiting the private sector (and everyone else involved).

No more hypotheticals. If you want to convince me or anyone else that you're right then you need to demonstrate that my example was just some second-best option that the private market could have done better with. Prove your ideas here or else admit that your ideas are nothing more than unproven opinions.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Because anarchist societies are unable to produce surface to air missiles, or buy missiles from other anarchist or statist societies?

Your particular example of an anarchist society does not produce missiles. Rather, it is a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, and used as a pawn by other nations.

Major_Freedom: You have only ever argued that the lack of a monopoly state over area X inevitably leads to a monopoly state over area X.

Please quit misrepresenting our position. Society organizes at many levels with the degree of order at each level varying due to a number of factors. Governments are rarely monopolies as power is distributed at many levels. We've explained this several times.

JG said...

In 1817 the State of New York authorized $7,000,000 to be spent for the construction of the Erie Canal. At that time New York was a medium sized port city on the east coast with less shipping activity than other cities like Philadelphia. The Canal was completed by 1825, immediately reducing the cost of transporting goods and people from the midwest to the east coast. Within 15 years of its opening the volume of trade being moved through New York City exploded, resulting in New York's harbor moving more commercial goods than the ports of Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans combined. The decreased cost of transporting goods lowered prices on every commodity that was moved through the Canal and was a benefit to the entire nation, while the proxomity to such a transporation hub transformed New York into the largest, wealthiest city in the country.

Clearly, the investment of $7 million had been a drop in the bucket compared to the wealth and prosperity that the Canal enabled throughout the region and especially for the state that funded that investment.

Now, according to your worldview that $7 million would have been put to better use by the private sector. So I have two questions for you: (1) what other alternate, private sector use for that $7 million could possibly have been better than spending it on the Canal? and (2) why didn't the private sector identify the obvious need and demand for an infrastructure enhancement as vital as the Canal? According to your worldview the public sector is at best putting money to work on the second best option available because the private sector always finds the best use for resources.

So there you go, a real world example that supports my position. Put your theory to the test, explain how the private sector would have done it better if only the public sector had gotten out of its way.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"..... WHATEVER was financed subsequent to that IMMEDIATELY incurs a net loss on society, because by definition what is financed is at best only the second best that would have otherwise transpired."

"So, by this logic if people aren't fielding their own armies and enforcing their own national borders those activities must be the second best thing that money could have been spent on because otherwise people would have bought those services on their own."

No, that is not the logic. You are ignoring the COERCION involved in government, including its armies.

What the logic says is that because the government takes people's money by force, it means they are depriving people of the best thing, and replacing it with, at best, the second best thing.

Taxes that go to armies are not voluntary.

Revenues that go to private armies are voluntary.

"My position is that the public sector not only can but historically HAS played a key role in facilitating wealth creation through the projects it funds."

You are ignoring opportunity costs. Yes, if I take your money, and then finance some wealth generating activity, I too could claim that I have "played a key role in facilitating wealth creation."

But I still generated a loss to you, which means there is no overall, mutually beneficial, collective gain. There is just a winner and a loser.

"Your position is that the public sector is a burden on society and that the money they tax would have been put to better use elsewhere."

Of course. The standard for what is "good" and "bad" in terms of economics, is the individual's values and wants for themselves.

This means that you cannot make pronouncements for others on what is good for them and what is bad for them. The individual decides that for himself, and his judgment is the standard for himself, not you.

"Let's settle this argument once and for all."

LOL, this argument has already bee "settled." It was settle before you were even born.

"In my next post I will provide you with a real life example of when the private sector could not or would not step up the plate and the public sector stepped up and generated enduring wealth and prosperity that ended up benefiting the private sector (and everyone else involved)."

It is logically impossible for you to ever succeed in that endeavor. You are in no position to judge when prosperity is had for others and when it isn't had for others, based on your personal valuation of some particular project that they "should" value.

"No more hypotheticals. If you want to convince me or anyone else that you're right then you need to demonstrate that my example was just some second-best option that the private market could have done better with. Prove your ideas here or else admit that your ideas are nothing more than unproven opinions."

PROVE YOUR IDEAS OR ELSE ADMIT YOUR IDEAS ARE JUST PERSONAL VALUE JUDGMENTS THAT DO NOT APPLY TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"In 1817 the State of New York authorized $7,000,000 to be spent for the construction of the Erie Canal."

Since that money was collected by coercive force, it means the people could not spend their own money in accordance with their own top values. Ergo, forcefully taking their money generated an immediate loss to their livelihoods. Since they were deprived of the opportunity to spend their own money, it follows that other things could have been produced using those resources, that would have derived greater utility to the people.

Your personal valuation of the project is totally and completely IRRELEVANT. Your personal values do not apply. They are not applicable to the values of those who were forced to pay for it and lost.

Your example proves me right and you wrong.

QED

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Because anarchist societies are unable to produce surface to air missiles, or buy missiles from other anarchist or statist societies?"

"Your particular example of an anarchist society does not produce missiles."

Says who? If it is my example, and I did not say anything about what weapons they have, then you cannot tell me that my own example does or does not have X.

"Rather, it is a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, and used as a pawn by other nations."

You mean like one among the myriad of statist societies in Africa? Or do they not count because they're poor?

You know, when you just imagine all anarchist societies to be "pawns of other nations", it's easy to conclude that anarchist societies are pawns of other nations.

"Major_Freedom: You have only ever argued that the lack of a monopoly state over area X inevitably leads to a monopoly state over area X."

"Please quit misrepresenting our position."

"Our"? Who else is there with you?

And I am not misrepresenting your position. You stated the above to be the case.

Or are you having a change of heart, and you are communicating that to me as me "misrepresenting" you?

"Society organizes at many levels with the degree of order at each level varying due to a number of factors. Governments are rarely monopolies as power is distributed at many levels."

That contradicts your earlier assertion regarding the alleged inevitability of the state.

"We've explained this several times."

"We"? Who else is there with you? And no, you didn't explain this several times, as this is the first time you said the state is not inevitable.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: What the logic says is that because the government takes people's money by force, it means they are depriving people of the best thing, and replacing it with, at best, the second best thing.

That's your claim, but it is an empirical claim, not a necessary one. It depends on the particulars. Generally, markets are much more responsive than governments, but not in all cases. Governments have a responsibility to provide a secure environment for markets, trade rules, and protection of the commons.

Major_Freedom: Taxes that go to armies are not voluntary. Revenues that go to private armies are voluntary.

Like Somalia. Or street gangs.

Major_Freedom: This means that you cannot make pronouncements for others on what is good for them and what is bad for them. The individual decides that for himself, and his judgment is the standard for himself, not you.

You really should try to find yourself an island somewhere.

Major_Freedom: Since they were deprived of the opportunity to spend their own money, it follows that other things could have been produced using those resources, that would have derived greater utility to the people.

Again, that's an empirical claim and doesn't directly follow from the premises.

Major_Freedom: If it is my example, and I did not say anything about what weapons they have, then you cannot tell me that my own example does or does not have X.

Your example was Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet invasion. They didn't produce surface-to-air missiles. They were imported from one of the two competing superpowers. Afghanistan was a primitive, tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, used as a pawn in the struggle between superpowers. That was *your* example.

Notably, you ignored our argument, substituted a strawman, and declared victory.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: What the logic says is that because the government takes people's money by force, it means they are depriving people of the best thing, and replacing it with, at best, the second best thing."

"That's your claim, but it is an empirical claim, not a necessary one."

No, it is a necessary, logical claim. Lack of consent logically precludes the individual's highest value from being attained, and replaces it with another person's value that is lower on the first person's value scale. If this were not the case, then the exchange would be consensual and not forced.

"It depends on the particulars."

It only depends on the presence or lack of presence of consent. There are no "particulars" that would refute the fact that coercion destroys actual, existing human values and forcefully replaces them with necessarily suboptimal values of others.

"Generally, markets are much more responsive than governments, but not in all cases."

Responsive according to what standard of responsiveness?

"Governments have a responsibility to provide a secure environment for markets, trade rules, and protection of the commons."

Governments cannot be considered "protectors" of people property rights when they themselves are violating people's property rights! It's a contradiction. It would be like saying rapists have a responsibility to ensure there is no involuntary sex.

"Major_Freedom: Taxes that go to armies are not voluntary. Revenues that go to private armies are voluntary."

"Like Somalia. Or street gangs."

Like private security agencies, personal security guards, and night watchmen.

"Major_Freedom: This means that you cannot make pronouncements for others on what is good for them and what is bad for them. The individual decides that for himself, and his judgment is the standard for himself, not you."

"You really should try to find yourself an island somewhere."

You should really try addressing my arguments instead of trying to avoid them by wanting my person to change locations.

You are making me laugh because you actually believe I don't know you're clueless and don't know you are providing zero arguments against mine that in any way challenge them. You actually believe I am taking you seriously? I'm just having fun with you. This isn't a discussion over ideas, this is just me dealing with a sociopath.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Major_Freedom: Since they were deprived of the opportunity to spend their own money, it follows that other things could have been produced using those resources, that would have derived greater utility to the people."

"Again, that's an empirical claim and doesn't directly follow from the premises."

Again no it's not an empirical claim. It is a logical necessity. Using violence or threats of violence against someone, aggressing against their free will when it comes to their own person and property, is and cannot be anything other than a destruction of their values. Their actual values can ONLY ever be manifested through their consensual behavior. You cannot know what people value until you observe them manifesting them without coercion.

While the concepts needed to make this conclusion are ultimately based on experience, the knowledge that this is true is not derived from experience and the continual need to test it. Once the concepts are understood, the conclusions are a priori decisive from then on.

"Major_Freedom: If it is my example, and I did not say anything about what weapons they have, then you cannot tell me that my own example does or does not have X."

"Your example was Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet invasion. They didn't produce surface-to-air missiles."

They didn't have to. The Soviets lost the ground war.

And even if they didn't produce them, that doesn't mean prove your argument true. For there is nothing inherent in an anarchist society that precludes it from purchasing missiles or weapons from other anarchist or statist societies. If the whole world were anarchist, then the costs of war could not be externalized on taxpayers, and war would be minimized compared to any statist society.

"They were imported from one of the two competing superpowers. Afghanistan was a primitive, tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, used as a pawn in the struggle between superpowers. That was *your* example."

Yes, and my example REFUTED your conjecture that decentralized societies are necessarily going to lose a war with a huge centralized statist society army.

"Notably, you ignored our argument, substituted a strawman, and declared victory."

"Our"? Who else is there with you? I didn't ignore your argument, I proved it wrong or irrelevant. You made a universal claim that is falsified by a single counter-example, and then you dishonestly insinuated that I am somehow advocating for primitive tribal life, as if anarchy cannot be anything other than primitive and tribal.

Declaring victory upsets you? Awww, you should deal with that.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: No, it is a necessary, logical claim. Lack of consent logically precludes the individual's highest value from being attained, and replaces it with another person's value that is lower on the first person's value scale. If this were not the case, then the exchange would be consensual and not forced.

No, it's an empirical claim. It's not the individual's highest value, but the highest expected value. For example, while an individual Spaniard might not want to pay a tax to support Columbus's adventures, considering them foolhardy, it turns out that they might have a very high rate of return that benefited all Spaniards. In this case, the decision was by the crown, but in modern democratic societies, such projects are determined through representative governments.

Major_Freedom: Like private security agencies, personal security guards, and night watchmen.

Those generally work within a society with overall security provided by the government.

Major_Freedom: You should really try addressing my arguments instead of trying to avoid them by wanting my person to change locations.

It's a legitimate point. You don't like representative democracy. You say you live in one. You can sell your property for fair market value and find an island somewhere, so that you don't have to deal with making accommodations to democratic institutions.

Major_Freedom: The Soviets lost the ground war.

They lost because of American support. Your example, the only example of an anarchist society you have provided, was a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, and was being used as a pawn by great powers that had centralized governments. By the way, Afghanistan was anarchic on the national level only, but certainly not so on the local level, where tribal law held and still does hold sway.

Major_Freedom: Yes, and my example REFUTED your conjecture that decentralized societies are necessarily going to lose a war with a huge centralized statist society army.

Afghanistan was the battleground of great powers with governments.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: No, it is a necessary, logical claim. Lack of consent logically precludes the individual's highest value from being attained, and replaces it with another person's value that is lower on the first person's value scale. If this were not the case, then the exchange would be consensual and not forced."

"No, it's an empirical claim."

No, it's not en empirical claim. It is a logical necessity.

"It's not the individual's highest value, but the highest expected value."

All human action is directed towards expected value.

By using force, you would be preventing someone from achieving *their* values, which includes the value of being able to direct their own bodies and property the way they see fit.

"For example, while an individual Spaniard might not want to pay a tax to support Columbus's adventures, considering them foolhardy, it turns out that they might have a very high rate of return that benefited all Spaniards."

False. You are AGAIN ignoring the opportunity costs of what COULD have been had if the Spaniards were NOT taxed. You cannot measure human utility in terms of physical wealth only. You are ignoring psychic profits.

If the Spaniards were persuaded first, and told that if Columbus succeeds, then he can bring back something of value, and then the Spaniards agreed, then that would have been different. But they weren't asked. They weren't persuaded. No, you cannot claim that they don't know what's best for themselves, but somehow Kings do. That would just be your socialist ideology misguiding you again.

"In this case, the decision was by the crown, but in modern democratic societies, such projects are determined through representative governments."

There is no difference for the individuals exploited. They are still forcefully deprived of their wealth.

The fact that a state has majority support, instead of the support of some divine right, doesn't change anything in terms of individual values being sacrificed.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Major_Freedom: Like private security agencies, personal security guards, and night watchmen."

"Those generally work within a society with overall security provided by the government."

I said LIKE those things, not those things in a context of statism. At least try to make it look like you're actually reading what you're responding to.

"Major_Freedom: You should really try addressing my arguments instead of trying to avoid them by wanting my person to change locations."

"It's a legitimate point. You don't like representative democracy. You say you live in one. You can sell your property for fair market value and find an island somewhere, so that you don't have to deal with making accommodations to democratic institutions."

No, it's not a legitimate point. For what if I am typing this to you already sitting on an island, using a satellite network connection and solar powered laptop? Will you finally address the content of my argument, instead of me as a person and my whereabouts?

"Major_Freedom: The Soviets lost the ground war."

"They lost because of American support. Your example, the only example of an anarchist society you have provided, was a primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets, riven by war, and was being used as a pawn by great powers that had centralized governments."

You keep repeating the "primitive tribal society with barely functioning markets" talking point bit, as if it's even consequential to my argument.

And the Soviets lost because they could conquer a decentralized nation.

The Americans also lost in Afghanistan, and nobody was helping them either.

"By the way, Afghanistan was anarchic on the national level only, but certainly not so on the local level, where tribal law held and still does hold sway."

The essence of the argument is that decentralized power does not, contrary to your claim otherwise, equate to being ripe for the pickings from big strong state armies.

"Major_Freedom: Yes, and my example REFUTED your conjecture that decentralized societies are necessarily going to lose a war with a huge centralized statist society army."

"Afghanistan was the battleground of great powers with governments."

Oh so now you're just going to ignore Afghanistan the nation completely, and just consider it a no man's land where the real reality was between warring governments.

You can't stay consistent and you have no clue about history.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: All human action is directed towards expected value.

That's right. People make decisions hoping to maximize value, however they define it.

Major_Freedom: By using force, you would be preventing someone from achieving *their* values, which includes the value of being able to direct their own bodies and property the way they see fit.

You seem to be confusing two aspects; your idea of morality, and the possible efficacy of community planning. No one can argue your morality, as heterodox as it is; but some of the time, community ventures can provide substantial benefits for the entire community. Your claim is not only does this never happen, but it can't even happen in principle. That is simply false.

Major_Freedom: You are AGAIN ignoring the opportunity costs of what COULD have been had if the Spaniards were NOT taxed.

We're not ignoring it. The cost of the Columbian voyages was neglible compared to the benefits for Spainish citizens.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"That's right. People make decisions hoping to maximize value, however they define it."

Which means if you initiate violence against someone, you prevent them from achieving their own values.

"You seem to be confusing two aspects; your idea of morality, and the possible efficacy of community planning."

Not at all. You are in fact conflating them, because by "efficacy of community planning", which in your world is coercive, you are in fact making a moral case. You are saying "Those in the state OUGHT to engage in coercive actions X, Y and Z in order to achieve MY preferred goals of A, B, and C."

Merely calling your morality "efficient" doesn't change the nature of the case.

"No one can argue your morality, as heterodox as it is"

My morality is not heterodox at all. Almost everyone agrees theft and initiating violence are immoral. I am just saying yes, they are immoral, which is why those in the state should refrain from doing it too, i.e. the state as an institution should be abolished.

Yes, the anarchist part is heterodox, but my morality is almost universally accepted the world over by reasonable people.

Your morality is in fact heterodox, because you believe that initiating violence, and theft, are moral actions.

"but some of the time, community ventures can provide substantial benefits for the entire community."

This usage of "community" doesn't preclude voluntary associations and voluntary communities as what private property anarchy is based on.

"Your claim is not only does this never happen, but it can't even happen in principle."

No, you are now conflating peace with violence, and doing a bait and switch in taking coercive states, labelling them as "communities" and whatnot, then you deftly switch to vague conceptual forms of "community", then you fallaciously assert that because I am anti-state, I must be anti-community as well.

You are conflating the state with society. They are not the same thing. Society is everyone, not just those in the state. Our society contains peaceful people and violent people. I am saying society should be built on peace, not violence, such that violence is only used when it is initiated by, or threatened to be initiated by, some aggressor first.

I am not denying that communities can get together. I am just making a moral case that communities should be voluntary, and not coercive.

"We're not ignoring it. The cost of the Columbian voyages was neglible compared to the benefits for Spainish citizens."

"We"? Who else is there with you?

You're not ignoring it? Yes you are. Saying that the costs are "negligible" is just you ignoring the reality of those costs.

You are in no position to assert that the costs were "negligible." Only the individual decides that for himself. If the Spaniards were willing to incur those costs, then they would have voluntarily paid for it on their own volition. But because they were robbed, they most certainly did not incur "negligible" costs. They incurred costs that were GREATER than the values they wanted to achieve but couldn't because they were coercively taxed.

You can't pretend to know what millions of individuals were willing to incur in terms of costs. That's just arrogant nonsense. All you can know is that because they were coercively taxed, they incurred costs that are greater than they wanted to incur, which means they suffered a loss.

It is no salvaging of this loss to pretend that because physical stuff in boats went back, that you can claim that the Spaniards made a net gain. You are just talking out of your violence advocating arse, like the socialist you are.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Yes, the anarchist part is heterodox, but my morality is almost universally accepted the world over by reasonable people.

Millions of people want democratic governments and the rule of law. As for the rest of your comment, you conflate moral value with economic value, while making claims about both.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"What the logic says is that because the government takes people's money by force, it means they are depriving people of the best thing, and replacing it with, at best, the second best thing."

That assumes that the people had the same options available to them as individuals that they would collectively through the public sector, which is completely false. The government has the scale to develop large public works projects, the private sector does not. So when the private sector doesn't build a canal or a highway or an electrical grid that doesn't mean that people simply found something better to spend the money on, it just means those large projects were never an option to begin with.

Your entire argument only makes sense if you're oblivious to the concept of economies of scale.

JG said...

@ Major Freedom -

"Since that money was collected by coercive force, it means the people could not spend their own money in accordance with their own top values."

When people vote for public officials who campaign on the platform of infrastructure, healthcare or any other public spending then they are in fact giving their consent to be taxed for those causes. Coercion is not required when you give de facto consent. And for those who didn't vote for said officials they also gave consent to be ruled by majority vote when they chose to live in a country that is a democracy. As a fictional character on an HBO series once said, "I didn't make the rules, they were always there". If you don't like the rules of a modern democracy (like being taxed) nobody is forcing you to stick around.

JG said...

Finally, Major Freedom, I've noticed that you never addressed the two points that I made in my earlier example of the Erie Canal, specifically: (a) that the public sector indeed enables and facilitates wealth generation, and (b) the private sector failed to identify and respond to the demand for a service that the public sector actually fulfilled (i.e. the need for a canal).

Your earlier posts indicated a strong belief that my two points were not true, and yet when I gave you an example you avoided addressing those points directly and instead tried to attack them on the grounds that somehow public spending is wrong for moral reasons related to coercion or that coercion inherent leads to the "second best" option, both of those assertions I soundly crushed in my preceding replies.

Don't think your avoidance of my two earlier points went without notice. Usually when someone avoids directly responding to a point that's a sign that they can't. What's wrong, cat got your tongue?

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Millions of people want democratic governments and the rule of law."

Millions of people used to want slavery. Doesn't justify it.

And the government is not a system of law. It is a system of one law for one group, and another law for another group.

Wanting no government is not the same thing as not wanting the rule of law.

"As for the rest of your comment, you conflate moral value with economic value, while making claims about both."

False. I do not conflate moral value with economic value. They are two different ways of relating to the same thing. Economics is the study of acting man. Morality is the study of actions that we ought and ought not do.

Moral value is what underlies economic value. Morality cannot even exist if people are not free to choose moral actions. If people's economic lives are infringed upon by force, then their ability to act morally is also reduced.

No, you are not acting moral by paying taxes that go to children's indoctrination, I mean education.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"What the logic says is that because the government takes people's money by force, it means they are depriving people of the best thing, and replacing it with, at best, the second best thing."

"That assumes that the people had the same options available to them as individuals that they would collectively through the public sector, which is completely false."

No, it does not assume that silly assumption at all. The "options" that an individual has in a world of respect for property rights, is constrained by what other individuals want for their own persons and property. If there are gains to be made by the individual in pooling his resources along with the resources of other individuals, then he is perfectly free to create a shared outcome with other individuals.

If the individual wants something, but lacks the resources, or he tries to pool his resources with others who agree, but they still don't have enough to accomplish what they want, then it is because their wants are not important enough to all other individuals. All other individuals find other, more urgent needs to take care of besides the project you have in mind. Yes, doesn't it suck when people disagree with you on how to use their own resources and bodies? If only they OBEYED you! Oh, lookey here, there's a nice big strong mommy and daddy state! These people who can't get what they want in peace, can do it using violence! They can "go through the public sector"!

Their options are now no longer limited!

What's that? It requires depriving those who are taxed and have to pay for it by force, of their options? Pshaw! The only options that matter are MY options, not individual options in a free society.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"The government has the scale to develop large public works projects, the private sector does not."

There will ALWAYS be projects the private sector cannot develop. This is because resources are scarce. But this doesn't mean that those projects than can be developed only in the public sector, should be developed by the public sector.

If a proposed project cannot be developed in the private sector, then it is because the people by their own choice have OTHER, more urgent projects to take care of first. Your grandiose projects ought to be put on the back burner until there are more resources in the private sector over time, to eventually make that project worthwhile for people.

If people are not willing to pay for it, then it is because they don't value it. Just because you value it, just because you have 100 people who value it, it doesn't matter. You produce what you can given your resources, and let other people produce what they want using their resources.

You are like a small child who doesn't understand where wealth comes from. You think the government gets its wealth from magic, much like you were given gifts during Christmas as a child as if my magic.

You clearly don't understand that whatever the government brings about, must be out of resources that already exist and owned by individual property owners. The only thing "the public sector" brings about are projects individuals are not willing to finance, because they have more urgent and pressing needs to fulfil.

Yes, that means that amazing projects like spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in financing travel to the moon would have otherwise not taken place when it did, but that doesn't mean it would have never happened in the private sector. If individuals are not willing to finance such projects, because it is not worthwhile to them, then too bad so sad, your grand visions should wait until some future generation is able and willing to pay for it voluntarily.

Using force to confiscate money from people to finance such projects necessarily represents a waste to them, because the force prevents them from financing their highest value.

Yes, when individuals have the freedom to finance what they want, it means those who want to get things by violence will be constrained, limited, and their choices will be reduced. But that is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing. It is a good thing to beat the violent redistributionists back, so that peaceful individuals can work and produce and trade in peace, and accomplish their individual values without being sacrificed for the sake of the values of the violent redistributionists who believe the government can magically create new wealth.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"So when the private sector doesn't build a canal or a highway or an electrical grid that doesn't mean that people simply found something better to spend the money on, it just means those large projects were never an option to begin with."

No, it means that the resources that would otherwise be needed for the canal, are more highly valued elsewhere in other uses, like say a hospital, or food manufacturing facility, or whatever.

Once capital is accumulated more (which only the private sector can bring about), and there are enough hospitals and food manufacturing facilities and whatever else, and the value of an additional canal then becomes the highest, THEN the canal should be created. Not before. Before, people have more urgent needs that have to be met.

Using violence against people to being about the creation of the canal, will be a destruction of value, because it prevents people from creating those additional hospitals or food manufacturing facilities that are more important.

"Your entire argument only makes sense if you're oblivious to the concept of economies of scale."

Not even close. Economies of scale in fact support my position and completely refutes yours. Economies of scale relates to production of wealth given a quantity of invested capital, not the "size" of the project itself. Big projects don't mean economies of scale. You're completely confused.

"Since that money was collected by coercive force, it means the people could not spend their own money in accordance with their own top values."

"When people vote for public officials who campaign on the platform of infrastructure, healthcare or any other public spending then they are in fact giving their consent to be taxed for those causes."

"People" don't 100% agree. I am not talking about the mob, I am talking about INDIVIDUALS.

When the mob gets its way with other people's property, the minority's property, then the minority are deprived of what they want to produce using their own property. It means their values are destroyed. In addition, because some people's values were forcefully destroyed in favor of other people's values, it also means that EVERYONE loses out in the long term, because destruction of human values means those humans are less able to produce more and benefit others in their optimal way.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Coercion is not required when you give de facto consent."

Coercion is required when you have not given consent, de facto or otherwise.

"And for those who didn't vote for said officials they also gave consent to be ruled by majority vote when they chose to live in a country that is a democracy."

People are born into it. You can't hold their existence alone to be proof of their consent. Don't be obtuse.

"As a fictional character on an HBO series once said..."

Not interested.

"Finally, Major Freedom, I've noticed that you never addressed the two points that I made in my earlier example of the Erie Canal, specifically: (a) that the public sector indeed enables and facilitates wealth generation

I already address that point by correcting you in calling that "wealth generation." I said you ignored the law of opportunity costs, and that by forcefully taking people's money from them, you are destroying what could have been produced and consumed in accordance with their values, and you violently substitute for it the values of others. That is not wealth generation. That is wealth consumption.

Just because you can SEE the canal, that doesn't mean the government brought about a "creation of wealth". They CONSUMED wealth, brought about the creation of the canal, at the expense of what could have been produced with those resources had INDIVIDUALS been free to decide how to use their own resources.

"and (b) the private sector failed to identify and respond to the demand for a service that the public sector actually fulfilled (i.e. the need for a canal)."

I already addressed that too. The private sector didn't "fail" when it refused to voluntarily finance it. It would have SUCCEEDED in preventing a waste of resources from taking place that don't match actual individual values. But the government FAILED to allow individuals to use their own resources as they see fit, and thus FAILED to bring about the creation of everything that would have otherwise been produced, had the government NOT stolen the money and thus redirected scarce resources away from their highest values.

The "need" for a canal is up to individuals, because it is only within individuals that value resides. Not just you, not the government, not the mob at the expense of the minority. The individual.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"Your earlier posts indicated a strong belief that my two points were not true, and yet when I gave you an example you avoided addressing those points directly..."

False. I addressed them specifically.

"...and instead tried to attack them on the grounds that somehow public spending is wrong for moral reasons related to coercion or that coercion inherent leads to the "second best" option, both of those assertions I soundly crushed in my preceding replies."

LOL, you didn't "crush" those responses. You didn't even address them. You totally ignored them by merely denying my argument, and pretended that the values of the government, or the majority, are somehow the only values that exist.

You completely ignored the values of those in the minority, and those not in the state. You said "people voted!" as if that contains the minority.

You didn't "crush" anything except any chances of you making a correct argument that doesn't contain economic fallacies.

"Don't think your avoidance of my two earlier points went without notice."

I didn't "avoid" them at all. YOU avoided MY arguments.

"Usually when someone avoids directly responding to a point that's a sign that they can't."

Wrong. I responded to them directly, you didn't consider them, and then you went off on some ignorant statist talking point diatribe about voting, as if the minority doesn't exist.

"What's wrong, cat got your tongue?"

I'm not interested in your familial and emotional baggage you brought from your childhood and haven't been able to reconcile.

You haven't responded to my actual arguments about individual value, and you instead insisted that the individuals are somehow all in the majority, and if they are in the minority, too bad, they were born, so screw them.

Your worldview is psychotic and very VERY anti-social.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Millions of people used to want slavery. Doesn't justify it.

Not a very good analogy as they didn't want slavery for themselves. Since the American Revolution, people around the world have clamored for representative government.

Major_Freedom: And the government is not a system of law. It is a system of one law for one group, and another law for another group.

In democratic societies, everyone is equal under the law.

Major_Freedom: Wanting no government is not the same thing as not wanting the rule of law.

You've never provided any idea of how this would work in practice, or how your law is distinct from government.

Major_Freedom: Economics is the study of acting man. Morality is the study of actions that we ought and ought not do.

Well, acting in terms of money or trade in goods and services. In any case, the question is whether or not government actions can have positive *economic* effects. You made two arguments. First, a claim that it was a logical necessity, which is clearly not the case. Second, that it is immoral, which is irrelevant.

Major_Freedom: If people are not willing to pay for it, then it is because they don't value it.

That ignores the commons. For instance, it is to the best interest of fishermen to not overfish, but it is to the advantage of individual fishermen to take as many fish as possible before they are all gone.

Major_Freedom said...

"Not a very good analogy as they didn't want slavery for themselves."

That's exactly what makes it a perfect analogy.

Those who wanted to create a state, didn't want others to create a state for them. The founders who wanted to create a federal state, did not want anyone else to create a supra-state on their state.

The analogy is valid.

"Since the American Revolution, people around the world have clamored for representative government."

"People"? What about those who don't want any government? They don't exist?

"In democratic societies, everyone is equal under the law."

False. In democratic societies, the majority is "more equal" than the minority. The government is "more equal" than both the majority and the minority.

Democracy is antithetical to equal rights and equality under the law.

The government can murder people and call it collateral damage. The government can kidnap people and call it conscription. The government can steal from people and call it taxation. The government can confiscate land property and call it eminent domain.

For you to sit their and call democratic government as equality under the law, is the height of ignorance. You have no business trying to lecture others on political philosophy, and every obligation to educate yourself.

"You've never provided any idea of how this would work in practice, or how your law is distinct from government."

You never asked. You have only been trying (and failing) to poke holes in what I am saying and hope I'm wrong. You didn't once ask for any literature, any references, any sources. Please don't pretend to be in some position of deserving explanations as if you have been patiently asking for them.

"Well, acting in terms of money or trade in goods and services."

No, false. Economics is the study of human action period. Money and trade is just a subcategory of economics called catallactics.

Robinson Crusoe alone on a desert island will be subject to all the same economic laws as he would if he were living and interacting with others in a division of labor.

He would still be subject to economic scarcity, he would still have a time preference, he would still require additional capital if he wants to boost his consumption, he would still have to abstain from consumption if he wants to boost his capital, etc, etc, etc.

Economics is a priori to, logically and temporally, ALL political and social systems.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"In any case, the question is whether or not government actions can have positive *economic* effects."

Violating private property rights can NEVER have positive economic effects. It can only ever have negative economic effects.

You just consider them because you are only ever focusing only on what you see, and you fail to utilize what it is that you can KNOW through understanding.

Someone who is born into and is raised in a concentration camp may believe wealth is being generated if he is given progressively more food and water over time. But if isn't in a position to learn and think about it more, then he will never know about a possible world where he is free from the prison guards, and free to utilize his own body, and his own acquired property, and having economic freedom.

"You made two arguments. First, a claim that it was a logical necessity, which is clearly not the case."

It is necessarily the case. It is a logical necessity. Violating property rights and coercively taking people's property away from them, logically requires that person to only get at best the second best. If you fail to grasp this essential point, then you need to think about it more.

"Second, that it is immoral, which is irrelevant."

Morality is not irrelevant. Humans are a moral animal. It's what separates us from the lower animals and enables us to refrain from acting only on our impulses. It is what was necessary for modern material civilization to occur.

If morality was irrelevant, then humans would still be stuck in caves, robbing and pillaging each other constantly.

"That ignores the commons. For instance, it is to the best interest of fishermen to not overfish, but it is to the advantage of individual fishermen to take as many fish as possible before they are all gone."

People are willing to homestead and originally appropriate what are currently "public" waters, and thus privatize them, but they are prevented from enforcing such property rights by governments. So the "commons" you believe I am ignoring, I am not in fact ignoring them, you are. You are ignoring the fact that this tragedy of the commons can be solved by privatizing the oceans, thus resulting in private owners having a natural incentive to not overfish, exactly how private farmland owners have a natural incentive not to overgraze.

The capital value of land is maximized when it is privately owned.

It is minimized when it is prevented from being owned.

You don't see tragedy of the commons in private lakes and private forests, because the owners have a natural incentive to not consume too much too fast.

JG said...

"You think the government gets its wealth from magic, much like you were given gifts during Christmas as a child as if my magic."

Are you deliberately pretending that you don't understand what I'm saying? Or do you really not understand the difference between creating wealth and facilitating the creation of wealth?

Wealth doesn't appear like magic? No kidding. The private sector generates wealth but the public sector facilitates that wealth creation. I've given you several examples of this and you've chosen to ignore or dismiss them by saying "if it was taken through taxes it must not be the best use for that money". And no, you can't assume that the private sector always arrives at the best and most awesome use for resources just because it's the private sector. The private sector is limited by its own lack of scale, which is exactly why any large infrastructire projects MUST be created by the public sector. Not because the private sector won't do it, or because they found some better use for the money, but because they CAN'T get those large projects done without the public sector even if they wanted to.

It must be nice to just ignore what other people say rather than address them, that must make clinging to your unproven dogma so much easier.

JG said...

"You haven't responded to my actual arguments about individual value, and you instead insisted that the individuals are somehow all in the majority, and if they are in the minority, too bad, they were born, so screw them."

WOW...you've really mastered Anderson's style of rhetoric. You've learned nothing about economics but you've learned so much about how to misrepresent and distort what other people say. Anderson - if you're reading this, kudos to you. You've taught your fan-boys well.

What I said was that citizens in a democracy don't get to pick and choose what laws they want to follow. The social compact requires you to abide by majority rule, even when you don't like what the majority decides. So if you're in the minority either man-up and deal with it or pack your bags and leave.

JG said...

"The private sector didn't 'fail' when it refused to voluntarily finance it [the Erie Canal]. It would have SUCCEEDED in preventing a waste of resources from taking place that don't match actual individual values."

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the construction of the Erie Canal was the single most efficient use of resources, indeed probably the most efficient use of any resources in the history of the USA, you stubbornly cling to the belief that somewhere out there existed an even better use for those funds if only the private sector been allowed to deploy that money for themselves. After all, the private sector always finds the most efficient use for resources, it just has to. Otherwise, I might have to re-examine what I believe, and there's no way I'm doing that!

There is a name for a belief system that prefers faith over facts, maybe you can guess what that name is.

JG said...

"I'm not interested in your familial and emotional baggage you brought from your childhood and haven't been able to reconcile."

Thanks for the amateur psycho-babble.

JG said...

"You are ignoring the fact that this tragedy of the commons can be solved by privatizing the oceans, thus resulting in private owners having a natural incentive to not overfish."

Once again, the simplicity of your solution isn't up to the task of handling the complexity of the problem. Even if you could somehow divide the ocean into parcels of sea and somehow enforce private property rights over your little sliver of the ocean, how do you claim title to migratory fish that don't stay in one area? As fish migrate into your section of the sea you have an incentive to overfish them before they move on to the next area of the ocean, bringing you back to the problem of the commons.

As much as you'd like to try, it's just not that easy to fence off the rest of humanity and live in your own private little libertarian world.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Violating private property rights can NEVER have positive economic effects. It can only ever have negative economic effects.

That's what you keep claiming, but your arguments are fallacious.

Major_Freedom: It is a logical necessity. Violating property rights and coercively taking people's property away from them, logically requires that person to only get at best the second best.

Sorry, that is not a logical necessity. (Do you understand what that means?) For instance, a child is not given control of their own resources, to their own benefit. Some people say Hitler made the trains run on time. It's an empirical question. Generally, people are most productive when given substantial autonomy, but this is an empirical question, something that has to be supported by considering the circumstance.

Major_Freedom: People are willing to homestead and originally appropriate what are currently "public" waters, and thus privatize them, but they are prevented from enforcing such property rights by governments.

Well then, we'll take the Pacific Ocean. You can have the rest.

Major_Freedom: You are ignoring the fact that this tragedy of the commons can be solved by privatizing the oceans, thus resulting in private owners having a natural incentive to not overfish, exactly how private farmland owners have a natural incentive not to overgraze.

Where did you get that idea? Private land owners do overuse the land. And when it occurs over large areas, it can lead to ecological catastrophe, such as the Dust Bowl or severe flooding and soil degradation associated with clear cutting.

JG said...

@ Zachriel -

"Where did you get that idea? Private land owners do overuse the land. And when it occurs over large areas, it can lead to ecological catastrophe, such as the Dust Bowl or severe flooding and soil degradation associated with clear cutting"

No, no, no. You just don't get it. Any action or decision taken by the private sector is inherently the best possible decision. Not like those coercive tyrants at the Dept. of Agriculture and their soil conservation programs. Who do they think they are, telling me I can't turn my soil into dust.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"You think the government gets its wealth from magic, much like you were given gifts during Christmas as a child as if my magic."

"Are you deliberately pretending that you don't understand what I'm saying? Or do you really not understand the difference between creating wealth and facilitating the creation of wealth?"

Are you deliberately pretending that you don't understand what I am saying? Or do you really not understand the difference between facilitating the creation of wealth, and consuming some wealth in order to produce other less wanted wealth, which leads to a net reduction in wealth?

"Wealth doesn't appear like magic? No kidding. The private sector generates wealth but the public sector facilitates that wealth creation."

No, it doesn't. The public sector consumes wealth, and facilitates the destruction of wealth by introducing violence against private property rights.

This "facilitates" a net destruction of wealth. Yes, because (most) humans are naturally productive, they will adapt their actions around the unproductive violent parasites, and create wealth given that parasitism is there. But that doesn't mean the parasitism "facilitated" the production of NET wealth. It only "facilitated" the production of less total wealth, that resembles wealth in the presence of a parasite.

Imagine if the governments of the world did not use violence to monopolize money production. If that occurred, then millions of people across the world whose job it is to minimize the destruction that such violence introduces, by becoming foreign exchange traders, derivatives traders, investors, financial gurus, etc, etc, could have otherwise all gone into producing other things of greater value, given that people have voluntarily chosen say precious metals to be the currency.

The introduction of a violence backed system of money production has "facilitated" the creation of an incredibly wasteful financial sector that would almost certainly not be needed if we had sound money.

The same thing holds true for the military industrial congressional complex.

You believe in the naive myth that the crumbs the government leaves to the people in the form of dilapidated roads, extremely low quality indoctrination camps, I mean schools, and Ponzi scheme retirement programs that have already been looted by generations of short sighted and greedy politicians who wanted to buy votes by bribing the electorate with "free" goodies, are somehow "facilitating" the creation of NET wealth.

You believe this myth because you are only able to consider the immediate moment, the immediate surroundings, the people directly involved, etc. You are not able to think at a higher cognitive level that is required if you are going to have a full understanding of the actual effects of government intervention. This is why you believe free market advocates are talking mystical dogma. Just like if some simple minded yahoo like you walked into a seminar on quantum mechanics, and had no idea what is being talked about, would consider the people there to be talking dogmatic gibberish, so too do you believe the same thing when you walk into a discussion with free market economists.

Incidentally, I find saying "free market economists" to be a redundancy, because those who actually understand economics, realize that the free market is the ethic that is most consistent with economic laws.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"I've given you several examples of this and you've chosen to ignore or dismiss them by saying "if it was taken through taxes it must not be the best use for that money"."

You haven't given ANY examples "of this." You have only given me beliefs you have that you believe must be true. I considered them, and then I dismissed them as being illogical. It is illogical to claim that violating private property rights generates net gains. It is an impossibility. Gains are made on the basis of private property rights being respected. Losses are guaranteed when violence is introduced into otherwise peaceful market activity. This is because it is only in peace that ALL individuals can seek and achieve their own highest values in the material and social world.

People cannot seek out their top values in reality if their bodies are violently treated, and if their property is violently confiscated or destroyed.

"And no, you can't assume that the private sector always arrives at the best and most awesome use for resources just because it's the private sector."

Nobody claimed that is necessary. See this is the problem with you statist dorks. You believe that government intervention is justified whenever people make mistakes and don't achieve the values they planned on achieving. Why oh why can't you idiots see that that is nothing but a straw man? Just because I have $100 and I invest it in a losing project, that doesn't mean VIOLENCE is justified against either myself or any other investor, so that other fallible humans can steal our property and try to do what we did, and then pretend that they are infallible and won't ever make mistakes in judgment.

ALL humans are fallible. No human lives their life without making any mistakes at all.

No free market advocate believes or advances the stupid straw man of "pure and perfect competition" where people never make mistakes. It is not necessary to justify peace, and abstaining from introducing violence against innocent people, and respecting private property rights. Perfection is not required, and not expected.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"The private sector is limited by its own lack of scale, which is exactly why any large infrastructire projects MUST be created by the public sector."

Who said that "large infrastructure projects" MUST be created? You. Why should your values for "large infrastructure projects" be violently imposed on otherwise peaceful people, who value OTHER projects, that are more urgently required?

You are ad hoc just declaring that "large projects" are somehow objectively valuable, and if any individual does not want to bow down and pray in front of such symbols like pyramids, dams, and monuments, that they must be sacrificed.

Gee, I wonder what kind of a world you are preaching where individuals must be sacrificed for the sake of creating large physical structures? Was it 1000 BC Egypt? Or was it 1935 Moscow?

See, this is the problem with you knuckle-dragging inhumane troglodytes. You cement head yahoos like nice big shiny things. Your value is to merely see them and know they exist. Even if it means sacrificing human values to get it. Who cares. As long as YOU get to see them and pray before them. You want large projects because they represent economic singularities for society. It's very much what leads people to worship deities and believe in no metaphysical separation of things but metaphysical connection of all things.

Socialism promises large scale single projects on behalf of "society."

Capitalism promises individual scale projects on behalf of individuals.

You don't like diversity and separation in your mind, because you're a social leech and cannot live independently, so your mind naturally goes to socialism and large scale "social" projects.

Meanwhile, in the real world, where individuals would have otherwise been free from violence, you can only see incredibly diversity and division, division of labor, and scattered projects. Of course these projects are physically smaller, and that makes you mad. You don't care about other people's values. You only care about your own and you are willing to have other people's values violently squashed in favor of your own.

You have not even presented a single argument that explains why anyone, let alone those in the state, have the right to use violence against others in order to bring into reality "large projects" as opposed to smaller, individually tailored projects that are as large as there is agreement, and as diverse as there is disagreement.

You hate disagreement in economics plans. You hate it so much that you believe it is justified for those who disagree with you to be subjected to violence, in order to coerce them into acting AS IF they agree with your economic plans.

You are a sad excuse for a human being. You should have existed in 1000 BC, because that's where your mind is most attuned. You don't belong in civilized, peaceful society. You belong in human sacrifice societies.

I have no problems with you wanting to sacrifice yourself, but when you demand that OTHERS be sacrificed, that's when you become a menace to civilized society.

If you believe democracy is civilized, then you simply lack the cognitive ability to see it for what it truly is: Mob rule. Don't advocate mob rule you say? You believe in SOME individual rights? Pshaw. You only have some vague sense of such a concept because of people like me have instilled such ethics into society at a large enough scale to prevent the full effects of democracy from being manifested.

You're like a serial rapist who occasionally feels a twinge of guilt and regret for what he is doing, because at some point in his life, before his mind was warped and traumatized beyond recognition, he really did recoil at the thought of raping people. But something happened to him in the meantime that he then from then on chose to be an a$$hole. But every now and then, he still has some semblance of his peaceful humanity.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Not because the private sector won't do it, or because they found some better use for the money, but because they CAN'T get those large projects done without the public sector even if they wanted to."

GOOD. If voluntary, peaceful cooperation "CAN'T" make a certain project, THEN IT SHOULDN'T BE MADE AT ALL, AND WOULD BE A WASTE OF SCARCE RESOURCES IF IT WAS MADE.

For some reason you are totally oblivious of other people. It's like other people don't even exist in your world. As long as you want a "large project" to be made, then other people are but a mechanical means to bring that about. If you stop your demagoguery, and actually consider PEOPLE and their own values and goals, you will summarily dismiss them as if their own values for themselves don't even exist.

You are a sociopath. Every democracy supporter is espousing a socio-pathological tendency. Think that makes almost the entire world sociopaths? Probably, but then again most people today consider middle age public hangings of witches and the public cheering it on to be sociopathic behavior as well. Is it really so hard to believe that people have shed their sociopathic tendencies just because they transferred the power of the state from bloodlines over to the mob? Pfft, it probably only made people feel their sociopathology is legitimized as long as enough other sociopaths agree.

The only reason why you aren't seeing majority rule witchhunts and majority rule slavery, is because of the enlightenment period of reason that STILL has reverberations today, even in the silly democratic systems that the bright and the productive must slave under, and be shackled to the majority's whims.

"It must be nice to just ignore what other people say rather than address them, that must make clinging to your unproven dogma so much easier."

Take your own advice you hypocrite. I am not "ignoring" anything you say. I wholeheartedly reject it.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"You haven't responded to my actual arguments about individual value, and you instead insisted that the individuals are somehow all in the majority, and if they are in the minority, too bad, they were born, so screw them."

"WOW...you've really mastered Anderson's style of rhetoric. You've learned nothing about economics but you've learned so much about how to misrepresent and distort what other people say. Anderson - if you're reading this, kudos to you. You've taught your fan-boys well."

"WOW", I am not surprised you did not actually address or respond to the above argument, and only had the ability to spew out worthless antagonism. You might as well have just thumbed your nose, and said "NYAH!".

You are being dishonest when you said I "misrepresented" and "distorted" your views. THOSE ARE YOUR VIEWS when you advocate for democracy.

I am assuming you are logically consistent. Maybe I should instead expect you to be contradictory all the time. But then there would be nothing to debate in the real world that is logical. There would just be debating you. Not interesting.

What did I say above that is a "distortion" of your position? Go on, it should be easy.

"What I said was that citizens in a democracy don't get to pick and choose what laws they want to follow."

The majority does.

"The social compact requires you to abide by majority rule, even when you don't like what the majority decides."

That's what makes it tyrannical.

"So if you're in the minority either man-up and deal with it or pack your bags and leave."

It's not my obligation to leave my own property. The obligation to leave is on the violent people, not the peaceful people. It doesn't matter if the majority agrees. Ten non-property owning men do not have the right to rape a woman who dares remain on her own property, just because they outnumber her. Her rights are absolute and can only ever be violated or respected.

You believe that in a group of people, rape is condoned, as long as the majority agrees.

If you say you don't accept this, then you don't accept democracy, and so you can dispense with this fake "manliness" hilarity you are spewing out that the moral obligation to adapt is on the part of the victims.

Merely repeating what democracy is to me, doesn't justify it. Merely telling me "This is what democracy IS punk, so man up. If you don't like it, GTFO", is not a proper justification for it.

I mean, what you said can be said by the non-property owning rapists. "This is democracy rape OK? So woman up and stop complaining. If you don't like it, then you must leave your own home."

The fact that your rhetoric is exactly the rhetoric of rapists who are just adhering to the very ethic you are espousing, tells me that I know your ethic is disgusting and vicious and has no place in civilized society.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"The private sector didn't 'fail' when it refused to voluntarily finance it [the Erie Canal]. It would have SUCCEEDED in preventing a waste of resources from taking place that don't match actual individual values."

"Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the construction of the Erie Canal was the single most efficient use of resources"

LOL, there is no "overwhelming evidence" of the counterfactual world where the canal was not financed by taxpayer money, and other, more urgent projects were financed instead.

You cannot call the world that exists "evidence" that the choice was right, when you cannot even observe the other possible world that could have existed had those who chose violence, chose peace instead.

The only "evidence" that can prove the canal was the most efficient use of resources, is ONLY if you observe what people do in the context of respect for private property rights, and INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. Only if you observe individuals voluntarily financing it, and earning a gain, can you claim that there is "evidence" that the use of the resources was most efficient.

You cannot only consider the world WITH the canal as "evidence" of superior efficiency as against the world WITHOUT the canal.

You are just making crap up when you say "overwhelming evidence." You are just saying that to give your actual closeted socialist tyranny some credibility.

"indeed probably the most efficient use of any resources in the history of the USA"

PRAISE GUBMENT!

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"you stubbornly cling to the belief that somewhere out there existed an even better use for those funds if only the private sector been allowed to deploy that money for themselves."

LOL, yes, call me insisting that you take into account real world economic laws as "stubbornly clinging". Yes, rapid, violence advocating socialists like you will always consider those who expose your immorality as "stubborn" and "clingy."

It's not wrong to "cling" to economic science you boob.

What I said above is not a "belief." It is identifying reality. The fact that violence was needed to bring the canal into fruition IS the very proof that the canal was not what individuals wanted. But because it was violently put into effect, of course humans being the naturally productive entities they are (well, MOST people anyway, not people like you), they adapted their actions around the existence of the canal.

But just because people did adapt their actions around the canal, and utilized it in their plans, that doesn't mean it was the most efficient use of those resources. The ONLY way that people can know when resources are efficiently utilized is from a foundation of free trade at the individual level.

Every other foundation is mystical, non-existent, fake, propaganda, and a myth, used by demagogues who need some justification to convince people that their parasitism is somehow beneficial.

You are stubbornly clinging to the false belief that the canal was the most efficient use of resources solely because the government chose it. Please don't pretend to have "overwhelming evidence" that doesn't exist.

"After all, the private sector always finds the most efficient use for resources, it just has to."

You see? You have no understanding of economics or of the market process, so you resort to caricatures and straw men.

"Otherwise, I might have to re-examine what I believe, and there's no way I'm doing that!"

It's not that the market ALWAYS finds the best use of resources. It's that it is ONLY in the market that we can KNOW when efficient uses and inefficient uses are carried out.

You cannot claim to KNOW that a project made outside of the market process is the most efficient use of the resources. You can only KNOW such things THROUGH the market process.

"There is a name for a belief system that prefers faith over facts, maybe you can guess what that name is."

Take a look in the mirror you hypocritical freak.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"I'm not interested in your familial and emotional baggage you brought from your childhood and haven't been able to reconcile."

"Thanks for the amateur psycho-babble."

LOL, you believe you're above amateur.

"You are ignoring the fact that this tragedy of the commons can be solved by privatizing the oceans, thus resulting in private owners having a natural incentive to not overfish."

"Once again, the simplicity of your solution isn't up to the task of handling the complexity of the problem."

Once again, the simplicity of your "let government take care of it" hammer for all projects solution isn't up to the task of handling the complexity of the problem that only multitudinous solutions inherent in the market can provide.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:


"Even if you could somehow divide the ocean into parcels of sea and somehow enforce private property rights over your little sliver of the ocean, how do you claim title to migratory fish that don't stay in one area?"

Oh so because you can't think of a solution, millions of others can't? That means your solution of "government takes care of it" has to override the millions of possible solutions?

One does not have to claim ownership over the fish. The same way you claim ownership of the oxygen that is currently inside your home, is how ocean owners can claim the fish that is currently in their volume of water.

"As fish migrate into your section of the sea you have an incentive to overfish them before they move on to the next area of the ocean, bringing you back to the problem of the commons."

Not if there are fish that tend to remain in the same volume of ocean. Not all fish and sea life are nomadic over the world. Whales yes, shallow water marine life, not so much.

Yes, the incentive would be to fish as much migratory fish as possible. But so what? That doesn't mean all fish are like that.

"As much as you'd like to try, it's just not that easy to fence off the rest of humanity and live in your own private little libertarian world."

Nobody said living was easy.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Violating private property rights can NEVER have positive economic effects. It can only ever have negative economic effects."

"That's what you keep claiming, but your arguments are fallacious."

LOL, you haven't even shown how they are "fallacious." Merely claiming so isn't an argument.

"Major_Freedom: It is a logical necessity. Violating property rights and coercively taking people's property away from them, logically requires that person to only get at best the second best."

"Sorry, that is not a logical necessity."

Yes, it is a logical necessity.

"(Do you understand what that means?)"

Yes, you don't.

"For instance, a child is not given control of their own resources, to their own benefit."

Adults aren't children.

"Some people say Hitler made the trains run on time."

At what cost?

"It's an empirical question."

No, it's a logical one.

"Generally, people are most productive when given substantial autonomy, but this is an empirical question, something that has to be supported by considering the circumstance."

But you cannot ever observe a counter-factual world where people are given autonomy, so you cannot claim that the violent world is more efficient. You can only know that value was destroyed because of the violence. This is logical, not empirical.

"Major_Freedom: People are willing to homestead and originally appropriate what are currently "public" waters, and thus privatize them, but they are prevented from enforcing such property rights by governments."

"Well then, we'll take the Pacific Ocean. You can have the rest."

Homestead it.

"Major_Freedom: You are ignoring the fact that this tragedy of the commons can be solved by privatizing the oceans, thus resulting in private owners having a natural incentive to not overfish, exactly how private farmland owners have a natural incentive not to overgraze."

"Where did you get that idea?"

The fact that you are ignoring it.

"Private land owners do overuse the land."

No, they don't. By the fact that they are the legitimate owners, THEIR values are the standard.

"And when it occurs over large areas, it can lead to ecological catastrophe, such as the Dust Bowl or severe flooding and soil degradation associated with clear cutting."

Who cares about the dirt? Human values are what matter. Specifically, the property owners.

JG said...

"GOOD. If voluntary, peaceful cooperation "CAN'T" make a certain project, THEN IT SHOULDN'T BE MADE AT ALL, AND WOULD BE A WASTE OF SCARCE RESOURCES IF IT WAS MADE."

You're absolutely right. Who needs electrical grids, clean water delivery systems and sewers. If individuals and co-ops can't figure out how to implement basic, modern, 1st-world public services then those things are just a waste.

JG said...

"Not if there are fish that tend to remain in the same volume of ocean. Not all fish and sea life are nomadic over the world. Whales yes, shallow water marine life, not so much."

Actually, most commercially fished species do migrate. Salmon, Marlin and most Tuna varieties among many others are migratory.

You really are grasping at straws at this point.

JG said...

"People cannot seek out their top values in reality if their bodies are violently treated, and if their property is violently confiscated or destroyed."

Is this really how you people see the world? Taxation is the same as violent robbery in your eyes? Every corporation in America that employs an educated, literate workforce is benefiting from the public schools that have educated those workers. Every person who turns on the faucet every morning to brush his teeth with tap water benefits from the safety and sanitary regulations that oversaw public water supplies. Every entrepeneur who opens a small business benefits from the police that patrol the streets in front of his shop. Yet all you see is the cost side of the ledger. And you justify this short-sighted, immediate gratification attitude with your blind faith that the private sector would have attended to all those needs, and if it didn't then that must mean those things weren't worth doing.

Short-sighted, angry and stupid are not attractive qualities in any political-economic worldview. Thank God that fool Ron Paul will never get anywhere near the White House.

JG said...

"The fact that violence was needed to bring the canal into fruition IS the very proof that the canal was not what individuals wanted..."

Taxes = Violence
Democracy = Oppression
Investment = Consumption

These ideas represent a warped and dishonest point of view that are thankfully in the minority. Sadly, this small minority isn't small enough.

JG said...

"It's not wrong to "cling" to economic science you boob."

Nothing in all of your rants even comes close to resembling science. Blind faith in the efficiency of markets is just that, faith.

Bala said...

"These ideas represent a warped and dishonest point of view that are thankfully in the minority. Sadly, this small minority isn't small enough."

Taking away of a person's property without his consent and backed by the threat of the use of force is not violence

One group forcing its will on another because it is large enough to wield the monopoly over the latter is not violence.

Accepting future goods in exchange for present goods is not deferred consumption.

It is sad to note that those who subscribe to these views are also considered human. I am unable to reconcile the complete failure to think rationally and the claim that one is a human after all.

Bala said...

"Nothing in all of your rants even comes close to resembling science. Blind faith in the efficiency of markets is just that, faith."

Looks like you never learnt the difference between science and scientism. This is what suffering from Physics envy does to people.

And talking of science, what is the proper method of economic science given that the subject of the study is volitional human beings who engage in purposeful behaviour and that past behaviour does not imply identical or even similar future behaviour? Why is the use of deductive reasoning from sound axiomatic propositions like "Man acts" to identify universal laws of economics not science? Isn't it correct to say that Deductive Reasoning is also a means to "know"? Isn't it correct to say that propositions deduced from other propositions are necessarily true given that the original propositions are true? And if the original propositions are axiomatic, aren't the deduced propositions also apodictocally true?

By your yardsticks, do you also consider Mathematics unscientific? Think, for a change. I know it is tough because you don't seem to have ever thought, but it is never too late to try.

JG said...

"It is sad to note that those who subscribe to these views are also considered human. I am unable to reconcile the complete failure to think rationally and the claim that one is a human after all."

Spoken like a true self-important douche. I don't know you personally, but I know that somewhere in your house there is a copy of "Atlas Shrugged".

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: The public sector consumes wealth, and facilitates the destruction of wealth by introducing violence against private property rights.

You write a lot of words, but very few of them address anything related to the discussion. A look at our spam filter shows that the largest volume of your words accuse others of being rapists, sociopaths, troglodytes, etc. The rest of your words are just variations of your claim that the government necessarily destroys wealth.

Major_Freedom: Violating property rights and coercively taking people's property away from them, logically requires that person to only get at best the second best.

Zachriel: For instance, a child is not given control of their own resources, to their own benefit.

Major_Freedom: Adults aren't children.

Yes, that's right! So there are cases where you wouldn't allow someone to control their own property, but you would expect others to do so on their behalf. And that means it is not a *logical requirement*, but one that depends on the circumstances, at the very least, on the age of the person.

Zachriel: Some people say Hitler made the trains run on time.

Major_Freedom: At what cost?

Economic gains at great cost in terms of individual liberty.

Major_Freedom: But you cannot ever observe a counter-factual world where people are given autonomy, so you cannot claim that the violent world is more efficient.

Your world would likewise be violent, as you have already said private laws would be enforced by private security. The world has seen this before. It was called the Dark Ages. A more modern example of anarchy is Somalia.

Major_Freedom: Who cares about the dirt?

Anyone with sense.

A single farmer overfarming wouldn't have created the Dust Bowl. However, most farmers overfarmed (by removing the natural grasses, deep-plowing, failing to rotate crops, not allowing fields to lie fallow, and otherwise depleting the topsoil of moisture and nutrients) and the *collective* result was the Dust Bowl. Those farmers who didn't overfarm still saw their crops ruined by the ecological disaster. This isn't a new phenomena. It's the tragedy of the commons.

Bala: And if the original propositions are axiomatic, aren't the deduced propositions also apodictocally true?

They are only necessarily true *given* the axioms (which, if the axioms include empirical claims, then only insofar as the empirical claims are supportable, and even then only tentatively).

Bala: By your yardsticks, do you also consider Mathematics unscientific?

Mathematics is not an empirical science, if that is what you mean.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"GOOD. If voluntary, peaceful cooperation "CAN'T" make a certain project, THEN IT SHOULDN'T BE MADE AT ALL, AND WOULD BE A WASTE OF SCARCE RESOURCES IF IT WAS MADE."

"You're absolutely right."

I know.

"Who needs electrical grids, clean water delivery systems and sewers."

Who says government is the only entity capable of creating these things if that is what people want?

You speak as if people won't produce food on their own unless the government controls all food production.

You're simply a statist boob.

"If individuals and co-ops can't figure out how to implement basic, modern, 1st-world public services then those things are just a waste."

LOL, if individuals cannot figure out how to implement "basic, modern, 1st-world public services" then by definition neither can the government, because the government is a collection of (violent) individuals.

"Not if there are fish that tend to remain in the same volume of ocean. Not all fish and sea life are nomadic over the world. Whales yes, shallow water marine life, not so much."

"Actually, most commercially fished species do migrate."

Are you dense? I said NOT ALL fish migrate. It is not an argument against this to say "most commercially fished species migrate."

Well duh, the reason why most commercial fished species migrate is because most fish are fished out of the commons, and not private fish farms. But who says that can't change?

"Salmon, Marlin and most Tuna varieties among many others are migratory."

Salmon and Tuna are both grown in private fish farms.

"You really are grasping at straws at this point."

I am not "grasping" to any degree. I am comfortably standing on a firm foundation. YOU are grasping by depending on the status quo as if things can never change.

"People cannot seek out their top values in reality if their bodies are violently treated, and if their property is violently confiscated or destroyed."

"Is this really how you people see the world?"

Is asking such naive rhetorical questions really how you interpret and understand the world?

Yes, that is how I really really truly without a shadow of a doubt see "the world." Is there a point coming any time soon?

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Taxation is the same as violent robbery in your eyes?"

YES! ANY initiation of violence or threat of violence used to extract people's legitimately acquired property (homesteading, free trade) is THE VERY DEFINITION of theft.

Just because the thieves have "official badges", it doesn't turn theft into non-theft. There is no such thing as "official" theft that is apart from just plain theft.

Yes, this means that we are all living in free range slave societies. Accept it. It's not like it is going to get any worse by you merely identifying it. In fact, it can only get better the more people know it. Nobody purposefully advocates for what they know to be evil. The problem is that evil is incorrectly identified as good. The solution is therefore to persuade people to realize that they evil they believe is good, is in fact evil.

The wall that prevents this from happening more quickly is that people like you view the state as your mommy and daddy, and so it is like anarchists are asking you to identify your mommy and daddy as evil people. That is something that hardly anyone can do, even children of actually evil parents.

Therefore, the truth that will cut through the miasma is the truth that the government is not your mommy and daddy. They are just immoral people who are utilizing an immoral power to aggrandize themselves at the expense of others. Many in government don't even see it this way either, because they too believe in the mommy and daddy government worldview, and just view themselves as a necessary role of "guardian."

Just like mommy and daddy provided you with indoor plumbing, education, food, healthcare, while you were growing up, you have come to believe that a "modern" society at large requires them by force of government, even if people have more urgent and pressing needs to take care of first. You don't care about others. You only want to live in a planned society that is according to your own Utopian ideal, regardless if it takes evil behavior to accomplish it.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Every corporation in America that employs an educated, literate workforce is benefiting from the public schools that have educated those workers."

You are ignoring the opportunity costs associated with ALL economic behavior, as if its doesn't exist.

And no, corporations are certainly NOT benefiting from the government schools. They are benefiting from the lower quality and quantity of educated workforce that government schools have created, that would have otherwise have been higher quality and quantity.

I bet you didn't know that in the 19th century, before public schools became mainstream, over 95% of the US population was literate. Know that that number is now? It's less. I bet you also didn't know that the rate of poverty was gradually declining for decades in the US until Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" of the 1960s, after which the decline in poverty stagnated and has remained flat since then.

"Every person who turns on the faucet every morning to brush his teeth with tap water benefits from the safety and sanitary regulations that oversaw public water supplies."

You sound like you should work for the guards in a concentration camp.

"Listen up peons! Every one of you who turns on the faucet every morning to brush his teeth with tap water, benefits from the safety and sanitary regulations that the guards oversaw! You MUST obey them! Without them, you won't be able to clean up any water!"

"Every entrepeneur who opens a small business benefits from the police that patrol the streets in front of his shop."

At what cost? STOP IGNORING COSTS.

"Yet all you see is the cost side of the ledger."

LOLOLOLOL, oh man, you are hilarious. No, costs are not ALL I see. I also see outcomes of actions. YOU are IGNORING the costs. Telling you not to ignore costs is not the same thing as telling you to ONLY focus on costs.

Wait, are you so simple minded that you cannot focus on more than one thing at a time? Like, you can only think of the outcomes, or the costs, but not both? Seriously? Good lord, no wonder you're totally out to lunch.

"And you justify this short-sighted, immediate gratification attitude with your blind faith that the private sector would have attended to all those needs, and if it didn't then that must mean those things weren't worth doing."

YOU have blind faith that people cannot clean up water without government, not me. YOU have the short-sighted, immediate gratification attitude, not me.

You see the house you grew up in has running water run by the state, and so in your short-sighted, immediate gratification attitude, you refuse to think of a better way to do it. You have it now, so that's it for you. You don't care about the costs. You don't care about what others actually want and what they are willing to pay for. You fail to comprehend any world in which people other than government produce and transport clean water.

For you to call me, someone who wants individuals to come to their own solutions with other willing trading partners, to tailor their solutions to their individual needs, which is an advocacy for long term, far sighted solutions that will include delays of immediate gratification, to have a "short sighted and immediate gratification" attitude, is the height of psychological projection.

Private property rights MAXIMIZES long term, delayed gratification economic plans.

Public property MINIMIZES long term, delayed gratification economic plans.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"Short-sighted, angry and stupid are not attractive qualities in any political-economic worldview."

That's exactly why your views are not attractive. They are short-sighted ("government gives me water now so screw everyone else"), angry ("I hate those who refuse to pay to give me free clean water"), and they are stupid ("only government can make clean water").

"Thank God that fool Ron Paul will never get anywhere near the White House."

Praise the mommy and daddy gubment!

Once the freebies are gone, because the government completely killed the economy, then you will have WISHED that Ron Paul got into the WH. Don't say nobody warned you. Don't say you didn't know.

"The fact that violence was needed to bring the canal into fruition IS the very proof that the canal was not what individuals wanted..."

"Taxes = Violence"

Initiations of violence and/or initiations of threats of violence, in order to confiscate people's legitimate private property, IS theft.

It doesn't matter if the majority wants it.

"Democracy = Oppression"

Democracy condones oppression as long as the majority wants it. The only reason why you don't see democracy's full nature in effect is because enough people don't believe in it fully, but accept individual rights to some respects.

"Investment = Consumption"

Government spending is not investment. Government spending is not for the purposes of making subsequent sales. It is for the purpose of garnering votes and power for its own sake.

Investment is making expenditures for the purpose of making subsequent sales.

Since government spending is not investment, it is consumption. It doesn't matter how big a government project is. It is a consumption of resources that require a fresh new set of funds to repair and replace.

Actual investments bring in cash buy virtue of individual customers voluntarily paying for the output of the investment.

"These ideas represent a warped and dishonest point of view that are thankfully in the minority."

First, only the first two represent my actual positions. The third is just a dishonest straw man.

Second, believing those two to be otherwise is what is warped and dishonest points of view.

"Sadly, this small minority isn't small enough."

You are the borg.

"It's not wrong to "cling" to economic science you boob."

"Nothing in all of your rants even comes close to resembling science."

Every single argument I made is firmly established on economic laws and principles. NOTHING in all your rants is at all economics related. It is nothing but blind faith in the efficiency and morality of nation states, based on an ignorance of the law of opportunity costs, and other economic laws.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"It is sad to note that those who subscribe to these views are also considered human. I am unable to reconcile the complete failure to think rationally and the claim that one is a human after all."

"Spoken like a true self-important douche."

Spoken like a true self-important douche who only wants to make it appear as if he is not a self-important douche by licking the boots of allegedly altruist and benevolent statesmen who have brainwashed him into believing he is only a means to the statesmen's ends, and not an end in himself.

"I don't know you personally, but I know that somewhere in your house there is a copy of "Atlas Shrugged"."

I bet you haven't even read that book, but you still "know" what it's all about because self-important violence advocates know it is a threat to them.

I don't know you personally, but I know that somewhere in your house there is a copy of [book that represents what I don't like].

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"You write a lot of words"

Reality is more nuanced and complex than what your crude talking points deserves.

"but very few of them address anything related to the discussion."

Every single one of them addresses everything related to this discussion.

"A look at our spam filter shows that the largest volume of your words accuse others of being rapists, sociopaths, troglodytes, etc."

"Our" Who else is there besides you?

And no, I didn't accuse you nor JG of being rapists. I accused you of being sociopaths. A sociopath is someone who advocates or supports violence against innocent people and yet feels no remorse in doing so. That makes you a sociopath by definition. It makes all democracy supporters sociopaths.

And I consider you troglodytes because you present claims that are no more sophisticated or educated than that of troglodytes.

It's funny how you ignore all the substantive arguments I made that refute yours as utterly fallacious, and then pretend that all I have done is call you names, as if focusing on those parts makes the other parts go away. Yes, those substantive arguments exist, as anyone who can read the English language can see, and no amount of denial from you will ever change that fact. You will never convince me of something I know to be false.

"The rest of your words are just variations of your claim that the government necessarily destroys wealth."

No, they are arguments that show HOW they are necessarily destructions of wealth.

Your only rebuttal was to invoke an analogy of children and guardians, which is silly when the discussion is about interacting adults. Yes, you did not grow up mentally, so that yes, you believe the government is mommy and daddy and citizens are all children who can't take care of themselves, but that doesn't mean everyone else failed to grow up mentally as well too, and it certainly doesn't mean that people can't be more mature by growing up in a society without a mommy and daddy government to take care of them from cradle until grave.

"Major_Freedom: Violating property rights and coercively taking people's property away from them, logically requires that person to only get at best the second best."

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Yes, that's right! So there are cases where you wouldn't allow someone to control their own property, but you would expect others to do so on their behalf."

False. I don't accept the position that children should be deprived of whatever property rights they have, either their person, or, if they are intelligent enough, their physical property that they somehow homesteaded.

There are no cases where I would find it justified to violate ANYONE'S property rights, children or adults.

I said "children are not adults" because YOU are making the claim that adults must not respect the property rights of other adults. Therefore, you cannot justify the claim that adults should violate other adult's property rights, by invoking an analogy that is not adults vis a vis other adults, but adults vis a vis children.

I said adults are not children NOT because I tacitly accept the notion that it is justified for adults to violate the individual rights of children. I said adults are not children because you are not staying on topic.

If you want to talk about the individual property rights of children, we can, but please don't ignore the fact that the context you are claiming property rights should be violated is adults and other adults.

I will not presume that children don't own their own bodies. I will not presume that children CAN'T homestead land. It's certainly possible. Of course babies can't do it, but babies still have the right not to be aggressed against.

"And that means it is not a *logical requirement*, but one that depends on the circumstances, at the very least, on the age of the person."

No, false. It doesn't matter about ages. It ONLY matters in terms of people's actions. A baby cannot give their consent to certain actions, hence it is wrong to believe in implied consent and thus justification for hurting their bodies. A small child, same thing. From birth, individuals have the right to their own bodies.

Once individuals are intellectually mature enough to be able to homestead property, and trade, and that does not depend on age, but on the individual's intellectual ability, then they can become legitimate property owners as well.

"Zachriel: Some people say Hitler made the trains run on time."

"Major_Freedom: At what cost?"

"Economic gains at great cost in terms of individual liberty."

Those can't be economic gains. Economics is the study of human action. If humans lose, then there are economic costs.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Major_Freedom: But you cannot ever observe a counter-factual world where people are given autonomy, so you cannot claim that the violent world is more efficient."

"Your world would likewise be violent, as you have already said private laws would be enforced by private security."

No, it will not be "likewise violent." In a private law society, it is ILLEGAL for ANYONE to initiate force against other people's persons and property. It would be considered ILLEGAL for a state to form.

Because of that, state violence will be eliminated, and hence social violence will be
reduced.

You can't say that private protection agencies will be just as violent as states, because then you would be contradicting the very nature of private protection agencies.

"The world has seen this before. It was called the Dark Ages."

The dark ages were a time of tyrannical territorial monopoly rulers called Kings and Queens.

Yes, there were private law societies as well, but that is not why the age was considered "dark." It was considered dark because of the prevalence of religious superstition, and thus lack of scientific progress. It was not "dark" because there wasn't a world democratic state.

Talk about historical revisionism to fit one's absurd agenda.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"A more modern example of anarchy is Somalia."

After centuries of statism, Somalia remained dirt poor.

Once the government collapsed, Somalia IMPROVED in virtually all economic statistics.

See the paper called "Better off Stateless" by PT Leeson. Once you educate yourself, you would cease coming off as a total ignorant putz who believes "Somalia!" is a legitimate talking point against anarchy.

Yes, education hurts. Yes, being informed requires that you positively go out and learn more than what mommy and daddy government tells you. Yes, it's hard. Yes, you're afraid. But you aren't me. Stop dragging me into your crazy world of human oppression founded upon ignorance and fear.

"Major_Freedom: Who cares about the dirt?"

"Anyone with sense."

Non answer. I could just as easily say anyone with sense doesn't care about the dirt, and will only care about how that dirt will benefit themselves as people, and if it means moving the dirt, so be it. Oh noes! Changing nature to suit human needs is evil!

"A single farmer overfarming wouldn't have created the Dust Bowl."

LOL, a single government wouldn't have prevented weather drought.

"However, most farmers overfarmed (by removing the natural grasses, deep-plowing, failing to rotate crops, not allowing fields to lie fallow, and otherwise depleting the topsoil of moisture and nutrients) and the *collective* result was the Dust Bowl."

And once the rain returned...

"Those farmers who didn't overfarm still saw their crops ruined by the ecological disaster. This isn't a new phenomena. It's the tragedy of the commons."

No, it's a reality of weather.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Reality is more nuanced and complex than what your crude talking points deserves.

But your answers aren't nuanced, but one-dimensional.

Major_Freedom: Your only rebuttal was to invoke an analogy of children and guardians, which is silly when the discussion is about interacting adults.

You made a statement that you claimed was a logical necessity. We pointed to a counterexample to the claim, hence it could never have been a logical necessity.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I don't accept the position that children should be deprived of whatever property rights they have, either their person, or, if they are intelligent enough, their physical property that they somehow homesteaded.

So if a kid wants to trade his inheritance to somebody at the park who is willing to give him a bag of candy, that's okay with you.

Major_Freedom: No, it will not be "likewise violent." In a private law society, it is ILLEGAL for ANYONE to initiate force against other people's persons and property.

So if the people upriver take all the water, there's nothing to be done. Oh, yeah. That's right. Everyone has private security forces.

Major_Freedom: No, it's a reality of weather.

Drought was only one factor. Poor soil practices resulted in widespread disaster which would not have otherwise occurred. Desertification is an ongoing process.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"But your answers aren't nuanced, but one-dimensional."

No, they are nuanced. I am giving the bedrocks requirements. The actual solutions are as numerous as there are property owners.

Your answer is one dimensional: Let the government's violence take care of it.

"You made a statement that you claimed was a logical necessity. We pointed to a counterexample to the claim, hence it could never have been a logical necessity."

"We"? Who else is there besides you?

You attempted to provide a counter-example, but it only reinforces my argument. It not only ignored the context of adult to adult behavior, but it also proved me right because children also have individual rights that cannot be violated by majority vote.

"So if a kid wants to trade his inheritance to somebody at the park who is willing to give him a bag of candy, that's okay with you."

If the parents gave him power of attorney, then sure. Inheritances are property bequeethed to children by way of some mechanism of power of attorney. If a child does not have power of attorney, meaning the parents did not grant the child the right to dispose of the parent's property the way they see fit, then the child CAN'T grant his inheritance to someone in the park.

Any other examples that you can muster that relate to ADULT to ADULT behavior? Or are you so ignorant that you can only view adults as children of the state?

"So if the people upriver take all the water, there's nothing to be done. Oh, yeah. That's right. Everyone has private security forces."

LOL, you will never win this argument by quibbling over technicalities of property rights enforcement.

If there is a problem of people upriver taking all the water, then that would result in incentives to ensure that when individuals buy a section of river, they sign pledges with the existing river section owners to not take out more than such and such water.

You are just imagining a crude example of no property rights pledges, agreements, you basically are considering an example of unthinking children who cannot ever solve their problems without mommy and daddy.

"Drought was only one factor."

It was a necessary and sufficient factor.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: I am giving the bedrocks requirements.

No. You are taking an extreme position based on black-and-white thinking. Anyone who thinks that public traffic lights are tyrannical isn't working from a rational basis.

Major_Freedom: It not only ignored the context of adult to adult behavior, but it also proved me right because children also have individual rights that cannot be violated by majority vote.

Your claim didn't have an exception for children, and yet it was supposedly a logical necessity. It turns out that the particulars do matter.

Major_Freedom: If the parents gave him power of attorney, then sure.

Why should he have to ask them? Who are they, or you, to inhibit the free use of his property?

Zachriel: Drought was only one factor {in the Dust Bowl}.

Major_Freedom: It was a necessary and sufficient factor.

Necessary, but not sufficient.

"From 1909 and 1929 farmers had broken out thirty-two million acres of sod in the Great Plains. Many of these farmers were recent settlers and had limited experience with the region's climate. Once the protective cover of the native grassland was destroyed, the dry conditions and high winds common to the region resulted in an increased susceptibility of the topsoil to wind erosion. As a result, dust storms raged nearly everywhere"

Oklahoma Historical Society
http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/D/DU011.html

Corporal Freedom said...

So, I am witness to a robbery, and take a gunshot wound to the chest. At the hospital, the trauma crew recognizes my conditions as critical and begins saving my life….at this point I stop them, and demand that they first address my seasonal milkweed allergies. The medical team is enraged by my ignorance of the situation, and argues valiantly to educate me on the dire position I’m in. I won’t hear any of it, and want to discuss how horrible my hay fever is.
“There is no cure for hay fever, its human nature, the best we can do is eliminate some of the more painful symptoms, but seriously sir, if you don’t acknowledge the more pressing details of your immediate situation….you are going to die.”
MF makes some, um, obviously unintentional, points about the nature of power and control present in any system…a government’s hold on the taxation of its constituents should ALWAYS be tenuous.

At the moment though, moneyed interests (large corporations and political super-PACs) are paying for legislation that target the rights and incomes of the working class poor (I’m lookin’ at you MF). So I wonder about all the fake anarchy talk that is clearly designed to advance the corporate agenda…are we to believe that trading an elected government that abuses power and steals money from the middle class, for an unchecked corporate plutocracy, that will quickly and “violently” plunge the middle class into penniless servitude, really a move towards freedom for the individual?*

I will continue to, sometimes painfully, pay my part for the infrastructure and social welfare of the prosperous and responsible society which of which I have chosen to be a part.

*Get ready, folks, here comes the completely stupid effing reply.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: I am giving the bedrocks requirements."

"No."

Yes.

"You are taking an extreme position based on black-and-white thinking."

You think in terms of black and white.

Reality is black and white. All propositions are true or false. That's black and white. A is not non-A. That's black and white. The logical laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle, are laws due to the fact that reality is black and white.

"Anyone who thinks that public traffic lights are tyrannical isn't working from a rational basis."

I didn't say traffic lights are tyrannical. That is a straw man. I said the initiations of violence backing the creation of the traffic lights is tyrannical.

If you're going to straw man me, at least do a better job. I've seen far better straw men.

"Major_Freedom: It not only ignored the context of adult to adult behavior, but it also proved me right because children also have individual rights that cannot be violated by majority vote."

"Your claim didn't have an exception for children, and yet it was supposedly a logical necessity. It turns out that the particulars do matter."

False. I already showed you that children are not exceptions to the rule. You brought children up as if it does represent an exception to the rule. But it doesn't. You completely twisted my response "Adults are not children" into something it is not, namely, a tacit concession that the rules are somehow exempt for children.

That response was to show you that you're switching the context of adult to adult behavior, and into adult to children behavior. You mistakenly believed that this is a "gotcha", but it isn't. Children also have individual rights in the philosophy I am advancing to you.

Maybe in your worldview children don't have individual rights. But that is not my worldview.

I showed you that children are not exempt from individual liberty, and you continue on as if it is a concession. If you're going to be intellectually dishonest, you ought to do a better job.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:


"Major_Freedom: If the parents gave him power of attorney, then sure."

"Why should he have to ask them? Who are they, or you, to inhibit the free use of his property?"

The right to dispose of property is with the property owner, in this case, the parents. The parents as property owners are fully entitled to grant certain rights of that property to their children, for example, the right to take possession of that wealth once the child reaches a certain age, but not the power of attorney over the wealth. The parents don't have to ask anyone for permission. It is a part of property ownership.

The parents can grant power of attorney, or not grant power of attorney, to their children. That is a legitimate exercise of property ownership. If someone owns wealth, then that means they have the right to set the terms on who gets their wealth, and under what conditions.

If parents granted their children power of attorney over the wealth, which is their right as property owners, then yes, if the child sells his wealth for a popcicle, then that is a legitimate exchange.

In the real world, parents tend to refrain from giving their small children power of attorney over their inheritance, and they tend to grant power of attorney to an adult they trust, or they may not grant power of attorney at all until they are older and closer to death.

The point is that you are wrong to claim that a child who has an inheritance to a sum of wealth in his name, is necessarily the owner of that wealth. He's not. He can't exchange his inheritance unless he has power of attorney, which means he either does not own it but has power of attorney, or he owns it and has power of attorney.

"From 1909 and 1929 farmers had broken out thirty-two million acres of sod in the Great Plains. Many of these farmers were recent settlers and had limited experience with the region's climate. Once the protective cover of the native grassland was destroyed, the dry conditions and high winds common to the region resulted in an increased susceptibility of the topsoil to wind erosion. As a result, dust storms raged nearly everywhere"

If it rained, if there was no drought, then the dirt would not have been dust.

These events were not a violation of anyone's property rights. Droughts are acts of nature. If acts of nature bring about dust storms, then people have to adapt to nature, not violate each other's property rights.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: All propositions are true or false. That's black and white. A is not non-A.

This proposition is false.

JG said...

@ Corporal Freedom -

Major Freedom's entire ideology is based on his not wanting to pay taxes. He thinks that the without the government "violently coercing" him to pay taxes that he will be left in a state of freedom. He doesn't seem to realize that we tried that model already, back in the 19th century. And the result was a robber barron nation where a dozen or so uber-wealthy families suppressed freedom, stole through market manipulation and oppressed an entire nation. Maybe he's just ignorant of history, maybe he knows this and just doesn't care. Either way, he wants to undo the 20th century and return to the past, and retreating into the past is what small, scared, and angry people do when the future is scary and uncertain.

JG said...

I think this sentence is very telling about Major Freedom's state of mind:

"That makes you a sociopath by definition. It makes all democracy supporters sociopaths."

Democracy, or allowing citizens the right to participate in their own rule, is sociopathic. But a "private law" society where the only laws are ones that protect property (not people) is held up as an ideal.

All this time Major Freedom's idea of paradise is actually a P.O. box in the Cayman Islands.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: All propositions are true or false. That's black and white. A is not non-A."

"This proposition is false."

No, that proposition is true. If the proposition that all propositions are either true or false, is itself false, then it must be the case that there exists some propositions that are neither true nor false. But that is logically impossible, because a proposition is by nature a declaration of something that is the case.

JG:

"Major Freedom's entire ideology is based on his not wanting to pay taxes."

No, my entire philosophy is based on reason, private property rights, and peaceful cooperation. It includes the very small and banal truth that theft and hence taxes is wrong.

"He thinks that the without the government "violently coercing" him to pay taxes that he will be left in a state of freedom."

Absence of coercion is the very definition of freedom.

"He doesn't seem to realize that we tried that model already, back in the 19th century."

No, we didn't. There was a state in the 19th century you fool.

"And the result was a robber barron nation where a dozen or so uber-wealthy families suppressed freedom, stole through market manipulation and oppressed an entire nation."

Yes, the result of statism was terrible. But because the state was small, the people were able to grow their standard of living to be the highest the world had ever seen.

The wealthy families did not oppress freedom, the state did. They didn't steal, the state did. They didn't oppress, the state did.

"Maybe he's just ignorant of history, maybe he knows this and just doesn't care."

YOU are ignorant of history. You actually believe that the US was anarchist in the 19th century. Only a moron would believe that.

"Either way, he wants to undo the 20th century and return to the past, and retreating into the past is what small, scared, and angry people do when the future is scary and uncertain."

No, I want to advance to the future without violence. Statism is an ancient system. YOU want to return people to the past BEFORE the 19th century. Retreating to the past before the 19th century is what tiny, frightened, and angry people to when the future is scary and uncertain. You want mommy and daddy government to take care of you because you're afraid of being without a coercive agency ensuring you have free wealth at other people's expense.

You are accusing me of everything you yourself suffer from. Your whole post was nothing but a psychological projection of your own shortcomings.

Major_Freedom said...

JG:

"I think this sentence is very telling about Major Freedom's state of mind:"

"That makes you a sociopath by definition. It makes all democracy supporters sociopaths."

I think supporting initiations of violence against innocent people solely because they are outnumbered is very "telling" on your part.

"Democracy, or allowing citizens the right to participate in their own rule, is sociopathic."

That is not what democracy is. Democracy is not a system where it allows people the right to participate in their own rule. It is a system where it allows some people to USE FORCE against innocent people.

There is no difference between monarchy and democracy when it comes to the minority being aggressed against by the rulers, either the King or the majority elected state.

People don't rule themselves in democracy. People only rule themselves in a world of individual sovereignty.

In democracy, the majority rules the minority, who are not allowed to rule themselves without the majority.

"But a "private law" society where the only laws are ones that protect property (not people) is held up as an ideal."

A private law society is the only society where the people are free to rule themselves.

"All this time Major Freedom's idea of paradise is actually a P.O. box in the Cayman Islands."

Your idea of "freedom" is enslavement. You want the majority to enslave the minority.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom,

This proposition is false.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: It includes the very small and banal truth that theft and hence taxes is wrong.

Sure, that if your oft repeated position. Your position depends on that axiom, without the acceptance of which, you have no argument, only constant repetition.

Most people consider taxes to be the cost of living in society, an accommodation to the necessities of life, but one about which people have a voice, through the electoral process.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"This proposition is false."

That statement is not a proposition.

"Major_Freedom: It includes the very small and banal truth that theft and hence taxes is wrong."

"Sure, that if your oft repeated position. Your position depends on that axiom, without the acceptance of which, you have no argument, only constant repetition."

It's not an "axiom."

No, my "position" doesn't "depend" on the mere identification that taxes are theft. It INCLUDES the fact that taxes are theft.

"Most people consider taxes to be the cost of living in society, an accommodation to the necessities of life, but one about which people have a voice, through the electoral process."

What "most people" believe is not a source of truth. That's ad populum fallacy.

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