Monday, February 20, 2012

Spend and pretend

[Update]: Don Boudreaux today has commentary about Krugman's insistence that Herbert Hoover was an "austerity" president. (Remember that it was Hoover in his memoirs where Andrew Mellon's "liquidate" quote was found, and that Hoover writes that he rejected Mellon's advice.)

Writes Boudreaux:
Describing "austerity policies" as "the insistence that governments should slash spending even in the face of high unemployment" in the hope that such spending cuts will restore business confidence, Paul Krugman remarks: "If this sounds to you like something Herbert Hoover might have said, you're right: It does and he did" ("Pain Without Gain," Feb. 20).

Easily accessed evidence prove Mr. Krugman wrong.

Here, for example, is economist Steven Horwitz: "the real size of government spending in 1933 was almost double that of 1929. The budget deficits of 1931 and 1932 represented 52.5 percent and 43.3 percent of total federal expenditures. No year between 1933 and 1941 under Roosevelt had a deficit that large." Also contrary to Mr. Krugman's claim, Hoover proudly trumpeted his administration's high-spending and interventionist policies. On the campaign trail in 1932 Hoover bragged that "We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic."**

Mr. Krugman's unfamiliarity with history is disturbing.
[End Update]

The eternal downturn continues and no real recovery is in sight, yet the advice from Paul Krugman always is the same: borrow, spend, pretend. Pretend what? Pretend that borrowing and essentially printing new dollars is the same thing as actually having a productive, prosperous economy. Print money and get rich!

The Keynesian view of the economy is pretty simple. Factors of production are homogeneous, production and consumption are not related except to say that the purpose of consumption is to clear the shelves so that producers can make new goods to put on the shelves. The sole purpose of a "job" is to put income in the hands of workers so that they can spend and in order to make way for new production. In other words, it is a model-driven, mechanistic view of economics in which human action is not purposeful, but rather robotic.

In dealing with the situation with the European countries such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal, he rightly condemns the policies that the European Central Bank has imposed, but for all of the wrong reasons. You see, Krugman really believes that if the ECB simply slashed its interest rates and loaned near-infinite amounts of money to these countries, that they soon would spend themselves into prosperity and that somehow there would be so much economic activity and new tax revenues that the extra loans would pay for themselves.

Austerity, according to Krugman, is bad but not because it imposes unjust tax and regulatory burdens upon people in order to pay the debt service for loans that profligate governments took out in order to spend beyond their means. No, austerity is bad because it cuts government spending.

Furthermore, the real reason that these countries are forced into austerity measures is because the banks that made these foolish loans (with the promise of being backstopped by central banks) are now calling the policy shots. Yet, we now see the ridiculous scenario of banks lending money to these governments so they can pay their debt service for previous loans although everyone knows that these countries cannot generate enough economic activity to pay back these loans in full.

In other words, we are looking at default. Now, the USA, which Krugman holds as a model of how to properly deal with the recession (or at least has not engaged in European-style "austerity"), is defaulting through inflation. I believe that it would be much better for Greece and the other European states that are facing these crises to default on their loans, and reduce their payments or suspend them altogether.

Unfortunately, Krugman prefers the game of "Let's Pretend We're Rich." He urges Congress to borrow even money to give to states for their own spending, with the idea that we can worry about the unpayable debt tomorrow, a Scarlett O'Hara approach.

Even Krugman knows that this cycle of debt cannot continue forever, but he seems consumed with the belief that sooner or later the perpetual motion machine that is the economy will gain "traction" and move on its own, paying down the debt as it goes. That is nonsense, but unfortunately it is nonsense that is being passed off as sophisticated economic thinking.

120 comments:

macroman said...

Anderson artibutes the following view to Krugman: "austerity is bad because it cuts government spending" whereas what Krugman actually says is that austerity is bad because it makes things worse. It would be better, I think, if Anderson addresses what Krugman actual writes.

macroman said...

Anderson: the belief that sooner or later the perpetual motion machine that is the economy will gain "traction" and move on its own, paying down the debt as it goes. That is nonsense,

Which bit is nonsense? 1) That the economy will "gain traction" or
2) that in a growing economy a government can pay down its debt?

In the 1940s the US economy recovered from a depression (for whatever reason increased its output) so (1) is possible - economies can recover and have recovered from many recessions in peace time. And in the years after WWII the US reduced its debt from 120% of GDP to a small percentage of GDP, so (2) is also possible. Governments can in fact pay down their debt when the economy is booming.

Are you saying that though it is possible, you predict the US will not do of these things?

William L. Anderson said...

Macro, you had five comments that I approved, but only two are showing up here. I'm not sure what happened, but I approved all of them at the same time.

Krugman on many occasions has written about economies getting "traction." In his book The Return of Depression Economics, he claims that printing money creates a "free lunch," at least when an economy is in a "liquidity trap," and in economics, "free lunch" is the euphemism for saying there is no opportunity cost to something.

A growing economy can pay down debt, but certainly not the kind of debt we are seeing with the burdens of government that Krugman has recommended. You have to remember that Krugman sees most government spending as an asset, and that government spending makes the entire economy better off than it would be if governments took less of a nation's production.

William L. Anderson said...

I will add that I don't understand how the Blogger platform works. I pretty much do the basics on it and when comments disappear, as they did in MM's case, I have no explanation for it.

Some posters have complained that I "censor" comments, which only is partly true. Krugman and the NYT censor things all the time, and critical comments about columns or editorials often are not posted publicly in that paper.

What I have eliminated are the ones that call me a racist or something else. That steps over the line, and when Morse79 declared that I was both a racist and anti-Semite, that was it for him. I make no apologies for cutting out his attacks.

Notice that plenty of people who post here have used insulting language toward me, but that has been in the context of the overall arguments on economics and economic policy. I have no problem with disagreements and this blog would be incomplete without some dissenters.

As for the three comments by MM that have disappeared, I did not censor them. All five were approved but only two of them came up and I don't know why that happened.

mick said...

It's so hard to tell if Krugman is just ignorant and really believes what he writes, or if he's a liar and a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Boudreaux tries to pretend deficits = austerity. No, that's just what happens when revenues fall off a cliff.

What matters is do you sit like a lump like Hoover or do something like FDR?

Steven Horwitz said...

Anonymous needs to learn some history:

http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2012/02/ol-kruggie-is-at-it-again.html

James B. said...

It is largely a myth that Hoover just sat there. He was quite proactive. In fact members of FDR's brain trust even admitted that the New Deal was largely just a continuation of Hoover's policies. The legend of FDR as economic saviors is one of the largest con jobs in history.

Rick T. said...

Anonymous: As Steve Horwitz points out in this blog post today, Hoover was a Keynesian who massively increased government spending to fight the Depression between 1929 and 1933 at which point FDR took over and continued Hoover's policies. It didn't work for either of them: http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2012/02/ol-kruggie-is-at-it-again.html

Lawrence J. Kramer said...

If it is possible to give too little of a medicine, then there is nothing illogical about Krugman's claim that prior stimulus has been inadequate and more is required. One may disagree with that prescription, but there is no basis to ridicule it as "more of the same," when more of the same is certainly a sound approach to underdosing of any other remedy. Anyone who attacks Krugman or other pro-stimulus advocates (e.g., Modern Monetary Theory types) with the "more of the same" line, as if more of the same were NEVER the right strategy, does not think clearly and should not be taken seriously.

Lord Keynes said...

"Steven Horwitz: "the real size of government spending in 1933 was almost double that of 1929. The budget deficits of 1931 and 1932 represented 52.5 percent and 43.3 percent of total federal expenditures. No year between 1933 and 1941 under Roosevelt had a deficit that large."

Typically poor and misleading use of the figures. What Horwitz doesn't say:

(1) in 1929 total federal expenditures were about 2.5% of GNP. This rose as a % of GNP in 1930-1933 largely because of GNP collapse, not because it was massively increased. Federal spending went from $3.3 billion fiscal 1930 to $4.6 billion in fiscal 1932. That was woefully inadequate for an economy where GNP collapsed by $17.8 billion in 1932 alone.

(2) Hoover actually ran a federal budget surplus in fiscal year 1930 (July 1 1929–June 30 1930), not a deficit. The opposite of Keynesian stimulus.

(3) Hoover also cut spending in fiscal year 1933, and introduced the Revenue Act of 1932 (June 6) which increased taxes across the board and applied to fiscal year 1932 and subsequent years. The opposite of Keynesian stimulus.

(4) all that leaves you with is fiscal years 1931 and 1932, where the net effect was mildly expanionary. But in both years federal discretionary spending increases were far too small to arrest the GNP collapse and only a fool ignorant of basic Keynesian principles would declare that this somehow invalidates Keynesianism:

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/herbert-hoovers-budget-deficits-drop-in.html

In 1930s New Zealand, Germany and Japan, by contrast, there was an appropriately large level of stimulus, and these nations escaped the depression and high unemployment quickly:

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/keynesian-stimulus-in-new-zealand.html

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/fiscal-stimulus-in-germany-19331936.html

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/takahashi-korekiyo-and-fiscal-stimulus.html

"The eternal downturn continues and no real recovery is in sight, yet the advice from Paul Krugman always is the same: borrow, spend, pretend. "

An "eternal downturn" in real output terms was prevented by US fiscal stimulus, as is easily verified here:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth

Moreover, country after country has returned to real output growth and falling unemployment by Keynesian stimulus: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, UK (until their cuts), Norway, Sweden etc. etc.

The clear evidence is that global fiscal stimulus has worked and has reversed the disastrous collapse in world trade and manufacturing noted by Barry Eichengreen and Kevin O’Rourke:

http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3421

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/scale-of-obamas-2009-stimulus.html

burkll13 said...

"Anderson artibutes the following view to Krugman: "austerity is bad because it cuts government spending" whereas what Krugman actually says is that austerity is bad because it makes things worse"

and exactly why does krugman think "it make things worse"?

Anonymous said...

My theory on Krugmans insufferable ignorance of economic history is simple. He has to remain ignorant in order to suppress the head exploding cognitive dissonance that would result from espousing his brand of brain dead, morally degenerate collectivist claptrap. For psuedo scientific partisan hacks like Kruggie, when the facts don't fit the theory one simply rejects the facts. Voila, no head shredding cognitive tectonics.

Anonymous said...

The dollar was 'over' about 5 years ago when our debt hit a point where there was no longer a plausbile path to paying it off.

Now it's just a question of which generation absorbs the collapse.

Rick Caird said...

I realize Keynes advocated paying down debt when times are "good", but the current crop of Keynesians and politicians never get around to that part of the strategy. So, the best we can hope for is that the debt grows more slowly than GDP. But, these continuing $1.5 trillion deficits are not only not reflected in GDP growth, the far outstrip what we hope the economy will be able to do.

Somehow, I cannot accept the idea that living within your means is now defined as "austerity".

macroman said...

@burkll "Anderson artibutes the following view to Krugman: "austerity is bad because it cuts government spending" whereas what Krugman actually says is that austerity is bad because it makes things worse"

and exactly why does krugman think "it make things worse"?

The point that Anderson implied that the reason Krugman advocates increased Government spending is because he sees Government spending as an end in itself (perhaps you think that too). However, if you are arguing in good faith you accept the stated motive then try to convince Krugman or others that these well-meaning policies will not work or in fact make things worse.

macroman said...

Prof Anderson, I accept your explanation of the missing posts. I have no idea how you even get time to read and approve all the posts, let alone understand the blog software. Can't remember what is missing, probably just the usual reasoned, insightful, modest, unassuming analysis.

Matt McCandless said...

Will someone smarter than me for the love of god address Lord Keynes! Each point made seemed clear and straight forward, yet the following comments just skip over it and continue to discuss the possible reasons why Krugman may be wrong. If it is true that Hoover ran a surplus in 1930, how does that settle with the rest of what has been proposed?

William L. Anderson said...

One of the interesting things I find in the historical accounts of the Great Depression, not to mention what journalists write, is that Herbert Hoover supposedly was a hardcore, laissez-faire believer. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

Hoover was well-known as a Progressive and had been outspoken against laissez-faire before becoming president. That anyone tries to portray him in a different way is, I believe, an act of willful ignorance at best and dishonesty at worst.

Bala said...

"Will someone smarter than me for the love of god address Lord Keynes!"

Will someone for the love of truth please get LK to explain the theoretical basis for claiming that there is a causal connection in these statements?

"In 1930s New Zealand, Germany and Japan, by contrast, there was an appropriately large level of stimulus, and these nations escaped the depression and high unemployment quickly"

"Moreover, country after country has returned to real output growth and falling unemployment by Keynesian stimulus: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, UK (until their cuts), Norway, Sweden etc. etc."

I can see A happening and B happening, but what I can't see is the causal connection.

That apart, will LK explain why "Keynesianism" makes any sense at all given that its foundations are conceptual nonsense, e.g., the concept of "full employment" which is dependent on a cardinal concept of utility for it to have any meaning at all?

macroman said...

Prof Anderson,
Let’s discuss the free lunch issue. You say Krugman claims that printing money creates a "free lunch," at least when an economy is in a "liquidity trap". I am not 100% au fait with “liquidity trap” so I would substitute “depression”. Also, I think Krugman advocates fiscal more than monetary policy (the Fed holds about 7% of outstanding US treasury debt, $1trillon out of $15trillion).
Let’s suppose we have some people who are sitting on their butts, for whatever reason, and it looks like that they will turn to crime or drugs. Let’s suppose we have other people willing to lend money and the interest rate is low. Let’s suppose a philanthropic billionaire borrows some of the cheap money, and offers wages to induce those sitting on their butts, who then work and produce something which is sold. Suppose the net loss to the philanthropist, after paying all costs including interest, is 15% of the wages of those previously unemployed. (1) The previously unemployed are now working, (2) the crime rate and the death rate from drug abuse may go down, and (3) the newly employed may move on to more productive jobs. The philanthropist thinks all three of these things are good, even though the benefits (3) and particularly (2) are external benefits. There has of course been no “free lunch”: output has increased because certain people are now producing something rather than sitting on their butts, but there has been a “cheap lunch”, lots of benefits for small cost to the philanthropist.
In a fully employed economy you could regret that the philanthropist has diverted resources from more productive to less productive uses, reducing the overall output of the economy. But I don’t think you can say the same in a depressed economy. The philanthropist has produced something (maybe not the best possible thing, but maybe the best thing anyone was prepared to produce with these idle resources and way better than producing nothing).
I am of course suggesting that, during depressions, Governments can and have acted like the philanthropist and this is what Krugman is advocating. I understand that you don’t want the government to be a philanthropist on your behalf, but we are discussing the cost of the lunch, not whether it is moral to cook it. There are plenty of goods that governments traditionally do supply, like roads and bridges and policemen (I partly agree with Hayek that we should respect traditions; there may be reasons, not seen by the “constructivist” thinker, why all societies come to this government solution). The Government can build a CA Supertrain train, which I know you think will be a white elephant, but the train will be there for a long time, it will be used, and the external benefits may make it cheap in the long run. I think there were just as many pessimistic things said about the Golden Gate bridge when the government bonds were sold to enable work to start, 1930-32, as there are about the CA Supertrain, and the bridge turned out OK in my view. Near where I live there are the remains of a bridge built in the thirties to provide relief work. It was duplicated and downgraded to a pedestrian and cycle bridge in the 1980s, and with the construction of a third bridge is now partly demolished and used as a fishing pier; it is still producing value after 80 years.
So you can challenge Krugman’s or my moral sense, but I think it is unfair to say it is an uneconomic argument that Krugman lays out, one that ignores opportunity cost. The crucial claim is that the opportunities for the private use of savings can sometimes be very small.

Bala said...

"I am of course suggesting that, during depressions, Governments can and have acted like the philanthropist"

Bad analogy. The philanthropist spends his own resources. Government has no resources that it does not take away from others. The notion of "idle" resources is meaningless because it is for and only for the owner of a resource to decide what is the best use for that resource. This is the principle that maximises the utility of every resource owner. To speak otherwise entails interpersonal utility comparison and is hence conceptual nonsense. That, I guess, is par for the course for the whatever-Keynesian.

Bala said...

"but maybe the best thing anyone was prepared to produce with these idle resources and way better than producing nothing"

Why is producing something better than producing nothing (given that nothing else is stated)? Do I take it that production is for production's sake and not for consumption's sake?

Anonymous said...

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/06/alesina-on-stimulus/?permid=20#comment20

Is "Lord Keynes" right or wrong on the evidence pointing to the efficacy of "fiscal stimulus?"

Anonymous said...

I was the one who posted the "efficacy" argument. I just have to type out, that Paul Krugman is very smug (a**hole) about his "conscience," as judged by the NYTimes ombudsman through PK's way of "pleasing his acolytes," through frankly, being dishonest.

There is probably a good reason, though, because he can get a NYTimes audience with a "circle jerk" AND get controversy as well; too bad the conversation is intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Macroman,
Note the change in terms you put, is "philantropist" and "government" synonymous? Not always!
and assuming that "third party paying," which comprises most government spending and "stimulus," is always beneficial, is a dubious conclusion.

The issue is one of reality and the nature of legislation and the interests that form around them. We still have depression era farm subsidies because people like you miss the critical difference between market and political mechanisms.

A little note about your ignorance on political mechanisms: In the beginning, the bridges like the Bay Bridge were supposed to be "paid up," meaning that there was going to be a "sunset" on tolls, and it NEVER happened. This is not an accident, especially if you can distinguish between political and market forces.

ekeyra said...

Macro,

Why would a billionaire borrow money?

macroman said...

I have to wonder if comparing Hoover's and FDR's deficits as a percentage of the federal budget is a good economic measure. Doing so allows Don Boudreaux to say "no year between 1933 and 1941 under Roosevelt had a deficit that large" (i.e as large as under Hoover, as a percentage of total spending). I think during the 30s conservatives were aghast at the increasing large deficits than FDR produced, not having thought of Boudreaux's devious way of presenting the data. According to a chart given by your bete noir Krugman, the deficit in 1929 was approximately $17 billion, in 1932 $19.5 billion, in 1933 $22 billion and in 1938 $58 billion. Are these figures wrong? I think it was this almost tripling of deficits under FDR, and the increase in spending, that worried his many critics. If these figures are correct then someone should withdraw the statement that Krugman's unfamiliarity with history is disturbing.

Lord Keynes said...

"One of the interesting things I find in the historical accounts of the Great Depression, not to mention what journalists write, is that Herbert Hoover supposedly was a hardcore, laissez-faire believer."

Hoover was a proponent of a type of corporatism, popular among business elites at that time, and he adopted a number of limited interventions from 1929–1933. That doesn't mean Hoover implemented proper, effective countercyclical fiscal policy to end the depression.

"Hoover was well-known as a Progressive and had been outspoken against laissez-faire before becoming president."

That doesn't make him a Keynesian.
On the contrary, he was obsessed with balanced budgets right at the height of the worst yera sof teh contraction:

"Between December 1931 and May 1932 President Hoover released more than twenty statements about “the absolute necessity of a balanced budget,” according to Schlesinger."

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=d1if2g1qjQgC&pg=PA89&dq=hoover+wanted+to+balance+budget+1932&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2nRDT4HvJcaOmQXtyqDICg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=hoover%20wanted%20to%20balance%20budget%201932&f=false

E.g., in 1931, one of the largest spending programs - the Veterans’ Bonus Bill - was passed over Hoover’s strong objections.

William L. Anderson said...

Yes, macroman, the police in the USA are kind, gentle creatures. The policeman is your friend, right?

Most police agencies, state and federal, have SWAT teams and many have military equipment that they are itching to use, even against non-violent people. I would suggest that you read Radley Balko's material on the militarization of American police. Now, I doubt you will read him or you probably will dismiss him as an idiot, since he has done research and you have not.

(I find among a lot of fellow faculty members that they have a strong narrative and all of the research that has been done makes no difference. One guy in political science insisted that there had been no such thing as the Medieval Warming Period. He knew nothing of that time and had done absolutely no research, but he had his narrative and that was good enough for him.)

Likewise, MM has his narrative regarding the police and federal prisons. Having visited people at the local federal prison many times, I can tell you that the reality is MUCH different than what he presents, but, hey, Keynesians don't need anything when they have the narratives.

Zachriel said...

Donald J. Boudreaux: The budget deficits of 1931 and 1932 represented 52.5 percent and 43.3 percent of total federal expenditures.

Um, no.

Hoover actually ran a surplus in 1930, just as the the banking system was collapsing. He ran a small deficit in 1931 because of severely reduced tax receipts, and only in 1932 did he begin to apply a substantial stimulus. He also imposed tariffs, which exacerbated the problem.

In billions$
Year Receipts Outlays Deficit
1930 4,058 3320 738
1931 3,116 3577 -462
1932 1,924 4659 -2735
1933 1,997 4598 -3586

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf
(page 25)

Lawrence J. Kramer said...

Rick Caird wrote:

Somehow, I cannot accept the idea that living within your means is now defined as "austerity".

That's not the issue. The issue is what constitutes a government's "means."

A government's "means" consist of the supply that the government can buy without crowding our private activity. Idle workers are part of the government's "means," if paying them to do something useful improves the nations's physical plant or educates its children or enhances its security and the money printed to pay those workers does not end up "chasing too few goods."

Taxes are not how the government pays for things. Taxes are how the government reduces the money supply after the government has paid for things. Whether it is necessary to reduce the money supply, and by how much, is a monetary issue, not a fiscal one. Indeed, fiscal policy is really just monetary policy continued by other means.

Selling bonds reduces the money supply, and governments do that before they raise taxes. It's only when the government cannot sell bonds at a satisfactory interest rate that the government turns to taxes, as it is always better to reduce the money supply through voluntary action (lending) than coercion (taxation). (Hence, monetary policy continued by taxation.)

If we grasp the notion that a sovereign's "means" are measured in terms of the goods and services it can acquire without causing inflation, and not in terms of its own currency, we will get how we can run a deficit and live within our means at the same time.

American Patriot said...

Borrow, spend, pretend.
Pretend what? Well, all my progressive, know-nothing, friends pretend the same thing: that deficits do not matter!

Yeah, and that is not why people are rioting on the streets of Greece (or occasionally other Euro capitals), right?
Afterall, in the progressive world, there are no consequences (just like there is no opportunity cost, etc.) to one's actions.

Aussie said...

Australia's economy is far from structurally sound. Our stimulus did not save us, the down-turn is still coming as credit expansion is beginning to slow (at least until the last central bank rate drop). Property markets have fallen for at least 12 consecutive months and unemployment is increasing according to data that does not lag (as opposed to govt data). At best we kicked the can down the road a little with stimulus, and our credit markets didn't contract enough previously to warrant a more severe downturn...until perhaps now..

Aussie said...

Australia's economy is far from structurally sound. Our stimulus did not save us, the down-turn is still coming as credit expansion is beginning to slow (at least until the last central bank rate drop). Property markets have fallen for at least 12 consecutive months and unemployment is increasing according to data that does not lag (as opposed to govt data). At best we kicked the can down the road a little with stimulus, and our credit markets didn't contract enough previously to warrant a more severe downturn...until perhaps now..

macroman said...

Prof Anderson,

I was speaking from my knowledge of someone who went to prison in Australia for tax evasion, and another for embezzlement. Maybe the "police state" is not so bad in Australia, which incidentally seems to be a much more of a welfare state than the US.

But given that federal prisons in the US are bad (I'll take your word for it), is it as bad as being robbed at gunpoint, where death and injury is a distinct possibility. I am not arguing about prison systems; I am arguing about the silly, unthinking, emotional comparison of taxation to armed robbery.

We all know what taxation is, and that the government takes our money. We know how much it affects us, and we know what we get in return from the government and whether we think it is worth it. A good argument doesn't resort to imaginary, exaggerated fears via an emotional misleading analogy.

To repeat: armed robbery is all downside, money is taken, you may die; with taxation money is taken, and just about everything else about is is a plus to weigh against that negative, so the harm is mitigated. They are not equivalent.

macroman said...

Ekeyra, A billionaire would borrow money because the interest rate is low.

But I think you and others are on the wrong track in your responses to the example. We all accept that a private individual can produce something, by using idle resources, don't we? So why can't a government put idle resources to work? I understand that you think a private person can build a bridge or a road better than the government, but even if that is true, when the economy is so depressed that private individuals are reluctant to invest in anything (so there is no crowding out by government borrowing), the government can produce something (a new bridge not as good as your ideal private bridge) rather than nothing: "half a loaf is better than none".

And the bridge may well have general city-wide or county-wide, benefits; like reducing air pollution per ton transported, which reduces everyone's health costs; like improving traffic flows and reducing travel times over the entire road network.

I like the Golden Gate Bridge example. The Bay Area counties were lucky to have a project ready to go in 1930 (it had been in planning since the early twenties). Of course many said "private people are tightening their belts, so should the government" but the bond measure did pass by referendum (maybe those Statists thought, now is precisely the time to borrow when interest rates are low and workers are begging for work). Anyway the bonds were paid back by toll revenue, the last payment being in the late sixties or early seventies. (That next generation we all agonize over, in this case taxpayers of the 50s and 60s, those actually using the bridge, had that debt hanging over them). I suggest the indirect benefits of the bridge were spread wider than the counties which took the risk.

I think it would be a good idea if State infrastructure planing goes on all the time (it does to some extent) so there are good projects ready to good in recessions.

macroman said...

Prof Anderson,

"The policeman is your friend, right?" Sarcasm I assume.

I am curious as to what you tell your children about the policeman? Your children may get lost in the crowd, at the county fair say, you advise them to ask a policeman for help?

Mike Cheel said...

Here is an interesting tidbit: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0220/Presidents-Day-trivia-Who-were-the-10-richest-US-presidents/Franklin-D.-Roosevelt-60-million

60 million dollars when he was president.

Mike Cheel said...

And speak of the devil...

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0220/Presidents-Day-trivia-Who-were-the-10-richest-US-presidents/Herbert-Hoover-75-million

Number 8. Not exactly against helping the wealthy elite I imagine.

William L. Anderson said...

In answering MM's question about what I tell my children, I tell them to be respectful of the police and not to smart-mouth them. However, I also remind them that they are dealing with people who are armed and dangerous and can legally kill them for no good reason.

Furthermore, in the past, police in this country were trained to diffuse tense situations and to be a calming influence whenever possible. Today, however, they are trained to "dominate the situation" and that usually means escalating things. Because of the modern emphasis upon domination and intimidation, the police are much more likely today to act violently.

Will Grigg has documented a number of situations in which people called the police for help and the police responded by making things worse. MM can defend this if he wants, but I certainly won't do it. I have seen too much and will tell you that I have no confidence in the police EVER to do the right thing.

ekeyra said...

Macro,

"To repeat: armed robbery is all downside, money is taken, you may die; with taxation money is taken, and just about everything else about is is a plus to weigh against that negative, so the harm is mitigated. They are not equivalent."

Id like to just save this one. I think its special. So if I stuck a gun in your face and demanded money, then went out and bought you a car with that money, you wouldnt consider that insane or even the least bit offensive as long as you got something out of the deal when it was all over?

Werent you the same guy who asked if austrians would give up freedom for more material wealth?

Wow what happened to you as a kid?

Zachriel said...

William L. Anderson: However, I also remind them that they are dealing with people who are armed and dangerous and can legally kill them for no good reason.

Wow. Just wow.

William L. Anderson said...

What is your problem with that statement, Zachriel? Are you saying it is not true? The vast majority of police shootings are upheld, including many shootings of unarmed people.

I do find it quite interesting that the pro-Keynesian posters also are the most pro-police. As I said before, I show respect toward police officers and tell my children to do the same, but they need to be cautious because cops have a license to kill. Like it or not, that is the truth, despite what the Keynesians might claim.

Zachriel said...

William L. Anderson: The vast majority of police shootings are upheld, including many shootings of unarmed people.

Meaning there is a review process, and they do have to have a reason. Police certainly do make mistakes, there are systematic problems, and some people simply shouldn't by police officers, but the vast majority of police in developed countries take their responsibilities to the public seriously. Police do need to be held responsible for their actions, and the more transparency the better. However, claiming they can legally kill without reason is an exaggeration, at best.

William L. Anderson said...

I would invite readers to look at the following link that lists incident after incident of police brutality, and many of these egregious actions went unpunished:

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

Granted, I am sure that the Keynesians will support it because, after all, all of these brutal actions result in more money being spent, so that they "stimulate" the economy.

William L. Anderson said...

Look at the numerous police killings and then see how many times that these homicides either were ignored by authorities or juries acquitted the cops even when the killings clearly were unjustified.

I think that Zachriel gives a window into the mentality that police should be given a special dispensation to kill. Now, when private citizens kill under similar circumstances, they go to prison; when police do it, they are excused.

This is more of the mentality that has been foisted upon us by more than a century of "Progressivism."

Zachriel said...

William L. Anderson: I would invite readers to look at the following link that lists incident after incident of police brutality, and many of these egregious actions went unpunished

Without going through the entire list, it seems most were investigated, and many were punished. This contradicts your claim that the police "can legally kill them for no good reason."

Interesting how they never report the houses that don't burn down.

William L. Anderson: Granted, I am sure that the Keynesians will support it because, after all, all of these brutal actions result in more money being spent, so that they "stimulate" the economy.

Not necessarily a Keynesian, but we are against police brutality. There are systematic problems with many police departments that should be addressed.

Zachriel said...

William L. Anderson: In answering MM's question about what I tell my children, I tell them to be respectful of the police and not to smart-mouth them. However, I also remind them that they are dealing with people who are armed and dangerous and can legally kill them for no good reason.

Sounds like you and your children could benefit by visiting the local police station to meet the people who work there. Most of them are just working stiffs attempting to do their jobs the best they can, often under trying circumstances.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

Without going through the entire list, it seems most were investigated, and many were punished.

Define "punish and define "many".

This contradicts your claim that the police "can legally kill them for no good reason."

Not until you define what you mean by "punish" and "many."

If you were honest, if you didn't engage in vague hand wavey verbiage, then you would know that the majority of cops who kill people get "punished" by going on paid leave (free money! Oh the horror!), or they are fired (freedom! OMG!), or it gets swept under the rug and they're back on the beat. Only a few go to jail. Don't think I've ever seen a police officer who murders get electric chair like the peons in the citizenry.

Not necessarily a Keynesian, but we are against police brutality. There are systematic problems with many police departments that should be addressed.

Ahhh-ahhhhhh-ahhhhhh-ahhhhhhhhhhh-mennnnnnnnnnn.

"Addressed." By whom? The state's courts? Yeah, the state is totally not incentivized to rule in favor of themselves. They'll disband the state and let the people create their own courts and police.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Define "punish and define "many".

Try a dictionary.

macroman said...

@Anderson: Now, I doubt you will read him [Radley Balko] or you probably will dismiss him as an idiot, since he has done research and you have not.

Prof Anderson,

I watched Radley Balko on youtube discussing the three worst cases of police abuse in 2011, and found him to be entirely reasonable. I appreciate his research and thank you for pointing to him.

Of the three worst cases one was by a lone policeman on the street, not a SWAT team in a house. Since he specifically mentioned that this lone policeman will not face criminal charges, and said nothing about the others, I assume the SWAT teams were held accountable, and may have faced criminal charges. I also assume all three cases were investigated, and for all I know the lone policeman faced disciplinary penalties. In other words, contrary to your assertions, review panels and the court system mean something rather than nothing.

Balko also said the police are now more aware about monitoring themselves, because of the prevalence of video cameras, and things are getting better, but appear to be getting worse because in the past these things were not seen. So he sounds like a reasonable, reformist type. In a real police state wouldn’t Balko be in jail, and videos cameras be banned?

BTW, you keep claiming I support things I don't support, and that I things I don't say. I don't say things are perfect, but I do think you exaggerate. For example I said I think in a Federal prison a tax-evader will not be the worst treated inmate in the all prisons in the US, and that it is not as bad as the worst that can happen to you during an armed robbery, hence for this and other reasons the armed robbery analogy is specious. But I did not say Federal prison was a negligible punishment.

Concerning the police, federal officers, government employees etc, I say there is always need for due process, review, supervision, and improvement and I think constitutional government and democracy is the right way to go about doing this.

macroman said...

@anderson "Granted, I am sure that the Keynesians will support it [police brutality] because, after all, all of these brutal actions result in more money being spent, so that they "stimulate" the economy."

Prof Anderson, Given you are a faculty member at a University, a position usually associated with calm reasoned thinking, don't you think, on reflection, that you should modify or withdraw that statement?

macroman said...

@anderson: "juries acquitted the cops even when the killings clearly were unjustified."

What is your explanation for this? Why do juries, who see and hear all the evidence and the witnesses get it so wrong (all the time?) when it is clear to you?

And what is your proposal to improve things, which seems to me to be the important thing?

macroman said...

@ekeyra if I stuck a gun in your face and demanded money, then went out and bought you a car with that money, you wouldnt consider that insane or even the least bit offensive

What I said was that I would find this better than having a gun stuck in my face and not getting a car later. It is an exercise in ranking things.

Do you refuse to drive over a government built Interstate Freeway because you find it insane or offensive?

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Define "punish and define "many"."

"Try a dictionary."

The dictionary definitions don't hold for the majority of police officers who kill people. The dictionary definition for "punish" requires unpleasant retribution. Paid leave isn't unpleasant. The dictionary definition for "many" require a large or considerable number. A minority of police officers is neither large nor considerable.

How are you defining "punish" and "many"? Clearly you're not using the typical dictionary definitions.

Major_Freedom said...

macroman:

@anderson "Granted, I am sure that the Keynesians will support it [police brutality] because, after all, all of these brutal actions result in more money being spent, so that they "stimulate" the economy.

Prof Anderson, Given you are a faculty member at a University, a position usually associated with calm reasoned thinking, don't you think, on reflection, that you should modify or withdraw that statement?

You're in no position to judge anyone at any university. You don't have the intellectual wherewithal, let alone the moral authority.

That statement is the product of reasoned thinking. It is precisely a faculty at a university who should not be afraid to expose the disgusting roots of any ideology, including Keynesianism.

Take your politically correct cowardice to North Korea where it belongs.

@anderson: "juries acquitted the cops even when the killings clearly were unjustified.

What is your explanation for this? Why do juries, who see and hear all the evidence and the witnesses get it so wrong (all the time?) when it is clear to you?

Jury tampering, biased jury selection, intimidating judges, flawed legal system, mandatory jury duty, brainwashed jurors, there are all sorts of reasons why a jury would acquit police officers who kill people.

And nobody said it is all the time, BTW.

And what is your proposal to improve things, which seems to me to be the important thing?

Lawrence J. Kramer said...

"In a real police state wouldn’t Balko be in jail, and videos cameras be banned?"

No. He'd be killed for no good reason. Like anyone who had the temerity to say that such a possibility exists.

ekeyra said...

Dear bags of douche,

America imprisons the largest number of its own citizens, per capita, and in absolute numbers, than any other in history. And you have the balls and lack of awareness to say we arent living in a police state?

Take a good long look in the mirror because everytime you shrug and say "it could be worse", you ARE making it worse.

...assholes.

mick said...

Those that don't think we are living in an ever increasing police state, and those that think that most police are generally "good people" and just "doing the best they can" are quite naive.


*Note: my experience is mostly with US law enforcement

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: The dictionary definitions don't hold for the majority of police officers who kill people.

Such shootings are often justified, for instance, an armed bank robber. You don't punish officers for doing their duty to protect the public. Certainly, some cases of police brutality are left unpunished, but in the list provided, many alleged cases were brought before juries to hear the evidence and decide, with some convicted.

Major_Freedom: Take your politically correct cowardice to North Korea where it belongs.

Heh. You're funny.

Major_Freedom: Jury tampering, biased jury selection, intimidating judges, flawed legal system, mandatory jury duty, brainwashed jurors, there are all sorts of reasons why a jury would acquit police officers who kill people.

And sometimes because the jury finds the evidence doesn't support the charge.

It's not a perfect system, by any means. But saying that police can "legally kill them for no good reason" is not a supportable statement.

ekeyra: America imprisons the largest number of its own citizens, per capita, and in absolute numbers, than any other in history.

Far too many people are imprisoned in the U.S., especially due to the so-called war on drugs. However, other developed countries have very similar systems of police and punishment, but much lower rates of incarceration, so the issues do not seem to be directly correlated.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: America imprisons the largest number of its own citizens, per capita, and in absolute numbers, than any other in history. And you have the balls and lack of awareness to say we arent living in a police state?

Police state, "a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures".

The U.S. is far from being a police state. The vast majority of U.S. citizens rarely interact with the police, or have reason to. However, there are a number of problems that need to be addressed. As you pointed out, the number of incarcerated is very high. There are also problems with official racism, national security blending into local policing, and weakening of civil liberty protections. The U.S. tends to conservatism, though, as is typical for a great and waning power, so there is little political pressure against these trends.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

Major_Freedom: The dictionary definitions don't hold for the majority of police officers who kill people.

Such shootings are often justified, for instance, an armed bank robber.

Such shootings are often not justified. It is those shootings that are being considered here. But nice red herring. It almost succeeded in derailing yet another discussion.

Major_Freedom: Take your politically correct cowardice to North Korea where it belongs.

Heh. You're funny.

You're not. You're so not funny that you refer to yourself as "we."

Major_Freedom: Jury tampering, biased jury selection, intimidating judges, flawed legal system, mandatory jury duty, brainwashed jurors, there are all sorts of reasons why a jury would acquit police officers who kill people.

And sometimes because the jury finds the evidence doesn't support the charge.

Yeah another red herring!

It's not a perfect system, by any means. But saying that police can "legally kill them for no good reason" is not a supportable statement.

Sure it is. When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder.

Now in the US it is de jure murder. The executive can now assassinate any American they want without trial or jury or lawyer or due process.

It is because of statists like you who are relentless in calling for more government, more government, more government, over and over and over again, that is turning this country into a fascist police state. I hope you're proud of yourselves.

ekeyra: America imprisons the largest number of its own citizens, per capita, and in absolute numbers, than any other in history.

Far too many people are imprisoned in the U.S., especially due to the so-called war on drugs. However, other developed countries have very similar systems of police and punishment, but much lower rates of incarceration, so the issues do not seem to be directly correlated.

You can't compare different countries. In the US, a HUGE number of incarcerated people are there because of simple drug possession. Racist cops target black people and use the drug war excuse to lock them up.

Your reluctant admission of the injustice of people being locked up in the US, before quickly moving to distract attention to other developed countries, is obvious.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

ekeyra: America imprisons the largest number of its own citizens, per capita, and in absolute numbers, than any other in history. And you have the balls and lack of awareness to say we arent living in a police state?

Police state, "a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures".

The U.S. is far from being a police state.

On the contrary, that definition fits the description of the US. The police do in fact exercise arbitrary power, we do in fact have an extra-legal secret police in the NDAA, and we do in fact have a repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life.

And all while this is happening, morons like you are denying it, and calling for more government, using the excuse that we're not Nazi Germany yet, we're not Nazi Germany yet, we're not Nazi Germany yet...getting closer and closer and closer to it.

ekeyra said...

zach,

"a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures".

So lets see, we have drone strikes, indefinite detention, "enhanced" interrogation techniques, increasing police hostility toward citizen filming them while at the same time greatly increasing the surveillance capabilities of all levels of government, intrusive laws that regulate every aspect of your life including when you go to the bathroom and when you change a lightbulb...


You want to be willfully ignorant of economics and blabber thats fine. You want to tell me we arent living under a totalitarian government just because it hasnt personally affected you yet, im going to tell you to take your head out of your ass.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Such shootings are often not justified.

Yes, there is no doubt that sometimes official shootings are not justified. And sometimes, the perpetrators of crimes go unpunished.

Major_Freedom: It is those shootings that are being considered here.

They are a small minority of all police shootings. You had said,

Major_Freedom: The dictionary definitions don't hold for the majority of police officers who kill people.

Your statement wasn't clear. Many shootings are justified. Sometimes it's not clear, or police simply made mistakes, but acted in good faith. And often, police will be injured or killed trying to protect the public.

Major_Freedom: When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder.

The information provided thus far doesn't support the claim. Of the allegations, the cases had varying degrees of culpability. Many were brought to trial. After a review of the evidence, juries were not always convinced. Many cases resulted in administrative punishment, criminal conviction and/or civil liability.

Major_Freedom: Now in the US it is de jure murder. The executive can now assassinate any American they want without trial or jury or lawyer or due process.

All governments have the right of self-defense. The U.S. Constitution gives great discretion to the executive; for instance, during the First Atomic War.

Major_Freedom: Your reluctant admission of the injustice of people being locked up in the US, ...

Reluctance? The U.S. has many problems they need to address, and it is right to rail against injustice. It is not right to make up stuff.

Major_Freedom: On the contrary, that definition fits the description of the US. The police do in fact exercise arbitrary power, we do in fact have an extra-legal secret police in the NDAA, and we do in fact have a repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life.

Yes, and George Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion with force of arms. A slippery slope argument might be defensible, but William L. Anderson's original claim that police can legally kill his children for no good reason is not a defensible position.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: So lets see, we have drone strikes,

There are no drone strikes within the U.S., and drone attackes appear to be directed towards self-defense of the U.S. and its allies. This is something that can certainly be abused, and mistakes can have devastating consequences.

ekeyra: indefinite detention,

Illegal under international law. Prisoners should simply be provided POW status, charged, or released. However, this also appears to be directed at genuine concern for self-defense.

ekeyra: "enhanced" interrogation techniques,

Certainly illegal under international law. The U.S. has stopped its worst abuses in this regard, but there has been no accountability for past actions. Nevertheless, this also appears to be directed towards self-defense of the U.S. and its allies.

ekeyra: increasing police hostility toward citizen filming them

It always takes time to adjust to the new technology. New laws are already being proposed to safeguard the right to record police in public.

ekeyra: while at the same time greatly increasing the surveillance capabilities of all levels of government,

Yes. But many people support public surveillance when they see the benefit when it comes to catching crooks. There need to be safeguards, though, and new laws are being proposed for this too.

ekeyra: intrusive laws that regulate every aspect of your life including when you go to the bathroom and when you change a lightbulb...


Ah, your real complaint. You don't like those newfangled light bulbs.

While there is certainly cause for concern with most of your points, this is far from representing a police state, but rather a historically typical tension between the various powers, individual, corporate and government, that comprise a democratic society.

macroman said...

Prof Anderson,

Although you told me what you tell your children about the police, you didn't really answer my question. I am still wondering if, when your children are lost in a large crowd, should they ask help from the police, who you say can legally kill them for no reason? Or should they keep as far away from these potential murderers as possible.

ekeyra said...

Zach,

I can see your a waste of time. That will be all.

ekeyra said...

macro,

"What I said was that I would find this better than having a gun stuck in my face and not getting a car later. It is an exercise in ranking things."

Oh a lesson in individual subjective valuations was it? Coming from you thats pretty fucking hilarious.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

Major_Freedom: Such shootings are often not justified.

Yes, there is no doubt that sometimes official shootings are not justified. And sometimes, the perpetrators of crimes go unpunished.

It's not "sometimes." It's the majority of times. Even those cases that are videotaped and put on youtube, the police usually go on paid leave rather than in jail. That's not even including the ones that aren't videotaped.

Major_Freedom: It is those shootings that are being considered here.

They are a small minority of all police shootings.

I'm not talking about percentage of unjust shootings as a relation to total shootings.

Major_Freedom: The dictionary definitions don't hold for the majority of police officers who kill people.

Your statement wasn't clear. Many shootings are justified. Sometimes it's not clear, or police simply made mistakes, but acted in good faith. And often, police will be injured or killed trying to protect the public.

Most unjust killings get the police paid leave, not jail.

Major_Freedom: When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder.

The information provided thus far doesn't support the claim.

Oh NOW you want information, AFTER you yourself have made all sorts of allegations about how many police officers do this and that?

The information thus far proves you wrong. Any simple Google search can get you the statistics.

Major_Freedom: Now in the US it is de jure murder. The executive can now assassinate any American they want without trial or jury or lawyer or due process.

All governments have the right of self-defense.

They're not defending, they're attacking.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

The U.S. Constitution gives great discretion to the executive; for instance, during the First Atomic War.

It does not give the power to assassinate Americans without due process. That is in the Constitution that you don't read.

Major_Freedom: Your reluctant admission of the injustice of people being locked up in the US,

Reluctance?

Yes, reluctance. It's all over your passive wording.

The U.S. has many problems they need to address, and it is right to rail against injustice. It is not right to make up stuff.

Then stop making stuff up.

Major_Freedom: On the contrary, that definition fits the description of the US. The police do in fact exercise arbitrary power, we do in fact have an extra-legal secret police in the NDAA, and we do in fact have a repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life.

Yes

So you admit you were wrong about the US not being a police state?

William L. Anderson's original claim that police can legally kill his children for no good reason is not a defensible position.

"No good reason" is proof you need an escape clause in keeping things undefined so that you can wriggle your way out of your fallacious beliefs.

Who determines if the reason for why the executive kills people is "good" or "bad"? The executive of course!! And there you are like a moron totally oblivious to why that could perhaps maybe sort of be a problem.

Your religion towards the state is so deep you will even support assassinating Americans without trial or lawyer or due process, with the "reason" for assassinating being up the very people doing the killing. You're not only unintelligent, you not only have a terrible memory, but you're also a social degenerate and a danger to peaceful and civilized society.

Yes, Anderson's claim is a defensible position. The NDAA has given the executive the authority to kill any American they want, without even having to provide evidence of guilt. All they need to do is label someone a terrorist, and that's it, it's game over.

No, the executive's reasons are not by definition good reasons.

You are so ignorant about something so important that you really ought to do some serious self-reflection (remember that?). It's people like you that make the world a worse place.

Imagine 100 years ago if you told someone you supported the executive killing anyone they want without due process, provided the executive believes it has a good enough reason to do it. You'd be branded a fascist. Now you're just another sheep in the herd.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

While there is certainly cause for concern with most of your points

There you go again with the reluctant, passive voice.

this is far from representing a police state

It is not far. All the attributes of a police state are present in the US.

Anonymous said...

Zachriel, macroman,ust take a look at this blog:

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com

It contains a ton of links to stories of police brutality.

macroman said...

Ekeyra, Yes, I am a great believer of the subjective theory of value. Here is a individual subjective valuation question for you. Which of the following two things is better than the other?


1. The government takes your money in taxes and never builds any public works (say all the money goes to secret bank accounts in Switzerland)

2. The government takes the same taxes from you and builds an interstate freeway system, or a bridge, or a sewer, or a water-supply system, which you can use.


When you answer, as everyone would, that the second option is better than the first, you may start to see why, other things being equal, taxation is not as bad as robbery, and the frequent arguments on this blog that claim it is, and add in emotional terms like beatings and rape, are specious.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder.

Please substantiate the claim that after "murdering people", the harshest punishment the majority of police receive is paid leave.

murder, unlawful premeditated killing.

Major_Freedom: The information thus far proves you wrong. Any simple Google search can get you the statistics.

Good. Then it should be easy for you to provide an authoritative source.

Major_Freedom: It does not give the power to assassinate Americans without due process.

No. But it does give the President powers as Commander-in-Chief to kill enemies of the U.S. Hence, there is a tension between the various requirements.

Major_Freedom: Imagine 100 years ago if you told someone you supported the executive killing anyone they want without due process, provided the executive believes it has a good enough reason to do it.

We don't support such power, and a slippery slope argument may be convincing, but no one is making that argument.

Zachriel said...

Anonymous: Zachriel, macroman,ust take a look at this blog:
http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com
It contains a ton of links to stories of police brutality.


"The plural of anecdote is not data."

The top post discusses the tension between the right of a citizen to protect themselves in their home, and the concern police have of not being shot when executing a legal warrant.

In any case, there are a lot of abuses in the U.S. Some are particular to the circumstance, some are systematic. There will always be tension between the concerns of the various parties, as shown on that post, which depicts an open airing of concerns before the passage of legislation addressing the issue.

Again, we don't deny that police brutality occurs, and some systematic problems allow brutality to fester. However, that is a far cry from saying the U.S. is a police state.

With regards to many posters on this blog, it is clear they consider any government, even modern democratic governments to be tyranny. As such, of course they are going to say it's a police state! By their thinking, if there are police, then it's a police state.

ekeyra said...

Macro,

" the government can produce something (a new bridge not as good as your ideal private bridge) rather than nothing"

The alternative to the government-built bridge is not nothing. The alternative is whatever could have been produced with the resources the government appropriated to build a bridge noone would have voluntarily funded.

macroman said...

ekeyra: The alternative to the government-built bridge is not nothing. The alternative is whatever could have been produced with the resources the government appropriated to build a bridge noone would have voluntarily funded.

I have heard of Bastiat, but the point is that in a recession, where there is little to no private investment, there may be no crowding out, or the opportunity cost is very low, so the alternative may be close to nothing. Of course, the free market would not build the Golden Gate bridge, but the low interest loans low 6 counties were able to get in 1930-33 to fund the bridge, and the millions of unemployed workers country-wide, suggests there was little private uses for the resources that produced the bridge.

ekeyra said...

Simply because lines of production were found to be unsustainable, and those assets liquidated, does not mean basic economic laws cease to be.

I know you have an unhealthy obsession with that bridge but it doesn't prove anything. The free market wouldn't have built it. Do you even understand the implications of what that means?

It means noone thought it was important enough to voluntarily devote resources to build it, which means they had a more important use of those resources in mind that did not include building a bridge. All of those possibilities that people would have freely chosen are now unattainable because the resources needed to create them were diverted to build a bridge noone wanted in the first place.

Foisting your subjective values onto other people always leads to bad outcomes.

macroman said...

ekeyra: an unhealthy obsession with that bridge

I wonder if your aversion to "that bridge" is because it is something that a government built which most people approve of now. (By the way the loans were paid back entirely by tolls, but perhaps the time span of 35 years was too long for private enterprise in 1932 to contemplate).

So moving away from the bridge, how about the internet and GPS (both initiated by the military), the Interstate Freeways (also inspired by Eisenhower's military thinking) and the Space Race, even more "wasteful" from one point of view. Although it is easy to attack these things, they did not have zero value as is sometimes asserted by those who want to pay zero taxes.

macroman said...

Ekeyra It means [people] had a more important use of those resources in mind that did not include building a bridge. All of those possibilities that people would have freely chosen are now unattainable because the resources needed to create them were diverted to build a bridge noone wanted in the first place.

I use the Golden Gate Bridge example because it was built in the 1930s; the widespread existence of idle resources may indeed make a big difference. Your "crowding out" argument, and Anderson's "opportunity cost" argument, is fine in normal times but perhaps not in the 1930s and now.

Let's say the resources to build the bridge were 1) lots of private savings 2) labor 3) lots of steel and concrete.
Each of these was voluntarily "diverted" to building the bridge. 1) Those with savings in 1933 were desperately looking for somewhere safe to put their money and purchased the bonds at low interest rates; private entrepreneurs were not offering alternative investments with similar safety. 2) The workers applied for the jobs. 3) The steel and cement was sold to the construction effort.

It is also wrong to say "noone wanted [the bridge] in the first place". Planning for the bridge started in the early twenties. The bond issues were approved by referendum in the early1930s. Clearly many people did want the bridge.

ekeyra said...

Macro,

1. Its hard to characterize an exchange where a government and a lender agree to put taxpayers on the hook for money they would not have borrowed on their own, and will later be collected with threats of violence, as voluntary.

2. No circumstances exists that negate the law of oppurtunity costs. No matter how much you really really want them to go away.

3 Fine poor choice of words on my part saying "noone" wanted it. Obviously a few people directly benefited, but you still miss my entire point. If there were not enough people who would have funded the bridge voluntarily to make it profitable enough for private entities to be interested, what sense does it make FORCING people to fund it anyway? Is the government everyone's parent, making sure they do whats "best" instead of what they want to do?
Even if they could somehow determine what the "best" course of action is for everyone on earth that still would not give them the authority to force otherwise peaceful people to participate in or fund their programs.

macroman said...

ekeyra: No circumstances exists that negate the law of oppurtunity costs. No matter how much you really really want them to go away.

I agree. But there is nothing to say the opportunity cost cannot be close to zero, or at least much less than the net cost of what a government chooses to do.

ekeyra said...

Given that opportunity cost is everything you could have used a resource for but chose not to, in preference of what you did obtain by using it, how could it be different for government or private interests, save for what knowledge they posses?

Id also appreciate answers for 1 and 3 as well.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: No circumstances exists that negate the law of oppurtunity costs. No matter how much you really really want them to go away.

Of course there's an opportunity cost.

ekeyra: If there were not enough people who would have funded the bridge voluntarily to make it profitable enough for private entities to be interested, what sense does it make FORCING people to fund it anyway?

In the case of many large projects, the investment is too large and the time line is too long.

By the way, the counterpart to opportunity cost is opportunity. Countries that invest in large projects; transportation, technology, science; often develop more quickly than those that do not.

ALima said...

Makes what worse?

ALima said...

Hover didn't sit like a lump and FDR did much of the wrong thing, but the both thought that the answer was government which was incorrect and remains so today.

ekeyra said...

zach,

"Countries that invest in large projects; transportation, technology, science; often develop more quickly than those that do not."

So the government is justified in stealing because it knows what is the "best" use of those resources to develop human existence?

You dont think assigning them information that literally noone on the planet can know is perhaps, giving them too much credit? Just maybe?

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: So the government is justified in stealing because it knows what is the "best" use of those resources to develop human existence?

Forming a government, having a legislature, elected under a democratic constitution, levy taxes for community projects isn't considered "stealing".

ekeyra: You dont think assigning them information that literally noone on the planet can know is perhaps, giving them too much credit? Just maybe?

If you mean there is waste in government, then sure. But not all expenditures are wasted, roads, bridges, national defense. You might be able to name a few others.

macroman said...

ekeyra: 3 Fine poor choice of words on my part saying "noone" wanted it. Obviously a few people directly benefited, ...

Do you really want an answer to that? I think it is obvious that more than a few people wanted the bridge and more than a few benefited from it. It did pass a referendum so at least half the voters wanted it. The benefits were wide-spread, not just the benefits to all those that used it and found it worthwhile to pay the toll. Unless you believe there are no externalities at all.

macroman said...

ekeyra: So the government is justified in stealing because it knows what is the "best" use of those resources to develop human existence?

ZachrielForming a government, having a legislature, elected under a democratic constitution, levy taxes for community projects isn't considered "stealing".

Ekeyra, I think we have, many times, and in different ways, shown why taxation is not the same as theft. I can't help but notice that when the economic argument (about the economic effects of government infrastructure spending) starts going badly for you, you switch into the exaggerated 'moral' argument.

ekeyra said...

Macro,

"Ekeyra, I think we have, many times, and in different ways, shown why taxation is not the same as theft."

Youve shown fuck all.

" I can't help but notice that when the economic argument (about the economic effects of government infrastructure spending) starts going badly for you, you switch into the exaggerated 'moral' argument."

When did it start going bad for me? You zach, jg, krugman, continue to ignore the opportunity cost of government action. It is an economic argument regardless of the morality.

Also, zach was answering my question that it WAS ok to force people to fund projects they would not have voluntarily because those projects when carried out by governments achieve things that peaceful voluntary cooperation would not.

He justified the confiscation because he erroneously believes public servants have information that everyone else does not. Namely the CORRECT use of resources to further the development of productive economic activity that everyone else could achieve but lack the will or vision to devote those resources to those ends.

You have yet to answer that question.


Zach,

"If you mean there is waste in government"

No it wasnt. I meant they cannot posses the information needed to make economic decisions, short term or long term because their actions are of political whim instead of voluntary exchange.

"But not all expenditures are wasted, roads, bridges, national defense. You might be able to name a few others."

A bridge does not cease to be a waste by virtue of its mere existence. If there were ends that the means to building a bridge could have satisfied, that were valued more than the bridge and were left unsatisfied after its construction, the bridge is a waste because it satisfies a lower order goal at the cost of resources that could have attained a higher valued goal. Thats not even a moral argument not to steal people's money, its an economic one.

"Forming a government, having a legislature, elected under a democratic constitution, levy taxes for community projects isn't considered "stealing". "

If you make someone pay for it who did not explicitly and voluntarily agree to it, then yes that is stealing.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: Also, {Zachriel} was answering my question that it WAS ok to force people to fund projects they would not have voluntarily because those projects when carried out by governments achieve things that peaceful voluntary cooperation would not.

No. Constitutional democracy is largely considered a legitimate expression of the will of the people.

ekeyra: He justified the confiscation because he erroneously believes public servants have information that everyone else does not.

In an open democracy, that would not be the case. Rather, they represent the collective decision-making of the people as a whole.

ekeyra: Namely the CORRECT use of resources to further the development of productive economic activity that everyone else could achieve but lack the will or vision to devote those resources to those ends.

Markets are not omnicient, omnipotent or infallible. In particular, markets can't address problems with exploitation of the commons, or engage in projects that may have overall benefits for society, but do not create sufficient market incentives to bring to fruition.

ekeyra: I meant they cannot posses the information needed to make economic decisions, short term or long term because their actions are of political whim instead of voluntary exchange.

Concerned Citizens: We move that the town put a traffic light in the intersection that has seen so many accidents of late due to increased traffic.

Elected Counsel: How should we pay for it?

Concerned Citizens: How about a penny tax on bubble gum?

Elected Counsel: We vote yes. The law is enacted.

What you call whim, most people call the normal workings of democratic governance. The information is openly available, the decision making is shared.

ekeyra: If you make someone pay for it who did not explicitly and voluntarily agree to it, then yes that is stealing.

Well, you can redefine terminology to suit yourself, but most people consider constitutional democracy to be a valid expression of the people through government.

ekeyra said...

zach

"it WAS ok to force people to fund projects they would not have voluntarily because those projects when carried out by governments achieve things that peaceful voluntary cooperation would not.

No. Constitutional democracy is largely considered a legitimate expression of the will of the people."

So is individual economic decision making. You still havent shown why collective decisions get to override those.

" In particular, markets can't address problems with exploitation of the commons, or engage in projects that may have overall benefits for society, but do not create sufficient market incentives to bring to fruition."

People willing to pay for a good or service enough to make its production profitable is the ONLY signal that a good or service benefits society. Political signals are not the same as economic signals. This is the very information that governments do not and cannot have.

The rest of your bullshit about collective decision making isnt even worth responding to.

macroman said...

ekeyra: People willing to pay for a good or service enough to make its production profitable is the ONLY signal that a good or service benefits society.

This is an important point. If external effects exist then you are wrong.

Air pollution is the classic example. Nobody likes it. It imposes a cost on everybody, a cost of production that is not reflected in the price of the goods produced, because all the people affected by the pollution cannot charge the producer for what was taken from them (clean air) or the costs imposed on them (health costs for instance). If external effects exist, the market miss-allocates resources, because true costs are ignored (similar to an industry being subsidized by government, the pollution producing industry is being subsidized by everyone suffering from the pollution ).

Market-minded reformers try to address the issue by introducing tradeable pollution permits. Others propose the fixed price pollution tax solution. But somehow or other, if resources are to be allocated more in accordance with the true wishes of people and true costs, polluters must pay for the costs imposed on everybody.

And many people think that tort law is the least efficient way to address the pollution problem.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Constitutional democracy is largely considered a legitimate expression of the will of the people.

ekeyra: So is individual economic decision making.

Sure it is. Modern constitutional democracies include property rights and markets.

ekeyra: You still havent shown why collective decisions get to override those.

Modern democratic constitutions include provisions for both the private and public sphere. They often work to balance on another.

ekeyra: People willing to pay for a good or service enough to make its production profitable is the ONLY signal that a good or service benefits society.

A simple counterexample is pollution. Markets tend to increase pollution, because markets reward the cheapest producer who can often lower costs by dumping their wastes into the air and water.

ekeyra: Political signals are not the same as economic signals.

That's correct. With regards to pollution, the political signals include those who are harmed by pollution, those who are expected to clean up their pollution, as well as people who want development and jobs, but a safe environment to raise children.

Lawrence J. Kramer said...

Does the US Army make a profit? Should it? Or should it exist only to the extent it can get donations? Or protect only those who donate?

How about the fire department? There was a recent case where a fire department actually refused to save a house owned by someone who did not contribute, until the fire threatened to spread to the house of someone who did. Only an idiot would find that approach to public safety sensible.

There is no difference between a bridge and a fire department or a standing army. They are cost centers that benefit the population at large, so the population votes to fund them. Duh.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder.

Please substantiate the claim that after "murdering people", the harshest punishment the majority of police receive is paid leave.

Please substantiate the claim that after murdering people, the majority of police go to jail.

Oh that's right, you can't. Meanwhile, ekeyra gave you a source, and you didn't even respond, for obvious reasons.

Head in the sand.

"Major_Freedom: The information thus far proves you wrong. Any simple Google search can get you the statistics."

Good. Then it should be easy for you to provide an authoritative source.

Yes it would be very easy. So easy in fact, that anyone who can use the internet can do it. Such as, someone who is crazy enough to pluralize themselves.

"Major_Freedom: It does not give the power to assassinate Americans without due process."

No. But it does give the President powers as Commander-in-Chief to kill enemies of the U.S.

Constitution amendment, article and paragraph please.

Hence, there is a tension between the various requirements.

The only tension is the tension statists feel because their worldview is at its core totalitarian, and the existence of laws that limit state power are a barrier. You frame the destruction of that barrier as some sort of favor to all the people not in the state.

"Major_Freedom: Imagine 100 years ago if you told someone you supported the executive killing anyone they want without due process, provided the executive believes it has a good enough reason to do it."

We don't support such power, and a slippery slope argument may be convincing, but no one is making that argument.

We? Who else is there with you? If there's just you, why are you butchering the English language?

ekeyra said...

You two clowns put your heads together and the best you could come up with was pollution?

"And many people think that tort law is the least efficient way to address the pollution problem."

Your specious and unbacked assertion is no reason to eliminate individual dispute resolution as the most viable solution to this problem.

"A simple counterexample is pollution. Markets tend to increase pollution, because markets reward the cheapest producer who can often lower costs by dumping their wastes into the air and water."

Markets would find at exactly what equilibrium people value productivity such that it was worth more than preventing the enviromental damage caused by their actions. People make this decision everyday when they decide to drive instead of walk or bike. It lets people decide how much pollution they are willing to accept to get what they want. There is no collective way to make that decision for everyone. Yet more information that is revealed through voluntary exchanges that the government does not have.

Property rights and individual dispute resolution is still a better solution than letting the government own the air and selling the rights to pollute it.

"That's correct. With regards to pollution, the political signals include those who are harmed by pollution, those who are expected to clean up their pollution, as well as people who want development and jobs, but a safe environment to raise children."

Not everyone votes, but everyone eats. Every single person makes economic decisions. You are on the wrong side of this one.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Please substantiate the claim that after "murdering people", the harshest punishment the majority of police receive is paid leave.

Major_Freedom: Please substantiate the claim that after murdering people, the majority of police go to jail.

In other words, you can't.

Zachriel: Good. Then it should be easy for you to provide an authoritative source.

Major_Freedom: Yes it would be very easy.

In other words, you won't.

Zachriel said...

macroman: And many people think that tort law is the least efficient way to address the pollution problem

ekeyra: Your specious and unbacked assertion ...

Gee whiz, ekeyra. Nearly all developed democracies have passed legislation to limit pollution rather than reply upon tort.

ekeyra: is no reason to eliminate individual dispute resolution as the most viable solution to this problem.

No. We know that doesn't work, because it didn't work. The reason it didn't work is because the harm is widely distributed, and individual harm is difficult to prove. You can show that incidence of lung disease increases due to particulate pollution, for instance, but you can't prove that this particular case of asthma is due to or aggravated by particulate pollution. Furthermore, a large corporation can bring a lot of legal weight to bear on individual cases, making such actions futile.

ekeyra: Markets would find at exactly what equilibrium people value productivity such that it was worth more than preventing the enviromental damage caused by their actions. People make this decision everyday when they decide to drive instead of walk or bike.

You really don't understand the tragedy of the commons? Consider manufacturers in competition. It generally costs money to limit pollution, so if one manufacturer decides to limit pollution, then they are at a competitive disadvantage. They lose market share, and may go out of business.

The only escape is if there is a rule that all manufacturers have to meet, then they can compete on level ground.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: Not everyone votes, but everyone eats.

And everyone breathes.

ekeyra said...

"And everyone breathes."

Still doesnt mean they vote. They do however continue to use their cars to drive to their destinations instead of walking.

Major_Freedom said...

"Major_Freedom: Please substantiate the claim that after murdering people, the majority of police go to jail."

In other words, you can't.

In other words, you can't.

ekeyra already provided you with information. Now you provide your information.

"Major_Freedom: Yes it would be very easy."

In other words, you won't.

In other words, you won't.

You say only a minority of police go on paid/administrative leave, without providing a shred of information. ekeyra provided information to you, and I already referred you to that information.

Then there is ease at which you can research it yourself.

It is far more difficult to find murderous police officers who went to prison.

If anyone should provide evidence here, it is the one making the more extraordinary claim, which is you, not me.

macroman said...

Ekeyra If pollution imposes no harm or cost on people other than the polluter then there is nothing for tort law to concern itself with. So is tort law relevant or not?

If tort law is relevant, if there is external harm, then we could discuss if tort law is the best way to deal with it.

So, does pollution impose a cost on any person or corporation other than the polluter.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Please substantiate the claim that after "murdering people", the harshest punishment the majority of police receive is paid leave.

Major_Freedom: Please substantiate the claim that after murdering people, the majority of police go to jail.

Gee whiz, Major_Freedom, you said "When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder." Now, we ask you to substantiate that claim.

Major_Freedom: ekeyra already provided you with information.

Please point to the post you to which you are referring.

ekeyra said...

Zach

copblock.org

injusticeeverywhere.com

theagitator.com

Thats just a start. Do your homework.

Zachriel said...

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

ekeyra: : injusticeeverywhere.com

Okay. The first item today is an agreed settlement because a police dog jumped out of the police car unbidden and bit the man in the face.

Okay. The next item is a police officer criminally charged with assault and misconduct.

Let's try your other citation.

ekeyra: : theagitator.com

None of the first three current items have anything to do with the topic. The fourth item is about a SWAT team with a valid search warrant invading a home which resulted in no charges being filed. No person was injured, though a dog with reportedly singed with a flash-bang grenade. The complaint is the excessive use of force, something they and others openly discuss.

None of this supports William L. Anderon's contention that police "can legally kill {his children} for no good reason."

Zachriel said...

Investigating your source a bit further, we find this interesting statistical graphic.

http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/?p=3090

A third of officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted, with most serving time. So according to your own source, there is some modicum of due process.

It's important to note that police certainly do sometimes overstep their bounds. Training and accountability is essential to reducing incidents of police brutality.

ekeyra said...

"None of this supports William L. Anderon's contention that police "can legally kill {his children} for no good reason." "

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/aiyana-jones-7-year-old-s_n_578246.html


"A third of officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted, with most serving time. So according to your own source, there is some modicum of due process."

First of all, there is no data on how many police do engage in misconduct and are simply not prosecuted at all. Even taking into account your statistic, that means 2/3 of cops that do something egregious or public enough to warrant pressing charges are still released with no penalty at all. Couple this with the fact that even if their conduct is such that they are not prosecuted but are still fired, most find it easy to find employment in other departments with ease, you have no argument. Nothing. You may as well be bent over and manually moving your asscheeks open and shut, for all the good its doing you.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: Even taking into account your statistic, ...

Um, our reference to the citation was at *your* insistance.

ekeyra: ... that means 2/3 of cops that do something egregious or public enough to warrant pressing charges are still released with no penalty at all.

In a free society, with the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, you shouldn't expect certainty in prosecution. In addition, having a significant chance of being sent to prison is something no one wants to experience, so we can say there is some legal accountability. This is directly contrary to William L. Anderson's contention that police "can legally kill {his children} for no good reason." In fact, police are frequently charged with brutality and related crimes.

Does this mean there shouldn't be improved accountability, training and transparency of policing? Of course not. Police tend to overlook problems within their departments, and are reluctant to properly investigate their own. Police, like other people, sometimes get away with egregious crimes. Other times, wrongful acts are not criminal, but due to ignorance, poor training, or the fog of the situation.

There are numerous problems in policing, and it is important for citizen groups to continue to bring cases of police abuse into the sunlight. It's part of the process.

ekeyra said...

"In a free society, with the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, you shouldn't expect certainty in prosecution."

If you think thats the country you live in you havent been paying attention.

They dont bring problems with the police "into the sunlight" you jackass. They have to bring them to the police department that caused the problem in the first place.

Maybe it would help you if you ever took a minute and sat down and thought about what happens when the complaint department is not only armed, but can take you into custody, while trying to file your complaint.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: If you think thats the country you live in you havent been paying attention.

We were talking of America. And yes, there is the rule of law there, as imperfect as it is.

ekeyra: They dont bring problems with the police "into the sunlight" ... They have to bring them to the police department that caused the problem in the first place.

"They"? You mean people who expose instances of police abuses, such as Injustice Everywhere? Bringing
such abuses to the local authorities is important, but not sufficient. As we mentioned, police tend to overlook problems within their departments, and are reluctant to properly investigate their own. That means bringing problems into the light of day so the public becomes aware of the problem and can exert political pressure for accountability and reform.

"They"? You mean people who are making the complaint? They certainly can make the complaint. If they don't trust the local police department, they can take their case to the judge, the federal government, a newspaper, or have their lawyer file the complaint, which they often do, even when the evidence of abuse is questionable.

Your own citations support this with many instances of such complaints being filed, investigated, prosecuted and convicted. But this is all after the fact, and certainly many crimes are never investigated, much less prosecuted. Instead of reacting to police abuses, it's best to prevent them, again, through better training, transparency and accountability.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Please substantiate the claim that after murdering people, the majority of police go to jail."

Gee whiz, Major_Freedom, you said "When you see the majority of police officers go on paid leave after they murder people, is de facto legal murder." Now, we ask you to substantiate that claim.

Gee whiz, Zachriel, you said the majority of police officers are punished after they murder people. Now I am asking you to substantiate that claim.

"Major_Freedom: ekeyra already provided you with information."

Please point to the post you to which you are referring.

CTRL-F the name "ekeyra", then click next, next, next until you reach it.

Zachriel said...

Major_Freedom: Zachriel, you said the majority of police officers are punished after they murder people.

We said that, according to the source provided by ekeyra, a third of officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted, with most serving time.
http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/?p=3090

ekeyra said...

Zach,

I dont know if you are aware of this but 1/3 does not make a majority.

Additionally, you have no data on how many officers engaged in misconduct and were found to have "followed department procedure" or were "cleared of wrongdoing".

Im sure i mentioned prof anderson's other blog on not only police misconduct, but misconduct at EVERY level of our justice system, from prosecutors to judges. Try reading more than the first page.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

"Major_Freedom: Zachriel, you said the majority of police officers are punished after they murder people."

We said that, according to the source provided by ekeyra, a third of officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted, with most serving time.
http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/?p=3090


Which proves you wrong. "Most of 33%" is not a majority. It's a minority. I am right.

Zachriel said...

ekeyra: I dont know if you are aware of this but 1/3 does not make a majority.

No, it isn't. Nor did we say a majority of "officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted."

ekeyra: Additionally, you have no data on how many officers engaged in misconduct and were found to have "followed department procedure" or were "cleared of wrongdoing".

No, nor did we make the claim that police can legally kill people "for no good reason." The evidence we have provided, the evidence you have provided, indicate that there is some degree of accountability. That doesn't mean some criminals don't avoid punishment, or that there isn't injustice. Far from it.

Major_Freedom said...

Zachriel:

ekeyra: I dont know if you are aware of this but 1/3 does not make a majority.

No, it isn't. Nor did we say a majority of "officers charged with criminal misconduct are convicted."

Yes, you did say that when you said "a majority of police officers who murder people are not punished" is not true. If it's not true, then it must be false. If it's false, then it must be the case that the majority of police officers who murder people are punished for it.

No, nor did we make the claim that police can legally kill people "for no good reason."

What is a "good reason" to you, is no good reason to a reasonable person.