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  1. #21
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It is inconsistent because not all people agree on what services the government should provide. There is no absolute truth as to what services the government should provide. In fact, the services government provides has changed over time, and it will continue to change as society evolves.
    You are missing the point. I am saying that it is not inconsistent because there is a coherent PHILOSOPHY behind the ideology he is decrying. There is NOTHING inconsistent with a libertarian saying "the government should do this, but not do that." That is what clowns like this guy try to do: lamely attempt to yell "hypocrite!" at everyone who wants the government only to do what they think it should. He is so narrow-minded politically that he can only imagine someone would want limited government for selfish benefit, since he can't understand the principles involved.


    Someone could hold all the same ideals as libertarians, except believe universal health care should be provided just as fire protection is provided. Would this person be a libertarian? Or would you call that person a communist?
    Everything BUT universal health care? That is an oddball example, but I would say that person is a libertarian. At least libertarian-ish. Frankly, most libertarians I know would rather have single-payer than Obamacare/Medicare/Medicaid. The government already spends about half of each dollar spent on health care as it is. It would be simpler, anyway. Of course, we'd rather have a free market in health care than anything. The delineation, though, is that there are some things (like national defense) that you really can't provide for one paying user without providing for everyone. The free rider problem is too great, IMO. Some anarcho-capitalists disagree. Mad off-topic, though.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #22
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Fair enough. I guess my question would be if periodic collapses of corporations (and perhaps industries) would be a net overall win or not. I think it's possible individual corporations might on the whole be smaller in such an environment, so any single one failing would do less damage. But I don't see anything to prevent speculative bubbles or cascading failures in such a system (not that we entirely avoid such things currently).
    We've already tried it. I doesn't necessarily lead to smaller corporations. In some cases, it leads to larger ones (Standard Oil).
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #23
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    We've already tried it. I doesn't necessarily lead to smaller corporations. In some cases, it leads to larger ones (Standard Oil).
    True. I was still assuming basic anti-monopoly laws, I suppose (those I think many libertarians would support, since a monopoly by it's nature prevents economic freedom in the sphere of the monopoly). I have a hard time seeing how libertarian ideas would scale up in practice, given human nature. (Not to run down anyone's belief system, I just have a hard time visualizing how it would all work.)

  4. #24
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You are missing the point. I am saying that it is not inconsistent because there is a coherent PHILOSOPHY behind the ideology he is decrying. There is NOTHING inconsistent with a libertarian saying "the government should do this, but not do that." That is what clowns like this guy try to do: lamely attempt to yell "hypocrite!" at everyone who wants the government only to do what they think it should. He is so narrow-minded politically that he can only imagine someone would want limited government for selfish benefit, since he can't understand the principles involved.
    I'm not missing the point. I think the point is without merit. Where someone stands on the spectrum of services government should provide is arbitrary. When an individual's ideology is based on the premise that it is an absolute, their arguments lack merit.

    Everything BUT universal health care? That is an oddball example, but I would say that person is a libertarian. At least libertarian-ish. Frankly, most libertarians I know would rather have single-payer than Obamacare/Medicare/Medicaid. The government already spends about half of each dollar spent on health care as it is. It would be simpler, anyway. Of course, we'd rather have a free market in health care than anything. The delineation, though, is that there are some things (like national defense) that you really can't provide for one paying user without providing for everyone. The free rider problem is too great, IMO. Some anarcho-capitalists disagree. Mad off-topic, though.
    Oddball? I thought it was appropriate. I could make all kinds of arguments in favor of it from a libertarian perspective. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the recent health care bill, I'm talking about the concept in general.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    We've already tried it. I doesn't necessarily lead to smaller corporations. In some cases, it leads to larger ones (Standard Oil).
    Which is not a bad thing in every way. The price of gasoline and oil fell dramatically while Standard Oil dominated the industry. The common man wasn't the one agitating to have them broken up. It was potential competitors and the railroad companies who were being forced to accept really poor terms on transporting their material. Dominance of an industry is not necessarily bad for customers.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  6. #26
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    True. I was still assuming basic anti-monopoly laws, I suppose (those I think many libertarians would support, since a monopoly by it's nature prevents economic freedom in the sphere of the monopoly). I have a hard time seeing how libertarian ideas would scale up in practice, given human nature. (Not to run down anyone's belief system, I just have a hard time visualizing how it would all work.)
    Libertarians are against anti-monopoly laws, unless it's a government monopoly (like the printing of currency). They generally believe that a "free market" will naturally prevent monopolies. Unfortunately, it's impossible to create a free market where this happens in practice. People always find loopholes.

    I don't have a problem with libertarian ideals, in fact I find some of them to be quite valuable. It's the application of those ideals that's usually the problem. One false premise that often leads to misapplication is the idea that humans are rational calculators.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #27
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm not missing the point. I think the point is without merit. Where someone stands on the spectrum of services government should provide is arbitrary. When an individual's ideology is based on the premise that it is an absolute, their arguments lack merit.
    But it's not an absolute, except for anarcho-capitalists. I don't see Murray Rothbard out there at Tea Party protests, do you? Other than anarchos and totalitarians, EVERYONE has an arbitrary limit on what they think the government should do. That doesn't mean that arbitrary limit is right or wrong. That is what I am saying. This guy wants to make people into hypocrites because they want the government to do some things and not others. EVERYONE does that, not just libertarians or Tea Partiers. He's wrong.


    Oddball? I thought it was appropriate. I could make all kinds of arguments in favor of it from a libertarian perspective. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the recent health care bill, I'm talking about the concept in general.
    I think it would be an oddball thing for someone who is a libertarian in all other areas to be a fan of, but he/she would still be a libertarian in all other areas. I am a big tent type of guy. You don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #28
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Which is not a bad thing in every way. The price of gasoline and oil fell dramatically while Standard Oil dominated the industry. The common man wasn't the one agitating to have them broken up. It was potential competitors and the railroad companies who were being forced to accept really poor terms on transporting their material. Dominance of an industry is not necessarily bad for customers.
    The fact that the price of gasoline fell is not evidence that Standard Oil's market share benefited society. We don't know what the price of kerosene and gasoline would have been if Standard Oil's share was much smaller.

    No, dominance of an industry is not necessarily bad for consumers, but distribution of power (rather than concentration of power) is a libertarian ideal. Standard Oil was an immense concentration of power. If it wasn't for the fact that Rockefeller had such a strong moral foundation (especially compared to today's terms), the story of Standard Oil would probably be much worse.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #29
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    True. I was still assuming basic anti-monopoly laws, I suppose (those I think many libertarians would support, since a monopoly by it's nature prevents economic freedom in the sphere of the monopoly). I have a hard time seeing how libertarian ideas would scale up in practice, given human nature. (Not to run down anyone's belief system, I just have a hard time visualizing how it would all work.)
    Society would be quite different, definitely. Most libertarians are willing to accept some anti-monopoly laws (Lateralus is wrong here), if there are major barriers of entry to an industry. However, we also think most barriers of entry lead back to government at some point, so a truly free market should remove them anyway. Also, Lateralus is wrong that we believe that a free market would always prevent monopolies. They usually will, but a monopoly is not always and everywhere bad. A monopoly (or monopsony) is only bad when they can start to charge a monopoly price (or vice versa, in a monopsony).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #30
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    But it's not an absolute, except for anarcho-capitalists. I don't see Murray Rothbard out there at Tea Party protests, do you? Other than anarchos and totalitarians, EVERYONE has an arbitrary limit on what they think the government should do. That doesn't mean that arbitrary limit is right or wrong. That is what I am saying. This guy wants to make people into hypocrites because they want the government to do some things and not others. EVERYONE does that, not just libertarians or Tea Partiers. He's wrong.
    This is another case where I think you're projecting. You might not believe it's an absolute, but many libertarians DO believe it's an absolute, and it's not just the Murray Rothbard camp.

    I don't think I'll get you to understand why I believe the author's statement was not incorrect.

    I think it would be an oddball thing for someone who is a libertarian in all other areas to be a fan of, but he/she would still be a libertarian in all other areas. I am a big tent type of guy. You don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.
    Think about how much economic productivity is lost due to the current health care system. It's immeasurable.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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