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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    My biggest beef with libertarianism is the idea that humans are rational calculators, and how so many policies are based upon that flawed premise. Humans are sometimes rational on an individual level, but as a group almost always behave irrationally. It's why booms and busts happen with the stock market, for example. Libertarians believe that deregulation of financial markets will lead fewer booms and busts, but that conclusion is reached by ignoring the irrationality of human behavior.

    Another issue I have with libertarian deregulation is the lack of perspective. A couple hundred years ago it made more sense to have less regulation, especially on consumer products because products were simple. It was easier to look at something and know the quality. You didn't need an advanced degree in engineering. Our technology and society has become so complex, it is literally impossible for any individual to be educated enough to make fully-informed decisions in the ideal libertarian context. Consumers would have to spend more than 24 hours a day on research before making any purchases. This is one of the reasons we need regulation. I would agree that the way regulation is currently handled by the US government sucks. But getting rid of regulation is not the solution to the problem. We need better regulation. And this is where a libertarian responds with "Well, whatever we do will get corrupted, so why try"? Because it is the duty of every generation to try.

    All that said, some libertarian ideals are worth striving for. I wouldn't like a government dominated by libertarians, but a libertarian influence can be a positive, especially in our current circumstance. Why? Because bureaucracies don't self-regulate and there are no market forces demanding efficiency. So government bureaucracies become these lumbering, inefficient behemoths. Ideally, we would find a way to simulate market forces in government bureaucracies, but it needs to be balanced because the purpose of government is not to make a profit, but to serve the people. Finding that balance won't ever be easy.
    Yes. Agreed.

    I think ron paul was aware of such things and said it would be a gradual shift. It would be unwise to simply remove the fed cold turkey and cut half the government.

    However, as far as researching everything goes, I think the belief is that companies to serve such a purpose would form naturally by intrinsic human nature. A libertarian government operates under the same reason we trust wikipedia to be correct. Government aid would be replaced by larger more powerful fundraisers (especially as there is more money for such a thing, and our taxes would be voluntary to support such measures).

    Our dependency on government would be replaced by a dependency on intrinsic motivation. Review companies would pop up and be in competition with one another. So essentially, for those unwilling to do research, someone would still be there to tell you what cereal to eat and what meats to avoid.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    Yes. Agreed.

    I think ron paul was aware of such things and said it would be a gradual shift. It would be unwise to simply remove the fed cold turkey and cut half the government.

    However, as far as researching everything goes, I think the belief is that companies to serve such a purpose would form naturally by intrinsic human nature. A libertarian government operates under the same reason we trust wikipedia to be correct. Government aid would be replaced by larger more powerful fundraisers (especially as there is more money for such a thing, and our taxes would be voluntary to support such measures).

    Our dependency on government would be replaced by a dependency on intrinsic motivation. Review companies would pop up and be in competition with one another. So essentially, for those unwilling to do research, someone would still be there to tell you what cereal to eat and what meats to avoid.
    But it's not in company's best interest to inform its customers. It's in their best interests to keep their customers ignorant. This is most obvious in the food industry, where companies are lobbying very hard for the ability to give consumers less information. If there were no rules literally forcing companies to inform their customers, many would not. It also happens in banking, where banks want to keep their dealings secret. Why? Because knowledge has value and imbalances in knowledge can be exploited. And that's just two industries. You can find examples in almost all sectors of the economy where companies advocate less consumer knowledge. This is a case where human nature works, in practice, contrary to what libertarians wish.
    "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. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    But it's not in company's best interest to inform its customers. It's in their best interests to keep their customers ignorant. This is most obvious in the food industry, where companies are lobbying very hard for the ability to give consumers less information. If there were no rules literally forcing companies to inform their customers, many would not. It also happens in banking, where banks want to keep their dealings secret. Why? Because knowledge has value and imbalances in knowledge can be exploited. And that's just two industries. You can find examples in almost all sectors of the economy where companies advocate less consumer knowledge. This is a case where human nature works, in practice, contrary to what libertarians wish.
    Those food companies will always want secrecy. The strong centralized government is the reason lobbyists are so effective. Take that away and leave only the will of the people in charge, and food companies will be forced to inform the public, and private companies formed in the specific interest of regulating others will be created. Their incentive would be to perform their duty lest they lose funding by the public. Government formed companies provide infinite security and zero incentive to perform to the best of their abilities the way a private company in competition with others would.

    My biggest concern is, can the public be trusted enough to make intelligent decisions?

    No. No I do not trust the public. absolutely not. In fact the reason our current government is the way it is, is because the most politically active people are also the least intelligent. Tyranny of the majority of idiots.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    Those food companies will always want secrecy. The strong centralized government is the reason lobbyists are so effective. Take that away and leave only the will of the people in charge, and food companies will be forced to inform the public, and private companies formed in the specific interest of regulating others will be created. Their incentive would be to perform their duty lest they lose funding by the public. Government formed provide infinite security and zero incentive to perform to the best of their abilities the way a private company in competition with others would.
    This is a fantasy. It doesn't actually happen in practice. There's actually an example of this that has come out in the news recently. Goldman Sachs has been manipulating the aluminum market by increasing the time it takes to get orders delivered. IIRC, before Goldman Sachs got involved, it took about 6 weeks for orders to be delivered. Now it's taking something like 16 months. There is a private organization that "regulates" this industry based in London, but they haven't done anything. Why? Because Goldman Sachs bought them off. So Goldman Sachs "earns" several hundred million dollars of profit each year (in extra rent, etc) by making the economy less efficient. And they're so large that it's not possible competitors to beat them in the marketplace, so this will go on until a government agency forces them to stop.

    In short, private regulator agencies are bought off. Public ones can be bought off, too (Monsanto and the FDA/USDA comes to mind). But there is at least a mechanism for change there, pressure your representative. But with private agencies, there is no mechanism. The people have no voice.

    By the way, oil companies do something similar to this as well. When oil is cheaper, they'll have it sit tankers off shore until prices go back up. They're actually increasing the volatility of the oil market, and by proxy our economy.
    "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. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    This is a fantasy. It doesn't actually happen in practice. There's actually an example of this that has come out in the news recently. Goldman Sachs has been manipulating the aluminum market by increasing the time it takes to get orders delivered. IIRC, before Goldman Sachs got involved, it took about 6 weeks for orders to be delivered. Now it's taking something like 16 months. There is a private organization that "regulates" this industry based in London, but they haven't done anything. Why? Because Goldman Sachs bought them off. So Goldman Sachs "earns" several hundred million dollars of profit each year (in extra rent, etc) by making the economy less efficient. And they're so large that it's not possible competitors to beat them in the marketplace, so this will go on until a government agency forces them to stop.

    In short, private regulator agencies are bought off. Public ones can be bought off, too (Monsanto and the FDA/USDA comes to mind). But there is at least a mechanism for change there, pressure your representative. But with private agencies, there is no mechanism. The people have no voice.

    By the way, oil companies do something similar to this as well. When oil is cheaper, they'll have it sit tankers off shore until prices go back up. They're actually increasing the volatility of the oil market, and by proxy our economy.
    Hmm. Very good point.

    There is always a way for a system to be water tight. I personally do not advocate extreme libertarianism as there should always be a balance in the authoritative and the liberal. Yes, it is true that a highly successful business can buy out others and ultimately gain corporate power over the citizens. I'd have to look into the history of monopolies before the fed was introduced.

    What you do not see, however, is the fact that companies like morgan stanley and goldman sachs often profit off of the government's ineptitude. They have enough money to search for every loophole in the regulatory system, and everytime the government initiates "operation twist" or some other kind of stimulus, they make billions of dollars through day trading and creative methods by buying trillions of bonds at just the right moments, and short selling other assets. By removing the governments financial power, its predictable ineptitude will no longer fuel corporate greed the way it does today. (there's a movie called "Too Big to Fail," and "Inside Job" I have a lot of documentaries as my sources if you're interested, but I'd have to ask my friend what they were again).

  6. #66
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    the issue I'm going to have in debating this any further with you is that I'm a Ti user and the libertarian system is based on this sort of logic. I'm essentially making this up as I go, so our conversation will probably go on forever.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    Hmm. Very good point.

    There is always a way for a system to be water tight. I personally do not advocate extreme libertarianism as there should always be a balance in the authoritative and the liberal. Yes, it is true that a highly successful business can buy out others and ultimately gain corporate power over the citizens. I'd have to look into the history of monopolies before the fed was introduced.

    What you do not see, however, is the fact that companies like morgan stanley and goldman sachs often profit off of the government's ineptitude. They have enough money to search for every loophole in the regulatory system, and everytime the government initiates "operation twist" or some other kind of stimulus, they make billions of dollars through day trading and creative methods by buying trillions of bonds at just the right moments, and short selling other assets. By removing the governments financial power, its predictable ineptitude will no longer fuel corporate greed the way it does today. (there's a documentary called "Too Big to Fail," I have a lot of documentaries as my sources if you're interested, but I'd have to ask my friend what they were again).
    The problem is in how we regulate. Here are a few possible solutions:

    1. We need an independent body that regulates these industries. And what I mean by that is we need people who do not have a history of working in those industries to regulate them. Businesses would cry foul about this, of course. They'd say, "how can you let someone who doesn't know how our industry works regulate us?" But I think that's a red herring. No industry is so complex that educated, intelligent people couldn't figure out how they work. What businesses really want when they object like this is, they want to put their own people in place (like the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA). They basically want to regulate themselves. And as we've seen businesses that regulate themselves suck at it (or they're awesome at it, depending on your perspective).

    2. We need to start holding CEOs and senior management responsible for mistakes they make. The corporate shield is too strong. CEOs can implement policies that promote unethical, and sometimes illegal behavior, but when accused throw their hands up in the air, feigning ignorance. So if anyone goes to prison, it's lower level employees, but almost never the CEO (Enron was one of the few exceptions). I don't buy that act for a second. These guys are paid millions, sometimes billions, to do their jobs. They're not incompetent. I want a "buck stops here" type of law, where corporate CEOs are held personally responsible for the behavior of their employees. Some people would definitely protest, but if these guys are really worth what they're getting paid, then they should be good enough to stop unethical behavior in their own business. And if they're not up to it, well...then maybe that's not the job for them.

    3. We need regulations in all industries to have some sort of sunset provision requiring them to be revisited at least every decade. Our society changes quickly enough that regulations from 10 years ago are often obsolete and the piling up of obsolete regulations from decades ago is not good for a number of reasons. For Congresspeople who complain about this, I say to them, stop crying or find a new job.
    "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."

  8. #68
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    I never had any "allegiances" to begin with. Where's that option?

    I usually vote Republican, but that's only because the Libertarian party is utterly worthless at accomplishing anything. Doesn't mean I like most of what the GOP represents, but political parties are tools. If a person is loyal to any political party, they're mistaken. Vote whatever suits your needs and best represents your ideas (and can actually do something to achieve them) in a given instance.
    You lose.

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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    You just don't appreciate Ti in its utter political manifestation.
    Libertarianism is nothing to do with thinking my friend, oh yeah, its feeling to the max, feeling like a spoiled infant and rationalising it all like fuck.

    If you want to go thinker then everyone can vote for Ralph Nader. Oh wait, that was tried.

  10. #70
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    I don't know much about politics, except that the tests say my humanitarian ideals are closer to Democrat.

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