Libertarianism

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by TheDarkJediKnight, Jul 28, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    What is the point of this comment? Corporations have also committed violence on a breath-taking scale, and driven nations into ruin.

    Do you somehow believe that magically, all the world will be good if we just stop having governments? That being part of a privately owned, for-profit venture ennobles people in and of itself? That somehow, the problems of this life are not because humans sometimes choose to do wrong, but because they get together in groups and try to make laws to govern themselves?

    EDIT: Also, I'm not at all sure how your logic makes sense. You say the government is ineffective because corporations neuter it by petitioning for favors and loopholes. Your solution to this is to. . .further weaken the government and empower corporations?

    . . .
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I've not seen libertarianism argued as removing the civil courts for getting claims for damages, but that it removes the regulatory bodies that act before there has been any damage.
  3. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    What's the logic behind that? Regulatory agencies exist to enforce law, and are empowered to propagate new rules that have the force of law. It is the presence or absence of these laws that inhibit a company's (or individual's) ability to act, not the mere existence of the agency. Can someone explain this to me?

    Also, I wanted to return to this notion that appealing to the courts would somehow be a superior mechanism to having pro-active regulatory agencies. This seems impractical for a number of reasons. First, the courts are as susceptible to improper influence as the rest of the government (or private individuals) are, as the recent Supreme Court ruling in regards to Massey Energy demonstrates. So once again, I'm left questioning what the marginal benefit of the new policy is supposed to be. The costs, though, are quiet apparent. Consider the waste dumping example again. Even as a class action lawsuit, a town of a few hundred people would be hopelessly outgunned by the legal resources available to, say, Dow Chemical. Asking the wronged parties to bring legal action presumes they have the available funds to hire a high quality legal team, the water quality experts to do the analysis and identify the toxins, that they can marshal evidence of the negative impact of said chemicals on humans (many of these are conducted by government agencies like the FDA and EPA, so in a world where they don't exist, we can't assume they'd be easily available), and independent medical experts to confirm the opinion of their personal physician all while juggling the costs of continuing medical treatment and lost productivity from their illness. Is this really a reasonable assumption?
  4. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    No, it's not reasonable. Libertarianism is an empty political philosophy, and only really makes sense if one ignores the fact that people and society are way too complex to make its principles tenable. I looked at the health care manifesto posted above and was horrified by how simplistic and foolish it is. Health care isn't a market good and can't be treated as such without producing significant personal and social harms. Strokes and heart attacks don't allow one to comparison shop.
  5. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Millions may die from easily treatable ischemic damage, but at least they will have passed with their hearts free from the tyranny of BIG GOVERNMENT.

    [face_flag]Ron Paul 2012[face_flag]
  6. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    And why should I have to pay for insurance for me and my kids if I don't want to?! If something bad happens they can always get CHIP or Medicaid or... er...
  7. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    I'd like a libertarian strain that was less focused on the hideous evils of taxation and more on things like FISA and the "targeted killing" of people like al-Awlaki. Unfortunately most "libertarians" don't fall into that camp.

    There are libertarian influenced thinkers like Will Wilkinson and Josh Barro that are generally worth reading in my opinion. Tyler Cowen too.
  8. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Aha! I made the mistake of putting this in the social thread. Whoops! Anyway, Matt Damon smacks down a libertarian's question (NSFW language). I think it does little for your ideology when even a celeb can do that. Now, I'm not saying celebrities are stupid or anything, but they tend not to be the most knowledgeable person in the room.
  9. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    All the smart people go into finance. Once you can figure out what the hell a derivative is, they give you an executive position.
  10. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Monsanto is evil, and if they didn't own so many of our politicians, they probably would have been shut down by now.

    They've also been known to put cease and desist orders on whistle-blowing news sources, such as a Fox affiliate back in (97. (I'll have to get the source later.)

    Smaller-scale example, they didn't want milk from rBgH-treated cows to be labeled. RBgH is illegal outside the US, but God forbid that US customers be given the opportunity to know whether the milk they are buying contains it.

    Whether libertarianism would eliminate this problem or make it worse, could be debated I suppose.
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I would agree with most of this. That's why I'm not a libertarian, but a classical liberal and a federalist.

    At the Federal level, I am very pro-libertarian. The Federal government should very much be one of limited powers that stays out of my life as much as possible. It should be restricted to only the explicit powers that it has been granted by the Constitution, and should only tax me as much as it absolutely needs to fulfill its responsibilities, and no more. The Federal government, as a rule, isn't supposed to interact with citizens' lives. It primarily has responsibility for outward-facing issues (such as defense, diplomacy, and so forth), and for resolving disputes between states. The matters of day-to-day governance are supposed to be handled by the states and your local government.

    At the state and local level, I become less libertarian. I support public education, public health programs, and the like. I support welfare programs on the state and local levels, and I often donate of my time and money to help such programs. Where I have a problem with the Federal government dictating how education should be run, I have no problem with the states doing so.

    This is because each individual has a far greater (potential) influence within their community than they do at the national level. In the last election for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, my district had 16120 total votes. I can have a far greater influence on that election than I can on the last election for the House of Representatives in my district (233368 votes cast), or the Senate (3643294 votes cast) or President (131257328 votes cast, 3723260 in my state).

    The problem is that what makes good local politics doesn't necessarily make good national politics. Libertarianism is far more effective on the macro level, than it is on the micro level.

    Kimball Kinnison

  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Not that I have any huge love for the DoEd, but I would say that education legislation on the federal level has some merit as people are more mobile. National standards would keep a child from being a couple of grade levels behind simply because he or she moved from one state to another with much higher standards.

    Also, the federal government runs schools on military bases.
  13. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    Personally I would say that Matt Damon just showed how small minded he is.
    First there is a difference between choosing to take a job and wanting to take a job.
    Second there is a difference between enjoying a job and being good at it.
    Last- Notice the part where Matt Damon says "Maybe You're a SH!%Y camera man"
    Well YES that is the Point Mr. Damon, maybe he is, but he might not know he's so bad unless there is feedback and
    incentives. About a week ago my wife's cousin and her family were in town, we went to a restaurant and were told that
    groups our size have a 15% gratuity added to the bill. Then I noticed that our waitress wasn't doing well with our refills. My wife's cousin said that since our waitress knew she was garenteed her tip, she wasn't working it as hard. Incentives and disincentives in action.


    I watched that reason.tv vid and the same day one of my co-workers mentioned that if his last attempt at grad school fails, he will have to be a High School History Teacher. He doesn't want to do it, but it would be the only career left for him.

    I wanted to be a Marine. That didn't make me good at it.
    I want to be a Pharmacist, That doesn't make me good at it.

    Incentives and competition are good.
    Just like unlimited liability is a good thing.(think oil spills)



    That's like saying that Security Systems aren't a market good because Break-ins and Burglaries are time sensitive and don't allow for comparison shopping.
    Health Insurance, (like Car Insurance or home owners insurance) should be purchased BEFORE it is needed.
    So, yes Health Insurance is a market good.
    Medical Care is a service and can be provided by private or charity providers.


    Threads like this remind me why I hate internet forums.
    People tend to have strong opinions about arguments and ideas, they have never actually listened to, or read.

  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Health insurance and health care are not the same thing. And the reason health care should not be a marketable good is that it is less profitable to treat poor people than it is to treat wealthy people, yet poor people are more likely to get sick, and therefore, remain poor due to inability to put in full-time work. Do you see the vicious cycle here?

    I'm not sure why the wealthy should have more of a right to get treated for illness than the poor. The right to get treated for illness is associated with the right to remain alive.

    As far as health insurance, the issue is that the cost is prohibitive for the pkeypads, etc.eople who need it the most, and while some illnesses are the result of lifestyle choices, many are not. There is something very off about essentially needing to promise not to get sick in order to get a good health insurance rate. Tkhis is hardly the same as auto insurance, whose rates are based largely on factors that can be avoided by the driver. And as far as I'm aware, security companies charge the same rates no matter where a home is located. They only add cost for pet-friendly systems, real-time monitoring, number of keypads, etc.
  15. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    (1) Proof?
    (2)No because I don't agree
    (3) Never said that, don't belive it.
    (4) I was making a general comparison, but you will noticed I mentioned charity, since many hospitals USED to be charity establishments, etc.
    The current problem with health care is that it is overly regulated, I will most more when I get home from my overly regulated job in healthcare.
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    This would be a great point, if your cousin wasn't just making up a story about the motivation's of someone she never met before, and never knew for more than 3 hours at the max. "Knew" being a loose term for, "occasionally spoke to, a few seconds of every hour." But that's all this is. The debate has never been about whether incentives, in concept, can play a positive role. It's about questioning whether the specific incentives being offered are actually helpful. For instance, whether a less than a day's worth of classroom observation is a good way to measure the performance of a teacher who works 180 of them (would you want to be judged on a random .5% of your yearly performance? Does that even make sense?). Or whether standardized tests are the best way to assess whether children have learned. Rather than engage in this discussion, you have chosen to believe that teachers resist these suggestions because they are lazy. That's an unfounded, inappropriate, and biased assumption on your part, not a basis for serious policy proposals.


    1. Because rich people can pay for their healthcare, and poor people can't. Also, because rich people can afford behaviors that make them less likely to get sick in the first place. These include living in areas where there is less pollution, and having a regular physician who can help them identify and resolve problems before they develop into something expensive to resolve.

    2. Do you have proof it doesn't exist? Because I'm pretty certain the

    3. Do you support a repeal of EMTALA, then? Which is to say, would you be okay with people dying in the street, and having to provide proof of their ability to pay before they received medical treatment?

    4. Many large providers (eg Kaiser Permanente) are still non-profit. They are over-burdened as is. That doesn't resolve the problems with healthcare in our country.

  17. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    1. She wasn't "making it up", she was making an observation based on what was happening and her personal experience as a waitress. My observation was the same.

    2.I said no such thing, again I am reminded why I hate internet forums, people put stupid statements into my mouth, things I never said.

    3. I said proof, not your personal belief, let's see a report backing that up. You're taking a generalized view. How do you define the rich, and how do you define the poor? In the Pharmacy I work at I see people who are so "Poor" the government has to pay for their health care, then they drop serious cash on fake eyelashes, beer, candy, and cigarettes etc. What about volume, how many "rich" people are there, how many "poor" people are there? By your reasoning Wal-mart should be making next to nothing.

    4. I'm not sure what you meant here, proving a negative is rather difficult though.

    5. Sure let's get rid of it, and C.O.N. laws while we are at it...

    6. I was just giving one aspect.
  18. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Fortunately I know you aren't talking about me, sweetpea, since you know I worked clinically for a total of six years doing everything from direct patient care to research and administration, on top of studying comparative health care provision since 2001, and teaching undergraduate and graduate-level classes in health care delivery since 2006. :) I know you aren't being foolish enough to suggest that. I have faith.
  19. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    They don't, they have a greater ability to be treated for illness than the poor. The rights are equal.
  20. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    No no no, see, all you observed was that she wasn't refilling your drinks as punctually is you might've liked. The rest is just an assumption, which in this case? Pretty much means "making things up".

    I mean, look, I understand - if your worldview is built around humanity being composed of pavlovian automatons, then sure, you're gonna jump right from "man she's not being real quick about these refills" to "she's being lazy because there's no incentive for her not to be" without even realizing that the latter bit doesn't automatically follow from the former.
  21. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    Suggest what?


    Okay let's look at the facts.
    We were a large table and she was guaranteed her tip.
    She was being quick to provide refills for the small tables around us where she was not guaranteed her tip.
    She was slow to provide refills for our table.
    That's the facts.

    You can come up with any conclusion YOU want, but it was clear to us, she had no interest in keeping us
    happy, at the Yoda table at Sarchel's Pizza.
    Making a logical conclusion is not making things up.
  22. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Or she was just busy and inattentive. See, the nice thing about assumptions is that they're always right. And your conclusion is far from being 'logical'.
  23. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    How is it far from logical?
    Even under Occam's razor we weren't adding any new assumptions.

    Not guaranteed a tip----> doing good job

    Guaranteed a tip----> doing poor job

  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Well, you made an assumption in that you assumed she wasn't being as responsive because she was guaranteed a tip. Then your sister assumed it was because there was no incentive. Then you went off this assumption and concluded that to be the case. A bit of confirmation bias, I would say. And if we were talking about dogs or cats or any other lower intelligence species I would agree. Incentives and disincentives do matter because they don't have that extra bit of pre-frontal cortex that allows us to act less on instinct. Maybe your group smelled. Or maybe you were rude to the waitress unintentionally.

    Or maybe she was just busy trying to earn money given that the slave wage most restaurants pay minus tip is insufficient to live off of. There's tons of interpretations you could make and each of them would be equally valid because the simple fact is that you just don't know what motivates a person to do one thing over the other. You're trying to apply a black and white thought to a situation that's not black and white. In that sense you're just like all other libertarians in that you're discounting the human factor of the equation. So good jorb on that one.
  25. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Well put.

    And smaller groups are simply easier to serve anyway.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.