The Problem with Libertarianism

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The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Crimson Phoenix on Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:06 pm

I have two principal issues with Libertarianism (both right and left variants) is that they call for levels of decentralization that would effectively make living in a community pointless, it would hinder higher social organization and sophistication, aswell as unregulated cultural trends that could lead to destructive behavior.

I also disagree with the idea of implementing direct democracy in a modern state, it would be impossible and ineffective.

To me Libertarianism brings to mind the old saying "too many cooks in the kitchen", and I doubt it would foster a level of social cohesiveness required to maintain a functioning and progressing social unit.
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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:12 pm

Crimson Fasces wrote:I have two principal issues with Libertarianism (both right and left variants) is that they call for levels of decentralization that would effectively make living in a community pointless, it would hinder higher social organization and sophistication, aswell as unregulated cultural trends that could lead to destructive behavior.


How would it make living in a community pointless? You need to expand on that as well as why you believe that it would hinder organization. Also, you must prove that the state has the right to control behavior that it deems destructive.


I also disagree with the idea of implementing direct democracy in a modern state, it would be impossible and ineffective.


Firstly, what do you think direct democracy is? Secondly, if it were direct democracy there would be no state. The word you were looking for was nation. Thirdly, why would it be impossible?

To me Libertarianism brings to mind the old saying "too many cooks in the kitchen", and I doubt it would foster a level of social cohesiveness required to maintain a functioning and progressing social unit.


Who decides what progress is?

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:45 pm

Crimson Fasces wrote:I have two principal issues with Libertarianism (both right and left variants) is that they call for levels of decentralization that would effectively make living in a community pointless, it would hinder higher social organization and sophistication, aswell as unregulated cultural trends that could lead to destructive behavior.

First of all, right-wing libertarianism (more appropriately, 'propertarianism') is merely a synonym for laissez-faire capitalism and political minarchism. Such a system is as hierarchical and autocratic as fascism, only its authoritarianism is applied within enterprises as opposed to national politics. Secondly, you haven't explained why you believe libertarian socialism is incompatible with community. As for the regulation of social relations, laws intended to defend public interests as well as individual rights would continue to exist within such a society, so that criticism is without merit.

I also disagree with the idea of implementing direct democracy in a modern state, it would be impossible and ineffective.

When socialists typically speak of "direct democracy," they're not suggesting that individuals should vote on every issue imaginable. No one expects people to become experts on foreign policy or environmental affairs, for example. Some degree of representation is inevitable, which is why many of us support delegating authority when necessary. What matters is that delegates are held democratically accountable to the people they represent. Incidentally, I favor Stephen Shalom's nested council proposal.


(a diagram of the nested council structure)

To me Libertarianism brings to mind the old saying "too many cooks in the kitchen", and I doubt it would foster a level of social cohesiveness required to maintain a functioning and progressing social unit.

Genuine social cohesiveness emerges from the bottom-up, not by state fiat.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Crimson Phoenix on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:01 pm

Red Aegis wrote:How would it make living in a community pointless? You need to expand on that as well as why you believe that it would hinder organization. Also, you must prove that the state has the right to control behavior that it deems destructive.

Without the state (or with an extremely weak state) there'd be nothing holding the society together, it'd just be a big incoherent blob, and the people would be free to indulge in whatever hedonistic practices they wish without caring about the effects they have on the whole.

The State has the right to defend society from cultural and economic practices that threaten social cohesiveness. A good example is the US Government's crackdown on Hippie Culture during the "Sexual Revolution". The Hippies represented a clear obstacle to maintaining the integrity of our culture, the health of our citizens, and a proper national mindset.

Had the US not destroyed the Hippies, they would've eliminated every thread of social responsiblity from our culture. Socially disruptive elements should be eliminated.

Firstly, what do you think direct democracy is? Secondly, if it were direct democracy there would be no state. The word you were looking for was nation. Thirdly, why would it be impossible?
Direct Democracy is where the people have a direct hand in the decision making process, not through representatives.

While that would be good in theory, it would fail in modern nations simply due to the sizes of of their populations.

Who decides what progress is?

Progress is only one thing, the advancement of the human condition. It is the maintainance and futhering of humanity's collective health. Libertarianism is too individualist to provide for that.
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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Isakenaz on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:35 am

Crimson Fasces wrote:Without the state (or with an extremely weak state) there'd be nothing holding the society together, it'd just be a big incoherent blob, and the people would be free to indulge in whatever hedonistic practices they wish without caring about the effects they have on the whole.

The State has the right to defend society from cultural and economic practices that threaten social cohesiveness. A good example is the US Government's crackdown on Hippie Culture during the "Sexual Revolution". The Hippies represented a clear obstacle to maintaining the integrity of our culture, the health of our citizens, and a proper national mindset.

Had the US not destroyed the Hippies, they would've eliminated every thread of social responsiblity from our culture. Socially disruptive elements should be eliminated.

However, the state only upholds what the state sees as viable, so the society it holds together is the society that the state wants to uphold. In ancient Rome the 'state' upheld the decadent practices of a string of Emperors, simply by virtue of the state authority (the army) upholding the wishes of the Empires elite. So the state can be viewed as little more than a tool of the ruling elite, by which their ideas are dictated to the masses. The greatest dictators throughout history have ruled through the aquiescence of the state.

As for the hippies, I always thought of them as a counter-culture who, at the time, really presented a non-existant threat to society. But then you probably ascribed to the 'Domino Theory' which was prevalent at the time. Also I was not aware the the "US destroyed the hippies", I thought they simply dissapeared with time next you'll be claiming that the US destroyed the Punks. Also, being British I may be wrong about America, but I think that quite a few 'hippies' now run most of the organisations that help prolong capitalism.
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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:11 am

Crimson Fasces wrote:call for levels of decentralization that would effectively make living in a community pointless

You mistake Libertarianism for Anarchy. It's useful to have the government do things which are best done by the government. So in purchasing decisions, for example, its useful to have a government spend money on goods & services purchased most efficiently by government. Take paper clips as an example: there's no complexity in purchasing a million paper clips, you just have a pooling of buying power. Government can purchase those goods very efficiently. Now take a complex industrial enterprise, and I'll use health care as my example. There are millions of different services provided in health care and each transaction is uniquely based on specific details of that individual. There's no way government can purchase this service efficiently so government ought not to be involved in this area of the market. If they get involved the result will be very wasteful spending like you see in the European socialized medicine model.

So long as people are getting a good deal for their tax dollar & its being spent efficiently then government ought to do that. If its not an efficient use of that dollar then government ought not to do that. Its really about as simple as that.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:53 am

I can't address all of your argument at the moment but I will come back to it.

V for Valjean wrote:You mistake Libertarianism for Anarchy.


That may be true in the modern american use of the word but originally and in other parts of the world the word libertarian does in fact mean anarchist. I suppose that it could be broken down like this: social libertarian, political libertarian (anarchist), and the american version which is also the latest. That last one is likely the one that you are referring to and you likely identify with Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. Correct me if I am wrong please.

Source on the origin of the word.

It's useful to have the government do things which are best done by the government. So in purchasing decisions, for example, its useful to have a government spend money on goods & services purchased most efficiently by government. Take paper clips as an example: there's no complexity in purchasing a million paper clips, you just have a pooling of buying power.


Please define your concepts of efficiency and complexity and the rubric that you use to determine what is and is not efficient and complex given context.

Government can purchase those goods very efficiently. Now take a complex industrial enterprise, and I'll use health care as my example. There are millions of different services provided in health care and each transaction is uniquely based on specific details of that individual.


Why would that be overly complex compared to having a private enterprise do it? The actions would be the same and the workers who would actually be processing the information would be doing the same things. The only difference is that the company would charge the purchaser of the insurance more since they are not working for the consumer but for the stockholders. The profits that go to the stockholders through dividends could instead be saved by the consumer through a collective system and since there is no other functional difference between a collective insurance system and a private one, what is your point?

There's no way government can purchase this service efficiently so government ought not to be involved in this area of the market.


Again, define efficiency and explain why the government can in no way do the thing in that manner.

If they get involved the result will be very wasteful spending like you see in the European socialized medicine model.

Source
Source
Source
Another Source

You were saying?

Side note: those countries aren't socialist. I don't know if you knew that or not so I just wanted to add that.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:19 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I can't address all of your argument at the moment but I will come back to it.
Please define your concepts of efficiency and complexity and the rubric that you use to determine what is and is not efficient and complex given context.

Its really very simple. If private enterprise can perform a service at a more efficient price than government then government ought not to perform that service. There are really only a very few things which must be provided by government when you boil it down. Government must provide a criminal law system as well as a tort law system where people or businesses who take advantage of other citizens can be punished by paying great sums of money. They must provide for the common defense in the form of a military. Government must have an infastructure to collect taxes, etc. There are a few other things, but not many that can only be done properly by government. Now that doesn't mean there aren't other things where its not inappropriate for government to be involved, but that's a different matter than essential.

But you asked how we know if its efficient to have government perform a certain task. If I can go to Home Depot and buy a toilet seat for $10 but the US government buys them for $500 (and this is a real example) then that's not an appropriate role for government is it? Its not appropriate because government isn't purchasing efficiently. Its charging the citizens collectively $500 in return for a $10 item. The result is basically a $490 tax called "government waste".

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:10 pm

V for Valjean wrote:Its really very simple. If private enterprise can perform a service at a more efficient price than government then government ought not to perform that service. There are really only a very few things which must be provided by government when you boil it down. Government must provide a criminal law system as well as a tort law system where people or businesses who take advantage of other citizens can be punished by paying great sums of money. They must provide for the common defense in the form of a military. Government must have an infastructure to collect taxes, etc. There are a few other things, but not many that can only be done properly by government. Now that doesn't mean there aren't other things where its not inappropriate for government to be involved, but that's a different matter than essential.

That in no way is an explanation of why your views are correct. It would be more productive for you to provide a framework for why your view is correct so that the logic can be debated. Right now all I can really say is, "okay then", "no-uh", "I disagree", "that is your opinion", "sure", ect.

But you asked how we know if its efficient to have government perform a certain task. If I can go to Home Depot and buy a toilet seat for $10 but the US government buys them for $500 (and this is a real example) then that's not an appropriate role for government is it? Its not appropriate because government isn't purchasing efficiently. Its charging the citizens collectively $500 in return for a $10 item. The result is basically a $490 tax called "government waste".

That is because of the quota system, and I assume that you are talking about the pentagon since you didn't provide a source. If the pentagon spends less one year then they get the amount spent allocated the next so they buy things overpriced to keep the budget up.

The other problem is that they give out private contracts to companies that then overcharge for the goods and services. If the government did the r&d, manufacturing, ect then that wouldn't be a problem.

Your argument is actually against quotas and could be solved by getting rid of them in conjunction with eliminating the influences of the market: military industrial complex.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Paradosis on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:37 am

Crimson Fasces wrote:I also disagree with the idea of implementing direct democracy in a modern state, it would be impossible and ineffective.

Libya managed to implement a large enough amount of direct democracy into a modern state. However it did become increasingly powerless from the late 90s onwards and now that country has of course been destroyed.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by TheocWulf on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:54 am

Paradosis wrote:Libya managed to implement a large enough amount of direct democracy into a modern state. However it did become increasingly powerless from the late 90s onwards and now that country has of course been destroyed.

I'd like to see a similar system in my country all the way down to village and suburb councils in a confederacy of English regions on top of a limited national government.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:57 am

Paradosis wrote:Libya managed to implement a large enough amount of direct democracy into a modern state. However it did become increasingly powerless from the late 90s onwards and now that country has of course been destroyed.

Hahaha no. That national assembly had no real power. It only acted as an advisement to Ghaddaffi.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Han Solo on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:32 am

Red Aegis wrote:Hahaha no. That national assembly had no real power. It only acted as an advisement to Ghaddaffi.

Yep. I assume you are talking about the Jamahiriya. He set this up under the presupposition that Allah would guide the destiny of the Libyan people. However, it was not a direct democracy because the general secretary (Ghaddaffi) had the final say in all decisions. Starting in 1977, "revolutionary committees" were established to "guide the people's committees". But in reality, they were used to repress political opposition to Ghaddafi's rule. Libyan rule became increasingly terroristic and autocratic as the Ghaddafi years went by.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:19 pm

Red Aegis wrote:That is because of the quota system, and I assume that you are talking about the pentagon since you didn't provide a source. If the pentagon spends less one year then they get the amount spent allocated the next so they buy things overpriced to keep the budget up.

I hear your point but its not factually correct. See there are different ways we spend money. A man is very careful when he spends his own money on himself. He is not very careful when he spends other people's money on himself (think of the food you order at a restaraunt when you're paying with a company expense account). A man is the least careful of all when he spends someone elses money on a 3rd party - which is the case of government spending. In that third case you get great waste and no care given to the price of goods purchased. That is why there are no produceable examples except commodities where government can purchase at a lower price than private enterprise. So a society which makes all of its purchases through government agencies will lag woefully behind a free enterprise economy just in the way North Korea is now in total crushing poverty where South Korea is not.

The other problem is that they give out private contracts to companies that then overcharge for the goods and services. If the government did the r&d, manufacturing, ect then that wouldn't be a problem.

Quite to the contrary: we have government R&D now. In America I mean, of course other countries do as well. If I put you to task with the full resources of the internet, google, wikipedia, and access to all the recorded knowledge of mankind you'll not be able to return with evidence of major scientific break throughs that have come from it. Einstein didn't develop his theory of relativity because he was ordered to by a burecrat. Ford didn't revolutionalize auto manufacturing or Carnegie steel manufacturing that way. The only great advances in science or manufacturing (since you mention those 2 areas) have come from societies that were capitalist and with generally free trade.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:50 pm

V for Valjean wrote:The only great advances in science or manufacturing (since you mention those 2 areas) have come from societies that were capitalist and with generally free trade.

Really? And i thinking that the USSR were at the cutting edge in many fields...

Not to mention that all those advancements were backed up by the "inefficient" government.

Efficiency is not measured by how much profit you get. It's measured by your results vs your input. Given the fact that almost all advancements in mankind came from public funding, i guess that's the most efficient way to advance mankind, according to your own reasoning.

And please, spare me the Henry Ford nonsense, people were making things in a chain sequence ever since the dawn of times.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:56 pm

I can also make the point that all those "bad spending" cases you mention actually happen in capitalist societies. So basically you are saying that in a capitalist society, the government will be bound to give good money for products for nothing. Given that capitalists actually own the place, and elect their tools, where is the news in that?

Health and educations are not businesses. You want to profit from people's illness and from the education of children? What kind of society is this that everything has to be profit driven? "Profit" does nothing to advance mankind, or improve the living of people.

The more socialistic a society was, the more literate, and the less infant mortality it had. This is not just an opinion, this is a known proved fact. So basically, the less "capitalist" and "free market" was a society, the better was people's standard of living. Now how do you explain that?

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:16 pm

V for Valjean wrote:I hear your point but its not factually correct.


The following doesn't address my response at all. You are just re-affirming what you said previously as though it were an uncontested fact that needs no in depth explanation. I'll still answer, just know that you just repeated what you said before in different words and did not advance the dialogue.

See there are different ways we spend money.


You mean that we can spend money outside of the market? Not according to free marketeers, not according to the Libertarian Party. In that thinking there is no other way to spend money other than engaging in a consensual transaction, barring theft according to society. This fact above, in accordance with what is likely your own theory and that of classical liberalism, is why what you go on to say is wrong.

A man is very careful when he spends his own money on himself. He is not very careful when he spends other people's money on himself (think of the food you order at a restaraunt when you're paying with a company expense account).


So you say but that is not nearly always the case. I know many people that are freer with their own money than they are with the money that they manage on others' behalf.

A man is the least careful of all when he spends someone elses money on a 3rd party - which is the case of government spending. In that third case you get great waste and no care given to the price of goods purchased.


In that case you should be against all banks since they manage other peoples' money. If a bank or a government mismanages funds then they are replaced and possibly fined or imprisoned. It is for this reason that you must explain what is so different from a manager of public funds and a private fund manager. Surely by your logic an accountant must be free or sloppy with his or her client's funds.

That is why there are no produceable examples except commodities where government can purchase at a lower price than private enterprise. So a society which makes all of its purchases through government agencies will lag woefully behind a free enterprise economy just in the way North Korea is now in total crushing poverty where South Korea is not.

Your conclusions do not follow the premises, which themselves are not solid.


Quite to the contrary: we have government R&D now.


I know that there is but that is not necessarily where the waste that you are talking about is coming from now is it? The problems that I was indicating are from contracts to companies like the arms industry. I will edit in links that show what I mean later but I doubt that they are needed.

In America I mean, of course other countries do as well. If I put you to task with the full resources of the internet, google, wikipedia, and access to all the recorded knowledge of mankind you'll not be able to return with evidence of major scientific break throughs that have come from it.

Have you ever heard of CERN? How about nuclear fission? Hmm no breakthroughs . . . NASA? Nope, no breakthroughs to find on the whole internet. Turing Machine?

Einstein didn't develop his theory of relativity because he was ordered to by a burecrat.

No, he did it because he loved it. He was denied funding by private individuals and so he was poor until someone from England proved him correct.

Ford didn't revolutionalize auto manufacturing or Carnegie steel manufacturing that way.

The fact that they didn't do so means nothing. If you think that those examples prove a rule then state the rule and defend it.

The only great advances in science or manufacturing (since you mention those 2 areas) have come from societies that were capitalist and with generally free trade.

What country did space travel first?


Last edited by Red Aegis on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:15 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:I can also make the point that all those "bad spending" cases you mention actually happen in capitalist societies. So basically you are saying that in a capitalist society, the government will be bound to give good money for products for nothing.

Correct. I am saying that government is wasteful because those employed by government are spending someone else's money and their not careful in how they do it. It's human nature. Knowing that where do you think there's more waste, fraud & abuse: the United States where government employees make up 13% of the workforce or Communist China where government employees make up 50% of the workforce. Socialism always requires a big government, which means it will always be more wasteful and inefficient than a nation with a smaller government. But yes absolutely there is government waste in capitalist countries 100%, there's just much less of it than in the large socialist governments of the world.

Health and educations are not businesses. You want to profit from people's illness and from the education of children? What kind of society is this that everything has to be profit driven? "Profit" does nothing to advance mankind, or improve the living of people.

A great many people would prefer to not be uneducated and sick. And they'll get a better education and better medical care if its provided by private enterprise than by the government. That's why you see people all over America who pay extra out of their pocket to put their kids in private schools.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:18 pm

V for Valjean wrote:Correct. I am saying that government is wasteful because those employed by government are spending someone else's money and their not careful in how they do it. It's human nature. Knowing that where do you think there's more waste, fraud & abuse: the United States where government employees make up 13% of the workforce or Communist China where government employees make up 50% of the workforce. Socialism always requires a big government, which means it will always be more wasteful and inefficient than a nation with a smaller government. But yes absolutely there is government waste in capitalist countries 100%, there's just much less of it than in the large socialist governments of the world.


A great many people would prefer to not be uneducated and sick. And they'll get a better education and better medical care if its provided by private enterprise than by the government. That's why you see people all over America who pay extra out of their pocket to put their kids in private schools.

None of this is true, and statistics prove it.

The US i by far the more spending government in the world, and spends most of it's money in the military, not with improving the living standards of it's citizens.

People get better education and health in socialist countries, and this is a proven fact by the mortality rates and literacy and education levels. In fact, one can trace a direct relationship between the living standards of citizens and how much the government is involved in managing the services that provide such services. The fact that you use the USA as an example, of all places, shows you have absolutely zero clue of what you are talking about.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:15 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:None of this is true, and statistics prove it. The US i by far the more spending government in the world, and spends most of it's money in the military, not with improving the living standards of it's citizens.

Well if you were going to make any claim about the US it would be much more reasonable to point out that, in fact, the US has a great many socialist and certainly socialized programs. In fact, the US was the pioneer of the first world in instituting some of these programs. However, while what I just said is true the facts & stastics in fact tell a very opposite story than what you're suggesting.

1. The US is very far from the most spending government in the world, evidence of which I'll put below. And while I feel the US government spends way to much compared to the rest of the first world it spends less than almost all other countries:



2. You state that the US spends more on its military while neglecting its citizens. The Defense budget is $680B, which accounted for 18% of US government spending. Combined social program spending between our 77 different welfare programs & education (since you mentioned it I'll include it) amounted to $2,170B or 58% of government spending. However, the difference is that military spending is the #1 legal obligation of the federal government in the US Constitution. None of the social programs or education are Constitutional duties of the federal government.




People get better education and health in socialist countries, and this is a proven fact by the mortality rates and literacy and education levels. In fact, one can trace a direct relationship between the living standards of citizens and how much the government is involved in managing the services

Were government management of education an indication of how well it does then the US would have the top education system in the world. Because our education system is almost excluslively a government function. The fact that private schools consistently outperform government run public schools is evidence that private industry can produce a superior service to government. I will agree with you that I am very disappointed in the quality of education in America and I believe the quality would go up were government's monopoly on this area abolished.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:28 pm



Really? This graphic shows a sharp rise in government spending in the USA, something that you conveniently omitted, since these values are distorted by debt and interest rates payments.

Also, the fact that Defense ranks second, almost equally with health services, and still you have no public health service just serves to prove that "going private" won't cut the spending in any way, it will actually increase the inefficiency.

I will agree with you that I am very disappointed in the quality of education in America and I believe the quality would go up were government's monopoly on this area abolished.

Keep dreaming. Virtually all data in the world shows the opposite. Education, as well as health, should never be a business.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:39 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:

Really? This graphic shows a sharp rise in government spending in the USA, something that you conveniently omitted, since these values are distorted by debt and interest rates payments.

You're proving a point, but its not the one you think you're proving.

Yes it is undeniable that since the intoduction of the New Deal that US government spending has gone up consistently. And this is bad for the economy and the nation, of that there's no doubt. You need only turn on the news right now to get a sense of it. The US experienced its greatest proportional year of year growth in the century before the burden of socialist programs introduced in the 1930s. And since then they have grown out of control. Yes everyone knows this and no one will argue it or the bad economic effect it has. But if you think that's bad imagine how bad an impact it has on the other 23 developed nations who spend a greater amount of their economy in the graph I used above.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 pm

Really? Sweden, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, UK, Canada, Japan, etc are bad places to live? That could be a list of the countries with the best living standards in the world today. You only proved that if anything, the more a country spends in public social services, the better.

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by V for Valjean on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:13 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:Really? Sweden, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, UK, Canada, Japan, etc are bad places to live? That could be a list of the countries with the best living standards in the world today. You only proved that if anything, the more a country spends in public social services, the better.

Now there is nothing wrong with government buying, with tax money, those goods & services government can provide more effieciently than the market. The real issue is whether people are getting their money's worth or whether they'd have been better off taking that dollar they paid in taxes and buying that service on their own if they freely choose to. Its a matter of being forced versus having freedom. And I'll give you an example: it is to me immoral that you force someone with terminal cancer to pay social security for their retirement.

Those countries, while developed first world countries, are all substantially poorer than the United States you do realize. I don't even think you have an accurate image of the order of magnitude difference in wealth between these places, but I'm going to tell you what it is. I don't expect you're going to like what you find out... but facts are facts.

When you adjust for purchasing power parity the average American household has $50,000 in disposable income. I'm going to go down the list on the countries you listed, but you'll find that in none is the average family as well off as they are in America. And America is by no means rid of wasteful, socialized government programs. In fact, I'll point out to you, that the nation with the most socialized programs ... the one often held up as the socialist paradise (Sweden) is also where people are the poorest. Because, again, its a matter of who can spend money most efficiently and when you lay it side by side the more government spending the worse off people are.

Sweden = $27,769 or 55% of the income an American family has
Germany = $31,681 or 63%
Austria = $34,935 or 69%
Netherlands = $29,535 or 59%
UK = $30,730 or 61%
Canada
Japan

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Re: The Problem with Libertarianism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:38 pm

V for Valjean wrote:Now there is nothing wrong with government buying, with tax money, those goods & services government can provide more effieciently than the market. The real issue is whether people are getting their money's worth or whether they'd have been better off taking that dollar they paid in taxes and buying that service on their own if they freely choose to. Its a matter of being forced versus having freedom. And I'll give you an example: it is to me immoral that you force someone with terminal cancer to pay social security for their retirement.

Those countries, while developed first world countries, are all substantially poorer than the United States you do realize. I don't even think you have an accurate image of the order of magnitude difference in wealth between these places, but I'm going to tell you what it is. I don't expect you're going to like what you find out... but facts are facts.

When you adjust for purchasing power parity the average American household has $50,000 in disposable income. I'm going to go down the list on the countries you listed, but you'll find that in none is the average family as well off as they are in America. And America is by no means rid of wasteful, socialized government programs. In fact, I'll point out to you, that the nation with the most socialized programs ... the one often held up as the socialist paradise (Sweden) is also where people are the poorest. Because, again, its a matter of who can spend money most efficiently and when you lay it side by side the more government spending the worse off people are.

Sweden = $27,769 or 55% of the income an American family has
Germany = $31,681 or 63%
Austria = $34,935 or 69%
Netherlands = $29,535 or 59%
UK = $30,730 or 61%
Canada

I doubt those values, but i don't even need to go find them, because you obviously didn't thought this through. In
Japan

I doubt those values, but i don't even need to go find them, because you obviously didn't think this through. In Sweden, even if they would gain half what an American family gains, they have free health, free education, lot's of government incentives and programs, they have a great retirement, a standard of living that the USA can only dream off, etc etc. But your argument doesn't surprise me, after all, capitalists are "gross profit" obsessed...

As for the cancer patient, in Sweden he is not paying for his retirement, he is paying for his free medical assistance, free psycological aid for him and his family, etc etc.

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