Let’s Discuss a Free Market

As we have worked our way through the Libertarian platform and subsequent topics that involve government, we have discussed many different areas where there are disagreements about whether government should be involved, and if so, at what level. One of the most interesting to me and the most relevant to today’s current events is the idea of a free market. So I figured that it would be a good time for us to talk about how it can work, or how it cannot, depending on your position.
 

So the Libertarians believe in a free market. They have made that much clear in their platform. I would like to understand what their version of a free market is, so those who are more knowledgeable about their platform can certainly chime in. I am going to try to keep this somewhat brief because I don’t want to lead the conversation too much. I am just interested in having a good discussion around the free market concept. 

Here is my definition of a free market as best as I am possible of defining it: In a free market any person is able to give up property rights or offer services to anyone that they choose , or choose not to, for fair compensation as determined by the two parties involved in the transaction. There should be no coercion or force exhibited in any way. None, zero, end of story. If I want to sell my house to BlackFlag for $20, that is my right. If I want to paint houses and you want me to paint yours, we can agree on a price and complete our contract. If I choose to not do business with natives of Venezuela, that is my choice. 

Government should have absolutely nothing to do with business. This applies to every aspect of business. To begin with, they don’t have the right to set any pricing. They don’t have the right to force me to buy from any certain group or person, including themselves. They are not entitled to even one cent of the consideration offered for goods or services, which means zero sales tax or any other tax around the transfer of goods or services. Government does not have the right to require me to use whatever form of currency they deem fitting. 

Government does not have the right to impose taxes on businesses or to subsequently give preference to certain businesses in the form of “tax breaks”. Government does not have the right to set rules in place that tell companies how to operate, how to create their product, or anything else. In a free market the closest government should come to business is to eat at a local establishment. 

Government does have the right to offer services to everyone so long as they gain no advantage and so long as no person is ever required to use the government’s services or purchase the government’s goods. The government has the right to compete in the market in the same way as any other business or person, with no competitive advantage afforded them because they are government. If the government can make a better television for cheaper, then they will get the business, if not, someone else will. 

Government should not be filling a role where they are the bailout option for businesses. If a business cannot survive on its own merit, then it fails. The economy is a result of the free market, and thus if Americans don’t run their businesses right, we will see a recession or even possibly a depression. This is a natural occurrence in a market and is a sign of the market righting itself after moving out of bounds. Government stays out of everything and lets the market do its own natural corrections. 

Those are some thoughts on what it means to have a truly free market. Government has nothing to do with it. This does not, in my eyes eliminate taxes altogether. Some sort of tax should be levied in order to pay for the things that the government provides. This means, for example, that I don’t know how someone other than a nationalized agency could create our road systems and pay for them. I know we have shot a few ideas out there in the past, but indulge me and let’s discuss them again.

Now a couple of things I ask before we start down this road. First, I know some of you feel like government is inherently evil. You have made that quite clear. But this is not a discussion of that. If your answer is that a free market needs to exist because government is evil or all the other arguments along that road, just save it for some other forum. I am not interested in arguing the pros and cons of government with those of you who won’t change their mind anyway. 

Second, this is about discussing the mechanical operations and feasibility of a truly free market. Can it work? Is it possible for us to ever get there? Should we even if it is possible? Is your definition of a free market different from what I outlined above? I am open to all comments and ideas. I have my thoughts and will share them as we go. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with everything in my definition above, that is merely what I see as realities in a truly free market. 

Finally I know that some people speak only in absolutes and are not willing to even discuss rationally the options. Remember the realities of the world we are operating in. We are talking about America, so remember that the rest of the world is assumed to continue to operating as they do today. Do we need government to protect us from businesses that have government support from their home governments, like the Japanese auto makers for example.

So let’s together better define a truly free market. And let’s discuss whether or not a truly free market is something that we should be striving for. If so, which definition is optimal and why?

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Comments

  1. I don’t necessarily disagree with the definition offered for a ‘free market’ – what I will state initially here is that it seems the mere transactional nature of a free market implies inherent and universal fairness and trust in the participants of any market transaction – this is where we get into trouble (and yes – it becomes very difficult to divorce ideas of governmental role in this). An economic transaction free of rules/parameters/controls or whatever you wish to call it is bound to eventually fail one of both participants. There must be some rules less the transaction never occurs – it is what enables me to go the mall and shop with one type of currency rather than bringing coins, bills, Euros, a truck full of donkeys, etc. The underlying problem (I think) is that the Libertarian view, in the purest philosophical sense, does not afford protection to the transaction – a blind assumption that we’re all good and just and the market will miracle its ass to correction. We humans just don’t work that way – there is the insidious trait known as greed – subdued in many, blatant in many others. I’m not talking just Enron or Tyco here – I’m certain that as long as there has been a form of a market there is someone in that market ready and willing to tilt the playing field to their advantage – unbeknown to the other party.

    A truly free market is not possible – whether we’re exchanging farm animals at the York County fair or dealing in complex financial derivatives, absent controls and fences the market will guarantee that fundamental fairness is not a pervasive attribute of the system.

    “I have met the enemy, and he is us”

  2. Well said Ray. I have some thoughts but they will have to wait until later when I have more time. For now it is time for my beloved alma mater to teach USC what playing a real Big Ten team is like. Go Nittany Lions!

  3. In a real free market both parties to the exchange gain the advantage every time. If no fraud or coercion occurs it is ALWAYS a win-win situation. If your goods are more valuable to me that my money is, we trade and both gain. If not, we don’t trade, and still both come out ahead according to our personal accounting.

    Claiming that government still needs to “tax” in order to provide its “services” undermines the whole concept of the free market; you are taking money for frequently unwanted or inferior goods and giving back less value. Even in the case where you get what you really want, the price is only made to seem “lower” by forcing people who don’t want the “service” to share the expense with those who do. That is like making you pay for half of my new car so I don’t become a “burden on society” by hitchhiking. That is a win-lose situation completely counter to the free market. Just because you or I can’t see how a particular thing could be provided by the free market instead of government is a very myopic reason to continue the status quo.

  4. blackflag2012 says:

    They don’t have the right to force me to buy from any certain group or person, including themselves.

    So, you have come around about the coercive payment of services called “income tax”! :)

    Government does not have the right to impose taxes on businesses….

    I would like to separate ‘business’ from ‘company’ or ‘corporation’.

    While I would agree to this based on the “Evil” Theory of Government – and the less it has the better for us all – I find it difficult to argue against that government has a right to tax business if that business is a ‘corporation’.

    Corporations exist solely by law – created by government. Therefore, it is reasonable that government demand some compensation for making corporations, and allowing them to live.

    Taxing a partnership or sole proprietorship is immoral.

    …or to subsequently give preference to certain businesses in the form of “tax breaks”.

    If there are no taxes, there are no tax breaks to give.

    I was at a conference a few years ago put on by off-shore lawyers in a tax-free jurisdiction, talking about off-shore business strategies. After the conference, they invited their clients to a party.

    One of the participants went up to one of the lawyers and asked “So, who’s paying for the party? You or your firm?”

    The lawyer asked for the reason of the question. “Well”, continued the client, “..I’m wondering who is getting the tax right-off?”

    The lawyer said “There is no tax right-off”.

    Client: “WHAT!?! You can’t right this off!~?”

    Response: “What part of “No tax” did you miss over the all of last week’s conference? No tax means no tax breaks”

    Client: “So who is paying?”

    Response: “It doesn’t matter, does it? There is no benefit for the business, or myself to pay for this. It’s coming out of the same pocket”

    And this is the problem with all tax –
    1. Tax is paid by profits. If there are no profits, and still tax, the business will fold. All tax comes from profit.
    2. Tax breaks are usually given to business that cannot make a normal profit.
    3. Therefore, tax punishes profit and rewards losses.

    Even “sin” taxes distorts the economy. Tax cigarettes does lower consumption – then, the government gives tax incentives to tobacco farmers to help them due to the reduced demand. Stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time will eventually cause things to go out of control.

    With no tax (and hence, no tax incentives), there can be no distortions to the free market.

    Some sort of tax should be levied in order to pay for the things that the government provides.

    Unless you believe killing and stealing is something worthy of provisioning, government provides nothing of worth.

    You came so close, USWep, then faltered near the finish line. But the bright side, you got out of the starter’s box! Just a couple more steps left to go…. ;)

    This means, for example, that I don’t know how someone other than a nationalized agency could create our road systems and pay for them.

    Private Roads Work
    by Bart Frazier

    The issue of private roads stymies those who might otherwise be diehard libertarians. They can see how abolishing public education makes for better citizens and respects parental rights. They understand that Medicare, Social Security, and other government transfer programs are immoral abominations. They might even be so enlightened as to think that people should be able to travel where they wish as long as they don’t violate the rights of others in the process. But when it comes to privatizing roads, these same people just can’t see how it will work. Well, there is proof that it can and does.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/frazier3.html

    Ray,

    the mere transactional nature of a free market implies inherent and universal fairness and trust in the participants of any market transaction – this is where we get into trouble

    Your premise is not correct. The free market does not at all depend on trust or “universal” fairness in the participants.

    Reverse order of presentation: First, who determines ‘what is fair?’ between two voluntary participants in a transaction?

    Obviously, that answer is only those actually doing the transaction. No other entities idea of fairness has any merit whatsoever. If one of the participants do not think the transaction is ‘fair’, then the transaction does not complete, right?

    Second, trust: Trust is required at some point – this is true.

    However, it does not need to be between the participants.

    For example, how does international business, today, work? You buy something from Korea – how do you get your product and how does he get is money? Neither of the participants know each other from Adam. Yet, international business (used to, anyway) flourishes.

    It does so because of ‘honest brokers’ between the two participants – and these honest brokers are not government. Typically, they are Credit Banks. You have established a mutual relationship between you and a bank – trust is not a factor since both you and the bank earn more and longer term profit from ethical business then the minor gains of cheating. Credit banks, internationally, have established a similar relationship with each other – and as has the Korean with his bank.

    This is but one example – there are many other methods in our complex financial world – but the essence is the same – honest brokers selling their trust.

    Thus, the transactions are guaranteed – not by the actual participants – but by the honest brokers between – and in the spirit of free enterprise – everyone makes money!

    The cost of cheating is simply too high. Once an honest broker’s trust is fractured – he’s out of business. However, it also means that the participants still must do their homework to ensure that the intermediaries do deserve that trust – caveat emptor – is important in the free market place.

    I do not agree, just because someone is stupid, that the forces of violence need to be used to protect his stupidity. Let the free market protect him.

    Heck, it does today!

    Better Business Bureau, or Consumer Reports, or (Industry name goes here) Associations – are all examples of free market responses to help people resolve the buyer’s dilemma. No government necessary. If people chose not to avail themselves of such, whose fault is that?

  5. USWep- I hesitated to comment on this post after the admonition that you didn’t want to hear that government is inherently evil. I know you probably think I sound like a broken record, but I really, truly, completely believe that “Liberty is the solution no matter the problem”. It is a belief that permeates every part of my life. I can’t comment on anything without that being expressed in some way.

  6. Kent,

    I understand your position and it isn’t my intention to really limit your thoughts or what you add to the conversation. It isn’t that I don’t want to hear that you think the government is the problem. It is only that I already know that you fel that way. What I really want to flesh out here is whether the concept of the free market is really viable. With no rules or regulations from the government getting in the way we certainly gain some advantages, but do we also lose some oversight that may be necessary? I know that you believe that getting government 100% out of the picture is feasible and that is a valid point of view.

    I guess what I am getting at is this, just as an example of where I would like the conversation to live: Dispute resolution. You pay me to paint your house. We agree on a price. You pay me and I paint it. 6 months later you realize that I did a horrible job and the paint is peeling off. You want your money back. I say no because I completed the job. Without government rules that dictate the ways to resolve this dispute, would we ever agree on a way to do so? Without government courts having jurisdiction to hear our case, how do we resolve it?

    That is just one example of what I am looking for. I already know you prefer government not be involved and I pretty much understand your reasoning. I want to talk brass tacks here and figure out whether your versions of a free market have any chance of working.

  7. I believe that dispute resolution organizations could solve such cases. (Go down about 10 paragraphs in the article.)

    There is another blog that covered some aspects of this topic today: Just What Is the “Counter-Economy”, Anyway?

  8. BF,

    To first address your reply to me. I understand that you feel government is inherently evil and are always quite clear that government does nothing but kill and promote violence. While I feel this is a small-minded and very simplistic approach to government, I don’t feel it is in my power to convince you otherwise, so I won’t argue that point with you.

    I appreciate that you actually, for the first time I think, gave me some form of credit. I know that anyone who has a belief different from yours cannot possibly be right about anything. But I hope that you are finally beginning to see that my purpose is to talk the issues out and find a better way forward. Maybe your utopia could exist, but not in our lifetimes or even that of our children.

    As far as taxes go, there are very few that I see as legitimate. But that I see some as fair and many others as unfair is never going to be enough for you, and I get that. But I understand that there are some things that the government can provide us and that they have the right to do so under the constitution. Roads are one of those things. National Defense is another. And I am debating in my head currently whether they have any place in business, as noted to Kent above. So here are my thoughts on those subjects. If you would like to debate the feasibility of having no government involvement in these things, please do. If your only answer is government only exists to kill and destroy, don’t waste my time. That isn’t the debate here. We are all well aware of your stance on government.

    Roads and Taxes – Very interesting article that you linked to. I like what that author was showing us but I am not sure that it can really work. The examples that were sited were somewhat simplistic and may not necessarily work in practice if applied everywhere. For example, the toll highway that is private in DC can work on a highway that is optional. That one is. I know that stretch of highway well as a former resident of DC. Tolls such as this can really only work on expressways. When you get down to smaller roads in town or in neighborhoods, tolls are not feasible. Every neighborhood would have to engineer, construct, finance, and regulate their roads. Imagine if there was a toll for every small road in a town. The traffic to get across Mayberry would look like DC Beltway traffic.

    The neighborhood roads that are mentioned where the only people allowed to use them are residents and their designated guests. How could you police that? Would you have a gateway to each road that checked ID? If I drive through that neighborhood, will someone write down my license plate number and check with every person who lives on that road to see if I was invited. If I live in a neighborhood, and a friend who I invite over has a rental car, do I have to get all that information before they come over? It seems to me that the costs and hassles that would come with trying to regulate private roads would become far more that people are willing to deal with. Do poor neighborhoods simply not get to have roads? They are struggling to feed their families and certainly wouldn’t have the money to build, maintain, and regulate such private roads.

    I think the article was good, but took an overly simplistic view of the entire situation, simply ignoring many of the realities that are faced in today’s world. Using a wealthy neighborhood full of people willing to pay for privacy as an example doesn’t really prove the feasibility of such an endeavor being implemented as common practice. Showing that people are willing to pay tolls to avoid traffic on a for profit road in the third worst traffic city in America doesn’t really show that it would work in common practice throughout the US either. It isn’t to bash your stance here, but if we are going to get to a free market, all of these things are going to have to be worked out and have answers. I have studied the roads dilemma for quite a while and have yet to find an argument that proves the feasibility of removing government from the equation. Until that happens, their taxing me for providing that service isn’t theft in my eyes, it is problem solving. Find me a better solution to the problem that I think will actually work and I may change my mind, the same way I have done with education and many other issues.

  9. And I am not going to even get into the National Security thing in this forum because another lengthy discussion on the subject isn’t going to do us any good. We can talk about private local security replacing police if you like, but the idea of a militia or private security standing up to China or Russia is ludicrous in my opinion and not worth arguing.

  10. Ray and BF,

    I somewhat agree Ray. I see BF’s point about non-governmental forms such as the better business bureau and the effect they can have, but that only takes into account the smallest types of transactions, and relies on a lot of extra work on the part of participants in the transaction. The free market does not do a good job of protecting the stupid, as is claimed.

    I do lean towards the train of thought that there have to be some rules in place that govern the transactions that occur. I agree with Ray that the nature of human beings seems to be greed. And without regulation greed will win. As I have stated many times before, those willing to do evil will win out over those holding to their principles nearly every time. Where the free market concept policing itself runs into trouble is as company size grows. And companies will grow in the free market just as in the current market. The very concept of economy of scale will allow this to happen, although those of you who have studied economics also know there are other factors that ensure this as well.

    The bottom line is that there must be regulation in place to stop large companies from taking advantage of consumers. Suppose an industry giant, say a cell phone company for example, finds that honoring their two year commitment isn’t going to be nearly as profitable as shutting down their company and walking away with the 10 billion they have already made selling their phones to people. All of those people are now out of that money with no recourse. I know in the past BF talked about having money is useless if no one will allow you to use it to buy their goods because they don’t like what you did. But I find that theory completely baseless. First of all, someone somewhere is going to need to support their family and will therefore do business with that person regardless. Second of all, how many of you can name more than two executives from AT&T? How about Enron or Tyco? There were a bunch of people who made a ton of money and walked away and if making them an outcast were the only penalty, they would be absolutely fine, because you don’t know who they are. Are you going to do a complete background check complete with facial recognition software for every customer in order to ensure you aren’t dealing with someone who got rich bilking millions in France before moving to Idaho with a fake name?

    Eliminating the government in the market will put a TON of new responsibility on every single person who wants to operate within that market under that theory.

    I do however agree with BF on the fairness in one aspect. If two people decide a deal is fair between them, there is no reason why anyone outside of those two should have any say on whether it was fair. I think that much is a statement I can agree on.

  11. Apparently the government doesn’t do a very good job of preventing “Enron-type” situations, either.

  12. blackflag2012 says:


    USWeapon Says:
    With no rules or regulations from the government getting in the way we certainly gain some advantages, but do we also lose some oversight that may be necessary?

    There is no oversight provided by government that the industry itself can’t supply.

    It is in the very best interest of an industry to ensure that the industry is competent and viable – or else the entire industry is at jeopardy. They do the best job of policing their own companies because one bad seed will tarnish all – including the best companies.

    Government has no interest, one way or another. Their interest is only justifying their existence by ‘doing something’.

    Think about it – where are the top experts in any industry working – in government? No! They are in their industry!

    So, realistically, the only people working in government are those that failed working in industry. These are the guys you want to trust?


    Dispute resolution. You pay me to paint your house. We agree on a price. You pay me and I paint it. 6 months later you realize that I did a horrible job and the paint is peeling off. You want your money back. I say no because I completed the job.

    So let’s use your example in real life – what are your options today?

    Realistically you can sue – but the cost of legal (and your time) will far outweigh any recovery you may get.

    So, what’s the point of government civil court in this case? None whatsoever. So much for your case of government :)

    Remember, your painter will not live long on your money paid.

    He needs to work everyday to pay the rent and buy food for his family.

    Your simple dis-satisfaction is far more motivation for him to repair his work than any civil lawsuit.

    In fact, the civil lawsuit option would probably be a far better option – it would ‘shut you up’ regardless of the verdict, especially if it was not fully in your favor. He would have an excuse to walk away and not fix his work.

    But the threat of bad advertising is far more powerful – for that hits him in his current, and most importantly, long term pocket book.

    Knowing you are a smart guy, you wouldn’t have hired any dumbo off the street to paint your house. I’m sure you would have vetted this fellow, and got references. So you know from his history that he backs up his work. You know he isn’t a fly-by-night, and in it for a long term.

    So in your case, something else must be a factor – right? He would not want a bad rep to ruin his business – he wants you as a reference for future work! Perhaps you misrepresented the work, and your house was not in the prepared shape to accept a great paint job… or many other factors.

    But one fact for sure – he wants to paint more houses.

    Now go and negotiate with him~! I’m sure he is all ears.


    To first address your reply to me. I understand that you feel government is inherently evil and are always quite clear that government does nothing but kill and promote violence. While I feel this is a small-minded and very simplistic approach to government.

    I agree it is simple!

    The evidence is unavoidably clear – government is violent – and they use it whenever it creates an advantage for them.


    Maybe your utopia could exist, but not in our lifetimes or even that of our children.

    You’re a pessimist.

    I believe it will happen in your lifetime – the only question will be – will you make it your choice?


    If your only answer is government only exists to kill and destroy, don’t waste my time. That isn’t the debate here. We are all well aware of your stance on government.

    Let’s be very clear. That is what government does the best.

    Quote from a reader:
    R.J. Rummel’s “Death by Government” I came to the recognition that governments killing their own citizens (what Rummel terms “democide”) accounts for far more death than war has this century (by a factor of about four to one).

    “Death by Government” is the most comprehensive compilation of government atrocities … ever encountered. It contains the pertinent numbers as well as the sad and grisly tales of unimaginable carnage.

    But, hey, now that we are even more clear about the role of government, let’s talk about highways.

    Highways were built to allow government the ability to move massive number of troops and supplies across the country very fast.

    The Alaska Highway was built to move the Army North.

    The German Autobahn was built to allow the Germany army to move massive number of troops across the country.

    Any use by the civilians was merely incidental. It gave government an excuse to tax you to pay for it.

    There were roads before government and there will be roads after government.


    Tolls and small roads

    Roads are far easier to manage then government makes it.

    I would suggest that your argument about roads is the same as if I said

    “I can’t imagine how small corner groceries work – I mean, I can see the superstores – they can afford all those costs of delivery – but a small corner grocery? What major food supplier would ship to them? It would be cost prohibitive. Therefore, they cannot exist

    The author was not offering that one solution solves all problems regarding roads – he was showing that contrary to popular myth, private roads are more than feasible.

    Since most small roads actually cross owned property, perhaps a co-op of road suppliers may ‘pop up’.

    Or maybe a major road supplier leases all the small roads under contract and re-organizes access – just like gas stations are primarily owned by a handful of major fuel companies.

    Or-maybe if you thought about it for an hour, you might come up with a brilliant answer.

    But instead of writing a book about it, start here –
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_2/3_2_7.pdf

    and here
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/7_1/7_1_1.pdf


    How could you police that?

    cite=””>

    The same way pay parking lots police themselves, perhaps?


    Would you have a gateway to each road that checked ID?

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Perhaps if you buy gas at my store, you can use the air hose. I let you use my air hose even if you don’t buy gas at my store.

    Perhaps you can find an equivalent process based on that example. There is a cost to getting money – ask a store about their costs of running a pay till. It really depends on the money recovery vs cost of recovery of money – and maybe there are other incidental services that are easier to bill for that subsidizes the road.


    They are struggling to feed their families and certainly wouldn’t have the money to build, maintain, and regulate such private roads.

    That is completely an irrelevant argument – that can be applied to everything, from fast food and grocery stores to flying airplanes. Obviously, we have fast food, grocery stores and airplanes (and a whole lot more).


    Using a wealthy neighborhood full of people willing to pay for privacy as an example doesn’t really prove the feasibility of such an endeavor being implemented as common practice.

    But you assume there is only one answer to the problem.

    But look at the real free market, USWep – there are hundreds of answers provided by the free market for nearly every problem.

    You don’t have to worry at all – if there is money to be made, it will be solved by the free market.


    Showing that people are willing to pay tolls to avoid traffic on a for profit road in the third worst traffic city in America doesn’t really show that it would work in common practice throughout the US either.

    In fact, it does.

    You started with “Roads need government”.

    Now, you see they do not.

    That is a huge step :)

    Remember the story of Soviet Russia.
    Bread and Milk was always delivered by the government. After the fall of the Soviets, people wondered how they possibly would get bread and milk without government. Obviously, today, people in Russia still eat bread and drink milk.

    Yes, we chuckle – because we don’t have that paradigm of government bread/milk stuck in our head.

    Same here. I chuckle, because I don’t have the paradigm of government road (or government anything) in my head.

    No more than I know how bread or milk is delivered to the grocery stores today – the organization of production, shipping and delivery – (remember the essay I asked you to read – I, Pencil – ), I Know the free market solves the problem easily. How do I know? I see bread and milk in the stores – in huge quantities.


    It isn’t to bash your stance here, but if we are going to get to a free market, all of these things are going to have to be worked out and have answers.

    Imagine if the free market had to “figure out” all the question on how to deliver ‘fast food’ before they were ‘allowed’ to sell fast food.

    Imagine if the free market had to have ‘all the answers’ to the question of how to get Caribbean bananas to England, before bananas were ‘allowed’ into England.

    Imagine if the designers of the car had to figure out all the ‘answers’ before they made the first car.

    Government works that way but the free market does not work that way, USwep.

    …which is why very little is done through government – innovation occurs outside of bureaucracy, not inside of it.

    Free market is an infinite circle of development, test, market, evaluation, innovation, development, test, etc.

    No one has all the answers.

    But I can tell, once going, the problems will find solutions by the free market – look over at all the things in your house – all of that didn’t come from people who knew all the answers on the first day.


    We can talk about private local security replacing police if you like, but the idea of a militia or private security standing up to China or Russia is ludicrous in my opinion and not worth arguing.

    To believe Russia or China has any desire to ‘take over the USA’ is ludicrous.

    But more reading, USWep.

    The Myth of National Defense
    http://mises.org/etexts/defensemyth.pdf

  13. No it isn’t a completely irrelevant statement to say the poor couldn’t do privatized roads. You argument in retort to it was irrelevant though. Grocery stores and airplanes? Really, that is your answer? Because poor countries don’t have airplanes. You know why? They cannot afford them. They cannot afford to waste money on things that aren’t required for survival. And a road in a ghetto would not be a necessity. Debating the issue doesn’t mean make obscure references to grocery stores and airplanes. I presented a problem with your theory. Answer the problem. How would the poor handle roads in the free market?

    And your statement that the government works that way but the free market doesn’t is absolutely incorrect. You want to move to a free market as you envision it, then rational people do their best to account for all the consequences of doing so. But again you are so intent on constantly just attacking the government that you let it get in the way of discussing the realities of the debate here. I cannot imagine how you solve any problems in your world. You cannot take off your blinders long enough to address the issues and questions presented. The fact is that here we are talking about the feasibility of the free market. Not fast food or bananas.

    And it has become your standard answer to say that there are infinite possibilities to solving every problem. It sounds great on paper but you fail to ever offer the solutions that there are so many of. So let me copy and past the questions again. Instead of rhetoric about infinite possibilities and parables about the evils of government. Convince people that a free market has solutions to the problems that I am bringing forth. Simply saying that there are infinite solutions isn’t debating, it is a cop out answer provided when you don’t have one.

    You can save time by not bothering with the evil government responses. As stated previously, We know your position and we also know your ability to do a web search for material that supports your position. Because people regularly write books about all the things government does well, don’t they? Of course not. In your mind that is because they don’t do anything well. In reality it is because people would not find it interesting reading. There is no profit to be made by talking about what is going well, only what is not.

    No I haven’t made any step. In your argument you say roads don’t need government because a single road didn’t. In reality that road is surrounded by government roads, which is the only reason that one can work. And you chuckle, but not because you don’t have a government whatever stuck in your head. You chuckle because you can make all the outrageous claims you like and simply ignore the realities. It gives you a little bit of a superiority complex because you feel like you are more enlightened. It gives me one because I can see you limited by tunnel vision that I don’t suffer from. I am willing to look at all possibilities and determine what is best. You simply eliminated one of the options in your head because tunnel vision doesn’t allow you to see government in any other light. It is a shame you lost your vision in this way. In doing so you lost some options. Options that may or may not be the best, but you will never know because you dismiss them before the sentence is even finished.

    And that is the difference between my reality and yours. I have the ability to see the breaks and try to fix them using any method that presents the best option. You live on the principle that if the leg breaks you have no choice but to put down the whole horse. In doing so you have severely limited your vision. I am saddened by that because your intellect would help greatly in finding ways to make things better. Instead we can’t let you set the broken leg because your only answer is that horses are evil so they should die if something breaks.

  14. And for the record some of the best in their field work in government. Einstein did, So did Edison. Your statement is ludicrous. We are well aware that often the best in fields don’t work for government because the pay is better elsewhere, not because of your, as usual, judgmental statement that the only people working in government are there because they failed in the real world. Every time you make generalizations such as that you continue to lose credibility. Do you really think that everyone is so dumb that they don’t see through statements like that?

  15. blackflag2012 says:

    No it isn’t a completely irrelevant statement to say the poor couldn’t do privatized roads. You argument in retort to it was irrelevant though. Grocery stores and airplanes? Really, that is your answer? Because poor countries don’t have airplanes. You know why? They cannot afford them.

    Ummm, I worked in some of the poorest countries in the world – and they had airplanes. How do you think I got there – walking?

    They cannot afford to waste money on things that aren’t required for survival. And a road in a ghetto would not be a necessity. Debating the issue doesn’t mean make obscure references to grocery stores and airplanes. I presented a problem with your theory. Answer the problem. How would the poor handle roads in the free market?

    I understand your conundrum and your confusion.

    If I present a problem with the way the government runs roads (or government works today), that means government roads can’t exist, nor can government – that is your argument here – sides switched.

    As long as there may be a problem in society for which such a solution is ‘disagreeable’ for you, the basis of freedom cannot exist nor should exist. Therefore, government is the answer. But of course, you fail to apply your demand against government. Regardless of how horrific it is, it is your default solution.

    USWep, because problems exist, does not make the theory of freedom ‘wrong’.

    Freedom is a path for solution – but as I said before, there still will be war, poverty, sickness, old age, stupidity, crime etc. These problems are not caused by freedom, and might not be necessarily solved by freedom.

    You have to try to grasp this incredibly important concept.

    Freedom is not a means to an end, USWep. Freedom is the goal – all other ‘things’ are the means to this end.

    So to answer you, the poor will do just as they do do today – will make other choices within their means.

    Einstein did, So did Edison.

    Cough.

    Yeah, right. Theory of Relativity and the light bulb was a government project. :0

  16. If I am not mistaken, Einstein’s and Edison’s major contributions came before they began working for government. At least in the relevent areas (I don’t think patent clerks are paid to come up with theories of the universe). It was only after their skills became obvious that they were sought by the state. I may be wrong, of course.

  17. It doesn’t matter when they worked for the government, BlackFlag’s premise was that the only people who ever work for the government are those that are failures in their field. A ridiculous premise to begin with, and those are examples of people who worked for the government, and thus must be failures according to BF. And BF, don’t be petty, the theory of relativity was not a government project, but the Manhattan project was.

  18. And my default position is the government is the answer because that is where we are. If we are going to struggle and strive to eliminate government from the free market then you are going to have to give some answers as to why we should do so. Give some examples of how things can work, rather than more diatribes on how freedom is the goal and poor will do as they always do…. make other choices. You still offer no evidence that a system other than the current one, where government collects taxes and builds roads has a better and more efficient alternative in the completely free market. Your arguments are easy when all you have to do is answer with rhetoric, but you seem to struggle when asked to come up with real world answers. All you seem able to do is fall back to the rhetoric of how we don’t understand freedom the way that you do and the free market will offer infinite solutions. It doesn’t contribute anything to the debate.

  19. I believe that example after example of how things can work have been given in previous posts. My blog is also full of them. You can choose to consider them or not.

    I am not egotistical enough to believe that my proposals are the ways things will actually work out post-state, just possible solutions I can see now. I do know they will be worked out, because that is what humans do. Predictions are always wrong when specifics are attempted.

    I don’t believe “the answer” will emerge as long as government has a monopoly on the areas we discuss. I also don’t believe there will ever be a single answer to any “problem” in a free society. “The answer” will instead be the “answers”.

  20. Kent,

    I am happy to consider them all. But I am also quite skeptical of some of the solutions proposed. And that is the point of these discussions in my mind. As the proposals are presented I try to discuss them and why I believe they may not work and BF’s only fallback seems to be the rhetoric, which doesn’t help me understand any better why I may be wrong, and instead solidifies that the positions are indefensible. I WANT to believe, but rhetoric and insulting my intelligence isn’t going to get me there. It takes rational discussion and honest debate. A little dash of giving me a little bit of benefit of the doubt wouldn’t hurt his cause either, but all of these things seem to be outside of what BF wants to do. It is NOT outside of what you want to do, which is why my discussions with you tend to be a bit more straightforward and productive. You have changed my position on several things by discussing rationally rather than wasting my time with stories and insulting my intelligence with blatant twists of what I say or posting of positions that ignore fact. I appreciate that you do so. I wish BF would as well. He is obviously intelligent and could add much to the discussion, but at this point many of the people I talk to about this simply see him as a radical who is incapable of having rational discussion so they ignore his comments and don’t respond. He has not conceded a single thing in three months. Regardless of what he is presented with. That either means he is so much smarter than everyone else or he is incapable of getting past idealism.

    Let’s give an example of why many who read are simply ignoring him. I said that in poor countries they don’t have airplanes. It is a rather general statement I admit. Obviously every country has SOME airplanes. but the general intention of the thought was correct. They don’t have airplanes in the same way that we have airplanes. The purpose of the statement was to point out that the poor are different from the wealthy. The point was that in poor countries they focus on needs rather than wants. Rather than accept that argument for how it was intended, BF chose to trivialize the statement by simply stating he has been to poor countries and flew there and asking a question meant to demean me such as do I think he walked.

    And this is the pattern. He trivializes and then demeans and then adds a quote or a link to something obscure. But he never addresses the position I raise on its merits. He simply states any position other than his has no merit. He never gives the benefit of the doubt to what is meant. He twists the statement to demean the posting party and stands firm on simply being smarter than the rest. There is no way to debate someone like that because they will never address anything that you say based on merit. He will change it and trivialize it instead. He will turn it into the least possibly intelligent version or the most heinous version and for some reason thinks that has made him superior. As a result most of the readers choose to simply ignore him. You will notice that no one responds to him but me and even that is lagging because I cannot waste my time debating someone who isn’t interested in debating the issues.

    It comes from two fundamentally different reasons for posting here. I am here to discuss issues and see if we can find a better way forward. I want to discuss solutions or feasibility or whether we should move forward or in a different direction altogether and why that might be so. BF is here to prove to everyone that he is smarter than they all are. His version of how things are is the only version possible, and to differ from that is, in his eyes, simple lack of vision or intelligence on everyone else’s part. He even states so. In his life only one person has ever in all of history proven him wrong about anything, and he married her. It must be tough knowing that you are the only person in the entire world with a valid point of view.

    So people see him the same way they would see the joker from The Dark Knight. Idealistic and irrational. No one is going to waste their time trying to be rational with the Joker. He would rather see the world burn than face reality and try to make it better. He is living on the hope of being able to say I told you so to the world rather than trying to make it a better place. It is sad to see but there is nothing I can do for him. I can’t change the world and I certainly can’t save it, but I can live with myself knowing that I have worked to make it a better place. He won’t be able to say the same.

  21. USWeap – I believe you are an intelligent person. That means I also believe that the longer you live, and the longer you pay attention to what is happening around you, the closer you will move towards my positions. At least, judging by my own road.

    My experience has been that my positions have evolved in this particular direction throughout my life. I stopped to think about this discourse and came to realize that I was exactly at your position at one time. Then, I either became insane or I started noticing unpleasant facts that added up to one undeniable conclusion. I will leave it to you to decide which is the case.

  22. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon Says:
    BlackFlag’s premise was that the only people who ever work for the government are those that are failures in their field.

    You have a poor memory, USWep.

    I didn’t make this the “only” premise – I also said, among other derogatory deficiencies, it was due to ignorance and delusion as well.

    And BF, don’t be petty, the theory of relativity was not a government project, but the Manhattan project was.

    Neither Einstein nor Edison worked on the Manhattan project – in fact, Einstein vehemently resisted the development of the Nuclear Weapons.

    To raise the Manhattan project as the epitome of government projects is telling.

    A weapon capable of killing hundreds of thousands or more people in a second is your great example of government success.

    Yes, USWep, it is.

    An absolutely perfect example of government success, indeed.

  23. Again with the innuendo and claims of what my belief is. I did not, at any point, raise the Manhattan Project as the epitome of government projects. But you know that because the ways that you twist my words are intentional. I am not all that concerned with it because everyone reading sees through it. The Manhattan project was raised because it was a result of a letter that he wrote to the President urging the US to develop a Nuclear weapon. While Einstein did not work on the MP himself, he did, in fact, work for the government over and over during his life. During the War he worked with the navy. And I am well aware of his later stance on nuclear weapons, the point was that he worked with the government, as did thousands of other brilliant people. A shame you live in your idealistic world with your idealistic beliefs. Such limited vision. Wasted intelligence.

    And your post, as I can always count on, simply proved my position as posted to Kent. Perhaps now you are beginning to see how your lack of interest in true debate limits your effectiveness. It simply elicits no response from anyone but me. And even that is beginning to become limited.

  24. blackflag2012 says:

    Again with the innuendo and claims of what my belief is. I did not, at any point, raise the Manhattan Project as the epitome of government projects. But you know that because the ways that you twist my words are intentional.

    To help you a bit – as you seem to lose track of your own conversation thread – you started with this And for the record some of the best in their field work in government. Einstein did, So did Edison.

    When I coughed, you provided this example directly And BF, don’t be petty, the theory of relativity was not a government project, but the Manhattan project was.

    I bet you didn’t think I read your posts, did you? ;)

    So there is no misreading – this is exactly how you presented your argument.

    as did thousands of other brilliant people

    I agree – millions of brilliant people have worked for governments all through the ages.

    However, this is your flaw of argument….no matter how many smart people work for the government does not mean government is good, nor necessary.

    USWeapon Says:

    But I am also quite skeptical of some of the solutions proposed.

    This is the point – precisely.

    There is no argument of what might be that can ever satisfy anyone beyond skepticism. Anyone can always raise ‘what if’ infinitely for anything that is ‘not yet here’.

    Thus, as long as the demand is that ‘all what ifs’ must be answered before entertaining the ‘what might be’ – you simply sit back comfortably in your paradigm without budging.

    However, you fret when such is argued against you.

    You must prove why you need to use violence to further your goal or aim.

    Please demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that violence is the only way to manage roads – because this is your fall-back argument – that violence is the only way ‘it can work’.

    Why is this my demand?

    Because you want to use violence to solve this problem – and the greatest and highest proof and reason for using violence upon non-violent people must be established – beyond any shadow of doubt.

    Think about this most important concept, USWep.

    There is no problem of non-violent people that is so serious that violence is the only solution.

    So, you demand how ‘private roads’ will work. (Shrug) Someone will figure it out – peacefully. Just because I can’t tell you how the peace of the future will look (and neither can you tell me how the violence of the future will look) matters not one wit.

    If there is no ‘nice’ solution for private roads – and let’s say it is cumbersome, complicated, and expensive – so be it.

    Because it is cumbersome does not give anyone the right to use violence to ‘fix it’.

    Because it is complicated does not give anyone the right to use violence to ‘fix it’.

    Because it is expensive does not give anyone the right to use violence to ‘fix it’.

    Freedom is not here to make the world a ‘better place’.

    Such concepts of ‘better’ for humanity are simply not a reason for anything – because, obviously, I may think the world would be a ‘better’ place if most of a certain race of people would be eliminated.

    Freedom is its own reason. Without freedom, nothing else matters.

  25. blackflag2012 says:

    As Kent well described was my path as well.

    I started as a firm Statist – my father was a Statist, as was my grandparents, mother, brother and family as far back as we go – as I said once before, Winston Churchill is a cousin of some sort – and he is a great Statist.

    But it evolves – and tough self-questioning leads to discovery of root principles – and then you go insane, because what you discover is in direct contradiction to the world you once believed in.

    You will come to a point – whether you believe yourself, or you believe what others tell you. Red pill or Blue pill.

  26. Your argument again rings hollow because your fallback is to address everything in terms that I did not. I did not advocate violence in any way. So you can attempt to twist the words to say so, but it falls on deaf ears all around because everyone else can read that I did not advocate violence. What I do advocate is the government providing a service, such as building roads, and using tax money to do so.

    And while you say I stay in the easy path because what hasn’t happened can’t be proven, I say you do the same because your only argument is that “it will take care of itself”. Unfortunately that isn’t the way the world works. We come up with a plan, as best we can, and implement it. We don’t just choose a path and pray it is the right one. You sit back smug in your logic because no one can prove “it will take care of itself” wrong, because you aren’t offering anything to prove wrong. Brilliant tactical move, but highly impractical. I know your response to this is that I am a statist stuck in the world of needing a plan. And that is fine. I will take my position over simply closing my eyes and hoping for the best like you do any day.

    But you did get one thing right…. at some point you went insane.

  27. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon Says:
    I did not advocate violence in any way.

    What I do advocate is the government providing a service, such as building roads, and using tax money to do so.

    That is why tyranny is a great attractor. You and many others don’t recognize that using political means is violent.

    You see no issues using force and coercion to make people use and pay for services. That is what law is – force – to compel a dictate of government.

    For you to use the methods of government, you would recognize this as violent – but because government uses these methods, you apologize for it and relabel it by a mental distortion – that, somehow, if government uses violence, it’s ok.

    We come up with a plan, as best we can, and implement it. We don’t just choose a path and pray it is the right one.

    Yep, the Statist rant.

    Plan, plan, plan – because the Statist knows how everything has to work, it will figure it out.

    And if it can’t, it will force it.

    You sit back smug in your logic because no one can prove “it will take care of itself” wrong, because you aren’t offering anything to prove wrong.

    The free market scares you.

    I do not ‘need’ to know how something is done – because on its own, it is done.

    I don’t need to follow the incredibly complex economy of simply buying gas for my car for me to use it. Along a incomprehensible line of tasks of people and companies, I do not need ‘to know’ why or how the goods are provided. The market does it – all by itself.

    But you did get one thing right…. at some point you went insane.

    In a world of fools, it is often folly to be wise.

  28. Most laws are the will of the people, created by government at the behest of the people. Sometimes the government goes against the people’s will, and that is where I draw my line and demand that government pull back. This is how a republic works. We elect people to do our will. The majority decides what that will is going to be. And those around will decide to go with the majority decision or are free to move to a place where the majority decision is in line with their views. You are so stuck in your rhetoric you forget any facts.

    And plan is not the rant of the statist. It is the rant of the rational. Chaos is the rant of the insane. You love to give movies as your examples of how life works. Watch some more, ever notice that the people with your point of view are always on the bad side? As I said, your arguments fail to hold any water, and as more people see it and no one bothers to respond to you, you are finding that the rule you apply to government applies to you. The only power you have is attention. As we begin to realize that your arguments hold no water and ignore you, you are becoming more irrelevant each day.

    The free market doesn’t scare me, stupidity does. Failing to plan is stupidity. In your chaos loving world, you don’t want a plan, and that is your choice. But rational people do want a plan. Not because they are scared or unable to grasp your concepts, because they are smart and choose to eliminate stupidity from their list of choices.

  29. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon Says:
    Most laws are the will of the people, created by government at the behest of the people.

    I disagree. Most laws are not the will of the people.

    Most people have no idea of what laws have been created. Do you?

    Sorry for doing this to you, but here is a taste of just California’s new highway laws in 2008. I repeat, just California and just the highway

    New Laws for 2008 – Vehicle Registration

    Unless otherwise indicated, these new laws become effective on January 1, 2008.
    Diesel-Powered Vehicles — Operative January 1, 2008

    Add: Vehicle Code §4755 (AB 233 Chapter No. 592)

    * Prohibits the DMV from registering, renewing the registration, or transferring the ownership of a heavy-duty diesel motor vehicle, as specified, if the owner or operator has an outstanding emissions-related citation until that citation is cleared as determined by the Air Resources Board.

    Diesel-Powered Vehicles — Operative January 1, 2010

    Amend, Repeal, and Add: Health & Safety Code §§44010.5, 44011, 44012 (AB 1488 Chapter No. 739)

    * Adds diesel-powered vehicles manufactured after the 1997 model-year that have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,501 pounds to be in the biennial smog check program.

    Disabled Parking — Operative January 1, 2008

    Amend: Government Code §14679 Amend: Vehicle Code §§22511.59, 22511.8, 42001.13 Add: Vehicle Code §22511.95 (AB 1531 Chapter 413)

    * Limits the maximum consecutive number of times a person can renew a temporary disability parking placard.
    * Increases fines for second and third violations related to illegal parking in disabled spaces.
    * Alters signage and painting requirements for disabled parking spaces of buildings constructed or renovated on or after July 1, 2008.

    Increased Fees — Operative July 1, 2008 — Sunsets January 1, 2016

    Add: Vehicle Code §§9250.1, 9261.1, and 9853.6 (AB 118 Chapter 750)

    * Establishes the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program, the Air Quality Improvement Program, and the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (Health and Safety Code) and provides funding for these programs through an increase in the smog abatement fee, the vehicle registration fee, the vessel registration fee, and the identification plate fee.

    Off-Highway Motor Vehicles (OHVs) — Sunsets January 1, 2018

    Amend: Vehicle Code §§38165, and 38301 Amend and Repeal: Vehicle Code §38225 (SB 742 Chapter 541)

    * Increases the registration fee for OHVs.
    * Requires the department, in the design of the OHV identification plate or device, to make the identification number the most prominent feature.

    Special License Plates Fee Exemption

    Amend: Vehicle Code §§5101.5, 5101.6, and 9105 (SB 386 Chapter No. 357)

    * Exempts the surviving spouse of a former American Prisoner of War or of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from paying specified vehicle-related fees if she/he elects to retain the deceased spouse’s special license plates.
    * Authorizes a member of the former prisoner of war’s family, or the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient’s family, as defined, to retain one of the special license plates as a family heirloom.

    Vessel Emissions Standards — Operative July 1, 2008

    Add: Vehicle Code §§9852.9, 9853.7, and 9853.8 (AB 695 Chapter 609)

    * Prohibits the DMV from registering vessels with stern drive or inboard engines manufactured after January 1, 2008, if they do not meet emissions regulations.
    * Requires the retail seller to certify on the original application for a CF number if the vessel is in compliance with the emissions regulations
    * Requires vessels with a spark-ignition marine engine of less than 500 hp manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, or
    * Vessels with a spark-ignition marine engine with any rated output power manufactured on or after January 1, 2009, to have a permanent affixed label indicating that the engine meets or exceeds the emissions standards, and
    * Requires the hang tag for the engine to be submitted with the initial application for a CF number.

    Year of Manufacture Plates — Operative July 1, 2009

    Amend: Vehicle Code §5004.1 (AB 462 Chapter No. 497)

    * Extends the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include 1969 year model or older passenger vehicles and 1972 or older commercial vehicles.
    * Increases the original YOM application fee to $45.

    Motor Carrier Permits

    Amend: Vehicle Code §§34623.5, 34630, 34640, and 34671 (AB 913 Chapter 58)

    * Authorizes the DMV to waive the $150 reinstatement fee if a Motor Carrier Permit was suspended for a lapse in insurance coverage, and it is subsequently found that there was no lapse in coverage.
    New Laws for 2008 – Driver License

    Unless otherwise indicated, these new laws become effective on January 1, 2008.
    Driving Under the Influence Repeated Offense — Operative January 1, 2009

    Amend and Add: Vehicle Code §§13353.1, 13353.2, 22651, 42009, 422010 13389, and 23154 (AB 1165 Chapter 749)

    * Makes it unlawful for a person who is on probation for a driving-under-the-influence offense to operate a motor vehicle at any time with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater.
    * Imposes an admin per se driver license suspension on persons found to violate this prohibition.

    Medical Examination for Special Certificates

    Amend: Vehicle code §12517.2 (AB 139 Chapter 158)

    * Authorizes the medical examination for an original or renewal certificate to drive a schoolbus, school pupil activity bus, youth bus, general public paratransit vehicle, or farm labor vehicle to be given by a licensed, advanced practice, registered nurse qualified to perform a medical examination or by a licensed physician assistant.

    Reporting Abstract of Record of Court

    Amend, Repeal and Add: Vehicle Code §1803 (AB 421 Chapter 746)

    * Reduces the time in which the clerk of a court is required to forward to DMV an abstract of the record of the court from 10 to 5 days after conviction or sentencing.

    Required Declaration on an Original or Renewal Application for a Driver License — Operative July 1, 2008

    Add: Vehicle Code §13385 (AB 808 Chapter 748)

    * Requires an applicant as a condition of obtaining or renewing a driver’s license to sign a declaration acknowledging that a driver may be charged with murder if a person is killed as a result of driving under the influence.

    Smoking in Vehicles With Minor Passengers

    Add: Health and Safety Code Article 2.5 to chapter 4 of Part 15 of Division 104. Amend: Vehicle Code §12814.6 (SB 7 Chapter 425)

    * Makes it an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a person to smoke a pipe, cigar, or cigarette in a motor vehicle any time a minor is present in the vehicle.

    Speed Contests and Reckless Driving

    Amend: Vehicle Code §§11110, 11215, 12810, 13201, 13351, 13352, 14601, 21051, 23103, 23104, 40800, 40804, 41610, 42008.5, 42009, and 42010 (AB 430 Chapter 682)

    * Includes reckless driving on a highway, reckless driving in an off-street parking facility, or exhibition of speed on a highway within the scope of various other existing statutes.

    Traffic Violations Adjudication

    Amend: Penal Code §1203.4 Vehicle Code §§40501, 41501, and 42005 (AB 645 Chapter 161)

    * Prohibits the courts from dismissing serious traffic violations through completion of a traffic violator school program or any other court-approved program for safe driving. Serious traffic violations are those that would result in the assessment of two negligent operator points.

    Transit Buses Right-of-Way Sign

    Add: Vehicle Code §24617 (AB 1492 Chapter 451)

    * If approved by the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, this would:
    o Authorize a transit bus to be equipped with a specified yield right-of-way sign on the left rear of the bus.
    o Require motorists to yield to a transit bus when the sign is activated.

    Wireless Telephones and Mobile Service Devices — Operative July 1, 2008

    Amend and Add: Vehicle code §§12810.3, 23123, and 23124 (SB 33 Chapter 214)

    * Prohibits a person under the age of 18 from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device, as defined.

    Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights

    Amend: Vehicle Code §11713.21 (AB 305 Chapter 219)

    * Allows dealers to increase the restocking fee under circumstances involving the purchase of a leased vehicle by the lessee.

    Consumer Protection

    Amend and Add: Vehicle Code §§11604, 11703, 11705, 4456.3, and Chapter 11 to Div. 5 (SB 729 chapter 437)

    * Creates the Consumer Motor Vehicle Recovery Corporation to manage a $5-million recovery fund to compensate consumers who have suffered monetary loss as the result of a vehicle dealership closure or insolvency.
    * A $1 fee will be collected by the DMV on each vehicle sold by a dealer or lessor/retailer. This fee cannot be passed on to the consumer.

    Occupational Licensing

    Amend: Vehicle code §11703.2 (SB 525 Chapter 93)

    * Expands the authority of the DMV to order restitution to victims who have suffered financial loss or damage by a vehicle dealer, manufacturer, distributor and transporter when the occupational license has been suspended or revoked.
    * Expands DMV’s authority to refuse to issue a license to include until restitution has been paid.

    Recreational Vehicle Sales

    Add: Vehicle Code §11713.22 (AB 1092 Chapter 406)

    * Establishes a requirement that a recreational vehicle manufacturer and a dealer authorized by that manufacturer to sell its line of recreational vehicles enter into a written franchise agreement, which is to include specified information.

    Traffic Violator School Licensing

    Amend: Vehicle Code §§11208, 11219.5 (AB 758 Chapter 396)

    * Requires DMV to submit a report to the Legislature, by July 1, 2008, containing a plan to consolidate all forms of traffic violation instruction programs under DMV’s licensing authority.
    * Increases the amount a traffic violator school may charge for a duplicate completion certificate and addresses a fee issue associated with class cancellations.

    * prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle, (California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a “hands-free device.” The second law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124).

    * On January 1, 2008, a law went into effect which bans smoking in cars when there are children younger than 18 present. Those caught violating the law will face up to a $100 fine.

    I have a short list of the new federal laws, but that would be cruel to post here.

    Watch some more, ever notice that the people with your point of view are always on the bad side?

    No, I haven’t noticed. Cite an example.

    Failing to plan is stupidity.

    Trying to ‘plan the economy’ is stupidity. You cannot – no one can.

    But rational people do want a plan. Not because they are scared or unable to grasp your concepts, because they are smart and choose to eliminate stupidity from their list of choices.

    No matter how much ‘planning’ the ‘people’ what to do, you cannot plan the economy, nor even a small part of it.

    Attempts to do so pervert the economy toward unintended consequences which overwhelm any plan or intention.

    The point made here, USWep, is as long as you tether yourself to government action, you not be able to break the paradigm.

    Desperation is the mother of innovation. When you no longer hold the tether to the use of violence, you will find yourself coming up with plenty of innovative solutions.

    As long as you are tethered, you will find no solutions to your liking.

    There will be more solutions to your problem of private roads then there are solutions for fast food.

  30. blackflag2012 says:

    And to humor you, here’s a thought on how to “get there from here”.

    Obviously, this is not an overnight switch – but stepped over, say, 5 years.

    Decouple Dept. of Highways from government by turning the Dept. into a company

    Issue shares – one share per resident per year of residency up to 15 years. One share per person born in the State per year up to 15 years.

    Issue one share per year, every year hence, per resident and one share per year per having been born in the State per year, every year hence.

    Shares bought and sold on the market. Management governed as per any normal company.

    5 years hence, gas tax revenues paid to company – phased out as company develops alternative income means.
    – probably partnership with fuel companies – good highways are required by fuel companies, so a natural fit.

    Decouple Licensing and Training requirments from government, insurance companies – who have the vested interest in safety – take over issuance and driver/vehicle assurances.

    Road associations create standards – lots of alternative roads catering to all sort of different driving needs – including uninsured drivers.

    Same concept could be used for Public Schools, and almost all ‘services’ provided by government.

  31. Finally, I have had the time to read this whole thing and hopefully will have time to comment.

    I believe is punishment. This is a major difference between myself and BF and Kent. I think there is a place for a justice system in the market, I think it causes things to run more smoothly, and I think that having a standard for crime and punishment is useful. It is needed in training, such as child rearing, and I submit that it is needed to keep a society running. I may be wrong on this, I am continuing to research my position, but that is my belief.

    As such, I believe that a free market should be free of government intervention with the following exceptions. In cases of fraud, coersion, and the use or threat of violence or theft, the government should be able to mete out justice. I think that government created entities should cease to exist. No corporations, no protection of the individuals who make decisions from the legal ramifications of their decisions. I believe that business investigators should exist as part of a police force to look into claims of fraud. I do not believe in government oversight. OSHA, the FCC, the FDA, and various other “oversight” organizations are a blight on business. Furthermore, any sort of oversight is an invasion of privacy, and it is an act of assuming guilt. A person is considered innocent until proven guilty. As such, to follow someone around and watch their every move with the expectation of a crime is illegal. This is why entrapment is illegal. A cop cannot sit in the parking lot of a bar at closing time unless they are called. By the same logic, the FDA cannot make suprise inspections of your meat packing plant, or even planned ones without your consent. They do not have a right to know your ingredients or restrict them.

    I have no problem with it being illegal to sell food in your restaurant that is contaminated or poisonous to customers, but there is no right of prevention, only of punishment of the guilty. Prevention is the responsibility of the buyer. If buyers wish to have someone else do their research, they can turn to private organizations. Reviews are more and more popular these days as people discover that the government oversight is worthless anyway because of its inneptitude and its corruption. I think the market would have plenty of room for oversight, much more would be created without the false sense of security provided by government organizations.

    I believe that taxes for businesses should be abolished. Taxes, in the end, are always paid by the individual. Businesses simply pass the cost on. Business taxes are, therefore, a hidden tax on the citizenry. One of the keys to changing the way that people view their tax burden is to stop hiding it. This also prevents the use of taxes to manipulate the market.

    I believe that the market, if it is truly free, will prevent it’s own monopolies. If there is concern over the powerful businesses using fraudulent or coercive means to improve their market standing or to take advantage, then they can be investigated. This is where it is important to have a government system in place. Private investigation is only permissible with the consent of the investigated. In a legal case, an investigation can be required to be cooperated with. This may invite the potential for corruption, for payoffs of investigators or for the use of the legal system to cause trouble for an enemy or competitor, but the alternative is that the powerful can simply continue to operate with impunity, since only a powerful competitor would be able to combat them. In certain industries or geographical locations, such a competitor may not exist for some time, and people would be forced to do business with someone they did not wish to.

    A standard currency is a good thing for an economy. I do not think that a standard currency must be enforced, but I do believe that one would exist. I do not think that regulation of contracts or of credit markets should be needed. Those things will find their own balance in the market. I do think that disclosure must be ensured, meaning that conflict resolution for contract violations would be necessary. Again, I think government would be better suited for this, tho, like currency, it should not be monopolized by government.

    I am out of time, more later…

  32. Although I think “punishment” is wrong and anti-social, I can live with “punishment” as long as those individuals who mete it out are fully, personally accountable should any mistakes be discovered.

  33. agreed, I find it deplorable that the state has immunity from prosecution for wrongful acts.

    I wanted to continue my previous discussion. I think I ahve covered the freedom level that the market should have. What must be addressed is what is considered the market, and what is not. In other words, what societal functions should be handled by non-market means?

    Personally, I would like an ideal where the market handled all. I could even conceive of such a thing under the perfect conditions, but we don’t have those, nor will we any time soon. In order to make a transition, and in order to provide a solid structure, or at least the perception of it, as will be required to gain support for any sort of change, I find many arguments in support of leaving a number of things in government hands. I support opening the field to competitors for some of these things, but I do not think that the government should have all of its functions wrested away.

    I would love to go into this now, but alas, it is nearly 4am and I should sleep so that I can function at work tomorrow. I will detail this as soon as I can.

  34. “In other words, what societal functions should be handled by non-market means?”

    I can’t think of a single one. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worth using coercion to achieve. Since “non-market” means “non-voluntary”, and means someone will have their rights violated in order to “provide” this mystical thing, it is not worth it.

    Can you give me a list of the things that you think are so important, and that absolutely positively can not be provided by the market, that you think coercion is OK?

  35. Item 1 on the list.
    Infrastructure. This is likely to be the first one to expire, meaning that it is the most likely for competitors to enter the market and make the government infrastructure obsolete, providing that there are no restrictions to such things. In the free market model I mentioned in my previous post, no restrictions would be placed on competitors. It is likely, however, that competition will indeed be introduced that makes the government infrastructure completely irrelevant. It is not likely that competitors would provide a superior version of the same things.

    A primary example of this would be roads. Roads are already established. Turning over the road system to private enterprise would be tricky, and it would invite an enormous amount of favoritism and shady deals concerning who gets the property and why. Simply going to the highest bidder does not offer much comfort, since any yutz with a lot of money oculd just outbid everyone and then have enormous leverage over the rest of the country. The market cannot respond quickly enough to this sort of upheaval.

    Introduction of a payment system for roads in private hands would be tricky as well. Essentially auto tracking of road users would be the only viable solution when one excludes main highways where tolls are an option. This would be an invasion of privacy that most would not like, as well as a cost passed to the consumer to be required to install tracking devices for the use of the roads. Remember, the end user bears the cost of all things, the business will pay for its outlay of cost one way or another. This is another reason a highest bidder offer is a bad idea, a business must recoup that cost, and even if the monies for the sale were returned to the taxpayers, they would not likely be returned in the same manner as the costs of road usage are laid on them.

    I fully understand the risks of things like roads remaining in government hands. Government makes bad decisiions. We would, in fact, not be in the gas dependent society we are in were it not for a military decision to put in place the US interstate highway system. This destroyed the railroads, which are now subsidized, and it permanently boosted the trucking industry, making mass transit a very difficult transition, now that it is deemed a better idea to have such infrastructure. It was a bad move and a clear example of why government should not be in charge of such things. However, a sudden transition to privatization is also not feasible without risking too great an impact on the function of our current society. Certainly some may find alternatives or make do, but it is tantamount to revolution, too much change is bloody and violent and unnecessary. Too many people are dependent on things to yank the entire structure at once. Even a bad house is more shelter than a bulldozed house, no matter how nice the new one to be built will be.

    Power grids, roads, satelite systems, etc. are all things that are being replaced by new technology as we speak, or are being partially accomplsihed in the private sector. I fully expect all of these things to be replaced by the private sector, and in better form for cheaper costs. I am not saying infrastructure should be in government hands, I am saying it will need to remain there for a decade or two while the market creates alternatives. The immediacy of the transition and the comprehensiveness of it is a major concern, both in the gaining of support for making a change, and in the effect of the transition. If too much chaos reigns, people will seek safety and security in rulers. This is a historical fact and part of the human condition that cannot be ignored. Idealism is irrelevant if it is either innaplicable or improperly introduced and implemented. If you do not have the patience to make a change without harming people, then your ideals are either a waste or you are in violation of your own intent.

    More examples later as I have time, feel free to pick on this one.

    Next example will the police and military.

  36. The “road problem” has been discussed to death and all arguments for keeping government monopolies on them have been thoroughly demolished to my satisfaction. You can do a search on my blog for just a few solutions. And there are lots of smarter people than me who have addressed the fears.

    While I see no “need” to leave it in government hands for even a temporary period of adjustment, I would agree to that if there was a definite target date, soon; not decades away, and no equivocating or excuses allowed to extend that date.

    I believe releasing roads to the public will only harm people if those intent on keeping them a government monopoly do the harming. It seems simple enough to me: the road that runs along your property is yours to the center line. You may close it off if you wish, but doing so would be seen as anti-social and would result in you being trapped on your own property. A better tactic would be to lease it to a road company, or maintain it yourself. But I really see no reason that roads will continue to be necessary once the state and its innovation-killing bureaucracies are dead.

  37. I will look into your “solutions” on your site, but roads are just one example. I too agree that they will become obsolete, however, our timelines are very different in large part because I do not believe that removal of government will instantly create exhorbitant surges in technological discovery. It will take some time.
    1) Government does not squelch as much innovation as you think, and government programs have resulted in and been part of the process of far more innovation than you admit. This is not the simplistic version of government versus private innovation that you see in Atlas Shrugged, where the state science institute struggled for years only to create a crappy brass polish and the a private individual created a new metal that revolutionized technology. Reality is not that cut and dried.
    2) The transition from the level of government we have to the level you propose will be a n enormous upheaval, much of which will result in a lot of chaos, not a lot of organized funding and innovation.
    3) Not all innovation started out as a profitable venture. Many inventors that are later acclaimed as brilliant die penniless, such as Edison. This is because the mindset of the inventor is not always cooperative with the market, and vice-versa. This does not mean I advocate public funding, but it does mean that there are a variety of examples of innovation supported by public funding that would have been difficult to find support for in the private sector. Some of these things have resulted in marketable innovations once the groundwork was laid. You are oversimplifying things.

    I dont have too much trouble with the idea that you own the road in front of you, I have a problem with who the “road company is” and what about the roads not near anyone.

  38. What roads are “not near anyone”? Someone owns the property the road borders or crosses, and in the case of the government “owning” that property, the next rightful property owner would own the road.

    I don’t think there would be one “road company”, but many competing companies. Why do you have a problem with them, but not with a governmental monopoly which results in bad roads, poor maintenance, no recourse for damages, and officially sanctioned highway robbery? How can competing free market companies be worse?

    I am not being simplistic in my view of the market. I just don’t excuse bad acts because of a few good results. No matter what it results in, theft, coercion, and all other state actions will never be right. There might be a small slow-down in invention and innovation at first when society becomes free, but that will reverse quickly when people realize the goldfish bowl is gone and they are now swimming in an ocean of freedom. How many new products have been thought of or built, and are now sitting on a shelf due to red tape or regulations?

    You believe I oversimplify; I believe you over-complicate. I keep wondering why you are so fearful or suspicious of liberty. What has the state done for you that causes such loyalty? I know why I am suspicious of state control: it has been shown to lead to disaster (and usually genocide, as well) every single time it is tried. Plus, it is immoral at its very foundation. That is enough for me.

  39. I don’t have an issue with the idea of a road company, I have an issue with the transition. How is a road company picked? How do they make a profit? How do they bill road users? How do multiple companies compete? Are they all offering different leasing amounts for the roads? I need to read more of your proposed solutions for roads, maybe this is all addressed, but it sounds pretty oversimplified to me.

    I don’t have loyalty to the state, I merely consider the logistics of transition. Also, I recognize the struggles of my fellowman and do not presume to think that they will all be able to shift so quickly as you or I. I also recognize that many do not wish to, and thus the removal of the state would be against their wishes. Moral or not, it would be difficult. I don’t really care how easy it is for you to live a free live and abide by your principles, I am voicing my concern for those whose ideals are not like yours, and those whose skills are not as advanced as yours in living as a free person. It is not easy or safe to do so. This is fine with me and you, but not all are so inclined.

  40. Police are required to make laws relevant. They are also in place to assist with the protection of people from other people. The military is in place to protect the citizens of a country from attacks initiated by other governments or non-citizens. While a free militia may be able to handle the average threat, an organized threat from another nation would be devastating on the border populations without military protection.

    Police might be able to be contracted, as well as military services, making the actual personell not government employees, and making an introduction of market forces on the organizations, but I do not see an acceptable market created version of police or military. I know some will disagree with this, but I think it is too risky to “try and see” if the market will create a proper alternative. I have seen no historical precedent for such a thing.

  41. Item 3 on the list:
    Courts and conflict resolution.
    Again, I do not think that there is no room for the market to create its own conflict resolution, but I do not forsee a total shift to free market versions only. Also, I do not have a problem with a basic constitution which helps to define, not create, the rights of citizens/humans. Such basic law for society will still involve addressing those situations where there is confusion or violation of rights. I do not see an acceptable market version of this for all situations. Currently, we are already too market driven in some instances, because money is allowed to influence the outcome a court decision. This needs to be addressed. By its very definition, however, the market may not be qualified to remove such corruption.

  42. Another note on the road ownership. Why would everyone landowner get a property windfall, whereas many who paid for the roads are renters. Also, those in high traffic areas, such as near an interstate would get a section of road worth more than those in a small neighborhood. But this does not equitably return the property to those from whom it was taken, because the cost of the road and property was not charged to landowners only. It is not a reasonable method of privatization.

  43. Different ways road companies might make money:

    Tolls.

    Businesses might pay to have the roads in their areas maintained in order to keep customers coming.

    Perhaps fuel companies or car manufacturers would pay to maintain roads so that there would continue to be a market for their products.

    Homeowners might enter into a long-term agreement with the company, trading access for right-of-way.

    If there is something people want, they will pay for it in order to get it. If people are willing to pay for something, someone will find a way to profit from it. If competition is allowed or encouraged, quality will improve and price will go down.

    Free market roads would need to be well-maintained in order to avoid lawsuits from hazardous conditions. I would probably willingly sign over the rights to the road along my property in order to avoid the hassle in exchange for access.

    If people wish to chip in and fund a collective road system, they can as long as it is voluntary. Maybe the owners of the road could put a sticker on their car showing that they do in fact “own the road”.

    And then again, maybe everyone would just agree to share the roads and their maintenance. Roads existed long before government claimed ownership of them.

    The point is, no one knows what the solution will look like, but if human history has shown us anything, it is that a solution will be found. There is no need for a single solution for everyone, either. I can think of many possible solutions in just a few minutes and I am only one person with little to gain from thinking of this.

  44. No one would “pick” a road company any more than a grocery store is “picked” to open in your neighborhood. Such a thing indicates socialism; not the market.

    The current situation causes harm to a greater number of people than a free market solution would. It is just that our society is numbed to the harm that is going on (we have become so used to it, that we can’t see it anymore), and any new system would be shockingly obvious for a while. A different type of person would find themselves on the short end. The thing is, in the long run, it would harm only those who are unwilling to live without being parasitic upon others, unlike the current situation. I am willing to personally ease the transition for people around me who simply have not been taught about freedom and responsibility.

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