Guest Commentary – The Fake Dichotomy

Thursday night really snuck up on me this week! My first week back at work after being out of the store for a while is always a challenge. In this case, getting caught back up on all the paperwork, training of new employees, and issues that came up while I was gone for two weeks is a quite daunting task. It is made even more daunting by an upcoming product launch that will be revolutionary in the industry and will also require a ton of my time for the next 8 weeks (work time not blog time!). I am pretty excited about some of my upcoming topics as well. I have some good discussion topics coming up, starting with Sunday night’s article in a few days. Tonight’s guest commentary comes to us from a tried and true contributor. I have a couple to choose from but I really wanted to run another one from Jon Smith. I always enjoy his topics because they are pretty thought out and well written. Jon has a knack for using that grey matter inside his skull to flesh out good discussions. Tonight’s contribution will be no different.

The Fake Dichotomy
by Jon Smith

Actually there are two I will discuss today. And I do mean fake dichotomy, not false dichotomy. A false dichotomy is when you are presented with only two choices, when in fact there are more than two to choose from. A fake dichotomy, at least the way I am using the term today, is when there are two options, or sides to an argument, and in fact the two are no different, they are on the same side.

The two key ones I will touch on today are being used as tools to manipulate the entire population. The first many people are aware of, or are becoming aware of. Many, unfortunately, are aware of it but still fall prey to it. It is the two primary political parties.

Republicrats and Demoblicans (US), LibLabCon (Britain), LibCon or ConLib (Canada), all terms representing what for more and more people is a glaringly obvious fact: The Parties are not very different, and they all end up leading us in the same general direction. They fight over nearly irrelevant issues, calling attention to small things that, even if they mean a lot to some people, certainly pale in comparison to the direction of the whole country, our freedom, our economic success and the quality of life in general.

The fact that people are not aware of the fake battle, and really believe there is a difference between the parties is a tragedy of observation and of people really caring enough to educate themselves about what is really going on. A greater tragedy is when people are paying attention, but are so biased and emotionally or sentimentally attached to “their party” that they judge the actions of their leaders based on who does the action, rather than on the substance of the action itself. Bush, for instance, started the bailouts, Obama continued them. Partisan critics had glaring differences in how they judged those actions, even tho they were essentially the same. The greatest tragedy, however, is that many people actually recognize that the parties have little difference, yet fall prey anyway. They talk about how both sides are a problem, how both are full of corruption, both spend too much, both take away freedom, both grow the government, both are incompetent. But on election day, they vote for one or the other anyway. They get all sucked into this issue or that. They get all up in arms about how bad the one “side” is, even tho they know there are no distinguishable “sides” to start with. They vote for one or the other, knowing that their choice is irrelevant, and will only lead to more of the same, only not quite as much of it as the other guy. Maybe.

I am not, of course, advocating not voting as some would recommend to you. This does nothing either, it is just quitting. If you want to step away from the system, however, it is better than perpetuating a broken one. I would rather see someone do nothing with their brains turned on than do something stupid when they should, or do, know better. The key here is to recognize that there is not only a fake dichotomy in American politics, with the parties working together behind the scenes, or at least moving toward a generally similar goal, but there is also a false dichotomy. The two parties are not the only choices we have.

The other fake dichotomy is less obvious, but is perhaps more sinister, since I think it is more purposeful. Also, this fake dichotomy does not include all players in the categories I speak of. (This also applies to the first fake dichotomy, not all Republicans and Democrats are the same, nor all they all on an evil path, but the majority, at least at the national level, certainly are.) The false battle I speak of is business versus government. Large corporations and the Government/Union alliance seem to fight constantly. There is some real fighting, to be sure, but in a lot of cases, the large corporations fight the regulations and laws for a while, and do so quite vocally, pointing to the costs and profit losses, but in the end they are not really that bothered by the regulations. Why? Because massive regulations cement their place at the top of the food chain. In a free market, every business must fight to the top and continue to fight and innovate to stay there. If you are a leader in your industry, you have the advantage of capital and brand recognition and infrastructure, but you are generally very hard to manage and innovation tends to slip. Structure, required for a large business to function, tends to eclipse innovation and flexibility. In most markets, if you fail to innovate, you will be outmoded and outrun. If you do not change your ways, you will eventually fail, beaten out by a better competitor, even one smaller than you. You may only lose market share in one region, succumbing to a smaller, but better competitor, but when that happens in enough regions, you are no longer the leader of the pack.

So why do the businesses actually welcome costly regulation? It raises the cost of entry into the market. Think about it. How many times do you say that you could do a better job at a given service provided by super large corporations? Most of the time, those companies are not operating at the best they possibly could because they do not have to. There are no viable competitors. The more regulations and restrictions are in place, the more licenses you need and the more you have to “know people” to get your company started, the better off existing competitors are. They can lose money to government regulations or taxes, but make it up by paying less or trimming quality or squeezing suppliers or whatever they want to do. They can steamroll their customers and employees alike and not lose a bit of business, because customers have no better options. They have no better options because no one is able to afford to start a business or get the approval for it.

Thus the power of big business is cemented with the current business leaders. They, in turn, support the politicians that slapped them with regulations and ensure that the unholy alliance continues. Power for the leaders, both corporate and political, with some thrown to union leaders to keep the workers from grumbling and we are stuck with a badly functioning market. More incompetence, bred by this manipulation of a supposedly free market allows justification for more regulation. Unhappy customers welcome the promises of a “fix” for the problem. A fix that only enslaves them further and entrenches the incompetent, lazy business leaders even further. Any real sense of business vision or ethics is lost, and we have a country run by crooks. Sound familiar?

Its not business versus government, it is government and SOME business leaders teaming up against the rest of business, insulating themselves from the market so that they can rest on their laurels and take advantage of the populace. It is a lie. There is no battle between business and government, there is a battle between the free market and a controlled market, between freedom and restriction. We need a separation of business and state like we are supposed to have for religion and state. Laws must still be followed that protect freedoms, such as laws against fraud and theft. Separation of business and state does not mean lawlessness, only a removal of the temptation for power to team up with wealth and run the world. The corporation and other government business constructs should be abolished. Business licensing and other restrictions should be removed. If you want to be in business, then do so. There should be no hoops or fees for innovation and entrepreneurship.

No more fake dichotomies, pretend battles, etc. Pay attention to what happens when the two sides fight. If either side “wins” but nothing really changes, either way, then the battle itself was false. One side pretending to be two sides must be attacked at the root, a proper opponent must be found. Its not just that there are more than two choices, its that the two choices presented are really only one choice.

Find another option.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. I don’t understand what your end game is here Jon. I don’t know that anything you’ve said is going to change anything. Maybe if you ask some questions of us it will spur some discussion. Or am I just clueless on what the message of the article is? You are suggesting that business is in cohoots with the state but the only option is to get rid of the state. We’re having a hard enough time getting them out of our lives. How can we get them out of “business”?

    • My end game with this particular piece is to hopefully help people start looking at the root of the issues. There are a lot more examples of fake opponents that are allies in the back room. I may be preaching to the choir here, but it still seems that a lot of people do the “lesser of two evils” vote because of some comparatively small issue between the parties. They agree with the similarity of the parties, but they still vote for the one they think is “least bad” when it comes time to pull the lever. Not recognizing the futility of this just perpetuates the problem. We have to think bigger picture.

      The same goes for businesses, especially large businesses. Support for emerging competitors may have to be a politically motivated one to overcome the political reasons for their inability to be more competitive against the bigger, more established companies. Also, falling into the trap of wasting energy on which side of the debate you fall in, the unions, the business owners, the government, the customers, etc. is a drain on energy that could be spent elsewhere. The thing about government being in businesses is that it makes government subject to market forces. So, use that if you can as another means of influence. Press the businesses to not accept regulation that blocks competition. Bad PR is a big fear of businesses, even those insulated ones, that is why they put up the pretend fight in the first place. If effort is being spent to make it look like there is conflict when there is not, then it means there must be something to lose if the lack of conflict is exposed.

      • Alright! That frames it up much better..not that I now have anything to add.. 🙂

      • “it still seems that a lot of people do the “lesser of two evils” vote because of some comparatively small issue between the parties”

        I don’t see cap n trade as a small issue, I don’t see immigration as a small issue, I don’t see giving the unions more power as a small issue. I don’t see abortion as a small issue.

        • I don’t see cap n trade as small, but I see politicians on both sides hinting at it. Even if one side is opposed, the greater issue is overspending and control.

          For instance, it does no good to put a republican in office to block cap n trade if that republican is going to spend the same billions on military and overseas action. The economy does not suffer under the EPA, but americans get killed and our tax burden is the same, and the economy fails anyway. Was that really better?

          I see no significant difference on immigration from either party.

          Unions cost us a lot and harm business. But the party opposing them tends to support corporate welfare. Is that really better? I think corporate welfare is as big an issue as union power. Neither are good for the economy at all.

          Abortion is a huge issue, but it is one that no one agrees on, I havent even landed solidly on that one myself.

          Overall, it does not matter how important the issue is, if a reactionary vote to block that issue leads to a greater problem in a whole other issue, then there has been no benefit, the government still grows in power and control. I am not interested in manipulation the path of power and control the government follows if it is still growing. I dont care which way they get too much power, I care that they have too much power. If you are fighting for something that is not a benefit to the real goal, then it is wasted energy at best, and, in a way, it is actually helping the growth of government cost and power because you are supporting one of the false “sides”.

          • As far as I can see the dems support big business too and they also support all the other things I listed -it isn’t one issue. It is the combination of all of them. You may disagree but I believe the differences are big enough that it makes a huge difference in retaining our freedoms and our economy while we fight to get better people in office. Go ahead work at the local level but if you ignore the federal level and all the people who believe in freedom just give the dems a free pass to run everything by not voting -then don’t be at all surprised if there is nothing your at local level can do to stop them, by the time you can actually achieve the goal.

            • Hold on V, I NEVER said that we should give up voting or only look at the local level. I said if you insist on not voting, it is better than voting for the lesser of two evils. I still vote at the federal level and fight any way I can. What I refuse to do is vote for the major parties. Some think that is a waste or is a way to garauntee the “other side wins”. My point is that there is no other side, it is the same side. So definately fight at the federal level, vote, do everything you can. Just dont vote for a scumbag because you think he is a lesser scumbag than the other guy.

              • I don’t happen to believe that being a republican or a democrat as far as that goes, makes one a scumbag-Being a democrat does however normally mean that I disagree with the person on almost every issue. So I will in most situations vote for a republican-unless I believe the person is a scumbag or there is another person who I agree with who I believe has a chance to win.

              • You are correct, however, among elected officials at the federal level, a republican or democrat that is not a scumbag or damaged by the corruption of Washington is by far the exception, not the rule.

                Where I take issue is your last statement. I beleive that the vote is your voice, not a strategic tool. If it is not your voice, then all one has to do is convince you of the wisdom of one strategy or another. Certianly strategy is a concern, and an important one, but if you will only vote for the guy you agree with if he has a shot at winning, then he will never have a shot at winning.

                The corrupt power mongers in washington have made sure that a third party will have a hard time getting started. If, on top of this, they only get votes if they have a shot, then they are effectively locked out, leaving only the rare politician who is not already rotten to the core. It is not about winning the next election, it is about winning the war, and that may require more pain before it shows fruit. Continuing to cultivate the existing system, however, simply based on short-term strategy, will garauntee the continued loss of our country.

              • We have polls my friend and blogs and many ways to determine if a candidate has a chance to win before you actually cast your vote. It isn’t a matter of just voting for the republican no matter what.

              • Not the point. The point is, when you have an evil guy who could win, and a slightly less evil guy who could win and a guy you agree with who is not likely to win, you should still vote for the guy you agree with.

              • I am still voting for someone I agree with-I’m just choosing between two people that I agree with by a different percentage, in order not to let the one who I totally disagree with to win. I respect that you use your voice to scare the two parties-I believe that as long as you are voting you are influencing what the two parties do-but I choose to use my voice in a different way and I think both serve a purpose.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          V.H.

          I can see why you consider the things which you listed as “big things”.

          However, you have to see an even bigger picture. Philosophically and structurally, the two sides are NOT all that different. They both ultimately want power and control for the STATE over the individual.

          Sure, one side might tell you what you can and cannot do, and you agree with 60% of what they tell you you can and cannot do. The other side might tell you what you can and cannot do, and you only agree with 40% of what they say you can and cannot do.

          So what? You just missed the ROOT of the problem! The ROOT of the problem, is that 95% of the time, WHICHEVER side is telling you what you can and cannot do, they are violating your individual rights! As such, neither side is acceptable.

          Sure, you might agree with one side more than the other, but THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT! They do not want you to realize that BOTH SIDES ARE ILLEGITIMATE!

    • Anita.

      Take the Pharma Companies for example. Why do you think that, after their meeting with Mr. Obama, they suddenly wholeheartedly SUPPORTED ObamaCare. Before that meeting they were steadfastly against it. Ask yourself, why?

      Could it be that they were offered something like elimination of competition? Have you seen prices go DOWN? Obama promised us all that the cost of Medical care would begin to go down. See my comments about my wife’s insurance yesterday. Does that look to you like it’s going down?

      What I am trying without much success to say is that after meeting with Obama, the Medical industry has gone into COLLUSION with the Government. We all will be the victims of this.

      The Oil Companies supported and gave donations to Bush’s campaign. George Soros and other big Business Democrats gave to Obama. In both cases, hell, in every case, big business pays for our Politicians to be elected. Obama’s campaign against big business is a smoke screen. It is sleight of hand. No one in BIG Business is hurt by Government regulation but us. Because the cost is passed on to us. And small business is squeezed out.

      Do you think it was an accident that when Obama had his jobs conference with small business leaders, the one Representative, the biggest one, the NFIB, was left totally out of it? But yet all the big Unions were there?

      It is no accident that all this is happening. The ONLY solution would be to forbid business entirely from the Political scene. Do not allow them do donate AT ALL. But do you think this will happen? Big Business is in the process of turning us from a Constitutional Republic into a SocioFascialistic Corporate controlled entity.

      • Let me also make one thing perfectly clear. I used the Democrats because they have all the power right now.

        But when they were and if they come again to power, the Repunlicans will be no different. Jon is right. There needs to be a third choice.

  2. Good morning Jon….nice article. I do have some issues that I will address a little later today. Not on the political party side as that horse has already been whipped to death…but your business side raises some interesting issues.

    Have a great day and talk to you later.

  3. There is a concept called the narcissism of (small) differences.

    In Freud’s original interpretation, it meant that when we have negative feelings toward people similar to ourselves, we will pick up on the small differences and amplify their importance so as to distinguish ourselves from them. More recently, it has less to do with negative feeling than the amplification of our differences.

    When you hear someone say “all Muslims are the same,” you can be sure that he isn’t a Muslim. But as a Christian, he might draw some “very important” distinctions between Christianity and Islam. Regardless of the fact that they are both monotheistic Judeo-Christian based religions with very similar rules and beliefs and practices, the Christian will point out the Jesus is the son of God, not just a prophet and that Muhammad is not a profit at all.. blah blah blah. The truth is that these are minor distinctions, but within the microcosm, they are huge. To an alien, these ‘differences’ would appear completely inconsequential.

    The same thing is at play between R’s and D’s. Externally, from the view of an alien (or many SUFA-ite), there are practically no differences, and the ones there are, don’t matter. But within the groups, from the perspective of R’s and D’s, all the differences take on huge importance. “We may agree 99.9% of the time, but we think the top marginal tax rate should be 39% and they think 35%! See? Huge difference – we’re nothing alike!”

    Just my 2 cents..

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    Jon – interesting article indeed – it does feel like several thoughts are in there that you haven’t quite worked out fully:

    1. Its helpful to provide examples of what you mean – you refer to “some business leaders + government” against others. Can you provide some examples to illustrate your point better? I would suggest you are further away from the truth than what you think. I believe collusion happens at all levels – and it does not necessarily mean or need to involve “big business”.

    2. I think you are confused by what constitutes laws that can protect freedoms (“…such as laws against fraud and theft”) and how that can possibly correlate to supporting a free market concept. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was supposed to protect against fraud and theft (it hasn’t) yet it has become one of the largest business inhibitors out there – as a control mechanism it became so watered down as to be largely irrelevant. Many companies actually went private rather than spend millions of dollars each year on bullshit face-washing compliance crap. But this brings me to my deeper point – I read time and again on this board on how “the free market is the way to go”. Yet, time and again we ask for examples – show me where this has worked successfully. Help me wrap my head around the notion that corporate dickheads will start acting ethically and responsibly and establish and follow good governance practices – don’t get me wrong – they could do that now – all of them could. True – there are laws that supposedly govern corporate behavior – but most all figure out what the delta is between what they are legally required to do (or what will be enforced which isn’t always the same thing) and what is the “right thing to do” – that is where more money sits, extra profits, the house in the Hamptons. Right now – “they” could do better, they just choose not to. Since there is no regulatory blanket to cover that delta, or sometimes no blanket at all, somehow we’re supposed to swallow that the free market will solve things – absent any regulatory impediment “they” will do better when it comes to operating their businesses. I am not buying it.

    3. I should also suggest that when one uses the term “free market” they define what they mean by free market. My take unless otherwise noted is that a free market is completely devoid of government control or influence.

    4. I do agree that we need to “pay attention” – but here goes the tricky part – the value of information is rising exponentially. How “factual information” gets disseminated is a battle we wage constantly here (I just cringe when people tell me I need more Glenn Beck in my life but they refuse to acknowledge that Media Matters would ever hold a kernel of truth on anything). So who owns information and how do obtain it? You should think more through which corporations own information and how major issues like net neutrality and mega mergers like NBC-Comcast can forever alter the course of how we obtain information and who owns it – just remember – a free marketer, imho, should support the NBC-Comcast merger and should be against net neutrality (the contrary favoring government intervention). Can you have your cake and eat it too Jon? 😉 Absent good, quality, factual, easy-to-obtain information for the individual the free market quickly fails.

    • #3. Such a society is doomed to failure. Wealth and power will accumulate in the elite. The rest of society will become little more than serfs, born into de facto economic slavery. They will live their lives in service to the elite without any real opportunity for success and will die in abject poverty. Their children will have little if any education and will be regarded as little more than property. The world of PirateLand is eerily similar to medieval Europe.

      Oh, but they’ll have freedom and liberty because the bonds that hold them are economic ruination leading to eventual starvation instead of threat of force, right? That’s much better.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “Such a society is doomed to failure. Wealth and power will accumulate in the elite. The rest of society will become little more than serfs, born into de facto economic slavery.”

        Mathius,

        What you have inadvertantly done is described EXACTLY what happens using the CURRENT NON-FREE MARKET SYSTEM.

        Why do you posit that a true “free market” would yield the EXACT SAME RESULTS which we are seeing RIGHT NOW that you have described above?

        Perhaps you are simply too blind to see that what you described above is precisely what we are getting now from the bizzare, warped, and bastardized system which we currently have?

        Trying something different rarely (if ever) yields the same results. Doing the same thing over and over again nearly always does yield the same results. See Albert Einstein’s definition of “Insanity”.

        • You are confused. I do not think the results will be similar. I think it would be much, much worse with “free-market”.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            What you “think” would happen and what would actually happen are two vastly different things.

            First of all, you still fail to admit that what you described above is PRECISELY what is happening right now, with the system that we currently have. There are a number of news articles out just today on that precise phenomenon. The middle class has largely disappeared in the US. We now have the wealthy and the poor, and the gap is growing rapidly.

            For Example:

            And Now We’re Headed For The GREATEST Depression, Says Gerald Celente
            Posted Aug 20, 2010 08:47am EDT by Henry Blodget in Recession
            Related: ^dji, ^gspc, tlt, tbt, edv, udn, tip
            Share
            retweet
            EmailPrint.The fake “recovery” was nice while it lasted, says famous apocalyptic forecaster Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute. But now the fun’s over, and we’re headed for what Celente describes as the “Greatest Depression.”

            Specifically, the always startling Celente says the country is headed for rising unemployment, poverty, and violent class warfare as the government efforts to keep the economy going begin to fail.

            The crux of the problem, Celente argues, is that the middle class has been wiped out. America used to be a land of opportunity for all, where hard-working people could build their own small businesses in their own communities and live prosperous and fulfilling lives. But now a collusion of state and corporate interests that Celente describes as “fascism” have conspired to help only the biggest companies and the richest Americans. This has put a shocking amount of the country’s wealth in the hands of a privileged few and left the rest of the country to subsist on chicken-feed wages and low job satisfaction as Wal-Mart “associates” — or worse.

            The answer, Celente says, is to bring back the laws that prevented huge companies from getting so big and powerful, and put some opportunity back in the hands of ordinary people. But doing that is going to take a while. And in the meantime, we’re headed for trouble.

            (Celente’s dead right about U.S. wealth inequality, by the way. It’s shocking. And it’s getting worse. For a quick overview, see “15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America)

          • Mathius

            Where is your proof that such a thing will be worse.

            Show us where this has happened.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            By the way, I have absolutely no confusion on this issue whatsoever 🙂

            I am not naive either. I fully realize that the possibility of a “free market” happening in my lifetime is pretty close to zero.

            However, I can still educate people on how it works and why it works and why it is the ONLY possible market system that is actually fair.

            A Free Market ACTIVELY SEEKS TO PREVENT EVERY SINGLE THING YOU HAVE DESCRIBED ABOVE. You seem to wish to argue that because bad people are going to do bad things, a free market cannot possibly exist.

            However, in a true free market, GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS tends to force the bad people who do bad things out of the marketplace!

            What we currently have now is a system in which the bad people doing the bad things have NEARLY COMPLETE CONTROL over the marketplace!!! The end result is (unfortunately) precisely what you described above but mistakenly attributed to a “free market”.

            Nope! We are getting precisely what you described above RIGHT NOW as a result of a market which is distinctly NOT a free market.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Its already happening Peter – that was my point – wherein a corporation can go above and beyond what is legally required of them to function as you say “good corporate citizens” they CONSCIOUSLY ELECT NOT TO! Why do you think scraping the current system instead of fixing will yield any different or better result? Please explain.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            In a free market, there are consequences for violating individual rights. Also, in a free market, those consequences are targeted specifically at the people/corporations who are violating the rights of individuals.

            The current system ACTIVELY DEFLECTS CONSEQUENCES AWAY FROM those who are responsible!

            This would be eliminated in a free market. Those responsible would be HELD RESPONSIBLE.

            I believe the end result would be a vast improvement over the current situation.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @Peter

              “In a free market, there are consequences for violating individual rights. Also, in a free market, those consequences are targeted specifically at the people/corporations who are violating the rights of individuals.”

              “The current system ACTIVELY DEFLECTS CONSEQUENCES AWAY FROM those who are responsible!”

              I agree for the most part – there is little accountability where it needs to be. Wherein there is some accountability it is not always uniformly enforced.

              “This would be eliminated in a free market. Those responsible would be HELD RESPONSIBLE.”

              Peter – please explain (and use examples if possible) how you would determine who is responsible? To what individual rights are you referring? How is this done absent law or regulation of the industry? (ftr – I would consider a regulation to be a law since it carries the weight of law or outright is a law. Please explain if you feel different and why).

              Thanks,

              Ray

            • Ray and Peter,

              “In a free market, there are consequences for violating individual rights.

              Gentlemen,

              There is nothing in the Free Marketthat does anything about “Rights” – this is an economic system, not a political system.

              There is much in a Free Society that does lots about “Rights”.

              A Free Society uses a Free Market, but do not look at the Free Market to solve your Free Societies Right problems!!

          • Ray

            Because THOSE who make the decisions will be held PERSONALLY liable.

            NO MORE govt protection via regulation.

            Today…..Who pays for the company cheating on the Govt regulation? The Company.

            Meaning the consumer and the shareholders. The cost of failure is diluted and those who caused it pay little.

            To fix this the Govt seeks greater and greater fines to force the pain high enough the share holders will take action. Meanwhile the company lobbyists and the elected officials write new rules that increase their profits somewhere else.

            You are still arguing that behavior created by the current system is proof that the same behavior would exist under an entirely different system. Failing to recognize the significant difference in the moral base between the two.

            You are in essence saying humans are corrupt and anything else is hopeless.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              JAC,

              As we have pointed out before, there does seem to be a belief on the part of a lot of people that “humans are corrupt” and therefore we need tons and tons of rules and regulations, or we would do nothing but constantly harm each other.

              The FATAL flaw in this argument is that if “humans are corrupt” then putting OTHER HUMANS IN CHARGE OF MAKING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS IS COMPLETELY INSANE!

              • My problem with this is that; How the hell would they know how a free market would work?

                To my knowledge we do not now, nor have we ever, had a free market.

                And with folks like the fear mongers in Government now, we never will.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Peter – no sir – you erroneously assume that under that theory, since all humans are corrupt then all humans are equally corrupt. That is not the case – any argument based on that will fail.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @JAC –

              “You are still arguing that behavior created by the current system is proof that the same behavior would exist under an entirely different system. Failing to recognize the significant difference in the moral base between the two.”

              You have not described the difference in the moral base between the two nor have you explained why the same behavior would not exist in the free market (we’ll say that behavior is corruption).

              When you say things such as:

              “Because THOSE who make the decisions will be held PERSONALLY liable.”

              You do not explain that absent law (regulation IS law) how you would even identify who is liable and then how you would hold them liable. You’re not accounting for information/visibility.

      • Mathius

        Please explain how free market forces will work to make this prediction come true.

        • Sure. It’s a free market. I own a steel company. First thing I’m going to do is merge with another steel company and another steel company and another steel company. Together, we make up the Steel Amalgamated Company of South Harrisburg in Pensylvania (or, SAC of SHiT).

          We make deals with Ford to drive out foreign competition by temporarily selling them steel far below cost. In conjunction with the newly re-established Standard Oil (whose board shares several members with my board), we form a vertical monopoly and take over complete control of the transportation industry.

          Other markets do the same thing. Now there are 10 or 11 major companies that control virtually ever aspect of the economy. Everyone on the board meets at the country club on Sundays as we sit around and mock the consumers who have no choice and laugh at their pathetic attempts to boycott.

          As we keep unemployment artificially high so workers (or cogs as we call them) cannot unionize, we use our friends in the media to brain wash the consumer. Incidentally, the telecoms are on our side and the internet is filtered (SUFA is blocked), so the only news you’ll hear is what we want you to hear.

          You’re not making enough money to get into private school and there is no public school, so your kids will have no viable education (you’re working 14 hours a day, so you won’t have time to teach them either). But that’s ok, because we’ll employ them in the workhouses as young as 8 paying as much as $3 a day.

          You’ll die of preventable diseases that you couldn’t afford to treat/prevent/cure at the age of 35, and your children will be taken in by The Company. We’ll give them housing and food and just put it on their tab for when they’re older. But they’ll never make enough money to pay off their tab, so they’re basically stuck for life.

          Incidentally, we don’t pay in dollars or gold, we pay in Company Bucks. These are only accepted at the company store where prices are, shall we say, somewhat inflated and for rent on your Company Housing. Your kids grow old under the unplayable debt, they have other children. And the cycle repeats.

          I just watch and laugh all the way to the bank (which I, of course, own).

          (See: standard oil, Rockefeller steel, railway pacific, and a few others)

          • Mathius

            “We make deals with Ford to drive out foreign competition by temporarily selling them steel far below cost. In conjunction with the newly re-established Standard Oil (whose board shares several members with my board), we form a vertical monopoly and take over complete control of the transportation industry.”

            Since you are selling at below costs your investors move their money to the new competitor because they see a greater chance of profits.

            How do you maintain this monopoly when I am free to start a steel/car/oil company with Peter and Black Flag.

            Your supposed monopoly will result in one of two things. Very low cost products to the consumer, in which case the consumer wins. Or artificially high prices which opens the door to competition.

            The monopolies you cite were all supported by some type of government protection. They can not exist without it for very long. Don’t forget to consider time lines in your thinking process.

            You are still just making claims without revealing just how free market forces, you know those basic laws of economics, allow this outcome of yours to exist.

            • Since you are selling at below costs your investors move their money to the new competitor because they see a greater chance of profits. My investors take the long view and know that after they lose money for a little while, they’ll make a whole lot more.

              Further, while I’m selling cheaply to Ford, I’m selling slightly more expensively to everyone else. Since I’m the only local provider of steel (and I’m paying my workforce next to nothing, and am polluting at will), I can still undercut foreign competitors for those sales.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            Your complete post is based upon false premises, and as such it doesn’t even deserve more of a response than I just gave it here.

          • Displaced Okie says:

            Mathius:

            “Other markets do the same thing. Now there are 10 or 11 major companies that control virtually ever aspect of the economy. Everyone on the board meets at the country club on Sundays as we sit around and mock the consumers who have no choice and laugh at their pathetic attempts to boycott.”
            ———————————–
            DO:
            Does anyone else thinks this sounds alot like how it is now, except, instead of 10 or 11 major companies we have a government that attempts to control every aspect of the economy and mocks (see CA Rep Pete Stark)its citizens as they attempt voice their displeasure?

            • Agree, I actually thought he was describing the current situation when I first started reading his post.

          • Freedom does not equal ability. You may be free to do all those things, but it is doubtful that you could pull it off. Even Rockefeller, tho attacked for price gouging, never actually practiced that. He could, but it would have hurt his image and therefore his company. Also, he did not need to gouge and run below cost, he was already operating more efficiently and thus could undercut his competitors without running at a loss. The consumer was benefitting.

            Again, I turn your attention to the unions in the early days. There were plenty of people seeking work, but they still managed to strike with enough unity to force the companies to change, and all those changes happened BEFORE the government put in regulations.

            As for the pollution argument, there are a host of people that will fight that. Will there be crime and abuses? Sure, but if you are going to sneak and dump toxic waste, you can do that now, the existence of alws and regulation does not change that. If you are willing to be sneaky, you will be willing to break a law. People will not put up with a polluting company.

          • Hmm, a vertical monopoly taking ove rthe transportation industry, controlling oil prices, controlling resource allocation, controlling automotive production….

            Sounds like what our government is doing, does it not? Bush fights wars for oil and Obama takes over car companies and supports the idea of oil going up so that emissions will be reduced (making it more profitable per gallon….

            Why is it that you are so scared of a free market when the doomsday scenario you come up with is being carried out by the ones that are supposed to make the market safe through regulation?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I’d like a much more thorough example of this truly ‘free market’ system as well. Theres a lot of talk about the free market, but not much substance. As Ray, my own views of a true free market is the complete absence of any government rules, regulations, influence, etc.

      Is this the actual case?

      Any examples out there of how it would work?

      • I had this conversation with my (very conservative) boss just the other day. He is for a free market. I asked him how he thinks the US can compete in, say, industrial production when the Chinese can just dump their chemicals in the river. He wasn’t able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Maybe someone here will

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          In a truly free market, there are several ways that the US could compete with the Chinese even though the Chinese can simply “dump their chemicals in the river”.

          First of all, American companies would have to VOLUNTARILY be “good corporate citizens” and NOT dump chemicals willy-nilly into the river. Sometimes IMAGE is everything!

          Secondly, American companies would have to CONSISTENTLY produce SUPERIOR PRODUCTS. People are often willing to pay a bit more for a DISTINCT advantage in quality.

          Thirdly, American companies would have to strive to do both #1 and #2 AT A COMPETITIVE COST.

          Would this be “easy”??

          Hell no it wouldn’t, but then again most worthwhile endeavors rarely are “easy”.

          In the long run, the problems associated with simply “dumping chemicals into the river” are going to catch up with the Chinese and their cost of production is going to skyrocket or large chunks of their population are going to be chronically (or perhaps even acutely) sick and/or simply die off. With as large a population as they have, perhaps they don’t currently care about that aspect, and it may be generations before it catches up with them, but eventually it will catch up with them.

          Certainly, their willingness to largely disregard safety and environmental issues gives them a short-term big advantage in regard to production costs, but when it does catch up to them, their costs are going to be astronomical.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Peter – you’re confused sir….

            “First of all, American companies would have to VOLUNTARILY be “good corporate citizens” and NOT dump chemicals willy-nilly into the river. Sometimes IMAGE is everything!”

            You cannot require people to voluntarily do something.

            “Secondly, American companies would have to CONSISTENTLY produce SUPERIOR PRODUCTS. People are often willing to pay a bit more for a DISTINCT advantage in quality.”

            Walmart

            “Thirdly, American companies would have to strive to do both #1 and #2 AT A COMPETITIVE COST.”

            Enter “business risk” into the discussion here – cost as a vector of risk will necessitate different views of risk.

          • First of all, American companies would have to VOLUNTARILY be “good corporate citizens” and NOT dump chemicals willy-nilly into the river. Sometimes IMAGE is everything!

            No, JAC. What will happen is that the companies will dump in the river and hide the fact.

            And, because the ones that dump in the river have a competitive advantage (cheaper production), other companies will also dump. The “good corporate citizens” will be wiped out because everyone will claim to be a good corporate citizen and consumers will have no way of knowing who is who and the bad ones will have better prices.

            Polluting becomes not only the norm, but mandatory for economic success.

            And when your family, who happens to live downstream, contracts strange illnesses, they will have no recourse.

            • Mathius

              That is simply NOT true. Construction of absurd claims is no argument my friend. How are they going to hide their pollution when the citizens are monitoring the situation.

              This didn’t even happen in the USA when polluting was allowed……BY the Government.

              The problem then and now is that our legal system does not force timely action on such litigation. The big money tries to drag it out. That is an easy fix is entirely consistent with free market principles.

              The other thing you seem to fail to realize is that the moral standards that exist today would not exist in a free market. You assume that hiding pollution and stealing would be rampant. Ignoring the fact that this behavior was largely created by the “mixed economic” model.

              That is why you will not see any truly serious free market advocate claiming that an immediate conversion should or could happen. We must address the rotten moral foundation first.

              • Your basic assumption is that, in the new world order you propose, morality will trump greed.

                I scoff at that.

                See Mathius’ Third Law.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius,

                GREED IS GOOD.

                We all desire to make as much money as possible. We all desire to have the highest quality products possible at the lowest price possible. We all desire to accumulate THINGS.

                We all desire to make a good living for the fruits of our labors.

                These are not reasons why a free market would fail, these are the precise reasons why a free market SUCCEEDS!

              • GREED IS GOOD. How’d that work out for Gordon Gecco?

              • They are reasons why a free market should succeed if everyone played nice. Eventually winners emerge and, when they do, they will take advantage of everyone else. Inertia sets in and the elite become landed gentry while the poor become serfs.

                It is inevitable without some countermanding force (yes, like the government) to force the playing field to be more* level.

                *More. Not perfectly level. But more level.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              “No, JAC. What will happen is that the companies will dump in the river and hide the fact.”

              Mathius,

              There is no way that this could be “hidden” for any length of time whatsoever.

              • It just needs to be hidden enough that no body knows it’s coming from you. I can dump my pollution in a river two states over – good luck figuring out who done it!

            • Mathius

              You also seem to think that history is forgotten.

              Would we willingly return to the medieval period? Hell no.

              So given the history of toxic pollution in this country, what makes you think citizens would ignore that history and simply turn a blind eye.

              Or that business people would ignore the impacts pollution has on their fellow citizens.

              Oh, one other point. This whole issue of POLLUTION is NOT a free market issue. Free markets simply mean that govt is not involved in the transactions of free people.

              The question of pollution is an issue of HARM against innocents. It is in fact a criminal matter and not a free market matter.

              • I like pollution as an example because corporate polluters are a prime example of a truism: companies are not moral.

                If you like, I can pull up dozens of examples of companies fined for illegally dumping. If they’re doing it despite fines, what do you think they’d do if there were no fines? Nothing is stopping the populist backlash you seem to think would be the control mechanism, so where is it?

                Or that business people would ignore the impacts pollution has on their fellow citizens. Of course they will ignore the impacts of pollution – it means that the widget they’re buying is 10cents cheaper than the other one. And, especially since they are no longer making minimum wage, that 10cents will be a big deal.

              • Mathius

                Once again you use examples under the current system and somehow think they exist under a completely different system.

                Under a free market can you explain just how these “businessmen” who decide to dumb toxins will avoid PERSONAL responsibility for their actions?

                Under the current system they ARE NOT liable. And then we wonder why they continue to behave badly.

                Under the current system the Govt provides protection called the “corporate veil”. Under the free market NO SUCH VEIL EXISTS.

                There is only one legitimate question regarding pollution and free markets, in my opinion. That is the issue of cumulative effect of what would appear to be harmless levels of pollutants on a case by case basis.

                Smoke for example. The smoke from any given stove may not be harmful. But the total smoke from all stoves causes health problems.

              • Ah, now this is interesting.. Let’s pick this up on a new thread.

              • #9

        • Mathius

          That is a false choice for the businessman and false argument against free markets. What the Chinese do is not relevant to the USA having a free market. We have no control over the Chinese, other than education of the American Consumer as to what it is they are buying.

          Remember the impact to Nike and others when it was discovered that “child labor” was used to make their products?

          So lets say he can not compete with China. What difference does that make? We are not going to allow him to pollute the river to make him equal. He must find a way to compete or find another business.

          And even under our current rules you could do nothing to make him competitive, without destroying the free market he needs.

        • In the system that we have right now. THIS ONE. China dumps lead into whatever they use to make toys. Everything coming from China now is contaminated with lead.

          But in our system that you think is fine and regulated heavily, this is covered up or totally ignored. China continues to ship in BILLIONS of dollars worth of lead contaminated cheap SHIT.

      • Buck

        In the more Objectivist world, as opposed to Anarchist, the “rules” are what Jon eluded to.

        It is the enforcement and prosecution of criminal activity. But the personal protection of “corporate veil” is lifted for those who run the companies or make decisions.

        When “personal” accountability is restored then a free market is possible. But as long as the cost of harm can be deflected or diluted by law, then it is just what we have. Then the only question becomes just how “regulated” we can make it before we kill it off.

    • I think very few have advocated for a totally free market but it can certainly be a lot freer than it is now.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I most certainly advocate a totally free market. It most likely won’t happen in my lifetime, because there are too many people who fully believe that “it could never work”. Such people are doomed to perpetual slavery by the Statists. They have admitted that they believe that they NEED the State to take care of them.

        • In all honesty Peter I have a problem talking in the might work, hoped for, future outcome sometimes. We need to fix our problems and that takes steps. Going through those steps would help to prove whether or not it will work. It also might help convince people who disagree that less regulations is a better idea if they weren’t thinking we mean to just get rid of all of them and leave the common man as a slave to big business.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            V.H.

            Oh certainly, I agree that sometimes (and particularly in this case) baby steps are probably needed.

            The problem is that the current immoral, irrational, and chaotic “structure” which we have is entrenched and will fight like a badger for its own survival!!!

            We have to realize that those who are currently in power HAVE NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER TO LOSE THAT POWER.

            As such, moving to a sane, rational, logical system where freedom, liberty, and natural law are the norm is going to be EXCEEDINGLY difficult!

            It HAS to start with individual responsibility and an individual understanding of what is logical, rational, and sane. It HAS to start with people understanding what Freedom, Liberty, and Natural Law actually ARE (and I would venture to guess that 99% of the US population has NO IDEA!)

            This is why we do what we do here.

            This is why many of us claim that if we do not do what we do here, any CHANGE will simply bring MORE OF THE SAME.

            I know there are people that say “we need to do something, and we need to do something now! All of this philosophical crap is just crap!”

            My response to that is that without a sane, rational foundation, whatever you create is just as doomed to collapse as what you have now, so maybe you shouldn’t be in such a hurry!

            Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day either.

            Are we in a big mess and do we need to “do something”? Certainly.

            However, doing the wrong thing quickly just for the sake of “doing something” is extremely unlikely to yield the results that we really desire.

            Most of us have been locked in to a false paradigm that tells us that the way things are now is “normal” even though the way things are now is completely and utterly irrational. Any attempt to force an immediate change is almost certain to result in yet another iteration of a completely irrational system.

            So, the question becomes, “How do we, in spite of overwhelming opposition, begin to move from an irrational system to a rational one?”

            I don’t have all of the answers to that question. I am pretty sure that is why we are here! 🙂

            (By the way USW, if you did not know it already, that is the “mission statement” of this blog :))

            • I’m not belittling what is done on here-I think talking about the principal and the value of freedom in whatever we do is important and it helps one decide what they truly believe. But on the other hand, we always seem to be talking about the extremes on every issue and it is the extremes that keep us arguing and disagreeing. We don’t have to agree on the end game to make improvements and making improvements would go a long way in actually showing people that less is better. Maybe we just need to do more of both. Let’s take an industry-talk about what regulations control it-and see if we can agree that some should be gotten rid of, or just changed or maybe that some have worked for the good.

            • Peter, I believe we are living in a twenty first century Rome right now.

              And the way we are headed is just like Rome also.

              It remains to be seen if we will contiue down this path, but it sure doesn’t look good.

    • Ray

      You ask many good questions. But I would like to attempt to quickly address a primary one you and others are always asking. Namely this demand for proof that free markets have worked in the past, somewhere.

      Here is my first attempt at a brief answer.

      “Until you can show me somewhere that people have purchased home computers in large quantities I will not invest in this new business idea of yours.”

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Interesting point JAC – under what economic system did the computer revolution occur?

        Let’s brunt my question a little – rather than demand proof – can we at least see an example of where no checks/balances worked?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Why do you posit that a free market would have “no checks and balances”????

          A free market IS the presence of continual, rational, and sane checks and balances!!!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @Peter – you have not described what these checks and balances are (use examples if you would) so I assume they do not exist. Its why I continually harangue on you guys to define “Free Market”.

            • Ray,

              Definition of a “Free Market”

              Trade between individuals is voluntary

            • Ray, Peter and JAC

              The error of your argument is you are trying to assign duty to an economic system as if it was a political system. Thus, you always get the wrong answer, even if you are right!

              The Free Market deals with liars, cheats, fraudsters, thieves, murders, rapists, wife-beaters, husband-beaters, etc. exactly the same way

              The agents withdraw trade from those people they do not want to trade with

              Economic agents in a free market know that dealing with deviants typically ends badly.

              Economic Law: That which is bad for a person will be avoided

              But note, the withdraw of trade is the same answer used when the product is unwanted, unneeded, too expensive or not a suitable answer for the agents

              You are all trying to place some sort of post-judgment on this effect – that the withdrawal has a more profound meaning then merely not want I want now

              Do not keep demanding solutions from the Free Market that are Political Problems

        • Ray

          e-Bay

          Craig’s List

          Millions of Yard Sales every weekend.

          Thousands of Black Markets across the country.

          I hope you realize that your comment about the economic system is a strawman argument.

          The type of system it was developed under is irrelevant to the question being addressed. But also remember that virtually every new product innovation starts out with virtually no regulation. Now look at how the big boys are seeking govt regulations that benefits their market power.

    • I will get to all of your questions as I have time Ray. I will say that I largely agree with your statement in point 4 that in the absence of information the free market concept fails, or at least has greater opportunity for abuse.

      I have always supported truth in advertising laws and other legal ramifications for fraud. I think that having a mechanism for combatting fraudulent business is a good thing, since it is possible to target persons with little recourse against such actions without such a mechanism (this is partly provong your point 3 where free market needs definition in a discussion such as this). I think that a truly free market like BF and PeterB support is theoretically functional, and has been functional on a small scale in the past. In general, however, I do not think most people are ready for it. Much of this is the statement about information.

      In a totally free market with no government at all, information would be up to the individual consumer to gain and determine the validity themselves. Most people do not have the discipline or understanding to do this without some time for changes in the mindset of humanity. This sort of thing would take time, or it would take a group of people who were ready starting such an economy and having it grow if it would. Where I stand still involves some laws and government action, but it is in general terms like laws against theft and fraud, rather than regulations of businesses and how they are run.

      My best example of the free market working without regulation is from the early days of the unions. Businesses were, in some cases, taking advantage of workers. The government did nothing, and was happy to trade favors with the tycoons. Unions were organized by individuals who understood that if they united they had more power than the business owners, that the owners needed the workers and could not take advantage of them.

      So what happened? The owners, feeling the pressure of the strikes, cried to the government, who responded by SENDING TROOPS TO FORCE WORKERS BACK TO WORK AND TO STOP STRIKE ACTIVITY! Not exactly government helping the little guy, because government was already in bed with business. The unions persisted in spite of taking on the government AND the tycoons. Only then did the government change sides and support the unions, and they passed all sorts of laws that made companies do what they already were doing because of union pressure. Then the government jumped in bed with the unions AND business. If they had stayed out of it totally, or were restricted from involvement consitutionally, there would have been a quicker resolution to the problems the unions were formed to fix, and the unions would have disolved until needed again. Business would have been healthier and more flexible, and even more competitive. Workers would still have good conditions, because if they did not, they knew how to fix the problem. Government would not be feeding off of both entities and getting bigger and bigger and more meddlesome, while not really accomplishing anything at all. What good is a law that addresses a problem already fixed by the market? It is a waste of time and nothing more than a feel-good thing to make it seem like the government did something productive. It is complete crap.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks for the write-back Jon – have to hit the gym – will read and reply this afternoon.

    • Ray,
      Collusion may happen at all levels, but the most of the cases where government is involved relate to big business, because small businesses do not weild enough power to have the ear of federal officials. That is not to say things are not happening on the local levels, they are, and such things need to be stopped as well.

      As far as collusion within an industry, I have less of an issue with that. Eventually, if several businesses join forces to screw the consumer, a competitor will see an opening. It may not happen immediately, but it is the long-term that matters here. We tend to get so wrapped up in the short term risks, like what about if someone gets screwed or whatever and forget about the longer term. To fix the short term issues but forget the long term effects is to poison a whole economy, that is what most of the laws and regulations have done.

  5. Interesting article Jon and in particular I like where you are headed with the business/government section. The “battle” between these has always been a confusing one to me.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      As I have described it before, Big Government, Big Corporations, Big Banks, and Big Military is the Hydra.

      There are many heads above the water that constantly quarrel with each other in very loud voices, but below the surface it is one body of the Beast seeking to control us all.

      The above-the-surface loud quarrelling is merely a constant distraction to make the sheeple THINK that one (or more) of the Hydra-heads is “looking out for the little guy”.

      This could not be farther from the truth. The Hydra only has one goal – power and control over all.

      We are seeing the results of that RIGHT NOW, and the results frankly SUCK.

  6. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Keep in mind the following thing folks:

    A “Free Market” does NOT mean “I have the right to treat my employees, my customers, and my surroundings in any way I please!”

    NO NO NO NO NO NO

    Sometimes I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall because SOME of you will just never “get it”.

    You have NO RIGHT to impose upon anyone else!!! NONE!

    This is what FREEDOM is!

    If you treat your workers like herd animals, you violate their rights.

    If you treat your customers like crap or produce faulty, defective, or hazardous products, you violate their rights.

    If you pollute your surroundings, you violate the rights of others.

    Such violations of individual rights HAVE CONSEQUENCES. The ADVANTAGE of a free market is that the CONSEQUENCES will be APPROPRIATE and will be TARGETED SPECIFICALLY AGAINST THOSE WHO ARE VIOLATING THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS!

    I would see that as a HUGE IMPROVEMENT over what happens now!!!!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Peter – I would be interested in your response to question no. 4 above.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So treating your customers like crap and providing faulty or defective or just plain cheap products is a violation of their rights?

      I kind of like this free market thing – I’ll have a right to top notch products! Woot!

      I am still waiting for an explanation of what a totally free market system is…all we’ve gotten so far are statements devoid of any facts or definitions of how much better it will be than what we have no.

      • If you treat your workers like herd animals, you violate their rights. False. I am paying them for the right to treat them a specific way and to gain from their labor. If I pay you $100 to sit there while I beat you up, I haven’t violated your rights. If the worker / herd animals don’t like it, they can up and leave. But good luck finding a better job – we capitalists who control the means of production all think alike and will never give you good working conditions or an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s labor unless we’re forced to. And in the free market, we’re never forced to.

        If you treat your customers like crap or produce faulty, defective, or hazardous products, you violate their rights. False. Caveat emptor. If my product causes cancer, I didn’t make you buy it. I didn’t make you use it. You should have researched and made sure it was safe for yourself. Don’t blame me for your actions. If you were allergic to peanuts would you blame me for selling you peanut butter? Further, if I’m producing garbage, I’ll probably sell it under a whole host of other names (including the real name of my competitors) and lie aggressively on my packaging – what’s to stop me?

        If you pollute your surroundings, you violate the rights of others. Prove harm. I say these chemicals are perfectly safe. Prove that they are the reason you got cancer. You don’t own the river I’m dumping in, so who are you to tell me, absent absolute proof of harm what I can and can’t do? You think CEO’s care about you? They care about their bonus. And the fact that you have cancer isn’t going to stop my consumers from buying – they’re on the other side of the country. Out of sight, out of mind. Short of attacking me with violence (a violation of my rights), you have no ability to stop me.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          ” you treat your workers like herd animals, you violate their rights. False. I am paying them for the right to treat them a specific way and to gain from their labor. If I pay you $100 to sit there while I beat you up, I haven’t violated your rights.”

          Mathius,

          Bad argument, fraught with an illogical premise. I do not care how much you pay me, if you beat me up, you have caused me harm. As such, you HAVE VIOLATED MY INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. Now, IT IS POSSIBLE that I consider $100 JUST COMPENSATION for you beating me up, in which case the violation of my rights has been compensated for justly. Nonetheless, you have still violated my rights.

          “False. Caveat emptor. If my product causes cancer, I didn’t make you buy it. I didn’t make you use it.”

          Bad argument, fraught with an illogical premise. If your product HARMS ME, you have violated my rights. As such, I am entitled to just compensation.

          “If you pollute your surroundings, you violate the rights of others. Prove harm. I say these chemicals are perfectly safe. Prove that they are the reason you got cancer. You don’t own the river I’m dumping in, so who are you to tell me, absent absolute proof of harm what I can and can’t do?”

          Mathius (sigh):

          As a company producing a product, YOU DON’T OWN THE RIVER YOU ARE DUMPING IN EITHER!!!
          In many cases, it is perfectly easy (and has already been done) to PROVE HARM. Ever hear of Love Canal??? People PROVE HARM under such circumstances QUITE REGULARLY! Why would the ability to PROVE HARM suddenly disappear?

          • you HAVE VIOLATED MY INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. Now, IT IS POSSIBLE that I consider $100 JUST COMPENSATION for you beating me up, in which case the violation of my rights has been compensated for justly. We might be arguing semantics here but I disagree. By accepting my money, you waive your rights. Think of a pair of boxers. If they hit each other, they are not violating each other’s rights. They have been paid to waive their right against violence. Similarly, you are being paid to be treated like cattle, so your right not to be treated like cattle (whatever that means) is waived.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius,

              NO.

              By accepting your money, I HAVE NOT WAIVED MY RIGHTS.

              If I contractually agree that $100 is just compensation for you beating me up, then so be it. If I am that STUPID, then I had better at LEAST be smart enough to make sure the contract includes specific limitations on what you are allowed and not allowed to do to me under said contract.

              Your abject failure is that you somehow do not realize that the employer/employee relationship is not a relationship of master/slave.

              ALL of your arguments are based upon the completely flawed premise that ONLY THE PRODUCER HAS ANY POWER IN A FREE MARKET.

              This is so flawed as to completely blow my mind.

              The POWER in a free market rests with the CONSUMERS and the WORKERS.

              If a consumer does not like something that a company is producing or how they are producing it, THE CONSUMER GOES ELSEWHERE!

              If a worker does not like the wage they are getting or how they are being treated, THE WORKER GOES ELSEWHERE.

              IT REQUIRES GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO FORCE CONSUMERS TO HAVE NO CHOICES AND TO FORCE WORKERS TO HAVE NO CHOICES!

              Eliminate the government intervention, and you immediately give the worker and the consumer choices because the artificial barriers which purposely prevent competition have been eliminated!

              • I’m not saying that, by virtue of hiring me, my employer can beat me up. What I am saying is that I have the right at any time to quit. But unless or until I quit and so long as they are paying me, the way that they treat me is justified by my acceptance of their money.

                Now, there’s a question of immediate action. That is, I signed up to work, but my boss runs up and punches me before I can quit, well no. I didn’t waive my right to that. But if the boss comes up and says “I am changing your job description to punching bag”, I can quit or be punched. If I opt not to quit and they punch me, they have not violated my rights.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                You are still confused.

                What you have done is that by contract you have agreed that while you stay in their eploy, it is worth it to you to have them give you $100 for their contiual violation of your rights.

                The contract does not negate the existence of your rights, it merely constitutes your agreement to LET THEM VIOLATE YOUR RIGHTS in exchange for monetary compensation.

          • Bad argument, fraught with an illogical premise. If your product HARMS ME, you have violated my rights. As such, I am entitled to just compensation. Says you. What right have I violated? I sold you lead plates. You eat off said plates and get, surprise, lead poisoning. You come to me and say “it’s your fault!” I turn around and say, “no, it’s your fault. Which is the action which caused the poisoning? My sale, or your eating? Stop blaming other people for your own actions.

            If I sell you a pretzel and you choke on it, is it my fault? If I sell you a peanut and you’re allergic, is that my fault? If I sell you a baseball which you hit through a window, is that my fault? If I sell you a computer which you use hack into someone’s website, is that my fault?

            Sorry to break out the Pirate Logic here, but if you want the free market, you have to take ownership of your actions. You don’t get to blame others. It is the buyers obligation to make sure that they products they are buying are safe.

            Try using consumer reports next time.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              ” Stop blaming other people for your own actions.”

              FALSE PREMISE! (you are good at those today!)

              It was not MY ACTION which caused YOU to put lead in the plates!

              • Let’s follow this along, shall we?

                1. Someone mines lead. You don’t get sick.

                2. I buy the lead. You don’t get sick.

                3. I make a plate using the lead. You don’t get sick.

                4. I sell you / you buy from me. You don’t get sick.

                5. You use the plate. You get sick.

                ———-

                Ok, so some problems here. It seems to me that stage 5 is the stage at which you got sick. At stage 5, you were the only actor.

                Secondly, if you hold stage 4 to be the one to get blame, why is it that I am at fault when you were on the other side of the transaction?

                Third? Why does the fault fall to stage three? Why not the guy who sold it to me? Why not the guy who mined it for him? Why not the owner of the mine? Why not the guy who first figured out you could use it as a pottery glaze? Why not the original discoverer of lead? Why not some extinct sun for creating the lead? Why not God for creating that sun in the first place? Seems to me you’re being somewhat arbitrary.

              • Because YOU manufactured the product that ultimately caused harm. Lead has many uses that do not cause harm, so it makes no sense, to me at least, to punish those who mined it or discovered it as it does serve useful purposes.

                IF it was not a know fact that lead can cause harm if ingested, then it would have to be chalked up to lesson learned.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius, SO ARE YOU. Your whole argument is arbitrary.

                In THE CURRENT SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE, it is still necessary to demonstrate harm.

                When the Chinese toys had lead in the paint that was used to paint them, we didn’t blaim the lead miner, we blaimed the toymaker.

                Get real please.

              • Naw.. I’m having fun..

                In the world of a truly free market, responsibility for product safety has to fall on the end user.

              • Mathius,

                No, the responsible does NOT fall on the consumer.

                The determination of safety falls upon the consumer

                If the consumer judges the product as unsafe, he will not buy it.

          • YOU DON’T OWN THE RIVER YOU ARE DUMPING IN EITHER!!! True. This problem is known as a variation on the Tragedy of the Commons. I don’t own it, you don’t own it, so we both abuse it.

            When my unmarked black trucks pull up in the middle of the night and dump some barrels into your river and then drive off, good luck proving it was me. By the way, you don’t have subpoena power in a free market, so even if you suspect me, you can’t force me to open my factory to inspection to help you prove anything.

            But that’s all icing.

            The root of the free market is a free society. Completely free. If you wish to make the case that I can’t dump in a public place is a completely free society, you need to 100% prove harm. Otherwise you may not infringe upon my freedom to act as I wish. Just because you’re “pretty sure” I’m harming you doesn’t make it ok for you to tell me what to do.

            Don’t like the water? Maybe you’ll have better luck with a different river?

          • Ummm….Peter….Question….where would the “harm” come from….a law that says harm?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              D13,

              It is not necessary to have a “law” to determine whether you have been harmed or not.

              Sometimes it can be useful to have a law as a guide, but if someone punches you in the face, I don’t think you need a “law” to tell you that that person just harmed you.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Buck,

        Treating your customers like crap may or may not be a violation of their rights, depending on the exact circumstances.

        If you get “treated like crap” by a specific company, one would certainly hope that you would have the sense to take your business elsewhere!!! 🙂

        If a product you get from a specific company is shoddy and sub-standard, one would certainly hope taht you would have the sense to take your business elsewhere!

        If a product you get from a specific company is faulty to the point where it is obviously advertized falsely (false claims are made), then YES, YOU BET, your rights have been violated, and you have a right to just compensation.

        If a product you get from a specific company is defective in a way that it causes HARM in some way, then YES, YOU BET, your rights have been violated, and you have a right to just compensation.

        This is called “a free market in action”.

        Now, keep in mind, THERE IS NO SYSTEM WHATSOEVER IN EXISTENCE which will prevent bad people from doing bad things.

        A free market will not prevent this, but then again, WHAT WE HAVE NOW DOES NOT PREVENT THIS EITHER!!!! In fact, what we have now ALLOWS CERTAIN BAD PEOPLE TO CONTINUALLY DO BAD THINGS WITH IMPUNITY, while at the same time, punishing other bad people for doing bad things, AS WELL AS punishing certain good people for doing GOOD THINGS. In short, it is arbitrary, chaotic, and insane.

        In a true free market, bad people doing bad things CANNOT SUCCEED for very long, because there are consequences for doing bad things, and the consequences are directed specifically at those doing the bad things rather than being deflected.

        Also, I agree that you have a right to top-notch products. Demanding top notch products at a competitive price is one of the main driving forces in a free market. Companies which produce top-notch products at competitive prices WITHOUT VIOLATING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS will end up on top!!

        Companies that try to cut corners in any way will end up out of business!

        Of course this means that AS AN INDIVIDUAL _YOU_ must DEMAND high quality products produced “in the right way” and not be willing to “settle for less”.

        As such, in a free market, BOTH THE PRODUCER AND THE CONSUMER HAVE TREMENDOUS RESPONSIBILITY!!! The consumer has EVEN MORE responsibility than the producer, because it is up to the consumer to HOLD THE PRODUCER RESPONSIBLE if the producer is doing bad things!!!!

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Since some of you seem to be totally lacking in appropriate definitions for the discussion we are having today, I will attempt to provide some:

    Freedom is NOT the freedom to do whatever you want, however you want, and whenever you want.

    Freedom IS a recognition that every individual has the same rights and that a violation of individual rights carries CONSEQUENCES. Within the framework of these rights, you can indeed do whatever you please, but the moment “whatever you please” violates the natural rights of another individual, the consequences will come, and they will come TO YOU if you were the one violating the natural rights of another!

    Freedom is NOT the “absence of law”.

    Freedom is the overarching recognition of the presence of sane, rational, Natural Law.

    Chaos is the state of dissarray that results from the imposition of irrational, insane, and unnatural “laws”. Such laws give one set of individuals (often referred to as the “elite”) a distinct advantage over other individuals. In a state of Chaos, the elite can impose irrational laws in such a way as to distinctly benefit themselves while effectively controlling everyone else. This results in a CONSTANT violation of the rights of individuals.

    Bad people are going to do bad things. This is a truism. This will occur NO MATTER WHAT SYSTEM YOU HAVE. In the presence of rational, sane, Natural Law, there are consequences for doing bad things, and the consequences are directed specifically at the bad people doing bad things. In the presence of chaotic, arbitrary, irrational, and insane “laws”, certain bad people are completely allowed to do bad things with impunity, while other bad people are punished for doing bad things. It gets EVEN WORSE though! In the presence of chaotic, arbitrary, irrational and insane “laws”, quite often, bad people will punish good people for doing GOOD THINGS! This happens because good people doing good things are quite often a threat to the power of the bad people who have written the “laws” to protect their own ability to do bad things!

    The current problem that we have is that many people have no problem being told what they can and cannot do by bad people who are doing bad things. Many people seem to simply accept this.

    For example, we all acknowlegde that some “law” or other is complete crap, but in spite of the fact that we all acknowledge that said “law” is complete crap, many of us still see the craptastic law as “legitimate” in spite of the fact that the law in question is INSANE.

    So, the question for those of you who persist in a lack of understanding of what freedom is, and what liberty is, and what a free market is would be as follows:

    Would you rather live in a society where consequences for doing bad things are specifically targeted at the bad people who are doing the bad things, or would you rather live in a society where a group of bad people doing bad things gets to tell the rest of us what we can and cannot do???

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Some other things that people need to understand:

    1. In a free market, a “corporation” could not possibly exist.

    2. In a free market, an “employee” is not a slave. An employee is someone who is willing to trade their labor to a company producing a product for fair compensation for that labor. As such, if an employee is being treated “like crap” they will deny that company their labor, and seek employment at a company who will treat them in a fair and equitable manner. This gives tremendous RESPONSIBILITY to an employee, because they have to be WILLING to get themselves out of a bad situation and into a good one! Right now, many people are too lazy to do this, and also right now MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTIVELY PREVENTED FROM DOING THIS because the market is NOT FREE.

    A free market works because it requires that producers, workers, and consumers all act in a responsible manner. If a company is behaving irresponsibly, it is the right and the duty of the workers and the consumers to deal with it appropriately. If the workers and consumers fail in their role as a check and balance against the ability of a company to behave badly, THAT IS NOT A FAILURE OF THE FREE MARKET, that is the failure of individuals to protect their own rights.

    We have come to expect that someone else is going to tell us what rights we have (as well as what rights we DON’T have!) and we have come to expect that someone else is going to tell us when the rights that we do have have been violated. Then, we expect that someone else WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM!!

    This is fail.

    • Wuups……I don’t buy this one Peter…explain a little further, please sir.

      Peter says: “Right now, many people are too lazy to do this, and also right now MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTIVELY PREVENTED FROM DOING THIS because the market is NOT FREE.”

      How are peopel actively prevented from changing jobs? What does “actively” mean in your rendition here.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        D13,

        Let’s say I have a desire to start my own car company. I have great design ideas for the cars, innovative ideas for assembly-line design, great concepts for improved economy, etc.

        However, between the Unions and the Government, and the mega Corporations and mega Banks , how likely do you think it would be that I would even get such a company off the ground?

        Let’s also say that Joe is a skilled worker in a union automotive plant. He would love to work for a small company making exciting and innovative new cars. However, Joe has several problems… First of all, the innovative car company does not exist for the reasons outlined above, and secondly, if it did exist his union would take it over and probably make things a living hell for the owner of the company until he made it “just like every other car company”.

  9. Once again you use examples under the current system and somehow think they exist under a completely different system. Human nature is human nature. I fail to see why people will stop taking advantage of other people. The means may be different, but the effect will now. Like water on pavement, they will find all the cracks. Some will find a way to subjugate others for their own benefit and the disparity will be far wider than anything you or I have seen in our lifetimes.

    Under a free market can you explain just how these “businessmen” who decide to dumb toxins will avoid PERSONAL responsibility for their actions? Now, here is a good point. I would like some elaboration though. Who holds them personally accountable. That is, where is the court, who staffs it, who serves as judge, who serves as jury, and who and how is the verdict enforced?

    Under the current system they ARE NOT liable. And then we wonder why they continue to behave badly.

    Under the current system the Govt provides protection called the “corporate veil”. Under the free market NO SUCH VEIL EXISTS. They’re indirectly liable – their stock price goes down equating to a personal fine and risk of job security. But your point is well taken. Answer the above and we’ll explore this.

    There is only one legitimate question regarding pollution and free markets, in my opinion. That is the issue of cumulative effect of what would appear to be harmless levels of pollutants on a case by case basis.

    Smoke for example. The smoke from any given stove may not be harmful. But the total smoke from all stoves causes health problems. Since you bring it up, let’s hear your answer to this one as well. I am a coal plant, it is in my interest to pollute. Nothing major, but combined with all the other plants in my area, we’re creating massive acid rain issues two counties over. What is their recourse? They can’t boycott electricity and we both know nuclear, solar, wind, etc aren’t economically viable alternatives in a free market.

    • Wow! Mathuis must have some free time!

      A quick review show that he still maintains irrational and false premises to buoy his arguments.

      So, sorry for starting in reverse, but I’m sure I’ll run into some previous litany of the irrational prose of Mathius here too.

      Human nature is human nature. I fail to see why people will stop taking advantage of other people.

      Because it is unprofitable.

      People do not deal with scumbags – they learn it tends to end badly for the people, so they stop.

      Thus, those that are scumbags end up not having many choices to solve their resource problem.

      There will always be scumbags, even if you shoot them on sight, too Mathius, so the measure of response cannot be the lack of scumbags.

      The means may be different, but the effect will now. Like water on pavement, they will find all the cracks. Some will find a way to subjugate others for their own benefit and the disparity will be far wider than anything you or I have seen in our lifetimes.

      You have no means to make this claim.

      You are arguing that you will subjugate others by your actions because you are free.

      Yet!! Amazingly! You are sitting there not doing it!

      So you are making irrational claims about the actions of others but denying you are irrational

      Under a free market can you explain just how these “businessmen” who decide to dumb toxins will avoid PERSONAL responsibility for their actions?

      The political consequences of killing another person is not a matter of Economic discussion.!

      Here is where you make your biggest mistakes, Mathius – you are trying to attribute an understanding of political consequences while placing yourself within an economic framework – and you can never do that.

      It’s like choosing what color lipstick is looks good a pig by calculating the velocity of a watermelon falling from an air plane – your process is completely irrational.

      Consequences of polluting and poisoning humans is a political consequence and it is irrational to use economic reasoning in its place

    • Mathius,

      Who holds them personally accountable.

      You and the People.

      That is, where is the court, who staffs it, who serves as judge, who serves as jury, and who and how is the verdict enforced?

      Gee, the last time I looked, the judge is a person, the jury are made up of people and the people enforce their verdict.

      Who do you see doing this, robots?

      Under the current system they ARE NOT liable. And then we wonder why they continue to behave badly.

      Under the current system the Govt provides protection called the “corporate veil”.

      No.

      The government does not give protection – it prevents restitution.

      It gives a specific license to pollute under the governments determination, not yours or anyone else.

      Under the free market NO SUCH VEIL EXISTS.

      Because it is a political problem not an economic problem

      There is only one legitimate question regarding pollution and free markets, in my opinion. That is the issue of cumulative effect of what would appear to be harmless levels of pollutants on a case by case basis.

      Paraphrased:
      “There is only one legitimate question regarding Pigs and velocity, and that is how many watermelons are needed to drop before we decide how Pigs are dressed?”

      I am a coal plant, it is in my interest to pollute.

      Please provide your economic reasoning that it is in your interest to pollute.

      What is their recourse?

      War, because the problem is not economic, but political.

      • Who invited you to this conversation?

        Please provide your economic reasoning that it is in your interest to pollute. You won’t stop buying from me if I pollute. If I pollute, I can produce cheaper. Market price is unaffected since this is a competitive market. Therefore my margins increase. Econ 101.

        • Mathius,

          Who invited me? ME! 🙂

          You won’t stop buying from me if I pollute.

          *Buzzt*

          Wrong. You are arguing irrational again.

          You do not know what *I* will do or do not – you are not me, nor are you “everyone”, either.

          I may buy or I may chose not to buy – and you cannot know which one.

          So, try again.

          What is your economic reasoning?

          If I pollute, I can produce cheaper.

          *Bzzt*
          Irrational Hypothetical.

          Please prove this claim.

          • I feel like I’m on the Gong Show..

            I am the owner of a coal plant.

            Based on the advise of my advisers and upon historical models, I come to the conclusion that it is unlikely that a substantive number of consumers will boycott if I opt to pollute.

            Choose to pollute is cheaper because the act of not polluting requires massive investments in anti-polluting technology and staff to support this technology. Choosing not to pay these expenses brings costs down. (Don’t fight me on this, you and I both know I can produce cheaper if I’m not worried about my by-products).

            • Mathius,

              I feel like I’m on the Gong Show..

              No, that would have been
              *Gooonggggg*

              It’s *Bzzt* – more like “Jeopardy”

              I am the owner of a coal plant.

              Hard to imagine, you with a coal shovel…but…ok…

              Based on the advise of my advisers and upon historical models, I come to the conclusion that it is unlikely that a substantive number of consumers will boycott if I opt to pollute.

              Did you consider those with guns, clubs and knives that may show up at your door?

              Choose to pollute is cheaper because the act of not polluting requires massive investments in anti-polluting technology and staff to support this technology.

              But how much would it cost if the people you are killing with your pollution burn down your plant?

              Choosing not to pay these expenses brings costs down.

              But what about the cost of your funeral?

              • Did block quotes get turned off??

                One more time….
                Mathius,

                I feel like I’m on the Gong Show..

                No, that would have been
                *Gooonggggg*

                It’s *Bzzt* – more like “Jeopardy”

                I am the owner of a coal plant.

                Hard to imagine, you with a coal shovel…but…ok…

                Based on the advise of my advisers and upon historical models, I come to the conclusion that it is unlikely that a substantive number of consumers will boycott if I opt to pollute.

                Did you consider those with guns, clubs and knives that may show up at your door?

                Choose to pollute is cheaper because the act of not polluting requires massive investments in anti-polluting technology and staff to support this technology.

                But how much would it cost if the people you are killing with your pollution burn down your plant?

                Choosing not to pay these expenses brings costs down.

                But what about the cost of your funeral?

              • It’s *Bzzt* – more like “Jeopardy”

                I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying out for Jeopardy.. I think I’ve got some prepping to do. Care to try out, too?

              • Mathius,

                My issue:

                – they concentrate on blizzard art and music and TV questions – I cannot win because I do not listen to modern music, I do not partake in modern art, and I do not watch TV.

              • “Blizzard”!! Hahaha where did that sneak in…

                BIZARRE

              • “In terms of material, there are a few things you absolutely must know. These are, in order of importance: State and world capitals; U.S. presidents (order, years of office, and general biographies); state nicknames; and Shakespeare’s plays, including basic plot lines and major characters. It’s a good idea to go through a book of biographies to learn about the lives of significant people, as this info makes up a huge amount of Jeopardy’s material. For instance, did you know that Leonid Brezhnev’s background was in metallurgy, or that Albert Schweitzer was an organist? You also want to know all about the world’s major religions and currencies. Later, you’ll want to learn which U.S. senators (notable past and present) come from which states, current and (notable) past cabinet members, major world leaders, and other similar fields where there’s a fairly finite set of information. In addition, you should be as sharp as possible on history, geography, literature, mythology, artists, composers, religions, and languages. These are the heavy-duty academic categories that make up much of the weight of the Double Jeopardy round. If you’re weak in one of these areas, work on it, and your score will go up. You’ll almost never see a Jeopardy game in which variations on literature, history, and geography don’t appear in one (or both) of the rounds.”

                http://www.pisspoor.com/jep.html

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Who invited BF to this conversation?

          Didn’t you see him standing in the batter’s box? When he saw that I took a break to go get some work done he merely stepped up to the plate 🙂

      • Buck the Wala says:

        BF, in the past we’ve gone back and forth before about the ability of people to enforce judgments in a society devoid of government. You vehemently argued that there could be no enforcement (other than shunning, refusing to deal with the guilty party in the future, etc.) as that would be imposing violence on the non-violent.

        Yet, you still argue for the ability of the people to hold a trial and enforce a judgment. How are the people to enforce this judgment then?? If a trial is held and you are found to have poisoned the water, or bilked me for thousands of dollars, or whatever else you did to turn a profit, then what?

        • Buck

          BF, in the past we’ve gone back and forth before about the ability of people to enforce judgments in a society devoid of government.

          You argue that something a group of people can do *here* cannot be done by a group of people *there*.

          You vehemently argued that there could be no enforcement (other than shunning, refusing to deal with the guilty party in the future, etc.) as that would be imposing violence on the non-violent.

          In the case of fraud, that is what I argue.

          It would be using violence to solve a non-violent human problem.

          Yet, you still argue for the ability of the people to hold a trial and enforce a judgment. How are the people to enforce this judgment then??

          Are we talking about a response to an act of violence or an act of immoral, but non-violence?

          If a trial is held and you are found to have poisoned the water, or bilked me for thousands of dollars, or whatever else you did to turn a profit, then what?

          Which “what?” – you raised two, distinct matters in an attempt to make them appear as the same condition.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Ok, fair enough – let’s keep it with the hypo Mathius has been using. You set up a coal plant and, to keep costs down, pollute the local river.

            1) I get sick due to your pollution (actual physical harm) so I take you to court, you are found guilty of pollution and you now owe me $250,000. You refuse to pay – how do I enforce this judgment?

            2) Take out physical harm; rather, your pollution causes my crops to die (financial harm) so I take you to court and again you are found guilty to the tune of $250,000. You refuse to pay – how do I enforce this judgment?

            • Buck

              You set up a coal plant and, to keep costs down, pollute the local river.

              1) I get sick due to your pollution (actual physical harm) so I take you to court, you are found guilty of pollution and you now owe me $250,000. You refuse to pay – how do I enforce this judgment?

              You go to the plant and burn it down.

              The second plant they build will not pollute the river.

              2) Take out physical harm; rather, your pollution causes my crops to die (financial harm) so I take you to court and again you are found guilty to the tune of $250,000. You refuse to pay – how do I enforce this judgment?

              You go to the plant and burn it down.

              The second plant they build will not pollute the river.

              • Isn’t that using violence?

              • D13,

                Damn right its violence.

                The right to use violence in a
                response to violence is called “Self defense” – a well known and used human right.

              • So, in your case, self defense would be that if you got sick from pollution, then you have a “self defence” argument to burn down a plant. Do I have this correct?

              • Sorry, defense….my keyboard still cannot spell correctly.

              • D13,

                Not quite. Follow the WHOLE thread from the beginning.

                First, it was the pollution,

                Then, it was the sickness

                Then, it was taking the complaint to my peers for their review.

                Then, my peers agreed and sanctioned my request for compensation.

                Then, that was refused by the violent actor.

                Then, my recourse after all that is physical enforcement.

              • I get your point from the beginning…..so, you have assumed that my mere getting rid of pollutants was violent…you have further assumed that a peer revue can now sanction violence if I refuse to pay…because I did not intend for youto get sick…I did not commit violence upon you..I was merely dumping my toxins.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Because that end-answer makes sense…

                Geez, BF. I’d have expected you to have a real answer.

                So let me follow along – I suffer financial harm in that your pollution caused my crops to die. I sue you. It is found that your pollution did in fact cause my crops to die which resulted in a monetary loss to me. You refuse to pay. I can now BURN DOWN YOUR PLANT!?

                And what of the innocent people that die in the fire?

              • D13,

                Huh?

                Where do you get “getting rid of pollutants” as violent?

                A peer review is vital to determining political action.

                Intention is not required to commit an act of violence.

                Firing my rifle through my walls, not intending to hit you, still is violence on you when you get hit.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Also not sure how self defense comes into play here, especially in Hypo #2. The harm was already done. Yet I am STILL justified in burning the plant down for your refusal to pay me for the harm previously caused??

          • I see only one what…..what are you going to do to enforce your court action?

            • D13,

              There are two *whats*, there is an act of violence and an act of non-violence.

              This determines the quality of enforcement.

              So which *what* are you questioning?

              • Interesting…the only violence that I see is burning down a plant.

              • D13,

                So you do not think poisoning a person is an act of violence?

              • I see a stretch here……If the intent was to kill you…violence. If the intent was to get rid of pollutants…non violent

              • D13,

                So, hearing your argument, is that if the act of violence does not threaten your life, it isn’t violent.

                So you cannot act to stop me from poking you incessantly with my nail gun through your toes as long as your life is not threatened.

              • I have a bigger nail gun…

                Seriously tho…I now see your argument as that almost anything can be considered violent….it is a matter of judgement.

              • D13,

                How can you bizarrely conclude that?

                Again, do you agree or disagree that poisoning is an act of violence?

              • To answer your question….no violence occurs. Sorry you drank the water. I did not intend to poison you. Should have filtered your water.

                However….I see BF taking water from the creek. I poison the water purposely to poison you because I don’t like you…violence.

                At least this is how I see it.

                Please allow me another analogy….lets us take the water out of the equation.

                I am walking down the street. You are in your backyard and hit a baseball across your fence. I get hit in the head. Bad luck I was walking down the street. THis is not violence, in my opinion.

                But I am pissed. Take you to court and a peer review says that I am entitled to compensation. You say, bs, I did not commit violence upon you and I refuse to pay. I do not see this as violence.

                I get further pissed and burn your house down…NOW, this is violence. THis is how I see it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Which goes back to my original question D13 – Thanks!

                In your example with the baseball – the jury found that despite the lack of intent, BF was responsible and owes you $X. He refused to pay. WHAT NEXT??

              • Buck,

                He refused to pay. WHAT NEXT

                Well, how about going back to your peers, and asking that question?

                “Well, guys, the moron refuses to pay for my hospital bills that he caused. What say you we need to do next?”

              • But, are you committing violence by not paying? Did you commit violence by unknowingly hitting me?

              • D13,

                In reverse,

                Did I commit violence by hitting you by accident?

                Yes my action caused you physical harm – it was your blood flowing out of your face damaged by my baseball, right?

                Committing violence by NOT paying – failing to restitution damage of your violence is RIGHTFULLY enforced by violence (if required)

              • Buck the Wala says:

                BF, I already went to my/our peers and they decided that you do owe me this money. Yet you refuse to pay.

                Can I burn your house down now?

              • Buck,

                What harm did I cause you to demand such compensation?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                You accidentally hit me with a baseball, remember? And I’m the one suffering from the concussion here…

                But anyway, I came to you for payment of my medical bills. A jury of our peers found you owed me this money. Yet you refuse to pay.

                So I ask again – can I burn your house down now?

            • YOu answered this one already..

  10. Jon,

    The issue I have with attempting to use government to solve fraud is that you reintroduce the same violent actor to solve a non-violent problem – and will create a far worse problem then mere “fraud”.

    It is the theory that fraud requires a violent response that creates the licensing etc. demand by government.

    It licenses you so to “prove” you will not defraud. You demand government protect you from the non-violent immoral action of another, so government requires “doctors” get a license to prove they are ‘doctors’ – and thus, prohibits other forms of medical services that do not comply.

    This effect ripples through the system – and *poof* you’ve ended right back to where you complain you do not want to be – over-regulation of “SOME” businesses to the benefit of others.

    Using violent to solve non-violent problems always leads to far worse problems then what you were trying to solve.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      How are you today, my one-eyed, hook-handed friend?

    • I see your point, and there is the potential for a slippery slope. However, I think it is established that the law is not a prevention of crime. A license or proof that one will be competent or not defraud is just a silly concept, so silly only a politician could have concocted such bull. Licenses are taxes sold as “safeguards” using people’s fear and intellectual laziness.

      I am talking about making it illegal to commit fraud. The only purpose of this would be to allow recourse by the weak. If someone is in violation of law, then one need not have the resources to sue or the access to unbiased judges/juries. Fraud is illegal, thus it carries with it certain penalties designed to discourage taking advantage of those who could not otherwise pursue a suit.

  11. Attacking Capitalism as being the bad guy here is ridiculous. The actual problem is political funding. What needs to be done is reduce the national political arena to an average paid 9 to 5 job without any of the prestige and super perks that exist today would seem to me to be the answer.

    No company, no matter what it does or manufactures, should be deemed “too big to fail” like what the currant bunch of greedy criminals has done for GM, Chrysler and the like. When one company fails, another will step up to the bar and fill in the void. Anybody remember Studebaker, Packard, Hudson or Kaiser? Cars of my youth, good cars at that, cars that brought in many a new innovation to the automotive age but who no longer exist due to greedy mismanagement. I like Chrysler, but the company has been mismanaged since Lee Iaccoca retired. Once business crawls into bed with corrupt politicians we all lose, and that is what has happened in recent times. The solution is to fix the political arena so that it cannot become strange bedfellows with business and let those businesses fail that will fail and slowly (as slowly as the problem grew) the problem will eventually fix itself in business through something called attrition.

  12. Mathius

    I had this conversation with my (very conservative) boss just the other day. He is for a free market. I asked him how he thinks the US can compete in, say, industrial production when the Chinese can just dump their chemicals in the river. He wasn’t able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Maybe someone here will

    The correct answer:
    Buy Chinese goods – they are cheap!

    If Walmart sells Product A at $5, and Sears sells the same Product A for $8, why do you demand that we “need” to support Sears and pay $8???

    Buy it at Walmart, stupid!!

    • And once we have sent all our gold (no use for fiat ccy, I assume) to China, and they have taken up all the debt they are willing to accept, what then?

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Please keep in mind that a REGULATION is defined as follows:

    A REGULATION is the express written permission OF THE GOVERNMENT which allows you to DO SOMETHING BAD provided that you ONLY DO THE BAD THING AT OR BELOW THE LEVEL SET BY THE GOVERNMENT.

    If all “government regulators” were A)infallable, B) interested SOLELY in protection of others, and C) not influenced by personal agendas/outside influence/corruption, THEN regulation MIGHT have some shot in hell of actually being a valid measure of potential to do harm.

    Unfortunately, government is NEVER INFALLABLE, it is NEVER solely interested in the protection of the people, and it is ALWAYS influenced by personal agendas/outside influence/corruption. This is why there is not a single valid regulation put forth by the government.

  14. Moving here because of squishty

    Buck,

    Geez, BF. I’d have expected you to have a real answer.

    Vs. an “unreal” answer??

    So let me follow along – I suffer financial harm in that your pollution caused my crops to die.

    It is a destruction of property – financial is irrelevant. This is a political issue, not a economic issue

    I sue you. It is found that your pollution did in fact cause my crops to die which resulted in a monetary loss to me. You refuse to pay. I can now BURN DOWN YOUR PLANT!?

    There are a number of other options that probably would be more satisfactory to you – since the goal is to repair the damage to your crops. The burning of the factory probably doesn’t repair your crops. But it will certainly stop further damage.

    In the end, the response to violence upon is a violent response back – that is your right, called self-defense. This does not mean there are no other alternatives – there are an infinite number of other options that you probably would consider, but considering those does not refute your Right to self-defense, nor your right of self-defense eliminate other options

    And what of the innocent people that die in the fire?

    Use a blow horn and warn them first.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “RECENTLY HEARD VIA BULL-HORN! NEWS AT 11:00!”

      BUCK THE WALLA: “EVERYONE OUT OF THE BUILDING! THESE BASTARDS KILLED MY CROPS WITH THEIR POISON! I AM BURNING THIS PLACE TO THE GROUND! YOU HAVE 3 MINUTES TO GTFO!!!”

      🙂

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You better believe it. Now that I know I’m free to burn his plant down, no holding me back!

        I’m still curious as to those that inadvertantly die — one unlucky soul was stuck in the bathroom; fire spreads; etc.

      • Buck,

        Yeah, that’ll about convince them to run away!

        Bet they’ll stop poisoning you and your crops too!

  15. Buck

    Also not sure how self defense comes into play here, especially in Hypo #2.

    What is “hypo #2” – I think we are talking about one circumstance, not two.

    The harm was already done.

    So?

    Cutting off your arms means I’m not violent, because you have no more arms to cut off?

    Yet I am STILL justified in burning the plant down for your refusal to pay me for the harm previously caused??

    If that is what it takes to stop you from killing me (or my crops) yes!

    • This post is going to come back to haunt you next time we discuss the initiation of violence..

      • Mathius,

        Get it right.

        I haunt YOU. You cannot haunt me.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Why?

        First you have to clearly determine WHO INITIATED THE VIOLENCE in the first place!

        As long as you are clear in that determination, determining the difference between INITIATION OF VIOLENCE and the RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE really isn’t terribly complicated.

        You also have to remember, BF is only advocating burning down the plant provided that you have exhausted all other avenues of stopping the violent act or being justly compensated for the violent act first.

        If someone has VIOLATED your rights, they have performed and ACT OF VIOLENCE because they have HARMED YOU in some way. Violence need not always be a direct physical assault on you bodily. It may also be an indirect assault.

        However, if you were to go to the relatively extreme measure of burning down an industrial plant in order to prevent further harm to yourself or your property, you better make DAMN SURE that you do not harm anyone else in the process, or you would be liable for causing such harm!

        Let’s say for example when you burn the plant down, highly toxic fumes are released into the nearby area, thus causing thousands of local residents to become ill, and scores of them to die. If that happens, you had better be prepared to face the conseqences of burning down the plant!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So there is no end to what can constitute ‘self-defense’?

      Throw all ‘reasonableness’ and ‘immediacy’ out the window? I’m not arguing whether or not you are violent (you are) or whether or not you caused me harm (you did). I just don’t see how my burning down your plant would constitute self-defense in any sense of the term.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        To me, my burning down your plant would just be me being violent. Two wrongs don’t make a right…except in the free market!

      • Buck,

        You suffer D13 disease.

        How do you make this bizarre claim?

        “Throw reasonable and immediacy out the windows??”

        Let’s see:
        You poisoning me.

        I am sick and want you to stop.

        I go to my peers, present my case, you present your case, and our peers agree, that you must stop and repair the damage you cause.

        YOU IGNORE THIS and continue to poison me

        And to you, this is reasonable???….

        Bizarre, Buck, very bizarre.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I had D13 disease once, but the doctor gave me some experimental drug named X-47 and I was miraculously cured.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I’m talking about Hypo #2 – no poisoning or killing me or my family. The only harm I have experienced is the loss of a single harvest of crops valued at $250,000.

          Further, you have stopped pollution so there is no fear of future harm. You just refuse to pay for your previous harm.

          Can I still burn down your plant???

          And further, I understand I will be held accountable for any further harm caused by my burning down your plant. But I thought I had the right to burn down your plant!? Adding, (to PeterB’s post above): Why should I be responsible because you kept chemicals in your plant that I didn’t know about which resulted in toxic fumes which then killed someone 3 towns over?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Buck,

            Regardless of what was in the plant, YOU burned it down INTENTIONALLY. This would make you liable for the harm resulting from your concious decision to burn the plant down in my opinion.

            Further:

            Lets assume what you have stipulated above:

            1. You lost $250,000 worth of crops.

            2. A jury of peers has determined that the plant must stop the pollution that caused the destruction of your crops.

            3. A jury of peers has determined that just compensation for your crops would be $250,000 paid to you by the company that caused the destruction.

            4. The company has complied with #2, but has NOT complied with #3.

            In this case, you would NOT be entitled to burn the plant to the ground. The HARM has stopped, the company has complied with #2.

            However, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN JUSTLY COMPENSATED for the harm; therefore, you can pursue any reasonable avenue to convince them to compensate you! You can stir up the proverbial shitpot any way you want to! Tell everyone in town that in spite of the fact that the company is no longer polluting, they have refused to pay you, and they should be roundly drummed out of the marketplace!

            People don’t like companies that demonstrably harm people and then fail to compensate them for the harm done.

            Without “regulations” and other forms of government mandated “corporate protection” companies that do stupid stuff (even if it doesn’t rise to the level of violence) don’t tend to remain in business.

          • Buck

            I’m talking about Hypo #2 – no poisoning or killing me or my family. The only harm I have experienced is the loss of a single harvest of crops valued at $250,000.

            It is a destruction of property and an act of violence.

            Because you do not have crops you cannot eat. You starve to death.

            Further, you have stopped pollution so there is no fear of future harm. You just refuse to pay for your previous harm.

            Can I still burn down your plant???

            Because you no longer have arms (since I cut them off), you have no recourse against me, because -hey- you have no legitimate fear that I will continue cutting off your arms.

            And further, I understand I will be held accountable for any further harm caused by my burning down your plant. But I thought I had the right to burn down your plant!?

            If you refuse to repair the harm that your action has caused, my right to just compensation will be fulfilled, up to and including destroying the cause of my harm.

            If all other recourse is refused by you, this is my right

            If you do not want your plant to burn down, pay the compensation.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              “Because you no longer have arms (since I cut them off), you have no recourse against me, because -hey- you have no legitimate fear that I will continue cutting off your arms.”

              Sorry BF, this is a false analogy. The company could presumably use chemical monitoring of some form or another to positively demonstrate that they have indeed stopped the pollution which destroyed your previous crop. IF they can indeed demonstrate that no threat exists to your future crops, then they are no longer committing an act of violence against you.

              They have STILL obviously committed an act of violence against you, but it is over.

              Let’s say someone cuts off both of your arms, and you are unable to defend yourself because you pass out from lack of blood.

              Are you saying that once you are out of the hospital, YOU STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE YOUR FEET TO KICK THE GUY’S ASS WHO CUT YOUR ARMS OFF, even though he is not currently performing any violent act against you? REALLY?

              • Peter,

                Sorry BF, this is a false analogy. The company could presumably use chemical monitoring of some form or another to positively demonstrate that they have indeed stopped the pollution which destroyed your previous crop.

                So?

                Claiming that they are NOT doing something does not give claim to relief of consequences of past harm.

                “Sorry, I won’t do it again” is insufficient in repairing my crushed car. My car is still crushed by your act.

                IF they can indeed demonstrate that no threat exists to your future crops, then they are no longer committing an act of violence against you.

                Not true.

                They could easily stop using the chemicals in the future for they have been shown that there are no consequences. “Moral hazard” now exists.

                They have STILL obviously committed an act of violence against you, but it is over.

                It remains an unresolved threat.

                Are you saying that once you are out of the hospital, YOU STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE YOUR FEET TO KICK THE GUY’S ASS WHO CUT YOUR ARMS OFF, even though he is not currently performing any violent act against you? REALLY?

                No, I have a right to compensation for the loss of my arms.

                That is Rightfully enforced all the way up to kicking his ass – if he decides to pay such compensation, then I have NO right to kick his ass.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I think I am learning something today, that was a good, concise explanation which for some reason finally helped me to arrive at the “Eureka!” moment.

                However, I can still see Mathius and Buck (and perhaps others) making the argument that under a free market all you have done is shown that unreasonable, violent, and intractable companies are continually going to be burned to the ground by customers whom they have harmed.

                Now, post something below as to why you believe that this would NOT be the final outcome of a free market please 🙂

              • Peter,

                Because we are not talking economics – so answers coming out of an economic system will make as much sense as trying to solve a physics problems by studying high fashion.

                It’s not likely we will get a good answer.

                For example, “What is the right compensation for losing your arm? $1,000/$100,000/$1,000,000, etc.?”

                Well, economics won’t give you even a little bit of a hint – because it states all value is subjective.

                Economics has no clue what YOU value anything to be – all it says is “you value it at some price” – PERIOD! It does not dare to guess what price that might be – for you it might be a million but for me 100 million…

                So to ask “Free market system” to solve a Political problem is fraught with problems.

                Free market simply says the optimum trade between human is voluntary.

                But the moment violence enters the Free market is NO LONGER A FREE MARKET. So don’t ask it questions of the Free Market about the NOT-Free market!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Well, certainly it is bizarre. HOWEVER, it also shows one potential path by which a free market could degenerate. Burning down an industrial plant because they refuse to compensate you for the loss of your crops is NOT going to be seen as a “rational solution” by very many people I am afraid 🙂

          What you have inadventantly ended up showing is that in a free market “an eye for an eye” is perfectly good “law”.

          I am not sure that that was your original intent 🙂

          • Peter,

            Burning down an industrial plant because they refuse to compensate you for the loss of your crops is NOT going to be seen as a “rational solution” by very many people I am afraid

            I do not agree at all.

            If the plant refuses all claims to compensation, it has obviously demonstrated its outlawry to my peers as well

            It is Clear and Present Danger to all my peers as it has:
            (1) demonstrated it harm by destruction of my health and crops
            (2) failed to compensate for such harm as agreed reasonable by my peers
            (3) thus, by inference, sees itself above the norms of society in acting non-violently.

            It, therefore, threatens to act with violent impunity in the future, threatening the crops and lives of everyone around it.

            Clear and Present Danger doctrine is thereby invoked.

            It will burn, baby!

            • “acting non-violently.”
              Meant — “acting without non-violence” or better said “acting violently”.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              I would see burning down the plant as rational if the plant continued to pollute and if the plant refused to compensate you for your losses.

              However, I would see using public pressure to boycott the plant and shut it down as a far more rational solution than burning it to the ground.

              There are non-violent ways of solving this problem 🙂

              • Peter,

                As I said above, the Right of Self-defense and compensation from harm does not exclude alternatives to resolving the issue

                As I pointed out to Buck his irrational leap from “poison to burning” missed his own hypothetical where he went to get compensation sanctioned by his peers

                The point is, the failure of such alternative does NOT cause the removal of the primary Right – that is, just because all attempts of alternatives are rebuked by the violent actor does not suddenly make the use of self-defense invalid!!

                It simply make the violent actor intractable and unreasoned!

  16. D13,

    To answer your question….no violence occurs. Sorry you drank the water. I did not intend to poison you. Should have filtered your water.

    It is MY water, you have no right to poison it.

    However….I see BF taking water from the creek. I poison the water purposely to poison you because I don’t like you…violence.

    Whether you intend or not you have destroyed what is mine. You never have this right.

    At least this is how I see it.

    Insanity in thinking creates insane visions.

    I am walking down the street. You are in your backyard and hit a baseball across your fence. I get hit in the head. Bad luck I was walking down the street. THis is not violence, in my opinion.

    Of course it is. Are you now arguing that you have no recourse to your brain damage, hospital bills and long term care because it was accidental???

    In other words, you have to suffer 100% of the consequences of my action because it was an act of violence, but an accident?.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The example given by D13 is PRECISELY WHY PEOPLE HAVE INSURANCE!!!!

      If you are walking down the street, I hit a baseball over my fence, and it crashes into your skull at warp speed causing you to become a vegetable, OF COURSE I AM LIABLE FOR THAT!!!

      It most certainly was not INTENTIONAL!

      However, under most insurance, if it could be proven that it WAS intentional, then my insurance would not be obligated to cover it!

      If you get your skull smashed in, whether it was a meteorite, an errant baseball, or a purposely thrown punch, something violent just happened to you. In the case of the meteorite, you can certainly claim “act of God”.

      In the case of the errant baseball or the punch, it is pretty straight forward to figure out who committed the violence against you. Intent is only relevant when it comes to deciding whether your insurance is gonna cover it or if it is gonna come out of your own pocket.

      • Liability…..yes. Economic.

        But if he refuses to pay, I do not have the right to go burn his house down because I want to take away the ability for him to hit another ball over the fence.

        I am seeing from BF that every motion or random act can be construed as violence. A car accident is going to be violence. A baseball hiiting someone is going to be violence. Any act is going to be construed as violence, and , therefore, violence is a reasonable retort. This is what I am getting fro him.

        Hell, under his definition, I could be walking down the street and yell GOOD MORNING BF….he is on his ladder and turns to see who it is in response and falls off his ladder….to him that is violence because I caused him to turn.

        Wow.

  17. BF

    The following was my comment not Mathius: “There is only one legitimate question regarding pollution and free markets, in my opinion. That is the issue of cumulative effect of what would appear to be harmless levels of pollutants on a case by case basis.”

    I still view it as an unresolved issue because it requires action against numerous “smoke stacks” and actual “harm” can not be proven for any single or set of stacks.

    This is where permitting could work but we could give the permits away via lottery to the general public. The winners can then decide to sell them to the smoke stacks or to simply sit on them. This adds some market force but it is obviously not perfect.

    I would appreciate a concise idea from you on dealing with the “cumulative effects” issue as I portrayed it. Not generalized fuzzy comments. I need a concrete proposal from you on this one.

    Take your time. I am off for the weekend in the woods. See ya back here Sunday afternoon.

    JAC

    • Cap ‘n’ Trade!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        I am all for market-based pollution controls provided that it is a free market, and provided that you can show that the substance in question indeed causes harm.

        Market based pollution controlls, especially in the hands of those near enough to a pollution source to be directly affected, could be an effective instrument to ensure on-going compensation for on-going harm.

        Of course, a better solution would be for the plant to find a way to operate without producing the harmful pollutant, or at least not producing as much of it, but until a better way to produce a given product was discovered, market-based pollution control might well give companies the incentive they need to do a lot more research into improving their processes.

    • JAC,

      The question, sir, is political and NOT economic.

      Remember where we are posting – the thread is discussing using Political processes inside Economic issues – and that is a grave and fatal error.

      But equally, do not attempt to apply economic processes to political problems.

      Rights of Action regarding HARM and VIOLENCE is a POLITICAL PROBLEM.

      Asking me for an economic answer will get you:

      no answer at all

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BF,

        Your attempted evasion of the question is actually really funny in my opinion.

        We have covered that if you have an act of violence (what you are calling a “political” act) performed against you, you are entitled to compensation. Compensation is,… wait for it… ECONOMIC!

        And yet you are saying we cannot mix the political and the economic.

        I think you just don’t wanna answer the question… hehe.

        So, what it seems to me that JAC is asking is:

        In the case of small amounts of pollutants being released over time that end up resulting in harmful effects, how do we determine:

        1: Where did the harm come from since it was over an extended period of time due to cumulative exposure?

        2: Who is held responsible and how?

        3: What level of compensation is appropriate?

        4: Since low levels of a pollutant can be harmful due to cumulative exposure over a long period of time, once we have determined the answers to 1, 2, and 3, what do we do to prevent the same problem in the future (if anything)?

        Does that make more sense?

        • Peter,

          Your attempted evasion of the question is actually really funny in my opinion.

          It is important to understand this. It is where Mathius and Buck and a whole lot of other people fail.

          They are asking the wrong questions with in the wrong framework, and with no surprise they get the wrong answers all the time.

          We have covered that if you have an act of violence (what you are calling a “political” act) performed against you, you are entitled to compensation. Compensation is,… wait for it… ECONOMIC!

          No, it is not “economic”.

          Please tell me what economic theory determines the price of your arms. Please tell me what economic theory determines how much violence is worth an oz. of gold.

          You are not “trading your arms” for gold.

          And yet you are saying we cannot mix the political and the economic.

          It is dangerous and fraught with errors to mix frameworks to solve problems.

          In the case of small amounts of pollutants being released over time that end up resulting in harmful effects, how do we determine:

          1: Where did the harm come from since it was over an extended period of time due to cumulative exposure?

          From the polluter.

          2: Who is held responsible and how?

          The polluter.
          How? By force either singly or by the community.

          3: What level of compensation is appropriate?

          No idea. That is subjective.

          “Whatever is reasonable for all parties within the power of man”

          4: Since low levels of a pollutant can be harmful due to cumulative exposure over a long period of time, once we have determined the answers to 1, 2, and 3, what do we do to prevent the same problem in the future (if anything)?

          Prevent? Stop polluting.

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A brief synopsis of the whole “Love Canal” issue (and yes you could theoretically get in trouble using Google at work and putting that term in there :))

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal

    That gives a pretty good summary of what happened there.

    The solution that was arrived at was certainly NOT generated by a completely free market (since we did not have a free market at the time), but the solution came about in many ways that are analogous to what would happen in a free-market system, at least in my opinion.

    • Excellent example Peter. I was thinking about bringing up Love Canal or even Times Beach.

  19. To All,

    I would like to turn the tables on some of you folks on the discussion around the free market. Whenever this subject comes up, it seems that the universal answer is a consistent “we must have regulations, and here are all the reasons why the free market doesn’t work.” It usually is followed by the request for an example of where the free market worked absent government regulations.

    Let’s flip that. Can someone provide me with some examples of where the CURRENT system works. When has regulation worked in a way that was overall good for the industry in question? I submit to you that I don’t have to prove to you that a free market would work. I only have to prove to you that the system you are choosing in its place doesn’t work.

    Now I give fair warning that I am not going to be easy on this one. It is a good discussion that will tie into what we will be talking about on Sunday night/Monday morning.

    USW

    • Along this same line, it seems to me that the idea of a totally free market with no government involvement at all would require an informed and rational populace to function.

      By the same token, to acheive the doomsday scenarios that are being predicted by the pro-regulation crowd, an uninformed and lazy populace right out of the script of “Idiocracy” would be required to acheive that level of disfunction. There are a lot of free-market decisions and transactions happening every day that do not involve or require government oversight, regulation, or legal codes. I support some government for now, but the arguments in favor of regulation require such extreme examples to support them, and what’s worse, they sound eirily similar to what is actually happening under a regulated market.

      • Jon,

        No, that is NOT a requirement at all of the free market.

        The free market requires only one thing – voluntary action.

        What you choose or not choose – including your level of knowledge – is your choice. It is not a requirement

        • I rephrase: It is required for the outcome of the free market to be acceptable to any person seeking the well being of humanity. The market itself does not require it, but to have the outcomes that you claim it will requires an informed and rational populace.

    • Look Ya’ll.

      I am all for Free market and free market principles. But let’s look at a few problems.

      I am polluting the local creek. You get sick. The court orders me to pay a $250,000 fine for polluting. I made $30 million last year profit. So I figure it’s worth $250 grand to make 30Mill. I continue to pollute.

      How is the best way to stop this, because this is the problem we have now. The fine don’t fit the crime.

      • Esom,

        Pollution is not a problem of Economics.

        • No BF. It is corruption. Something that will take place whether it is a free market or not.

          I am asking what would happen in a free market in cases of crooked business.

          Is this a hard question for you?

          • Esom,

            If corruption will occur whether there is a free market or not, how is that an argument FOR government taking our liberty away in order to regulate against it? It’s going to happen anyway. Now it is merely government sanctioned. I would rather keep my liberty and take my chances that a corrupt businessman is more afraid of being lynched by the people he screws over than he is afraid of government slapping his wrist with that $250k fine you mentioned earlier. Just a thought.

            USW

            • Esom,

              Read what USWep posted here, over and over, until it sinks in…

              will occur whether there is a free market or not

              This point – which is totally correct – demonstrates that the problem is NOT economic, so stop trying to use economics to solve it.

            • Hush BF.

              USW. Did you misunderstand what I asked? I did not make an arguement against the free market. I simply asked a question. Let me ask it differently.

              If a company under the free market system acted in a criminal or dishonorable manner, what kind of punishment would they recieve? And I provided an example so I could get a feel for how the punishment would fit the crime. We ALL know under the system we have now, it doesn’t.

              If anything, I thought a provided a prime example of how our CURRENT system works in regards to companies who pollute to make more money. IMO, BF’s explanation that it is pollution and is not a problem of Economics is horsedoody. It’s going to cost SOMEBODY.

              And please BF, don’t insult my intelligence by pretending that everyone will act honorably JUST BECAUSE THEY SHOULD. Humanity doesn’t act that way and will never do so. And how is it not a problem of economics? And if that isn’t then what would you do in a case where it DID involve economics. Stand around a fire until everone sang Kumbaya? Get real, you old patch eyed pirate fart! 🙂

              But please USW, remember is was only a question. Asked by someone who is all for the free market system.

              I am not saying I object to what the way of consequences for this behaviour would take place. Only an Idea of what it would be.

              • Esom,

                Perhaps I did misunderstand a bit, but I also think I wasn’t clear in my response. You mentioned that you are interested in the recourse available when someone does something wrong in the situation you presented. . I don’t know if I have a great answer to that question. What my point was is that there is often that question asked. When folks point to elimination of government, the reply is that without government there is no recourse for folks who act wrong. I only pointed out that there is currently no recourse that deters big companies, so government has proven to be a completely ineffective solution. Since government doesn’t work in that situation, and the free market may also not work in that situation, shouldn’t we eliminate the first option since in addition to not offering a way to stop bad behavior, government also takes away our freedom, with no clear benefit.

                That was the long answer. The short one is that I don’t know what the free market response will be or whether that will actually deter bad behavior, but I do know that the current system of government doing it instead has not worked. Since we already know that government does not work to deter bad behavior (and in fact encourages and protects bad behavior), what harm can come of trying a different route such as a truly free market and seeing if that yields better results?

                Sorry if you felt I was attacking you. Did not mean it that way. Just trying to ask some questions that get the discussions going.

                USW

              • Nah, I didn’t think you were attacking me. I thought instead that I hadn’t made MYSELF clear enough.

                I agree completely that we should at least try the fre market. I personally so no possible way that it could be worse than what we have now.

                Our economy is taxed and regulated to death, and for what? When companies do wrong, it is only a matter of money to make it all go away.

                All the new banking regulation they just passed is just a smoke screen for the Politicians and elite money to continue to screw the public. The Banks, even IF it affects them, will simply pass the extra cost along to US, the normal everyday citizen.

                Just to re-emphasize, I agree completely with free market principles. I was only trying to ascertain how wrongdoing would be treated. I completely understand that this is something that would have to be decided after the system was in place.

              • Oh USW. I forgot to thank you for answering my question.

                THANK YOU!

              • Esom,

                You are insulting yourself.

                Your question, paraphrased:

                What kind of punishment lipstick pigs receive if they don’t watch for watermelons?

                The Free Market does NOT give a hoot about politics. It discusses ECONOMICS.

                Harm, theft, fraud, etc. are all POLITICAL questions so stop trying to use golf balls in a hockey game.

              • Esom,

                Economics concerns itself about trade and distribution of resources.

                Please explain to me how a guy hitting over the head has anything to do with trade of apples and oranges?

              • BF, my fine patch-eyed friend. What in the hell are you talking about?

                USW answered my question. All you are doing is further confusing me! 🙂

                Maybe I jus’ ain’t smart enuff fer ye! 😀

          • Esom

            Is this a hard question

            Let me ask you this one:

            How many watermelons need to fall from an airplane to determine how much lipstick do you put on a pig?

            Is that too hard a question for you?

            ====

            Your questions is nonsensical – that is makes no sense.

            You are talking about a political problem – corruption – and want an economic system to solve it.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          BF – you cannot completely disassociate a ‘political’ problem from an ‘economic’ problem no matter how hard you try.

          Your refusal to answer these questions (from people who are trying to gain a better understanding of your beliefs and how such a system would actually run) makes me extremely worried about what would happen in a world without government.

          “Pollution is not an economic problem” is not an answer — pollution clearly results in economic harm.

          Adding: how is it that the economic harm caused by pollution is “Violence” yet the economic harm caused by fraud is “Non-violence”? Are you really saying that the only way to have violence in your society is to have some form of physical action?

          • Buck

            You are not “Disassociating anything”

            Your typical problem in many discussions is you demand the wrong framework to solve your problem.

            You use politics to solve economic problems.

            Then you demand economics to solve political problems.

            Pollution does NOT result in economic harm.

            It results in harm – adjective not required!

            Because you insist on using irrelevant adjectives, you tend to distort the problem and thus, tend to apply the wrong answer.

            Violence:
            Boy, did someone steal your dictionary?
            Violence: physical force used to inflict injury or damage,” from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. violence, from L. violentia “vehemence, impetuosity,” from violentus “vehement, forcible,”

      • Perhaps you are correct. But in a free market at least you have a 50/50 shot at being bankrupted by a public that despises you. In today’s system, you are protected from any true punishment by government.

    • TexasChem says:

      Thats an easy one for me USW!
      Regulation into the disposal of industrial waste.
      Regulation of the transportation,refinement and processing of hazardous chemicals.
      Regulation into the safety of industries workers.
      Regulation into releases of hazardous chemicals.etc.

      While I believe regulation can be accomplished from the industries themselves there has to be a means of enforcing the regulations.Common sense seems to be lacking during the development of regulation legislation.Greed,power,personal BELIEF and money play way too much into the game.

      • TC,

        Thanks for weighing in with some examples. I do, however, have to say nay. None of the regulation that you mentioned has actually accomplished its intended purpose and further each has in its own way hurt the industry involved.

        Industrial Waste – Companies still dispose of industrial waste in many ways that are not in compliance with regulation. Further, many of them get away with it quite regularly. But remember that part of my question was whether the regulations did overall good for the industry. In this case the answer is no. Regulations increased costs in a big way, limited new entry because of the costs associated with compliance (meaning that new competitors did not enter and bring with them innovation and lowering of costs), and most important, did not stop companies from doing harmful things to the communities and environments where they existed.

        Hazardous Chemicals – Can you point to any study not provided by government that shows that regulation of the transportation, refinement, and processing of these chemicals resulted in improved performance. Was there even an improvement? We still have hazardous chemical incidents on a fairly regular basis despite the regulations. That doesn’t even account for the fact that the regulations increased costs in a big way, limited new entry because of the costs associated with compliance, and most important, did not stop companies from having incidents which put the public at risk.

        Industry Workers – Perhaps the most egregious claim of the group. Despite regulations, last year we had very public oil rig worker deaths, coal mine worker deaths, and not so publicly reported, a total of 4,340 fatal workplace injuries in 2009. That number was down only slightly from the year before, and a lot of that decline can be explained by the drastic drop in employment in some of the most dangerous industries (construction for example). This doesn’t even factor in that we have perhaps the most powerful unions in the world operating in American industry. Do you give them no credit in creating better working conditions? I certainly think they are more effective than government regulations.

        The bottom line is that regulation isn’t doing for us what it is intended to do. It is, in fact, simply raising costs and operating as a means of blocking new entry by innovative new companies and processes.

        USW

        • I’m thinking- that you are not proving that no regulations are necessary. You are simply showing that the government that is enforcing them is too big and corrupt.

        • Left out a word-You are not trying to prove that no regulation is necessary

        • In Epsom’s example, the company had to pay $250K, and decided it was cheaper to continue to pollute. The lawsuits that would follow, with every person who thought their fishing, swimming, drinking water, etc had suffered would grow each year the polluting continued. Their behavior would be corrected without regulation, as it has in the past. Regulation often comes after a situation has already been dealt with, to insure it never happens again.

  20. Jon

    I am talking about making it illegal to commit fraud.

    Here’s the problem, reworded:

    You claim YOU (Jon) are the end-all-be-all determiner of what constitutes fraud. You will be the sole judge of all claims by suppliers and judge whether such claims are fraudulent or “within the realm of advertising ‘license'”.

    Me, the consumer, now no longer claims any responsibility from fraud – Jon is the “big guy” – if he says its fraud, it is, and if he says it isn’t fraud, it ain’t.

    A circular, by Jon, argument. I cannot claim fraud, even if it may be, because Jon says “Nope, I say its not fraud”. In other matters, it may not be fraud, but it becomes fraud because Jon says so, and now I have his grant of a right to use VIOLENCE to enforce myself on the poor fellow who failed to get Jon to agree with him.

    The subjective use of violence upon the non-violent will grow until it overwhelms all of society.

    Now, I kick Jon out, and I am now the decider of “fraud” – and guess what, when a Pirate is such the decider, unless you pay me off, everything darn thing you do is fraud! and I will send my “police” over to take what I want to stop your “fraud”.

    In all cases, none exists to justify violence on the non-violent, for if one justification is claimed, then any justification WILL BE claimed.

    Fraud is illegal, thus it carries with it certain penalties designed to discourage taking advantage of those who could not otherwise pursue a suit.

    …as long as those penalties are enforced by non-violent measures it will work.

    • How is that different than a peer review? Especially if it is a trial by jury?

      Furthermore, the terms of transaction are what defines whether there is fraud, it is not a subjective concept. If terms were violated, there is fraud, if not, then there is not fraud. What subjectivism are you seeing there?

      • Jon,

        How is that different than a peer review? Especially if it is a trial by jury?

        No difference – a mob is as easily perverse as an individual which is why there can be No justification to use violence to solve a non-violent problem

        Furthermore, the terms of transaction are what defines whether there is fraud, it is not a subjective concept.

        Incredibly subjective! There never exists a “perfect” solution to human problems – which is why we use computers instead of pencils – better solutions appear all the time.

        The level of solution and satisfaction is ALWAYS subjective. A 486 may be good enough for you, but it isn’t for me.

        Thus, who decides who has satisfied their end of a contract??

  21. D13,

    Liability…..yes. Economic.

    Please provide your economic theory that determines the liability of one person on another.

    But if he refuses to pay, I do not have the right to go burn his house down because I want to take away the ability for him to hit another ball over the fence.

    You have the right to enforce your compensation of damages.

    I am seeing from BF that every motion or random act can be construed as violence.

    Insane thinking creates insane visions.

    A car accident is going to be violence.

    Yep, or do you think the dent in the car happened spontaneously?

    A baseball hiiting someone is going to be violence.

    Yep, or do think the blood flowing from the crushed face happened spontaneously?

    Violence – exertion of physical force so as to cause harm or injury

    I am somewhat confused of what you think “violence” is, D13???

    Any act is going to be construed as violence

    ,

    So, two examples of obvious violence makes you assume all acts are violent

    Please, sir, NEVER try to teach logic to anyone, no matter how much money they threaten you with!

    Hell, under his definition, I could be walking down the street and yell GOOD MORNING BF….he is on his ladder and turns to see who it is in response and falls off his ladder….to him that is violence because I caused him to turn.

    Wow.

    Yeah, wow.

    You go from crushing my car and crushing my face to claiming talking is violent….

    • BF…to answer your question as to my theory of economics. By filing a law suit and you seek monetary damages…this does not fit the political side of things…..therefore, I was using the term economic on referring to monetary compensation…which falls under the realm of economics….not the theory of economics.

      YOur definition of violence is “Violence – exertion of physical force so as to cause harm or injury”. So, I interpret this to mean….any exertion of force (scientific definition) that results in injury or harm is a violent act, and, therefore, can have a violent response. Consequently, you completely disregard intent. So, in your definition, even an accident..a non intentional accident by a non violent person….is now violence and that person is now a violent person. (ie. hitting a baseball in my backyard and it goes over a fence and hits you. I could be the most non violent IMAM in the neighborhood and had ZERO intent but I now have committed a violent act…and am a violent person. You seek and receive from a peer review (court)monetary damages. I refuse to pay. (according to your principles, my refusal to pay is also a violent act, correct?)
      Therefore, you decide to burn my house down (violent act by you) as recompense but you are justified, in your mind, that violence is subject to return violence and, therefore, YOU are not committing a violent act upon a non violent person….you are committing a violent act against a violent person.

      You further made jest in my anaology of saying hello to you. But, saying hello is a physical force and that physical force made you trun around on the ladder and you missed a step and fall off….by your definition, I am now a violent person because you received injury AS a result of turning around to my retort of Hello. Interesting.

      Good thing the courts in Texas do not agree with you….for example…and this is fact on cases here….If you choose to drive a car down the street next to a golf course and an errant golfer smashes your windshield with a golf ball…the courts have rightly ruled that it is not the fault of the golfer for failing to control his golf ball…you chose to put yourself in danger by driving down the street. It was a risk that you took. Likewise, the courts have ruled, that if you live on a golf course and your front door or window glass keeps getting smashed, you are not entitled to compensation. You chose to live there and have accepted risk. Additionally, if your children are playing in the front yard and a golf ball hits one of them in the head…it is not the fault of the golfer….intent is always a factor or has been. You live on the golf course and you allowed your children to play in danger…

      But, if I interpret your definition of violence correctly, the golfer has committed a violent act and you are, therefore, entitled to violent action.

      Seems to me you are defeating your own argument….

      • D13,

        BF…to answer your question as to my theory of economics. By filing a law suit and you seek monetary damages…this does not fit the political side of things

        *blink*

        What part of “law suit” do you think is NOT political????

        But you certainly explain why so many are so confused about economics, politics and the use of those to solve human problems. It’s at these times I wonder how mankind has survived for so long.

        …..therefore, I was using the term economic on referring to monetary compensation…which falls under the realm of economics….not the theory of economics.

        No, it does not.

        It is NOT a trade.
        It is a taking
        of property from one to another to repair the damage of harm caused by a person.

        There are only two ways to distribute resources:
        (1) trade or earn called the economic way.
        (2) Take or steal called the political way.

        Keep that straight and the solutions to human problems will become far more obvious and better.

        .any exertion of force (scientific definition) that results in injury or harm is a violent act, and, therefore, can have a violent response.

        Can being the operative word, and yes. You lobbing knives over my fence can be met by my violent response to stop you.

        Consequently, you completely disregard intent.

        Correct. Intent has no bearing on defining violence.

        Intent however has lots of bearing in defining consequences

        Such that if you by accident damage my car, the consequence of be cutting off your head is probably unjustified. But you are still responsible to repairing my car, which is the appropriate consequence – fixing the harm.

        This should not be a foreign concept to you. The legal system you live under holds this as a tenant as well.

        It appears you are completely oblivious to your own experiences.

        It is against the law for any man to steal. Period. No qualifiers. Thus, a rich man stealing is the same crime as a starving man stealing.

        But in the matter of consequences, both must return the stolen property. In the case of the rich man, he may get further consequences such as a fine or prison, but the starving man will get food.

        So, in your definition, even an accident..a non intentional accident by a non violent person….is now violence and that person is now a violent person.

        Yes, as that is what the definition says … it didn’t say “..except if it is by accident”.

        A star blowing up is an act of violence – note: its not human, but the definition did not say “..if done by human”

        A volcano is violent – note: its not human either, etc.

        (ie. hitting a baseball in my backyard and it goes over a fence and hits you. I could be the most non violent IMAM in the neighborhood and had ZERO intent but I now have committed a violent act…and am a violent person.

        Yep.

        You seek and receive from a peer review (court)monetary damages. I refuse to pay. (according to your principles, my refusal to pay is also a violent act, correct?)

        Nope. The baseball in my face was the violent act that you are responsible for.

        Therefore, you decide to burn my house down (violent act by you) as recompense but you are justified, in your mind, that violence is subject to return violence and, therefore, YOU are not committing a violent act upon a non violent person….you are committing a violent act against a violent person.

        Violence is justified as a response TO violence – no mystery here, D13.

        You further made jest in my anaology of saying hello to you. But, saying hello is a physical force

        No, its not, so your bizarre hypothetical is irrational and nonsense.

        Interesting.

        Good thing the courts in Texas do not agree with you….for example…and this is fact on cases here….If you choose to drive a car down the street next to a golf course and an errant golfer smashes your windshield with a golf ball…the courts have rightly ruled that it is not the fault of the golfer for failing to control his golf ball…you chose to put yourself in danger by driving down the street.

        Prove it.

        Here’s mine:
        http://accident-law.freeadvice.com/accident-law/golf_broken_window.htm
        Accident Law
        While driving next to a golf course that had no fencing, my car’s window was cracked by a golf ball. The course manager claims no responsibility and told me the person who hit the ball is liable (but is impossible to find). Can I sue the owner of the golf course?

        Can you sue the golf course owner? Yes. You could probably sue in small claims court and you might even win. However, I am not sure it is worth the time, effort and cost to you for so minor an incident. So the question that is more pertinent here is should you sue?

        AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE – AN Australian woman suffered a fractured skull after being hit in the head by a golf ball through the open window of her taxi, the reports say.

        The incident happened near Sanctuary Lakes Resort’s golf course on Saturday, February 27, at 2am as Melbourne woman Natasha Cossell, 38, traveled home from a night out.

        The golf ball struck her with such force that it fractured her skull and Cossell spent eleven days in hospital recovering from brain surgery.

        She had to have a plate inserted into her skull, The Herald Sun reported.

        “It hit me in the side of the head and fractured my skull, pushing my skull against my brain. Very serious,” she told ABC Radio.

        “And the taxi driver picked up the ball off the floor of the cab and gave it to me.”

        Cossell told ABC Radio she thought it was probably just kids playing around on the golf course at night.

        “I just want them to know what they’ve done, so they understand the impact on me and family,” she said.

        “So that they perhaps learn something from it and not to do something so stupid to someone else.”

        Police have appealed for witnesses to the incident.

        . You chose to live there and have accepted risk.

        I would suggest it depends on who was there first.

        Certainly if you decide to walk across a gun range, and get shot, it isn’t the fault of the gun range. But if you set up a gun range on a city street, any one you shoot is your fault.

        Does that help clear up your misunderstanding?

        That’s the problem with your irrational hypothetical – you cherry pick certain ones, and with those cherry pick to include or exclude circumstances that ruin your claims.

        Hypotheticals are not proof, D13 – they are, at best, used to explain a point, not to prove a point.

        But, if I interpret your definition of violence correctly, the golfer has committed a violent act and you are, therefore, entitled to violent action.

        Seems to me you are defeating your own argument….

        Nope. Simply defeating your nonsensical hypotheticals non-proofs

        • I suggest you google the court cases, sir…there are dozens of them….but wait..I will do it for you.

          • Nussbaum v. Lacopo, 27 N.Y.2d 311, 319, 317 N.Y.S.2d 347, 353 (1970), pertains to housing next to golf courses and rules that errant shots are part of the game and not liable

            Fortunately, the courts have generally
            recognized that hitting an errant golf
            shot does not constitute civil negligence
            because an occasional bad shot is an
            inherent part of the game [e.g., Baker
            v. Thibodeaux, 477 So. 2d 245 (Ls. App.
            4th Cir. 1985)].

            There are two…several more are reviewable.

          • D13,

            I guess you don’t read all my posts.

            There as many that are against you as you can find for you.

            It all depends on who is there first.

        • I will say, I like your way better….I will just carry and shoot when I feel that violence has been used against me. sure makes it easy.

  22. Buck

    You accidentally hit me with a baseball, remember? And I’m the one suffering from the concussion here…

    But anyway, I came to you for payment of my medical bills. A jury of our peers found you owed me this money. Yet you refuse to pay.

    So I ask again – can I burn your house down now?-

    What else have you tried?

    (PS: You do realize this is what happens in society TODAY, right?)

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Not quite –

      Today, if you don’t pay up on a judgment I can seek to your assets seized and your wages garnished. Is this an option in PirateWorld? If so, who would have the authority to execute the judgment in this fashion? I seem to recall in the contractual case this was NOT an option because it would be imposing violence on a non-violent man. This leads to an interesting paradox – you pollute the river causing destruction to my crops (or accidentally hit me in the head with a baseball) I can sue you and seize assets to satisfy my judgment; you break a contract with me causing me to lose monetarily I can still sue you but am unable to satisfy my judgment. Or am I missing something?

      Also, I can’t go burn your house down today. It’s nice to know that’d be a viable option.

      • Buck,

        What happens -today- if I refuse to allow my assets to be seized?

        That’s my point – the ever increasing escalation of enforcement of my restitution from your harm….
        —-
        I don’t know how many more times I have to post this:
        The right of self-defense does not preclude using alternative solutions or compensation.

        So, of course those are options too… and about a billion other ones.
        —-

        I seem to recall in the contractual case this was NOT an option because it would be imposing violence on a non-violent man.

        We are not discussing contracts here in this particular thread line.

        This leads to an interesting paradox – you pollute the river causing destruction to my crops (or accidentally hit me in the head with a baseball) I can sue you and seize assets to satisfy my judgment; you break a contract with me causing me to lose monetarily I can still sue you but am unable to satisfy my judgment. Or am I missing something?

        One is violent, the other is not violent. That is what you are missing.

        To you, me lying to you and me breaking your arm seems to be the same thing to you.

        Also, I can’t go burn your house down today. It’s nice to know that’d be a viable option.

        See Waco

        • What
          A
          Cook
          Out

        • TexasChem says:

          BF Stated:”To you, me lying to you and me breaking your arm seems to be the same thing to you.”

          TC:Actually in the part of the country I was raised… a man is considered only as good as his word.I consider lying the same as trying to break my arm! 🙂

          While I believe violence should be the last resort to any conflict of interest I am really tired of hearing the hype about violence not being relevant to the social interaction of mankind.Irregardless of how someone may want scenarios of human interaction to be played out…some scenarios of interaction require violent action.Perhaps it would be better to preach upon the relevance of abstaining from actions that would initiate a violent response!

          • TexasChem

            TC:Actually in the part of the country I was raised… a man is considered only as good as his word

            Good!

            Now, please, for the rest of the readership, explain why “that part of the country” operated that way!

            .I consider lying the same as trying to break my arm

            I hope not, because this misunderstanding will land you in a heap of trouble.

            some scenarios of interaction require violent action.Perhaps it would be better to preach upon the relevance of abstaining from actions that would initiate a violent response!

            The age old problem with your point of view is that you justify attacking people simply because they look ugly – and thus, human evil grows.

  23. TexasChem says:

    1. Congress/Senate – legislative. They write the crap.
    2. Supreme Court – judicial. They interpret the crap.
    3. President – executive. He enforces the crap.

    Somewhere along the way they all got cluster-fudged and now everyone pretty much does whatever they want. That’s only slightly exaggerating. Without going much into that, it is fair to say that the roles of these branches as they are and as they were supposed to be are two completely different things. It’s been that way for a long while, especially recently.

    The minority party is the watchdog party, regardless of what party the President belongs to. They will criticize everything the majority party does. Mostly because they can’t really do anything else, but also because in doing so they may gain political favor (so as to win the majority next term). That is actually legitimate in todays American government and the sheeple citizens seem to love it.

    435 Congressmen (one for each district), 100 Senators (two for each state). Now there’s also the handful of delegates from U.S. territories and Washington D.C., but I wouldn’t count them as no one else does (political joke – they don’t get a vote in the house). The idea was for the Senate to be composed of higher intellectuals, which is pretty much a joke now.

    In my opinion every voting adult needs to research “seperation of Powers in the U.S. government”.Google, Bing or Ask.com
    That will give them a better understanding of how our government is supposed to work.The mess we have now is not representative of the people at all.

  24. …..lurking….

  25. Mandatory healthcare first..now mandatory IRAs

    http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20100809/FREE/100809903

    First, if an employee does not take any action to sign up, 3% of each paycheck would be automatically withdrawn into an individual retirement account. The default investment vehicle would be Roth IRA.

    “I call on the Senate to take up this bill in the fall and to include it in legislation extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.”

    Convienient to tack this onto the above mentioned extention of tax cuts. So a yes vote for the extention of tax cuts equals a yes vote for mandatory IRA….which they will steal from us too ! 👿

    • Anita. Just more “Nanny State” Regulation from the assholes who brought you Obamacare.

      • Thought of you immediately when I saw this Esom.We need to all just go on strike for a month and shut America down. Maybe they will take us seriously then.

        • Oh, if we only could Anita! If we could we could take back control of this country within a year.

          But it would take ALL of us. And you know that would never happen.

    • MOTHER F@*&^%$s!!!!!

      Anita and Esom, you’re both right. They’ll just steal that from us too, and the sheep will never uniet. I’m amazed at how many of the herd are still high on Hopium. Disgusting.

      They’ll just organized a counter protest to ‘help’ their president clean up Bush’s ‘mess’. Morons.

    • I would not worry about this too much….too many ways around it. They would have to close ALL loopholes including independent contractors. This would also exempt federal workers as well. It will kill small business even if they do not have fiduciary responsibility…doubt that it gets out of committee.

      • I would agree Colonel Sir. Except that they don’t seem to be worried about killing off small business so far. At least judging from their actions to date.

    • Would this be in place of SS?

  26. Ok BF, I am sorry, but whatever it is you are smoking, I hope you brought enough to share with the whole class, I could use a trip to happyland.

    Pollution is not a problem of Economics.

    Economics –
    –noun
    1.
    ( used with a singular verb ) the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.
    2.
    ( used with a plural verb ) financial considerations; economically significant aspects: What are the economics of such a project?

    Pollution is definitely a problem of economics. Resources are damaged and this carries with it a cost. Decisions on whether to pollute are an economic decision, especially in a free market, the cost of pollution versus the cost of not polluting.

    Let me ask you this one:

    How many watermelons need to fall from an airplane to determine how much lipstick do you put on a pig?

    Is that too hard a question for you?

    ====

    Your questions is nonsensical – that is makes no sense.

    You are talking about a political problem – corruption – and want an economic system to solve it.

    Corruption –
    –noun
    1.
    the act of corrupting or state of being corrupt.
    2.
    moral perversion; depravity.
    3.
    perversion of integrity.
    4.
    corrupt or dishonest proceedings.
    5.
    bribery.
    6.
    debasement or alteration, as of language or a text.
    7.
    a debased form of a word.
    8.
    putrefactive decay; rottenness.
    9.
    any corrupting influence or agency

    The question was concerning a corrupt business, not a government or politician. The question made perfect sense, it was a direct question concerning the resolution of issues created by a corrupt business or organization in a free market. In other words, it is a person that is accustomed to a political solution to a problem and is asking you how an economic solution would function. If that makes no more sense to you than a question about watermelons and pig lips then I would suggest that you are either not listening or are very removed from reality in your thinking.

    • Jon

      I think he was trying to say you can’t SOLVE a Political Problem with an economic solution.

      But quite frankly he didn’t address the “cumulative effects” question I raised.

      To say STOP POLLUTING when there are hundreds of polluters and none of which by themselves is harming anyone, is a cop out.

      So is the obvious next part of the problem. Why STOP polluting when there is a level of polluting that is NOT harmful? The supposed simple solution just killed thousands in the dead of winter because they could no longer burn their wood stoves.

      There also seems to have been a disconnect in the discussion this weekend regarding the fact that addressing the political in fact creates economic effects itself. For example, STOP POLLUTING carries with it the effect of interfering in the market, which was the original question. How does a Free Market function and address these issues?

      As I said, the point source issues are easy to handle within the political construct. But the cumulative effects issue doesn’t seem so clean. At some point, someone has to determine what level of “polluting” is acceptable to each producer.

      So here is the key question, I think. Once that “determination” is made, do we still have a free market?

      If so, then what does it matter whether that “determination” is made by peer, jury, or some federal agency?

  27. For Ray, you might want to keep your blogger to just posting on SUFA (and others). Apparently being a blog sponsor is a business in Philly!

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/philly-requiring-bloggers-to-pay-300-for-a-business-license-101264664.html

    • What the hell? Shouldn’t Al Gore get his cut too since, ya know, he invented the internet.

      $300 for a business lisence? Geez it’s $50 for me!

  28. I often try to draw a picture in words so that SUFA folks might experience what I see in my world.

    Well this time I’m posting a photo from online of where I spent the weekend. I was camped just inside the forest near the Mountain peak you see in the middle of this photol

    It is the Big Hole Valley of Montana. You can find more photos by Google search.

    Just thought you might like a peek.

    Happy Sunday
    JAC

    • Beautiful JAC. To say I am jealous would be an understatement. I am a mountain boy myself. But stuck here in the flat part of NC. Gotta drive a couple hours west to see my beloved mountains.

      • USW

        The valley bottom, pasture lands, where the photo was taken sits at about 6000 feet in elevation.

        Does that put the mountains in different perspective?

        • LOL… it tells me that the valley is 5000 feet higher than where I am! I do so miss the mountains brother. The wife and I have talked extensively about moving out west in the next 5-10 years. Maybe even thinking about as far as Victoria, BC. But Wyoming or Montana would be far enough for me. So beautiful out there. We are almost to the point where we could work from home and only travel once a month or so. If I could get my butt in gear and write a decent book, maybe sooner!

          USW

    • uuugghhhh! You’re killing me JAC! I’m so jealous! Call for a roadtrip sooner next time. Maybe that’s where the SUFA FEST could happen!

  29. Reading some of the posts here as well as other blogs, I thought a post on Fundamentals is required.

    When a person transitions from believing illusions and fantasy and moves to understanding the Universe as it is, there is a period where that person begins to abandon what he thought he knew – his fantasy/illusion – but is struggling to know something new. It is the “muddled” phase.

    A few (and you know who you are) are displaying this muddled phase.

    So now is the time to bring forth some clarity regarding the basic fundamentals of often-posted concepts.

    Note: — My use of Left/Right is NOT describing political spectrum, but sides of an equation; Left side of the Equation/Right side of the Equation)

    These fundamentals will face the application of human action to determine consequences.

    One such human action, which will be referred to many times, is:
    “What is good for a person will be repeated, what is bad for a person will be avoided”

    There are two, fundamental methods of exchange.
    (1) Win/Lose
    (2) Win/Win

    These fundamentals created a sub-strata of consequences.

    First, Win/Lose.

    The Left side gains at the loss of the Right side.

    This is commonly also referred to as a “Zero sum game”, but that term is an improper understanding and mis-applied here.

    Applying human action, the Right side will avoid this transaction and refuse it.

    Thus, to achieve their gain, the Left must use force/violence on the Right to compel the surrender of their goods and enforce their loss.

    Fundamental consequences:
    – the Right produces less goods for the Left to seize. (Human action of avoidance)
    – The Left will use more force/violence to seize an ever-increasing amount of goods. (Human action of success)

    Eventually, the Right will resist the Left’s use of force/violence with a response of force/violence of their own.

    This will cause either:

    (1) A reversal of Left/Right;
    – those on the Right of the equation win, and become the Left side, and the Left are caused to submit and become the Right side.

    The Win/Lose scenario, however, has not changed fundamentally – only those on whatever side have changed.

    Thus, the Win/Lose scenario re-cycles except at a fundamentally degraded state as the economy/society has been damaged by the previous runs of the cycle. This cyclical flip-flop of sides continues until:

    (2) Lose/Lose;
    – There are no more goods available to seize (destroyed or lack of production due to avoidance) and the economy/society totally collapses. Both sides die badly.

    Important: Win/Lose always ends badly. Such a bad ending is unavoidable if Win/Lose scenarios are enforced and continued.

    Next, Win/Win;

    Both sides of the transaction receive a benefit from the exchange. If one side does not receive a benefit, there is no transactions, a No-Win/No-Win.

    This is fallaciously confused (purposely?) by some political advocates as a loss – but it not.

    Neither side has lost their goods – they still have exactly what they had before the attempt at exchange. Thus, the concept of “loss” cannot be applied.

    This is important because many political advocates will use their fallacy to justify moving the Win/Win scenario consequence of No-Win/No-Win to a Win/Lose circumstance by claiming that the No-win/No-win is a “Lose/Lose”!.

    This nefarious intellectual foolery is incredibly dangerous.

    Using human action, what is successful will be repeated, thus:
    Win/Win scenarios will be repeated by both sides and in great velocity and quantity.

    This creates an exponential increase in the prosperity and life style of all sides and hence of the economy and society in general.

    Exponential growth here is important, and I will be referring to this often. This is not a factor in the Win/Lose – only one side wants to increase the speed, the other side is applying the brakes. This circumstance creates a linear regression, as already described above.

    But when both sides engage in repetition, it is a doubling factor ie: exponential.

    A quick understanding of the power of exponential:

    -Michigan Stadium is the largest football stadium in the USA.

    -I am standing in mid-field with an eye-dropper and you are sitting in the upper most seat of the stadium.

    -I squeeze out one drop of water in the first second, two in the second, four in the third, eight in the fifth, and so on … doubling the drops every second.

    How long will it take to drown you? (That is, fill the stadium to the top with water?)

    Answer: 45 minutes.

    Now, you may think that is fast, but the astounding thing about this example is:

    At the 40 minute mark, you do not perceive any water in the stadium, it is less than an inch deep at that time. In 5 minutes after that, you’ve drowned.

    The point of this lesson is that exponential growth curves have a very long “tail” and then have a sudden, nearly straight up neck. All the “mass” of the growth is back-ended at the neck.

    Another quick story helps understand this concept:

    Lilies on a lake double their growth every day.

    On day 10, the lake is completely covered.

    What day was the lake only half covered?

    Answer: day 9

    Western society has benefited from the exponential growth of Win/Win economics.

    The long tail of the exponential nature that started in the mid-18th century has morphed into the “turn of the neck” in the 20th century.

    It is this long tail that many political advocates claim offers an example of the “problems of Win/Win economics”, but as exampled, it is their misunderstanding of exponential growth and where the “mass” of that growth accumulates on a curve.

    However, they dangerously insist that their misunderstanding is enough justification to introduce Win/Lose economics to “correct” the “mistakes” of Win/Win economics.

    Win/Win economics is sustainable indefinitely and exponentially accelerates, creating exponential growth and prosperity for all society.

    More fundamental causation:

    There exists a number of co-mixing of these two fundamental systems (Win/Win and Win/Lose) – called “mixed” economies. A bit of a discussion here:

    All “mixed” economies exist after the long tail of success of a Win/Win economy has achieved the “turn at the neck”.

    Any attempt at a mixed economy before the neck undermines the Win/Win exponential growth, and forces the economy into the Win/Lose stagnation and collapse. (Example, Russia)

    Thus, the only examples that can exist is one where the Win/Lose economy is substantially introduced after a long success of a Win/Win economy. Thus, we see in modern economies that started substantially as “Free” market, and after a few centuries became infiltrated with “Planned” market philosophies.

    Win/Lose political advocates claim that a Mixed Economy is sustainable, and they are partly right – however, they claim the wrong reason.

    They claim the Mixed economy is “successful” on the merits of their political Win/Lose action – that is, on the “success” of violent redistribution of wealth. But on simple fundamental review as provided above, we can see that this is completely untrue.

    A Win/Lose policy is linear regressed – straight line regression into stagnation, where Win/Win policy is exponentially positive.

    Thus, applying a linear regression to an exponentially positive curve causes the curve to flatten away from the optimum – that is the curve of the neck is less straight up and more flat.

    As long as the resulting curve is still positive, the “mixing” is sustainable – albeit at a far lower prosperity to society than if no Win/Lose was introduced.

    But applying human action, again, to the “Mixed” scenario.

    The advocates of Win/Lose policies continue to see these as successful as society continues to prosper.

    As these advocates believe it is their policy which is creating the success (instead of understanding it is degrading it), they demand more of their policies as time goes by.

    But here is the fundamental point and problem:

    Where Win/Win policy advocates have refused the use of force/violence as part of their policy regime, the Win/Lose advocates demand more force/violence as part of theirs.

    Where one policy group refuses violence while another policy group demands the increases of its use will accelerate the application of Win/Lose scenarios in replacing Win/Win scenarios until the exponential growth of Win/Win scenarios is completely undermined.

    The system then degrades completely to a Win/Lose scenario.

    This outcome was highlighted in the Noble prize winning concepts of Hayek, what he called fatal conceit – that those that advocate for the use of force to “correct” what they see as market failures undermines society because of their conceit and ignorance.

    It was my goal to present some basic fundamentals of human systems.

    All complex societies are derived from these fundamentals.

    When advocates of certain actions within society present their arguments, flush with rhetoric, it is core to address their claims against these fundamentals to make your rational decisions on the merits of their arguments.

%d bloggers like this: