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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2008 :  18:40:01  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zeked, over here

I was a bit taken back at your response. I have accepted that free markets do exist and are evident beyond question, so I thought at first you might be joking.
There is nothing in the universe so self-evident that it should be beyond question. Such an attitude should be anathema to skeptics. I've asked people who should know of examples of free markets - especially hard-line Libertarian types - for such examples, and have come up empty so far. This leads me to the conclusion that anyone saying anything like "a free market will solve this problem" has little evidence for such statements, just assertions based upon idealism, but I'm willing to change that conclusion given a presentation of convincing evidence. Hence, my question to you.
Skeptical of the mere existence of free markets, and then an uncritical view of government that serves the peoples will just seems ridiculous on the face.
It would be, which is why I do not have an "uncritical view of government." You seem to have mis-read my comments.
If you can not see the total contempt of the government towards those it supposedly serves, and the disregard towards supreme law to keep their powers in check, you have not been paying attention.
If you cannot see that the contempt is coming from the citizens and often focused upon themselves, you haven't been paying attention. Separating the government from the citizenry only works in countries in which the citizens have no mechanism whereby they can join or otherwise effect governmental change.
Taxation is a coerced exchange, and the heavier the burden of taxation on production, the more likely it is that economic growth will decline. Other forms of government coercion (e.g., price controls, regulations or restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market), hamper and cripple market exchanges, while others (prohibitions on deceptive practices, enforcement of contracts) can facilitate voluntary exchanges.

The recent yeti marketing creation, in my opinion, is an example of free market operation. Consumers of this information willingly exchange currency for the proof of this furry man beast. The free marketing through the media has been effective as well. Each step in the process is freely and voluntarily undertaken by the seller and consumer; the exchange and price is set in a non-coercive manner. That to me, is free market.
That's simply bizarre, because the "furry man beast" is a fraud, and thus the consumers were coerced through deception into their "free" and "voluntary" contributions.
Yes there is always the looming coercion of taxes, but I have lived in many areas of the world where there is not a hint of nit picking philosophical coercive forces that effect daily transactions. You don't need to look further than Craigs list, garage sales and road side veggie stands to see strong evidence of free market operation.
The roadside stands are in competition with government subsidized farms (or can themselves only offer the prices they do due to subsidies they receive). And in all three cases (ignoring farm subsidies), as soon as a bad actor shows up (and many do), coercion arrives either as fraud, the police or a lawsuit.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2008 :  19:50:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Dave,

I'm still perplexed in this topic in a "who gives a damn" kinda way. You need to make a point on free markets, fine.

Dave asks the question:

"Zeked, has there ever been a "free market?" I'm not talking about a demonstration or a computer simulation in some economics professor's classroom, but a real free market functioning correctly out in the real world?"

Volumes of published works define the process of free markets, as do many resources - Wikipedia, Rothbard, Misses, Encyclopedia Britanica etc.. If it is common use and a commonly accepted definition, one tries to stay within the confines of the definition as it is commonly used and accepted. This is really effective in communication.

While language can change over time, It would be irrational to argue that an orange is an apple, then critize others for the "anathema" of accepting the accepted definition.

So Dave, elucidate on free markets.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2008 :  20:47:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, good grief!

What is anathema is the very idea that something can be "beyond question." When you said, "I have accepted that free markets do exist and are evident beyond question..." you were telling me that I couldn't even ask for evidence. That is what is anathema to skeptics, your assertion (in no uncertain terms) that the existence of free markets is a sacred cow of yours, towards which you will accept no doubt at all.

If someone were to ask me upon what evidence I base my belief that the Sun will rise tomorrow morning, I'd just explain it to them. All subjects are questionable. It will never suffice to say, "that is self-evident," primarily because so much that is true has been shown to contradict what we think of as "common sense."

Plus, there is always the possibility that I am wrong. I may believe the Sun will rise tomorrow, but what if, while I am trying to explain it to someone else, I encounter a logical or evidenciary hole I'd never noticed before? It behooves me, as someone who values truth (or as close as we can get to it), to re-examine my own beliefs as much as I prod others to re-examine their beliefs. If I make an honest attempt and still come to the same (tentative!) conclusion, then that's great, I've re-inforced my previous knowledge and the effort wasn't wasted. If I make an honest attempt and learn that I was previously wrong, then that's even better, because I've learned something even more important.

Skepticism is questioning. If you've got the evidence, then pony it up. If you're sure that my definition of "free market" is wrong (even though you never actually asked for it), then tell me what an "accepted" definition is, and why I should accept it too. (Telling me to look it up is to order me to prove that your assertions are correct, and I won't do your homework for you.)

There are three possible definitions of "free market" that I can think of. To a hard-liner, a free market is a market that is free from all extra-market influences. You reject this because you, Zeked, believe that anti-fraud laws and contract protection are good things (even though they come from that nasty "government" thing which exists outside the market). Softer definitions might include the idea of a free market being a market which is free from coercive or unreasonable extra-market influences. But both of those definitions are necessarily subjective and thus can in no way be "self-evident" to everyone in the same way (which would undermine your arguments quite badly). So as far as I can tell, none of the definitions I know could possibly match whatever definition it is that you have in your head.

And thus the communications problem is yours, Zeked, because you have simply refused to offer anything more than the implication that you are using some allegedly widely-accepted definition of "free market." If you want to engage in truly effective communications, you don't assume that anyone you're talking to knows the definitions of words that he is already questioning. That's just monumentally hypocritical.

Finally, if you don't care about this topic ("who gives a damn"), then what possible reason could you have for considering the evidence to be "beyond question?"

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2008 :  22:35:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Dave,

"A free market is a market in which prices of goods and services are arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers"

I would never exclude evidence, but I do require a better-communicated reference regarding clear dictionary definitions versus philosophical interpretations of the same. I was unaware the definition was in dispute. I know, ignorance is no excuse. Tsk, tsk.

Now that I understand where you are coming from, it certainly helps to entertain the discussion.

So the meat of the issue is: what the definition of a process is - so one can determine if the process exists or can exist.

Anti-fraud laws and contract protection. These can't exist without someone being paid when they are enforced. Because the infrastructure to sustain the arbitration exists, it influences the price and/or the agreements for exchange.

So regardless of the liberal use of the term, free market, in economics, free markets can not exist. Craigs list, the garage sale, sale of my produce to a neighbor are all effected by extra-market influences. If these fail the definition, it would be difficult to find a transaction that was not effected by the fart of a butterfly that would exclude it from consideration.


I think I understand your argument.

Free Market is officially deleted from my vocabulary, preceded by irregardless.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  01:07:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked.....

You offer wiki's initial sentence as an acceptable definition of a free market, id est:
"A free market is a market in which prices of goods and services are arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers"
Dave's position seems to be that an entity so defined not only does not exist, it cannot exist in reality.
Your mocking reply -
So regardless of the liberal use of the term, free market, in economics, free markets can not exist. Craigs list, the garage sale, sale of my produce to a neighbor are all effected by extra-market influences. If these fail the definition, it would be difficult to find a transaction that was not effected by the fart of a butterfly that would exclude it from consideration......I think I understand your argument. Free Market is officially deleted from my vocabulary, preceded by irregardless.
- fails to either substantiate or negate your previous strong statements to the effect that the concept of a free market is not an abstraction, but rather a reality in the world of economics. Is this a retreat or merely a pause for breath?

In an attempt to give semantics it's due yet allow some progress to substantive discussion, may I ask you to define "free market" (with appropriate appellation since you have dispatched those two words from your vocabulary) in terminology that is of your own conception?

Irrespective, I might add, of the common usage of the term in economics or elsewhere.

Having done that, please give a real life example or two of this phenomenom in action - or if your previous citations (Craig's List, the fruit stand, etc.) suffice; detail the instance cited to fit the model (your definition of free market)

With this clarification, I would like to proceed to examine your initial premise:
Government levies taxes to create and subsidize programs, but this does not create wealth, it is only a redistribution that will distort fair markets. Success and viability of programs are often erroneously overstated because of these undisclosed distortions.
.....and some of the consequent assertions that you have made in defense of the laissez-faire economic model.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  09:54:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zeked

"A free market is a market in which prices of goods and services are arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers"
A quote without attribution, citation or even a link. This poses a problem for me. On the one hand, if you did copy the first sentence from Wikipedia, I am forced to conclude that you didn't read the second sentence or the other sentences within the article that correspond to my concerns about the existence of free markets. If you copied the quote from some other source, then I must conclude that your assumption of the existence of free markets was based upon ignorance of the fact that their existence is disputed. Either way, it doesn't look good for you, and your sarcasm really only amplifies your mistakes here.
I would never exclude evidence, but I do require a better-communicated reference regarding clear dictionary definitions versus philosophical interpretations of the same. I was unaware the definition was in dispute. I know, ignorance is no excuse. Tsk, tsk.
You must be kidding. Your quote and my first offered definition are identical in meaning. The only apparent dispute over definition is that when you said "free market," you really meant laissez-faire capitalism:
It is generally understood to be a doctrine that maintains that private initiative and production are best allowed a minimal of economic interventionism and taxation by the state beyond what is necessary to maintain individual liberty, peace, security, and property rights.
This appears to be a common mistake, thinking that free-market economics is synonymous with laissez-faire economics. Except that "by definition" (to quote Wikipedia), a free market has no bad actors within it, and so has no need for intervention from the state in any way. And two good-acting neighbors bartering vegetables does not a "market" make.

But the real problem, of course, is that with a laissez-faire system, what is "minimal" is open to argument and personal bias. And people, being subject to wild hyperbole to make political points, might go overboard and suggest that a tax-funded solution to a social problem would lead straight away to the elimination of all personal liberties. Right, Zeked?

The bottom line seems to be that moderate Libertarians and other "free-marketers" think that we should strive for a minimal, laissez-faire system, with an actual free market as an ideal to aim for. I can't say that I disagree, because it would be wonderful if con-men and Bigfoot promoters and others who would deceive and coerce simply vanished from the planet (but I've got less hope of that happening than I do of religion vanishing - and some would say they're the same thing). Until such a glorious day arrives, however, our markets will be flooded with not only the dishonest, but also with the lazy and the selfish, and it is those latter two groups that make laissez-faire solutions to large social problems difficult, if not impossible.

Consider global warming. If even you, Zeked, were absolutely convinced of its reality and cause, we've got a gazillion rapture-ready fundamentalists in this country who honestly think that the Tribulation will be coming within the lifespan of this generation, so what do they care about what scientists think the environment will be like in three or four centuries? Neither they nor their descendants (nor anyone else) will be around for that, so conservation and stewardship simply don't enter their heads. Obviously, bad actors have propounded such ludicrous fairy tales, but the vast majority of believers are honestly hoodwinked (and not bad actors themselves), but they negatively influence the marketplace for green technologies simply by saying "not interested" to all offers, and place an unfair burden on the rest of us by not accepting a fair share of the responsibility.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  12:44:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Is this to improve my critical thinking and understanding of broader concepts that I don't yet fully appreciate? If that is the case, I appreciate it.

As far as global warming = man, government is benevolent, rapture ready, furry man beasts, alien visitation, nuke the world - foul the nest cause bejeebus is going to fly us off like helium ballons types, I have an opinion. Some is based on more substantial research than others. Economics didn't make the list till more recently.

Is laissez-faire a more appropriate term? Acceptable, viable, appropriate?

Till a year ago, I didn't care about economic policy. The language is still not concrete as the concepts are substantiated.

I've read some libertarian and apparently picked up some language use and less than balanced perspectives concerning theory versus actual. I'm expanding and learning, but I still have opinions that seem valid and I state them.



The questions I entertain.

Can the markets be sustained without government manipulation, or is coercion always a requirement?

Is government coercion more benificial to the government or to the market?

Is it possible that a market without subsidy distortion can select (by supply and demand), which alternative energy source is best suited to meet consumers needs?

Are the true costs of energy clear and known when subsidies greatly distort the markets?



My current conclusions:

Government coercion is not required in any significant amount, but is benificial for dispute resolution, contract enforcement and protection of property rights and personal liberties.

Government needlessly reduces our property rights and personal liberties for programs that could be executed by the markets without such reductions.

Subsidies should only be used to direct markets, not sustain them.

Sustained market coercion and manipulation by government decreases our wealth, grows a larger government, creates a monopoly enviornment which has a negative impact on consumer choice and level market competition.

True costs in the market can not always be clearly determined by end pricing because of widespread government manipulations and coercions that are hidden.

***

While I adjust my language and knowledge to suit, it is the idea and intention that I wish to communicate.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  12:55:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zeked

Government needlessly reduces our property rights and personal liberties for programs that could be executed by the markets without such reductions.
That is a conclusion I would take issue with.

How can the markets help when all actors are responsible for the creation of a problem, but only a minority of actors are willing to voluntarily engage in a solution?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  13:39:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zeked
The questions I entertain.

Can the markets be sustained without government manipulation, or is coercion always a requirement?

No, the market cannot be sustained without some outside manipulation. The reason is very simple, it is monopoly formation. Without checks and balances in place, oftentimes companies will be able to form conglomerates and this way drive up the price. Only for goods where it is relatively easy for a supplier to enter into the market will a free market be a true possibility.

Is government coercion more benificial to the government or to the market?

Both, but my suspicion is that the market benefits most. Recently in the Netherlands there have been some scandals surrounding illegal price agreements amongst "competitive" building companies. This drove up the price of orders placed with these companies. Companies that did not follow the price agreements were kept out of the loop of new orders. Government interference made sure that the market could stabilize again to a market with "fair play".

Is it possible that a market without subsidy distortion can select (by supply and demand), which alternative energy source is best suited to meet consumers needs?

Perhaps. The problem I have with free market is that it is necessary biased to short-term benefit, because that is what people actually see. Technologies with a longer-term benefit often will not gain a good acceptance in markets.


Are the true costs of energy clear and known when subsidies greatly distort the markets?

I don't think a free market determines the true cost of anything. Markets are, as far as I can see, exceptionally bad at determining cost. They are good at determining price, but cost and price are not the same thing. Look at anthropogenic global warming, or many other effects our behavior has had on the planet (deforestation, ozone layer, smog etc). The true cost of many of these is many times higher than the monetary price we pay for it. However, a market cannot take that into account, because it only acts upon short-term benefits. When you pay for your benzine in the pump, you only pay for a part of the cost of your behavior, namely the monetary costs made by the company that produced the gasoline. You do not pay for the costs of smog in your city, because the market has no mechanism that can determine that cost.

A thing that your questions above furhter ignore is the existence of monopoly goods. Health care is a good example of this. Often there are only a few medical institutions that have a specialization in a certain field. You cannot go shopping for this specialization, because you often need the specialization within a short time. You have no way of determining which hospital to go to when you need critical care, you just need to go to the closest hospital. There can be no question of informed competition in this case. The same holds for the provider of your electricity, or the

Even if a free market system works, it can only work within some limited frameworks. It does not work in systems with long-term effects, complex systems where the cost and price are not clearly related or systems where monopolies are easily established.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  18:32:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked.......

The questions you entertain:

Can the markets be sustained without government manipulation, or is coercion always a requirement?
No, the markets cannot always be supported by free market machinations. There will always exist, from time to time, situations that require coercion or support, but certainly not at all times. Therefore, coercion or support are occasionally required but not always!
Is government coercion more benificial to the government or to the market?
When properly applied, it is most beneficial to the governed (which, to paraphrase Dave should be the government! From 2000 to 2004, this situation did not exist!) So in the best of times (certainly not now, pre- November) both the Government (US and us] and the market forces benefit from government intervention!
Is it possible that a market without subsidy distortion can select (by supply and demand), which alternative energy source is best suited to meet consumers needs?
Yes, but not in sufficent time. We are in a dangerous situation right now, and acceleration of the development of alternate energy must be manipulated to a considerable degree.
Are the true costs of energy clear and known when subsidies greatly distort the markets?
Probably not completely, but one significant clue can be found in the profits of oil companies! For the present, it does not matter what the costs of alternate energy are, subsidies are necessary and the profit motive is secondary to the general welfare. This is an energy crisis situation!

Regarding your conclusions:

Government coercion is not required in any significant amount, but is beneficial for dispute resolution, contract enforcement and protection of property rights and personal liberties.
Government guidance is essential, and enforcement necessary if there is blatant non-conformity to appropriate suggestion on critical goods or services. (the recent mortgage melt-down for example, and quite possibly the current problem of runaway pricing of gasoline, combined with unheard-of profits in the oil industry.)
Government needlessly reduces our property rights and personal liberties for programs that could be executed by the markets without such reductions
This is true in some instances but there are others where property rights must be abrogated for the good of the commonweal. GM and the whole auto-truck industry could not have built the Interstate Highway System!
Subsidies should only be used to direct markets, not sustain them
Depends on the application of the subsidy. Some enterprise demands subsidy. I do not include the petroleum industry currently, but I would definitely include small and large scale energy storage technology, if only to beat the clock on global-warming!

If there is evidence of significant self-sustenance in an important product or service, of course the "free market" should prevail; or with too much success and monopolization, anti-trust legislation or it's equivilant is in order. Monopolies in matters like health-care must be closely examined, and more times than not will require government intervention! How do you think our private enterprise health care system is doing right now? I am nearly 80, and the only thing that has and will keep me alive is money!

If someone attempts to patent air, the patent office must prevail in favor of the consumer despite spirited special interest lobbying.
Sustained market coercion and manipulation by government decreases our wealth, grows a larger government, creates a monopoly enviornment which has a negative impact on consumer choice and level market competition.
Except in times of crisis, when draconian action is required. World War II for example, and health care, currently; at which private enterprise has had more than a fair shot and has failed! There are a significant number of other examples!
True costs in the market can not always be clearly determined by end pricing because of widespread government manipulations and coercions that are hidden.
Also by competitive pressures in the marketplace than create "loss-leaders", frequently leading the loser to bankruptcy! Occasionally, governmental price controls may be necessary to control a runaway market. In my opinion, Petroleum is currently voluntarily retreating slightly right now because of this threat from Obama.
While I adjust my language and knowledge to suit, it is the idea and intention that I wish to communicate
You are doing quite well for a twelve-year old. Precocious, I would say! Your endearing admission.....
][Is this to improve my critical thinking and understanding of broader concepts that I don't yet fully appreciate? If that is the case, I appreciate it.
.....is rather rare in the SFN ego airship hanger, full of inflations and conflations. Such a statement is a cool zephyr wafting over these oft-heated sands of contention.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  18:58:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

You are doing quite well for a twelve-year old.
Did you forget about the birthday bug again, Bng?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  20:22:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi bngbuck,

Seems we are always in a crisis, so excuse me if I don't duck and cover any more.

The mortgage crisis seems to be a direct result of government driven market manipulations, poor guidance and poor oversite. So we should insist on MORE from gov to make it better?

Gasoline prices look to be tied to inflation and the declining dollar more than anything about supply and demand. So we need the government to intervene on a "crisis" they created?

We are always in a dangerous crisis situation, so why now act with such urgency? And just how does the government warrant any credibility in solving crisis issues?

I think health care in this country is dismal. Not in the quality, services and variety, but in the costs. 9 times out of 9.01, I could get my health issues and medications resolved without going to a doctor, in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia ect.. Licensure and a paranoid reaction to bad actors in the US has made the system expensive and out of reach for many without gov assistance.

So again we have a "crisis" and want MORE gov to resolve an issue they seem to have created. It looks like a sick cycle of dependance to me, one that comes from a lack of confidence in uncoerced markets. Somehow government will attain enlightenment and fix the problems. hmm.

My dad is about your age, his family did just flippin fine through the depression - in no small part to a small community effort, development of an alternative system of currency, and resisting the government "cures". Now with all the regulation on otherwise uncoerced markets, my milk can not be sold, the butter can not be churned, I can't run my water well and we are led to beleive by the gov, it is for our own good that uncoerced markets not exist.

I've seen and experienced things that lead me to think that sometimes, (actually most of the time), LESS gov is required and more gov is counterproductive.

I think petroleum is retreating because the neocon warmongering DC bunch and the Israilis' have backed off from immediately attacking Iran, (now they are dismally aiming higher and more long term for Russia), and the speculators are realizing the probability of disruption in future production is lowered and supply is actually plentiful, as it had been. Don't worry, be happy!
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  20:40:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Dave,

So the government is us, and anything negative we throw at the government is actually an attack on the self?

How do you feel about government approved torture? Not my own, but in general?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  21:33:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zeked

So the government is us, and anything negative we throw at the government is actually an attack on the self?
You've got it quite backwards. Greed and corruption in government actors is an attack on themselves. Unfortunately, four years is long enough to get away with it, in that the time gives the bad actors the ability to find ways to distribute the punishment amongst others. Simply making the government smaller will not eliminate the problem, it will just make the reward for being a putz smaller. Some reward being better than no reward, the only "smaller government" solution is no government at all, which would put the bad actors back on top again (in the then-assuredly not-free market), so the small government solution is nothing but a catch-22, and can be attributed to an overly simplistic model of government/market interactions (like one in which the government exists as an entity independent of the citizenry).
How do you feel about government approved torture?
I'm quite annoyed by it, why do you ask?

You also wrote:
The mortgage crisis seems to be a direct result of government driven market manipulations, poor guidance and poor oversite. So we should insist on MORE from gov to make it better?
There's another catch-22: how do you get better guidance and better oversight of the market without strengthening the government or something so close to being the government it may as well be? Don't forget that so long as the government consists of one or more people, "who minds the minders?" will always be a problem (any oversight group with the power to change governmental policy must be considered part of the government).

The real question is: did anyone in a position of power in the government make a mint off the market manipulations, poor guidance and poor oversight of the mortgage industry that their own policies created? If the beneficiaries of bad state choices were not within the government themselves (but were instead bad actors within the marketplace), then this isn't corruption but simply stupidity, and that can be fixed much more easily than can an abuse of power.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  22:37:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just checking your perception of government actions that indicate separation of the government from the citizenry.

Because conceptual mechanisms exist to change government does not mean they are always functional.

The point, that it is worthwhile to criticize and argue against actions of the government to promote and pursue change. That separation of government and citizens is tangible. Would the majority of citizens pursue the actions of this current government? I see a separation where you had indicated there is none because the existance of mechanisims of change. It would be pointless to criticize 'government coercion' if the word "government" is replaced by "self".
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  22:40:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked said:
The mortgage crisis seems to be a direct result of government driven market manipulations, poor guidance and poor oversite. So we should insist on MORE from gov to make it better?

You are misinformed.

The mortgage issue is due to dergulation of lending practices. In other words, it is the direct result of a reduction in government control in a market.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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