OMG ADIH: Top Saudi Clerics Call For Journalist To Be Put To Death For Blasphemous Tweet

The top Saudi clerics have found another person to execute for free speech. We have previously seen a number of people accused of blasphemy for brief tweets or Facebook entries or even reading a book or speaking insulting thoughts at prayer. There is now a campaign to execute 23-year-old journalist Hamza Kashgari for a tweet that he sent to Mohammad on his birthday about Kashgari’s faith. There is no evidence that Mohammad is actually one of his followers but Mohammad’s followers are pretty ticked and labelled Kashgari an “apostate” who must be killed for his offense to Islam.

You are probably thinking the tweet must be pretty darn bad to fit serious blasphemy into 140 characters or less. Yet, Kashgari is being charged over a fake conversation that he had with Mohammad, who is not even listed as one of his “followers” on Twitter. Kashgari (who has apologized) wrote “On your birthday I find you in front of me wherever I go. I love many things about you and hate others, and there are many things about you I don’t understand.” As also tweeted “No Saudi women will go to hell, because it’s impossible to go there twice.”

The faithful even created a festive Facebook page with nearly 10,000 members dedicated to executing the journalist — declaring “The Saudi people demand Hamza Kashgari’s execution” already has nearly 10,000 members.

The committee of top clerics confirmed that these people are only doing what is right and told Saudis that “Muslim scholars everywhere have agreed that those who insult Allah and his prophet or the (Muslim holy book) Koran or anything in religion are infidels and apostates.” They called on him to be “judge[d] based on sharia law,” which demands death for those who insult Mohammad or the religion.

Other clerics repeated prior warnings that good Muslims do not Tweet. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh announced that Twitter is “a great danger not suitable for Muslims… it is a platform for spreading lies and making accusations.”

Once again, these stories show the perils of the effort of the Obama Administration to establish standards for the criminalization of anti-religious speech with Muslim countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Source: Washington Post

309 thoughts on “OMG ADIH: Top Saudi Clerics Call For Journalist To Be Put To Death For Blasphemous Tweet

  1. One of these days those clerics will have an epiphany and come charging headlong into the more modern and enlightened tenth century.

    More crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of religion and “saving souls” than all other forms of criminal activity since the dawn of time.

  2. From the Washington Post article:

    “The Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, told a packed audience at New York University this week that Saudi Arabia was a “land of opportunity” where there was no oppression of dissidents. I confronted the ambassador with lists of liberals, women and dissidents that had been arrested, beheaded and whipped. When questioned about Kashgari, Mouallimi replied that the journalist “has gone beyond the limits of what is acceptable in society.” His tweets were “not acceptable in a country like Saudi Arabia. This can never be acceptable,” the ambassador added.”

    –David Keyes (David Keyes is executive director of the New York-based organization Advancing Human Rights and co-founder of CyberDissidents.org.)

  3. AN,

    We just can’t have any discontent….now canwe…. I am trying to figure out how to cut and paste a story off of rueters….It is scare… not sure how to work this BB Tablet to its fullest extent….

    Good Friday Morning…

  4. For those among the Swedes in Riyadh who could stomach it, a Friday “fun activity” was going to “Nacka Torg” to watch the beheadings.
    It was a rough sandy square surrounded by bazaars. Now there’s probably a stadium there. Progress is admirable.

    The Pope had his Martin Luther, when will Mohammad get his?

    (´Nacka torg is a place in Stockholm, but “nacka” means to chop off the head, as of a live chicken. Grim humor.) Dare I say: TGIF ???

  5. An interesting case here in the U.S.:

    “The Government Says You Are Better Off Passing Out Flyers in a Ski Mask Than Tweeting Controversial Material”

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/government-says-you-are-better-passing-out-flyers-ski-mask-tweeting-controversial

    Feb 9th, 2012

    Posted by Kade Crockford, ACLU of Massachusettsat 11:48am

    Excerpt:

    “The government attorney had some pretty shocking things to say about anonymous speech and our client’s rights. Among them: the “voluntary nature of the tweeting” is what “puts his IP address out there.” No one forced him to use Twitter, she argued, and therefore his personally identifiable information is fair game for the government to scoop up.

    The judge countered, asking her how he might engage in anonymous speech in the 21st century if not online. Shockingly, she said, “he could have gone down to Dewey square and handed out flyers.” But he would not be anonymous if he did that, Judge Spina said. People will see him handing out those flyers. (Ed note: so will the literally tens of surveillance cameras pointed at the square.)

    “He can wear a ski mask,” the D.A. said, prompting at least one snicker from the public. “When he contracts through Twitter” to speak publicly, “he gives up” his rights to anonymity, she said.

    So there you have it. All you people who use the internet out there, know this: the government advises that if you want your speech to remain anonymous, you put on a mask and head down to the most politically surveilled region in your city to pass out controversial anti-government material that angers the police. But don’t say anything on Twitter, or the government can find you, and you won’t have the right to step into a courtroom and say, “that’s not right.”

    Stay tuned for more on this case, coming as soon as we hear from Judge Spina. Let’s hope he realizes what most of us have long known: when we click a box next to Terms of Service agreements in order to be able to engage in the 21st century world of ideas, we aren’t consenting to giving away our Constitutional rights.

    Let’s hope Judge Spina agrees.

    End of excerpt

  6. This is getting pretty bad. And it is only going to get worse. We are going to have to fight these people all over again in a few years and they will only be more bold having sent us packing from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Al Qaeda isnt the problem, it is their life philosophy which is the problem. Although I dont think I would call it a philosophy of life.

  7. anon nurse:

    what did he tweet? Did he tweet to incite a riot or some other criminal act? or did he just say something like “cops and DA’s suck”?

    Doesnt it depend on the nature of the tweet, just like you cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre or incite people to riot the nature of the tweet, I would assume, would be the determining factor in whether this was a criminal issue or an individual rights issue.

  8. @ Bron,
    Most speech is protected speech in this country. See Bradenburg. But are you suggesting merely tweeting ‘D.A.’s suck’ is an arrestable offense? My how far we have sunk.

  9. @Bron, misread. sorry. Still, he is arguing it was anonymous so he should be immune. I do not think DHS should be policing twitter. If they are they will need to make a list of illegal tweets public. Are you on twitter?The level of sarcasm, facetiousness, and brazen tongue in cheek posts is extremely high. Allowing the government to censor tweets is another totalitarian step by this government against the people who live under it.

  10. Bron said:
    ….This is getting pretty bad. And it is only going to get worse. We are going to have to fight these people all over again ….”

    There you are again.

    A simile: In Spain is a nice Salvador Dali museum with a very large painting in completely abstract form. Next to it is a small notice which suggests viewing it from a telescope, some 40 yards away across the room. The view from there shows the painting to be a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, a good likeness in fact.

    Sometimes I wonder from what sort of telescope you view this world.

  11. idealist707:

    “Sometimes I wonder from what sort of telescope you view this world.”

    So you condone the cutting off of the head of a young man asking questions about his God and his religion?

    Do you think people who would kill a young person for having metaphysical questions about the nature of God and faith are going to stop? A simple question any young person would ask and he also just simply made a statement about the way women are treated in SA. And for this the clerics issue a death sentence? Do you think these types of people [fundamentalists] are ever going to make peace with the west?

    What kind of rose colored glasses do you see the world with?

  12. id707 to Bron, “Sometimes I wonder from what sort of telescope you view this world.”

    From what I can tell, it’s an Ayn Rand “Übermensch 2000″ model with a von Mises/Rothbard motor drive.

    The optics are precision ground to ensure wide field distortion and near perfect myopia. The drive system is notable because it’s only capable of tracking objects sideways or backwards.

  13. Gene H:

    I think you are projecting again. Except you use the Fourier Phalanx ca. 1825. It doesnt have a hard drive, it uses a donkey for direction and is usually busted.

    It is typically found in Cuba, the Old Soviet Union and other countries which embrace stupidity as an ideology.

  14. This is the Right Wing of the Islamic people. Every bird has two wings. Birds of a feather flock together. So the birds over here have a right wing that says you cant use a condom and the birds over there kill ya for talking about it.

  15. Bron,
    ……So you condone the cutting off of the head of a young man asking questions about his God and his religion?

    Haven’t you got further than that in your debating club?
    Or should I riposte with:
    “Have you stopped sodomizing people?” Just to make a point.
    but don’t think you will get it anyway. You didn’t get any insight of my former post.

    So, like—–hopeless. You’re like my fellow night class students at Pasadena College who told me, rebukingly, “We’re not here to question, only to learn what the teacher says.” Did you study under similar circumstances?

  16. Bron doesn’t study, id707. He simply regurgitates whatever appeals to the confirmation bias rooted in his Objectivism. His beliefs dictate his knowledge, not the other way around.

  17. Gene H.
    he got that anyway. and replied on same red thread, maybe he is teachable.

    Bron says:
    ….”It is typically found in Cuba, the Old Soviet Union and other countries which embrace stupidity as an ideology.”

    Like the USA where you are a chief priest of the cult.

    Naw, boooooriing….!

    Do you usually hang out here, or did the DoJ send you to fish?

    Come on, don’t miss the chance to have the last word. Small kids usually insist, as do teenagers, and senile dementias as they fall asleep, etc.etc.

  18. “maybe he is teachable.”

    Good luck, id707.

    I’ll just say you aren’t the first one to attempt that task and leave it at that.

  19. idealist707:

    I learns reel good. No matr wut Gene H sez. He doen no nutin anyways.

    Learns me sumpin good. Eyes allredy axed wut books yu thot wer gooden, but yu nevir ansered.

    Weel I gotz to go and pley wit my dawg Blu and reed ma bible an kleen ma gun cuz weer goin snipe huntin in the mornin wit da preecherman and da kernal.

    Sinsarley,

    X

    (caus eye don kno how to spel ma name)

  20. Gene H:

    concerning confirmation bias:

    the free market doesnt have a confirmation bias because it is based on millions of people making thousands of individual decisions.

    I just figured out why liberals are so afraid of it, if the market was allowed to work, it would reject socialism hands down. Socialism can only be instituted by force of government.

  21. Bron,

    I didn’t say free markets have confirmation bias. I said you do.

    “if the market was allowed to work, it would reject socialism hands down.”

    Of course it would. The free market mechanic is “interested” in only one thing: profit without constraint. Just like in a black market – which I remind you once again is the free market dependent solely upon supply and demand you refer to so dreamily – those earning the most have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. If they have to follow rules, it limits both their power and their profitability. Again, your blind faith is betrayed by the facts of human nature.

    “Socialism can only be instituted by force of government.”

    Laws and rules can only be instituted by force of government. The form of the market is irrelevant as long as it is constrained from abusive practices. Constraint – whether it be in the form of a socialized market sector or in regulation – is contrary to your laissez-faire economics. Laissez-faire economics which by their very “hands off” nature are pro-anarchy and pro-tyranny.

    Your analysis is as usual simplistic and informed by your dogma rather than by the facts of both human nature and complex systems.

    But you keep searching for that golden bullet rationalization that confirms that being a selfish greedy elitist ass makes someone a virtuous person.

    We need someone to provide the bad examples around here.

  22. The only reason there is a black market is because of the force of government. Marijuana prohibition, just like alcohol prohibition, is a failed policy. Only socialist and fascist forms of government create legislation that attempts to prevent people from acting of their own free will even if it harms no one else or their property. It doesn’t work, hence the black market. it does drive up prices, increase violence, and wastes government funds while the people continue to purchase goods and use them.

  23. Furthermore, in a free market people get rich by providing better goods and services cheaper than their competitors, lowering prices and increasing technology for everyone. They don’t get rich and million dollar bonuses from tax payer bailouts. Even still, I bet you will argue in favor of the latter.

  24. “The only reason there is a black market is because of the force of government.”

    Irrelevant. The argued for market laissez-faire economic model is still the same as that found in black markets. It leads to economic tyranny of the strong over the weak.

    “Marijuana prohibition, just like alcohol prohibition, is a failed policy. Only socialist and fascist forms of government create legislation that attempts to prevent people from acting of their own free will even if it harms no one else or their property.”

    Fallacy of argument by non-sequitur and false equivalence. Prohibition fails for the same reason just laws are necessary: human nature. That prohibition creates conditions for black market exploitation is a separate issue from both the market mechanism and the topic of minimizing the attractiveness of black markets to criminal elements.

    Socialism is also not the equivalent of fascism. A just form of socialism, such as socialist democracy as practiced in the Scandinavian countries, works for the people. This is considered a good thing if you’re pro-democracy and the truth of the matter is the generally higher standard of living and levels of citizen happiness found in these countries in addition to their comparatively robust survival of the global economic downturn brought about by unregulated capitalism.

    “in a free market people get rich by providing better goods and services cheaper than their competitors, lowering prices and increasing technology for everyone.”

    Only in part. They also get rich by monopolizing market share either economy of scale (like Wal-Mart) or by anti-competitive market practices (like Microsoft has implemented to varying degrees of success over the years). They also get rich by cutting corners on materials, safety and by passing hidden costs on to others absent regulation.

    “They don’t get rich and million dollar bonuses from tax payer bailouts. Even still, I bet you will argue in favor of the latter.”

    You would bet wrong. “Too Big to Fail” is a myth propagated by those who stood to benefit from looting our treasury to make the public pay for their privately incurred risk and reward themselves for their ineptness and outright criminal behavior. This, however, needs to be distinguished from bailing out manufacturing interests. The service economy, including the financial services sector, is an illusion. The only real power a country has the ability to produce tangible goods. Germany didn’t fear America’s entry into WWII because of our financial and insurance services. They feared our entry into the War because we had vast untapped manufacturing potential. We didn’t kick their ass because we had innovative investment options. We kicked their ass because we could manufacture planes and tanks faster than they could. Also, historically, bailing out manufacturing interests has been an investment that paid off. The loans have been largely repaid and jobs (re-)created. That being said, their should be a prime requirement on any publicly funded bailout that prohibits the payment of any executive bonuses whatsoever until the loans are repaid in full.

    None of this changes that laissez-faire economics is a disastrous idea that not only ignores human nature, but rather plays to the worst in human nature: greed. Greed isn’t good. Greed is stupid. It must be constrained just as much as the impulse to kill with physical violence must be constrained.

  25. Gene H:

    “I didn’t say free markets have confirmation bias. I said you do.”

    I know you did, it just got me to thinking about confirmation bias as applied to the market.

  26. “I know you did, it just got me to thinking about confirmation bias as applied to the market.”

    I noticed it didn’t get you to thinking about the confirmation bias created in laissez-faire economics through the vested profit interests though. If it had, the second part of my answer wouldn’t have been necessary as you’d have noticed that the rejection of socialism or any regulation by laissez-faire capitalist does indeed create a confirmation bias but that bias is predicated on their maintaining power and maximizing profits which is a function of both greed and egomania rather than the more traditional method of creating a confirmation bias via dogmatic adherence to a belief. It’s a slight distinction, but it is a distinction with a difference and nonetheless a confirmation bias. Not all bad actors in a laissez-faire environment are going to be Objectivists although the tenets of that belief would by its very nature appeal to many of them. As much as I loathe greed and ego worship, Objectivism is not the only path to that end.

  27. Gene H:

    “The argued for market laissez-faire economic model is still the same as that found in black markets. It leads to economic tyranny of the strong over the weak.”

    Actually, no it isnt. I didnt see John D. using a tommy gun to suppress competition as Al Capone did in Chicago during prohibition. The real analogy is between socialism and Al Capone. Both use force, one government the other a gun. The effect is the same, higher prices for all and shortages plus much destruction.

    I might also point out that John D. brought the price of lamp oil so low it allowed the poor to have light and ended the hunting of whales for oil. John D. single handedly saved the whales and helped the poor. And he wasnt even an altruist but someone who was rationally self interested.

    I often wonder why anyone would be against helping the poor and saving the whales.

  28. “Actually, no it isnt. I didnt see John D. using a tommy gun to suppress competition as Al Capone did in Chicago during prohibition. The real analogy is between socialism and Al Capone. Both use force, one government the other a gun. The effect is the same, higher prices for all and shortages plus much destruction.”

    Again, your bias against law is showing. Black markets precisely run by unregulated supply and demand. They are outside the law, ergo, the only mechanism at play is supply and demand.

    Also, if you think Rockerfeller was above violence? You’re deluding yourself. He used violence. He just had enough purchased political clout to get the government to do it for him – another fascist using the state against the people. As the owner of The three largest companies (Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company, the Victor-American Fuel Company) involved in the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, Rockefeller got the Colorado National Guard to attack striking workers resulting in a 10 day long battle that resulted in between 69 and 199 lives (depending on who did the counting). Killing yourself or getting others to do your dirty work, both Capone and Rockerfeller used violence.

  29. Gene H:

    you arent ever going to restrain greed. It is human nature to want more than you have. And what is wrong with wanting more than you have if you earn it honestly and dont screw a bunch of people in the process?

    The problem is when people steel and cheat to get something more for themselves. That isnt right and that is why government is necessary; to protect people’s rights.

    Greed has actually brought abundance to our country and a high standard of living and an increase in life span. So I am not sure how bad it really is.

    You arent going to control human nature except by force and so you may as well let the market go and prosecute bad actors instead of assuming all business people are bad actors and need to be controlled.

    By necessity you think everyone is greedy when in reality they just want to keep a little more of what they make.

  30. “you arent ever going to restrain greed. And what is wrong with wanting more than you have if you earn it honestly and dont screw a bunch of people in the process?”

    That’s a big and unrealistic if. Also, that’s a simplistic argument. You aren’t ever going to restrain homicidal urges either, that doesn’t mean their aren’t perfectly valid public policy reasons for restraining them by making acting upon them illegal. The reason for restraining homicidal urges is to avoid revenge killings and blood feuds. The reasons for restraining greed are much the same. Greed is not a victim-less crime when it goes wrong. Your statement is again predicated on your false assumption that all businessmen act honestly and your anti-law bias rooted in your von Mises espoused nonsensical economics. History shows that a certain percentage of businessmen don’t and won’t act honestly without the law to provide a brake on their behavior in the form of punishment for bad acts and restricting some behavior from the onset in the form of regulation. Even then, regulation and criminality won’t deter the worst sociopaths of the lot, merely provide for punishment when and if they are caught and brought to justice.

    As far as the taxation issue goes, if you benefit more from society – which those who make profits do – you should pay a greater share of the maintenance costs of society. That’s equitable. To buy into that Rothbard horseshit of taxation as theft is simply revealing a desire to be a free rider; reaping all the benefits of society but paying none of the costs. If you earn more? You should pay more. Why? Because it’s fair. You live better than average because you benefit more than average from the shared infrastructure of society – including markets and the protection of property rights. If you’ve got a problem with that? It’s your problem. A problem rooted in greed. Of course, Warren Buffet and the billionaires and millionaires lining up behind him calling for increased taxes on the wealthy could be wrong. But they’re not. Greed is a vice with no ceiling and just so is the selfishness that fuels it.

  31. Gene H:

    Certainly the Ludlow Massacre was a bad thing. But I doubt the UMWA were guiltless. Unions were pretty violent back then and many unions were involved in violence while on strike. Unions should be allowed to strike but companies should be allowed to hire other workers if they do.

    Greed and homicide are pretty far apart on the spectrum of bad human behavior. Homicide is a violation of a persons right to life, while greed isnt even a crime. A crime would be theft or fraud which may have been caused by a persons greed, but greed is not a crime.

    I am all for the rule of law, an objective legal system is necessary to human civilization. I dont agree with Rothbard or ekeyra or anarchocapitalist about a free market court system, that wouldnt work too well. And any way government should protect life, liberty and property.

    I seriously doubt all businessmen are moral actors just as I doubt all government employees are moral actors or all priests are moral actors.

    Why is it fair for a person making $1,000,000 a year to pay a higher percentage of his income than a person making $60,000 per year? A person making the million is paying around $250,000 while the person making 60k is paying around $12,000 in federal taxes assuming deductions. This assumes the higher earnings are W2 but even if they are taxed at 15% it is still $150,000. Which is 10 times more. The thing to do is lower the rate of the people who make less money, now that would be fair and equitable. And also help the economy, putting more of people’s own money in their pockets is stimulus of the best kind.

    The problem is the insatiable desire of government for revenue to spend.

    Buffet and the other millionaires are doing that for their own self promotion and publicity.

  32. There is nothing inherently wrong with the black market. Your terminology is wrong and you often state opinions and false assumptions as facts, “it leads to the same ‘economic tyranny’…” no it doesn’t and it isn’t irrelevant. Would you describe the current state of beer and liquor sales in this country as economic tyranny? What about the lower prices and the less violence now that the state has allowed it to be legal again? How does that regulation make life more just? How does it equalize our lives? It doesn’t.
    It makes things worse for everyone.

    Furthermore, I see your strawman. I never said socialism is the same as fascism. I said that only in those types of governments can (and democracy can be socialist) actions that do not harm others and their property be illegal. Socialism is what you advocate for, correct? So it works to bailout manufacturers? Like the soviets did as well? What is socialism realized fully if not communism? And there were many reasons “we kicked ass,” one is that we got seriously involved during a practical stalemate and tipped the balance.

    But you cannot celebrate socialism and denounce the freemarket and then say that the bailouts aren’t part of socialism as the way you see it. Socialism isn’t the perfect utopia you see in your head (just democracy) socialism is the real world where real governments interefere with real markets and real industries. In our nation, that has taken the form of TARP. That is socialism in action my friend. Either we allow government to get involved or we don’t. If you think they should get involved, but only when you think it is just, then the government will act exactly how you want it to when you are chancellor. But what happens when our socialist system isn’t run by someone as just as you? Well, look in the rearview mirror of America. The best way to eliminate waste and corruption is to eliminate the mechanisms that allow for unjust controls and rewards.

    To answer all of your (mis)statements on my portable device is a torture I’d rather not endure on my portable device this Saturday afternoon. Good day.

  33. “Certainly the Ludlow Massacre was a bad thing. But I doubt the UMWA were guiltless.”

    They were attacked and responded in kind, against both the National Guard and the companies. He who strikes the first blow holds the ethical culpability for initiating violence.

    “Greed and homicide are pretty far apart on the spectrum of bad human behavior. Homicide is a violation of a persons right to life, while greed isnt even a crime. A crime would be theft or fraud which may have been caused by a persons greed, but greed is not a crime.”

    Not really. Homicide is an action. Greed is a motive. As a motive, it influences the commission of all sorts of crimes, from fraud and theft to kidnapping and homicide. The motive itself is not per se illegal, but many of the resulting actions based upon greed are criminal. I never said greed was a crime in itself. Acting upon it can be.

    “And any way government should protect life, liberty and property.”

    Too bad for you that’s not the narrow province of proper functions for our government as defined by the Constitution. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” This goes far beyond simply protecting life, liberty and property. It creates a duty to create equity as justice requires equity and a duty to promote the lives and best interests of all Americans among other things.

    Also, a graduated scale for taxation is perfectly fair as the benefit derived as income increases is not a linear progression, but a logarithmic progression.

    “The problem is the insatiable desire of government for revenue to spend.”

    No. The problem is that government spending has largely been co-opted by the 1% and the corporate to act in their narrow self interests and against the interests of the majority. The “problem” is corruption and malfeasance, not taxing and spending, both of which are Constitutional powers of Congress (and states from their own constitutions). The monies collected by government aren’t outrageous other than corporations and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share. The monies are being misspent due to corruption to benefit the few at the expense of the many. That is the problem.

    “Buffet and the other millionaires are doing that for their own self promotion and publicity.”

    Really? Or do they recognize that falling governmental services and failing infrastructure compounded by increasing income disparity pose an actual threat to the fabric of society? A society from which they derive enormous benefits? A society, that were it to collapse, would cost them everything? Just because it is good PR doesn’t mean it isn’t the right thing. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  34. “There is nothing inherently wrong with the black market. Your terminology is wrong and you often state opinions and false assumptions as facts, “it leads to the same ‘economic tyranny’…” no it doesn’t and it isn’t irrelevant. Would you describe the current state of beer and liquor sales in this country as economic tyranny? What about the lower prices and the less violence now that the state has allowed it to be legal again? How does that regulation make life more just? How does it equalize our lives? It doesn’t.
    It makes things worse for everyone.”

    No, I state facts that are facts and if you think my terminology is wrong, prove it.

    “Would you describe the current state of beer and liquor sales in this country as economic tyranny? What about the lower prices and the less violence now that the state has allowed it to be legal again? How does that regulation make life more just?It doesn’t. It makes things worse for everyone.”

    Really. I would think that not having gangsters blow up bars and restaurants and kill civilians with indiscriminate gunfire during turf wars was a good thing and providing for a more just and peaceful society, but if you want to go back to the days of black market liquor, no regulations (other than prohibition itself) and the resultant violence, then you have a radically different definition of a just society than I do.

    “Furthermore, I see your strawman. I never said socialism is the same as fascism. I said that only in those types of governments can (and democracy can be socialist) actions that do not harm others and their property be illegal. Socialism is what you advocate for, correct? So it works to bailout manufacturers? Like the soviets did as well? What is socialism realized fully if not communism? And there were many reasons “we kicked ass,” one is that we got seriously involved during a practical stalemate and tipped the balance.”

    You see nothing other than your own futile attempt to escape your false equivalence. As to what I advocate? I only advocate socialism insofar as certain systems should be socialized where private industry has failed or proven themselves bad actors – like health care insurance and energy. I’m for regulated capitalism. Also, you’re showing your ignorance. There is a huge difference between state owned manufacturing industry and propping up private manufacturing during a downturn. Just like there is a huge difference between socialism and communism. If you’d ever read Marx, let alone understood him, you’d know that he saw socialism as a step toward an inevitable communism. A position that has proven historically and practically incorrect. Communism is just as much an extremist form of economics and politics as laissez-faire capitalism is and both fail for making disastrous assumptions about human nature that are demonstrably false.

    “But you cannot celebrate socialism and denounce the freemarket and then say that the bailouts aren’t part of socialism as the way you see it. Socialism isn’t the perfect utopia you see in your head (just democracy) socialism is the real world where real governments interefere with real markets and real industries.”

    I didn’t say that it was utopia. I said it is a solution for some of our problems.

    “In our nation, that has taken the form of TARP. That is socialism in action my friend. Either we allow government to get involved or we don’t.”

    Another false equivalence based on the assumptions of laissez-faire thinking. You also missed the essential nature of TARP if you think it was socialism. It was fascism in action, “my friend”.

    “If you think they should get involved, but only when you think it is just, then the government will act exactly how you want it to when you are chancellor. But what happens when our socialist system isn’t run by someone as just as you?”

    Too bad for you I use an objective legal definition for what justice entails that I can both define and defend.

    “Well, look in the rearview mirror of America. The best way to eliminate waste and corruption is to eliminate the mechanisms that allow for unjust controls and rewards.”

    Like campaign finance that is actually little more than formalized graft.

    Democracy is a salient and protected feature of our government. Capitalism, let alone the extremist laissez-faire version, isn’t. We are free to adopt any form of economics we like as long as property rights are respected and that includes many forms of socialism. There is only one form of economic practice that is prima facie unconstitutional and that’s communism (in which there is no recognition of personal property).

    If you want to argue with me, slick? You better come better prepared than you have so far.

  35. You stating I’m ignorant isn’t proof any more than you saying my definitions are wrong isn’t proof, so save your smarmy bullshit for someone who cares about something other than proofs. You’re like all Ron Paul supporters. Long on bullshit, short on proof. The Libertarian platform, while it does have some practical planks appealing to actual progressives (and no, Obama is not a progressive, he sold a progressive bill of goods but in practice he’s a centrist Republican), is structurally unsound in its reliance upon the Austrian School of “Economics”. I put “economics” in quotes because von Mises wasn’t a real economist. He was a political apologist for laissez-faire economics that eschewed scientific method in favor of political polemic that is based in incredibly wrong assumptions about human nature, that free markets are self-correcting, provide just outcomes and are incapable of grievous abuses if simply left to their own devices. A polemic of greed is good if left to it’s own whim. Time and again history shows that in the absence of restraint, business will do horrible things in the name of profits – from selling adulterated products to abusive labor practices to outright participation in industrial genocide. Von Mises pays a lot of lip service to liberty and property rights, but in the end, his policies if put into play would lead to simply a different flavor of fascism than what is already queued up to consume what is left of the American ideals of democratic justice and liberty for all as envisioned by your founders.

    We’ve had your type fly through here before and to a one they’ve all been dismantled. A Libertarian state is a delusional dream that has unfortunately captured a lot of people who are rightly and thoroughly disgusted with what has been done to our country by both major parties. That doesn’t change that their proposed solutions are by in large delusional and/or disasters waiting to happen. While their hearts may be in the right place, their minds aren’t. Libertarianism is simply another path to oligarchy and economic tyranny. It is simply corporatism in a different suit. And corporate fascism has worked so well in the past! Just ask Mussolini.

  36. Raw Story is reporting:

    Malaysian authorities Friday said they had detained a young Saudi journalist who fled his country after Twitter comments he made about the Prophet Mohammed triggered calls for his execution.

    Hamza Kashgari was taken into custody after flying into Malaysia’s main international airport on Thursday, national police spokesman Ramli Yoosuf told AFP.

    “Kashgari was detained at the airport upon arrival following a request made to us by Interpol after the Saudi authorities applied for it,” he said.

    Malaysia does not have a formal extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, but do have close ties. My reading of the story is that Kashgari will probably be extradited to Saudi Arabia to be executed.

    Source: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/10/malaysian-police-detain-saudi-tweeter/

    Damn!

  37. To be honest, I was really just regurgitating your tactics on this thread, just in a more concise manner (I used one word, instead of too many). See here how you completely dismiss Bron without citing any evidence.

    “He simply regurgitates whatever appeals to the confirmation bias rooted in his Objectivism. His beliefs dictate his knowledge, not the other way around.”

    and again here.

    “Your analysis is as usual simplistic and informed by your dogma rather than by the facts of both human nature and complex systems.”

    and also here.

    “We need someone to provide the bad examples around here.”

    The funny thing about that second statement is that I completely agree with it, if applied to you.

    But then you turn that around on me:

    “You’re like all Ron Paul supporters. Long on bullshit, short on proof.”
    So now all Ron Paul supporters are long on bullshit and short on proof. Do you have any proof to back up that statement?

    I’ll treat some of this like I would if a student made these claims in a paper for class.

    “I put “economics” in quotes because von Mises wasn’t a real economist.” (Perhaps start with the definition of economist)
    -Evidence?

    He was a political apologist for laissez-faire economics that eschewed scientific method in favor of political polemic that is based in incredibly wrong assumptions about human nature, that free markets are self-correcting, provide just outcomes and are incapable of grievous abuses if simply left to their own devices.”
    -Evidence?

    “Time and again history shows that in the absence of restraint, business will do horrible things in the name of profits – from selling adulterated products to abusive labor practices to outright participation in industrial genocide. ”
    -Which time? which example? Which businesses?

    “Von Mises pays a lot of lip service to liberty and property rights, but in the end, his policies if put into play would lead to simply a different flavor of fascism than what is already queued up to consume what is left of the American ideals of democratic justice and liberty for all as envisioned by your founders.”
    -Evidence?

    Again, I can say, “you are wrong, Von Mises’ policies would not lead to a simply different flavor of fascism than what is already queued up to consume what is left of the American ideals of a democratic justice and liberty for all as envisioned by your founders.” But why get in a debate with someone who states the above as obvious and prove facts when they are the exact opposite, and at the same time demanding others provide ‘proof’ while providing no evidence himself?

    How about when I said: “Only socialist and fascist FORMS (note the plurality of the word form) of government create legislation that attempts to prevent people from acting of their own free will even if it harms no one else or their property.”

    Then you said: “Socialism is also not the equivalent of fascism….”

    Then I: “Furthermore, I see your strawman. I never said socialism is the same as fascism…”

    Then you: “You see nothing other than your own futile attempt to escape your false equivalence.”

    Your logic is truly amusing! Thanks for the laughs.

    However, I want to clarify this point. I think you may believe I would rather have the blackmarket of the 1920’s in Alcohol than the current situation. That is not my point. I ask how the regulation in the 1920’s of prohibition was better than we are now that the market is much more freed up than it was. There is still licensing and taxes, but if people apply and receive permits they can do as they please within the confines of the state as opposed to being pushed into the blackmarket. I agree with the opposite of this! Freeing up markets is a good thing!!! Don’t you agree? Where is the economic tyranny of that market?

    When I say blackmarkets are not inherently evil, that is because the market is not the problem. The market will exist whether or not the state allows it. The problem is that government deems it illegitimate, pushes it underground, and then violence erupts between sellers and the state and sellers themselves while bribery and blackmail become common practice.

    Furthermore, the prohibition of alcohol was a socialist action. So if you support socialism for some things and not others, then how do you keep it running the way you want it to when you are not in office? The answer is that if we can allow the federal government certain intrusions because the majority of americans like them, even when they are not supported by our founding document, then the federal government has no limits when people who do not respect the people are in power. Hence Section 1021 of the NDAA is signed into law without a whimper, and those who site the unconstitutionality of it are laughed out of town, precisely because it has become such a common practice to break with the constitution in other matters.

    Finally, “Obama is not a progressive, he sold a progressive bill of goods but in practice he’s a centrist Republican)”

    Well, actually he has some progressive policies: federal healthcare, federal schooling, higher taxation are some examples. But you have confused an ideology (progress- simply defined as a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas) with a political party (Republican- someone who is a member of the Republican party).
    You really cannot compare a political ideology with a political party. Party platforms and beliefs change (how many democrats supported the Iraq war while Obama was in office and opposed it when Bush was in office).

    So, to correct your statement one could make it, “Obama has some progressive policies and is in fact a Democrat.” Evidence? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Barack_Obama_a_Republican_or_a_Democrat

    I think maybe you were insinuating that Democrats are progressives, sorry to say but it just ain’t so, joe.

    “We’ve had your type fly through here before and to a one they’ve all been dismantled.”
    -Proclaiming I’ve been thoroughly dismantled at the end of your post is as silly as me proclaiming your ignorance at the beginning of my post. Though I am sure you will write a last post and proclaim your victory. Say it all you want about how I have been ruined and dismantled, but it doesn’t make it true (except maybe in your own head. Like propaganda, repeat the lie enough and…)

    But don’t worry, I don’t plan on writing back yet again on this post and I don’t post regularly. I come here for the Turley, not to “teach the unteachable.” So proclaim your victory. Cyberspace glory awaits.

  38. Me and Bron have a lot more history than you know about, so your observations there aren’t worth shit.

    ““Only socialist and fascist FORMS (note the plurality of the word form) of government create legislation that attempts to prevent people from acting of their own free will even if it harms no one else or their property.””

    Still a false equivalence and an incomplete analysis. There are many forms of government and most of them can create legislation that prevents people from acting of their own free will even if it harms no one else or their property.

    Your statement on black markets and their mechanic is still missing the point about the laissez-faire dependence on free markets as a self-correcting mechanism. Liquor sales prove my point that a regulated market fosters both social stability and reasonable trade whereas no regulation does the exact opposite. That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss. Laissez-faire economics depends on not having markets regulated. Above the law. That is exactly the condition created by black markets. You’re above the law if you simply ignore it as much as you are if you are otherwise exempt.

    The rest of what you say on that issue is drivel. Prohibition was signed into law over the veto of Woodrow Wilson and the disaster it became was largely propagated under the administration of Calvin Coolidge, a small government conservative. Prohibition wasn’t a socialist movement, but rather a conservative/religious movement hiding under the guise of medical reason. But I see like most Ron Paul supporters, you label anything you don’t like or understand “socialism”. I don’t mind when you use words you don’t know the meaning of or speak without knowing the history of events. I think it’s funny.

    Almost as funny as “I think maybe you were insinuating that Democrats are progressives, sorry to say but it just ain’t so, joe.” There isn’t a dimes difference in the Corporatist policies of either party when it comes down to it and neither party is truly progressive. They are both entrenched in the campaign finance/graft machine and represent the status quo. However, in promoting corporatism, there is no difference between them and the Libertarians either. Different wrappings. Same package. The confusion here is yours in thinking I think any of the partisan options currently presented to this country are worth a damn.

    “So if you support socialism for some things and not others, then how do you keep it running the way you want it to when you are not in office? The answer is that if we can allow the federal government certain intrusions because the majority of americans like them, even when they are not supported by our founding document, then the federal government has no limits when people who do not respect the people are in power.”

    Carefully crafted and legally sound enabling legislation designed to prevent usurpation and abuses. It can be done . . . when legislators actually do the job they were elected to do instead of allowing industry to write law that is supposed to regulate them. Systems, including law, are only as fool proof as their engineering.

    “Hence Section 1021 of the NDAA is signed into law without a whimper, and those who site the unconstitutionality of it are laughed out of town, precisely because it has become such a common practice to break with the constitution in other matters.”

    Moving the goal posts. As to those questioning the legality of it here? Do some research. The Constitutionality of it was quite robustly challenged in this forum.

    “You’re like all Ron Paul supporters. Long on bullshit, short on proof.”
    So now all Ron Paul supporters are long on bullshit and short on proof. Do you have any proof to back up that statement?”

    Search for Ron Paul and/or Ayn Rand in this blog and do your own homework. I’d suggest starting here and here. It would help the case for Libertarians if they didn’t rely upon the teachings of a demonstrably crazy woman like Ayn Rand.

    “He was a political apologist for laissez-faire economics that eschewed scientific method in favor of political polemic that is based in incredibly wrong assumptions about human nature, that free markets are self-correcting, provide just outcomes and are incapable of grievous abuses if simply left to their own devices.”
    -Evidence?”

    That von Mises eschewed the scientific method is common knowledge. It’s a primary and common criticism of his work. Economics, as dismal as it is, that dismisses the Method is worse than useless as an analytical tool. Since economics without the ability to act as an analytical tool is useless, what else could von Mises claptrap be other than a political polemic? Nothing. Because a political polemic is what it is. As a science it has no value at all. It merely makes proclamations. As far as it being based in disastrous assumptions about human nature? See organized crime under Prohibition to see what unregulated trade gets you. Without market controls, the strong subjugate the weak. That is the essential nature of lawlessness.

    “Time and again history shows that in the absence of restraint, business will do horrible things in the name of profits – from selling adulterated products to abusive labor practices to outright participation in industrial genocide. ”
    -Which time? which example? Which businesses?”

    Again, do your own homework into the economic collaboration between private industry and government during WWII Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Do your own homework into the reason the FDA was created in the first place. Do your own research into the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the current CDS debacle on Wall Street. I’m not here to fill the gaps in your limited education.

    “Von Mises pays a lot of lip service to liberty and property rights, but in the end, his policies if put into play would lead to simply a different flavor of fascism than what is already queued up to consume what is left of the American ideals of democratic justice and liberty for all as envisioned by your founders.”
    -Evidence?”

    When corporations dictate the law and how it applies to them, that’s corporatism. When they dictate policy too? That’s fascism. Specifically it is Italian Fascism a.k.a Corporatist Fascism (like most forms, there are many flavors). I know it must be troubling to you that you don’t know what these political science terms actually mean any more than you understand what socialism means, but again, it didn’t stop you from misusing them. Do your own homework.

    “We’ve had your type fly through here before and to a one they’ve all been dismantled.”
    -Proclaiming I’ve been thoroughly dismantled at the end of your post is as silly as me proclaiming your ignorance at the beginning of my post. Though I am sure you will write a last post and proclaim your victory. Say it all you want about how I have been ruined and dismantled, but it doesn’t make it true (except maybe in your own head. Like propaganda, repeat the lie enough and…)’

    Learn to read. I said nothing about what has been done to you, but what has been done to others spreading your ridiculous message in the past. If you want to see how Libertarian and Austrian School of thought has been dismantled here in the past, do your own homework. I’m not here to repeat myself or to educate you. You said I was wrong. You prove it. The burden of proof is upon you to prove I’m wrong as challenger, despite your effort to shift it. That’s how debate works. Assertion, rebuttal, counterclaim. Attempting to shift the burden of proof isn’t a rebuttal any more than your claim that I’m ignorant or my definitions are wrong is a rebuttal. Get to work. I’m not going to give rebuttal for you nor am I going to provide you with any more evidence than I already have (which mainly consisted of pointing you in the right direction to do your own work) until you give a cogent rebuttal. Then I’ll gladly dismantle your rebuttal argument assuming you’re actually capable of making one.

  39. Again, you constantly misrepresent or, more likely, misunderstand my opinion while providing evidence for questions unasked. I didn’t ask for evidence of corporatism. I asked for evidence of how Von Mises policies lead to corporatism. You seem to not know the difference between corporatism and a free market and are making a “false equivalence.”

    Absolving any doubt that you do not understand what a free market is was provided when you stated that “prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market.” The imbecility of tht statement is startling. Please read Von Mises before attempting to refute his philosophy. Or at least read a definition of “free market.” I am sorry that you don’t know what you are talking about. and of course many forms of government could pass legislation prohibiting alcohol: oligarchy, fascism, communism, democracy, etc. But what you don’t seem to understand is the definition of socialism. If any form of government tells the people what they can and cannot purchase in the marketplace, then whatever else it is (democratic or fascist) it is also socialist.

  40. “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”
    – Gene H.

    Good night, wish I could say it has been fun. Very sad news for the journalist tonight.

  41. Bron: “Actually, no it isnt. I didnt see John D. using a tommy gun to suppress competition as Al Capone did in Chicago during prohibition. The real analogy is between socialism and Al Capone. Both use force, one government the other a gun. The effect is the same, higher prices for all and shortages plus much destruction.

    I might also point out that John D. brought the price of lamp oil so low it allowed the poor to have light and ended the hunting of whales for oil. John D. single handedly saved the whales and helped the poor. And he wasnt even an altruist but someone who was rationally self interested.”
    ——————

    Boy, turn your back on a thread for 24 hours and it becomes a maelstrom of Libertarianism v. regulation! Who’da thunk it? :-)

    As a re-drop in to this thread I was struck by your praise of Rockefeller.

    Unrestrained capitalism as it was practiced by J D Rockefeller and the other barons of late 19th /early 20th century industry was a Ponzi scheme, all wealth moved to the top of the pyramid which was held by those that got there first.

    I at one time read a number of books about the genealogy of America’s industrial might and Rockefeller played a prominent role in several of them. Making lamp oil cheap wasn’t an act of kindness nor making oil, Standard Oil, ubiquitous and affordable in general, an act of philanthropy.

    He undercut the price of all competitors and either they formed partnerships with him, sold out to him or he drove them out of business. Independents didn’t have a chance. Often with the help of syndicates and alliances (such as railroads that shipped his product) constructed for that purpose. He was more than once investigated and prosecuted for anti-trust violations.

    It was an oft repeated business model employed by capitalists that managed to get in on the ground floor of an emerging industry and get rich off of it. Competition could be quashed by under-cutting the price to the point that no one could compete.

    I was very young when I got interested in the subject- I believe it was a summer school class taught by the most charismatic (and handsome) teacher I ever knew (LOL, some of my motivation for learning is questionable) but even so, it was pretty obvious that un-regulated capitalism leads directly to monopoly by very few players in any given industry.

    What halted Rockefellers absolute dominance of the oil market was discoveries of oil overseas.

    He may well have been a great philanthropist but he was not a nice man.

  42. Telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about isn’t a rebuttal either.

    Prove me wrong.

    Step up or step off.

    “I asked for evidence of how Von Mises policies lead to corporatism. ”

    And I referred you to other threads where that has already been demonstrated. If you’re too lazy to read, that’s your problem.

    “You seem to not know the difference between corporatism and a free market and are making a “false equivalence.””

    It’s a good thing you used quotes, because you obviously don’t know what a false equivalence is. I’ll tell you what isn’t a false equivalence: being above the law and being exempt from the law are the same thing. That you’re too stupid to understand that is your problem, not mine. Laissez-faire capitalism is where private parties are free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies. There has never been a laissez-faire state or economy. Why? Because it’s a fantasy that markets are self-correcting, that markets provide just outcomes and that profitability equates to maximum efficiency. If you want to see the lie in von Mises, specifically in regards to his statements on profitability and efficiency, one need look no further than the health care insurance industry. We have a for profit health care industry in this country and it is rife with inefficiencies in the forms of duplicative channels of information processes forced on health care providers, denial of coverage to maximize profits (to keep that simple for you, that’s denying coverage so some insurance executive asshat can get a bonus or take an executive spa vacation), and keeping risk pools purposefully smaller than the maximum size possible thus keeping the cost of coverage and provision artificially inflated. Price and value (utility) can both be calculated in the absence of a free market.

    Laissez-faire capitalism is capitalism without rules. Capitalism where industry gets to define what laws apply to it when is corporatism which is as good as not having any rules. Capitalism without rules is anarchy. Anarchy invites the tyranny of the strong over the weak. Von Mises was a proponent of laissez-faire capitalism. Deal with it.

    “If any form of government tells the people what they can and cannot purchase in the marketplace, then whatever else it is (democratic or fascist) it is also socialist.”

    Bullshit. Unless, of course, you’d consider a prohibition on selling nuclear weapons to individual citizens or enemy states an example of socialism. There are public policy reasons for prohibited transactions that go beyond the simple lens of profitability. Your statement is illustrating ignorance about what socialism is for certain, but it isn’t my ignorance it’s illustrating. Socialism is, in the broadest sense, an economic system characterized by social ownership – in the form of cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership, autonomous state enterprises or a combination thereof – or control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy paired with a compatible political philosophy. Any form of government that has a military and/or commonly owned social infrastructure is to one degree or another socialized. It has to be or it won’t work. Contrary to von Mises assertion, socialism not only works in various forms and degrees, but it is necessary for government of any reasonable form to function. When socialism fails is when it is distorted into the extremist form called Communism. Communism, just like it’s extremist capitalist counterpart laissez-faire economics, fails because it doesn’t take human nature into account. Where communism fails to take individual motivation to work into account, laissez-faire capitalism caters to one of the most dangerous and damaging maladaptive behaviors of mankind: unbridled greed.

    The only bigger fool than von Mises are his followers.

    Feel free to come back when you can come somewhere close to a cogent rebuttal too. Because that wasn’t a rebuttal either.

  43. If I need to prove how “prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market” and other of your gems then this is more of a waste of time than I thought. I referred you to actually read Von Mises or look up the definition of free market. ‘If you are too lazy too read, that is your problem.’

    Summary: “The healthcare system in this country is a good example of free market capitalism and how Von Mises principles would make health care be like.”
    -While it some of it is for profit, some of it is under government control. When we talk about free markets we don’t mean simply “for profit.” We mean free from government interference and regualtion and private ownership of the means of production. In a free market if a person wants to go to a certain person for care, they can pay them and go. Many natural remedies are currently prohibited by our current for profit and socialist system. It is illegal to seek them out in many cases. The number of doctors is limited by the government, there can only be so many (driving up prices). That is not the free market. But the easiest way to prove you wrong is the existance of medicaire and medicaid. Government did make profit off of this, they took money from people, promised it was for health care, and then spent it somewhere else. These programs did not help the health care system in this country. They drove up prices. Furthermore, the health care industry is filled with government regulation. The medicaire system has no money and is collapsing. None of this is part of a free market system in health care which would look much different including lower prices and healthy alternatives. There, I am educating you when you should be educating yourself.

    Buying books on amazon is a much better example of free market (though there is sales tax). I am free to buy books in any store I like or even online. There are no regulations specifying where, when, or what books I can buy. Why is that such a horrible problem in your opinion? Do we need government to control book buying for the common good? Or to unfairly stifle competition on the internet and force us to buy books only in physical stores? Amazingly publishers find authors and decide how many copies to print without the central authority of the federal government telling them what to publish and how many. How on earth does it work? the market tells publishers which books are likely to sell and which ones aren’t, then they take chances. Right now book buying is a pleasure. Health care is not. But books are an example when the evil of capitalism is on full display. How awful it is! We have a choice, we can go more socialist or we can go towards free markets.

    You define socialism well, but then say bullshit that prohibition and any other good and service prohibited or controlled by the government isn’t socialism. What is government and how is it paid for? Communally with taxes. When our government controls (sometimes attempts to control) a market or prohibits certain goods and services, that is socialism. Socialism doesn’t only fail when it inevitibly becomes communism. Socialism fails along the way to. Look at health care! (Or alcohol prohibition).

    Democracy is not a panacea. We were supposed to have a constitutional republic- A representative government that is restricted in what it can do by a constitution. (Even that is not a panacea). Instead our children are taught all this democracy nonsense. Democracy- The will of the 51% , The tyranny of the majority. Prohibition, though a socialist policy, was done in proper constitutional republic form. They passed an amendment! It is the same with the income tax. Where is the amendment for No Child Left Behind or marijuana prohibition? But again, we are talking about forms of governance instead of economic systems. I believe in the free market. I believe it works better than a centrally controlled system that forces people to participate against their will. However, in a free market economy people are not prevented from communally owning and operating things if they choose to do so. They are just prevented from having the force of government to do so. Free markets cannot exist in a socialist economy. Both economic systems could exist in this country with our current form of government, but you must quit blaming “capitalism” for everything and not also socialism, because whether you like it or not, we are getting more socialist every day.

  44. More on the health care insurance industry. Did you know you can only buy insurance from a company in your state? That is one of the many federal government regulations on insurance that increases costs and stifles competition. Furthermore, are you not aware of how much money insurance companies spend on lobbying the federal government? How about obama’s new plan? there is no public option, which i was for, i thought it better than the current bullshit and it was optional. yes it is socialist. but so is the current mandate to buy health care. So we have government regulations of health care to make everything better. They drive up prices and then force us to buy it. How absurd. Do the capitalists profit? Absolutely, but they would not have these beneficial policies without government “regulations.” We would be better off without it, socialism often benefits the capitalists and hurts those it wants to help. But those capitalists are not part of a free market. Look up crony capitalism or crony socialism for more on our current economic sytem.

  45. You’re still not even close to a cogent rebuttal, dipstick. Lots of Paul-ian raving using a word you clearly don’t know the meaning of, but no rebuttal.

    You said my definitions were wrong. You said I didn’t know what I was talking about.

    Prove. It.

    I’m betting you’ll continue to be long on bullshit and short on substance.

  46. “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”
    – Gene H.

    If you truly understood the definitions of the words YOU use, then you would see that the sentence above is incongruent. I referred you to actually read Von Mises or look up the definition of free market. ‘If you are too lazy too read, that is your problem.’

  47. I have read von Mises. He’s was an idiot concerning human nature and his theories reflect that fact. Also, if you understood the difference between a market mechanic, how law operates and their interrelation in action, you’d know you’re full of crap. What I said is precisely correct: the only governing mechanism of a black market is the same mechanic that laissez-faire economics endorses – supply and demand. This is true no matter what condition creates a black market. When the condition is artificially high prices due to prohibition? Supply and demand rules. When the condition is artificially low prices by tax avoidance? Supply and demand rules.

    Again, do try to come back with a cogent rebuttal. As in prove me wrong. You haven’t even come close yet.

  48. Gene H:

    “It creates a duty to create equity as justice requires equity and a duty to promote the lives and best interests of all Americans among other things.”

    Justice in the sense the founders meant was not and is not social justice which is what you are saying it means. No way did the founders believe all men were equally endowed with the same skills and talents. The only universal endowment was our right to our life and to be treated equally under an objective law.

    As much as you refuse to admit it and have gone to great lengths to prove otherwise, this country was formed to protect the rights of the individual.

  49. Bron,

    That you have a reading comprehension problem when it comes to the Preamble is widely known and demonstrated. You don’t get to make up your own meanings to words no matter how many times you try that tactic. Justice does require equitable solutions. That is a fact. Just as promotion of the general welfare incorporates not just material provisions but the application of social justice. The pursuit of justice applies to all of the law, including the other functions of government listed in the Preamble. That you want to ignore the promotion of the general welfare or make up some meaning that suits your ideology instead of using the plain meaning of the terms is your failing.

  50. “Why should I when you are doing such an excellent job of it yourself?”

    Because you’re a fraud if you can’t. I can back all of my assertions. You have yet to back any of yours. Since you haven’t offered a cogent rebuttal, I’m going to go with you can’t.

    Put up or shut up.

  51. Fine. I’m glad you have doubled down on the whole “prohibition is the perfect example of a truly free market” idea because it is so easy to refute. Just remember, I tried to get you to read Von Mises or at least look up the definition of ‘free market’ to no avail. I know, I know, you have “read” Von Mises. If that is truly the case, your comprehension needs work.

    Before I define these terms for you, I truly hope that this is a moment that will encourage you to resume your studies and to read a broader range of material at a deeper level. Perhaps try Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. It is an easy read that can really help you along your educational path. Of course, you will probably just dismiss Hayek like you dismissed Von Mises, “Von Mises is an idiot.” So eloquent and truly a “proven” statement and “totally backed up just like all your assertions.”

    Alas, I wish you good luck.

    Vocabulary Words Defined:
    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

    As you can see, your previous interpretation below is clearly inaccurate, incongruent, and was in fact quite ironic to suggest alcohol prohibition is a good example of a free market since it is a good example of the exact opposite.

    “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”
    – Gene H. providing his example of a truly free market

    “What I said is precisely correct: the only governing mechanism of a black market is the same mechanic that laissez-faire economics endorses – supply and demand. This is true no matter what condition creates a black market. When the condition is artificially high prices due to prohibition? Supply and demand rules. When the condition is artificially low prices by tax avoidance? Supply and demand rules.”
    -Gene H. expounds upon his knowledge of supply and demand, black markets, and free markets

    There is nothing free about a market that is under government illegality. Why would I buy alcohol of low quality and at a high price from a mobster in a basement and risk getting arrested or worse if I could instead walk to the convenience store and plop $6.00 on the counter for a six pack that is name brand? I wouldn’t. Freer markets work much better than ones more restricted by governments, which is what prohibition is truly a good example of.

    Of course I am a fraud and can’t back up any of my assertions etc. etc. blather, blather. I’ve read your correspondence with Bron, and I got to say you may also want to re-read your copy of The Constitution or take that class on Constitutional Law one more time (just not if it is taught by Barack Obama : ). Of course, you will continue to call him an idiot, just like Von Mises, just like Hayek, just like me.

    Of course Bron could take the time to quote you the federalist and anti-federalist papers to let the founders speak for themselves, but I hope he sees that would be a waste of time on you.

    See you around the bend.

  52. Osama bin Laden said he wanted his children to abandon Jihad and go to America to get a good education.

    Is that confirmed?

  53. Gene H:

    “Liquor sales prove my point that a regulated market fosters both social stability and reasonable trade whereas no regulation does the exact opposite.”

    Are you serious? Liquor has caused more social problems than drugs have. It is a regulated market in the sense that is taxed federally and controlled by the Feds, in some states it is only sold by state owned liquor stores (beer and wine being sold freely).

  54. Gene H:

    “We have a for profit health care industry in this country and it is rife with inefficiencies in the forms of duplicative channels of information processes forced on health care providers. . .”

    Yes and it is heavily regulated by government.

  55. “Are you serious? Liquor has caused more social problems than drugs have.”

    I’m absolutely serious, Bron. The social costs of using liquor are a separate issue, but the regulation and legalization of liquor essentially put bootleggers like Capone out of business. The same thing would happen with drug legalization and regulation. Sure, you’d still have the incidents where someone on a drug does something stupid and/or violent, but the drug war violence in our inner cities driven by turf wars among distributors and along the Mexican border driven by cartel competition would vanish.

    The social costs of drug use though are a distinctly different discussion.

  56. “‘We have a for profit health care industry in this country and it is rife with inefficiencies in the forms of duplicative channels of information processes forced on health care providers. . .’

    Yes and it is heavily regulated by government.”

    Heavily regulated and poorly regulated are not the same thing. The inefficiency I mentioned that you chose to point to isn’t related to regulation, poorly executed or not. Multiple data processing channels is a direct reflection of a competitive market with multiple players creating a systemic inefficiency. In many market segments, this isn’t a problem, but in health care it is because it costs money to maintain those different channels. Money that could better be spent on patient care. Just so, the bonus and perks structure of present in the for profit health care insurance industry also siphon off money better spent on patient care. These are people’s lives we are talking about and not just executives looking for a payday, but sick and injured people who need medical care to be paid for and to be administered by their doctors in accordance to their patient’s informed wishes, not by some middle or upper management flunky who’s bonus is predicated on raising profits by not paying out a claim.

  57. Monsr. Madeleine:

    you are wasting your time, but it is interesting to watch.

    When you read from an outsiders perspective, Gene H really doesnt say much, it is all purely rhetoric. He never brings in examples although he does use a dictionary pretty well.

    In fact ask him what Welfare means and then look up the word in a dictionary circa 1800. I find it funny how the left took that word and made it mean payments to people who are down and out. Talk about an agenda, and then 60 years later you have Gene H parroting the philosophical shift in meaning, saying the Constitution was written as a document supporting the Welfare State/Socialism.

    He even thinks Jefferson was a socialist. Although he has a minor point as Jefferson in his later years thought the French intellectual movement had merit. I dont know how though, J. J. Rousseau was all in favor of a strong state while early Jefferson feared big government. I guess he was going senile in his later years.

  58. “When you read from an outsiders perspective, Gene H really doesnt say much, it is all purely rhetoric. He never brings in examples although he does use a dictionary pretty well.”

    Said the guy who never won either a substantive or rhetorical argument.

    That’s also a material misrepresentation in re evidence, btw.

  59. Gene H:

    “Nothing except for the mechanism of said market which is still . . . supply and demand without rules or oversight.”

    A black market is, of course, about supply and demand. All markets are about supply and demand. Someone needs something and someone will find a way to fill that need. However it is not a free market as goverment has restricted the freedom of choice of the consumer. Government has created an artificial demand for the product in that they have limited the legal supply. Since the legal supply is limited, in this case non-existant, the black market fills the gap.

    We can make the case that black markets are only created by government intervention in the economy. I think we could also say that government regulation, which really is nothing more than a degree of prohibition on a particular good or service creates artificial demand for either alternative products or higher price products. Which is something we see in the overall economy.

  60. Gene H:

    you never really bring in any “evidence”, it mostly is rhetoric.

    Just like on this thread with Jean ValJean, you only state Mises is an idiot but you really do not explain why other than to say he is in favor of free markets and so is full of shit.

    There are reasons to criticize Mises but saying he is full of shit because he believes in free markets isnt one of them and is circular reasoning. He is full of shit because he believes in free markets, why does he believe in free markets, because he is full of shit. Have you called him a sociopath yet, I cant remember or is that just me? I guess if I am a sociopath because I believe in free markets and in an individuals right to his own life, then Mises must be as well, as well as everyone else who works for living who thinks they are entitled by natural right to the sweat of their brow.

  61. None of which changes the fact that unregulated supply and demand is the mechanic of a black market and that unregulated supply and demand is the mechanic of choice of laissez-faire capitalists. The actions result in the same outcomes. As far as ” I think we could also say that government regulation, which really is nothing more than a degree of prohibition on a particular good or service creates artificial demand for either alternative products or higher price products” goes, you can also file that under “duh” too, Bron. Limiting or refining supply and demand is the very nature of regulation. The key is making sure the regulation serves a rational public interest. You still can’t distinguish there is a such a thing as good law and bad law so your solution for the marketplace is to do away with laws altogether. That’s throwing out the baby with the bath water because that simply invites abusive practice and social malaise – just like you find in black markets. Laissez-faire economics is as irrational a choice as communism and just as blind to human nature.

  62. Gene H:

    “However, what one can say is. . .that had Jefferson lived on to this day he would more likely than not be a democratic socialist. . .”

    I am sure there are similar posts but I have to get to work.

  63. “There are reasons to criticize Mises but saying he is full of shit because he believes in free markets isnt one of them and is circular reasoning. He is full of shit because he believes in free markets, why does he believe in free markets, because he is full of shit.”

    Except of the criticisms of his naivety about human nature, that he was unscientific in his pursuit of economic theory, and that socialism is destined to fail when some degree of socialism is required for any form of government to operate other than in his Libertarian fantasy world. He’s not full of shit because he believes in free markets. He’s full of shit because he believes in unregulated free markets.

    “Have you called him a sociopath yet, I cant remember or is that just me? I guess if I am a sociopath because I believe in free markets and in an individuals right to his own life, then Mises must be as well, as well as everyone else who works for living who thinks they are entitled by natural right to the sweat of their brow.”

    No. You’re a sociopath because you’re an Objectivist. Objectivism is a sociopathic belief system. I don’t know if von Mises was an Objectivist or not, but he was certainly an idiot about human nature, much like Objectivists.

  64. Apparently you don’t know the meaning of the qualifying term “more likely than not”, Bron. Had I said, “Jefferson was a democratic socialist”, I would have been committing the Historian’s fallacy. Jefferson probably didn’t know about socialism. He died in 1826. The political and economic theories of socialism (in the works of people like Leroux, de Saint-Simon, Owen and Fourier) didn’t come about until about the same time as Jefferson’s death. If I recall correctly, the term socialism wasn’t used until Leroux coined it in 1834.

  65. Gene H:

    there is nothing wrong with using objective science to determine what the safe level of arsenic in drinking water can be and to mandate that level for water being used for drinking. Government does have a role in the market to keep individuals safe as long as the science is objective and not political. And by political I mean either right or left. The right wanting to make it easy for corporations in disregard of objective science and the left wanting to make it harder for industry in disregard of objective science.

    And if there doubt then err on the side of human safety. Although keeping a drug off the market that will save hundreds of lives because one person had an allergic reaction and died isnt good either.

  66. Well Hell must be chilly today, Bron. Something we can agree upon. The politicization of science is a horrific disservice to society.

    But if you think government has a role in markets, you aren’t truly a proponent of laissez-faire capitalism. That’s the problem with you, Bron. You latch on to propaganda and/or ideas that sound good to you without thinking it through. You aren’t for laissez-faire capitalism. You’re for rational regulation – better laws, not no laws. What you fail to realize is that is far closer to my position than not. I’m for better regulation, not just more for the sake of more.

  67. laissez faire capitalism does not mean you can ride roughshod over your neighbor’s rights. And it also doesnt mean that government doesnt play a role. It does and must play a role to protect individual rights and property.

  68. All I want to know is, if the Austrian school of laissez-faire economics is so brilliant, how come they don’t apply it in Austria?

  69. Re-read the statements of your laissez-faire guru and fellow Objectivist Greenspan regarding fraud and rethink the stupidity of the statement “laissez faire capitalism does not mean you can ride roughshod over your neighbor’s rights.” The mechanisms for insuring rights of others aren’t abused in business? Regulation. Regulation like Glass-Steagall. Regulation like those promulgated by the FDA. Regulation restricting transactions and shaping supply and demand. Corporations don’t have neighbors or a conscience. Their sole driving purpose is maximizing profit. They are a legal fiction behind which socipaths can avoid responsibility for their bad actions.

    That you realize this problem and he doesn’t only further illustrates that Objectivism appeals to sociopaths and the emotionally immature. Truth be known, on a bad day, you do sound like a sociopath, Bron. You can’t help it. Your belief system is fundamentally sociopathic. On a good day, however, you merely sound like a confused teenager. Today is a good day.

    When you first came here, it made you question your prejudices about liberals in general. It’s one of the reasons you decided to stick around. The hope is that, one day, you’ll see that some of the things you bemoan about society are precisely created by a great many of your beliefs you hold with so little examination other than they serve justify greed and selfishness.

    There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path, but first, you must see the path and realize you aren’t the only one on the path.

  70. @ Mike A.,

    The real question is which school of economics saw the bubble and which one created the bubble and saw nothing?

    Often the most popular ideas are also the most incorrect.

    Without the prevalence of ignorance on monetary policy in this country we would have never had this economic crash. The people wouldn’t have allowed their politicians to destroy the economy if they were informed. Not being informed it happened and only the Austrians saw it coming and tried to stop it. Now the same Keynesians who caused the crash and didn’t see it coming are the ones trying to fix it. Woe is me.

  71. @ Gene H.
    Please stop building strawmen just to tear them down. I never mentioned Greenspan, so why do you insist he is my guru? I despise him. He sold out, cashed in, and created the mess we are in. Next you will accuse me of supporting Bernanke. Ridiculous. Instead of building strawmen of arguments you can win, how about you respond to my definitions of the free market and prohibition which quickly and soundly prove how wrong your understanding of the free market is. OR you could perhaps quote mises or hayek and then comment on how wrong they are since I expressed support of their ideas. But no, you won’t do that because you can’t do that. They are right! You don’t understand them! Instead, you just say they are stupid. Very very deep thinker you are.

    Just some quick quotes of Greenspan and then the Bernanke.

    As Alan Greenspan wrote before they bought him off,
    “This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the ‘hidden’ confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights.”
    -Alan Greenspan, 1966. Which Alan Greenspan do you believe?

    “Mr. Chairman
    An advocate of the loose monetary policies espoused by his predecessor Greenspan, Bernanke has worked hard to make the Fed more understandable and transparent. He has worked hard to explain his actions to the public, holding town hall meetings, writing op-eds and testifying frequently before Congress.”
    -Time Magazine, proudly displaying their hard hitting and excellent journalistic tendencies selecting him for ‘Person of the Year.’ At this time Ben Bernanke was fighting very hard- to not have a transparent audit of the Federal Reserve.

  72. @ Gene H.
    “Bron,

    Lie and distort all you want. It’s what is expected of you.”

    Actually, I believe you should look in a mirror from time to time. Why don’t you tell us more about how the black market of prohibition, a sever government regulation of alcohol, is the perfect example of a truly free market, a market in which no regulations by government exist? No, you would prefer to lump us in with Greenspan and have a false debate than actually address your fallacy.

  73. @ Gene H.
    You usually quote everything that is said and then respond to it, I noticed you changed up your usual quote and response tactic when I posted the below, instead choosing to selectively quote and respond and then attempting to align me with Greenspan. Why not have a real go?

    “Fine. I’m glad you have doubled down on the whole “prohibition is the perfect example of a truly free market” idea because it is so easy to refute. Just remember, I tried to get you to read Von Mises or at least look up the definition of ‘free market’ to no avail. I know, I know, you have “read” Von Mises. If that is truly the case, your comprehension needs work.

    Before I define these terms for you, I truly hope that this is a moment that will encourage you to resume your studies and to read a broader range of material at a deeper level. Perhaps try Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. It is an easy read that can really help you along your educational path. Of course, you will probably just dismiss Hayek like you dismissed Von Mises, “Von Mises is an idiot.” So eloquent and truly a “proven” statement and “totally backed up just like all your assertions.”

    Alas, I wish you good luck.

    Vocabulary Words Defined:
    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

    As you can see, your previous interpretation below is clearly inaccurate, incongruent, and was in fact quite ironic to suggest alcohol prohibition is a good example of a free market since it is a good example of the exact opposite.

    “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”
    – Gene H. providing his example of a truly free market

    “What I said is precisely correct: the only governing mechanism of a black market is the same mechanic that laissez-faire economics endorses – supply and demand. This is true no matter what condition creates a black market. When the condition is artificially high prices due to prohibition? Supply and demand rules. When the condition is artificially low prices by tax avoidance? Supply and demand rules.”
    -Gene H. expounds upon his knowledge of supply and demand, black markets, and free markets

    There is nothing free about a market that is under government illegality. Why would I buy alcohol of low quality and at a high price from a mobster in a basement and risk getting arrested or worse if I could instead walk to the convenience store and plop $6.00 on the counter for a six pack that is name brand? I wouldn’t. Freer markets work much better than ones more restricted by governments, which is what prohibition is truly a good example of.

    Of course I am a fraud and can’t back up any of my assertions etc. etc. blather, blather. I’ve read your correspondence with Bron, and I got to say you may also want to re-read your copy of The Constitution or take that class on Constitutional Law one more time (just not if it is taught by Barack Obama : ). Of course, you will continue to call him an idiot, just like Von Mises, just like Hayek, just like me.

    Of course Bron could take the time to quote you the federalist and anti-federalist papers to let the founders speak for themselves, but I hope he sees that would be a waste of time on you.

    See you around the bend.”

    Oh, I’d like to add, I’m sure this is not a “cogent response” according to Mr. H. Haha. However, this is perfectly cogent for himself, “Hayek?

    Really?

    Why not refer to Rothbard while you’re at it. Not even Bron is stupid enough to buy into Rothbard’s nonsense, but if your peddling von Mises and Hayek, more than likely you think Rothbard is just peachy.

    You clowns are all just alike.”

    Haha, double standard? but will he actually address the ideas of von mises, hayek, and yes rothbard or will he continue to call them idiots and clowns. : ) I think we have already seen the answer to that one.

  74. @ Bron,

    I couldn’t agree more.

    “Gene H:

    you never really bring in any “evidence”, it mostly is rhetoric.

    Just like on this thread with Jean ValJean, you only state Mises is an idiot but you really do not explain why other than to say he is in favor of free markets and so is full of shit.

    There are reasons to criticize Mises but saying he is full of shit because he believes in free markets isnt one of them and is circular reasoning. He is full of shit because he believes in free markets, why does he believe in free markets, because he is full of shit. Have you called him a sociopath yet, I cant remember or is that just me? I guess if I am a sociopath because I believe in free markets and in an individuals right to his own life, then Mises must be as well, as well as everyone else who works for living who thinks they are entitled by natural right to the sweat of their brow.”

  75. @ Bron,

    and again here, you are spot on.

    “Nothing except for the mechanism of said market which is still . . . supply and demand without rules or oversight.”

    A black market is, of course, about supply and demand. All markets are about supply and demand. Someone needs something and someone will find a way to fill that need. However it is not a free market as goverment has restricted the freedom of choice of the consumer. Government has created an artificial demand for the product in that they have limited the legal supply. Since the legal supply is limited, in this case non-existant, the black market fills the gap.

    We can make the case that black markets are only created by government intervention in the economy. I think we could also say that government regulation, which really is nothing more than a degree of prohibition on a particular good or service creates artificial demand for either alternative products or higher price products. Which is something we see in the overall economy.”

    But of course Bron, Gene H. mentioned nothing about market mechanics or any of that blather in the original phrase. What he did was equate the black market wholly with the free market. He still hasn’t backed down from that equation, nor has he made any coherent defense of it. But how can he? That would be like trying to defend the statement that equated heroin abuse with crack abuse, or defending with evidence how von mises is an idiot.

    @ Bron, there should be a tag around Gene H.’s name that says, don’t feed the troll. I keep trying to quit, but it is addictive!!! I can’t! LOL. I guess it is because he so outlandish and inflammatory with his proclamations that my responses aren’t cogent and his are superior and von mises is an idiot (lol) and I love greenspan (rotfl) and his defense that black markets equate free markets but i’m incoherent, blather blather, lol lol. Okay okay, I’m truly going to try to quit feeding the troll…. after one last request for him to defend his position without building strawmen or avoiding the evidence of terms defined I provided.

    Aloha.

    @ Gene H.

    I’m still waiting for a “cogent defense” of this statement.

    “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”
    – Gene H. providing his example of a truly free market

  76. Monsr. M:

    How many more sociopaths are out there? Sociopath being defined by a person who believes in free markets and free people and the natural right to the sweat of your brow.

    He has taken the concept sociopath and redefined it so that now a person who believes in human liberty and freedom and anyone who thinks their life and work belongs to them and not the state is by definition a sociopath.

    Here is Hare’s revised point checklist for sociopaths:

    1. believes in the rule of law.
    2. believes a man owns himself.
    3. believes that we have natural rights which cannot be abridged by government.
    4. believes that a person’s work is his life and so he has a right to the products of his work which no man has a right to.
    5. believes government has only 3 functions; protection of life, liberty and property.

    Any others you could add would be helpful, I want to make sure I can plainly identify my kind.

  77. Monsr. M:

    he does that a good deal, it took me a long time to understand that he just engages in lawyer tricks. His typical MO:

    he at first tries to offer some dismissive proclamation, such as he did about black markets, if that fails he changes the subject to argue something he is sure to win, like calling out Greenspan, he throws out something which is indefensible and says it is your position, he caught me on that on more than 1 occasion and had me chasing my tale all over the map, if that fails he resorts to name calling and if that fails he just says he won and you are an idiot.

    Sometimes he does have interesting viewpoints but on matters economic he isnt very educated. Most of the time it is like explaining calculus to a 4 year old, the 4 year old understands motion and maybe time but the rest? You just get a blank stare or babbling.

    Although here he is not a troll, he guest posts for the owner of the blog. You and I are the “trolls”.

  78. @Bron, I think you did an excellent job. Mine will be superfluous, but I want to play.

    6. Believes that rights come from his or her creator, not from his or her government.
    7. Believes that theft, even under the guise of government, is still theft.
    8. Believes “thou shalt not kill” applies to governments as well as to people, and that it is a good rule to follow.
    9. Believes that preemptive wars are offensive, not defensive, despite the Orwellian language.

  79. But just because someone writes for the blog doesn’t absolve the person from all troll-like behaviors… For instance, I often find that trolls are the first to attack someone on a thread, and are often the last to respond so as to claim victory by being the last man standing, even if they have nothing important to say like, “still waiting for a cogent response. you are a clown. von mises is an idiot.”

    I have a blog and I wouldn’t engage in that kind of commentary on it. I guess since he isn’t the owner of the blog he has no need to censor himself.

    Still, just look at the first posts for all three of us, and if one didn’t know who wrote for the blog as a guest sometimes and who didn’t, who would be the most troll-like of the three?

    “Bron
    1, February 10, 2012 at 10:04 am
    This is getting pretty bad. And it is only going to get worse. We are going to have to fight these people all over again in a few years and they will only be more bold having sent us packing from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Al Qaeda isnt the problem, it is their life philosophy which is the problem. Although I dont think I would call it a philosophy of life.”

    “Monsieur Madeleine
    1, February 10, 2012 at 10:33 am
    @ Bron,
    Most speech is protected speech in this country. See Bradenburg. But are you suggesting merely tweeting ‘D.A.’s suck’ is an arrestable offense? My how far we have sunk.”

    “Gene H.
    1, February 10, 2012 at 11:36 am
    id707 to Bron, “Sometimes I wonder from what sort of telescope you view this world.”

    From what I can tell, it’s an Ayn Rand “Übermensch 2000″ model with a von Mises/Rothbard motor drive.

    The optics are precision ground to ensure wide field distortion and near perfect myopia. The drive system is notable because it’s only capable of tracking objects sideways or backwards.”

    I’d say those are not only in chronological order, but in an order of logical thought.

    Yours is purely a comment on the article and our society.

    I attack you slightly with a misinterpretation of what you said (apologized the very next post) after asking you a question. But first I cite a court case and talk about protected speech.

    Gene here says nothing about the article, adds nothing to the discussion, and immediately comes out swinging. He doesn’t address anything you said. However (as usual from what I can tell) he just attacks your reasoning ability and labels you with scholars whom he thinks will make you guilty by association on this board. That, to me, is a tell-tale sign of a troll.

  80. Ooooo.

    More tiresome drivel.

    You two have way too much time on your hands.

    “But of course Bron, Gene H. mentioned nothing about market mechanics or any of that blather in the original phrase. What he did was equate the black market wholly with the free market. He still hasn’t backed down from that equation, nor has he made any coherent defense of it.”

    Really?

    I’ll let the readers be the judge of whether the logic of “A black market is still a market without rules expect those imposed by the nature of transactions which is going to be supply and demand. The difference between a criminal market and a laissez-faire market is simply this: a criminal knowingly and purposefully breaks the law and a laissez-faire capitalist wants legal dispensation to be above the law. One results in punishment, the other does not. Laissez-faire capitalists want to be legal criminals” follows.

    Come back when you can prove that unregulated supply and demand isn’t the same market mechanic currently found in a black market environment and precisely the market mechanic laissez-faire capitalists endorse (like Greenspan – you two should really learn what the word “example” means in addition to words like “logic”, “evidence” and “rhetoric”).

    Because you still haven’t.

    As to von Mises being an idiot about human nature? Anyone who cannot see the manifest danger in letting greed run rampant, that markets don’t provide just outcomes and that markets are susceptible to blatant manipulations by he who controls the supply is an idiot. Unchecked greed inspires any number of crimes and torts. The justice system (which includes laws and regulations) exists to provide just outcomes. That’s why we have both a legislative and judiciary branch of government instead of simply an executive and a free market.

    I’m done feeding you two trolls.

    You two boys enjoy wallowing in your own Austrian School filth.

    *********

    Bron,

    Too bad for you what I actually use are the DSM IV and the WHO criteria when discussing sociopaths. If you don’t want to be considered a sociopath or possessing the emotional maturity of a teenager, then maybe you shouldn’t follow the teachings of a demonstrable sociopath. It has also been my experience with you that you believe in the rule of law only insofar as you can personally benefit from it. Then again, with you following a mantra of selfishness as a virtue, that is completely expected.

  81. @ Bron,

    Love it. He still doesn’t address the question I ask. Instead he tries to change it to the “mechanics of the market,” rather than addressing how the black market is a perfect example of a free market like he said it was.

    @ Gene,

    You didn’t say the mechanics of supply and demand are the same in your ORIGINAL post on the topic.

    You said: “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”

    I’m still waiting for a “cogent defense” of this statement. Of course supply and demand still applies, that is not the question! Hahaha.

    Again, here are the definitions of the two terms in question:

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

    How again is the black market of alcohol during prohibition a “truly free market”? And no, I am not asking if supply and demand applies. I am asking how the black market is supposed to be a perfect example of a “truly free market,” which means FREE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, reason, logic, using properly defined words, and phrasing questions clearly are examples of trollish behavior. LOL

    Good luck Sir H!

    P.S.

    Oh, and I’ll come back as often as I like whenever I like, or are you guest censoring who posts on this blog now as well?

    @Bron, funny how he also defends his position of Von Mises of a sociopath. This guy is incredible! I would love to see some of the cases he takes on, defending the indefensible. But also isn’t there a law against misrepresenting (lying) the opinions of others in court? Just like he misrepresents our opinions, he completely misrepresents what Von Mises stands for. Anyone who has read him knows this, but of course he will stand by “I have read Von Mises” as well when clearly he hasn’t, or has comprehension problems.

    Gene H.’s argument @ Bron: “Bron, you are soooo immature.” LOL, again, look in a mirror sometime Gene.

    Signing off.

  82. You’re free to say all the insipid nonsense you like.

    Above the law and outside the law are still equivalent and yield comparable results in action.

    Here’s a writing hint too. Learn to say more with less.

  83. By the way, because you still don’t get this, Greenspan was not a representative of the Austrian school or is someone who represents my ideas!!! When he built his career as an economist pre-fed he had some pretty sincere and good ideas. When they dangled the keys to the printing press in front of him he went full on Keynesian and completely wrecked our economy. We are suffering the consequences today. How else can one explain the behavior of a man who basically wrote, “Interest rates should not be manipulated or controlled, that is how bubbles form. The market should be allowed to do this.” and then went on a 20+ year career of manipulating the interest rate and getting filthy rich in the process!

  84. Too bad for you he held himself out as your poster boy then, isn’t it?

    Because not only was he so stupid as to think fraud shouldn’t be a crime, his personal money making machinations show him to be a hypocrite as well.

  85. “Here’s a writing hint too. Learn to say more with less.”
    Again, coming from you this is pretty funny.

    I’ll repeat the question since you still won’t give a “cogent response.”

    In the original post on the topic you said: “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”

    Note the absence of anything on supply and demand or the mechanic of the market, none of which I am asking about.

    Now please explain how “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss,” makes sense using these definitions of these terms:

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

  86. Again, Greenspan never was nor is my poster boy or the poster boy for the austrian school. That is your strawman. Again, if you want to talk about the work of people who do influence me, then please quote von mises, hayek, or rothbard instead of just calling them idiots. Seeing that you clearly do not understand nor have read any of their work, I doubt that you can come up with anything any deeper than, “he is stupid.” Surprise me.

  87. Again, your inability to comprehend that above the law and beyond the law are equivalent states is your problem. The mechanics of both black markets and the laissez-faire ideal are the same in action. One state of freedom is created by extra-legality (criminalization) and the other is created by ultra-legality (dispensation by the removal of liability). That you’re so upset over my pointing this out says it all. I will give you this one difference in the types of markets that isn’t based on the mechanics of supply and demand: artificial pricing. Price is going to be artificially higher in black market based on illicit substances and artificially lower in a black market based on tax avoidance whereas a laissez-faire market might – depending upon the manipulations of suppliers – have a more realistic price. But I already pointed that out.

  88. Monsr. Madaleine:

    I told you he was good at redirection, he takes one word and changes it or a single phrase which changes the entire meaning but still allows for people who do not read carefully to think he is still arguing the original point.

    I think he has claimed victory here, he always tells me I have lost and proclaims victory for himself.

  89. I think we are talking past each other here, and will have to agree to disagree. Though I just have to point out that there are major differences between free markets and black markets, and those differences are rooted in the very definitions of those terms. Your failure, or refusal, to acknowledge this has been frustrating. I have acknowledged that the mechanic of supply and demand applies to both. It also applies to the regulated market we have today that is neither free nor black. That is why it is irrelevant that supply and demand applies the same way to different markets, that is of course a “known-known.”

    The difference is that the black market was an awful market, filled with crime, poor quality, and high prices. All of this can be attributed to the government’s regulation called prohibition. Things got better once federal prohibition was lifted. I argue things in the alcohol market would be even better if we completely freed it!

    Here is some evidence for that argument. Alcohol prohibition was the major contributor to the extreme rise to power of the mob. The mob arose to meet the nationwide American supply and demand of alcohol. When alcohol was legalized again, the mob moved to other illicit substances (marijuana, heroin, etc). The violence pertaining to the transportation and consumption of alcohol all but disappeared. You mistakenly attribute that decline in violence to the fact that there is some regulation still in place. That is not at all the reason. The cause of the decline is that there is no need to be violent when the market has now been allowed to function. There is plenty of supply to meet the demand. The quality is back. There is no need for violence between vendors or between the police and the vendors, etc. This is a result of the freeing up of the market from regulation, not the reverse. The monopoly the mob had during the prohibition period disappeared and the variety of options began to increase, though most of the varieties before prohibition never returned. Prohibition did succeed in shrinking the varieties of alcohol produced and sold. Hence Lager beer became the main variety that is still sold in America today. This was not the case pre-prohibition.

    But case and point, look up what it was like to purchase and consume alcohol before federal prohibition. Then compare that unregulated market to the black market during prohibition. There is a difference there that you have avoided in seeing. They are not the same. Supply and demand applies to all markets in the spectrum of black to free. That is an irrelevant and redundant point to make.

  90. Monsr. M:

    “depending upon the manipulations of suppliers”

    Gene’s lame attempt at bringing up monopolies. I told you his eyes glaze over when economics is mentioned.

    That stuff about price was quickly gleaned from Wiki or some other place.

    How does a supplier manipulate a market which has X number of players? I guess he lowers the price so he can sell a shit load of product. Or he enters into an illegal cabal to restrict trade, in which case he can be thrown in jail.

    Isnt it funny how these price fixing cabals are most often road builders bidding state work, who would have thought. :)

  91. The freer the market the better! In the case of alcohol the monopolies occurred during prohibition, and then diminished but continue on till this day. Look how many brewers existed BEFORE the government got involved and how many exist now.

  92. “The difference is that the black market was an awful market, filled with crime, poor quality, and high prices”

    Which, being ultra-legal, you would also find in a laissez-faire market.

    Crime? Bad acts only become criminal when laws prohibit or regulate the behavior.

    Poor quality? Again, do your history reading on the events leading to the creation of the FDA. And OSHA to a degree.

    High prices? You’ve not only ignored that artificial pricing in a black market can go artificially low, but apparently you’ve not heard of artificial scarcity either.

    The point isn’t that supply and demand lead to these things, but that unregulated supply and demand does. Why? Because greed encourages them. The whole premise of laissez-faire economics ignores this and lives with the fantasy that markets are rational, capable of just outcomes and incapable of manipulation by suppliers. Applying a hands off strategy will only guarantee bad acts, poor quality and price manipulations by suppliers. A laissez-faire economy has never been done at a state level because it won’t work without disastrous societal consequences. The business of business is profit. The business of our government is promoting social order and stability, justice, providing for common defense and promoting the general welfare of society. Laissez-faire economics will always run afoul of the function of government.

    You should keep in mind this is a legal blog, not an economics blog. Most of the people here are all for capitalism as long as it is regulated to prevent abuses harmful to society which, if left unchecked by laws, would most certainly result by the function of human nature. Laissez-faire capitalism is a lot lot Communism: it works well on paper, but it fails when humans and their foibles are added into the equation.

  93. Monsr. Madeleine:

    You make an excellent point about beer pre-prohibition. There were literally thousands of what we call micro-brews today. We are only now re-discovering our rich beer history.

    Until I was in my late 20’s I thought beer was only yellow and tasted like shit, my first real beer was an eye opener. Everywhere people are free, they flourish. Look at food in this country, it is incredible and very good. People do all types of creative things with food now, I dont know if this necessarily has anything to do with freedom but I doubt you can go to the Old Soviet Union and find an Indian/Southwest fusion [Indian from India].

    These people dont seem to understand that freedom liberates people to achieve their potential, they think a free meal and free health care is what liberates people. All it does is liberate people from the necessity of thinking, which is all people have to make a living, their brains. Most government regulations put restraints on market realities and so give incorrect signals to rational people. No wonder the economy is in such chaos, there is no rationality.

  94. Gene H:

    “Which, being ultra-legal, you would also find in a laissez-faire market.”

    Only if you wanted to starve, the evidence is pretty clear that people dont provide exceptional food or service because the health department told them to, they provide safe food and service because they want to make money. The more restaurants, the better the food and service. The local health department didnt do shit to protect the public, competition protects people. A health department is needed when there is only one or 2 restaurants for the people to choose from and both are regulated by government. But then the health department employee is paid off to look the other way.

    Welcome to your socialist, regulated future.

  95. Bron,

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game. You’re trained to design structures. I’m trained to argue – with rules of order or without. Even though I have yet to see you win an argument against anyone let alone me, I bet you could design circles around me in building a dam or a water treatment plant and yet I don’t hold that against you. I expect it of you.

  96. Bron,

    The robustness of competition has nothing to do with preventing abusive practices for profit. Again, you cannot make the distinction between good and bad laws. I’m all for deregulation that opens competition. An economy is like an ecosystem – the more players, the more diversity. But who has rigged laws via graft to promote anti-competitive legislation? Big businesses. Because it is in their best interests in the pursuit of profit. I’ve even shown you studies before that demonstrate that the costs of doing business are unfairly skewed against the little guy and stated I was against those kinds of unjust laws, but noooooooooo, you couldn’t hear that through the dogmatic noise running through your head.

  97. ” the more players, the more diversity, the better.”

    Also, monopolies can and do form in markets by market mechanics. I point to what LK said earlier about Rockefeller and Standard Oil.

  98. WOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    That is the sound of my point going above your head.

    Violent crime increased during prohibition, because of prohibition. Violence was a crime before prohibition, it had nothing to do with the fact that more violence was now against the law.

    Alcohol related theft increased as well for the same reason. Why steal it when it is easy and readily available at your corner drug store?

    The quality of the product was much much higher before prohibition AND before the FDA. As Bron has pointed out, it wasn’t because of the FDA that some people created higher quality products (including wine, beer, and whiskey) than others, it was due to competition and economics! Fine wines, beers, and whiskeys have been available since WAY before the FDA. Cheap wines, beers, and whiskeys were available too- not because they were trying to jip consumers, but because not everyone can afford the fine stuff…

    The poor quality was caused because of the government prohibition- why spend time making quality stuff when there is a good risk of it being destroyed?

    The high crime was because of the prohibition- Everyone has to hide from the government, no open sales, drinking beer is illegal so the whole organized crime mechanism grew.

    High prices were caused by the government’s prohibition. Scarcity, as you said.

    So the ultimate government regulation, prohibition, caused high prices, poor quality, and high crime. Yes, absolutely.

    “Applying a hands off strategy will only guarantee bad acts, poor quality and price manipulations by suppliers.”

    WRONG-WRONG-WRONG!

    – A more hands off approach to the economy without a centrally controlled market always produces the most diverse and higher quality goods at a lower price. If you want to look at how well a centrally run socialist economy runs, please review the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ economic records.

    In America do you think quality brewers, distillers, and wine makers wouldn’t continue to make fine quality products at low prices if there were no centralized government regulations??? Just like they did BEFORE prohibition and the FDA’s existence??? By all accounts, as Bron has pointed out, the quality of the beer people drank before prohibition was better than afterwards. Don’t believe me? go to a place like Germany or Belgium that never endured the awful socialist policy of alcohol prohibition and what do you find? Beers and breweries that are hundreds of years old still being brewed to this day. And are they better than our modern post-prohibition beers of America? Absolutely. That is how the American beer market looked pre-prohibition.

    How much regulation do you think the Belgian government puts on their brewers who arguable make the best brews in the business? Hardly any! Is that why their beer is SO TERRIBLE!

    Again, the freer the markets, the better. I can’t believe some of the absurd arguments you are making here.

    Another example of this is the book sellers that I provided somewhere above. The book selling, writing, and publishing industries are minimally regulated, one could even say it is laissez-faire, as you are so fond of saying. How is the quality of the books on the market today? How are the prices? How are the availability and scarcity? What about crime? Are people committing violent acts to get books? Are people trying to prevent others from selling at cheaper prices by force? Or is the market allowed to compete? Is there a monopoly?

    You really cannot comprehend the difference between a prohibited market and a free market, and it is utterly shocking to me.

    “Laissez-faire capitalism is a lot lot Communism”

    LOL- I think this is hopeless.

    Then again:

    “I’m all for deregulation that opens competition.”

    -Maybe we are making inroads after all…

    @ Gene, just so you know, Rockefeller was NOT a proponent of free markets. He used the force of government to force out his competition!!!

    “But who has rigged laws via graft to promote anti-competitive legislation? Big businesses. Because it is in their best interests in the pursuit of profit. I’ve even shown you studies before that demonstrate that the costs of doing business are unfairly skewed against the little guy and stated I was against those kinds of unjust laws, but noooooooooo, you couldn’t hear that through the dogmatic noise running through your head.”

    EXACTLY!!!

    Get the government out of the way! Allow competition. Without the government’s power of coercion that can be influenced by lobbyists, monopolies CANNOT exist! Without the government’s ability to interfere and choose winners and losers in the marketplace prices will drop and the best producers will succeed! If a better producer comes along, he will replace the old one. But if we allow these regulations that stifle competition, like we have throughout our history, then the big guys will always use the government to establish themselves a monopoly, keep prices artificially high, and quality and consumption will suffer. This is just a milder example of the same effects prohibition had on the alcohol industry.

    If the government is allowed to intervene in markets, and the big businesses always have the most power and money to influence said government, then who will the regulations always benefit? And the little guy, and competitors will always lose.

    Maybe there is hope after all. Or, maybe I should have just stopped at “I think we are talking past each other here, and will have to agree to disagree. ” I’ve got a feeling your next reply will be telling.

  99. Gene H:

    you are very good at what you do, or at least I imagine so. I dont expect to “win” against a lawyer who is trained with words and uses them on a regular basis.

    It is just god damn interesting, that is all.

  100. Again, why would people who could afford it choose to drink Godawful bathtub gin (at higher prices than the good stuff was pre-prohibition) before or after prohibition? They didn’t before and only a few crazy hangers-on did afterwards (usually because their county or state made laws to keep prohibition alive).

    The alcohol market was laissez-faire before prohibition, and bathtub gin was not invented during that time. Quality was high, prices were low, and people drank a ton of it. Prohibition ruined the alcohol market in America.

    There is a distinct difference between black markets and free markets. I hope to God you can see this now.

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

  101. Monsr. Madeleine:

    I have told him the same thing for a long time, he doesnt believe me.

    If those banks had been told 50 years ago, you screw up you die [in the sense that their will be no FDIC or government bail-outs] I am pretty sure we would not have had to endure the housing bubble or any number of financial booms and busts.

    I think Rothbard postulates that the reason for the booms and busts across the entire economy is the control of interest rates by government [the Fed], he thinks in a free economy no one area would be crippled all at once. Appliances might take a dive but car sales would be fine or cars might take a dive but housing would be doing well.

    Capitalism creates wealth and wealth eliminates poverty. You would think progressives would want to eliminate poverty, I think the rank and file do, but the ones at the top? They want power, same with the right but to a lessor degree.

  102. @ Bron,

    Yes, absolutely. The banks would not have acted like they did if they didn’t know they would be saved at taxpayer expense (both in getting effed in the azz by their subprime mortgages and then again with the taxpayer bailouts). It is insulting to my intelligence that they think they can keep doing it again and again driving our economy to the ground and we won’t wake up and realize it before it is too late. But, sometimes I think they are right. Not enough of us will wake up in time to make any difference. By the time they do we will be in the throes that Greece is in now.

    Book suggestion for you Bron. If you haven’t read it yet, The Creature from Jekyll Island was a spectacular book. It described to a T the mechanism of FDIC and bailouts and how the corporate-government collusion works to destroy the economy, and it did so WAY before 2007 happened. Get the 5th edition though, and he talks about 2008 as well. However, he described exactly how it happens before it happened in earlier versions. Startling. I read it right after the crisis and I can honestly attribute that book as the’ final drop that broke the dam’ in my mind so to speak.

  103. WOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    That is the sound of my points about psychology, sociology and their interaction with law and the purpose of government going above your head.

    Violent crime increased during prohibition because suppliers had no oversight. They didn’t sue a competitor for their practices. They just shot them. Just like fraud would increase without oversight in other areas. Like it did with the CDS debacle made possible by the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

    Also, regulated and centrally planned are not the same thing but then again, you started early with false equivalences. Don’t stop now.

    The rest of your drivel is more throwing out the baby with the bathwater nonsense. The answer to poor regulation isn’t doing away with regulation. It’s better regulation. Regulation not written by people with vested profit interests in skewing policy and law in their favor but rather providing a level playing field for all. That’s what they call in legal circles . . . justice: an equitable and egalitarian outcome.

    People who worship money are predictable.

    My interest is in justice first, profit is secondary or tertiary at best.

  104. “Violent crime increased during prohibition because suppliers had no oversight. They didn’t sue a competitor for their practices. They just shot them. ”

    Interesting, and so you think that the regulations we have, such as permits, are what are keeping this from happening now? What about when the market was laissez-faire before prohibition? No answer to that one eh, just more excuses to get around arguments that are above your head, calling it drivel and nonsense.

    What you really don’t seem to get is that lawyers would have more work, not less, in a freer market. People can sue in court in a free market. For instance, take the fracking situation in the state of Pennsylvania (a great story on this was done by This American Life around 6 months ago). The big natural gas companies are coming into small rural towns in Pennsylvania and using their lobbying power to push for legislation that gives them immunity from lawsuits at the town level. They send out mass mailings to the entire town about how awful their mayor or alderman is if they oppose the legislation. Now, who can compete with that? Nobody. So the regulations written are beneficial to the industry. They can effectively destroy their neighbor’s property with air, water, and noise pollution and that neighbor cannot sue!

    Now, here is the kicker, if there were no specific natural gas regulations allowed in this situation, just the constitutional right to your property, this type of disaster couldn’t happen! Sadly I don’t know how to stop it. Effectively this type of regulation is adhering to our national constitution as all other laws are allowed at lower levels. People just need to wake up and not allow their rights to be trampled!

    “The answer to poor regulation isn’t doing away with regulation. It’s better regulation. Regulation not written by people with vested profit interests in skewing policy and law in their favor but rather providing a level playing field for all. That’s what they call in legal circles . . . justice: an equitable and egalitarian outcome.”

    This is the fatal flaw in your argument (besides not understanding most of the points I have made), you think you can actually achieve “regulation not written by people with vested interests in skewing policy and law in their favor but rather providing a level playing field for all.” That sentence PROVES you believe in UTOPIA! This can never happen. As I wrote above, “If the government is allowed to intervene in markets, and the big businesses always have the most power and money to influence said government, then who will the regulations always benefit? And the little guy, and competitors will always lose.”

    Therefore, the logical answer is to deregulate, WHICH HURTS BIG BUSINESS! That is the big secret, the last thing these corporations want truly is DEREGULATION. They love their bailouts, their fracking destruction immunity, their subsidies, etc. etc. etc.

    This is the system as it is now. It is heavily regulated. This is what you get. Do you like what you see? Do you think you can make it better? With smarter regulation? How? Why haven’t we done it yet? It is 2012 man, it is the future! Why haven’t we been able to regulate smarter and fairer yet? You can’t. We never can. Anytime you give someone power over others they can be influenced by those who have the most influence. The solution isn’t to throw that guy out and put a new guy in, he is just as susceptible as the first guy! Eventually you get people running for that position precisely because they want the power and know they can cash in on it! No, no, no. The solution is to get rid of the position! Get rid of the power!

    “People who worship money are predictable.

    My interest is in justice first, profit is secondary or tertiary at best.”

    I take it by these statements that you are implying I worship money and do not have interest in my fellow man first. You couldn’t be further from the truth. I supported Obama precisely because I wanted change for my fellow man. When he revealed his true self, I looked to answers outside of the two party system. I began to understand our economic system. and I found that government is often the cause to the most injustice in our society. For instance, the economic decline and all the people cast in poverty right now, that is the governments fault as it functions in the current regulatory system you support! It failed all of us and people are suffering! This is not how you make society more just, by increasing government power. It is the opposite, empowering the little guy.

    This is the easiest way of dismissing the libertarian message. I was extremely guilty of it, until I actual studied it. They aren’t proponents of big business or worship money. Their policies empower small businesses, oppose government intrusions into their personal lives (section 1021) and hurt big business monopolies.

    Keep reading. Keep trying.

  105. “That is the sound of my points about psychology, sociology…”

    By the way, I studied psychology and majored in sociology in my undergrad. You have made no mention of a single theory from either field. Just more mindless, meaningless, incoherent, dismissive drivel.

  106. “Also, regulated and centrally planned are not the same thing but then again,”

    If the regulation you want comes from the same central source, the federal government in D.C., then yes, that is a form of central planning. “You can only brew alchol of a certain content in this market. You cannot sell marijuana anywhere in this market. Corn, soy, wheat, and cotton will all get government funds (notice, what are the primary crops grown in the U.S.?). What is the number one food source in a groc. store- almost everything in the middle aisles has some component of……. Corn! Without the “central planning” of corn subsidies, this probably wouldn’t be the case. Fast food very much enjoys their corn subsidies they lobby for year in and year out as well. Guess what all the cows that go into their burgers eat. You guessed it, CORN!

  107. “Like it did with the CDS debacle made possible by the repeal of Glass-Steagall.”
    True, but Glass Steagall passed in the first place to limit the federal reserve and all those investment interests that shouldn’t have been created by government in the first place. In the 1980’s when everyone had been brainwashed into thinking that Greenspan was a god (all the newscasters talked about him in hushed tones), the economy hadn’t crashed, and people didn’t know what the fed was it was prime time to deregulate the thing. The core of the problem runs much deeper and farther back in history.

  108. “Interesting, and so you think that the regulations we have, such as permits, are what are keeping this from happening now? What about when the market was laissez-faire before prohibition? No answer to that one eh, just more excuses to get around arguments that are above your head, calling it drivel and nonsense.”

    No, I call drivel and nonsense drivel and nonsense.

    Like this drivel and nonsense:

    “What you really don’t seem to get is that lawyers would have more work, not less, in a freer market. People can sue in court in a free market. ”

    What you don’t seem to understand is that without causes of action, lawyers don’t work and that people can and do sue in a court in regulated markets. Also, new law gets made in court every day.

    “‘The answer to poor regulation isn’t doing away with regulation. It’s better regulation. Regulation not written by people with vested profit interests in skewing policy and law in their favor but rather providing a level playing field for all. That’s what they call in legal circles . . . justice: an equitable and egalitarian outcome.’

    This is the fatal flaw in your argument (besides not understanding most of the points I have made), you think you can actually achieve “regulation not written by people with vested interests in skewing policy and law in their favor but rather providing a level playing field for all.” That sentence PROVES you believe in UTOPIA! This can never happen.”

    Spoken like someone who truly doesn’t understand the idea of campaign finance reform or justice. Also spoken like someone putting words in my mouth. Perfect justice is impossible, but maximized justice isn’t.

    “Therefore, the logical answer is to deregulate, WHICH HURTS BIG BUSINESS!”

    If that’s your idea of logic, I can see the problem right now. Deregulation won’t hurt big business a bit. It will simply free them up to use their vastly superior resources in new uncontrolled and nefarious ways free from threat of legal retribution. Baby, meet bath water.

    “I take it by these statements that you are implying I worship money and do not have interest in my fellow man first. You couldn’t be further from the truth. I supported Obama precisely because I wanted change for my fellow man. When he revealed his true self, I looked to answers outside of the two party system. I began to understand our economic system. and I found that government is often the cause to the most injustice in our society.”

    But you obviously didn’t think to ask what is driving the malfunction and malfeasance of government, did you? It would seem that you have no idea how corrupted both the campaign finance and lobby systems have become since the repeal of FECA and the advent of Citizens United.

    “This is the easiest way of dismissing the libertarian message. I was extremely guilty of it, until I actual studied it. They aren’t proponents of big business or worship money. Their policies empower small businesses, oppose government intrusions into their personal lives (section 1021) and hurt big business monopolies.”

    Their policies would enable big business criminals to have freedom from threat of legal retribution and open small business to even greater predation. The way to deal with big business abuses isn’t deregulation. It’s putting big business back on the short leash of better regulation. The only body capable of that is government and the way to cure government’s current malfunction in that area is to remove money from the political and legislative equation by campaign finance reform, shutting the revolving door between lobbyists and office, repealing Citizens United and setting forth other Constitutional amendments that put the legal fiction of corporations back in their proper place in society of commerce and not determining policy and writing law.

    However, I’ve stipulated before that there are planks to the Libertarian platform that are attractive to civil rights proponents and I’ll do so again. But the bottom line is still that their economics are based on a fantasy devoid of understanding of both law and human nature in action. As I said earlier in this thread, many of them have their heart in the right place. It is their heads that are on wrong. Just like yours.

  109. And sorry! Writing laws and enforcing them are a valid function of government. Making sure they serve the interests of all instead of the narrow interests of the few is part of the vigilance required to maintain democracy and freedom.

  110. Also, just because you studied psychology doesn’t mean you understood it.

    If you did, you’d understand the dangers of greed as a motivation when left unchecked.

  111. “If that’s your idea of logic, I can see the problem right now. Deregulation won’t hurt big business a bit.”

    Ahh, so when you think of deregulation, you think that means MORE subsidies to corporate interest, MORE taxpayer bailouts.

    “It will simply free them up to use their vastly superior resources in new uncontrolled and nefarious ways free from threat of legal retribution. Baby, meet bath water.”

    They cannot free themselves from threat of legal retribution without the force of government in an unfree market to make regulations that do so! There is nothing to influence!!!!

    We are talking past each other. You truly do not understand what I am saying.

  112. “But you obviously didn’t think to ask what is driving the malfunction and malfeasance of government, did you? It would seem that you have no idea how corrupted both the campaign finance and lobby systems have become since the repeal of FECA and the advent of Citizens United.”

    -Because before that our elections were freer of corruption and manipulation?

  113. “The way to deal with big business abuses isn’t deregulation. It’s putting big business back on the short leash of better regulation. The only body capable of that is government and the way to cure government’s current malfunction in that area is to remove money from the political and legislative equation by campaign finance reform, shutting the revolving door between lobbyists and office, repealing Citizens United and setting forth other Constitutional amendments that put the legal fiction of corporations back in their proper place in society of commerce and not determining policy and writing law.”

    Sounds exactly like Obama’s campaign speeches in 2007, of which I agreed wholeheartedly. What happened? None of it. Asking the federal government to limit itself and close it’s revolving door (and money machine), even through a candidate for president who promises reform, isn’t going to work. BHO is the most obvious and recent example. It will continue to grow. We must take the increasingly monarchy like power from his position and restore constitutional limits. We don’t need new regulations to do it, just use the first ones written that established this country.

  114. “If you did, you’d understand the dangers of greed as a motivation when left unchecked.” If you understood economics, you would realize that the market checks itself via competition. Often when government gets involved with the power of coercion the evil of the most powerful inevitably finds its way into those positions.

  115. “As I said earlier in this thread, many of them have their heart in the right place. It is their heads that are on wrong. Just like yours.”

    LOL, I feel the exact same way about liberals, as I am a former liberal, I understand their heads pretty well.

    Maybe we should just *handshake

  116. Not being a smartass here, but don’t you mean ‘new precedents?’

    “Also, new law gets made in court every day.”

    If not, I would like you to explain further how laws are written in courts. I need to learn this. I thought only the congress could make laws legally and the executive branch often does so illegally.

  117. “’If that’s your idea of logic, I can see the problem right now. Deregulation won’t hurt big business a bit.’

    Ahh, so when you think of deregulation, you think that means MORE subsidies to corporate interest, MORE taxpayer bailouts.’

    Again, you put words in my mouth. When I think deregulation, I think no corporate subsides or bailouts for non-manufacturing industries (and then only in an emergency), but mostly I think of removing or reshaping legislation that causes the biases against smaller businesses providing competition. That’s what a level playing field means.

    “’It will simply free them up to use their vastly superior resources in new uncontrolled and nefarious ways free from threat of legal retribution. Baby, meet bath water.’

    They cannot free themselves from threat of legal retribution without the force of government in an unfree market to make regulations that do so! There is nothing to influence!!!!”

    Exclamation points don’t mean you understand. Laws including regulations provide the stick be defining the crime or otherwise discouraged or prohibited behavior. Removing the stick will simply free the beasts as I said. The trick is to have a better sticks, not drop all your sticks.

    “‘“If you did, you’d understand the dangers of greed as a motivation when left unchecked.’ If you understood economics, you would realize that the market checks itself via competition.”

    I do understand economics and what you say is a fantasy. Competition provides no check on bad acts motivated by greed (or other socially maladapted motivations). In fact, without a check it usually rewards bad acts made out of the motivation of greed in the form of unjust profits. Adulterated products reward short term profits by cutting costs. Fraud even more so. Shoddy design and manufacturing processes are another area where profits can be enhanced by cost savings. That is hardly a comprehensive list of the crimes greed can be a motivator for that can result in excess profits. Greed isn’t good. It’s not even smart. It’s just blind acquisitiveness. Avarice is considered a bad thing by most schools of religious and philosophical thought and for good reason. It leads to bad things and people get hurt. However, the roots of Libertarianism are firmly rooted in the ideals of the exception to the greed is evil commonality of other belief systems: Objectivism. Where selfishness is a virtue and the acquisition of wealth a prime goal in the worship of the self. Society isn’t individuals though. It is by definition a collective; a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests. It provides a faulty premise – a weak foundation – to build upon when you don’t recognize the value of others. Libertarians and Objectivists are dedicated to the proposition that all men are not equally created and thus don’t deserve equal treatment under the law. This is evidenced by the seeking of special dispensation in the form of immunity from liability for market transactions. Too bad for you, this country was founded upon the proposition that all men are created equal under the law. You speak of freedom, but your politics and economics guarantee economic tyranny.

    Also, because a proposed solution wasn’t delivered by a pretender who got elected President doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid solution. Merely that it wasn’t implemented. And why would that be? It couldn’t possibly be because the same special interests control both parties through the campaign finance and lobbying systems and that Obama never had any intention of following through on his promises. Just like the same kind of money backs your boy Paul. When the system gives you the same shit in a different suit, you change the system. There are two options to do this: democracy or revolution.

    You think that my salient feature is that I’m a liberal. It isn’t. My salient feature is that I’m an actual progressive. I seek change for the better that benefits everyone. That I seek this change be applied in a democratic and egalitarian manner is influenced by my liberalism, but the point of my progressivism is to fix the systemic malfunctions that plague society to the greatest degree possible, not exacerbate existing problems. Perfection (or utopia) is not possible, but that does not mean the pursuit of it is invalid as an aspiration. You’ll never reach the stars if you don’t aim for them in the first place, but if you do, maybe you can reach the moon or Mars or beyond. It’s the same principle in play with my progressive liberalism.

    Deregulation in the laissez-faire sense would only exacerbate both the economic and social problems already present by removing the threat of legal retribution for bad acts. Fixing the system and making sure regulations are both just and rational won’t. Again, your desire is admirable. It’s your proposed methods that are flawed.

    Precedents are valid law. That’s the purpose of the English Common Law system upon which ours is based.

    You think you’re right all you like. I know you’re not because your economic and political theory is based on manifestly incorrect assumptions about human nature and the role of government in society. A foundation of sand may make for a pretty castle, but not a stable one.

    Castles made of sand fall into the sea eventually.

  118. Finally a well reasoned and well thought out argument leaving out all the derisive name calling like idiot, clown, sociopath, drivel, etc. I do appreciate it, and wonder why we couldn’t have done this from the beginning…

    I think our goals are the same, but we both believe the other’s tactics will lead to different consequences.

    I must, however, turn this back around on you:

    “You think you’re right all you like. I know you’re not because your economic and political theory is based on manifestly incorrect assumptions about human nature and the role of government in society. A foundation of sand may make for a pretty castle, but not a stable one.

    Castles made of sand fall into the sea eventually.”

    As evidence for your economic theory not being made of sand, I would like you to finally give a “cogent response” to this below, as well as answer the pre-prohibition-prohibition-post-prohibition and book selling examples you so smoothly have avoided in the latter portion of this discussion.

    “In the original post on the topic you said: “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”

    Note the absence of anything on supply and demand or the mechanic of the market, none of which I am asking about.

    Now please explain how “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss,” makes sense using these definitions of these terms:

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.”

  119. Again, I refer you to the ideas of extra-legal and ultra-legal. No regulation is no regulation no matter if the cause is criminal avoidance of prohibition or dispensation to be free of liability in your market transactions. The mechanics of a laissez-faire market and a black market – once you get past the cause of the mechanic – are exactly the same; unregulated free markets where supply and demand are the primary drivers (after profit of course). The results will be the same too: abusive practices. In an extra-legal enterprise, the abuses may take different forms (i.e. crimes against people and/or property, turf wars, etc.) than in an ultra-legal enterprise (i.e. fraud, adulterated products, etc. but more extreme actions are no out of the realm of possibility (see both the Ludlow Massacre and the Battle of Matewan)), but they will happen none the less. They will happen because they provide benefit for suppliers, usually in the form of either competitive advantage and/or increased profitability. Humans without restraint are capable of horrid things and not all humans posses equal restraint. Greed is a powerful motivation to do evil and/or stupid harmful things for those with inadequate control of themselves and/or an ethical set of operational principles. Sociopaths have no restraint at all except their desires to satisfy themselves. Psychopaths can have no restraint at all in addition to completely irrational motivations. If we all had equal restraint, laws would be a lot simpler if they were necessary at all. As a social species, good laws act to protect us from self-predation and bad laws – those that don’t defend people and/or reward bad behavior – are systemic errors that can and should be corrected. Law is a complex system as it reflects society and society is inherently complex itself. Complex systems, unfortunately, are simply more mathematically prone to error. This means error correction for those systems must be more vigorous than for simpler systems or instability arises. If instability reaches a tipping point, chaos ensues and civilizations fall.

    Also, you’re new here so you should know something about me. When it comes to argument and rhetoric I am strategically and tactically flexible, but I do things with purpose when it comes to argument and debate (including provoke). I won’t elaborate much on my methods as the ones here who need to know them do know them and why I use them. And that is all I have to say about that.

  120. If you’ll notice in the definition of the term laissez-faire there is the word minimal, as in minimal regulation. A free market does not mean “no regulation.” You have a right to your property in a free or laissez-faire economy. The government is a constitutionally limited one. As Bron said, government limited to the protection of life, liberty, and property. So whether greed or not is the motivation, people still cannot hurt others in a free market whether by producing dangerous products or by violent competition. We do not need a specific regulation or law that states that pacemakers must actually work or that planes must actually fly. If they don’t work or fly the manufacturer gets sued, the consumer goes elsewhere, and the business fails (unless that business is friendly with the government and gets a taxpayer bailout).

    However, the market absolutely keeps adulterated products largely out of the market. Again, I refer you to the pre-prohibition period of alcohol consumption in America when the alcohol market can be accurately described as laissez-faire. Now, when the government gets involved like they did with prohibition, what happened to the products? They became dangerous. If someone became injured they couldn’t sue because they would have to admit they were breaking the law as well! The product became adulterated, paint thinner and all sorts of industrial and strange things that should not be in drinking alcohol. Again, there was no way to be sure what was on the label was inside the bottle (they faked labels too) because if they lied, they still could not be sued. Violence erupted over turf wars, etc. No property rights can be enforced if the property is illegal, etc. etc. etc.

    In a free market competition drives out the over priced, the poor quality, and the adulterated or dangerous (the courts help with the dangerous as well). Would you make the mistake of purchasing mislabeled paint thinner twice when it is on a grocery store shelf and many other brands are affordable and readily available? I doubt it. You would also likely file suit (being a lawyer). What if you very much enjoyed alcohol but it was prohibited and there was a 50/50 shot every time you made a purchase in the store’s secret basement that it might be the ‘real stuff?’ Probably so.

    Again, the government created black market for acohol during prohibition diminished the quality, raised prices because of scarcity, and more violent crime.

    I think it annoying when people get on article comment sections and threads with the intent to ‘provoke’ people who are having reasonable discussion unprovoked and on topic. There is a word for that I use and it is ‘troll.’ But here we are in the unique position of the troll being a contributor to the blog and also seemingly having internet bipolar disorder on the same thread. At least it is unique.

  121. Meet Tom Woods

    He is another so called “idiot” that you are sure to hear a lot more of if you continue to vociferously troll libertarians on the Turley blog. Here he is giving a speech entitled “Our Wise Overlords Are Just Here to Serve Us.” The meat of the talk begins at 7:20. Targets include the Military Industrial Complex among other fine governmental institutions.

  122. “We do not need a specific regulation or law that states that pacemakers must actually work or that planes must actually fly. If they don’t work or fly the manufacturer gets sued”

    A fine example of reductio ad absurdum. And how exactly does someone sue without a cause of action? If no actions are deemed impermissible, there is no violation to bring to bar.

    “the consumer goes elsewhere,”

    What if they have no choice as in the case of market created monopolies? Or patents excluding other vendors of suitable products? They can’t.

    “and the business fails (unless that business is friendly with the government and gets a taxpayer bailout).”

    Not if proper regulation prevents it.

    “However, the market absolutely keeps adulterated products largely out of the market. Again, I refer you to the pre-prohibition period of alcohol consumption in America when the alcohol market can be accurately described as laissez-faire.”

    And again I refer you to the events leading to the creation of the FDA when the marketing of food and drugs could be accurately described as laissez-faire. The formation of the FDA was a direct result of the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market like diphtheria antitoxin contaminated with tetanus (resulting in deaths), radioactive beverages (resulting in severe illness), Lash lure mascara (which caused blindness) and other contaminated cosmetics, and snake oil medications for a variety of life threatening conditions that didn’t cure anything. But yeah, what’s a few deaths or blindings or people dying from their diabetes because the “medicine” they took was useless if the market will sort it all out eventually.

    Safety? “Now, when the government gets involved like they did with prohibition, what happened to the products? They became dangerous.” Uh, the government was only involved in the prohibition. Manufacture and distribution was an extra-legal enterprise. Actually alcohol quality went down during Prohibition because it was more profitable to unregulated suppliers to supply bunk.

    “If someone became injured they couldn’t sue because they would have to admit they were breaking the law as well!” And with deregulation you’d end up with the same result of people having no recourse because they had no cause of action against someone immunized from liability by absence of appropriate laws. “Your honor, my wife died because Product X blew up in her face due to substandard unsafe parts being used in the manufacture.” “Too bad, sir. Using unsafe parts isn’t against the law. It saved them money and anything in the pursuit of profit is just dandy. Caveat emptor! Don’t buy their product next time. Next case.”

    Whether you want to talk about it or not, the market mechanics of a black market and a laissez-faire market are the same in action and result with the exception I noted earlier about pricing. You still haven’t proven otherwise. It’s interesting to me you can’t see that, but then again, religious devotion is often blind. “Targets include the Military Industrial Complex among other fine governmental institutions.” Yeah, like most Libertarians, you conveniently gloss over that half of the Military Industrial Complex is Industry. Remove the graft in campaigning, reform lobbying and – for this particular problem – revise governmental contracting standards and *poof* the problem goes away. Corruption doesn’t happen because of government. Takes two parties to dance that tango. But you don’t fix the problem by deregulation. You fix the problem by making the dance illegal and have stiff penalties for dancing it.

    As to the rest of it, I really don’t care what you find annoying or think of me personally. You clearly don’t understand human psychology well enough to understand the dangers of unchecked greed so a remote diagnosis of BPD from you means . . . absolutely nothing. To me, you’re just another anonymous douche bag with a computer and a bunch of bad ideas to be harshed on. What you find annoying, I find entertaining. You chose to butt in and speak to me. If you don’t like the results, that’s your problem. Feel free to stop talking to me any time you wish. I won’t mind. Really.

  123. When will you ever start reading (or comprehending)?

    You now:
    “And how exactly does someone sue without a cause of action? If no actions are deemed impermissible, there is no violation to bring to bar.”

    Me earlier:
    “If you’ll notice in the definition of the term laissez-faire there is the word minimal, as in minimal regulation. A free market does not mean “no regulation.” You have a right to your property in a free or laissez-faire economy. The government is a constitutionally limited one. As Bron said, government limited to the protection of life, liberty, and property. So whether greed or not is the motivation, people still cannot hurt others in a free market whether by producing dangerous products or by violent competition. We do not need a specific regulation or law that states that pacemakers must actually work or that planes must actually fly. If they don’t work or fly the manufacturer gets sued, the consumer goes elsewhere, and the business fails (unless that business is friendly with the government and gets a taxpayer bailout).”

    Note how you choose to only quote the last two sentences of the paragraph….

    ““If someone became injured they couldn’t sue because they would have to admit they were breaking the law as well!” And with deregulation you’d end up with the same result of people having no recourse because they had no cause of action against someone immunized from liability by absence of appropriate laws. “Your honor, my wife died because Product X blew up in her face due to substandard unsafe parts being used in the manufacture.” “Too bad, sir. Using unsafe parts isn’t against the law. It saved them money and anything in the pursuit of profit is just dandy. Caveat emptor! Don’t buy their product next time. Next case.””
    -A fine example of reductio ad absurdum. Again, no, if the part blows up and kills someone, the law doesn’t have to state: “If product Z is faulty, you can sue the manufacturer.” All the law needs to state is some version of the Biblical commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Have a trial in front of a jury of the manufacturers ‘peers’ and we’ll find out if deserves jail time, the death penalty, or it maybe it was just a freak accident as judged by the jury.

    “And again I refer you to the events leading to the creation of the FDA when the marketing of food and drugs could be accurately described as laissez-faire. The formation of the FDA was a direct result of the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market like diphtheria antitoxin contaminated with tetanus (resulting in deaths), radioactive beverages (resulting in severe illness), Lash lure mascara (which caused blindness) and other contaminated cosmetics, and snake oil medications for a variety of life threatening conditions that didn’t cure anything. But yeah, what’s a few deaths or blindings or people dying from their diabetes because the “medicine” they took was useless if the market will sort it all out eventually.”
    I am well aware of patent medicines and meant to mention it. But here and now we have all these wonderful regulations driving industry over to China. And yet, do you remember the case last year with the fucking Lead Paint in children’s toys? I sure as shit do. Things like this are happening all the time with our without ‘government’ regulations. This was not a problem with liquor pre-prohibition.

    Whether you want to talk about it or not, the black market and a laissez-faire market are NOT the same in action. You still haven’t proven otherwise.

    I’m still waiting for a cogent response for this below, troll.

  124. “@ Gene,

    You didn’t say the mechanics of supply and demand are the same in your ORIGINAL post on the topic.

    You said: “That prohibition merely creates the opportunity for a truly free market is the gorilla in the room that you miss.”

    I’m still waiting for a “cogent defense” of this statement. Of course supply and demand still applies, that is not the question! Hahaha.

    Again, here are the definitions of the two terms in question:

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

    How again is the black market of alcohol during prohibition a “truly free market”? And no, I am not asking if supply and demand applies. I am asking how the black market is supposed to be a perfect example of a “truly free market,” which means FREE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, reason, logic, using properly defined words, and phrasing questions clearly are examples of trollish behavior. LOL

    Good luck Sir H!

    P.S.

    Oh, and I’ll come back as often as I like whenever I like, or are you guest censoring who posts on this blog now as well?”

  125. Oh, and it would be called simply “the military industry” if the government weren’t involved, and it wouldn’t take up 60% of our budget. OR we could socialize the entire thing and it would still be cheaper. The problem is when we try to regulate certain aspects and allow both government and industry to collude.

  126. Since you’ve simply started repeating yourself . . .

    “Whether you want to talk about it or not, the black market and a laissez-faire market are NOT the same in action. You still haven’t proven otherwise.”

    “And again I refer you to the events leading to the creation of the FDA when the marketing of food and drugs could be accurately described as laissez-faire. The formation of the FDA was a direct result of the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market like diphtheria antitoxin contaminated with tetanus (resulting in deaths), radioactive beverages (resulting in severe illness), Lash lure mascara (which caused blindness) and other contaminated cosmetics, and snake oil medications for a variety of life threatening conditions that didn’t cure anything. But yeah, what’s a few deaths or blindings or people dying from their diabetes because the ‘medicine’ they took was useless if the market will sort it all out eventually.”

    “Again, I refer you to the ideas of extra-legal and ultra-legal. No regulation is no regulation no matter if the cause is criminal avoidance of prohibition or dispensation to be free of liability in your market transactions. The mechanics of a laissez-faire market and a black market – once you get past the cause of the mechanic – are exactly the same; unregulated free markets where supply and demand are the primary drivers (after profit of course). The results will be the same too: abusive practices. In an extra-legal enterprise, the abuses may take different forms (i.e. crimes against people and/or property, turf wars, etc.) than in an ultra-legal enterprise (i.e. fraud, adulterated products, etc. but more extreme actions are no out of the realm of possibility (see both the Ludlow Massacre and the Battle of Matewan)), but they will happen none the less. They will happen because they provide benefit for suppliers, usually in the form of either competitive advantage and/or increased profitability.”

    You can’t change history.

    You can’t change that without regulation, abuses will run rampant even if the abuses take different forms.

    You can’t change the psychology that greed – the profit motive – will drive these abuses.

    An absence of rules, be it in chess, baseball, business or society, will lead to anarchy. No rules means no restraint or repercussion for bad actions. People will try to get away with whatever they think they can get away with if it benefits them and many of them don’t care if someone else gets hurt in the process. Some of them even prefer it that way. Why? Because that’s human nature.

    That’s reality.

    Whether you can stay in touch with it or not is your problem.

    “I am well aware of patent medicines and meant to mention it. But here and now we have all these wonderful regulations driving industry over to China. And yet, do you remember the case last year with the fucking Lead Paint in children’s toys? I sure as shit do. Things like this are happening all the time with our without ‘government’ regulations.”

    Move that goal post much? But let’s ignore the fact we aren’t responsible for Chinese law for a now. We are responsible for incentivizing outsourcing. Who pushes for laws that provide incentive to use cheaper foreign labor? Big business. Why? Because it is profitable to them to do so. Who fights against closing those tax loopholes and other incentives to outsource? Big business. Why? Because it is profitable for them to do so. How do they do this? By campaign graft and getting lobbyists to write legislation that’s rubber stamped by their bought off pols.

    However, the fact still stands that without regulation, legal recourse becomes difficult, insufficient and/or non-existent. Just because you cannot stop 100% of bad actions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and/or mitigate the damages to individuals and society as much as possible. Perfection is an impossibility and to argue otherwise is the argument of children and fools. So it fits you perfectly. People get poisoned all the time, but since we can’t stop that, we should let manufactures be free from regulation and trust the market to take care of adulterated products and other abusive practices? We had that with food and drugs before the FDA. It didn’t work. People died and were injured. Does it still happen? From time to time, but nothing like it would on the scale without regulation.

    “How again is the black market of alcohol during prohibition a “truly free market”? And no, I am not asking if supply and demand applies. I am asking how the black market is supposed to be a perfect example of a “truly free market,” which means FREE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION.”

    It’s free of government regulation because . . . wait for it . . . it isn’t regulated other than to be forbidden (which I already stipulated only affects pricing). One rule is as close to unregulated as it gets and if manufactures ignore that one rule, its unregulated period. Any process or adulteration the supplier wants to use to increase profitability is an option. “A black market is still a market without rules expect those imposed by the nature of transactions which is going to be supply and demand. The difference between a criminal market and a laissez-faire market is simply this: a criminal knowingly and purposefully breaks the law [by manufacturing in the first place] and a laissez-faire capitalist wants legal dispensation to be above the law.” Business will engage in abusive practices if left to their own devices if it is profitable to them. Relying on the market to correct this and provide just outcomes is unrealistic as markets are neither self-correcting nor just and they are capable of manipulation by suppliers. Justice isn’t the business of business. Profits are the business of business. Justice is the business of government, even if that justice requires limiting businesses profitability by prohibiting certain practices and transactions.

    Feel free to flail some more though. It’s amusing. Almost as amusing as watching a Communist try to justify Communism.

  127. Since You’ve simply started repeating yourself . . .

    “And again I refer you to the events leading to the creation of the FDA when the marketing of food and drugs could be accurately described as laissez-faire.”

    And again I refer you to how life differed under prohibition for alcohol consumers, was quite worse in fact, than before the FDA and prohibition which was a laissez-faire market You never acknowledge this difference no matter how many times I repeat it, instead you continue to blindly assert that the ‘mechanisms are the same.’ Supply and demand applies to all markets, that is irrelevant. Free markets are not the same as black markets, as clearly shown in this example.

    And how many times do I have to tell you, “of course supply and demand applies in both black markets and free markets, that doesn’t make them similar…” Absurd

    Hilarious Example follows:

    “An absence of rules, be it in chess, baseball, business or society, will lead to anarchy. No rules means no restraint or repercussion for bad actions. People will try to get away with whatever they think they can get away with if it benefits them and many of them don’t care if someone else gets hurt in the process. Some of them even prefer it that way. Why? Because that’s human nature.”

    Ahh yes, but who makes the rules in chess or baseball or society? Do we have federal regulations telling us that we cannot castle when our king is in check? Do we have federal regulations telling us that after three outs teams must switch between batting and fielding? How about federal regulations that tell us what time to go to work and what time to come home? What about whether or not one should troll on the internet? Clearly we do not, for the latter at least. Yet, are the rules followed. I would say quite often they are. Is there anarchy at every Scrabble tournament these days due to absence of federal regulations? And your point is?

    The most absurd reasoning of the night follows here:
    “It’s free of government regulation because . . . wait for it . . . it isn’t regulated other than to be forbidden (which I already stipulated only affects pricing).”

    Yes, quite clearly, following all the above examples discussion, federal prohibition only affected the pricing of the alcohol, not the availability, or quality. And heaven forbid I mention it actually created a monopoly on alcoholic spirits.

    Golly gee, if it is illegal, that means the government won’t pursue me if I make it and so it is just like a free market? Wrong here again.

    “Keep reading. Keep trying.”

  128. Monsr. Madeleine:

    “I found that government is often the cause to the most injustice in our society.”

    A big amen from the choir on that statement.

    I used to be a republican and I assume you used to be a democrat. I actually seriously thought about voting for Obama and probably would have if the exchange with Joe the Plumber had never happened.

    Gene H always accuses me of being for profit over people, but he fails to realize that people and profit are not mutually exclusive and that what creates abject poverty is collectivism, i.e. government interference in peoples lives, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Asia, here.

    People are profit and profit is people. People make profits, one could make the case that being against profit is being against people. It certainly has worked out that way everywhere profit is an “evil” concept.

    If he truly wants to free the world of the influence of large multi-national corporations he would make them operate in a regulation free environment with no government assistance of any kind. They would lose their power almost overnight. Progressives always get it wrong on how to curb corporate power, make those c-suckers actually have to compete, that will straighten their asses out.

    They give lip service to controlling corporations, they think they hold a whip in a fist of iron. The real fist of iron with a whip is the market, it will beat you until you efficiently produce or you die. Market forces are Sing Sing whereas government regulations are making your kid stand in the corner for 2 minutes for a time out.

    Progressives have been coddling big business for so long they just let them suckle at the Nanny State teat. And they tell the rest of us that they are protecting us from corporate greed.

    I am starting to think Gene H has a good deal of stock in the market and is merely trying to protect his profits. Rich people have a vested interest in maintaining a regulated market, it protects their wealth as well. At the turn of the 20th century [from the 19th] there was a saying – “rags to riches to rags in 3 generations”. It spoke to the dynamism of the market and having to be on your game to keep your money intergenerationally.

  129. MM:

    great video. I especially liked the last few minutes.

    How could you be against people being free and enjoying life as they want to live?

  130. MM:

    thanks for turning me on to Tom Woods, he is good. Brilliant too.

    My kind of sociopath. He believes in people and profits.

    Tis a poverty of mind who conflates sociopathy with liberty, property and individual rights.

  131. “And how many times do I have to tell you, “of course supply and demand applies in both black markets and free markets, that doesn’t make them similar…” Absurd”

    What’s absurd is you don’t read the word “unregulated” and understand that word applies to manufacturing, distribution and sales of goods. And apparently you’ve never heard of the Commerce Clause either.

    Hilarious Example follows:

    You also apparently don’t understand rules define systems and that in a democracy, the people make the rules. But then again, we currently have a corporatist oligarchy bought and paid for by your pals in industry. A corporatist oligarchy you would make stronger by removing them from government oversight instead of working to restore democracy. Pure genius on your part.

    “Yes, quite clearly, following all the above examples discussion, federal prohibition only affected the pricing of the alcohol, not the availability, or quality. And heaven forbid I mention it actually created a monopoly on alcoholic spirits.”

    A monopoly? Spoken like someone who doesn’t know what a monopoly is. Yeah, all those gangsters were shooting each other and civilians in turf wars because there was only one gangland boss, bootlegger and distiller in the country. Clearly none of those turf wars were caused by competition. That makes sense. :roll:

    Then again, history doesn’t mean much when you’re simply going to make it up if it’s inconvenient to your Austrian corporatist agenda.

  132. “And again I refer you to the events leading to the creation of the FDA when the marketing of food and drugs could be accurately described as laissez-faire.”

    -“And again I refer you to how life differed under prohibition for alcohol consumers, was quite worse in fact, than before the FDA and prohibition which was a laissez-faire market You never acknowledge this difference no matter how many times I repeat it, instead you continue to blindly assert that the ‘mechanisms are the same.’ Supply and demand applies to all markets, that is irrelevant. Free markets are not the same as black markets, as clearly shown in this example.”

    -“And how many times do I have to tell you, “of course supply and demand applies in both black markets and free markets, that doesn’t make them similar…” Absurd”

    “What’s absurd is you don’t read the word “unregulated” and understand that word applies to manufacturing, distribution and sales of goods. And apparently you’ve never heard of the Commerce Clause either.”

    -That is not even close to a cogent response, still waiting. Just because the distillers doesn’t get a permit or a license to use his still and a health inspection sticker from the federal government during prohibition does not mean alcohol production was unregulated during that time anymore than not getting taxed for selling it across state lines or not. The ultimate regulation is in play here!

    A refresher course:

    “Again, here are the definitions of the two terms in question:

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

    How again is the black market of alcohol during prohibition a “truly free market”? And no, I am not asking if supply and demand applies. I am asking how the black market is supposed to be a perfect example of a “truly free market,” which means FREE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION.”

    -Now, what part of that definition of a free market makes you think that in one The Federal Government claims the right will hunt distillers, brewers, wine makers, shippers, truckers, bars, and secret stores down, Destroy their property, and put them in jail?

    -A free market still provides a right to life, liberty, and property. The difference between a free market and a regulated one is that the government claims the right to take your life, liberty, or property if it so chooses. In a black market it chooses to. And in a free market, NO ONE (not even government) can take those things from you.

    -Simply look at how the market functioned pre-prohibition, or how book sellers, writers, and publishers do now with little regulation. One might even call it laissez-faire.

    -I repeat: “Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.”

    “Hilarious Example follows:

    An absence of rules, be it in chess, baseball, business or society, will lead to anarchy. No rules means no restraint or repercussion for bad actions. People will try to get away with whatever they think they can get away with if it benefits them and many of them don’t care if someone else gets hurt in the process. Some of them even prefer it that way. Why? Because that’s human nature.”

    -“Ahh yes, but who makes the rules in chess or baseball or society? Do we have federal regulations telling us that we cannot castle when our king is in check? Do we have federal regulations telling us that after three outs teams must switch between batting and fielding? How about federal regulations that tell us what time to go to work and what time to come home? What about whether or not one should troll on the internet? Clearly we do not, for the latter at least. Yet, are the rules followed. I would say quite often they are. Is there anarchy at every Scrabble tournament these days due to absence of federal regulations? And your point is?”

    “You also apparently don’t understand rules define systems and that in a democracy, the people make the rules.”

    -Wonderful, wonderful stuff. First black markets function exactly like free markets, now the rules of the game Monopoly are the as the rules of the federal government. Just off the top of your head, how many people are sitting in jail right now have been convicted of cheating in Monopoly?In Chess? How many cheaters in baseball have been put to death by the government? See the difference yet?

    -People voluntarily choose to play a game of chess or baseball. They abide by self determined rules, and most of the time everyone plays by them. If someone breaks a rule they are thrown out of the game, not in jail. Is this what anarchy is like to you? Should we actually be throwing these people in jail and legislating the ‘laws of chess?’

    -People abide by rules in chess games for the same reason that when I go to a farmer’s market in a strange town I do not steal all the produce and burn it down (even though it would 1. make me richer (greed) and 2. I could get away with it (no one knows me). People want to engage in trade and commerce peacefully. Your chess game example was a perfect example for why we do not need the federal government involved in trade either. We can trade peacefully and freely without it.

    -Voluntary agreements among people are VERY different from federal regulations imposed upon people against their will and with penalty. Especially when the special interests end up controlling and writing the regulations overtime in the industry they are supposed to be regulating, creating more just, making fair, etc. When government puts its power in play in any industry, the most powerful players will take that power for themselves and use the legal authority of government to destroy their competition, create an UNFAIR playing field, and line their own pockets.
    Oh, and there is plenty of history of this exact thing happening for you to look at. But of course this time this regulation will be different and good…blather, blather, blather. This is precisely why we need a constitutionally limited federal government, which would mean less regulation, which would result in less corruption, which means more competition, that leads to lower prices for all, etc.

    -Good intentions, especially when implemented by force of government on free people against their will, usually lead to bad consequences.

    “Keep reading, keep trying.”

  133. @ Bron, Thanks.

    Did you also see the Peter Schiff Video and my book recommendation?

    Tom Woods is excellent. The fact that Gene here would likely label him a sociopath, idiot, or both reaffirms that he is in fact excellent.

  134. Again most of what you say is again pure gibberish.

    Gibberish like, “A free market still provides a right to life, liberty, and property. The difference between a free market and a regulated one is that the government claims the right to take your life, liberty, or property if it so chooses.”

    A free market doesn’t guarantee a damn thing except eventual abusive practices. The difference between a free market and a regulated market is asshat businessmen with no regard for anything other than profit can do whatever they please in a free market.

    Thanks for showing how little regard you have for the Constitution and Bill of Rights though.

    And fuck your vocabulary. I’ve already answered using your vocabulary and you still don’t get that extra-legal and ultra-legal are the same things and lead to the same outcomes. You should not try semantics if you don’t know how to use them. The same market mechanism are at play in a black market and free market with the only difference being the factor of prohibition affecting price. You still haven’t proven otherwise. Psstt! Mr. Economic Genius! Price is only a component of market mechanics, not the market mechanic proper. I guess you don’t understand that either.

    Just like you don’t understand what a monopoly is, Game Boy.

    Also, your argumentum verbosium is getting old. Since your not saying anything meaningful, try using less words.

  135. “Gibberish like, “A free market still provides a right to life, liberty, and property. The difference between a free market and a regulated one is that the government claims the right to take your life, liberty, or property if it so chooses.”

    A free market doesn’t guarantee a damn thing except eventual abusive practices. The difference between a free market and a regulated market is asshat businessmen with no regard for anything other than profit can do whatever they please in a free market.”

    Thanks for proving my point that you don’t know what you are talking about!

    That whole right to property thing in a free market is total b.s. -BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    “The difference between a free market and a regulated market is asshat businessmen with no regard for anything other than profit can do whatever they please in a free market.”

    Hilarious, because “asshat businessmen” today, I mean RIGHT NOW, are doing this through writing the very regulations that you think make things more fair! If they had no right to use the force of government to stifle their competitors or line their own pockets, how exactly would they be able do whatever they please?

  136. “And fuck your vocabulary. I’ve already answered using your vocabulary ”

    -And no you have not. You have tried to “move the goal posts” and divert, changing the parameters talking about mechanics, supply and demand, extra-legal and ultra-legal instead of actually using the terms as defined to explain.

    The likely reason you haven’t tried to do so is because if anyone with the comprehension of a 6 year old reads the definitions they will realize that you cannot justify your prior statement.

    Vocabulary Words Defined:

    Free Market- 1. Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    Prohibition- 2. A law or regulation forbidding something.

  137. Just like you are trying to do now, avoiding the crux of my last post by simply labeling it “gibberish.” Go on now, why don’t you give it another go:

    ““Hilarious Example follows:

    An absence of rules, be it in chess, baseball, business or society, will lead to anarchy. No rules means no restraint or repercussion for bad actions. People will try to get away with whatever they think they can get away with if it benefits them and many of them don’t care if someone else gets hurt in the process. Some of them even prefer it that way. Why? Because that’s human nature.”

    -”Ahh yes, but who makes the rules in chess or baseball or society? Do we have federal regulations telling us that we cannot castle when our king is in check? Do we have federal regulations telling us that after three outs teams must switch between batting and fielding? How about federal regulations that tell us what time to go to work and what time to come home? What about whether or not one should troll on the internet? Clearly we do not, for the latter at least. Yet, are the rules followed. I would say quite often they are. Is there anarchy at every Scrabble tournament these days due to absence of federal regulations? And your point is?”

    “You also apparently don’t understand rules define systems and that in a democracy, the people make the rules.”

    -Wonderful, wonderful stuff. First black markets function exactly like free markets, now the rules of the game Monopoly are the as the rules of the federal government. Just off the top of your head, how many people are sitting in jail right now have been convicted of cheating in Monopoly?In Chess? How many cheaters in baseball have been put to death by the government? See the difference yet?

    -People voluntarily choose to play a game of chess or baseball. They abide by self determined rules, and most of the time everyone plays by them. If someone breaks a rule they are thrown out of the game, not in jail. Is this what anarchy is like to you? Should we actually be throwing these people in jail and legislating the ‘laws of chess?’

    -People abide by rules in chess games for the same reason that when I go to a farmer’s market in a strange town I do not steal all the produce and burn it down (even though it would 1. make me richer (greed) and 2. I could get away with it (no one knows me). People want to engage in trade and commerce peacefully. Your chess game example was a perfect example for why we do not need the federal government involved in trade either. We can trade peacefully and freely without it.

    -Voluntary agreements among people are VERY different from federal regulations imposed upon people against their will and with penalty. Especially when the special interests end up controlling and writing the regulations overtime in the industry they are supposed to be regulating, creating more just, making fair, etc. When government puts its power in play in any industry, the most powerful players will take that power for themselves and use the legal authority of government to destroy their competition, create an UNFAIR playing field, and line their own pockets.
    Oh, and there is plenty of history of this exact thing happening for you to look at. But of course this time this regulation will be different and good…blather, blather, blather. This is precisely why we need a constitutionally limited federal government, which would mean less regulation, which would result in less corruption, which means more competition, that leads to lower prices for all, etc.

    -Good intentions, especially when implemented by force of government on free people against their will, usually lead to bad consequences.

    “Keep reading, keep trying.””

  138. And you’ve proven you don’t know how government and law works.

    “That whole right to property thing in a free market is total b.s. -BAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

    Do you have a handlebar mustache to go with that laugh, Snidely?

    Your right to property isn’t guaranteed by the free market, dipstick. It’s guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution which created . . . oh, what’s that thing called again . . . GOVERNMENT, including the the ability to create and enforce laws. In our case, specifically laws that regulate interstate commerce. But don’t let that slow you down, zealot.

    “Hilarious, because “asshat businessmen” today, I mean RIGHT NOW, are doing this through writing the very regulations that you think make things more fair!”

    The solution isn’t do away with the law.

    That’s a recipe for disaster.

    The solution is remove the business men from the equation of formulating it, forcing elected representatives to going back to their Constitutionally mandated function of representing the best interests of the people instead of the vested profit interests of business – vested profit interests that would gladly sacrifice your rights if it made them a profit. Corruption isn’t a problem solved by abdicating rules. Corruption is solved by better rules that ensure true democracy. Abdication of rules leads only to anarchy and tyranny and in the case of Austrian School “economics” that tyranny would be economic tyranny.

  139. MM:

    I have been listening to Tom Woods all afternoon while working. Very sharp guy. He destroys the common memes of the left.

  140. “Your right to property isn’t guaranteed by the free market, dipstick. It’s guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution which created . . . oh, what’s that thing called again . . . GOVERNMENT, including the the ability to create and enforce laws. In our case, specifically laws that regulate interstate commerce.”

    EXACTLY!

    I am glad you are finally seeing the light, maybe now you can understand laissez-faire and free markets. Remember, laissez-fiare is defined as minimal government. Free markets work within the U.S. Constitution. I do not have to choose between the two! A constitutionally limited government would protect my property, not take it away. Free markets will never exist in reality, just like communism can’t. A free market is the theoretical construct of a perfectly run economy. We can never achieve perfection. People are not perfect, therefore governments cannot be perfect. The best we can do as free people is to push for the freest of possible markets and oppose legislation that seriously compromises that ideal. That would be an example of prohibition. The Interstate commerce clause was established to disallow states to tax other states industries out of competition, not to nationally prohibit goods and services and destroy personal property. See, another good example of how regulations put in place to serve the people end up oppressing the people. The argument is that freer markets should be the goal, not more economic control policies that create more corruption en route to communism.

    “…forcing elected representatives to going back to their Constitutionally mandated function of representing the best interests of the people instead of the vested profit interests of business – vested profit interests that would gladly sacrifice your rights if it made them a profit.”

    -Exactly! So we go back to the constitution and get rid of all unconstitutional laws and regulations. That way business interests cannot manipulate markets and laws in their favor, like they are doing now.

    “Corruption isn’t a problem solved by abdicating rules. Corruption is solved by better rules that ensure true democracy.”

    -Corruption is not solved by better rules any more than making poverty illegal eliminates poverty or making child labor illegal eliminates child labor.

    “Abdication of rules leads only to anarchy and tyranny and in the case of Austrian School “economics” that tyranny would be economic tyranny.”

    -Wrong here though. I wouldn’t be so sure of what following the Austrian School of economics might lead to if I hadn’t actually read their philosophies, but had instead gleaned what I could from online debates.

  141. Okay Gene, Let me level with you and since you are a lawyer you hopefully can inform me how this works.

    I support labeling GMO legislation. But I may be laboring under the false impression that right now it is illegal for a retail food store to label foods that are GMO. Am I right on that?

    Secondly, and this is a point, not a question. I want healthier and more diverse food to be more widely produced and available in grocery store chains. The way to do that isn’t to legislate only certain foods can be sold in certain stores and create more unintended consequences while allowing corporations to find more loop holes. The best way to do that is to cut out all the subsidies in the food industries and the regulations as well. Did you know that it is illegal, for the first time in history, for farmers to save their seeds? Who do you think wrote that law? Well government of course, because they write the laws. Is that in our best interest? Monsanto and the fast food companies are just one of many excellent examples of how The Capture Theory of Regulation works in real life.

  142. Glad to know I’m right except in not choosing to to follow your fantasy non-scientific economics and your misplaced belief in Constitutional originalism. The Constitution is a living document, but the Commerce Clause still applies and it applies in the light of precedent establish by the courts. Again, precedent is still law. It remains law until overruled by subsequent decisions or superseded by legislation. Precedent which clearly establishes that the reach of the Commerce Clause is quite broad but it does have limits. Just because you don’t like regulation or the limits of the Commerce Clause doesn’t mean it’s prime facie unconstitutional. You can be as sure about Austrian “economics” as you like. You clearly don’t know enough about history and how law and government operate in interacting with society to see how the consequences of those policies enacted would play out. If no regulation doesn’t work (which it doesn’t) and bad regulation is a problem (which it is), the solution still isn’t to do away with regulation en masse, but rather to get better regulation.

  143. Ahh yes, of course. When the Interstate Commerce Clause was written the founders thought it should be used to prohibit goods and services from coming to the market, as well to (another real example here) regulate a farmer growing wheat for his own consumption, not selling across state lines.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

    I don’t see why our judges and our courts should throw out all the other evidence and writings the people who wrote the constitution wrote. Or why we should use 20th century definitions of terms to interpret 18th century writing. Seems like a mistake.

    As long as you

    1. stand the fallacious equation that: free markets = black markets,

    2. believe that rules in chess (a voluntary agreement) are the same as laws from the federal government (an agreement forced upon otherwise freemen),

    and 3. Dismissively label Von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Tom Woods, and Bron as clowns, idiots, and sociopaths who speak gibberish,

    Then I truly hope you never change your opinion of me. I know I am in good company. If you ever do then I will know I need to re-evaluate my ideas quickly.

  144. 1) I stand by the equation not because it is false, but rather because it true. That you don’t understand that unregulated supply and demand is the same mechanic in both markets is simply your failing.

    2) As long as you continue to miss the point that systems (voluntary or not) have rules and fail to realize that your participation in American society (and therefor subject to American laws) is entirely voluntary (you aren’t forced to be a citizen and can alienate your citizen any time you wish here, unlike some countries), I have no problem pointing that out.

    3) I’ll dismissively label your heroes and buddies as clowns, idiots, sociopaths and fools who speak gibberish as long as they act like clowns, idiots, sociopaths and fools and speak gibberish. If you don’t like that? Well, the 1st Amendment guarantees I can say if that’s my opinion of your heroes and buddies and you object to me saying so, then that’s your problem. If you want me to think otherwise, the burden of proof and persuasion rests on you.

    And as long as you demonstrate that you don’t understand the Constitution and the role of government and law in society or how jurisprudence works, I truly hope you never change your opinion of me because I know I’m in even better company.

  145. MM:

    get him really riled up and tell him that the commerce clause doesnt mean what he thinks it means. The founders were traders and merchants, the last thing they would have done is restrain trade, they wanted the commerce clause to protect free trade between/among the states not restrict it.

    While you are at it get him to talk about a tax on labor.

  146. Gene H:

    “That you don’t understand that unregulated supply and demand is the same mechanic in both markets is simply your failing.”

    In the example of prohibition, the black market booze supply is regulated by the gun and by government confiscating and destroying shipments. It isnt an unregulated market in distilled spirits.

    Think about it, the supply is controlled to an extent by government. A black market is not an unregulated free market, there are more than just market forces working to adjust supply and demand. Because the product is illegal, pricing is controlled by the seller. In a free market price is controlled by the buyer, maybe not initially but once other products emerge to compete the seller must adjust his price accordingly. As long as government maintains prohibition, the seller [mobsters] is in control. Unless of course people suddenly decide a $6 shot of rot gut isnt worth it anymore.

    The black market is a regulated market at least in the case of prohibition. Although I believe the general principle would apply to any government prohibited product.

  147. ” I’ll dismissively label your heroes and buddies as clowns, idiots, sociopaths and fools who speak gibberish as long as they act like clowns, idiots, sociopaths and fools and speak gibberish. If you don’t like that? Well, the 1st Amendment guarantees I can say if that’s my opinion of your heroes and buddies and you object to me saying so, then that’s your problem.”

    -LOL

    -Why on earth would you think I objected to you saying so? I wear your dismissive and derogatory name calling with pride! And what on earth makes you think I want to prohibit your speech? You are welcome shout your falsities from The Moon if you can get up there! I don’t mind a bit.

    -See! “As long as you

    -1. stand the fallacious equation that: free markets = black markets,

    -2. believe that rules in chess (a voluntary agreement) are the same as laws from the federal government (an agreement forced upon otherwise freemen),

    -and 3. Dismissively label Von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Tom Woods, and Bron as clowns, idiots, and sociopaths who speak gibberish,

    -Then I truly hope you never change your opinion of me. I know I am in good company. If you ever do then I will know I need to re-evaluate my ideas quickly.”

    “I truly hope you never change your opinion of me because I know I’m in even better company.”

    -And what opinion are you supposing that is? The only name i have called you is “my friend.”

    @ Bron, LOL. How’s that Tom Woods treatin ya? I never heard back from you on this, did you see the book recommendation and the Peter Schiff interview? I can repost for you… I think you would like them.

  148. MM:

    Peter Schiff is great, too bad the fools in CT voted for that WWF Chick, what a bunch of nuck futs.

    I have heard of the book.

    I read an article recently about how the Glass Steagall act encouraged bank failures during the depression of 1931-1946. It laid out a pretty good case for it too.

  149. @ Bron,

    He was halfway correct when he wrote this:

    “but the regulation and legalization of liquor essentially put bootleggers like Capone out of business. The same thing would happen with drug legalization and regulation.”

    The legalization and subsequent lower prices put Capone out of business. Forcing the distillery to purchase a government license and not sell on Sundays had nothing to do with it.

    The same thing would happen with drug legalization…as long as the regulations and taxes did not artificially inflate prices as high as the black market does. I doubt it will since that is quite a high bar.

  150. MM:

    I didnt catch that. He thinks regulation put Capone out of business?

    That is just funny, his belief in government’s capacity for good is unlimited.

    I used to ask him why he thought government regulators were any different from business owners. Everyone, including Jesus, has an ulterior motive. Just because you are an altruist doesnt mean you dont have a political axe to grind. Personally, give me that man who says all he wants from you is a few dollars of profit over the man who wants to save you from yourself or who knows what is good for you.

    The guy who wants to save you from your self wants your soul, the other guy only wants a few hours of your labor. One wants to own you for a lifetime, the other wants to give you something you need, want or desire in a voluntary exchange of value for value. One wants to force you to do something for your “own good”, the other hopes his product or service is good enough for you to perceive a value to be obtained. One treats you like a child and knows more about what is good for you than you do, the other treats you like an equal and hopes he has served you to your expectations so he can earn your future favor.

  151. MM:

    also see if you can get a copy of Elana Kagans senior thesis. It is about the history of socialism in this country and a method for implementing it. Quite good, it was a labor of love for her. Which is quite disturbing, seeing as how she is sitting on the Supreme Court and is probably not interested in objective law, unless she has changed her spots since her senior year.

    She is probably an activist judge and very smart. Hopefully she values individual liberty more than social justice.

  152. Thanks, I downloaded those links!

    I have a copy if “The Law” but I haven’t gotten past the introduction and preface yet.

    That is VERY disturbing about Kagan…

    The thing I have been thinking about since this online debate took place is this. We both agreed that we need to re-establish constitutional law to this country, but our method of getting their and philosophical underpinnings are drastically different.

    What I don’t understand is when people make the argument that basically people are inherently evil. “Left to their own devices they will destroy both humanity and the world. Therefore we need a group of regulatory supervisors (government) made up of PEOPLE to make sure greedy evil people do not destroy humanity and the world.”

    ……

    But what about the method of restoring constitutional law? His solution is that we elect better people who are more honest and believe more in the constitution so that we can create better regulations. How? What makes next time different than the last hundred times? What have we been doing the last 100 years? People weren’t saying, “Oh, this guy Obama, he wipes his ass with the constitution every day after his morning cup of coffee. I think I’ll vote for that guy.” They believed that they were electing a good person who believes in the constitution and was going to push for better regulations. Bush’s believers thought the same thing about him, and on, and on. It has never worked in the past, why all of a sudden is it going to work now? This is not an informed logical solution to our problems.

    So then I asked myself, what are the solutions I am proposing to restore Constitutional Law to this country. This is what I came up with.

    The way I see it there are three ways to restore our constitutional rule of law.

    1. States can nullify the unconstitutional laws (as jefferson said, it is absurd to allow the federal courts to rule on if the federal government has overstepped its bounds. The state’s should have a say in what power’s they gave the federal government, as they originally created, delegated powers to, and allowed the federal government to exist. They are the federal government’s originators, and therefore should have the final check on federal powers). Tom Woods and the Tenth Amendment Center are two great resources for this type of action.

    2. Any federal officials who break their oath to the constitution or engage in unconstitutional powers of their position, like judges setting unconstitutional precedents, should be impeached.- This only works if the people demand it, so the more people we educate about the constitution, the better. Obviously both Bush and Obama would have been impeached by now, instead we get the Bill Clinton Blow Job circus as impeachment material. We have a lot of work to do.

    3. Disobey all unconstitutional orders, as a federal employee and if a federal employee asks you to comply as a citizen. Assert your natural rights en masse. I would add to this one only vote for people who join with the organization OathKeepers. The organization’s goal is to have people in office who keep their oaths to the Constitution.

    All of these solutions bring the power and authority back into the people’s hands and localize the issue more.

    1.State, county, and municipal governments can nullify.
    2.We can wage information campaigns on impeachable offices and actions (defying the constitution).
    3. Civil disobedience.

    This is about education and activism and as the movement grows it can have severe political implications for anyone holding a federal office that doesn’t follow constitutional law.

    So then, what are some of the things that are unconstitutional that we are talking about nullifying and impeaching people for? Well, obviously section 1021 of the ndaa. We have a right to trial. How about any executive agencies or executive orders that make laws? The constitution is explicit that only the legislative branch can make federal law. How about undeclared wars, torture and rendition programs, and guantanomo bay? How about no child left behind? The federal government has no constitutional basis for that.

    Just because there is a precedent for an unconstitutional activity, like undeclared war, doesn’t make it legal under our constitution, which I was taught is the supreme law of the land. Therefore we must organize, educate, and fight back on these federal encroachments.

    A good and short essay I found last night on Returning to a Constitutionally Limited Federal Government is here. I think you will like it, 3 minute read. http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/limited_government.htm

    But those 3 actions, nullification, civil disobedience, and impeaching unconstitutional federal players are real solutions that could have a real impact if organizations supporting constitutional law keep organizing and educating. Furthermore they restore power back to the people, instead of, “Let’s just elect better people.” That fully keeps the power back into the elected leader’s hands. What do you do when they lie and do all the things they campaigned against? “Uh, darn it. Well, we will just have to elect a better person next time. He is in power, nothing we can do now…”
    NO, impeach his ass. wage an information campaign. Force (by popular opinion, not by regulation) all people vying for office to sign an Oathkeeper pledge (needed because now vowing to uphold the constitution is so readily broken we need them to vow to that vow). Ask your local governments to nullify the offending laws! Educate, campaign, march, and demand they uphold their oath.

    So that is what I think, lol. We are a grassroots movement, but if we keep educating and growing one day we can have change the culture of our government, make them afraid of the people again… instead of being so absolutely unafraid that they tell the biggest bold-faced lies to the people, do the exact opposite, and expect people to continue to support them.

    This is a post I did on this topic a while back. I thought it was pretty good but it got no response. You might appreciate it though. http://revolutionation.org/2012/01/12/how-to-convince-a-liberal-with-the-socratic-method/

  153. My comment is awaiting moderation because of the links, so I took the link portion out, if interested you can just use a web search.

    “Some organizations I have found that are at ground zero working for these goals.
    tenthamendmentcenter
    oathkeepers
    TomWoods- wrote the book on nullification
    downsizedc

    Some good information resources I regularly visit
    glenn greenwald @ salon
    the dollar vigilante
    patriotslament.blogspot.
    lew rockwell
    tea party economist
    bastiat institute

    and if you want to learn more about foreign policy and the threats to us by iran, syria, or any other foreign news story, i cannot recommend highly enough the thoughtful analysis done by the ICH newsletter.
    informationclearinghouse

    Of course i get updates on every turley article in my inbox as well. : )

    Three cheers for liberty!

  154. “That is just funny, his belief in government’s capacity for good is unlimited.”

    Material misrepresentation.

    Also, regulation and decriminalization put bootleggers in general out of business. Capone specifically was put out of business by being found guilty of tax evasion and sent to prison.

    But you keep making shit up. It’s what you’re known for and best at.

  155. MM:

    Good luck with that. Most Americans just want to be left alone to raise a family and make a few bucks, they could care less about ideas.

    Most of us are frogs in that boiling pot.

    My congress critter voted for the NDAA and was proud of it. He should have been ashamed. They get up there and are treated like gods and it goes to their heads. They think they are supermen and above the law, they are almost universally full of shit.

  156. “Most Americans just want to be left alone to raise a family and make a few bucks, they could care less about ideas.” – Bron

    “[W]henever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.” – Thomas Jefferson

    The power in a democracy vests to the people. If the people allow their government to be abused and misused by usurpers, who is more to blame for the situation? The people who could care less about ideas or the bad actors they put in office due to their own ignorance? Or does the blame go at least in part to the propagandists who deceive and steer the ignorant? And who funds that propaganda and to what end if not profit?

  157. @ Gene,
    “Also, regulation and decriminalization put bootleggers in general out of business. Capone specifically was put out of business by being found guilty of tax evasion and sent to prison.”

    I am with you when you say decriminalization put bootleggers out of business, this is true, just like the Drug Cartels would disappear, along with their violent crime, if we legalized drugs.

    But I wouldn’t give the government any credit for the decriminalizaton that led to the end of bootlegging en masse because they are the ones that put them in business when they criminalized it.

    As far as regulations putting bootleggers out of business, I fail to see how. They were regulated when they became bootleggers! There was a government rule against bootlegging. That didn’t put them out of business, that boosted business. Even though the government was searching for them, fining them, destroying their property, and putting them in jail. Writing rules did not put bootleggers out of business, not even the enforcement of prohibition did. Legalization and the market put bootlegging out of fashion. Just like today and the drug war. We spend billions on the drug war enforcing the rules/laws/regulations of the drug wars. Has that put the drug cartels out of business? No. Will more or better regulation do it? NO! Would deregulation do it? Most assuredly.

  158. @ Bron, I am naturally a political person. Even if my actions had no hope, and I believe these do, I would still do them if I believed in them.

    @ Gene, I think the blame rests on the people. Evil always wants power and will take it and abuse it if it is allowed to be abused by the people. As Donald Rumsfeld would say, that is a “known-known.” That is why the people must check those in power and resist their propaganda. One must trust in the morality of their own hearts and pursue its truth with vigilance, not sit idly by. One must be skeptical of those in power’s intentions first and foremost. Sadly when they control what is taught to the majority of our children from 3k to post graduate and everything we hear and see outside of it, it will take a lot of effort to counterbalance. Luckily the message of liberty is one whose truths are self apparent and naturally accepted by those who hear the message. There is no lying or convincing necessary, just plain truth. It has a much more powerful message than that of the establishment, so even if there is less people pushing it (you won’t hear it on TV unless Ron Paul wins a primary and gets 10 minutes to talk) once you hear it, it is hard to ignore it. It lights a fire within the soul of those who had been searching for the truth all their lives but never found it. Once heard, you can’t put it back.

    I blame my father, my mother, my grandmother, (my earlier self) etc. Because they allowed this to happen. It is time to take it back. ( I love them, but we are all to blame, and like a cop will tell you, ignorance is no excuse).

  159. “As far as regulations putting bootleggers out of business, I fail to see how.”

    Because you fail to see the provision of a rational set of rules bringing order to a chaotic system. As rules approach zero in a system, chaos tends toward the maximum. In a black market, there is one rule and one mechanic: the product (or its provisional supply) is illegal, supply and demand governs everything else. It’s as close to the laissez-faire ideal as possible and look how well it has historically worked out. Again, the solution to malfunction in a system isn’t doing away with the rules. The solution is to get better rules and to make sure the rules are applied uniformly and, in the case of laws, maximize just outcomes. You yourself have admitted that laissez-faire economics is at best aspirational and not attainable in reality. Simply removing rules will only create more chaos. That the chaos (bad results) from black markets and under regulated or misregulated markets comes in differing forms does not negate that both states of being result in bad results. Dead from a turf war or dead from an adulterated product is still dead. Only removing rules is throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    The solution is better rules. While sometimes that will take the effect of removing rules that unbalance the playing field or prove irrational based on other public policy criteria, more often than not the solution is reformulation coupled with equal enforcement. Good rules wouldn’t lead to the result of the studies I’d previously shown Bron where smaller businesses pay a disproportionately higher relative operating costs. Good rules would ensure that all business not matter of size would either pay the same relative costs. That’s equitable and just. To decide as a matter of public policy to make rules where smaller businesses get the advantage on relative operating costs (the inverse of what we now have)? Is a public policy discussion and I think a fair one. If you’re going to advantage a business, it should be with an eye to fostering competition and inverting the current scenario would almost certainly encourage competition. That’s a valid discussion. But removing the rules? That won’t create a level playing field. That will create a playing field where the biggest dog eats the other ones even if he’s a bad dog who bites people too. Again, that scenario would simply turn the big businesses loose on the smaller ones in a predatory frenzy.

    This does not negate that free markets are not the best or indeed the only solution for every problem. Insisting that they are is an article of faith not borne out on the evidence. Both socialized systems and government granted monopolies have their place in society and the economy. The insistence that free markets are the only solution is as dumb as the insistence that a hammer is the only tool in a tool box. The Scandinavian countries have a blended socialist/free market economies and they have by far better weathered out the global economic downturn that either us or the rest of Europe. Bron knows I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: free markets are fine for 95% of the crap we make and sell each other as a species, but the remainder are either critical to human survival and/or critical to national security and have no business being left to the whims of both the free market mechanism and the inherently dangerous avarice that goes with the profit motive. Like health care insurance. Like an energy industry that uses graft to influence policy to the point that wars are started against countries that didn’t attack us so said industry can do some war profiteering. When building a healthy and robust society, profitability (let alone profitability to individuals or corporations) cannot be the driving factor in decision making. Some things that society needs to have done simply cost; their benefits either necessary no matter the cost or incapable of precise calculation because they are nebulous in nature. We should not exacerbate those costs or the problems created by diverting those monies to profits by allowing profiteers to skim off the top.

    Chaos doesn’t make better tools or better outcomes.

    Better design and deployment does.

  160. “You yourself have admitted that laissez-faire economics is at best aspirational and not attainable in reality. Simply removing rules will only create more chaos.”

    I did say the first sentence. You yourself agree that we should fight for our beliefs, even if they are unattainable. However, the second sentence is pulled out of thin air. I believe that people are more capable to govern themselves than you do. I don’t need regulations from faceless bureaucrats telling me to do all sorts of things. I am not regulated to leave the seat up for my wife. Manners exist without regulations. Most of the good things in this world are done without, or despite, the federal government.

    “That the chaos (bad results) from black markets and under regulated or misregulated markets comes in differing forms does not negate that both states of being result in bad results.”

    Yes, I agree, bad markets are chaotic. What causes black markets? government regulation. You have yet to provide any evidence of real world examples that chaos similar to that of black markets appears in free markets. I have provided example after example of showing deregulation getting rid of corruption and chaos in the market place.

    Since you seem so convinced that people are evil and will digress into a band of wild monkeys without a strong state, then tell me, who makes the rules in the federal government? The worst of the monkeys!!!

    I appreciate you taking the time to write all of that, but a free market is neither chaos nor an absence of rules, so you are arguing past me here, not against my position.

    A free market leans towards no government regulations so goods and services can be traded freely by free people. For instance, your example of how income tax put away Al Capone. (Surely you weren’t making the case that income tax regulations helped put bootleggers out of business because that would be like giving credit to income tax laws for putting, or not putting, out of business most marijuana dealers. It is irrelevant.) Most libertarians would likely argue against the income tax in a free market system. BUT, if there is an income tax in the system, then I would say a healthy debate among libertarians would be had over if it should be enforced. I would say that if there is going to be an income tax regulation in this country then it should be collected from everyone in a proper fashion.

    You keep mistakenly equating the free market with chaos and anarchy… I do think the solution would be for you to (re)read Von Mises.

    Or at least consider the use of the words “minimal government” in the definition of laissez-faire economics.

    Real world examples: Alcohol prohibition of the 20’s = over regulated state, book sellers of today = laissez faire.

    The chaos of prohibition was not created by free people freely trading, it was created by too much government regulation.

    I believe that society can function without too much government, that people will do the right thing most of the time. I really do. I believe that most people do have a conscience, so in a free society most people would do unto others as they would have done to themselves, and would strive to do no harm. In a system that allows a few to control the many, then that just invites for the worst of society, those who are power hungry and want to hurt others, to get to the top and wreak havoc.

  161. “Good rules wouldn’t lead to the result of the studies I’d previously shown Bron where smaller businesses pay a disproportionately higher relative operating costs. Good rules would ensure that all business not matter of size would either pay the same relative costs. That’s equitable and just. To decide as a matter of public policy to make rules where smaller businesses get the advantage on relative operating costs (the inverse of what we now have)? Is a public policy discussion and I think a fair one. If you’re going to advantage a business, it should be with an eye to fostering competition and inverting the current scenario would almost certainly encourage competition. That’s a valid discussion. But removing the rules? That won’t create a level playing field. That will create a playing field where the biggest dog eats the other ones even if he’s a bad dog who bites people too. Again, that scenario would simply turn the big businesses loose on the smaller ones in a predatory frenzy.”

    -But the same bad people are making the rules, and the biggest businesses with the most money are always going to find their way into the rulemaking process and privilege themselves against their competition as long as rules are allowed to interfere with their businesses and the marketplace. Power corrupts, money talks, and unskilled bureaucrats can always be bought off by highly skilled and wealthy interests. Some would argue that is the main reason unskilled people go into the bureaucracy, to profit.

    But back to this example, smaller businesses must pay higher relative operating costs because they cannot buy their input products in mass. Are you suggesting government get involved to change this? That is part of business. As the small business gets larger, it can order more bulk items and save money over time. This area should have nothing to do with the government. I am a small business owner and I deal with this. No I cannot compete by making the cheapest widgets, but I can make my widgets better, more quality, and more diverse than the low cost high production widget makers. But how would you change this? Would you force someone who sells inputs to make widgets to everyone at the same price? That would not be fair to him, because it costs more for him to manufacture and ship individual inputs than it does to do many at once.

    “But removing the rules? That won’t create a level playing field. That will create a playing field where the biggest dog eats the other ones even if he’s a bad dog who bites people too.”

    -No, it wouldn’t. That just means the little dogs need to do something different or improve upon their products so that they offer something better or different than the big dogs’ product. If there are no rules (besides of course right to property and life- it is still against the law to kill the little dog or burn down his business– this isn’t prohibition : ). If there are no rules then the big dog can not create artificially low costs for himself by writing the rules, cannot subsidize his own inputs, cannot get tax write-offs that allow him to overly outcompete his smaller competitors, and cannot force regulations that are expensive to comply with that only he can afford to get rid of his competition. The little dog, as long as he finds that people like his products, can keep competing, happily eating away at the big dog’s portion of the pie of the market share until he reaches the age of 10 (elderly in doggie years). There is nothing the big dog can do about it except try to out compete. He may try to improve his products like the little dogs, but then his costs will go up, and nothing says the little dog can’t also change up his stuff.

    A great book I am looking into right now is entitled “Economics in One Lesson,” By Henry Hazlit. Might I recommend it to you without him or me being called an idiot?

  162. “but the remainder are either critical to human survival and/or critical to national security and have no business being left to the whims of both the free market ”

    Here i will agree with you, so what fits into that category? Regulating the manufacture of widgets? Nope. A well regulated militia? I could debate that, but I’d rather just throw it into the government camp. Our court system? Absolutely. That about covers it. See, we need constitutional law. But to get there, we must deregulate almost every aspect of our lives, from no child left behind, to section 1021 of the NDAA, to marijuana prohibition, etc. Or, if you want marijuana to be prohibited then you should move to a state or municipality that has that law on its books (though obviously people will still be smoking), but that has no constitutional business being regulated at the federal level.

  163. You should really learn what a period is and how punctuation works. You should also work on that false equivalency thing. Manners are not laws.

    “You have yet to provide any evidence of real world examples that chaos similar to that of black markets appears in free markets”

    1929 and the events leading to the current situation with CDS. The first was mostly caused by no regulations requiring banks to have adequate capitalization and the second largely by the removal of the restrictions formerly found in the Glass-Steagall Act.

    “Since you seem so convinced that people are evil and will digress into a band of wild monkeys without a strong state, then tell me, who makes the rules in the federal government?”

    Not all people are evil and will digress into a band of wild monkeys without a strong state, but the ones that are and will can do enough damage to both individuals and society as a whole to merit having a government strong enough to protect good actors when possible and punish bad actors when possible. In a true democracy, the people make the rules. We will always make the rules. Law shapes society. Laws are made by people for people just as much as a toaster is. That humans are imperfect is irrelevant to their ability to engineer systems with greater or lesser degrees of perfection. Your question is infantile and unrealistic. Who else is going to make the laws required to keep peace and pursue justice? Machines? Dogs? Carrot cakes?

    “I appreciate you taking the time to write all of that, but a free market is neither chaos nor an absence of rules, so you are arguing past me here, not against my position.”

    You still miss the point that entropy increases and rules (or any guiding structure) are the opposite of entropy. They provide order to chaos. Less rules (guides) makes for more chaos when entropy increases. That’s just math. Good luck changing that.

    “You keep mistakenly equating the free market with chaos and anarchy… I do think the solution would be for you to (re)read Von Mises.”

    I think the solution would be for you to read some science; specifically concerning entropy, complex systems and chaos theory. The mistake here is entirely yours and von Mises. You clearly don’t understand what I mean when I say chaos and he certainly didn’t.

    “A free market leans towards no government regulations so goods and services can be traded freely by free people. For instance, your example of how income tax put away Al Capone. (Surely you weren’t making the case that income tax regulations helped put bootleggers out of business because that would be like giving credit to income tax laws for putting, or not putting, out of business most marijuana dealers. It is irrelevant.)”

    Al Capone specifically was stopped by income tax. That is what put him out of business. Regulation of the manufacture and distribution of alcohol is what put bootleggers out of business by providing a stable environment and guidelines for free trade. “Free” doesn’t mean free to do whatever the fuck you like, but that’s a point almost no Libertarian understands. With rules in place, legitimate businessmen could move into the market sector and simply out compete the organized crime element who were unable to avail themselves of legal remedy for disputes or traditional sources of capital and faced diminishing returns with no reduction of risk.

    “Most libertarians would likely argue against the income tax in a free market system. BUT, if there is an income tax in the system, then I would say a healthy debate among libertarians would be had over if it should be enforced. I would say that if there is going to be an income tax regulation in this country then it should be collected from everyone in a proper fashion.”

    Tax policy is a different discussion. As long as you don’t buy into the Rothbard nonsense that taxation is theft and realize that taxation is simply required to operate any form of government and society, we might have something in common to discuss. My point was in Capone’s specific case, he was stopped by tax laws, hard and fast. His surviving competition were slowly choked out by legal manufactures.

    “Real world examples: Alcohol prohibition of the 20′s = over regulated state, book sellers of today = laissez faire.”

    You’re still missing the point about rules and complexity and you’re engaging in selective reading and false equivalence. No one ever died from drinking an adulterated books. Like I said, for many things, free markets are fine. For some, they are a recipe for disaster.

    “The chaos of prohibition was not created by free people freely trading, it was created by too much government regulation.”

    The chaos of prohibition was created by people competing without constraints. Again, that the particular manifestations of chaos in a black market and a laissez-faire market are different is irrelevant to their both being bad results and those results stemming from unchecked competition. Fair competition is not the same thing as unchecked competition. Rules are required to define fairness and instill systemic restraints. Take Greenspan for example. He personally thinks fraud is fair because the “market will correct it” and he’ll eventually go out of business if he engages in it. I think if he committed fraud against me and I had no legal recourse to get my money back, I’d beat it out him and that would be perfectly fair. Starting to see the problem without having rules yet? Justice requires equity. Equity requires fairness. It needs to be defined by the law and encouraged by regulation, backed by enforcement. And before your start in about force, laws without enforcement are suggestions and just about as useful when it comes to bad acts and bad actors.

    “I believe that society can function without too much government, that people will do the right thing most of the time. I really do. I believe that most people do have a conscience, so in a free society most people would do unto others as they would have done to themselves, and would strive to do no harm.”

    Despite the fact that all of human history shows this to be a fantasy? Good for you! One of the mutually derived benefits from government and the social compact is protection from self-predation. That most people are decent has nothing to do with preventing to the extent possible bad acts by and punishing bad acts by those who are evil.

    “In a system that allows a few to control the many, then that just invites for the worst of society, those who are power hungry and want to hurt others, to get to the top and wreak havoc.”

    Yes. Oligarchy is bad. That’s why were supposed to have a democracy. We don’t now because we have corporatism, which is another form of oligarchy. Corporatism bought and paid for by big business interests like the Koch Brothers and ALEC. Corporatism bought and paid for by businessmen who want to be above the law and when they can’t manage that, they want to write the law. We won’t have democracy under a Libertarian or laissez-faire system either. We’ll have more oligarchy. Laissez-faire economics is freedom from oversight and the threat of legal retribution for business without the cost of graft. The only way to prevent the tyranny of the strong over the weak is to have a government where power vests in the people and protects the weak equally to protecting the strong. If the system is creating oligarchy, then you change the system to restore egalitarian democracy. You don’t further remove the restraints on those currently responsible for oligarchy. Extra-legal and ultra-legal have the same net effect.

    “-But the same bad people are making the rules, and the biggest businesses with the most money are always going to find their way into the rulemaking process and privilege themselves against their competition as long as rules are allowed to interfere with their businesses and the marketplace.”

    That specious reasoning and sounds a lot like blackmail.

    “We won’t corrupt your government to our ends if you just let us do what we want in the first place.”

    Screw that. The bad guys win when We the People let them win. As I said, my primary concern is justice which means bad guys get the finger.

    “Power corrupts, money talks, and unskilled bureaucrats can always be bought off by highly skilled and wealthy interests. Some would argue that is the main reason unskilled people go into the bureaucracy, to profit.”

    Some people would argue that buying influence is the main reason sociopaths and the generally amoral go into big business; profit. Profit comes in other forms beside cash you know. Buying influence? You solve that problem by putting the grafting businessmen in prison and taking all their money and assets when their caught doing it. And I do mean all. They should walk out of prison without a dime. Same goes for those peddling influence too. Both parties should spend 30 years turning big rocks into small rocks and leave the big house penniless. Graft would loose its appeal real quick under those circumstances.

    “But back to this example, smaller businesses must pay higher relative operating costs because they cannot buy their input products in mass. Are you suggesting government get involved to change this? That is part of business.”

    No. I’m not talking about economies of scale. The studies were concerned with licensing and regulatory compliance costs being unfairly shifted to the smaller competitors. Anti-competitive laws bought and paid for by big industry. Again, a result of graft.

    Campaign finance, lobby and criminal law reform are the way to fix the root of that problem too.

    I’ve already covered the rest of your post in one form or another.

  164. “Here i will agree with you, so what fits into that category? Regulating the manufacture of widgets? Nope. A well regulated militia? I could debate that, but I’d rather just throw it into the government camp. Our court system? Absolutely. That about covers it. See, we need constitutional law. But to get there, we must deregulate almost every aspect of our lives, from no child left behind, to section 1021 of the NDAA, to marijuana prohibition, etc. Or, if you want marijuana to be prohibited then you should move to a state or municipality that has that law on its books (though obviously people will still be smoking), but that has no constitutional business being regulated at the federal level.”

    Too bad for you that you don’t understand Constitutional law as evidenced by your complete misunderstanding of the 10th Amendment and Commerce Clause in that statement.

  165. “Too bad for you that you don’t understand Constitutional law as evidenced by your complete misunderstanding of the 10th Amendment and Commerce Clause in that statement.”

    -I know many people that would disagree with you there. Specifically with what you are implying your interpretation of the tenth amendment to be.
    http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2011/11/18/new-10th-amendment-lawsuits-against-feds-filed-in-california/

    “Buying influence? You solve that problem by putting the grifting businessmen in prison and taking all their money and assets when their caught doing it. And I do mean all.”

    -But how do we get them all? Were the Feds able to get all the bootleggers? How are they doing with the drug lords of today? And those are just the easy ones to point out, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I guess we could also add How G.E. got subsidized more than it paid in taxes last year, the knowledge that the many large companies spend more on lobbying than in taxes, and the massive corporate welfare that has gone on the last 4 years in general as examples of grifters roaming wild and free using mechanisms in government to get filthy wealthy at our expense. In reality you put one grifting businessman in jail and 3 more fight to take his place. Better to eliminate the mechanism that allows grift within the system. Ala subsidies for one.
    Again, check out The Capture Theory of Regulation.

    “Free” doesn’t mean free to do whatever the fuck you like, but that’s a point almost no Libertarian understands. With rules in place, legitimate businessmen could move into the market sector and simply out compete the organized crime element who were unable to avail themselves of legal remedy for disputes or traditional sources of capital and faced diminishing returns with no reduction of risk.”

    -I don’t see what we are arguing about. You basically just defined the free market. It indeed does not mean “do whatever the fuck you like.” Like kill people. It does not allow for the killing of people. It does allow for almost anything to be bought, sold, and produced. Almost. Slavery is still illegal. Can’t sell people. Or buy them. I guess you can still produce them….

  166. “Or, if you want marijuana to be prohibited then you should move to a state or municipality that has that law on its books (though obviously people will still be smoking), but that has no constitutional business being regulated at the federal level.”

    Too bad for you that you don’t understand Constitutional law as evidenced by your complete misunderstanding of the 10th Amendment and Commerce Clause in that statement.”

    As far as the commerce clause goes, it was established for this purpose (your words): “Free” doesn’t mean free to do whatever the fuck you like, but that’s a point almost no Libertarian understands. With rules in place, legitimate businessmen could move into the market sector and simply out compete the organized crime element who were unable to avail themselves of legal remedy for disputes or traditional sources of capital and faced diminishing returns with no reduction of risk.”

    It was not established to prohibit goods and services from coming to the market, and it absolutely was not written so that goods and services, such as marijuana, that are produced and sold within the confines of one state (not crossing state borders) could be regulated. Absolute hogwash. Here is a precedent for that. When the women and the christians wanted to implement alcohol prohibition (mainly to punish the immigrants) they got an amendment passed. They DID not cite the Commerce clause and simply get a law passed.

  167. “-But how do we get them all? ”

    Perfection is not a requisite.

    Also, you’ve mistaken me for somebody who is for prohibition of marijuana or any naturally occurring drug. My reasons for being against prohibition though are much simpler than State’s Rights (which Libertarians still have a fantasy understanding of): human nature and the idea ownership of your own body. You should be able to ingest anything you like as long as you understand the risks (informed consent). I also don’t think suicide or prostitution should be criminalized either although I draw the line at organ selling. Organ selling should be illegal for other very valid public policy reasons. The social damage caused by drugs – including alcohol and tobacco – are not mitigated by a legal solution because they aren’t a legal problem. They are a medical problem. Just so, if prostitution were decriminalized, it would need regulation in the form of mandatory health screenings and the like to deal with STDs. Drug abuse is best addressed by education (paid for by taxation) and mitigation of damages through quality control (which no distributor or processor will implement without regulation if it cuts into their profits).

    This is a distinct issue from product liability, other torts, and the regulation of business practices.

    “-I don’t see what we are arguing about. You basically just defined the free market. It indeed does not mean “do whatever the fuck you like.” Like kill people. It does not allow for the killing of people. It does allow for almost anything to be bought, sold, and produced. Almost. Slavery is still illegal. Can’t sell people. Or buy them. I guess you can still produce them…”

    So stop arguing. The bottom line is that the market doesn’t create and enforce remedies for things like killing people. The law and government does. The idea that the market provides just outcomes? What you’ve just said is as delusional as Greenspan’s fraud statement. The business of government is justice (among other things as spelled out by our Constitution as informed by the Declaration). The business of business is profits.

  168. From earlier: “Some people would argue that buying influence is the main reason sociopaths and the generally amoral go into big business; profit.”

    — Influence who? How? Sure, a lobbyist for a corporation is going to make more than an accountant as the corporations are much more willing to spend money on lobbying because they can buy themselves lower taxes, beneficial regulations that drive out competition, and subsidies instead of just paying taxes! But that is influencing government who are regulating things they shouldn’t be involved with, like fucking farm subsidies, marijuana prohibition, corporate bailouts, tax breaks, regulations that kill small business (their competition), etc! If government quit trying to help me compete and just let me compete I would be doing a lot better. Every time they try to help me they end up fucking me harder. I don’t want their help!

    Also from earlier: “Laissez-faire economics is freedom from oversight and the threat of legal retribution…”

    – What is wrong with freedom from oversight and the threat of legal retribution…UNLESS you harm someone else or their property? Why do brewer’s need government licenses? If they make bad product, no one will buy it, but if they harm someone, they are not free from legal retribution. You aren’t allowed to hurt people in a free market!

    “Laissez-faire economics is freedom from oversight and the threat of legal retribution for business without the cost of graft.”
    – Do you mean grift? But what can they grift but their own business earnings? They are not allowed to steal from others by themselves still. But they also cannot use someone else’s force to steal from their competitors by lobbying the government for high licensing fees, high cost equipment (to make things healthier or some other blather) etc etc. The only thing they have the opportunity to steal from is their own pocket.

    “My reasons for being against prohibition though are much simpler than State’s Rights (which Libertarians still have a fantasy understanding of): human nature and the idea ownership of your own body. You should be able to ingest anything you like as long as you understand the risks (informed consent). I also don’t think suicide or prostitution should be criminalized either”

    -Dude, I don’t know what libertarians you have been debating or reading in the past, but most libertarian scholars start off with the fact that our rights are natural born and come from our creator, not from government. (Try Bastiat’s “The Law”, also in The Declaration) That is the philosophical underpinning for allowing people to make their own choices concerning their bodies, because we believe we own our bodies, not the state, and as long as we do not harm anyone else or their property we are free to do as we please. The fact that national prohibition is unconstitutional just adds to the fact that it is wrong. And if a government exists that claims the right to restrict personal choice, then it is better for it to be constitutional, even if it restricts personal liberty. It is also a legal mechanism to push for more personal freedom, see advocacy.

    “The social damage caused by drugs – including alcohol and tobacco – are not mitigated by a legal solution because they aren’t a legal problem. They are a medical problem.”

    – I could not agree more.

    “Just so, if prostitution were decriminalized, it would need regulation in the form of mandatory health screenings and the like to deal with STDs. Drug abuse is best addressed by education (paid for by taxation) and mitigation of damages through quality control (which no distributor or processor will implement without regulation if it cuts into their profits).”

    -I disagree. I believe that drug abusers need help, and I believe that charity and religious organizations would fill this gap better. Rather than using force to take money away from non-abusers and give it to the abusers I think it is always better to allow people to donate money themselves, otherwise you are infringing on their own personal liberty. Furthermore, help for drug abuse is hardly necessary for the protection of life, liberty, or property. And the government has an extremely poor record on helping out the drug abusers: mandatory minimums, imprisoning for life, hooking them on methodone, etc. Why should a drug abuser trust them now? As a Christian I know that Jesus would want me to help those who have problems. Just like he visited with beggars and washed the feet of prostitutes, I too believe in helping those who struggle. Taking my money from me involuntarily to help others is theft though, and most of it goes towards bombing brown people in other countries anyway. Why do you trust them to do the right thing with my money tomorrow after all the evil they have done the last 100 years? Furhtermore, we are eliminating the goodwill part of society by placing the burden on government to take care of the least among us the personal responsibility and natural good will that occurs in a society is being destroyed. All that to say this. If the government miraculously changed its tune about imprisoning the most people in the world for non-violent crime then I would absolutely support some form of state funding for drug abusers. Not because I truly believe it will actually have a positive result, I don’t, I think charities do a better job than social workers, but because I believe in compromise, and there are bigger fish to fry than that. The costs of treatment compared to imprisonment are minuscule as well, it is an easy place to compromise.

    “So stop arguing. The bottom line is that the market doesn’t create and enforce remedies for things like killing people. The law and government does. The idea that the market provides just outcomes? What you’ve just said is as delusional as Greenspan’s fraud statement. The business of government is justice (among other things as spelled out by our Constitution as informed by the Declaration). The business of business is profits.”

    – I will if you will : )

    Yes, I know, but again, the free market is not without rules. It is an economic system, not a form of government. I believe the form of government in the real world that suits the free market best is a constitutional republic with our own constitution. Yes, murder is a crime. No, I don’t have to buy government licenses or endure government inspections for my business. If my quality drops, the consumers will notice and my competitors will put me on the street. If my product harms someone, I can be sued and lose my business that way, or even be put in jail. No, I do not have to compete with bigger businesses who have lobbied themselves a shit ton of government subsidies to help themselves outcompete me. Yes, I cannot take a gun and shoot my competitor in the head… The free market is an economic system, it can operate within a government system that supports it.

  169. “– Influence who? How? Sure, a lobbyist for a corporation is going to make more than an accountant as the corporations are much more willing to spend money on lobbying because they can buy themselves lower taxes, beneficial regulations that drive out competition, and subsidies instead of just paying taxes! But that is influencing government who are regulating things they shouldn’t be involved with, like fucking farm subsidies, marijuana prohibition, corporate bailouts, tax breaks, regulations that kill small business (their competition), etc!”

    Just like Bron, you are incapable of understanding that graft and bribery are crimes that by their very definition require at least two parties. You’re never going to get rid of government or regulation. You’re never going to get rid of businessmen willing to bribe to avoid regulation or shape to their ends. The solution is to make it a risk averse proposition to try to buy or sell influence.

    “Do you mean grift? But what can they grift but their own business earnings? They are not allowed to steal from others by themselves still. But they also cannot use someone else’s force to steal from their competitors by lobbying the government for high licensing fees, high cost equipment (to make things healthier or some other blather) etc etc. The only thing they have the opportunity to steal from is their own pocket.”

    No, I mean graft. For someone allegedly concerned with influence peddling you don’t seem to know anything about it. Graft is (as a noun) practices, but especially bribery, used to secure illicit gains in politics or business; corruption. As a verb it is to make money by shady or dishonest means.

    “If government quit trying to help me compete and just let me compete I would be doing a lot better. Every time they try to help me they end up fucking me harder. I don’t want their help!”

    If you don’t want legal recourse, don’t go to court. Every time some guy bigger than you screws you over, just suck it up, buttercup.

    “- What is wrong with freedom from oversight and the threat of legal retribution…UNLESS you harm someone else or their property? Why do brewer’s need government licenses? If they make bad product, no one will buy it, but if they harm someone, they are not free from legal retribution. You aren’t allowed to hurt people in a free market!”

    If a brewer makes can’t pass inspection, he can’t sell his goods. The reason for this is that minimum standards are required when making consumable products to prevent deaths before they occur. Deterrence of crimes or torts by regulation is just a valid reason for laws as defining crimes crimes and torts proper. Your solution is to let people die and then sue. How very humanitarian of you.

    “-I disagree. I believe that drug abusers need help, and I believe that charity and religious organizations would fill this gap better. Rather than using force to take money away from non-abusers and give it to the abusers I think it is always better to allow people to donate money themselves, otherwise you are infringing on their own personal liberty.”

    Your bad assumption – just one among many – is that I’d advocate using tax funds generated for this purpose from anything other than “sin” taxes; paid by the substance users themselves.

    “Furthermore, help for drug abuse is hardly necessary for the protection of life, liberty, or property.”

    Except to act to prevent or deter all that crime done in the name of drug addiction; from homicide to theft.

    “And the government has an extremely poor record on helping out the drug abusers: mandatory minimums, imprisoning for life, hooking them on methodone, etc. Why should a drug abuser trust them now?”

    That’s because up to this point they’ve treated drug abuse as a crime problem instead of a public health problem.

    “As a Christian I know that Jesus would want me to help those who have problems. Just like he visited with beggars and washed the feet of prostitutes, I too believe in helping those who struggle.”

    Too bad for you not everyone is a Christian, you’re prohibited from forcing your Christianity on others by the force of law and our governments provision of public social services (which can be paid for by tax dollar) in pursuit of of the general welfare of society – and they must be presented in a secular and egalitarian manner – is both defined as the purpose of government and required to take that form by the Constitution. If you want to give to charity? I encourage you to do so. That doesn’t mean that government isn’t in the public health business, because it is and it is by the terms of the Constitution. Unless, of course, next time there is an epidemic, you want the Salvation Army to take care of the quarantines instead of the National Guard and take the lead on finding a cure instead of the CDC. And if the SA, in their Christian magnificence, decides they don’t want to take care of Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or homosexuals, that’d just be dandy, wouldn’t it?

    “Taking my money from me involuntarily to help others is theft though,”

    Rothbard nonsense. Taxes are not only not theft, they are required to make any form of government function and have been since forever. Rothbard didn’t have a clue as to how social compacts work and social compacts are the very basis of every form of government. In addition, in the United States taxing and spending are Constitutionally defined powers. You are free to leave at any time is you don’t like paying them. Just be prepared to pay taxes wherever you land. Because they’ll have them there if there is a government.

    “and most of it goes towards bombing brown people in other countries anyway.”

    If you disagree with how taxes are spent, try to get that changed or leave the country and quit paying taxes.

    “Why do you trust them to do the right thing with my money tomorrow after all the evil they have done the last 100 years?”

    Your assumption is again bad. I don’t trust the government. As a citizen in a democracy it is my duty to watch what they do and fight them when they do wrong.

    “Furhtermore, we are eliminating the goodwill part of society by placing the burden on government to take care of the least among us the personal responsibility and natural good will that occurs in a society is being destroyed.”

    Bullshit. Private charities are running stronger than ever and Americans have a very good track record of funding them in good times and bad. And all that’s despite having public assistance programs in various forms in place for many years now. Using tax monies to do social good doesn’t stop private citizens from doing social good. Imagine that.

    “All that to say this. If the government miraculously changed its tune about imprisoning the most people in the world for non-violent crime then I would absolutely support some form of state funding for drug abusers.”

    Who said anything about funding abusers? That’d be you. I said fund treatment instead of propping up the prison industrial complex with laws designed to keep their beds full and do nothing to mitigate the societal damage of drug use (indeed these policies exacerbate the problem).

    “Not because I truly believe it will actually have a positive result, I don’t, I think charities do a better job than social workers, but because I believe in compromise, and there are bigger fish to fry than that.”

    And that’s nothing but opinion.

    “The costs of treatment compared to imprisonment are minuscule as well, it is an easy place to compromise.”

    And that cost savings is realized by government as well and even better than by private industry. Government doesn’t have a profit motive. That doesn’t mean We the People shouldn’t be interested in efficient provision of government services, only that there is no need to skim money from budgets to enhance profitability for either bonuses or to meet shareholder expectations.

    Libertarianism may be a nice dream. I even understand the attraction of some parts of it given the current level of dysfunction in our government. But it is a dream nonetheless. The solution to governmental dysfunction – short of situations meriting rebellion – isn’t to do away with government and replace it with private industry. That is what Mike S. likes to call (rightfully so) Corporate Feudalism; a sort of mild fascism and exactly the sort of fascism that would result if Austrian School and Libertarian ideals were put into practice on a state level. The Libertarian party is just as much about influence peddling as any other party. Partisan politics is a joke, no matter what the name of the party. “I’m only going to use the red tool box!” “No! I’m only going to use the blue tool box!” “No! I’m only going to use the gold tool box!” Screw that. I’m going to use whatever tool works to render the most benefit to the most people. Relegating civil rights to the states and privatizing social services – both large components of the Libertarian platform – isn’t going to help anyone but the profiteers and it would only harm a lot of people. Removing regulation just for the sake of removing it on the pitifully bad presumption that markets are a mechanism for justice isn’t going to help anyone but profiteers and its will only harm a lot of people. If you’re so concerned about the brown people and the sick people and people getting harmed, you’d realize that.

    I’m a progressive. I want to make government work for We the People. I don’t have a party. That I’m a liberal is secondary (or tertiary) to this fact.

    In a democracy, the solution to dysfunction is bolstering democracy to ensure that the government is working for all people, not just the oligarchy of influence peddlers. You put those people in prison, strip their assets and restore government’s responsibility to represent the best interests of all the people. That’s the first step to making government work better.

  170. “You’re never going to get rid of businessmen willing to bribe to avoid regulation or shape to their ends. The solution is to make it a risk averse proposition to try to buy or sell influence.”

    -I could also say, “You are never going to get regulations that aren’t influenced and controlled by the very same people you are trying to benefit, essentially writing legislation to their own benefit and expense of everyone else,” but that doesn’t stop you from trying. I would rather focus on freedom, which is beneficial to everyone, than trying to thread the impossible needle of perfect regulation.

    “f you don’t want legal recourse, don’t go to court. Every time some guy bigger than you screws you over, just suck it up, buttercup.”

    -I currently cannot do that because the way bigger businesses screw me over is by having the government do their bidding. I have to appeal to the government. If they did it themselves it would be much easier to take them to court.

    “If a brewer makes can’t pass inspection, he can’t sell his goods. The reason for this is that minimum standards are required when making consumable products to prevent deaths before they occur. Deterrence of crimes or torts by regulation is just a valid reason for laws as defining crimes crimes and torts proper. Your solution is to let people die and then sue. How very humanitarian of you.”

    -People die everyday under government regulations. Government is notorious for its substandard quality and business practices. It is infamous for waste, corruption, bloated bureaucracies, and graft. Anyway, without licensing requirements it is still against the law to kill or hurt others. If you or your product does that and it is proven in court, you go to jail for life. What more deterrence could you want?

    “Too bad for you not everyone is a Christian, you’re prohibited from forcing your Christianity on others by the force of law and our governments provision of public social services (which can be paid for by tax dollar) in pursuit of of the general welfare of society – and they must be presented in a secular and egalitarian manner – is both defined as the purpose of government and required to take that form by the Constitution.”

    – Ahh, so I can’t force my Christian beliefs on people to give to charity if I talk about Jesus, but I can force my Christian beliefs on people to give to charity if I don’t talk about Jesus. ?

    1. I don’t want to force my religious beliefs on anyone. Nor do I want to force my morals on anyone through government, except don’t kill and don’t harm others.

    2. SO how is it okay then to force my morals of giving to charity on others? I’m totally lost on this one.

    “Don’t talk about Jesus, but make them give to charity. It’s in the constitution.”

    “If you want to give to charity?”

    – I do

    “That doesn’t mean that government isn’t in the public health business”

    -It shoudn’t be.

    “Unless, of course, next time there is an epidemic, you want the Salvation Army to take care of the quarantines instead of the National Guard”

    -That is a legitimate service of government in a national disaster situation. You cannot use that to justify any form of government involvement in medical treatment.

    “You are free to leave at any time is you don’t like paying them.”

    “If you disagree with how taxes are spent, try to get that changed or leave the country and quit paying taxes.”

    -Somehow I expected more from you than the argument, “if ya don’t like it here, GIT OUT!” I once heard that asked of Ralph Nader (Why don’t you leave) during a question and answer after a really good speech, to much applause. I thought it disgusting then and disgusting now. His answer was that his mother taught him to try to make things better where he sees problems, not run away from them. I agreed.

    “The solution to governmental dysfunction – short of situations meriting rebellion – isn’t to do away with government and replace it with private industry. That is what Mike S. likes to call (rightfully so) Corporate Feudalism; a sort of mild fascism”

    -Yes, that would be fascism. Good thing libertarians believe in the rule of law, and having the rule of law governed over by an actual government, as outlined by the Constitution. If you would like to learn more about what are positions really are, not what is currently in your head, I’d recommend reading a couple of books.

    “and exactly the sort of fascism that would result if Austrian School and Libertarian ideals were put into practice on a state level. ”

    -No it wouldn’t. You don’t seem to know what “libertarian ideals,” are. Rule of law is pretty high on the list.

    “In a democracy, the solution to dysfunction is bolstering democracy to ensure that the government is working for all people, not just the oligarchy of influence peddlers. You put those people in prison, strip their assets and restore government’s responsibility to represent the best interests of all the people. That’s the first step to making government work better.”

    -Good luck. It seems to me that Jon Corzine feels pretty safe and snug here in America under our current system.

    Might I suggest: First repealing all unconstitutional federal laws and allowing all criminals who did not harm others or others’ property (including stealing it) amnesty (I’m a radical, I know). Furthermore, requiring the president to stop all uses of undeclared force around the world? Third, impeaching the president for ordering the murder of American citizens who he forbade their right to trial?

  171. “-I could also say, “You are never going to get regulations that aren’t influenced and controlled by the very same people you are trying to benefit, essentially writing legislation to their own benefit and expense of everyone else,” but that doesn’t stop you from trying. I would rather focus on freedom, which is beneficial to everyone, than trying to thread the impossible needle of perfect regulation.”

    Specious reasoning. If you make the penalty severe enough, you’ll remove the enough of the graft from the system to get better than nominal function. Again, perfection is your standard on this issue, not mine.

    “-I currently cannot do that because the way bigger businesses screw me over is by having the government do their bidding. I have to appeal to the government. If they did it themselves it would be much easier to take them to court.”

    Easy has nothing to do with it. That’s why lawyers are highly trained specialists. And if you can prove collusion? Sue the government too.

    “-People die everyday under government regulations.”

    Again, a presupposition of perfection is being made by you.

    “Government is notorious for its substandard quality and business practices. It is infamous for waste, corruption, bloated bureaucracies, and graft.”

    Specious reasoning. Government isn’t business. Also a false equivalence. of all the inefficiencies you named, only one – bloat, is not directly related to monied interests interferring with the proper function of government. Corruption and graft requires a minimum of two parties.

    “Anyway, without licensing requirements it is still against the law to kill or hurt others. If you or your product does that and it is proven in court, you go to jail for life. What more deterrence could you want?”

    Apparently you don’t understand tort law either. Torts don’t provide jail time as penalties. You also apparently don’t care about a few people dying so some nozzle can bolster their profits by cutting corners in the first place instead of having to do the right thing from the get go.

    “- Ahh, so I can’t force my Christian beliefs on people to give to charity if I talk about Jesus, but I can force my Christian beliefs on people to give to charity if I don’t talk about Jesus. ?

    1. I don’t want to force my religious beliefs on anyone. Nor do I want to force my morals on anyone through government, except don’t kill and don’t harm others.”

    Then why bring up Jesus at all. He’s irrelevant to this conversation. We have a secular government.

    “2. SO how is it okay then to force my morals of giving to charity on others? I’m totally lost on this one.”

    Charity and programs by the government to promote the general welfare are not the same thing even if they share a common goal. One is a voluntary function, the other is a defined purpose of government that may be paid for with tax dollars (which again are not theft no matter what Rothbard said).

    “’Don’t talk about Jesus, but make them give to charity. It’s in the constitution.’

    ‘If you want to give to charity?’

    – I do”

    Good for you! However, charity isn’t enough. It also still doesn’t preclude the collection of taxes and spending those taxes in the pursuit of promoting the general welfare.

    “That doesn’t mean that government isn’t in the public health business”

    -It shoudn’t be.”

    Then you shouldn’t have said . . .

    “-That is a legitimate service of government in a national disaster situation. You cannot use that to justify any form of government involvement in medical treatment.”

    Because, yeah, you can justify government involvement in public health issue. None of you Libertarians can apparently distinguish between public health, health care, health care providers and health care insurance. For profit health care insurance is a parasite that draws its profits from denying coverage. This means people die so some schmuck can get his bonus. So unless you think that’s fair, that makes providing government involvement in providing universal health care insurance not only a valid public health concern but a necessary one as well. Just so, regulating use of toxins in products is a valid public health concern too. As is food safety. And water safety.

    “-Somehow I expected more from you than the argument, “if ya don’t like it here, GIT OUT!” I once heard that asked of Ralph Nader (Why don’t you leave) during a question and answer after a really good speech, to much applause. I thought it disgusting then and disgusting now. His answer was that his mother taught him to try to make things better where he sees problems, not run away from them. I agreed.”

    I don’t give a damn what you think is disguising. You obviously don’t understand social compacts in general let alone ours as defined by the Declaration and the Constitution if you don’t realize your participation in American society is entirely voluntary once you reach the age of alienation. If you have a problem with paying taxes here and the way they are spent? You are indeed free to leave. People in countries like North Korea don’t have that option. They have to sneak out or die trying.

    “-Yes, that would be fascism. Good thing libertarians believe in the rule of law, and having the rule of law governed over by an actual government, as outlined by the Constitution. If you would like to learn more about what are positions really are, not what is currently in your head, I’d recommend reading a couple of books.”

    “and exactly the sort of fascism that would result if Austrian School and Libertarian ideals were put into practice on a state level. ”

    -No it wouldn’t. You don’t seem to know what ‘libertarian ideals,’ are. Rule of law is pretty high on the list.”

    I do understand what “lip service” is though, unlike you who still doesn’t understand that extra-legal and ultra-legal are equivalent states. Too bad Libertarians don’t understand the Rule of Law or the function of government as defined by the Constitution. Sure, many of them they think they do. Doesn’t make it so.

    As to your suggested reading? You have no idea either what I’ve read or how many times I’ve had this exact same argument with Libertarians, so save your suggestions.

    “-Good luck. It seems to me that Jon Corzine feels pretty safe and snug here in America under our current system.”

    Argument by non sequitur and false assumption. You seem to think I don’t think Corzine should go to prison for a very long time if found guilty or that I don’t think the current systems need to modified to provide better, i.e. more just, outcomes. I just know for a fact that giving business a pass on regulation isn’t the way to do it.

    “Might I suggest: First repealing all unconstitutional federal laws and allowing all criminals who did not harm others or others’ property (including stealing it) amnesty (I’m a radical, I know). Furthermore, requiring the president to stop all uses of undeclared force around the world? Third, impeaching the president for ordering the murder of American citizens who he forbade their right to trial?”

    Moving the goal posts. You’ve proven several times you don’t know what the Constitution and the precedent surrounding it means, so just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it unconstitutional. Second, if you’re talking about amnesty for drug possession? I have no issue with that. The futility and injustice of drug laws is one of the few areas I agree with Libertarians. Third, I’ve already said I have no issue with impeaching Obama for his Constitutional abuses, but in for a penny, in for a pound. That process must start with putting Bush/Cheney and their cohorts on trial for treason, suspending habeas corpus and ordering torture (just as egregious Constitutional violations as what Obama did by claiming the Imperial right to order the assassination of citizens without due process).

    If I had my way, most of those currently in Washington (and on K Street and Wall Street) would be in or well on their way to prison for a very long time, but Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Yoo, Bybee, Paulsen and the rest would be at the front of the line.

  172. “Specious reasoning. If you make the penalty severe enough, you’ll remove the enough of the graft from the system to get better than nominal function. Again, perfection is your standard on this issue, not mine.”

    -Just like mandatory minimums have worked so well to keep drugs off the streets. Should we move to beheadings? No, we strive for perfection, but it is hardly necessary. Being more free is always an improvement from being less.

    -“Government is notorious for its substandard quality and business practices. It is infamous for waste, corruption, bloated bureaucracies, and graft.”

    “Specious reasoning. Government isn’t business. Also a false equivalence. of all the inefficiencies you named, only one – bloat, is not directly related to monied interests interferring with the proper function of government. Corruption and graft requires a minimum of two parties.”

    -Two parties as in, government takes my money (1 party) and then wastes it (2 party)? Corruption by two parties as in the government (1 party) asks for more money than it needs to wage the drug war effectively? 2 parties as in government takes my money and then spends it on things I would never spend it on like bombing Iraq, Libya, and Somalia in a false name of defense?

    “As to your suggested reading? You have no idea either what I’ve read or how many times I’ve had this exact same argument with Libertarians, so save your suggestions.”

    -Your insights tell me otherwise. Though 100 arguments with libertarians does not mean you understand anything, in fact it probably means you have a ceiling to your understanding.

  173. “-Just like mandatory minimums have worked so well to keep drugs off the streets. Should we move to beheadings? No, we strive for perfection, but it is hardly necessary. Being more free is always an improvement from being less.”

    Moving the goal posts. Again. And a false assumption again. I’ve never said anything about being for mandatory minimums. The rest is simply an appeal to emotion on your part.

    “-Two parties as in, government takes my money (1 party) and then wastes it (2 party)? Corruption by two parties as in the government (1 party) asks for more money than it needs to wage the drug war effectively? 2 parties as in government takes my money and then spends it on things I would never spend it on like bombing Iraq, Libya, and Somalia in a false name of defense?”

    You apparently cannot tell the difference between the corrupting influence of political spending done by the lobbyists, corporations and the wealthy to distort laws and regulations in their favor and disagreeing with how your taxes are spent. The former is graft and corruption. The later is simply you having sour grapes.

    “-Your insights tell me otherwise. Though 100 arguments with libertarians does not mean you understand anything, in fact it probably means you have a ceiling to your understanding.”

    Not very meaningful given your demonstrated lack of understanding about just about every topic we’ve touched upon (but especially the nature of the Constitution, law in general, social compacts, history, psychology and sociology and how they interrelate) and repeated fallacious and malformed arguments.

  174. Monsr. Madaleine:

    Gene H is a didactic polymath by his own admission. He has read everything you have and more, his library has a minimum of 10,000 volumes some of them in french, german and latin all of which he is completely fluent in.

    You dont know who you are messing with, he is literally the smartest man he will ever meet. You are a mere piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe to be played with when he is bored.

    You have a didactic polymath by the tail. Dont poke the bear!

  175. Bron,

    MM is doing just fine without your assistance. He’s still not meeting the burden of persuasion or proof. However, he’s doing a damn sight better than you do on a regular basis.

    Don’t hate me because I’m smarter than you even though I am. Hate me because that’s what small minded people do when they feel threatened. This blog attracts some very bright people. There are several regular posters here (including guest bloggers) every bit my intellectual equal and then some. That you’re simply not one of them is your failing. Really, Bron. Such insecurity about yourself is most unbecoming. You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth for a reason. Maybe you should figure out what that symmetry is trying to tell you.

  176. Gene H:

    I dont hate people smarter than I am, most of my friends are smarter than I am. You learn a lot by hanging out with people smarter than you are. But I do dislike people who are full of shit and are intellectual frauds.

    You are such a simpleton. But I am glad you are able to make sense of your world by clinging to that thought. It is a pretty thin thread to hang your ego on though.

  177. Monsr. Madaleine:

    “-Your insights tell me otherwise. Though 100 arguments with libertarians does not mean you understand anything, in fact it probably means you have a ceiling to your understanding.”

    Yes, there is a saying “progressives have been educated past their ability to comprehend.” The ones who do comprehend most always become true liberals in the 19th century meaning of the term: Liberty in all human spheres.

    Gene H cannot or will not put the pieces together. At this point, I dont think he can. It is easier for him and others to think the Koch Brothers are funding this grand cabal of liberty than to actually understand what liberty represents and why it so important to human beings. But then that would conflict with their world view of what they were taught in school from the time they were 6 years old. It is pretty hard to unlearn bad habits.

  178. “But I do dislike people who are full of shit and are intellectual frauds.”

    That must make it really tough for you to shave in the morning.

  179. Not at all, because I am not an intellectual nor do I pose as one.

    As for being full of shit? If you think I am, I am cocksure I am not. Since you are right about so very little.

  180. “Not at all, because I am not an intellectual nor do I pose as one.”

    Actually you do whenever you try to prove your position is superior to that of another, successfully or not. Argument, debate and dialog about ideas and their nature is by definition an intellectual endeavor. Just because you’re no good at it doesn’t mean you don’t try to be an intellectual, just rather a reflection that you do so poorly.

    Just like your Objectivist pseudo-philosophy isn’t really a philosophy but rather a false philosophy disguising a weak rationalization for greed and selfishness (which are pretty much universally regarded in the study of philosophy as intrinsically bad), your very participation here and poor performance to date show that you are a pseudo-intellectual at best. Because like many of your statements and knowledge, that sentence was only half right. You aren’t an intellectual, true enough, but you most certainly do pose as one.

    So whatever you say, Green Eyed Monster.

    Hoist upon your own petard once again.

  181. “You apparently cannot tell the difference between the corrupting influence of political spending done by the lobbyists, corporations and the wealthy to distort laws and regulations in their favor and disagreeing with how your taxes are spent. ”

    –Excuse me. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your government misspends the money it collects, it hardly matters the reason why. The money is still being misspent by your government. I hate to break it to you, but they are the same thing. If my taxes are misspent because lobbyist of the most powerful corporations have the most influence, then my taxes are plainly misspent. The reason they are misspent is irrelevant. Either they are or they aren’t, and most of the time they are.

    -And yes, the most powerful corporate lobbyist do have undue influence on the regulatory agencies in our government and yes they do write laws that subsidize themselves and hurt their competitors at the taxpayer expense. I would like to eliminate the mechanism that allows that to happen.

    Me: “-I could also say, “You are never going to get regulations that aren’t influenced and controlled by the very same people you are trying to benefit, essentially writing legislation to their own benefit and expense of everyone else,” but that doesn’t stop you from trying. I would rather focus on freedom, which is beneficial to everyone, than trying to thread the impossible needle of perfect regulation.”

    You: “Specious reasoning. If you make the penalty severe enough, you’ll remove the enough of the graft from the system to get better than nominal function. Again, perfection is your standard on this issue, not mine.”

    Me: -Just like mandatory minimums have worked so well to keep drugs off the streets. Should we move to beheadings? No, we strive for perfection, but it is hardly necessary. Being more free is always an improvement from being less.

    You: “Moving the goal posts. Again. And a false assumption again. I’ve never said anything about being for mandatory minimums. The rest is simply an appeal to emotion on your part.”

    -You are right, you did not say anything about mandatory minimums. You said we need more severe penalties to prevent people from breaking rules, in this case graft. I cited mandatory minimums, a more severe penalty that was implemented to keep more people from doing drugs. It has failed. Then I asked if we should make the penalty even more “severe,” and gave an example of a more severe penalty. Then you “moved the goal posts,” by pretending mandatory minimums were an irrelevant example, when clearly they are nothing but an example of “a severe penalty.”

    “As for being full of shit? If you think I am, I am cocksure I am not. Since you are right about so very little.”
    -Ouch!

    As for ridiculing me for my original intent ideas…I am in good company with that “fallacious misunderstanding of the Constitution.”

    Frankly, I believe that our system would be far better off under the original meaning of the Clause, which would have avoided many of the controversies of modern times.”
    -Jonathan Turley

    “The most obvious place to start (and ideally end) constitutional analysis is with the text of the Constitution.”
    -Jonathan Turley

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/15/turley-testimony-on-the-constitutionality-of-recess-appointments/

  182. “–Excuse me. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your government misspends the money it collects, it hardly matters the reason why. The money is still being misspent by your government. I hate to break it to you, but they are the same thing. If my taxes are misspent because lobbyist of the most powerful corporations have the most influence, then my taxes are plainly misspent. The reason they are misspent is irrelevant. Either they are or they aren’t, and most of the time they are.

    -And yes, the most powerful corporate lobbyist do have undue influence on the regulatory agencies in our government and yes they do write laws that subsidize themselves and hurt their competitors at the taxpayer expense. I would like to eliminate the mechanism that allows that to happen.”

    That mechanism is not taxation. That mechanism is graft in the form of campaign finance. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you still can’t tell the difference between the topics of taxation and corruption. Taxation is necessary for any form of of government. Corruption isn’t.

    “Me: -Just like mandatory minimums have worked so well to keep drugs off the streets. Should we move to beheadings? No, we strive for perfection, but it is hardly necessary. Being more free is always an improvement from being less.”

    Even more specious reasoning, a weak and misapplied attempt at reductio ad absurdum and a further appeal to emotion.

    “-You are right, you did not say anything about mandatory minimums. You said we need more severe penalties to prevent people from breaking rules, in this case graft. I cited mandatory minimums, a more severe penalty that was implemented to keep more people from doing drugs. It has failed. Then I asked if we should make the penalty even more “severe,” and gave an example of a more severe penalty. Then you “moved the goal posts,” by pretending mandatory minimums were an irrelevant example, when clearly they are nothing but an example of “a severe penalty.””

    More specious reasoning and you responded with a situation (drug laws) where I’ve already said a legal solution will never mitigate the social damage of drug use. Graft is malfeasance of office combined with bribery; both problems very capable of redress by legal mechanisms if proper legal mechanisms were in place. They are crimes with victims just like theft or murder, not a health problem like drug use.

    “As for ridiculing me for my original intent ideas…I am in good company with that “fallacious misunderstanding of the Constitution.””

    Actually, if you’re an Originalist – which you apparently are, you’re not.

    That you’ve pointed out that Professor Turley and I disagree about points of law is nothing new. We agree about quite a bit, but we do disagree on a few subjects. The language he was referring to in your quotes is not the same language you and I are talking about, ergo, your quotes are out of context.

    However, if you mistake his statements regarding interpretation as making him an Orginalist, to my knowledge that would be a mistaken assumption on your part. Although I encourage him to speak his own mind, I know from past exchanges that he does recognize that the Constitution is a living document affected by precedent and amendment. All legal analysis of the Constitution begins with the plain language of the Constitution, but it doesn’t end there. Plus you are presenting again argument by non-sequtur. The Constitutional language about recess appointments he is referring to in that article hasn’t be modified by precedent set in court or by amendment but rather by Executive misuse over time much like the continued abuse of signing statements. Apples and oranges. Sorry, but yet another swing and a miss on your part.

  183. “That mechanism is not taxation. That mechanism is graft in the form of campaign finance. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you still can’t tell the difference between the topics of taxation and corruption. Taxation is necessary for any form of of government. Corruption isn’t.”

    -You misread, the mechanism I was referring to is the power to regulate specific industries and skew the market i.e. farm subsidies of which 80% go to the corporate farms. Not to mention the federal government has no business giving any business of any kind any subsidies.

    “Even more specious reasoning, a weak and misapplied attempt at reductio ad absurdum and a further appeal to emotion.”

    – More gibberish from you in an attempt to deflect and actually provide a counterargument, i.e. one in which more severe penalties actually “reduce graft,” or drug abuse.

    “They are crimes with victims just like theft or murder, not a health problem like drug use.”

    – So then you might argue for more usage of the death penalty to discourage more murders as an example of more severe penalties to discourage crimes.

    “All legal analysis of the Constitution begins with the plain language of the Constitution, but it doesn’t end there.”
    -Gene Howington

    ““The most obvious place to start (and ideally end) constitutional analysis is with the text of the Constitution.”
    -Jonathan Turley

    Take your pick!

    : D

  184. “Frankly, I believe that our system would be far better off under the original meaning of the Clause, which would have avoided many of the controversies of modern times.”
    -Jonathan

    “However, if you mistake his statements regarding interpretation as making him an Orginalist, to my knowledge that would be a mistaken assumption on your part. ”
    -Gene on Jonathan

    Am I missing something here?

    “Although I encourage him to speak his own mind”
    -Gene on Jonathan

    -Well, I am sure Professor Turley certainly appreciates your encouragement for him to speak his own mind on. Judging by his blog and article output, he surely needs encouragement to take strong positions and speak his mind, even when disagreeing with the great Gene Howington!

  185. “-Well, I am sure Professor Turley certainly appreciates your encouragement for him to speak his own mind on *his own blog. Judging by his blog and article output, he surely needs encouragement to take strong positions and speak his mind, even when disagreeing with the great Gene Howington!”

  186. “-You misread, the mechanism I was referring to is the power to regulate specific industries and skew the market i.e. farm subsidies of which 80% go to the corporate farms. Not to mention the federal government has no business giving any business of any kind any subsidies.”

    And you still don’t understand that if you dislike how your tax dollars are spent, that’s just sour grapes. I don’t think government should subsidize anything other than manufacturing and then only in emergencies.

    “Even more specious reasoning, a weak and misapplied attempt at reductio ad absurdum and a further appeal to emotion.”

    – More gibberish from you in an attempt to deflect and actually provide a counterargument, i.e. one in which more severe penalties actually “reduce graft,” or drug abuse.”

    Not in the slightest. You’re making a false equivalence between a crime problem not adequately addressed by existing penalty (graft) and a health problem currently being misaddressed as a legal problem (drug use). What you said was still specious reasoning, a weak and misapplied attempt at reductio ad absurdum and a further appeal to emotion

    “They are crimes with victims just like theft or murder, not a health problem like drug use.”

    – So then you might argue for more usage of the death penalty to discourage more murders as an example of more severe penalties to discourage crimes.”

    Supposition on your part and incorrect at that. You binary thinkers are all alike. You want a silver bullet solution, but there is none to be had.

    “All legal analysis of the Constitution begins with the plain language of the Constitution, but it doesn’t end there.”
    -Gene Howington

    ““The most obvious place to start (and ideally end) constitutional analysis is with the text of the Constitution.”
    -Jonathan Turley

    Apparently you don’t understand what the word “ideally” means any more than you understand what the word “if” means. Ideally the language of the Constitution has plain meaning and requires no (or little) interpretation. That’s where precedent and amendment come into play. Sometime judgement refers back to the plain language and when that is possible that is the ideal solution. For example, it would be foolish to argue about the meaning of the words “common defence’. However, if that language has ambiguities, then interpretation must be had and new precedent is set based upon that interpretation. For example, “free exercise” in the 1st Amendment. It seems clear enough, but really it’s an ambiguous statement. What does this free exercise mean and what are its limits? Are you free to practice a religion that requires human sacrifice (even though that is against criminal statute)? Are you free to practice a religion that requires animal sacrifice? Where do your rights to free exercise end and the free exercise rights of other begin? This is where the body of jurisprudence surrounding the Constitution comes from. In the end, what free exercise is isn’t defined by the Constitution, but rather the case law that evolved around free exercise questions. All analysis of the Constitution ideally ends in the language of the Constitution, but the reality of it is that there are ambiguities in the language of the document and it is left to precedent and amendment to sort out those ambiguities. Thus the Constitution is a living document. Originalists reject this pragmatic reality. That Jon “[t]he most obvious place to start (and ideally end) constitutional analysis is with the text of the Constitution” does not make him an Originalist. It makes him a pragmatist with the goal of retaining plain meaning where possible. It does not mean he thinks that is always possible (the key Originalist mistake in reasoning).

    ““Frankly, I believe that our system would be far better off under the original meaning of the Clause, which would have avoided many of the controversies of modern times.”
    -Jonathan

    “However, if you mistake his statements regarding interpretation as making him an Orginalist, to my knowledge that would be a mistaken assumption on your part. ”
    -Gene on Jonathan

    Am I missing something here?”

    Yes, you are and I already explained what it is you’re missing with your out of context quotes.

    The rest of what you say isn’t worth addressing.

  187. MM:

    has he declared victory? It is always so, he says “I am smarter than you and I have won with logic and superior reasoning”.

    I always tell him if your initial premise is wrong, you havent proved shit. Such that all dogs have three legs, Rover is a dog, therefore Rover has 3 legs. My logic is perfect but my my epistemology leaves something to be desired. As it is with Gene H, his logic may be correct but only for the “facts” he learned that were not so in the schools he attended.

    His understanding of economics is abysmal as he comes at it from a Marxian perspective. His law isnt much better as he comes at that from a social justice perspective rather than an individual rights perspective. The law school he went to taught him liberation theology rather than legal theory.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste. You cannot reach his, the propagandists he had in school planted the ideas so deep and expertly gave him the ammunition to defend these ideas even against empirical evidence. They have taught him to disregard the evidence of his senses. His perception is receiving only through the color pink and all sensations are colored by these intellectual blinders.

    He accuses us of this because he cannot believe other people have contrary ideas. Instead of questioning his own premises, he attacks us. It is far easier to attack and call names. Or he just misdirects the dialogue to something he can easily defeat.

    Free markets and free people are what leads to human progress, all the other stuff is just bullshit.

  188. Gene H:

    here is whom I would call an intellectual:

    I am someone who dabbles in politics and economics. In that sense I am an intellectual but not in the sense of someone like a Tom Woods who makes his living being an intellectual. Which is what I was trying to put across.

    My standards are quite a bit higher than yours. Is that what you tell the women? I am intellectual, I post on a blog. I used to live down there, maybe it does work. They dont call them coon asses for nothing.

    You really need to unlearn all that you have learned, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    As far as being green with envy? You flatter yourself.

  189. “I am someone who dabbles in politics and economics. In that sense I am an intellectual but not in the sense of someone like a Tom Woods who makes his living being an intellectual.”

    Professional? Notice that the actual definition of “intellectual” isn’t the one you’re making up.

    intellectual \ˌin-tə-ˈlek-chə-wəl, -chəl, -shwəl, -chü(-ə)l\, adj.,

    1a : of or relating to the intellect or its use
    b : developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience : rational
    c : requiring use of the intellect
    2a : given to study, reflection, and speculation
    b : engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect

    For example, engaging in an intellectual activity such as publicly debating social sciences (which includes law, politics and economics), the arts or culture.

    It’s not like this is the first time you’ve made up the meanings of words to suit yourself; something an intellectual would not do. To dabble, to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest, doesn’t make you good at it any more than making your living in an intellectual pursuit is the defining criteria of intellectualism. Being an intellectual is not about what job you hold. It’s about who you are, your values and how you see the world. You aren’t a pseudo-intellectual because of your day job. You’re a pseudo-intellectual because you regularly make up the meanings to words in multiple fields of study, you have often facile logic when not outright fallacious, and you have demonstrably weak argumentation and rhetorical skills (as evidenced by you never winning an argument here with anyone). None of these are the hallmarks of a intellectual but rather one who would pose as an intellectual and/or are simply in over their head.

    You seem to be digging this hole of pseudo-intellectualism for yourself quite well enough using only your mouth and keyboard, Bron.

    Would you like a shovel?

  190. Gene H:

    Being an intellectual is more than reading a few books and engaging in debate on an Internet blog. I really dont care what the dictionary says on this subject.

    Here is the sense I mean:

    “Traditionally, the scholarly and the intellectual classes were closely identified; however, while an intellectual need not necessarily be actively involved in scholarship, he or she may have an academic background and will typically have an association with a profession.”

    Tom Woods is an intellectual, I am someone with opinions, his opinions hold more weight than mine or yours with the public simply because he is published and does what he does for a living. He is an intellectual.

    I am not a scholar and yes, intellectuals are paid, not all but certainly the better ones, people actually care what they have to say and think it worth the money and the time it takes to read.

    I dont know Gene, you seem to be wrong about everything from Islam to Global Warming, from cash for clunkers to the Gulf oil spill. Your rhetoric may be better than mine but you always lose in the end when you are proven wrong by reality. I would rather be lousy at rhetoric and good at epistemology.

    As far as making words up, not so much. You just dont like that socialism/fascism and communism are variations on a theme and have little distinction when one looks at the underlying principles, something I might add you are incapable of accomplishing. Principles and their application are very hard for you as is evidenced by your many posts where you fall short in grasping the underlying principles involved. Your rhetoric is used to distort and distract from your failing.

    But keep on thinking you are intellectual because you post on a blog as a participant and as a guest host, it is funny and sad at the same time.

  191. Gene H:

    As far as making words up, not so much. You just dont like that socialism/fascism and communism are variations on a theme and I am about 99% sure Dr. Woods would agree with me.

    You also dont like that they are all about power for the sake of power, something you are definitely all about.

    “The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.”

    ~William Hazlitt (British literary critic and essayist)

    Mespo posted that on another thread, it fits you. And you dont even understand that socialism is about power over others. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  192. I see you brought you own shovel.

    Get back to me when you can come close to winning an argument with anyone. You seem to be missing out on the salient feature here. You called me an intellectual fraud. I never claimed I was an intellectual. Participating in public debate about social sciences is by definition an intellectual pursuit though, so in that regard I am and so are all who do so. I then demonstrated that based on your past performance (lies, distortions, making up technical terminology and terms of art, fallacious logic, never winning an argument against anyone) that you are simply not very good at it. So poor is your past performance that it i makes you out to be, at best, in way over your head and, at worst, a pseudo-intellectual.

    If I’m wrong? Prove it. You saying I’m wrong isn’t the same as you proving me wrong. PROVE me wrong. Don’t just bitch about it. Otherwise your opinions, but especially your opinions about me, are irrelevant. You have yet to prove me wrong about anything. Then again, when the subject of you 0-1,000,000 record was brought up previously, you yourself said you weren’t here to win arguments. Which brings up the question of why you’d frequent a debate/discussion forum if it wasn’t to win over people to your point of view.

    Proselytism? Propaganda? Provocation without purpose other than provocation? Your prurient, puerile, purple prose devoid of persuasion and proof provides the persistent pursuers of this polemic and place of penetrating, perceptive, perspicacious, and profound philosophies to perceive yours the actions of a perfidious peddler of parsimonious puffery. A pseudo-intellectual troll.

    What I do care about are proofs, logic, evidence and persuasion.

    Get some.

    You might win an argument sometime if you did.

  193. “‘The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.’

    ~William Hazlitt (British literary critic and essayist)

    Mespo posted that on another thread, it fits you. And you dont even understand that socialism is about power over others. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

    Said the Objectivist who demonstrably doesn’t even know what socialism actually means.

    All of government, no matter the form, is about power over others. You sacrifice absolute freedom found in the state of nature for mutually derived benefit with includes using the power of law to prevent and punish self-predation. “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” James Madison said that. You want to whine about power? Go live in the hills like a hermit. Power over others will exist in any society with a government which is to say in every society of any substantive size. If power cannot be dispensed with, it is the duty of every citizen in a democracy to make sure it is not abused for the narrow self-interests of the few but instead for the wider interests and greater good of society as a whole. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. A profit motive is amoral. As a prime criteria, it cares nothing about society. One way to ensure resources are best utilized in promoting the general welfare is to take some market sectors critical to society and making their ownership and control both in common and distributed on a non-for-profit basis. Greed for profits invites abuses. Go find the widower of a cancer victim denied treatment so a for-profit health care insurance executive can meet a budgetary quota and get a bonus and try to tell him otherwise. Your zealous devotion to one tool and your inherently selfish belief system blinds you to the fact that their is more than one tool in the tool box. I’ve already told you that free markets are fine for most things we humans sell to each other. They are not good for everything that we humans sell each other. Such absolutist thinking about economics and politics on your part is a sign of mental rigidity and points out the flaws with absolutist dogmatism.

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  195. Gene H:

    “All of government, no matter the form, is about power over others.”

    No, good government is about protecting the life, liberty and property of individuals. Bad men give up these rights when they violate the rights of others. Society then takes care of these men and punishes them, the power comes from the people not the government.

    In a state of nature you have a natural right to protect your life, liberty and property against those who would usurp those rights. You may do it by any means necessary, a man who would kill you or enslave you or otherwise take your property has given up any rights and may be destroyed by any means necessary for your protection. But since we are no longer in a state of nature we give that right to a supposedly objective system of laws. To act on our behalf in the protection of our rights.

    Government is not about power others except in dictatorial and tyrannical forms. Government should be about the protection of individual rights, and that is why governments should be formed. The power should stem from the people not the government. And only that power as we see fit to give.

    You cant help it, you just cant help yourself. Your power lust is incredible. You must be a real good boss and keep your people right in line, I imagine there isnt much of a collegial atmosphere in your department.

  196. “Proselytism? Propaganda? Provocation without purpose other than provocation? Your prurient, puerile, purple prose devoid of persuasion and proof provides the persistent pursuers of this polemic and place of penetrating, perceptive, perspicacious, and profound philosophies to perceive yours the actions of a perfidious peddler of parsimonious puffery. A pseudo-intellectual troll.”

    That was really good. I love the P’s they are so expressive.

    Did it take long for you to look those words up?

  197. “Go find the widower of a cancer victim denied treatment so a for-profit health care insurance executive can meet a budgetary quota and get a bonus and try to tell him otherwise.”

    How often does that happen? Do you think government health care is going to be any better? Do you think there wont be restrictions on care? Do you think everyone is going to get the same level of care?

    If you do, you are a fool.

  198. “I’ve already told you that free markets are fine for most things we humans sell to each other. They are not good for everything that we humans sell each other. Such absolutist thinking about economics and politics on your part is a sign of mental rigidity and points out the flaws with absolutist dogmatism.”

    Is that geneologic? If something is good for most things that doesnt mean it is good for all things? Assuming most means just about everything. In this case what you are saying is that principles do not apply.

    Let’s take fishing for example, to catch fish on rod and reel takes “live” bait [natural fish food dead or alive] or a replication of a live bait since fish do not eat wood, plastic, glass and steel except by accident, mistaking it for a live bait. So what you are saying is that live bait or lures work for most every kind of fish but a few. How is that possible? All fish must eat to sustain life, so you are saying that a couple of kinds of fish dont eat? Well if it is alive it must eat to survive. Of course certain insects have an adult stage without mouths and only live to mate for a day or so. So how does that work with fish and with markets?

    That is like saying everywhere on earth a lead balls falls to the ground except in a couple of places on earth.

    Like I have always said, you dont understand principles for shit. And it is the way you “win” arguments. You make shit up to follow your brand of “logic”.

  199. 1) “‘All of government, no matter the form, is about power over others.’

    No, good government is about protecting the life, liberty and property of individuals. Bad men give up these rights when they violate the rights of others. Society then takes care of these men and punishes them, the power comes from the people not the government.”

    You don’t see that you’ve just contradicted yourself, do you? That you haven’t disproven anything I said? That the power in a democracy rests with the people is irrelevant to the fact that in all forms of government, government has power over others. The power in a monarchy rests with the king, but how does he exercise that power? Through the government. The power in a despotic state rests in the dictator, but how does he exercise that power? Through the government. The power in a democracy rests with the majority of people (in our case, as limited by the protections afforded minorities by the recognition of the enumerated rights found in the Bill of Rights and the rights recognized elsewhere), but how do we exercise it? Through the government.

    2) No. I not only know all of those words, I know what they mean. Do you? I kind of doubt it.

    3) Just because you don’t understand a logic doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. It just means you don’t understand. Just like you don’t understand the difference between a principle as the term is used in law or science and a model as illustrated by your comment. Your analogy is to fishing is false. What I said was different problems can require different solutions and different solutions can require different tools to implement. All fish eating is a principle – an underlying universal truth (which is what a lawyer or a scientist means when they say principle). The only way to catch fish is by exploiting this principle (a principle you create when you define the system “fishing” above; a rule to a self-referential system but not a universal truth). Some fish can only be caught on live bait. Some fish can only be caught with lures. Different tools for different jobs. However, by choosing your systemic rule for “fishing”, your “principle”, you ignore the whole scope of the problem: getting fish in the boat. Some fish aren’t practically susceptible to fishing them with a line whether you use live bait or a lure. Some fish can only be practically caught using nets or traps. Your use of “principle” – a rule within a system, even if based on a principle according to my use of “principle” – a rule independent of any system except the universe itself, falsely narrows your considered solutions to the entire scope of the problem.

    That you argue as if you go through life wearing blinders is a common criticism of your postings here. You fail to see the scope of issues because you let your precept and prejudices (Objectivism and the belief that free markets solve every problem optimally) blind you to other solutions that may provide a better solution. You don’t have the ability to think laterally. If you can’t make a solution fit your preconceptions, then it either doesn’t exist or it’s wrong. Sorry. That’s binary thinking. That’s not how reality works. That’s not how problems get solved. There’s more than one way to catch a fish. That you’re incapable of seeing that is your limitation, not the limitation of others.

    You lose arguments here for several reasons, Bron.

    1) You simply suck at argumentation as formal exercise. That’s the brutal truth of the matter.

    2) You’re not nearly as well informed as you think you are – most of your knowledge is half-knowledge at best.

    3) You let your preconceptions define both your perception of the scope of problems and the nature of their solutions instead of letting the true and unbiased scope of a problem inform the nature of your solution. You build solutions to your tools, not solutions to problems with your tools.

    4) You insist on filling gaps in your knowledge with made up terminology that conforms to your preconceptions instead of using words according to their actual meaning. That’s either intellectual dishonesty or intellectual laziness, possibly both. Either way, it’s ignorance and very few fallacies are as damning to an argument as argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    5) You are an ego driven arguer. Your preconceptions can never ever be questioned because you are (as the Objectivist center of the universe) always right. You distort or cherry pick facts to fit your beliefs. I let facts inform my beliefs. The observations should always inform the hypothesis. I don’t win arguments because I’m always right, Bron. I win arguments because I know how to pick the winning side whether I personally like the argument or not and whether or not it caters to my preferences and personal biases. It’s what I’m trained to do.

    6) You argue without purpose other than to appeal to your own confirmation bias. You don’t care about winning. You don’t care about winning converts to your ideals. You don’t care about anything other than agreement from somebody that selfishness is a virtue and that liberty depends on free markets. The problem with that is neither of those ideals withstand critical scrutiny so the only people you will ever get to agree with you (or have ever gotten to agree with you) are already true believers.

    The bad news is all of that still makes you a pseudo-intellectual troll. The good news is that you can’t help it. You’re just built that way – either by choice or proclivity.

  200. Gene H:

    thanks for the reply.

    By the way, I know the definitions of all of those words, they arent exactly preternatural.

    You nattering nabob of nascent noxious notations, you.

    By the way interesting take on my personality. Most of the things I say, I am pretty sure of their veracity.

    And I am well aware that there is more than one way to skin a cat, but all fish must eat [unless I am missing one which has some sort of larval stage like a mayfly and doesnt eat and only breeds on becoming an adult] so you can use bait in traps or nets. But you are right you can use nets or you can use traps or a spear or dynamite or hand grenades or poison or electricity or any number of other methods known and unknown.

    So what is your point? My point is that if you want to catch fish with a rod and real you first have to accept that fish need to eat, as you so eloquently parroted. So what is your point? That fish dont eat or that you can catch them in some other manner?

    My point is that you need to get down to first principles to catch fish and one of these principals is that they eat. Another principle is that they live in water and another is a good many fish are gregarious.

    So what is your point? Do you even have one? You seem to always point out the obvious and you misdirect. Getting fish into the boat is a function of a number of different things and is a part of fishing but to have the opportunity to get fish into boat one must follow certain principles. There is a hierarchy:

    Fishing
    type of fishing
    rod/reel; nets; traps; trot-line; branch and line; noodling
    and then the various elements of each type of fishing

    Part of fishing is getting fish into the boat and is dependent on the skill of the fisherman using a rod and reel and luck in the other instances. Getting fish into the boat can be done in many ways, pulling the fish out of the water, using a net, using a gaff, etc. The principle of fishing is to put food on the table in the most efficient and inexpensive manner [at least with people who are fishing to obtain [or procure in keeping with your p’s] food]. So why would you use a system that is inefficient and expensive to put fish on the table when you have an efficient system in place?

    Now that is just not logical, Gene H.

    A government does not have power over people. A government is for protection from people who defile a persons life, liberty or property. An individual who does no harm to others is no threat to society and government properly has no power over that individual. But government has a responsibility to protect that persons rights. In fact that is only reason government should be instituted, to protect individual rights. Government has no power and should not have power over individuals who respect others rights.

    Our government as currently constituted has enormous power over us, it has stepped way beyond the limits of good governance. That is what your interpretation of the Constitution has given us, a soft tyranny which could become hard. That is what happens when government has power over us.

    But I doubt you see the difference.

    I dont care who agrees with me or doesnt, you have your view of the world and I have mine. You think you have the corner on the market on truth? That is what all of you think, you are no different than me. You make me laugh, you are so totally unself aware. You argue to prove me wrong, why? You have spent hours to prove me wrong, why? You would spend hours trying to prove Monsr. Madaleine wrong and you spent hours trying to prove Kderosa and Stephen Grossman wrong, why?

  201. “So why would you use a system that is inefficient and expensive to put fish on the table when you have an efficient system in place?”

    So why do you assume that a system has to have profit built into it to be the most efficient when it is demonstrably not so? Again, I point to the health care insurance industry. The purpose of health care insurance is to pay for health care coverage for subscribers. The profit comes from collecting premiums while not paying for claims. The goal of the system and profit motive are at conflict with the primary function of the system: providing care with costs minimized by maximizing the size of the risk pool. The maximum efficiency in delivering and administering health care insurance is to make the provision of health care insurance a not-for-profit monopoly – no profit expectation means that money can be spent on care and a monopoly would reduce the costs to health care providers in the form of reducing their paperwork/payment channels to one thus reducing their overhead and realizing costs that even further benefit patients – that covers the largest risk pool possible: everyone.

    “A government does not have power over people.”

    Displaying once again that you have no idea how government works under the theory of social compact. All governments have power over people. Without enforcement, laws would suggestions and just about a useful for maintaining order and pursuing justice.

    “A government is for protection from people who defile a persons life, liberty or property.”

    Partially. That you continually fail to recognize that our government has other functions as defined by the Constitution (as informed by the Declaration of Independence) is your failing.

    “An individual who does no harm to others is no threat to society and government properly has no power over that individual. But government has a responsibility to protect that persons rights.”

    Ideally in a democracy, yes, but you are still failing to realize that protecting your rights requires the ability to enforce that protection. In an egalitarian form of government respecting the Rule of Law, this enforcement is done equally.

    “In fact that is only reason government should be instituted, to protect individual rights. Government has no power and should not have power over individuals who respect others rights.”

    That’s your opinion and it’s wrong as a matter of legal and sociological fact. Time and again it has been shown that government has other functions in addition to protecting individual rights (providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, the pursuit of justice, the creation, administration and enforcement of laws, etc.). Government protects your rights through laws. When you respect the rights of others is cause for you not to have sanction of law, but it is not the same thing as being immune from the Rule of Law. The government has power over you by nature of you being a citizen. The only way not to be under the power of a government is not to have citizenship anywhere. You won’t be subject to their laws if you are not a citizen, however you also won’t have the protections for your rights that the Rule of Law and government provide. That is a dangerous proposition. With no government to protect your rights from abuse by others, you are only able to defend your rights as well as you can yourself.

    “Our government as currently constituted has enormous power over us, it has stepped way beyond the limits of good governance.”

    “That is what your interpretation of the Constitution has given us, a soft tyranny which could become hard.”

    Not my interpretation of the Constitution.

    Under my interpretation of the Constitution, corporations wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the political and legislative process at all, the Wall Street swindlers would have been allowed to fail and gone to prison for their gross negligence and criminal manipulations to the market, the Bush/Cheney cabal would be in prison for treason and war crimes, and Obama would be impeached for aiding and abetting war crimes and committing the high crime of violating the Constitution himself.

    “That is what happens when government has power over us.”

    No. That’s what happens when power is usurped from the people where in a democracy it rightfully rests. Steady deregulation of industry, ever expanding corporate personality, and perpetual corporate attacks on the integrity of the political and legislative processes of this country since the days of Nixon and Reagan have turned this country into something other than a democracy. It’s a corporatist oligarchy that is one slim step away from fascism. But it was done under the Constitutional interpretations of people like Rehnquist and Scalia and Thomas and Roberts and Alito. Conservative originalists. They are about as far from my interpretation of the Constitution as you can get.

    “But I doubt you see the difference.”

    I know the difference. But you don’t. Because you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to what government is and what it does in society.

    “You argue to prove me wrong, why? You have spent hours to prove me wrong, why? You would spend hours trying to prove Monsr. Madaleine wrong and you spent hours trying to prove Kderosa and Stephen Grossman wrong, why?”

    I don’t try. I do. Why do I do it? Because I can and I find it entertaining. Because I’m more interested in truth and justice for all than money and bullshit. Because your ideas play into corporate oligarchy and eventually into fascism while doing so under the guise of liberty. You clearly don’t understand what liberty is you are so blinded by your devotion to property. This brings up another fundamental misunderstanding on your part.

    Property rights are a subset of your rights based in self-ownership, but they are not the entirety of your rights nor are property rights more important that those other intangible rights. Your right to property doesn’t trump other’s right to be free of tyranny (economic or otherwise). Or free speech. Or free exercise. Or most of the other rights commensurate to self-ownership. Property is alienable. It is the only alienable right. You can sell it, lease it out, lose it, have it stolen, destroy it through misadventure, etc. Your other rights are inalienable. You can limit your alienable rights by social compact (example: free speech and prohibitions on slander or inciting panic, a reasonable trade of a limitation for a protection) or they can be taken from you by oppression (the DHS instigated “free speech zones” at political events), but the right itself stays with you forever whether you can defend it or not. They are inalienable. Your property rights are not the sum total of your liberties and your net liberties are not based in your property rights. Self-ownership is much more than property rights and so is liberty. Your myopic preoccupation with money and materialism keeps you from realizing that and that property rights don’t get to interfere with the intangible inalienable rights of others simply because they are derived from the same source and that source has the word “ownership” in it. Your ownership of yourself is a distinctly different quality of ownership of your property. Your ownership of yourself is unlimited. Your ownership of your property – even when purchased with the fruits of your labor – is limited both by its nature as it is alienable and by social restrictions on what you can own and what you can do with it to keep you (and others) from interfering with the rights of others (and others from interfering with your rights).

    But mainly I do it because I can.

  202. Health care has a good many inefficiencies which are caused by government. Puzzling has pointed those out, so I wont reiterate.

    Why do you think a system run by the people who contributed to the inefficiencies will work more efficiently when they run the whole program?

  203. “monopoly would reduce the costs to health care”

    I might believe you if you could point to a government monopoly which has provided goods or services for less than a competitive market can. Off the top of my head, I can think of none.

  204. “Partially. That you continually fail to recognize that our government has other functions as defined by the Constitution (as informed by the Declaration of Independence) is your failing.”

    How so? What is there beyond those 3 things to protect? All of the Constitution is about protecting peoples rights, oh and the general rules like coining money. But those are side issues to the main agenda which is the protection of individual rights.

  205. “(providing for the common defense”

    that is protecting individual rights, if you are invaded you could lose life, liberty and property.

  206. First, of those inefficiencies puzzling pointed to, the only one with substantive merit is the way insurance is regulated at a state level instead of a Federal level causing inefficiencies due to disparity of local laws. A lot of gaming the various systems for profit is indeed part of the problem, but its a problem not rooted in regulation at the Federal level, but rather diverse regulation at the state level. The remedy to that is to take insurance regulation out of the hands of the states and put in under a Federal umbrella so laws are uniform first. That this industry that clearly operates across state lines and impacts interstate commerce has been allowed to abuse the situation disparate state laws creates instead of coming under Federal control is simply a reflection of the power of the health care insurance lobby. Without their interference, I suspect health care insurance (and most other kinds for that matter) would have long ago been subject to Federal rather than a patchwork of state regulations. Optimization can come later and will come later as optimization is an ongoing process.

    Second, when you look at the matter as a cost/benefit analysis, this is an area where not only monopoly makes sense because of the infrastructure savings realized to health care providers by having to deal with only one channel of payment paperwork (thus making cost of provision lower), but it makes sense because universal coverage creates the largest risk pool possible (also lowering cost of coverage). Making government be the provider also eliminates the inefficiencies of money being redirected for specious “administrative costs” like perks, bonuses and executive salaries that are way out of line with actual value for work done for the endeavor and are dependent and/or contingent upon profitability. Precisely because government can work on a not-for-profit basis better than private industry, then the maximum number of dollars possible can be spent where it needs to be spent: on patient care.

    That this will by necessity create a triage system where some people will have to wait to get treatment is a small price to pay for everyone getting the help they need. I know both Canadians and Brits who will complain about the wait on non-critical treatment, but I don’t know a single one who would rather have the system we currently have where your coverage is left entirely to the profit motive of an insurance company.

  207. “I might believe you if you could point to a government monopoly which has provided goods or services for less than a competitive market can. Off the top of my head, I can think of none.”

    The USPS. We’ve had mail service in this country that is cheaper and more dependable than almost any country in the world. What’s killing the USPS isn’t the lack of competition or the competition for package services created by companies like UPS and FedEx. The USPS is dying because the underlying technology of communication is changing faster than they can adapt. When most people communicated by letter, the USPS did just fine. Most people use e-mail or phones now and the USPS hasn’t been able to adapt quickly enough to compensate although they are adapting. Their one price per size box shipping is boosting their package revenues, but the bottom line is that the costs for regular home delivery cannot be met under the changes in how people communicate. Those costs made sense at one time. They don’t now. They need to change to 2 or 3 day a week home delivery, do away with home delivery in some areas (relying on PO Boxes – they’ve already done this in some rural areas), and reconsider their priced for bulk mail customers. Junk mail has become such a huge part of what they carry for delivery that it no longer makes sense to give these industrial mailers a discount. They should be charged standard rates or even premiums. But the struggles of the post office weren’t created by their monopoly. They were created by technological change.

  208. “How so? What is there beyond those 3 things to protect? All of the Constitution is about protecting peoples rights, oh and the general rules like coining money. But those are side issues to the main agenda which is the protection of individual rights.”

    I’m not going to cite the Preamble again. You haven’t grasped that pursuing justice and promoting the general welfare are valid functions of government along with the regulatory and enforcement powers created by the rest of the document yet, so I don’t expect you to now.

  209. “The government has power over you by nature of you being a citizen.”

    No, properly constituted the citizen by being a citizen enjoys the protection of life, liberty and property. Government should be passive, you want active government which is a detriment or impediment to liberty.

  210. Gene H:

    if there are regulatory powers they are only to protect individual rights. The general welfare from what I can gather is meant to promote the environment in which rational people can thrive. It is by no means, at least in my mind, a justification for welfare or national health care or any of a number of things the government does which it shouldnt do.

    It facilitates the prosperity of the people, it does not hand it to them. Like raising children, you provide an environment in which they can grow and become themselves and reach their highest potential. Although we are not children so government promotes an environment in which we are all able but not guaranteed to achieve our potential whatever level that may be.

    Egalitarian in opportunity and before the law, nothing more.

  211. I don’t care if that’s your opinion, Bron, but quite simply that’s not the fact of how government operates under the social compact. The protection you enjoy comes from you being a citizen and that means you are subject to the laws of your country.

    As to what I want? Active, passive, irrelevant. Active and passive operations are just different tools for different jobs. Their effects on liberty are not defined by their state of action, but by their net outcome. The Patriot Act is largely passive yet it robs you of your liberties. Some jobs are better handled by active government, others by passive government. I don’t let that define what constitutes effective governance any more than I do size. What I want is functional government that does its Constitutionally defined functions and is answerable to We the People, not the biggest campaign contributors (democracy v. oligarchy).

  212. the USPS typically operates at a loss. It is mandated by the Constitution. And I accept that although I dont agree with it, but I see why the founders did it that way. Back then the US government was probably the only entity large enough to support the Post Office. Which was a necessity for a nascent nation.

  213. “the USPS typically operates at a loss.”

    Only within the last 15 years – since the advent of email and the economic crisis (which also negatively impacted mail volumes).

    Through most of its history, it has not. But then again, it’s a service, not a for-profit business. It’s a quasi-governmental agency under the Executive branch. It’s mandate is service, not profitability.

  214. Gene H:

    “Because your ideas play into corporate oligarchy and eventually into fascism while doing so under the guise of liberty.”

    Now that is the problem, the entire 20th century has been about the rise of the progressives and it is no surprise that along with that has come the rise of corporations. The 2 feed off of each other, progressives expand government and corporations fund the political machinery to buy protection. There is no coincidence, you dont see the correlation because of your blinders.

    But I do agree that corporations should not be able to lobby congress. Government has grown because of that alliance between progressives and business. There is no controlling mechanism on progressive’s will to power so they do not restrict business as it should be restricted they restrict entry into markets to protect favored corporations. That is what socialism/fascism and communism do, they restrict market entry for favors from corporations/business. It is an unholy alliance.

  215. Gene H:

    “But the struggles of the post office weren’t created by their monopoly. They were created by technological change.”

    They had no reason to change, they have no reason to charge bulk mailers more.

  216. “The Patriot Act is largely passive yet it robs you of your liberties.”

    The Patriot Act is an example of active government.

  217. “Now that is the problem, the entire 20th century has been about the rise of the progressives and it is no surprise that along with that has come the rise of corporations. The 2 feed off of each other, progressives expand government and corporations fund the political machinery to buy protection. There is no coincidence, you dont see the correlation because of your blinders.”

    No, I don’t see the correlation because it doesn’t exist except in your mind. Progressives – again – are not for expansive government, but rather functional, responsive democratic government.

    The rise of corporations? That has nothing to do with progressivism and everything to do with globalization and the constant attacks by corporations on the legislative and electoral processes resulting in deregulation and expanding corporate personality. The blinders here are entirely yours. You see the effect, but not the cause, because to recognize the cause (corporate manipulations) falls squarely at the feet of the businessmen you worship because they make money. To recognize the cause would be to realize that your pseudo-philosophical and fantasy economic underpinnings are wrong.

    A progressive? Would have let every one of those assholes on Wall Street go out of business. There are no actual progressives in government, you dumbass. The last 30 years (and before) the government has been dominated by conservative and neo-conservative Republicans and centrist Democrats. There is no alliance between progressive and corporations. Progressives are a threat to the corporate status quo of both parties. Progressivism is what the people want, and what the pols occasionally try to sell them, but it’s not what their corporate masters want. But you sure did swallow the propaganda, money lover.

    And you still are making up meanings to words and creating false equivalences. Socialism and fascism are not the same thing no matter how many times you repeat that lie to yourself and others.

    There is no unholy alliance here other than the graft system. And that’s not run by progressives. That’s run by the monied corporations you think shouldn’t have to be subject to laws and regulations.

  218. “Gene H:

    ‘But the struggles of the post office weren’t created by their monopoly. They were created by technological change.’

    They had no reason to change, they have no reason to charge bulk mailers more.”

    Uh, do you even realize how stupid that statement is?

    The USPS starting costing money instead of paying for itself precisely because they didn’t adapt to the technological change and with mail volumes down they have every reason to charge bulk mailers more considering that’s their primary non-urgent mail customer right now (ergo, the primary creator of cost for delivery services). None of which changes the fact that their problems are not created by their monopoly.

  219. In Canada and the UK? Private insurance for primary health coverage is illegal. You can only get primary health coverage from the government and unlike here, everyone is covered. The only private insurance there is for optical/dental coverage and elective procedures.

    You’re really grasping at straws, Bron.

  220. Gene H:

    “they have every reason to charge bulk mailers more considering that’s their primary non-urgent mail customer right now”

    Then why dont they? I thought you said they did not charge them more. They get funding from government so there is no incentive to raise fees. The public is subsidizing junk mail.

    Why didnt they adapt? They had no reason to, what with the tax payer paying for the inefficiency.

    They dont make money because they are a government program and so there are no incentives to improve. The employees have their jobs for life as long as they dont screw up too badly.

    You admit the problems with the Post Office and you think government run health care is going to be better. How do you hold contradicting thoughts with such ease? This is what I mean when I say you dont or cant think in terms of principles.

  221. “Privately-funded health care: Private health expenditures (payments through private insurance and out-of-pocket payments) represent approximately 30 percent of total health expenditures. Roughly two-thirds of Canadians have supplementary
    private insurance coverage, many through employment-based group plans, which cover services such as vision and dental care, prescription drugs, rehabilitation services, home care, and private rooms in hospitals. Duplicative private insurance for publicly funded physician and hospital services is not available. About 80 percent of insurers that sell private health care insurance are for-profit health and life insurance companies, and about 20 percent not-for-profit insurance organizations that specialize in health coverage. Federal and provincial governments regulate life and health insurance to ensure that contractual commitments to policyholders are met. Insurance companies and their representatives
    are subject to guidelines on consumer disclosure and insurance practices. Health insurance was provided by 95 life insurance companies to 23 million Canadians, which accounts for approximately 12 percent of total health spending in Canada. The plans typically pay for extra charges for semi-private or private hospital rooms, prescription drugs, special duty nursing and other paramedical services, ambulance services, crutches, psychological services, artificial limbs, prostheses
    and medical appliances, wheelchair rental, and vision care. Contributions to employer-sponsored voluntary health insurance are deductible from income for federal tax purposes, and are also deductible from income for provincial
    tax purposes in all provinces but Quebec. Premiums paid to any private health insurance plan are considered eligible
    expenses for the federal Medical Expense Tax Credit.”

    Seems like a little more than just optical and dental. They also cant buy insurance to pay for actual produres, I wonder why that is? Probably because they would lose 2/3’s of the insureds overnight as they left for private plans. Government force applied to give people what the government thinks they need.

  222. “Then why dont they? I thought you said they did not charge them more. They get funding from government so there is no incentive to raise fees. The public is subsidizing junk mail.”

    Actually, they can’t raise fees without approval from Congress and guess who lobbies Congress to keep them from raising bulk mail rate? Groups like the Direct Marketing Association.

    “Why didnt they adapt? They had no reason to, what with the tax payer paying for the inefficiency.”

    They are slowly adapting. If they were properly responsive, they’d have adapted faster.

    “They dont make money because they are a government program and so there are no incentives to improve. The employees have their jobs for life as long as they dont screw up too badly.”

    They still have to justify their budget.

    “You admit the problems with the Post Office and you think government run health care is going to be better. How do you hold contradicting thoughts with such ease? This is what I mean when I say you dont or cant think in terms of principles.”

    And this is what I say when I say you make shit up.

    First, I didn’t say “government run health care”. I said “single payer universal health care insurance”. It can be government run (like Medicare for all) or a government owned company with a monopoly. Either way, it makes more economic sense than paying several companies to do the same job for profit and still not have every one covered.

    Second, what part of the word “responsive” don’t you understand? Efficiency of operation can be driven by operational mandate just as well as it can be driven by profit motives. Responsiveness to a problem is an HPT issue. Poor responsiveness in an organization is a managerial failure and it happens in for-profit enterprises just as often as in not-for-profit enterprises.

  223. But nobody in Canada is going bankrupt from surgery bills, are they? And everyone is still covered.

    Flail away, Bron.

  224. “First, I didn’t say “government run health care”. I said “single payer universal health care insurance”. It can be government run (like Medicare for all) or a government owned company with a monopoly. Either way, it makes more economic sense than paying several companies to do the same job for profit and still not have every one covered.”

    Either way it is government run, do you not see that? Honestly.

    At least with private sector inefficiencies, the majority of the people are not on the hook and forced to pay for them.

  225. “’First, I didn’t say ‘government run health care’. I said ‘single payer universal health care insurance’. It can be government run (like Medicare for all) or a government owned company with a monopoly. Either way, it makes more economic sense than paying several companies to do the same job for profit and still not have every one covered.’

    Either way it is government run, do you not see that? Honestly.”

    Apparently you can’t distinguish health care provision and health care insurance provision. They are not the same thing. Then again, you have a marked proclivity for false equivalences, so I shouldn’t expect anything like an accurate definition from you.

    “At least with private sector inefficiencies, the majority of the people are not on the hook and forced to pay for them.”

    That may be the most delusional thing you’ve said yet. The people paying for private sector insurance are paying more due to systemic inefficiencies, profit skimming for bonuses and perks and fractionated risk pools right now in addition to the higher costs of treatment being passed on to them by providers who have to pay for treating the uninsured right now anyway.

  226. canadians also buy supplemental insurance for when they cross the border in the u.s. for shopping or to vacation in florida. one trip to the emergency room could bankrupt them.

    look at the first digit on your cars vin#. if it’s a 2 your american car was built in canada

    why is it cheaper to build an american car in windsor canada.

    healthcare

  227. “Jeremy Rawlins, the consultant plastic surgeon at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust who treated Zed, said that one of the reasons the treatment is still rare in this country is because of the cost to NHS trusts.

    Mr Rawlins estimates Zed’s operation cost £5000, but the figure varies between NHS trusts. The ReCell machine costs £800.

    Mr Rawlins said: “The NHS Trust aren’t so interested in the big long-term savings. The automatic response is a reluctance to embrace new technology because they are afraid of the costs.”

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4137266/Burns-tot-has-spray-on-skin-cure.html

  228. Nice cherry picking.

    Try reading the whole article before quoting it, dingus.

    “Mr Rawlins said: “The NHS Trust aren’t so interested in the big long-term savings. The automatic response is a reluctance to embrace new technology because they are afraid of the costs.

    “The ReCell technology is an upfront investment but you have to look at the bigger picture. This technology saves on the number of hospital visits a patient needs, saves on the nursing requirements, saves on the pain killers needed, I really believe it is a revolution in care.

    “You just can’t put a price on the quality of comfort and care a child receives in our hospitals.

    “And when you get a good result like Zed’s it makes it all worthwhile.”

    That’s good management and good economics.

  229. “The ReCell technology has been around for seven years but few surgeons in Britain perform it and Zed is believed to be one of the youngest to receive it.”

    If it is so worthwhile how come it is rarely used?

    Some rationing going on perhaps? Or maybe not enough money to purchase new technology? Maybe some care panels look at the cost benefits as to which patients receive the technology? Or maybe the government hasnt approved it for full scale use?

    Any way you look at it, it doesnt look good.

    Now thats rationing and not caring about individuals.

  230. Or maybe the adoption of new technology doesn’t happen instantaneously but rather behaves as a curve?

    Any way you look at it, that’s math.

  231. Good video, the best part comes near the end where he says the Scandinavian countries are hampered market economies which still work on the basis of private gain.

    I guess this guy doesnt agree with you either about Nazism and Socialism.

    He makes a pretty good case.

    God damn, Gene how many of us are there running around conflating Nazism and Socialism? Hundreds, thousands? Nah probably tens of millions.

    I know, I know, if ten million people jumped off a bridge you wouldnt do it. But this guy makes a good, logical case for the hypothesis. Since you like logic, I figured you would love this.

  232. Of course you think he makes a pretty good case. It appeals to your confirmation bias and is made by another Objectivist and former member of the Ayn Rand Institute who is also an economist (not a historian, lawyer or political scientist) and a von Mises disciple. Unfortunately for you, he’s just as ignorant of history and political science as you are. You can try to rewrite history all you like. The Night of the Long Knives happened. Socialism was what the Nazis sold, but they delivered Italian-style Fascism. Hitler killed or marginalized all the socialists in the Nazi Party and even then he enacted Italian Fascism over the objections of many in the Nazi Party who felt that Mussolini’s creation was an inappropriate non-Aryan influence on Germany and the Nazi Party. Those are simply the facts of history. Groups are defined by how they behave, not how they self-label. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is neither democratic nor a republic, but rather a totalitarian dictatorship. Logic based on lies and historical misinformation is just as wrong as logic that is formally flawed.

  233. Gene:

    keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

    He lays out a good case as to why socialism leads to tyranny. You ought to watch. It is very logical.

    No confirmation bias, I just have looked at this for a very long time. The only argument you make is that greed is bad so lets share the wealth. If that worked I would be all for it, but it doesnt work. People need to make money commensurate with their abilities, the greater good is not enough motivation although people dont mind helping others, eventually the good feeling of charity wears away and you are left hating your neighbor if you must always supply him with his daily bread. It is just human nature, why fight it, use it to move society ahead. You cant fight 3 million years of evolution.

    It just doesnt work, it is the system of idealists and starry eyed young men.

  234. Keep telling myself the truth about history, using words properly and not following the advice of crazy women and facile non-scientific apologists for greed posing as economists?

    Don’t mind if I do.

  235. you ought to be asking why you follow a system that doesnt work.

    Just remember that the function of higher prices is to ration goods, benevolence does nothing to supply people with their daily bread. Most people are anti-market, so you cant help yourself.

    Keep defending the indefensible, you do it so well for people who already have an anti-market mentality.

    Speaking of history, were you aware of a depression during Warren G. Harding’s administration? It was bad, you know what he did? He cut government spending and fired some government workers but nothing else and it ended very quickly. No stimulus, no printing of money, no bailouts not nutin. Whoops, you guys extended the depression of 1929 to 1946 and are doing the same thing today. You never learn because of your blinders.

    I think I’ll take the advice of a crazy women and a non-scientific apologist for greed. Seems like they cause a good deal less human misery.

    Quit blaming capitalism for socialism’s failures.

  236. I don’t blame capitalism for the failures and inequities we see now, Bron. See, unlike you, I look for actual causation rather than picking an -ism from some apologist propaganda that I don’t really understand to demonize. I look at actions traceable to actors and outcomes. No. I don’t blame capitalism for our current situation. I blame laissez-faire capitalism and a culture of greed for the failures we see now. You know. Your people. The worshipers of Money and Ego.

    I follow a system that hasn’t been tried here: a blended economy. It works just fine for the Scandinavian countries. Those countries that consistently score higher than the U.S. on quality of life and happiness of citizens surveys and have weathered the global economic crisis better than everyone else because their critical infrastructure wasn’t left to the whims of the market and left prey to the desires of venal men. A global economic crisis brought on by disciples of your heroes Rand and von Mises. People who think you should have absolute freedom to do as you please and not suffer consequences as long as you make money. People who pushed for the deregulation that made the CDS debacle possible. People who want the FDA and EPA out of the way so they can sell us contaminated food and rape the environment. People who think that fraud, abusive labor practices, destroying people’s lives and the environment are just good business. It’s all good with a wink and a nudge as long as people are making money, eh Bron?

    There is someone here following a failed system, Bron. That much is for certain. It just isn’t me. The system I advocate works just fine. It has simply never been tried here.

  237. “I follow a system that hasn’t been tried here: a blended economy.”

    we have a blended economy, it isnt working. We have had a blended economy for years.

  238. I wasnt for bail-outs and none of “my guys” were either.

    Just fess up and admit you dont know what you are talking about.

    Talk about making stuff up, wow.

  239. We don’t have a blended economy like they do in the Scandinavian countries. We used to be closer to that than we are now for certain. What did deregulation and removing state monopolies from the power industry get us? Enron. What did deregulation of the airline industry get us? Shitty airline service, price wars and pricing practices that are arcane and exploitative of consumers. What did deregulation of the banking and financial services get us? The CDS debacle and a wrecked national and global economy.

    The way that isn’t working is yours, Bron. Your personal stance on bailouts notwithstanding. Even a broken clock is right twice a day but that still doesn’t change that it was your policy darling deregulation that created the problem in the first place.

  240. Gene H:

    Here is another economics lesson for you, this one on consumption and production. I hope you like it, I know I did.

    “From John Stuart Mill, “Of the Influence of Consumption on Production” (1844):

    Among the [economic] mistakes which were most pernicious in their direct consequences . . . was the immense importance attached to consumption. The great end of legislation in matters of national wealth, according to the prevalent opinion, was to create consumers. . . . It is not necessary, in the present state of the science, to contest this doctrine in the most flagrantly absurd of its forms or of its applications. The utility of a large government expenditure, for the purpose of encouraging industry, is no longer maintained.
    Taxes are not now esteemed to be “like the dews of heaven, which return again in prolific showers.” It is no longer supposed that you benefit the producer by taking his money, provided you give it to him again in exchange for his goods. There is nothing which impresses a person of reflection with a stronger sense of the shallowness of the political reasonings of the last two centuries, than the general reception so long given to a doctrine which, if it proves anything, proves that the more you take from the pockets of the people to spend on your own pleasures, the richer they grow; that the man who steals money out of a shop, provided he expends it all again at the same shop, is a benefactor to the tradesman whom he robs, and that the same operation, repeated sufficiently often, would make the tradesman’s fortune. . . .
    What a country wants to make it richer, is never consumption, but production.”

    “Taxes are not now esteemed to be “like the dews of heaven, which return again in prolific showers.””

    No they certainly are not, even 170 years later.

    What I find amazing is that Keynes, Krugman, et al, think it [stimulus] works even in the face of historical evidence that it doesnt. Mill was speaking about the 200 years before him in which it was tried and didnt work.

    Every piece of evidence from every century from every place on earth leads to the same conclusion – socialism does not work. And the degree to which it does work is predicated on the degree of market freedom available in a country. Such as your Scandinavian countries which have hampered markets but still employ some level of economic incentive. If they are doing well now, how much better could they do with more market freedom? It isnt socialism which is working, it is capitalism carrying socialism on its back. Without capitalism, socialism is nothing and you recognize that fact by evidence of your third way.

    You want justice? Then write an amendment to have a separation of economics and state. And severe penalties for anyone who violates that law.

  241. Go look at the CFR we have plenty of regulations, regulations on top of regulations.

    It is ignorance or worse to say this is a deregulated economy.

    And Glass Steagall? That caused banks to fail in the 30’s, it did not prevent them from failing. But you didnt know that banks which sold securities were 4-5 times less likely to fail than banks which did not. It was pure politics then and it is pure politics now.

    Stupid people and people with a will to power always look to government to help. The stupid because the dont know any better, the ones who want power to rule the stupid.

  242. I want justice so I wouldn’t to anything to remove the Commerce Clause.

    As to the rest of what you said, it’s all just more blather and grasping at straws, Bron. Your opinion and an ill-informed opinion based on your fanatical devotion to Objectivism and non-scientific von Mises political polemic disguised as economics.

    “The CIA World Factbook” shows nine European countries place ahead of the United States in terms of per capita GDP. These countries are Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Netherlands. What do these countries have in common? They are all socialist countries. Just like the United Kingdom, Austria, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany who come close behind the United States in per capita GDP. So it would appear that your contention that socialism doesn’t work is nonsense.

    Consider this fact too: many if not most of those countries have considerably less resources than the U.S. and yet they manage to provide excellent services which benefit all like universal health care, free and efficient public transportation for the poor and generous unemployment and pension benefits. Statistically speaking, these countries also score higher than the U.S. on level of education (a further reflection of investment in society reaping dividends), citizen happiness, and income equality.

    “And Glass Steagall? That caused banks to fail in the 30′s, it did not prevent them from failing. But you didnt know that banks which sold securities were 4-5 times less likely to fail than banks which did not.”

    Pure horsehit, Bron. That is a statement not even remotely grounded in reality. The entire cause of the CDS debacle was removing the wall between investment banking and commercial banking that Glass-Steagall created. If those protections hadn’t been removed, the venal assholes on Wall Street wouldn’t have been able to sell derivatives based on commercial loans – commercial loans that banks made in bad faith so they could game the system from the investment side of their house when the commercial loans failed.

    Smart people let the facts inform their theories and if the facts contradict previous theories, they come up with new theories. Stupid people let their beliefs inform their theories and when the facts don’t confirm their beliefs, they bend them until they do. You don’t know anything about psychology, law, sociology, economics or history. You think you do, sure. Your mistaken belief that you do is rooted in your Objectivist ideal that you are the ruler by which all of existence is to be measured. All you know is that selfishness is a virtue because Ayn told you so and greed is good because von Mises told you so. Facile and false rationalizations so you can feel better about being venal and self-centered. This is demonstrated time and again in your writings. One of the reasons your “knowledge” is always half-knowledge at best is because you filter it through your Rand/von Mises filter, ignoring anything that doesn’t confirm your biases built upon your poorly examined beliefs. Beliefs chosen not based on evidence and reason, but rather tailored to your desires and need to create a positive self image for yourself no matter how badly you act toward society in general.

  243. “These countries are Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Netherlands. What do these countries have in common? They are all socialist countries.”

    They mostly have a homogeneous population and a population which probably all work. We have very many people who produce nothing [not counting people who are out of a job no thanks to bad decisions based on socialist economics] which dilutes the GDP per capita. What is it if you take all the people who do not produce and never have produced? What does that do to the stats?

  244. They have a hampered market system which still has some economic incentives. Ireland is in trouble, like Spain, Greece and Portugal.

    By the way, my son is over in Spain. Everyone barely gets by and they spend most of their time in bars and with friends because they cant afford to do much else. I have a modest home in the suburbs, my son says it is like a palace to those people. It is a small to medium size rambler.

    From what he says, it is a nice country but the standard of living isnt that great. Everybody has only what they need and there is not much money for anything else. As with most socialist countries the rich are still rich but the middle class has spit and not much hope of rising higher.

    It doesnt work, no matter how much you may want it to. Or I should say it works for the rich and the poor but not for the industrious.

  245. I’m not going to even entertain answering you this time, Bron. If you want to argue with the CIA over their information and statistical methodology, take it up with them. They’re in the Langley, Virginia phone book. In addition, it wasn’t socialist economics that created the bad decisions that led to the recent economic collapse. It was deregulation. Period. The removal of the wall that used to separate investment and commercial banking. Deregulation that is the policy darling of laissez-faire capitalists. Also, your “homogenous” remark is dangerously close to racist.

    You’re simply grasping at straws. You always have been.

  246. Pardon me if I put about as much faith in your son’s unscientific observations as I do in yours. Which is to say none at all.

  247. Gene:

    go look at the history of the Glass Steagall act. Read the original material from the committee meeting minutes. It was a political bill to placate the public. Banks which sold securities were 4-5 times less likely to fail.

    Go look at the statistics from the 30’s. Prove me wrong. All you have ever done is tell me I am wrong or you post one or two references and then you say you use logic to demolish my argument. I have read the meeting minutes, I have read a couple of articles on the history of the act. I did it because I wanted to find out why you were saying what you did. That act, along with other acts and programs in the 30’s extended the depression.

    You also probably dont know that at the turn of the century around 95% of people were considered to be below the poverty line and that by the late 50’s that had dropped to around 15% and that was prior to Johnson’s Great Society. What is the poverty rate now? After 50 years of throwing money at the problem. Has it fallen any more?

    You really need to look into this more, you really dont know shit about these subjects, i.e. history and economics.

  248. Gene:

    You are dangerously close to being an idiot. Thomas Sowell says you know you are winning an argument when the other guy brings out the race card.

    Now tell me that those countries are not homogeneous and that the United States is. Although you could make the case that the US should have a higher GDP based on heterogeneity, more choices in food, clothing, movies [nothing better than a Chinese movie], music, etc.

    I trust my son’s observations, he is a good deal smarter than you are.

  249. Bron,

    “Go look at the statistics from the 30′s. Prove me wrong. All you have ever done is tell me I am wrong or you post one or two references and then you say you use logic to demolish my argument. I have read the meeting minutes, I have read a couple of articles on the history of the act. I did it because I wanted to find out why you were saying what you did. That act, along with other acts and programs in the 30′s extended the depression.”

    Attempting to shift the burden of proof, argument by non sequitur and fallacy of simple cause. The cause and the duration of the Great Depression are 1) irrelevant to the current situation – this is now, not then – and 2) causally more complex than the current situation. It wasn’t regulation that caused the Great Depression though. The dual occurrence of bank failures (caused by inadequate rules on capitalization) and wild and risky trading practices leading to the stock market crash (caused by inadequate rules placed on trading) driving a loss in consumer confidence are causally connected to the advent of the Great Depression. Regulation ended many of those practices and provided the sound(er) foundation in banking and trading that helped fuel the eventual industrialization of our economy (which before 1930 was largely agrarian). The argument that regulation increased the duration of the Great Depression (instead of what it actually did which was to remove some of the causes) is an argument only made by Austrian School economists and its logic – like yours – is backwards and based upon the unfounded belief that regulation is bad simply because its regulation. That the industrialization of our economy was kicked into overdrive by WWII does not change that the economy overall was steadily improving toward the end of the 1930’s. If that wasn’t happening fast enough for you? That says more about your greed than the reality of the damage to consumer confidence bad business practices can and do create.

    You’re the one claiming I’m wrong about deregulation being the cause of the current debacle being caused by investment banks selling derivatives based on commercial paper that they issued in bad faith to game the system when those loans failed.

    You prove it.

    Good luck with that.

  250. Bron,

    1) You’re the one who brought out the race card by making homogeneity of population part of your economic argument. I was merely pointing it out.

    2) I could give a shit what Thomas Sowell says. He’s just another laissez-faire clown operating off of bad assumption about human nature.

  251. Gene:

    that is where you go wrong, the principles behind various economic situations do not change. In terms of complexity, it is probably more complex now because we have 80 more years of regulations to deal with.

    The derivatives and credit defaults swaps you bitch about, they are because of the regulations. People find ways to manage risk/get around regulations.

    You have caused complexity due to regulations. I shouldnt have to sign 30 pages of verbiage for a mortgage, it should be able to be done on one sheet:

    name of lender/lien holder
    name of borrower
    address of property liened
    value of property
    amount of loan
    interest rate
    # of loan payments
    signature of lender
    signature of borrower

    That is all you need to make a loan between 2 consenting adults. One page and it should take 2 hours, long enough for the borrower to obtain a credit check. All most of your regulations have done is distort the relationship between buyer and seller and made the lawyers rich. Maybe that is why you like regulations?

  252. “Regulation ended many of those practices..”

    nope all it did was create avenues for smart people to take advantage of. The crash was its own regulator. And had it been left alone as Harding did in 1920, the market would have taken care of the problem.

    Had Bush left the market alone in 2008 the market would have consolidated and we would be out of it by now.

  253. Actually, regulation did end those practices, but if you want to believe that laws enable smart criminals by forcing them to find new avenues to exploit? You keep believing that if it makes you feel better. Ignore the fact that laws (and the threat of substantive consequences) makes criminal’s jobs harder for them. You might as well start believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny too because they are both as childishly naive and logically nonsensical. The rest of your blather is just that: blather. An appeal to emotion bereft of proof. Seriously, your floundering and grasping is simply pathetic at this point.

    Now. Quit moving the goal posts. You’re the one claiming I’m wrong about deregulation being the cause of the current debacle being caused by investment banks selling derivatives based on commercial paper that they issued in bad faith to game the system when those loans failed.

    You prove it.

  254. Gene:

    is this what you mean?

    Read the part about Adam Smith.

    http://www.chomsky.info/books/warfare02.htm

    I pretty much agree with Chomsky although I dont agree with all of it.

    But I do think capitalism, unregulated capitalism would curtail the power of large corporations.

    And he is right, people go to college purely to punch a meal ticket and become technicians who then go to work for large corporations and become automatons or salarymen as they call them in Japan. The self is subordinated to the group. There is no self, there is only the corporation. It is a soul destroying existence.

  255. Woods is a libertarian and von Mises disciple. Why should anyone devote four or five minutes to him, let alone 34 minutes?

  256. “But I do think capitalism, unregulated capitalism would curtail the power of large corporations.”

    Then you’re simply cherry picking Chomsky and hallucinatory about human nature and the history of how corporations got out of control in the first place. Chomsky thinks the only legitimate source of authority is democracy in both society and the workplace. He understands the necessary roll of government in society and regulation in business. In fact, despite considering himself an anarchist (an anarcho-syndicalist specifically – I think he thinks it sounds cool), he often sounds more like a democratic socialist. Consider that Chomsky also said, in defense of anarchy, “One can, of course, take the position that we don’t care about the problems people face today, and want to think about a possible tomorrow. OK, but then don’t pretend to have any interest in human beings and their fate, and stay in the seminar room and intellectual coffee house with other privileged people. Or one can take a much more humane position: I want to work, today, to build a better society for tomorrow – the classical anarchist position, quite different from the slogans in the question. That’s exactly right, and it leads directly to support for the people facing problems today: for enforcement of health and safety regulation, provision of national health insurance, support systems for people who need them, etc. That is not a sufficient condition for organizing for a different and better future, but it is a necessary condition. Anything else will receive the well-merited contempt of people who do not have the luxury to disregard the circumstances in which they live, and try to survive.”

    Smith was dealing with an ideal. Perfect liberty doesn’t exist in society and can’t by operation of the social compact. Chomsky knows this. He also recognizes the role of government in markets and his objection isn’t government’s involvement, but rather that its involvement currently is not operating in the best interests of the people. He calls it state capitalism, but it’s really just another form of corporatist fascism by another name.

    Now quit moving the fucking goal posts and trying to sideline the issue.

    You’re the one claiming I’m wrong about deregulation being the cause of the current debacle being caused by investment banks selling derivatives based on commercial paper that they issued in bad faith to game the system when those loans failed.

    You prove it. Don’t opine. Don’t try to change the subject. Prove it.

  257. “Woods is a libertarian and von Mises disciple. Why should anyone devote four or five minutes to him, let alone 34 minutes?”

    Because he is brilliant and is very interesting to listen to. And he is presenting an alternative understanding to the hide bound dogma of Keynes and Krugman.

    Maybe Keynes and Krugman arent right and maybe this guy is, or maybe the truth lies somewhere between the 2 and the only way to know is to listen to what he has to say before you criticize him.

  258. “The Financial Times described it as the view that “when markets unravel, count on the Federal Reserve and its chairman Alan Greenspan (eventually) to come to the rescue.” According to economist Antony Mueller, “Since Alan Greenspan took office, financial markets in the U.S. have operated under a quasi-official charter, which says that the central bank will protect its major actors from the risk of bankruptcy. Consequently, the reasoning emerged that when you succeed, you will earn high profits and market share, and if you should fail, the authorities will save you anyway.” The Financial Times reported in 2000, in the wake of the dot-com boom, of an increasing concern that the Greenspan put was injecting into the economy “a destructive tendency toward excessively risky investment supported by hopes that the Fed will help if things go bad.””

    From the essay by Tom Woods.

    Full essay here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods111.html

    Malinvestment created by signals from the Fed caused the bust.

  259. Malinvestment not possible or legally permissible under the protections afforded by Glass-Steagall.

    You’ll have to do better than that.

  260. Gene H:

    “Malinvestment not possible or legally permissible under the protections afforded by Glass-Steagall.”

    It is still possible because of the Federal Reserve. Read this article, it agrees with you that Glass-Steagall is necessary but it agree with me that the root cause is the Federal Reserve.

    http://mises.org/daily/4100

    It does agree with your contention so dont let the fact that it is from the Mises Institute keep you from reading it.

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