The Myth of America's Laissez-Faire Past

Tariffs, trusts, corporate-state collusion and "communism of pelf" did not equal free markets

In 1888, at the height of the Gilded Age, a rather prominent American said some startling things. First he observes:

Our cities are the abiding places of wealth and luxury; our manufactories yield fortunes never dreamed of by the fathers of the Republic; our business men are madly striving in the race for riches, and immense aggregations of capital outrun the imagination in the magnitude of their undertakings.

But this did not mean all was well with America. The speaker goes on:

We view with pride and satisfaction this bright picture of our country’s growth and prosperity, while only a closer scrutiny develops a somber shading. Upon more careful inspection we find the wealth and luxury of our cities mingled with poverty and wretchedness and unremunerative toil.

Assigning Blame

Has this man forgotten, as many people do, that in market-based societies the growth of wealth, while inevitably uneven, is over time steady and general? That’s not relevant to what he has in mind: He wishes to assign blame for the poverty he observed:

We discover that the fortunes realized by our manufacturers are no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight, but that they result from the discriminating favor of the Government and are largely built upon undue exactions from the masses of our people. The gulf between employers and the employed is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich and powerful, while in another are found the toiling poor.

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.

Rewards unrelated to effort! Undue exactions from the masses! Widening gulf between employers and employed! Rapidly forming classes! Rich and powerful versus the toiling poor!

We’ve heard this somewhere.

Powerful Minority

But he’s got more to say:

Under the . . . laws . . . the Government permits many millions more to be added to the cost of the living of our people and to be taken from our consumers, which unreasonably swell the profits of a small but powerful minority. . . .

[T]he Government, under pretext of an exercise of its taxing power, enters gratuitously into partnership with these favorites, to their advantage and to the injury of a vast majority of our people.

This is not equality before the law.

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  • ||

    Did the 'guess who said this' intro really need to be a page and a half?

  • robc||

    Im not sure why Im supposed to be surprised.

  • Huck||

    So, I'm curious then. When we want to advocate for the advantages of the free market, at what point in time in history, and where, can we best extrapolate from?

  • robc||

    Why do you need a time in history to extrapolate from?

    The free market should be advocated from a moral position, not a utilitarian one.

    Because fuck utilitarianism.

  • Huck||

    Not everyone I talk to buys into the libertarian argumen from a moral perspective. A lot of them don't. They just shut down or evade. When I talk about economics or some specific civil libertarian issues, I am marginally more successful. Some of this is just basic E.Q. stuff and knowing your audience.

  • robc||

    Not everyone I talk to buys into the libertarian argumen from a moral perspective.

    Tell them to go fuck themselves.

  • Huck||

    A most edifying proposition! However, I've known people whose lights did not immediately come on when confronted the first time with the NAP. But given time, robust and rigorous argument, evidence, they did come around. Not many, but a few. I'd rather have those few on my side than giving in to simply warming the cockles of my heart with a few choice curses.

  • robc||

    But they dont come around by switching to utilitarian arguments. Continue with the moral arguments...make them admit that they think the ends justify the means. Some (very few) at that point, realize the error of their ways.

    Those that dont can fuck off. If they are okay with ends justifying the means, you can go Godwin on them, it wont matter anyway.

  • Huck||

    People are different, are psychologically geared differently. So some do actually come around through utilitarian arguments first. Both Hayek and Friedman, to name famous examples started their careers as socialists. It was their work itself that led them more naturally to a libertarian position. Vernon Smith said something to this effect as well recently, that it was working in economics that led him towards a more libertarian position. Sometimes the moral argument follows from this and strengthens their position. You just can't expect everyone to reason alike - given the variety of experiences people have/backgrounds/upbringings and various influences, not to mention possible genetic factors involved in how they make decisions. Also, I'm sometimes not able to convince someone totally that the libertarian position is the right one, but on individual issues I can sometimes make headway.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Beating people over the head with Moral Superiority reduces Libertarianism to the same religious basis as Vegetarianism, Progressivism, etc.. It may be satisfying to YOU, but it rarely accomplishes much in the way of convincing people. Folks are confronted on all sides these days by self-rightious boobs tub-thumping for Alternative Energy or Ethical Food or some goddamned thing. Be different; advocate something because it works.

  • robc||

    Be different; advocate something because it works.

    Killing the jews works* too. You advocating for that too.

    *for some definition of works. And that is the problem.

    Libertarianism works, because it maximizes liberty. But it does it by always being moral.

    Any immoral action should not be taken, no matter how well it "works".

    What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? -- Matthew 16:26

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why bring morality into government policy anyway? Leave it to idiots like Tony, and his doppelgangers the Freepers, to bitch about how government policy has a moral component in the first place.

    I disagree with that premise; people are moral, whereas government is not people - it's laws and regulations, not a living creature.

    Is my cat's litter box capable of taking a moral or immoral action? No, it just sits there on the floor, collecting shit and emitting odors - just like government.

  • robc||

    Governments are made up of people.

    All actions have a moral component.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sorry, rob, but I just react badly to that notion. Tony used to blather about the "immorality" of tax policy, for instance, when there is IMO no moral/immoral component to tax policy.

    Now, right and wrong, that's different. But morality is what people do to each other, not what politicians write into law.

  • robc||

    no moral/immoral component to tax policy

    Disagree...in most cases, taxation is theft. And thus immoral.

    There is a huge moral component to tax policy. Its why the only tax I can morally support is the Single Land Tax.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm saying, in and of themselves. laws have no morality.

    The fuckbuckets who write them, OTOH...

  • Randian||

    Killing the jews works* too. You advocating for that too.

    *for some definition of works. And that is the problem.

    Libertarianism works, because it maximizes liberty. But it does it by always being moral.

    That makes for very boring and ineffective advocacy. You may not like the reality that you have to influence people in different ways rather than yelling "immoral", but life isn't fair.

  • Huck||

    Aren't you missing church?

  • Huck||

    In response to robc

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    robc,

    You are, I take it, a charter member of the Internet Non-sequiter Society?

    Killing "the Jews" in fact DOESN'T work, nor does expelling them. The history of that persecution is also a history of societies that dealt crippling blows to their own middle class, and had serious trouble as a consequence. In fact this is often true for despised but moderately successful minority groups; Hispanics, Irish, Chinese, etc.

    I'm not advocating immoral positions. I'm advocating ceasing to belabor people with one's Moral Superiority, and arguing from demonstrable facts and utility. That you apparently believe that anything that works must be immoral makes me wonder why you are here, instead of hanging out with the cloud-cuckoo land Liberal Intellectual crowd. You know; the twerps who have, for the last forty years, been reliably opposed to any method of electrical generation that is in any danger of proving practical, to use just one example.

  • robc||

    Moral Superiority

    Never claimed any such thing. You are making shit up.

    That you apparently believe that anything that works must be immoral

    Ive never said that nor do I believe it. The only thing I have said is choose moral means. I want the best possible result from moral means, so look at all the moral means and choose the one that has the best result. You cant do it the other way, by starting at the ends.

    opposed to any method of electrical generation

    My degree is in Nuclear Engineering, so a big swing and a miss on your part.

    Killing "the Jews" in fact DOESN'T work

    Of course it doesnt. Its a hypothetical. A utilitarian HAS to favor killing the jews IF it led to maximum utility, however.

    While that example is hyperbolic insanity, Ive seen utilitarians argue for minor immoralities as necessary.

    The military draft, for example.

  • SusanM||

    Prove it is "moral". To some, killing jews, blacks, gays, feminists, or anyone else they really don't like is moral. Some who advocate for "natural" laws and rights for example. The proof has to be more than "waaa waaa it's not faaaaair!!!"

  • gaoxiaen||

    If your goal is suicide after the near-destruction of civilization and the deaths of tens of millions of people, it works.

  • tarran||

    Pennsylvania had no functioning government in the late 1600's early 1700's. It's where Ben Franklin fled to as an economic refugee from the heavily regulated Boston.

  • Huck||

    Thanks for the example.

  • gaoxiaen||

    We've really made up for lost time.

  • MJGreen||

    Of course, utilitarianism is a moral position...

  • SKR||

    ^this^

  • robc||

    No it isnt.

    Utilitarianism is the exact opposite of moral. It is literally "the ends justify the means". Ends cant be moral or immoral in and of themselves, it is the means (actions) that are moral or immoral.

  • ||

    I think he's saying that to take out a position that immoral means can justify moral outcomes, IS to take a moral position.

  • robc||

    Got ya. I would say its an immoral position. :)

    I would disagree with the concept of "moral outcomes" however. Outcomes are just that, outcomes, and are neither moral nor immoral.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Compromise with "position on morality".

  • MJGreen||

    Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that judges the morality of an action by the effect it has on happiness. Whether you think any or all permutations of utilitarianism leads to morally bankrupt conclusions has no bearing on the fact that utilitarianism is a theory of morality.

  • robc||

    morally bankrupt conclusions

    Missing the point. Its not the conclusions that are morally bankrupt. Results are just results. Its the means that are problematic (or not).

  • KPres||

    "Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that judges the morality of an action by the effect it has on happiness."

    I would call that the definition of the broader Consequentialism, of which Utilitarianism is one subset, and Egoism is another.

    Usually, utilitarians go one step further and claim that actions should be judged based on their effects on TOTAL utility, ie, most happiness to the most number of people. Of course, the problem there is that it's impossible to measure personal utility, and you also have to consider the effects of future utility, which is similarly impossible. (For instance, wealth redistribution raises total utility in the present, but lowers it in the future once the perverted incentives kick in.)

  • robc||

    And the bigger problem is that utilitarians will sacrifice one person's happiness to give a greater amount of happiness to a larger set of people.

  • Coach Panto||

    True. Two utilitarian issues are conflated in this thread:

    1. Utilitarianism of Libertarian Government Policy
    2. Utilitarianism of Liberty

    If we ONLY argued the morality of libertarian policy (protection of right to own my body and my property, fairness of capitalist meritocracy,) then the statists can counter with morality of giving someone food when theyre hungry, taking money from someone who lives in such riches that he throws away $1000 worth of stuff per day...etc.

    It's a wash on the SIMPLISTIC morality level. I think the libertarians have the advantage in the detailed moral argument, because real charity is TRADE. At the local level, you don't give a handout to a menacing homeless guy, you give it to people who 'deserve" it by their deeds in the communit. Donors expect continued good deeds and/or an effort to become independent.

    That aside, the utilitarian record of the success of free trade is unmatchable, so we need to make that too.

    All of the above, baby! Get out there and joust!

  • SeanV||

    The medieval Islamic world had a pretty strong free market philosophy. People even wrote that you couldn't price-fix because God had set the prices to his will.

    You could also compare the wealth of imperial free cities - with light regulation - to the poverty of the nearby feudal manors - where lords controlled pretty much every aspect of their vassals' lives.

    Or that the North was richer than the South because it didn't rest on slave labor. Or that Athens created more than Sparta and defeated them in battle on a regular basis.

    Or that Vanderbilt broke monopolies (technically illegally) because he could offer better service.

  • sloopyinca||

    When we want to advocate for the advantages of the free market, at what point in time in history, and where, can we best extrapolate from?

    I thought we had agreed to use present day Somalia as our poster child. Have I been going about this the wrong way?

  • SusanM||

    Enjoy it while it lasts. In about 25 years, Somalia will be a nice little Euro-Socialist state.

  • Enyap||

    I never really focus on a specific time period while arguing, but try to look for individual libertarian positions that have been successfully implanted, such as drug decriminalization in Portugal, low business regulation and private money in Hong Kong, and so on.

  • SusanM||

    Why not look to the Pennsylvania Dutch? The Amish seem to get along fine with keeping to themselves. I'm not even busting anyones balls here. They're a great example of a relatively self-governing society.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Upon more careful inspection we find the wealth and luxury of our cities mingled with poverty and wretchedness and unremunerative toil.

    Even back then they didn't recognize that there were parts of America that weren't city.

  • db||

    And that was before the major shift in rural/urban populations, wasn't it?

  • JoshSN||

    Cleveland was from Buffalo, which only has 250,000 people today, and represented the Democratic Party, which still was the favorite of the independent farmer.

  • Robert||

    If Cleveland was from Buffalo, was Buffalo from Rochester?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    By the way, did everyone catch how close that super moon was last night? I bumped my head on it.

  • Huck||

    A moon so powerful, werewolves turn into you!

  • Mr Whipple||

    In Soviet Russia....

  • ||

    ...werewolves moon YOU!

  • db||

    Half the water in my pool sloshed out from the tidal pull.

  • ||

    Nice!

  • gaoxiaen||

    I did feel a bit lightheaded.

  • tarran||

    One overlooked fact of history is that people confuse the relative lack of federal regulation with a lack of any government regulation in that period.

    States could and did set up monopolies. The state of New York was particularly notorious in this regard. The advent of the railroad created a situation where consumers could evade the high prices caused by regulation by purchasing goods manufactured elsewhere and freighted in. As the businesses that had benefited from state regulation lost their captive markets they naturally continued the political capitalism they had excelled at at the state level with the Federal Government.

    However, it wasn't until World War I that the Fed's began comprehensively intervening in the economy, so there was a period where the tax competition dramatically increased economic freedom in the U.S.

  • Robert||

    Now, see, that is the kind of stuff to point out that might sway people, rather than some broad statement by Grover Cleveland that might, if you strain at it one way, say that late 19th C. USA wasn't so free economically.

    You might also point out that that was the beginning of a long era of suppression of smut by all levels of gov't.

  • JoshSN||

    First, I believe Steven Grover Cleveland was one of the Great Presidents, but not for this State of the Union, but for his previous one, "American Interests in the Cuban Revolution," a SOTU given over to one topic, why we shouldn't interfere in Cuba. He also refused to annex Hawai'i after he'd learned what the Marine Corps had done, and he was the President who finally normalized relations with the UK. The Pullman strike response is, of course, nearly impossible to defend.

    Cleveland was the only Democrat to be elected President for the 60 years between Buchanan and Wilson. One party rule had greatly corrupted the Republicans, almost immediately, and it stank so bad by then that Northern, especially New York, Republicans, switched in great numbers to elect Cleveland, seen as not corrupt in any way. An attractive online resource called "Puck and the Gilded Age" has more on that.

    Another thing to note is that from the age of Jefferson and Jackson, the Democratic-Republican party had been against the existence corporations and the stock market. Their "free market" capitalism favored individual enterprise and saw limited liability as government interference in the economy. You can read more about that here: http://brilliant-blue.blogspot.....udden.html

    I am unaware of any modern libertarians who see this, the greatest distortion of the government of the economy, as the largest problem.

  • robc||

    Its discussed here at least once a week.

    Your unawareness is curious.

  • JoshSN||

    Citation needed. I read something on Reason at least once a week, and have for a year or so.

    I generally hear libertarians point to Murray Rothbard's defense of limited liability, rather, his assertion that it isn't actually necessary, but don't mess with it, anyway.

  • robc||

    See the posts from Proprietist.

    And the semi-irregularly occurring arguments with him about limited liability corporations.

  • JoshSN||

    I should have said "prominent" libertarians, and not "modern" libertarians.

    The Proprietist, one commenter on Reason blogs, does hold the anti-Limited Liability viewpoint.

  • tarran||

    Jesus christ! You don't think Rothbard is significant?!?

  • JoshSN||

    Well, he's hardly "modern," being dead and all.

    It's a real cramp on anyone's attempts to keep up with the times and stay, as the kids say "hip."

  • robc||

    Youve been given a modern example and a prominent example.

  • JoshSN||

    Sorry, Rothbard has the opposing view, so, he is not a prominent example. I was in error to simply refer to his death, before. I apologize.

    The Proprietist is one, modern libertarian. No offense to him, but his web presence seems to be as a commenter on a blog with a website with one page.

  • tarran||

    Rothbard was opposed to limited liability in torts....

    Most radical libertarians agree with him.

    People don't talk about it much for the same reasons that you don't read a lot of libertarians writing articles proving that slavery is unlibertarian.

  • JoshSN||

    His views on limited liability for corporations is the topic. Here, he was for it, as this article, and many others, point out:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north408.html

    Reminder, I am not endorsing this view. I think there is no greater interference in the economy by the government than corporate charters.

  • KPres||

    That article doesn't address terran's claim that Rothbard opposed limited liability in torts, which is what your objection is all about.

    Maybe you should read more than the headline when posting.

  • tarran||

    Rothbard discusses limited liability in torts in Power and Market and says briefly in one paragraph something to the effect that owners of a firm cannot limit their liability for damage their firms operations cause.

    His support for limited liability for covering debts is based on explaining why it would inevitably arise in a free market on a contractual or voluntary basis.

    That paragraph on torts is the only time I've ever seen him take on the issue, and it was to dismiss the limit with regards to torts out of hand.

  • JoshSN||

    @KPres, my objection has nothing to do with torts, and only to do with the government grant of limited liability for corporations. I never mentioned torts, except to say I wasn't talking about them.

    @tarran There are other links, on this very page, which show that Rothbard, Hesen, and someone else, all share a particular view of corporate liability. It sounds to me like you understood Rothbard's view, that it isn't necessary to be a government grant, because corporations would just do it anyway. It's an argument I find completely absurd, but you can read more about Rothbard and others views here:

    http://www.libertarianstandard.....-taxation/

  • JoshSN||

    @KPres, my objection has nothing to do with torts, and only to do with the government grant of limited liability for corporations. I never mentioned torts, except to say I wasn't talking about them.

    @tarran There are other links, on this very page, which show that Rothbard, Hesen, and someone else, all share a particular view of corporate liability. It sounds to me like you understood Rothbard's view, that it isn't necessary to be a government grant, because corporations would just do it anyway. It's an argument I find completely absurd, but you can read more about Rothbard and others views here:

    http://www.libertarianstandard.....-taxation/

  • KPres||

    "@KPres, my objection has nothing to do with torts, and only to do with the government grant of limited liability for corporations."

    Ugh, limited liability only requires government grant in the case of torts, you dolt. Your objection has EVERYTHING to do with torts, even if you're not sharp enough to understand that.

  • JoshSN||

    The government grant of limited liability operates with respect to all cases, civil and criminal.

    Clearly, it not limited to just torts.

  • Mr Whipple||

    What is "limited liability"?

    Limited liability refers to the debts incurred from private contract with a lender. That is all. The lender is free to accept or refuse a limited liability status.

    Liability for torts, is a different matter. Liability for torts falls under "vicarious liability", or "deep pockets". Which is why most businesses carry liability insurance for torts.

  • DJF||

    And also why they have government granted limited liability for stock owners since it protects the stock owners from paying more then the amount of money they paid for the stock in compensation due to those torts.

    In fact there is no such thing as limited liability, its actually liablility transfer, either back to the person who is owned or to a third party. You can't limit liabilty because liability is set by what occured, all you do with government issued limited liabilty is to limit the owners of corporations payment and transfer the rest to others

  • DJF||

    Once a debt occurs only some combination of three things can occur, either the debtor pays it off, the lender pays it off or some third party pays it off.

    If a paint factory explodes and burns down ten 200,000 homes then the liabilty is 2 million dollars. Limited liability just protects the owners from losing more then what they own in the company and if the company only has 1 million total assets then the home owners must bear the additional costs. So the liabilty for the factory owners is limited but not the home owners.

  • DJF||

    Correction to my last line, it should say,

    So the liabilty is limited for the factory owner by law but the home owners liabilty is only limited by what occured, ie the loss of their 200,000 dollar home

  • Mr Whipple||

    If a paint factory explodes and burns down ten 200,000 homes then the liabilty is 2 million dollars. Limited liability just protects the owners from losing more then what they own in the company and if the company only has 1 million total assets then the home owners must bear the additional costs.

    The liability for torts is "vicarious liability", not "limited liability". In cases of negligence and malice, upper management, and the Board of Directors can, and have been held personally responsible.

  • DJF||

    But what about the owners of the corporations, are they not the employer of the management and the board of directors?

  • Mr Whipple||

    The government doesn't grant limited liability. It is a private agreement between a creditor and debtor.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Personally, I could make a case against vicarious liability. All workers should have to carry their own liability insurance.

  • DJF||

    But not all people who are owed by a corporation have agreements, third parties don't.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Which is why a company MUST hang a "sign", and do their "due diligence".

  • Mr Whipple||

    Umm, third parties must do their "due diligence"

  • DJF||

    But they are not allowed to since for example the paint factory does not let the neighbors into the factory to inspect it. So when the factory explodes and the flaming wreckage destroys their homes they had no power or knowledge to stop it. Its a clear case of the business waving its fist around which is fine until the flaming wreckage hits the neighbors in the nose. Then they are third parties who are owed.

  • JoshSN||

    Government does grant limited liability. For it to work the way you say, everyone who bought a pack of smokes through the 1980s entered into a legally binding agreement not to sue the Tobacco company owners for the actions taken on their behalf.

    This plain fact, which you contradict with your words, is apparent in the limited liability regimes set up for corporations with the 1855 Limited Liability Act in the UK, followed fairly quickly by the US and France.

    In 1989, the EU, in the Twelth Council Company Law Directive 89/667/EEC made sure that limited liability, by government, to corporations, must be offered to corporations as small as a single person.

    So, don't try to give me any more sh*t about it not being a government grant, because it is written into the laws.

    For those more academically inclined (I'm assuming that's not you, Mr. Whipple, both because of your username and your ability state patent falsehoods) can read more about it here:

    http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/.....5/837.full

  • Mr Whipple||

    Ahhh, Mercantilism. There's your problem.

  • JoshSN||

    There's whose problem? I see the problem as the government grant of limited liability protection, and other grants, as detailed in the article to a scholarly journal I presented, and you respond with "Ah, mercantilism?"

    Surely I'm not supposed to take that seriously, since Mercantilism isn't the topic, nor was ever the topic, not even the aforementioned paper?

  • Mr Whipple||

    There is much confusion about corporate liability. Stephan Kinsella breaks it down fairly well, here:

    http://www.libertarianstandard.....-taxation/

  • JoshSN||

    Yes, that's the standard defense.

  • robc||

    And its correct.

    Im fine with getting rid of it, but its about #5836 on my list. Its below getting rid of copyright on my list.

  • DJF||

    But if as you seem to imply that limited liability is such a minor government intrusion in the free market then we can get rid of it with little effort and it will cause limited disruption.

    However on the other hand if its a major government intrusion in the free market then we should also get rid of it since then its a major disruption of the free market.

    So either way, lets get rid of it and the first step is to stop supporting it.

  • JoshSN||

    I've recently been happy with a compromise solution, but I am not sure it will fully work.

    Churches are granted certain rights (the right not to be taxed) in exchange for certain loss of rights (the right to speak freely about political contests).

    Corporations are granted certain rights (limited liability for shareholders) and so, in exchange, could also be forced to relinquish their political rights.

    Of course, that's just getting at the obvious part of the problem, but maybe it is sufficient.

  • KPres||

    "Corporations are granted certain rights (limited liability for shareholders) and so, in exchange, could also be forced to relinquish their political rights."

    But corporations have already made an exchange for limited liability, in the form of the corporate tax.

  • JoshSN||

    I would argue that the size of the government interference is the correct metric for choosing how big a deal a particular government interference is.

    The Social Security Administration and Medicare/Medicaid is around a half trillion dollar, or so, interference.

    Corporations are many trillions.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Limited liability is not a government granted right. It is a sign. If you run an LLC, you MUST put a sign in the window, so to speak. Creditors can freely choose to accept it, or not, or require substantial collateral.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to limited liability, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

    The way I see it, limited liability is contracted when a customer voluntarily agrees to do business with the company. Their transaction is implied consent that if they are damaged due to the company's negligence, then they will be limited in who will compensate them. Since the companies charters are all a matter of public record, any consumer is free to research who they transact business with and if they are concerned with their ability to be compensated being limited, they are free to conduct business with a company that does not enjoy limited liability. There are still sole proprietorships out there, right?

    When it comes to someone that does not voluntarily enter into a contract, (i.e. the neighbor of the paint factory above), their liability is not limited, and negligence or willful disregard of the neighbor's property rights does not limit the company's exposure to tort to what the company's holdings are. I recall some oil executives being held personally responsible for spills in the recent past.

    Sorry if this seemed rambling, but I don't really know how to put this argument/question into words. Am I correct, though?

  • ||

    Yep, and remember that most LLCs are not walmart or exxon-mobile. When forming contracts with them people often require them to assign significant collateral from the individuals themselves. It's all consensual, the idea that it is the biggest threat to America is absurd.

  • DJF||

    But they do apply government limited liability to the stock owners who are the collective owners of the corporations. The management and board of directors are just hirelings of the stock owners. They have no power or authority beyond what the collective stock owners give them.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Yeah, sloopy, you are correct.

    However, there is one case of limited liability for torts, and that is Gulf oil drilling. Oil companies are only responsible for a certain amount (I forget what it is) of liability for torts. Any claims over that limit, the government covers.

    Let's say the limit is $10 million. If I am an oil company, I only need to purchase $10 million of liability insurance, or have mil set aside. Any torts over $10 mil, will be picked up by the federal government. But regardless, the people still get paid.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, the people who are damaged and did not transact business with the oil companies are still compensated, and that compensation is not capped.

    I think that's bullshit from a taxpayer perspective, but for anyone to say that limited liability harms the third party in this case would be incorrect.

    In almost any other instance, LLC protections only apply to people who voluntarily conduct business with the company. All others are not limited when the company's negligence damages them.

  • JoshSN||

    You are entirely incorrect, and so is Mr. Whipple. Government grants of limited liability to corporations has a long history, and none of it has anything to do with an implicit, legally binding contract at Point of Sale.

    http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/.....5/837.full

  • DJF||

    The government granted limited liability is not to the corporation itself, its a scapegoat which can be sacrificed, the limited liability is to the stockowners who collectively own that corporation. Its their pockets which are protected.

  • ||

    Exactly. It would be difficult to imagine such a collective ownership without LL.

  • KPres||

    "It would be difficult to imagine such a collective ownership without LL."

    Why? What else are investors going to do with their money? People act like without LL there'd be all this added risk. That's nonsense, the same amount of risk is already there, it's just about getting the responsible parties to be liable so that their rational actions become mutually beneficial rather than destructive.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Then give me your definition of limited liability or STFU.

  • KPres||

    "Its their pockets which are protected."

    Yeah, but their pockets aren't really protected most of the time. What about when the corp they own shares in is the creditor that doesn't get paid thanks to LL?

  • KPres||

    Also, I think bankruptcy protection should always be mentioned in the same breath as limited liability, since both are similar distortions. Plus it confounds the class warriors posing as free-market supporters.

  • ||

    You seem to be confused on what exactly it is that limitation of liability actually limits. If I own 1/100,000,000th of a large company, holding a $100 investment, and the company goes bankrupt, limited liability means that the company's creditors can't come tow away my car and repossess my home, or force me into bankruptcy or debtor's prison to reclaim the debts incurred by the company - I'm only on the hook for the $100 worth of my ownership. And even that limitation is, itself, limited. In cases of fraud or impropriety the "corporate veil" is pierced, and my personal assets would be put at risk. Likewise if I commit a tort in my capacity as an owner or officer of the company. Except in specific circumstances, like the oil industry as discussed above, limited liability only means limited recovery on the part of a creditor - which is a risk inherent in being a creditor, and one that is priced in the market for capital. It's not a license to blow up people's houses with no personal risk. Your example is absurd.

  • KPres||

    Corporations are many trillions.

    Total corporate profits are about $1.5 trillion, but only a tiny fraction of that come escaping liability damages.

    Seems the social programs are a vastly larger intervention.

  • ||

    Shhhh Josh isn't interested in facts.

  • JoshSN||

    KPres, what you said makes no sense. The only time liability is avoided is during a procedure like bankruptcy, when the company owes more than its stockholders investments. You said "only a tiny fraction" of corporate profits come from evading liability. No profits come from evading liability. Liability comes into the picture only when a company has no more profits.

    Plus, who said the measure should just be based on profits? Why not revenue, or, even better, book value, as lots of libertarians don't talk about the current year's budget for OAS/DI, but the 75 year projected cost.

    @Apatheist, I am the only person here who has provided a link to an academic source discussing the history of limited liability as a government grant.

    I'll repeat it for you:

    http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/.....5/837.full

    Don't be a f*cking ignoramus and tell me I'm not interested in facts.

  • KPres||

    "The only time liability is avoided is during a procedure like bankruptcy, when the company owes more than its stockholders investments. No profits come from evading liability."

    Jesus, man, the figure for total profits includes losses as well, which are limited.

    "Plus, who said the measure should just be based on profits? Why not revenue, or, even better, book value"

    Because profits represent the shareholder's income in the same way a medicare payments represent income to the recipient.

    And the book value? Dude, YOU said one year of medicare/medicaid. That was the basis for YOUR comparison. Why the fuck would we talk about book cost, then? How the hell is that apples to apples?

  • KPres||

    "@Apatheist, I am the only person here who has provided a link to an academic source discussing the history of limited liability as a government grant."

    It doesn't matter if, historically, it was a government grant. The only issue is whether it REQUIRES government grant in the abstract. Otherwise, it's like the government "granting" you the right to be an obnoxious troll. It's irrelevant, because you'd be the same obnoxious troll without the government grant.

  • JoshSN||

    @KPres, the courts have already gotten rid of any semblance that click-through contracts, often distributed with software, are binding. I don't see how a contract implied at point of sale is going to fly, in its stead. Further, and this is where Rothbard and your idea really falls down, if the corporation can enforce "limited" liability at point of sale, why wouldn't it simply insist on "no" liability, for any and all damages? Wouldn't any such company, selling Tide detergent, face lower costs than one that assumed any liability at all?

    If you'd read the paper, you'd have realized that corporations weren't using this to get the industrial revolution going, but, once made available to them, used it.

  • newshutz||

    This was hashed out in great detail on Usenet in the 90s.

    It crops up from time to time, but generally not seen as much of a winning issue for libertarians.

    I often use it though when arguing with the "Corpurashuns are evil" progressives by asking why they support limited liability.

  • JoshSN||

    I'm probably what you would call a progressive, although I'm not what you would call a progressive, and I'd say that we give churches special legal exemptions from paying taxes and, in return, demand certain things from them, including staying out of politics, and, so, if we give corporations limited liability, we can demand things from them, too, including, perhaps ideally, staying out of politics.

  • JoshSN||

    Apparently if you google "Puck and the Gilded Age" you don't get there, so I will add this link:

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma96/puck/intro.html

    The correct title is "Uniting Mugwumps and the Masses: Puck's Role in Gilded Age Politics"

  • BMFPitt||

    Rewards unrelated to effort! Undue exactions from the masses! Widening gulf between employers and employed! Rapidly forming classes! Rich and powerful versus the toiling poor!

    That part seems to blatantly ignore a critical piece of the quoted text. "no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight, but that they result from the discriminating favor of the Government"

  • Randian||

    I don't see how a bunch of Grover Cleveland quotes demonstrate that the Gilded Age wasn't, on net, better for markets than today. Of course, I am not saying that said Age was some kind of "Laissez les bons temps rouler" Libertopia, but this President says he believes in the free market, so should historians 150 years from now just assume that the 2000s were a banner decade for liberty?

  • JoshSN||

    You are correct. Even Cleveland could support shooting strikers dead, which is the sort of anti-Unionism that Steve Forbes only dreams of.

  • JoshSN||

    You are correct. Even Cleveland could support shooting strikers dead, which is the sort of anti-Unionism that Steve Forbes only dreams of.

  • ||

    Would that be wrong?

    I keed, I keed.

  • KPres||

    Depends on where they're picketing.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Our system of government is a triune system, a living, celestial, and organic ascension towards a higher power." - some dumbshit HuffPoster who obviously views government from a holistic perspective

  • deified||

    Herr Hegel, is that you?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sounds more like an Occutard.

    Or Tony.

  • Robert||

    I don't see much point to pointing out the deviations of that time and place from laissez faire except to point out specific ones (in rebutting statements about lack of economic progress in certain areas), because otherwise that place and time should be taken as a real-world model that most closely approaches the ideals we seek. It don't see the value of bringing up some general statements by Grover Cleveland and ascribing meaning to them that goes way beyond what can ordinarily be read from the quoted text. Those passages could just as, or more, easily be read as a critique of the corporate form, or of greed in general.

  • Randian||

    Yes, this is a well-stated objection to the piece. if you want to demonstrate the Gilded Age wasn't all it's cracked up to be liberty-wise, then give specific examples. Quoting a President's speech tells me nothing.

  • tarran||

    This article is a nice starting point - its citations will point you toward the evidence you seek.

  • Randian||

    You SF'd it.

    Here

    And thanks for the reference!

  • tarran||

    You're welcome. Sorry about SFing it. I guess that first http is important.

  • John||

    Where the gilded age was what it was cracked up to be was personal economic liberty. There were just fewer laws. There was virtually no control on cash. There was no income tax so you didn't have to worry about reporting your every move to the government.

  • tarran||

    ^^^^^^^THIS!

  • Mr Whipple||

  • Mr Whipple||

    And a lecture by Folsom for FEE.

    http://www.fee.org/media/the-m.....-barons-2/

  • sloopyinca||

    TechCrunch users confuse Facebook with the government. They also fail to understand the simple concept of "voting with your feet".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Two points:

    1) A little bit of capitalism goes a long way.

    Being a little bit capitalist isn't like being a little bit pregnant.

    Is China capitalist or is it an economy where the government colludes with industry against individuals?

    Despite the collusion, individuals in China are getting a lot of mileage out of what capitalism they have.

    2) More capitalism is better than less.

    As bad as the collusion between government and industry can be in China, it's still better than the economy the Chinese were suffering under before the introduction of what capitalism they have.

    Even if things are still bad now in China, in some ways, who wants to go back to the way things used to be?

    Look at everything we were able to achieve with what capitalism we had in the Gilded Age.

    And back then, women had few opportunities to be productive; black people and other minorities were disenfranchised; the courts failed to protect the rights of factory workers...

    Now that many of those problems have been addressed, how much better would our economy be if we were as free from various forms of government intrusion as our economy was in Cleveland's day? If a little more capitalism is better than less, and a little capitalism really can go a long way...

    Even our progressive enemies think capitalism is so robust that it can't be hamstrung. But just because capitalism is remarkably resilient despite the intrusion of government, doesn't mean our economy wouldn't be much better off without it.

  • tarran||

    One issue with the term capitalism is that it was coined or popularized (I can't remember which) by Marx to describe a regime where the owner of capital was advantaged at the expense on non-owners of capital.

    Free market capitalism has very different qualities and a social order than crony capitalism, but the use of the term capitalism leaves us vulnerable to the conflation of the two different forms.

    I prefer to just do away with the word all together and use the phrase "free market". It's more precise, has less negative baggage due to the conflation, and allows one to more easily argue one's position.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'll have to think about that.

    I still like the word "capitalism". To me it still says everything I want to say. To me, it's always meant that as an owner of capital, I should be free to make my own choices. I suspect some people have a hard time imagining themselves as capitalists. But I've never had that problem.

    When some people hear the word "capitalist", they think we're talking about someone other than them. Someone in a country club somewhere, twirling a monocle? I saw myself as a capitalist back when I was doing farm labor in my teens.

    If "capitalism" suggests that I think the power to make economic decisions should flow with capital, then, as horrifying a prospect as that is to some people, that's exactly the way I think things should be--so call me a "capitalist".

    But perceptions are important. I'll have to think about that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When I think of "capitalism", I think of it as the system that does the most to provide opportunities for hardworking people, and as the system that does the most to deny opportunities to willfully stupid parasites.

    And I think that's where I want the line of opposition drawn. I don't care what race you are; I don't care if you're LGBT or a woman; I don't care what religion you are...

    I want the willfully stupid and the lazy on one side, and the hardworking opportunity driven people on the other. If we need to draw a line somewhere, I want it between those two groups of people.

    And I think "capitalism" does a really good job of drawing that line where it should be.

  • sloopyinca||

    I want the willfully stupid and the lazy on one side, and the hardworking opportunity driven people on the other. If we need to draw a line somewhere, I want it between those two groups of people.

    So you're drawing the line at the Texas border, right Ken? That was your point the other day, wasn't it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think there are a disproportionately large number of willfully stupid people in Texas, yes.

  • sloopyinca||

    Your bigotry toward Texans is pathetic. You lack any concrete evidence to support it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Texas isn't stupid, then how do you explain this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvkjewgF8GQ

  • sloopyinca||

    If Texas is stupid, how do you explain why the federal government ranks them well above the national average for math and science for 8th graders?

    BTW, California ranks well below Texas in both. As does New York. You know, the "enlightened" states.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's not surprising that Texas' children get high marks since Texas, effectively, gets to write its own textbooks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03.....texas.html

    Tell me, do Texas' 8th grade science textbooks make any mention of unsettled scientific questions like the existence of dinosaurs?

    And the real question is whether the adults in Texas are smarter than 8th graders, isn't it?

    I mean, if having smart 8th graders was the criteria for whether the state had a disproportionate number of willfully stupid people, you might have a point. How do you account for stuff like this?

    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....separation

    Surely, even your 8th graders are smarter than that.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oh noes! A group with a blog is making silly statements and the news is picking up on it.

    And the rankings I listed are from the Federal government. each state's standards must meet federal requirements IRT to testing. Your "they set their own curriculum" argument is disingenuous because they are all held to the same standards in these rankings and the testing methods must meet federal guidelines and protocols. IOW, they are on a level playing field and performed better than CA and NY in both areas.

    Can't you just say your hasty generalization of Texans, rednecks and other groups you are bigoted against were inappropriate and move on? I mean, say what you want about me calling people cunts, but it sure beats the hell out of stereotyping and demonizing entire groups/states/regions of people.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Let's see what we got from the NYT article I linked above.

    "In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin's theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

    ....Republicans on the board have passed more than 100 amendments to the 120-page curriculum standards affecting history, sociology and economics courses from elementary to high school.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03......html?_r=1

    Near as I can tell, these are the words of the Texas state board of education:

    "Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term "separation between church and state.")"

    Thomas Jefferson's out, now?!

    Yeah, I'd call that willful stupidity. If people are cheering garbage like that on in public? Then, yeah, I'd call that taking pride in stupidity. The people of Texas should be ashamed of themselves.

  • sloopyinca||

    So exposing students to more ideas and possible explanations for where man came from is wrong? Do you want them indoctrinated in leftist political philosophy and historical misrepresentation, which is usually wrong BTW, or would you like to have them exposed to more ideas/alternatives and let them decide for themselves what to think?

    I didn't see anything in there other than a few people saying the founders set us up based on Judeo-Christian values. And that's not exactly a misstatement.

    The NYT made a mountain out of a molehill. And that article doesn't specify what the ultimate changes were. It merely says it was proposed. You know, like people propose legislation/policies all the time. That doesn't necessarily mean they are passed.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thanks for running away, you disingenuous cuntrag.

  • sloopyinca||

    (I figured that was OK, since you're a man...and are, in fact, a fucking cuntrag)

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's hard to believe someone from the dumb state of Texas would say something ingenious like that!

    I'd stay here and argue some more about whether a disproportionate number of people in Texas really are willfully stupid, but my Sunday's kinda slippin' away.

    See, in other parts of the country, people have better things to do. That's probably hard for people in Texas to understand, but...relax, I'll be back! ...and in the meantime, you can check out your new favorite YouTube video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4NKYn4A3mg

    From what I can tell, that should have been a big hit in Texas! ...maybe you'd have liked it better if it denigrated women somehow?

    I dunno. It's just a guess.

  • sloopyinca||

    You do realize that I've never lived a day of my life in Texas, don't you? My name's not sloopyintx, dumbass.

    No, I live in California. Before that (going backward) was Georgia, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Virginia and I grew up in the Great State of Ohio (O-H...)

    I'm standing up for Texans because you're a dickhead with a double-standard when it comes to insulting people. Personally, I don't care if TX is full of rednecks, bible-thumpers, whites, blacks, orientals, arabs, jews or hermaphrodites. But for some reason you feel the need to disparage wide swaths of people so you can feel smugly superior. I tend to exert my wrath on individuals of either sex (and hermaphrodites) that deserve it. You're all about categorizing.

    And I'll take my reputation as a pretty fair-minded person on here any day. I'd be surprised if there are more than a small handful of people, mostly griefers, that don't think I'm pretty open-minded and fair. You, on the other hand...

  • ||

    This Texan salutes you sloopy. What cunty state is Ken from? You'll probably write this off as typical Texan arrogance Ken but with a population closing in on 26 million we're quite a diverse lot. My beloved city, Houston, has the first lesbian mayor of a major city, boasts progressive crackpot Sheila Jackson Lee and conservative douche John Culberson. We boast the permanently occutarded Austin and the deeply so-con Dallas suburbs. So why don't you go ahead and paint us with a wide brush you pathetic cunt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    East Texas isn't so bad. It's actually part of the South.

    West Texas? Not so much.

    I grew up in Maryland/Virginia. Wen to school in the Shenandoah Valley. Did I know some willfully stupid people there? Hell, yeah!

    My beef is with people who are willfully ignorant and damn proud of it. If calling such people "redneck" offends people who aren't willfully stupid and proud of it? Then I won't use that term to describe those people anymore.

    That's the kind of guy I am.

    Sensitive.

    But, like I said elsewhere, too, I've been everywhere there is to go in Texas. I spent a couple of summers riding shotgun in a big rig, helping an old truck driver who couldn't fulfill his load/unload obligations anymore--back when I working my way through boarding school...

    There are willfully stupid people everywhere. But, for what it's worth, that part of the force is strong in central and west Texas. I have never in my life seen so many people who were so proud of being stupid.

    For all you Texans out there, who aren't like that? I feel sorry for you for havin' to deal with those people--but you know what I'm talking about. You do know people in Texas like that. Really. You do.

    Oh, and additionally? Any of you Texans that live outside of Houston? Your favorite football team sucks. Never seen so many people be so proud of a shit franchise, either.

  • ||

    The Dallas cowgirls do suck Ken but not as much as you. Your East vs West Texas distinction shows how little you know. East of I-45 is easily the most redneck part of the state.

  • Ken Shultz||

    How many times do I have to say it?

    My problem isn't with "rednecks" per se.

    It's with people who are proud of being stupid--like a special kind of redneck. And "redneck" wasn't the right word.

    That proud of being stupid thing, though? That isn't just a rural thing, either. It seems to get stronger the closer you get to Dallas/Fort Worth. There are places where it's strong out on the range, too. But it's not just a rural thing.

    I'm talking about people who will all but brag that no amount of science or logic could possibly make them change their minds--in fact, some of 'em really might brag about that!

    It's not just a redneck thing, but there are a hell of a lot of people like that in central and west Texas.

    They're everywhere, but Texas is just like the rest of America only more so, right?

  • ||

    Fuck Ken, you may not be aware of this but DFW is in fucking North East Texas.

  • sloopyinca||

    I grew up in Maryland/Virginia. Wen to school in the Shenandoah Valley. Did I know some willfully stupid people there? Hell, yeah!

    I'm not surprised you're from the swamp. And we almost moved to the Shenandoah Valley when I was 18. Waynesboro reminded me of an asylum for retarded people. It was like Sling Blade come to life. Thank God my dad was smart enough to take us to Roanoke instead. It was a great move for us. I did end up in Harrisonburg for about 6 months after I separated from my ex. Leaving Richmond for there was a punishment worse than the horrid marriage.

    And where did you go to school? I spent 2 years of college in Lexington, but that couldn't be it. And you're a man, so Southern Sem is out. If I had to peg you, it would be as a JMU guy. They're not known for their critical thinking or ability to argue without resorting to false equivalencies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is it true that in Texas they sometimes send children to traffic court for talking in class?

  • ||

    The Dallas cowgirls do suck Ken but not as much as you. Your East vs West Texas distinction shows how little you know. East of I-45 is easily the most redneck part of the state.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm standing up for Texans because you're a dickhead with a double-standard when it comes to insulting people.

    I guess I see what you're tryin' to say. Only thing is that makin' fun of somebody because of the state they're from isn't the same as denigrating a woman for being a woman.

    You want to make fun of people for being from different cities or whatever, that's not like going after somebody like a misogynist or a racist at all.

    I don't understand why someone would try to equate the two. They're just not the same thing.

  • sloopyinca||

    Only thing is that makin' fun of somebody because of the state they're from isn't the same as denigrating a woman for being a woman.

    I've never in my life denigrated someone for being a woman. Never. I challenge you to find one solitary instance of me denigrating a woman. I'll fly out to DC and kiss your ass.

    You want to make fun of people for being from different cities or whatever, that's not like going after somebody like a misogynist or a racist at all.

    So making blanket bigoted remarks about entire populations is OK, but calling someone a cunt because they act like a cunt regardless of their gender is not? And nice try bringing race into this. That was an especially nice touch, you stupid, malignant fuck.

  • sloopyinca||

    Correction from above: I challenge you to find one solitary instance of me denigrating a woman for being a woman.

    The challenge still stands, dipshit.

  • ||

    I've lived there several times.

    Pro business, pro growth, but by no means Libertopia. Very SoCon.

  • gaoxiaen||

    That convinced me.

  • Mr Whipple||

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'll concede, at least, that it might make sense to use different words for different audiences.

    In my world, though, "capitalism" is still a good thing. It's the ideal thing!

    ...but it's also what I want to see happen regardless of what it's called.

  • robc||

    If "capitalism" suggests that I think the power to make economic decisions should flow with capital

    ^^this^^

    Which is why Im fine with the term.

  • Robert||

    Clarence Carson made the same point. I prefer the term "free enterprise", because it denotes not only free exchange (free market), but also the freedom to put capital goods to money making uses.

  • sloopyinca||

    Since the Chinese government knows Capitalism will work better for their citizens yet keeps their boot on their neck, would you call them political rednecks or fiscal rednecks?

  • ||

    Couldn't you just call them Republicans?

  • sloopyinca||

    Lepubricans? Works for me.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    This article is mostly quotes of Grover Cleveland. I am impressed.

  • A Serious Man||

    Nothing gives me more satisfaction than pointing out to Team Blue partisans which team Cleveland batted for. I then get something like "well in those days Democrats were segregationists too."

    Tells you what you need to know about how they view liberty.

  • JoshSN||

    Cleveland was Team Red. Back then, the Republicans were the party of big government, higher taxes, et cetera. The Democrats had been the party of limited government and laissez-faire capitalism since the days of Jefferson.

    See: Party Ideologies in America:1828-1996, Gerring, Chapter 5, the Jeffersonian Epoch.

  • sloopyinca||

  • Syd Henderson||

    Cleveland was an okay president for his first term, but in his second term the country was hit by a deep depression which he mishandled. On the other hand, he also kept us out of imperialist adventures.

  • robc||

    All the good presidents (short list) had their screwups, it seems.

  • Mr Whipple||

    New leftist trolls, I see. Or maybe old ones with new handles?

  • Lowdog||

    This has been a good thread because of all the nice links in it.

    Thanks for the info.

  • zamoracarl711||

    just as Sherry replied I am inspired that anyone able to earn $4482 in four weeks on the computer. have you seen this web site makecash16.cøm

  • ||

    Isn't it lovely that a bunch of libertarians are being spammed with fake work-from-home schemes.

    first with the nekkid ladies was much more on target...

  • np||

    Lysander Spooner's letter to Cleveland on justice and law is just awesome

  • Terrance||

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I should have gotten in on this discussion.

    "When we want to advocate for the advantages of the free market, at what point in time in history, and where, can we best extrapolate from?"

    It is a combination of time periods and market segments. Point to time periods where market freedoms were better for some activity and why this was good and how it can be applied to the whole market, and criticize market interference and point to why those policies were bad. There were time periods with prevailing agreement over less or more market freedom.

  • Terrance||

    Rewards unrelated to effort! Undue exactions from the masses! http://www.edhardypoort.com/he.....-c-12.html Widening gulf between employers and employed! Rapidly forming classes!

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