Life-Strangling Laws from the Unelected

Lawyers are making a killing off barber shops and bars with poor claims of inequality.

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They don't see that these rules gradually wreck life.

Critics of lawsuit abuse focus on the cost of litigation, but the bigger harm is that fear of lawsuits itself deprives us of good things.

-- Drug companies invented a vaccine against Lyme disease, but they won't sell it, because they're scared of lawyers.

-- Fearful medical device makers often stick to old technologies because trying something new, even if it's better, risks a suit.

-- Monsanto developed a substitute for asbestos, a fire-resistant insulation that might save thousands of lives, but decided not to sell it because the company feared it might be sued.

We don't even know how many wonderful life-enhancing products we might have today if innovators didn't live in a climate of fear.

I don't suggest that we should be at the mercy of rip-off artists. Some lawsuits are useful -- if businesses commit theft or fraud, they should be sued. But American law encourages suits. In other countries, if you sue and lose, you and your lawyer must pay the court bills of the people you dragged into court.

When I started consumer reporting, I believed that only legal rules could protect us. But it's not true. The rules just give us a false sense of security.

The free market does a better job protecting consumers. Competition protects us.

Repeal most of the laws. Let the market work its magic.

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  • brec||

    Let the market work its magic.

    I wonder if this "magic" trope, so often seen in this usage, is helpful. Does it encourage the reaction that advocacy of free markets is based on faith and the suspicion that the benefits of freedom cannot be rationally explained?

  • setTHEline||

    Exactly. "Trust us guys, markets work. We're not sure how though because it's magical."

  • Tony||

    They need to be experimentally demonstrated, not just explained.

  • some guy||

    Well, there's a definite correlation between prosperity and market freedom. Prosperity and regulation? Not so much.

  • some guy||

    Hell, China is your experiment. It started off as a oppressive hell-hole. Since then it has not undergone a revolution. Instead it has undergone a series of small steps towards freer markets. These small steps have been accompanied by massive gains in prosperity for the Chinese people. They still have a long way to go (both in freeing their markets and gaining prosperity) but the correlation is undeniable.

    This is the part where you mention there's a balance point of optimal regulation that is somewhere between Chairman Mao and Minarchism.

  • Tony||

    Yes, you're right, this is that part. Because we've gone too far in the other direction, not even approaching the libertarian ideal, and seen disastrous but, in hindsight, predictable consequences.

    The question is do you want a large and prospering middle class or do you want to adhere to a rigid soul-crushing absolutist ideology that ignores human well-being, just like the communists?

  • sarcasmic||

    do you want to adhere to a rigid soul-crushing absolutist ideology that ignores human well-being

    Do you know how people get rich in a system of voluntary exchange? They offer goods and services for which people voluntarily part with their money because they believe it will increase their well-being. If someone offers goods and services that no one wants because they don't believe it will increase their well-being, then that person goes out of business.

    Free markets are based upon maximizing human well-being, unlike government that forces people to pay for things that they don't want.

  • Tony||

    Say you're a crippled toddler orphan. How do you succeed in a free market?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Read up on history, old boy. Lodges, neighbors, relatives. Yes, even in days of old, when pretty much everybody was literally dirt poor, people did take care of each other, Charles Dickens notwithstanding.

    Say, you haven't been depending on *Dickens* for your history, have you?!?

  • Tony||

    On the flip side, lots of unfortunate people simply died in the streets. A lot more than after the invention of centralized safety nets. Let's not romanticize the past.

  • OneOut||

    Centralized safety nets and over regulation of the marketplace are two different subjects.

  • Enigma||

    Say I'm a guy who doesn't want to have my money taken from me by the barrel of a gun. How do I survive in the modern progressive state?

  • Tony||

    With all the privileges and luxuries it affords you, which you choose to spend on bitching that you just don't have enough.

  • OneOut||

    The child should join the circus !

    What is there about an overly regulated marketplace that will serve to benefit this child ?

    A snail darter lives so that a business that would pay taxes doesn't exist ?

    That helps the child how ?

  • ||

    we've gone too far in the other direction,

    There has been a steady move AWAY from free market capitalism since 1933.

    And you are an idiot!

  • ||

    Yes, you're right, this is that part. Because we've gone too far in the other direction, not even approaching the libertarian ideal, and seen disastrous but, in hindsight, predictable consequences.

    You need to google "local minima". You seem to have a problem with taking complex economic and policy issues and looking at them in a one-dimensional, linear way.

    Now, go back to lecturing us on how we all see the world too simplistically.

  • OneOut||

    The Chinese Government's central planning committees are building fully developed cities in the middle of nowhere that are ghost towns.

    hardly a free market.

  • BCallaghan924||

    What would this experiment look like? Creating two societies from scratch and making sure that they're exactly the same except for their level of economic freedom? This is a problem with all economics: basically, all you can do is explain things after the fact, look at correlations, produce theories that generate falsifiable predictions or, maybe in some limited circumstances, take advantage of historical accidents that produce quasi-experiments in natural settings. Even this last option isn't a "true experiment" and does not get rid of confounds or third-variable problems. Since there have been no truly libertarian societies throughout history and there is little chance of one arising in the future, our options are somewhat limited.

  • Tony||

    Since there have been no truly libertarian societies throughout history and there is little chance of one arising in the future

    So why on earth do you bother?

    Absolutely no evidence it could work. Slim chance it will ever happen. Let's advocate it!

    Isn't the fact that it's never been successfully tried evidence that perhaps human nature just isn't compatible with it?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Luddite to the core.

  • Tony||

    Luddism has nothing to do with this--you want to impose (er, somehow let organically emerge) a system that by all appearances isn't compatible with how human beings actually work, just like communism.

    If society and its rules and norms aren't mind-numbingly complex and often arbitrary, then we're probably not doing it right, and lots of people are probably dying miserably.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    So never trying anything new because it is untested is not being a luddite?

    Maybe scaredy-cat is more appropriate.

  • Tony||

    As the local pragmatist, I'm completely in favor of experimentation. And we've experimented with libertarian-favored policy--not that you guys ever take credit for the consequences. But, as a pragmatist, I understand that you can't experiment with a wholesale restructuring of society, at least not without massive force and coercion, so you really do need to own the consequences of piecemeal changes in your direction, such as deregulating banks. You aren't entitled to immunity from all criticism until a full libertopia is established. But by all means go do it on a small scale somewhere. I'd positively love to see how it turns out.

  • ||

    Well, then, if we make piecemeal changes in your direction, and it doesn't turn out well, do you take credit for the consequences?

    Like Obamacare?
    The police state?
    The military industrial complex?
    The banking system? (it is, after all, hardly a wild west of government noninterventionism)

    Perhaps it's not sufficiently arbitrary and complex. More harder!

  • ||

    If society and its rules and norms aren't mind-numbingly complex and often arbitrary, then we're probably not doing it right, and lots of people are probably dying miserably.

    This is probably one of the more silly things I've read.

    Arbitrary? If it's not arbitrary, we're probably not doing it right?

    Arbitrary: Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

    So, I guess we can ignore all your claims about reason and rationality then, since, apparently, we need some arbitrariness in our lives.

  • Tony||

    We need to respond to human nature, which is often capricious and irrational, and the often unpredictable realities that emerge when people interact. No simple, streamlined system will make society the best it can be--every single time it leads to widespread misery. Libertarianism is just un-communism, opposite in the particulars but every bit as simplistic and unworkable.

  • ||

    No simple, streamlined system will make society the best it can be--every single time it leads to widespread misery.

    OK, so what do you call choosing a group of a few hundred special leaders to manage a society of 300,000,000 people, by coming up with one-size-fits-all rules and mandatory systems for everyone?

    The funniest part is, if you study optimization theory, or decentralized vs centralized planning and optimization for autonomous systems, all the cutting edge research is in decentralized optimization. Sure, with centralized assumptions, you always get great results. However, these assumptions also imply enormously abundant information at no cost, and the ability to process and react instantly. In practice, it always performs poorly, because of how much it doesn't model. But, it's conceptually simpler to grasp.

    Decentralized approaches to autonomy are much more complicated, but much more robust, in that they try to utilize smart subsystems that can react with limited, local information, and yet produce desirable results that can work in real life. That's where a lot of the research is.

    Yet, I listen to you, and all I hear is: "The world is too complicated. Let's use centralized control for everything important. That will take us to optimality." It's like you don't understand the nature of the concepts.

  • Tony||

    I will take whatever means are proven to increase human well-being. A strong, big government is evidently a major component of that. Not saying the market is unimportant; it's just as vital.

    But the point with respect to complexity is that you offer a worldview that amounts to the less government the better. No, a government that is able to balance private negative forces is what's in order. Libertarians suffer universally from "single enemy" syndrome, because they apparently can't handle the complexity of the real world, in which harm comes from many sources and thus must be mitigated by the balancing act I reviewed. Government is not Satan. There is no Satan.

  • Tony||

    This worldview is most comically illustrated by John Stossel, who bitches about laws that are too many pages just for that reason.

  • OneOut||

    "I will take whatever means are proven to increase human well-being. A strong, big government is evidently a major component of that."

    That is your opinion and mine differs from that.

    You seem to ignore that government is nothing more than a group of people who think they know better than you how you should live. You, and others who think like you, feel that you are better equipped to tell me how I should live, what I should be able to do, eat, drink, smoke, and how much of it.

    That is the liberal world view of centralized control over others. It always glaringly obvious that you and yours never think those same rules should apply to you though, because you are one of the "betters". That is communism by any other name.

    I've got your better hanging.

  • ||

    Ever heard of democide? Governments killed 260 million of their own people in the 20th century. That's not counting war. More people died of democide than of war in the last century. It's almost equal to the US population.

    How many people were killed by markets bring too free?

    Your view is the simplistic one. You evoke government like it's god: "a government that is able to balance private negative forces." As if the choice is as simple as letting government do good, or not letting it. Then, you declare victory for choosing good wisely.

    It's as if you've never heard of public choice theory. Government does not exist in your theoretic vacuum, acting as merely a force against private negative forces, and nothing else. Government is an abstract idea. It exists in reality as self-interested people, with enormous amounts of power and perceived legitimacy in all their actions. If you think such a force is just going to negate what you perceive as negative, then you haven't been paying attention. You have the simple worldview of government that teachers give an 8 year old. Don't mention the draft. Don't mention the wars or the tax rates, or the debt they inherited. Just say "government makes society work" and move on. You might as well be a kid talking about what they learned in Sunday school about God: probably skipped the nasty parts.

  • ||

    Yes, Tony because government rules and regulation are always demonstrated and explained.

    I feel so utterly sad.

  • ||

    Yes, Tony because government rules and regulations are always demonstrated and explained.

    I feel so utterly sad.

  • Enigma||

    The black market. Go into a college campus and start talking about drugs. Then ask for a good weed dealer. Within a few hours, you'll get your weed. All voluntary, all non-violent, all free-market.

  • ||

    I tried that. They told me that I was old and creepy and please fuck off.

    Still don't have my weed.

  • ||

    Tell you what. Why don't you actually allow a free market, and then we can see. Oh wait, you won't? Not ever? Are you afraid it might work, or just utterly dishonest?

  • Metazoan||

    Are you afraid it might work, or just utterly dishonest?

    Can't it be both?

  • ||

    Absolutely. Which is why their response is crickets.

  • ||

    Because their minds suddenly fill with horror stories. Since we had a freer market in the 1800's, this implies that, if we switch back, everything will revert to the 1800's.

    Blacks will become slaves, women will lose property rights and the right to vote, all our indoor plumbing and electricity will go away, and we'll be riding around on horses through streets of shit, wondering where our computers went, while we shoot at each other.

    We can't do free markets because they produce western fiction novels, in real life. Trust me: they know what they're talking about.

  • Tony||

    In the early 20th century and prior we had an essentially libertarian society. Sure, it wasn't all you ever asked for, but pretty much businesses could do what they wanted. And we got monopolies, tainted food, robber barons, horrific working conditions, regular depressions, and all the usual aspects of a laissez-faire system. The only thing to reverse this was liberalism and the blood, sweat, and tears of labor and civil rights organizers that brought it about. It was so successful, it's said, that we've forgotten about how we got there. Now all you who have benefited from the struggles of your dead betters assume you can have all the luxuries and comforts of modern society that were bequeathed to you, but you don't have to contribute anything to maintain it. And that attitude has poisoned American politics and policy outcomes for 40 years. You are the advocates of freeloading--of freeloading on the expensive (in treasure and blood) civilization you were born into.

  • OneOut||

    Tony, my dear, we still have:

    monopolies, tainted food, robber barons, horrific working conditions, regular depressions,

    The exception is horrific working conditions and big government has paved the way for the export of that so that it is out of sight, out of mind so you think you have fixed that problem.

    And on top of all of that we have large government full of people like you who think you are our "betters", as you said. Betters telling us how large a soda we can buy.

    Sigh.

  • ||

    And Tony proves my point: the 20th century is only good because statists came in to the picture, saving us from the 1800s, with its explosive GDP growth and rising levels of personal income and wealth. Even though working confirms, product safety, and civil rights improvements were already progressing, no one but the statists of the 20th century deserve any credit for progress between now and then. Never mind that, especially in the case of civil rights, governments just do what's already very popular by a certain degree. Governments rarely shove tolerance down the throats of the majority.

    And we should all be ashamed of not loving it. It's a combination propaganda story and guilt trip, all in one.

    At this point, I think you're drinking and posting.

  • Matrix||

    Banzhaf sounds like another asshole who needs to drink molten lead.

  • fish||

    There's a regulation prohibiting that.....

  • RightNut||

    Banzhaf requires his law students to sue people, just for practice. "And we keep winning!" he bragged to me.

    What a pathetic little thug. He's no different than the mob enforcer who forces local businesses to pay for "protection".

  • Matrix||

    he's probably worse.

  • Rasilio||

    He probably is. The mob thug has no illusions that he is accomplishing some greater good and will only shake you down to the point it benefits him. He knows that if he puts you out of business he loses his revenue stream.

    Banzhaf is probably filled with a sense of righteousness that he is saving the world or fighing for social justice and therefore there are no limits to his depravity.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He knows that if he puts you out of business he loses his revenue stream.

    And even at that, he really doesn't give a shit if you go down as long as he can get revenue streams from elsewhere.

    Implicit in the idea of coerced "protection" is the notion that one contributes something to the person or organization that's doing the protecting. Yet, what are various welfare sucks of the 1% and 99% varieties actually contributing to society? Not much on balance, other than social and economic dysfunctions of various kinds.

  • JW||

    I want Banzhaf to die, if not for the want of something that could have saved his life, but he sued it or the producer out of existence.

    For the record, I'll accept a lifetime of paralysis and the inability to speak, in lieu of death.

  • Torontonian||

    Better still, adopt a "loser pays" system.

  • Raven Nation||

    I'm sympathetic to a "loser pays" system but the thing that always nags in the back of my head is: would it disadvantage someone who is relatively poor, may have a good case, but not good enough for a lawyer to take it on. Or good enough for the plaintiff to risk the cost of losing. I'm fairly middle class but, under a loser pays system, I'm not sure I would ever bring suit b/c of the potential consequences of losing.

    Again, I'm not opposing the loser pays system; I just haven't read enough about it to know how this potential problem would be overcome.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    NO! Just the reverse. A poor person now has to pony up the money to sue. A lawyer is much more likely to take a contingency case if he knows he can recover costs when he wins.

    And if you are less likely to sue for fear of losing, good. I'm tired of flaky cases clogging the system.

    Along with loser pays, require reasonable doubt in civil cases too, not the sham that says 49% convinced is utter failure while 51% convinced is absolute win.

  • Rasilio||

    Your fears are entirely reasonable.

    Loser pays is an utterly dumbass solution that will just make things worse. The only possible benefit that it offers is locking the majority of society out of using government courts for dispute resolution because they could never afford to lose a case and therefore possibly promoting free market dispute resolution mechanisms.

    The problem with loser pays is that it equates all lost cases putting good cases that happened to lose on the same grounds as frivolous or even fraudulent cases. It also assumes that all cases would actually be decided fairly and accurately.

    What we need is a system where cases are not just adjudicated on a win/lose basis but where they are also adjudicated for legitimacy and cases deemed to have been illegitimate have some form of penalty, possibly including paying for some or even all of the opponents legal costs. even better would be if that penalty was shared equally between the legal representation and the plaintiff/defendant in the case.

    So if you are involved in a lawsuit and you lose the court will judge whether there was any legitimacy to your case at all and if the answer is no then you and your lawyer are each responsible for 50% of your opponents legal costs.

    Then of course you need judges and juries who are actually willing to rule illegitimate cases as such because in todays environment even if you had this sort of law it would almost never be used.

  • ||

    How about loser's lawyer pays?

  • Wyrd Wulf||

    Already have all of that. See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11

  • ||

    The bar (no pun intended) is very high- litigation is apparently presumed legitimate, no matter what.

    I've had two companies go out of business because of frivolous litigation costs, both monetary and time. In each case, a much larger company buried them in discovery, depositions, and endless hearings involving expensive lawyers. The cases never came to trial, the defending companies just went bankrupt because of the legal costs of cases that had no merit whatever.

    Contingency is great for plaintiffs, though, eh?

  • Brett L||

    Easy fix. Make any debt incurred by the loser discharageable by bankruptcy the same as any other. If you ain't got shit, you ain't got shit to lose.

  • Rasilio||

    Then you have just eliminated well over half the benefits of loser pays by allowing lottery ticket suits (frivolous or fraudulent claims attempting to score a big payday to pay for a boob job, big screen tv, and Cadillac Escalade with spinning rims) to continue unabated while leaving the small businesses they sue with the threat of having to not just pay for the illegitmate claim but also for their legal representation should they lose

  • Matrix||

    Repeal most of the laws. Let the market work its magic.
    How are politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers supposed to make money if they don't have laws to exploit in order to extort from people?

  • Tony||

    Let the market work its magic.

    Libertarians need to deal with "ladies' night" and other encroachments on a piecemeal basis and stop trying to develop and defend grand political theories. Stick to what your intellectual capacities can handle. Because we end up with John Stossel bitching about bans on ladies' nights turning into "regulations are bad." Some regulations are bad. Regulating what you can say is bad. Regulating banks in order to prevent cycles of systemic crashes, good. You guys are just smart enough to sense when an ordinance is an unacceptable encroachment on your personal liberty. But not everyone is a political scientist. There's no shame in not having a grand unified theory of how societies should work. Stick to what you know: your provincial overly self-interested little lives. Leave political science to people who don't believe in magic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There's no shame in not having a grand unified theory of how societies should work.

    Don't worry Tony no one expects you to think beyond 'breathe in breathe out'.

    Oh and fuck your regulations. It's going to get easier and easier to bypass them, especially for banking. As technology advances, more will slip out of your grip. Believe it or not this is probably as good as it gets for you. There's nothing you can do to stop us really.

  • Tony||

    So you'll accept the blame for the ensuring market failures?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    You ought to look into the history of financial panics and how many were the direct result of the regulations put in place to correct the last panic. I'd look up examples for you but the exercise of stepping outside your comfort zone would do you good.

  • some guy||

    What market failures? There are no market failures. Name the most recent market failure, please.

  • fish||

    Shut up s o c k p u p p e t.....we voted and you can't post here until your rabbit disaster recovery plan is submitted!

    http://tinyurl.com/rabbit-rabbit-rabbit

    We voted!!! We voted!!!
    We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!! We voted!!!
    We voted!!! We voted!!!

    (i've uttered his sacred words. he is powerless against me now)

  • some guy||

    Regulating banks in order to prevent cycles of systemic crashes, good.

    The history of bank regulation indicates that it is also impossible.

  • Tony||

    No it doesn't. Before the 1930s when regulations were enacted, there were major systemic crashes every decade and a half or so. After that time, for about 50 years, there were exactly zero--until we started deregulating again.

  • Jordan||

    Citation needed.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    No, he's right that there were a lot of panics, but as far as I could tell when I researched it, every single one was either started or made worse by government regulations designed to prevent the previous panic.

  • Jordan||

    I know. That's why I asked him for a citation, hoping he'd actually read it. The economy also grew at a faster rate prior to 1930, despite the absence of Keynesian Klown policies.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Ah, good plan, if he'd cooperate.

    I remember reading up on some panic, maybe 1907, and was amazed at how much of it was caused and made worse by the regulations put in place for the previous panic. Read up on that previous panic, and it was caused by previous regulations. Kept on reading, and it seemed every single one was caused or made worse by some well intentioned road to hell paving project.

    I think I spent several hours reading up on them, and it was a real eye opener. It would do Tony good to do the same.

  • Tony||

    Maybe we finally got it right. How do you explain the lack of major global crises between the Great Depression and the Great Recession then? It certainly wasn't because we had a banking-regulation-free market.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, there were several of them, most just avoided America because of the dominant industrial position we came out of World War 2 with.

    Then starting in the late 70's when the rest of the world finally caught back up to us the cycles started back up again with a crash of some type about every 7 - 10 years with 3 of them in the last 20 years that were only averted from being full fledged depressions by a combination of inflationary bubbles created by the Fed and unprecedented productivity growth caused by computers, regulations in and of themselves did absolutely nothing to prevent the crashes.

    As far as "deregulation" quite reading the names of bills, there never was any deregulation at all to the extent that some regulations were repealed and/or relaxed they were replaced by twice as many new ones. Right now our Congress is so disingenuious that they would call a bill that required women to submit to sex with any man who asked a "Rape prevention act".

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Because when the regulation sufficiently suffocates an economy it can't get much worse?

    Look at growth rates before and after regulation. I'd sure rather have those growth rates with the occasional panic which can be planned for.

  • Tony||

    If they could be planned for they wouldn't happen. Growth is not the end, human well-being is the end. If you don't believe that then you are not a morally upright agent.

  • RightNut||

    Most of the "systematic" market crashes during the 1800s were caused by railway speculation bubbles, often fueled by the Federal Government. As society changed less stock(har har) was put into railways, thus removing a major cause of previous crashes.

    Also have you never heard of the early 1970s recession?

  • some guy||

    In Tony's world, a crash is only "systemic" if it fits his narrative.

  • RightNut||

    It's funny that you're acting superior when you don't fucking understand that the word "magic" has multiple meanings.

  • Tony||

    It's been said by more than one great thinker that the key to being truly intelligent is realizing the limits of your intelligence. Most, if not all, libertarians have not reached that bar. The flip side is that stupidity and humility do not necessarily go together. Witness nearly everyone here thinking they know better than the world's collection of climate scientists. Witness the combination of simplicity and certainty in the libertarian worldview--indeed the fetishizing of simplicity. John Stossel is the world's greatest exemplar of this habit: "Laws are bad." "Freedom is good." "We look for things. Things to make us go."

    Of course you believe in magic. That's what we call things that are claimed to act wildly contrary to observed reality.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    If libertarians have not yet reached that bar, are you saying that libertarians are smarter than Tony types?

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians realize that society, those millions of people interacting with each other in millions of different ways, is far to complex to have order imposed upon it through coercion and threats of violence.
    No. We understand the concept of emergent order. You're too stupid to understand that concept. It's not your fault though. Blame your mother for drinking while pregnant.

  • setTHEline||

    Magicians don't like the word magic. Let's go with illusion. As in, "Tony's self-perceived understanding of the world is an illusion."

    The true mark of great thinker is that they can recognize that they may indeed be wrong about something. Are you capable of that Tony?

  • Tony||

    I try not to talk about things I have no knowledge of, or at least quote or paraphrase actual experts. Libertarians on the other hand seem perfectly comfortable dismissing expert consensus on any number of subjects when it conflicts with their beliefs.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    What you really mean is that unless you know you know nothing, you will blather on, and the best way to not know you know nothing is to not know anything.

  • Tony||

    What I really mean is read a fucking book or 100.

  • sarcasmic||

    Like this book?

    http://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/

    Don't read it Tony! You might learn something! Please, for the love of Pete, don't read it!

  • Tony||

    The fact that you've urged me to read that book about 100 times demonstrates my point: you need to read more than the 4 or 5 books that you think explain the entire universe. Maybe even by someone you currently disagree with. You're also demonstrating my accusation that you think simplicity and truth are related.

  • ||

    I try not to talk about things I have no knowledge of

    All evidence to the contrary.

  • ||

    "I try not to talk about things I have no knowledge of."

    That's why you're here, you know, telling people they don't know anything because you don't.

    Priceless.

  • RightNut||

    Do you get paid to troll by the word? And for all that effort you still haven't shown you know their are multiple uses for the word "magic".

  • ||

    Guys, it's a sockpuppet. It's a character played by someone whose entire objective is to wind you up and get you to respond to it. Just ignore it. It hates that. Just walk away, and there can be an end to the horror, to the suffering. Just walk away.

  • RightNut||

    So he gets paid by the word and the number of responses?

  • ||

    Dude, whoever is the sockpuppeteer doesn't get paid. The stupid fuck has no life and this is what they do for fun. Process that level of patheticness.

  • RightNut||

    Process that level of patheticness.


    My head exploded.

  • Tony||

    So then you have no head left to process the level of patheticness it must take to only post busybody admonishments about me.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Well, except on the beer he had to leave unfinished. Are you proud of that?

  • Tony||

    As in, the magic of the movies? The magic of life? I guess you're entitled to think of the market as something amazing and wonderful, but libertarians do tend to claim that the market works in ways that can only be described as supernatural, since there's not even a convincing theoretical basis for the claims. Left on their own markets tend to act more as a Darwinian process than as one that provides prosperity and happiness for the maximum number of people. It would be awfully convenient for libertarians--who first believe in a set of normative principles--if that were the case, but a little too convenient I'm afraid.

  • ||

    Tony, I've lost words...

  • Curtisls87||

    Are you then disputing Occam's Razor?

  • Jordan||

    Regulating banks in order to prevent cycles of systemic crashes, good.

    Crashes which are caused by other regulations. And then we can pass more regulations to deal with the unforeseen consequences of the regulations that were passed to prevent the bank crashes caused by previous regulations. And on and on and on...

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand! The whole problem is that the rich and the corporations control the government! We need to give more power to the government that is controlled by the rich and the corporations so that it can control the rich and the corporations that control it! That's what caused the crashes! Corporate control of the government! So we need to give more power to the corporate controlled government so it can control the corporations that control it! Power to the people!

  • Hyperion||

    Exactly.

    This is why I always laugh or just roll my eyes in disgust when I hear Occupy types calling for the government to reign in these evil corporations.

    The large corporations and the government now have their hands so far up each others asses that they are literally inseparable.

    But these dingbats, like Tony, are so naive that when the Politicians say 'hey look over there! It's them, not us!', they fall for it every time. We give the government more power to reign in the evil corporations, and they use that power to get even more in bed with the corporations, and it just further blurs the line between what is business and what is government. To the detriment of all of us, except the elite political class and their elite corporate cronies.

    But idiots like Tony never learn anything from this, they just keep on trusting in government and want to continue giving it more power.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's because they start with the false premise of "We are government," not understanding the distinction between government and society.

    Any argument that is based upon a false premise, no matter how sound and logical it may be, is still a fallacy.

    That's why they want to give more and more power to the government. They believe they are empowering themselves.

  • ||

    There's no doubt in my mind, since I've started reading Reason, that if I'm a budding tyrant the people I would seek to deceive to build my tyranny are the Occupy types and the Tonyists.

    No doubt about it. Bunch of willing, idealistic dumbasses are the easiest to fool.

    Libertarians on the other hand...I would have to crush with military might because I wouldn't be able to form a narrative to get the 'lobsters in one pot.'

  • sarcasmic||

    Leave political science to people who don't believe in magic.

    You mean the people who believe that well intentioned words on paper backed with institutional violence will cause society to behave in a certain prescribed manner, ignoring self interest, without any unintended consequences?

    That sounds like magic to me.

    The difference between market magic and your magic is that we believe in emergent order through millions of voluntary transactions, while you believe in imposed order through threats of violence.

    Why do you worship violence?

  • Tony||

    I believe only in what's been demonstrated to work in the real world. You don't get a pass on unintended consequences just because you believe that every consequence in the free market is by necessity a good thing.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    So you believe in nothing about the current political system?

  • Metazoan||

    Presumably he doesn't support stimuli either.

  • Tony||

    Mendacity at its most libertarian. The stimulus did pretty much exactly what Keynesian theorists predicted it would. But as a libertarian, bound by no standards of evidence or rigorousness, you're free to claim that because the world isn't perfect, the stimulus was a total failure. How nice it must be not even to require yourself to offer an explanation as to how the recession was reversed (if mildly), since your default position on everything under the sun is "that bad thing there, government did it."

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Which of the many Keynesian predictions did you choose to follow? You certainly didn't include any of their after-the-fact predictions, as they were uniformly agreed that the stimulus should have been larger.

    And what part of timely, temporary, and targeted was ignored? You get three cumulative guesses.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The stimulus did pretty much exactly what Keynesian theorists predicted it would.

    Artificially prop up GDP through trillions in deficit spending? I doubt that's your argument, but that's what's happened. Considering that it's been going on for 13 years now, you should be thanking Dubya for doing the exact same thing.

  • OneOut||

    The Kenunesians knew that the stimulus would funnel money to democrat voters and campaign contributors while creating zero productive jobs and they passed it anyway ?

    Who knew ?

  • sarcasmic||

    The difference between unintended consequences in the market and unintended consequences of government action is that when something fails in the market it fades away while government tends to double-down.

  • sarcasmic||

    And you didn't answer my question. Why do you worship violence?

  • Hyperion||

    How else could someone sit in their mommies basement all day and play on the intertoobs, if someone didn't take from you to give to them?

    That's the answer you were looking for.

  • Tony||

    I don't worship anything.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    That's a new way to describe masturbation.

  • ||

    I believe only in what's been demonstrated to work in the real world.

    That's the spirit if innovation. Don't try anything new. Wait for someone else.

    Now, if only we could use government force and make everyone act that way. Think of the incentives.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think I just had a sargasm.

  • ||

    Tony doesn't think it's magic because the government can cover its mistakes very easily. They make sure to stick to the 'leftist narrative' for example. Or, since they have access to money through coerced taxes, all they have to do is expropriate more to keep the illusion government programs are efficient or work.

    Now THAT'S magic.

  • setTHEline||

    "There's no shame in not having a grand unified theory of how societies should work."

    Ironic that free-market theories are based on human action, hardly a grand unified theory. In fact a grand unified theory is sort of the antithesis of Austrian econ. Also, I thought it was common knowledge that "bank regulation" adds systemic risk to the financial markets by incentivizing bad decisisons (i.e. leverage up, reap rewards, get bailed out when SHTF, rinse and repeat). How naive to think that bank regulations have your best interest at heart. Cute almost, if it weren't so sad.

  • Tony||

    I realize you guys have a chunk of bullshit in your pockets for every fact in the world that is inconvenient to your preconceived worldview--but it's hardly a fringe claim that segregating normal banking from risky investment banking helped prevent systemic problems, and that letting them merge again helped lead to them.

  • ||

    Except, Europe doesn't do that. I thought you were an empiricist. Does the absence of Glass-Steigal only cause problems with the US economy? Because special pleading?

  • Tony||

    Are you claiming there aren't problems in the European economy? There is and was even more concentration there, to the extent that countries couldn't even bail out banks. Speaking of which, the problem even libertarians should have with the development of financial super-markets is that they can't be allowed to fail and will always have to be bailed out, which is of course a big moral hazard. Is there a theoretical free-market way to prevent this, because the only way I know is to actively prevent it.

  • Black&Yellow||

    The "too big to fail" would not have been if it wasn't for the state's legal framework and regulation that favor these big business in the first place. The markets already have the mechanism to regulate business, one is supply and demand. The state and its many laws only distorts these natural mechanisms.

  • Jordan||

    Is there a theoretical free-market way to prevent this, because the only way I know is to actively prevent it.

    Don't create a central bank which funnels wealth to the financial sector and a gargantuan regulatory state which protects existing enterprises from competition.

  • ||

    'Grand unified theories' fit leftist/progs. Not libertarians.

  • Rasilio||

    " Regulating banks in order to prevent cycles of systemic crashes, good."

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahah

    And yet every such regulation ever attempted has only resulted in further consolidation of the banking sector and greater regulatory capture making the risks of systemic crashes greater not less.

  • BCallaghan924||

    Not to mention increasingly borne by the public instead of the bank itself.

  • Loki||

    Stick to what you know: your provincial overly self-interested little lives. Leave political science to people who don't believe in magic.

    Projection.

  • ||

    Some regulations are bad. Regulating what you can say is bad.

    Really? Why? After all... democracy.

    Don't you usually say, "hey, that's the way the world works. We can't give you the society you'd want, just for you."

    It's always special pleading: when libertarians want their property rights respected, that's childish. However, when Tony wants freedom in marriage, freedom of expression, freedom of abortion, that's good. Why? Because Tony says so.

    But if you disagree, you're just trying to shove your subjective preferences on him. His preferences are special. Yours are childish. That's logic.

  • Tony||

    You don't seem to get the hypocrisy angle. I'm fine with property rights. I just realize that they are not substantially different from a right to healthcare or any other social program. You want to claim exemptions to your fundamental principles to allow for enforceable property rights. But even libertarian theorists have criticized this hypocrisy, and the real problem is it creates a lopsided society in which the interests of, say, people with property, are protected collectively but the interests of, say, sick people are not. There's no coherence to this except in light of the hypothesis that property-favoring libertarianism is the intellectual framework for an economic system that funnels wealth upward.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Who are these "libertarian theorists"

  • Tony||

    Libertarian socialism

    I think it's well established that this is a thoroughly right-wing libertarian hangout.

  • Black&Yellow||

    libertarian socialism is an oxymoron.

  • Tony||

    It's not clear that capitalism is compatible with the stated fundamental principles of libertarianism.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Not sure what you mean by "capitalism", the term has been dragged through the mud so much it really has no meaning. I will tell you free markets are compatible to liberty.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Tell me, what is the stated principles of libertarianism?

  • Tony||

    I'm constantly told it's that it's immoral to take by force or fraud. Except you can't have capitalism without force, and unchecked capitalism results in rampant fraud and force.

    Capitalist libertarianism is entirely about protecting the interests of people with capital via force, and screw everyone else, because "principle."

  • Black&Yellow||

    Thats the functions of a state silly.
    If you are referring to free market cap then what you describe is not a free market.

    Government takes by force or fraud thru taxation. Free markets is made up of voluntary interactions, not force.

  • Tony||

    Thats the functions of a state silly.

    Uh can we say begging the question?

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    I'm fine with property rights. I just realize that they are not substantially different from a right to healthcare or any other social program.

    I'm fine with property rights as well. what I am not fine with is being forced to purchase healthcare (you think it's the same thing as property rights?) or have my earnings forcibly conscripted to pay for a social program with which I do not agree (again, not the same thing as property rights)

  • Tony||

    Property rights entail government titles, government-defined boundaries, police protection, a court system to resolve disputes, and the tax dollars to pay for it all--not to mention the fact that the only reason anyone in this country has property is because of a state-led genocide. Healthcare seems like a small-government program compared to that disruption in the "natural" way of things.

    Anarcho-capitalism is inherently contradictory and inevitably leads to increased wealth concentration. Its manifestation in modern politics is for the purpose of doing precisely that.

  • Black&Yellow||

    "Property rights entail government titles, government-defined boundaries, police protection, a court system to resolve disputes"

    what the state can do, the markets can do better.

  • Tony||

    You mean mafias, of course.

  • Black&Yellow||

    mafia best fits the state, a gang with arbitrary borders.

  • Enigma||

    Property rights entail government titles, government-defined boundaries,

    Blatantly untrue. Property rights have been shown to exist in failed states and anarchic and near anarchic conditions, where they have existed for literally thousands of years. They are wholly organic. The government doesn't need to define boundaries, it does so for its own purposes.

    a court system to resolve disputes

    This can be solved by polycentric, private courts.

    this country has property is because of a state-led genocide.

    Explain.

    Anarcho-capitalism is inherently contradictory and inevitably leads to increased wealth concentration. Its manifestation in modern politics is for the purpose of doing precisely that.

    Progressivism and most left wing religions are inherently desturctive, founded by psychopaths trying to justify their murderous passions for the sole purpose of their own enjoyment and prosperity at the cost of hundreds of millions of lives.

  • Tony||

    Which one of those failed states or near-anarchies would you like to set your delicate little foot in? Without the state, mafias control things. What about national defense? That tends to be a huge portion of GDP, so you can't just exempt it from your first principles against taxation and redistribution. But without it, someone will simply conquer you. Is it a temporary paradise you're after?

    Liberalism is the only system to have delivered widespread prosperity in a large country, and it lasted for the better part of a century until libertarianism-spouting Republicans came along and started to undo it all. You're getting your history from Glenn Beck and that makes you unworthy of talking to. Nobody's advocating totalitarian communism; you are however advocating its equally destructive mirror image.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Who wants to conquer us in this day and age?

    What failed states are you referring? Please let it be Somalia.

    Glenn Beck is an idiot and NOT EVEN close to being a libertarian.

    Sir, you have know clue what libertarianism is.

  • Black&Yellow||

    *no

  • OneOut||

    I agreed with the first part of your post but then you said this:

    "There's no shame in not having a grand unified theory of how societies should work."

    Physician heal thyself.

  • Hyperion||

    I really like your show on Fox, Stossel. It's pretty much the only thing that will ever make me turn on Fox News.

    But I think I need to fix something for you:

    Someone Politicians always thinks: "This law is needed. This will protect people." protect us political elites and our cronies, and fuck over the people. But the cumulative effect of so many rules, Stossel writes, is to strangle life.

    I'm always happy to be of assistance on these things.

  • ||

    Stossel's dogged and consistent refusal to assign venality to those who most deserve it is annoying as hell. He thinks being nice will help his argument. Hey, John, guess what? It won't.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Paraphrasing:
    "But, the problem isn't the people involved in the IRS scandal, it's that they have too much power."

    Apparently, this phenomena isn't exclusive to Stossel

  • ||

    The nicer you are to people, the meaner they will be when you make ONE mistake.

  • setTHEline||

    I don't know Stossel, I can't really get fired up about burdensome regulations when there is such a bigger issue out there: NSA surveillance. Let's focus on that instead, because the two are obviously mutually exclusive.

  • RightNut||

    I see what you did there.

  • Bobarian||

    This^^

    Stossel publishes this article about once every 6 months.

    The last couple of weeks we've been kicking the shit out of him for missing the point on Big Brother wire-tapping by the NSA.

  • some guy||

    "Discrimination ... cannot be justified by ... comparative characteristics of one group as opposed to another."

    One way around this, though stupidly annoying, would be to charge based on some basic measure of labor. Instead of charging women more for a haircut, charge everyone by the minute.

  • Hyperion||

    I hear stupid troll noises upstream.

  • JW||

    It's call is extremely effective at attracting prospective mates.

  • Floridian||

    Who cares stossel, google is targeting ads at me for products I might want to buy. Deal with that first you mustached sum-bitch!

  • Guy LaGuy||

    You talk about the 'market' as if it's a thing.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Your inability to grasp abstract concepts resembles the psychological limitations of lesser primates and gives evidence of some sort of mental retardation on your part.

  • Tony||

    Like how libertarians constantly fail to grasp the abstract concept of "society"?

    Society is a fiction; the market is a thing, a magical thing!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Even my trollish mood this morning knows better than to respond to that!

  • ||

    Can you grasp the distinction between society and government?

  • Tony||

    Yes. Name a society that's never had a government. Or even one with a minimal government. Preferably one you'd set foot in.

  • Black&Yellow||

    It never existed therefore, it will never happen?

  • Tony||

    It just seems silly to sit around daydreaming about a never-experienced utopia. If I were doing the same thing you guys do I'd be advocating for Star Trek-style socialism, but that would be childish and silly.

  • Black&Yellow||

    noone's avocating a utopia. Libertarians (me anyway) advocate for a just and moral society. The state is force and force is immoral.

  • Tony||

    If you remove the state, then individuals and businesses and churches will use force. They will use it because they can, and no institution made of human beings should be trusted to totally police itself. The state is there to balance out those other sources of force (ones we don't get to vote on). The state's power is in turn balanced by internal checks and external institutions like the press. And the only way I know about that humans have managed to form a decent society is to establish and maintain this balancing act. The libertarian wants to tip the scales in favor of private actors, and then hope that some magical force prevents them from abusing people. Ain't gonna happen.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Remove the state and then individuals and businesses and churches will choose to arm themselves or hire a defence firm for protection. Abuse and fraud is more risky in a free society.

    Checks and balances haven't been too effective as of late now have they with all these scandels and lack of accoutablilty currently going on at the top of this hierarchy? There is no balance when the state has a monopoly on force.

  • Tony||

    You mean mafias will dominate.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Well it will be hard to dominate. Again a free society is an armed one. Any gang who whats to start their own state will have a hard time forcing armed individuals to do there bidding.

    Thats pretty expensive don't you think unless you are already a sucessful gang like the current nation states with their wars funded by theft.

  • Tony||

    a free society is an armed one.

    Sounds fabulous. Always with the gun fetish. You know what a loosely governed stated with lots of guns will also have? Mafias running things.

    Does this crap actually appeal to you?

  • Enigma||

    If you remove the state, then individuals and businesses and churches will use force.

    Isn't the state just a manifestion of these uses of force. For example, isn't the IRS scandal really the manifestation of the progressive man's tendancy to use force and intimdation against those he disagrees with? Instead of the progressive having to do the work himself, he simply votes somebody in who will do it for him.

    The state's power is in turn balanced by internal checks and external institutions like the press.

    The state owns the press (the fifth estate) and can (and has) actively intimidate the press into submission, like most external pressures. The rest can be effectively marginalized by captured media. Internal checks? What was this:

    no institution made of human beings should be trusted to totally police itself.
  • Tony||

    What IRS scandal, FOX zombie?

    No doubt governments can be corrupt and unaccountable. Maybe if some of you libertarians ever traveled to an actual hellhole where that actually happens to the detriment of all people, instead of staying hunkered down in one of the most liberal societies ever to have existed bitching about all the tyranny in your life, you'd have an even better perspective on this.

    Didn't say it's not hard work to maintain the balance. That's kind of the point. You are not denying that you want to transfer most of the ability to use force and abuse people to the private sector, which unlike a well-run government isn't accountable to the people at large.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Those hellholes are why the state should not exist.

  • OneOut||

    Many island societies in the South Pacific once had such societies.

    Then James Cook came along and showed the English flag. That wasn't really all that bad except he gave their address to others to come after him. The Inuit had government free societies.

    There are numerous examples to correct your assumption.

  • Tony||

    Not that apply to modern technological societies.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    All of our economic measures are linked to growth. Is an economy based on endless growth sustainable or even desirable?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes, it is sustainable and it is vastly more desirable than your death-cult.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes.

    As human ingenuity makes production more efficient, resources in the form of human labor are freed for other tasks. This allows for new goods and services to appear that simply could not exist before because people were busy doing other things. For example a generation or two ago there were small farms scattered over the country. Now most food is produced by Big Agra. Sure small farms are romantic, but current technology would be impossible because the hands needed to build it were busy on the farms. As long as human ingenuity is not constrained by government coercion, then yes there can be endless growth.

    The only thing that stands in the way of human ingenuity is government regulation.

  • Floridian||

    At least those small farmers were paid a living wage. Then big Agra came in with their corporations and hired Mexicans at a wage no self respecting white man would work for. And now they use CHEMICALS and frankenfood to poison America's children and make girls go through puberty early so they can be exploited by the rape culture at a younger and younger age. Then the Jew bankers make money by lending it to big Agra to buy protected federal lands and kill condors so they won't steal big aqua farms fish.

  • sarcasmic||

    I forget how stupid some people are. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Floridian||

    Yes! I out sarc'd Sarcasmic. I was afraid the Jew banker gave it away.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's sad when one person's hyperbole is virtually indistinguishable from someone else's heart-felt beliefs.

  • Loki||

    You know what they say, "One man's over the top hyperbole is another man's mental retardation." Or something like that.

  • Rasilio||

    The truly sad thing is I couldn't tell from reading whether you were serious or parodying the attitude because that is exactly how some morons think

  • Floridian||

    When I am writing a prog, I think of a man and take away reason and consequences.

  • Tony||

    Or plagues. Or floods. Or...

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently you don't know what ingenuity means.

  • Tony||

    The only thing that stands in the way of human ingenuity is government regulation.

    This is exactly what I'm talking about. A woefully inadequate supply of knowledge about the world coupled with arrogance. Not only is the world incredibly simple, but only you and other members of your little club of B- Econ 101 graduates have figured that out! That makes sense.

    You know what really stifled human innovation? The Black Death. You know what would have prevented the Black Death? Big government building a sanitation infrastructure or funding research and education about sanitation.

    Government has always been at least an equal partner with markets in producing economic growth and innovation, and your not understanding that doesn't make it less so.

  • sarcasmic||

    A woefully inadequate supply of knowledge about the world coupled with arrogance.

    That is a wonderful description of regulators and people like you who worship them.

  • Black&Yellow||

    You know what would have prevented the Black Death?

    Cats! If it wasn't for the religious hysteria over witches and cats, the cats would of killed the rats and mice that carried the plague.

  • Black&Yellow||

    The Black Death was the unintended consequence of killing off the cats

  • ||

    and, frequently, government has been at least an equal partner with religion in making sure people stay terrorized, victimized, and stupid.

  • RightNut||

    You know what really stifled human innovation? The Black Death. You know what would have prevented the Black Death? Big government building a sanitation infrastructure or funding research and education about sanitation.

    I'm going to keep this massive bit of stupid and post it every time you post something. It's so blatantly ignorant AND just plain stupid.

  • brokencycle||

    Wait, did you just say that government would have prevented Black Death? You realize in the time period, there wasn't a free market and there were huge monarchies?

  • ||

    Those governments don't count. People couldn't vote.

    Once people start voting, it magically switches to pure awesome.

  • brokencycle||

    When can we flip the awesome switch on our government? Or is this another example of how it is all the electoral college's fault?

  • ||

    You have to believe hard enough, and elect the right top men. Just keep trying.

  • Tony||

    So explain how introducing a free market without government doing anything would have helped the situation.

  • Jordan||

    Why would you want to end the Black Plague? It was Keynesian stimulus writ large.

  • Rasilio||

    "You know what really stifled human innovation? The Black Death. You know what would have prevented the Black Death? Big government building a sanitation infrastructure or funding research and education about sanitation."

    OMG talk about a history fail.

    First off, while the Black Death sucked hard for the folks who had to live through it the resulting depopulation of Europe drove a stake through the heart of Feudal Serfdom by killing off whole swaths of familial claims to land titles (and even land use rights that serfs held) and creating a labor shortage thereby shifting the power significantly to the commoners side. This destruction in calcified power structures was the most direct cause of the Renaissance.

    Second, all the sanitation infrastructure in the world would not have mattered because the world was not wealthy enough at that time for it to matter. Even presuming they knew where the plague was coming from and understood at least basic sanitation (which they didn't) sewers and clean water systems would not have helped when farmers brought their livestock into the house to sleep

  • KDN||

    ITT: Tony chides libertarians for not recognizing their own ignorance and proclaims that he doesn't talk about things he knows nothing about, then proceeds to show that he has no idea what caused the black plague to happen and persist. Good job, T! You never fail to disappoint.

    B- Econ 101 graduates

    I and every other A student with a BS in Econ recognize that you know nothing of the subject whenever you spout off on it. Really, stop posting.

  • Tony||

    Only if you stop talking about sociology and political science.

  • Tony||

    Well Christ, anything that doesn't kill us all can technically be productive in the long-term. I submit that we can and have improved upon the Darwinian system of production.

    My only point is that centralized sanitation systems and education about sanitation is what currently prevents civilization-wide bacterial plagues. When has a free market by itself ever produced those things?

  • ||

    You know what would have prevented the Black Death? Big government building a sanitation infrastructure or funding research and education about sanitation.

    You know what would have prevented WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? People not being asshats with their governments.

  • Calidissident||

    I know this probably isn't the first time I've said this, but this is probably the stupidest post Tony has ever made

  • sarcasmic||

    I know this probably isn't the first time I've said this

    And it won't be your last.

  • ||

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

    I can't believe what I just read.

    Can't.

    NO. That is NOT history.

    Partners my fucking ass. Anytime I'm forced into a 'partnership' in which one party (the government) holds ALL THE POWER including the ability to put me out of business (as is the case for me) is NOT A PARTNERSHIP you fucking piece of shit.

    There NEVER was partnership just COERCED action. People had to hope they had an enlightened monarch or leader to have great times. But more often than not, leaders were evil motherfuckers.

    Most of the great works in human civilization was either projects initiated through force and coercion or FUNDED BY PRIVATE MONEY.

    It's only in the 19th century and into the 20th century did the nation-state take over.

    Now fuck off.

  • Tony||

    So what about the 19th and 20th centuries is different about the ones that came before? Oh yeah, exponential increases in human progress and well-being. Maybe we stumbled upon a good idea.

  • ||

    /oof.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    King Canute might have something to say about them thar floods.

  • ||

    ...The only thing that stands in the way of human ingenuity is government regulation.

    Amen

    That was beautiful. I have a tear in my eye.

  • mtrueman||

    "...The only thing that stands in the way of human ingenuity is government regulation."

    You might also enjoy Pol Pot on the indomitably of the revolutionary spirit. Equally fanatical, equally dangerous, equally inspiring.

  • mtrueman||

    "The only thing that stands in the way of human ingenuity is government regulation."

    This is sarcasm? Hope so. Otherwise it sounds like the words of a fanatic and a bore. There's no limit on human ingenuity? Feel the same about parrot, ant and crab ingenuity?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Is an economy based on endless growth sustainable or even desirable?

    Ask Tony and shrike--they're the ones crowing about how all this deficit spending is supporting economic growth.

  • Bryan C||

    "The only possible benefit that it offers is locking the majority of society out of using government courts for dispute resolution because they could never afford to lose a case and therefore possibly promoting free market dispute resolution mechanisms."

    How do these same people afford a court case now? Presumably lawyers working on contingencies. If a lawyer wins, he gains, if he loses he's

  • Bryan C||

    Er, ignore that. Thanks.

  • Loki||

    I'm not so cynical that I think politicians pass laws just to control us.

    Stossel's sunny optimism really pisses me off. /sarc... kind of

  • Wyrd Wulf||

    Not really buying this article. Show me the wins, actual file-stamped copies of pleadings, judgments or other disposition documents showing the "wins" you speak of Stossel.

  • triclops||

    I think Tony had damage to his medial temporal lobe. He misunderstand the same key concepts of libertarianism and thinks the regulatory state has been declining in the last few decades. He is then corrected over and over again, but can never remember it for next time.

    He has the same arguments over and over again because he cannot remember past ones. He still thinks Somolia is libertarian, Glass-Steagal is the only regulation in finance, and innumerable other fallacies that he is constantly called out on.

  • Tony||

    Deregulating just a little helped cause a massive problem, but like a typical libertarian who doesn't think he has to defend any policy until full Libertopia is achieved, you don't seem to get that regardless of the number of regulations in place, the right ones obviously weren't. And what's so fucking ridiculous about this particular strand of libertarian excuse making is that the politicians who advocated the deregulation used libertarian bullshit economic theory as the excuse. You guys, while ostensibly a tiny political force, have been feeding the Republican party the means to basically destroy this country for decades. That's why you must be stopped before you kill us all.

  • DenverJay||

    A day late to the argument as usual. But, Tony, an example of a modern society with minimum government would be the westward expansion of the United States. Many peaceful communities were set up and successful long before any government became involved in their day-to-day affairs. And the community did things together, like having barn building get-togethers to help the neighbors, and building the local church/school house, without anyone pointing a gun at the populations' heads. And despite the modern impression of "the wild wild west", the crime rate was actually much lower than say, modern day Washington D.C. or Detroit.

  • Tony||

    You were also required to check your gun before you entered a town.

  • This is my name||

    The solution is obvious. Found the Banzhaf Legal Training Institute, the sole purpose of which is to identify regulatory failings at George Washington University and the affiliated hospital- of which I'm sure there are thousands- and train law students to sue them for each one. Let 10,000 False Claims Act/sexual bias/post-operative infection suits bloom.

  • jdgalt||

    Why on earth haven't any of the victims charged Banzhaf with barratry?

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