How a Single Nick Gillespie Sentence Indicates "the central analytical failure of libertarianism as a worldview," or at Least Is a Good Enough Reason to Pre-emptively Discount a Piece of Journalism About Black People Getting Screwed Over in D.C.

Yesterday, Nick Gillespie wrote a blog post previewing today's great Reason.tv piece about Washington, D.C.'s attempts to screw over its (largely minority/immigrant-owned) self-proprietor taxi cabs, and also announcing that the Reason Foundation was petitioning [PDF] the city to clean up and strengthen its rules vis-a-vis transparency, filming public meetings and so forth. In the process of that post, Gillespie wrote that our lawyer's "swift action helped to defuse a situation in which the powerful were more than ready to take advantage of the powerless." This phrasing inspired an entire mini-essay by Freddie deBoer over at the Reason Derangement Syndrome website Balloon Juice. Sample:

Ah, yes. The powerless. When I think of people who are powerless in Washington DC—a city with a child poverty rate near 30%—I think of employees of one of the most influential and powerful think tanks in the country. (Koch money goes a long way.) In a poor, majority-black city with a long history of drugs, crime, and endemic lack of opportunity, Gillespie looks out and sees that the truly powerless are...libertarians. (That Mr. Epstein had the social and material resources to immediately gain the aid of a noted First Amendment lawyer seems not to have factored into Gillespie's determination of Epstein's power or lack thereof.)

I find this entirely in keeping with the central analytical failure of libertarianism as a worldview: a total and disqualifying inability to measure or account for power as it exists in the real world. [...]

It is absurd that Epstein and the other reporter were arrested at this meeting. Reason is to be commended for calling attention to that injustice. The medallion issue is a complicated one, and Reason's ethos generally leaves little room for complexity. Surely, the unwarranted arrest of two upwardly mobile, financially secure reporters is an exceedingly minor example of injustice in a town where the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty persists on a broad scale. Unfortunately, libertarianism has no mechanism whatsoever to address that injustice, and taken as a whole, the ideology has consistently demonstrated little interest in finding one.

And so on.

I don't think deBoer's complaint rises to the level of being worth a response, but E.D. Kain provides one anyway over at Forbes The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

Meanwhile, it's all a good excuse to re-run a great video, whose (perennial) theme is one that I would hope liberals everywhere would find resonant: How in a poor, majority black city with an endemic lack of opportunity, the powerful as they exist in the real world are more than ready to take advantage of the powerless.

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  • ||

    Freddie deBoer - July 6, 2011 | 4:37 pm · Link

    Taylor (or whatever your name is), I am a socialist, as much as I am willing to pin myself down to anything, up to and including the part about nationalizing the means of production.
  • Warty||

    stickler - July 6, 2011 | 5:29 pm · Link

    Didn’t some Libertarian hack-tank publish a study last month about which states scored best for “freedom”? I think South Dakota came out on top, while socialist dystopias like California and New York came out on the bottom.

    As someone mentioned at the time, this weird definition of “freedom” must not include the concept of “reproductive freedom,” since unwillingly-pregnant South Dakota women sure don’t have a lot of “freedom” to excercise their Constitutional right to end their pregnancies.

    NONSEQUITPWND

  • Ska||

    Fuck you both for tempting me into reading that abysmal comments section.

  • ||

    I swear their comment section is stupider than Feministing's or Jezebel's, and that's really saying something.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    I've never understood the "reproductive freedom" argument for abortion. Even if abortion were illegal or inaccessible, you could still have sex.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Yeah, but what if you don't know how to properly use a condom?

  • ||

    Condoms can fail, and are often used incorrectly. Birth control hormone pills have a lot of side effects. Every woman I know who has or has had an IUD says it was excruciatingly painful to get installed. And for some women, the idea of being forced to carry a pregnancy to term that they don't want is horrific.

  • Erka||

    Yes, and the abortion procedure is painful, often has complications, and can be emotionally devastating. Your point? I'm a woman and I can't imagine the minor side effects of birth control pills pushing me to prefer abortion as my birth control method.

  • ||

    I guess I did not explicitly state it, but I thought it was implied in my first post that abortion is a backup procedure, not first choice for family planning.

    To put it another way, I don't find the argument that "you should have used the other prevention methods available, you didn't, so now you have to carry to term" convincing. So 50% of people feel life begins at conception, we should therefore ban abortion? This would probably reduce the number of abortion procedures, but there will be other negative effects. See drug prohibition.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    That is not the argument I was making, Sean. Framing abortion rights as "reproductive freedom" sounds like a way for feminists to say anyone who isn't a fan of abortion (or paying for someone else's) thinks women shouldn't be free to have sex.

  • ||

    And the misunderstandings have come full circle!

  • rogue biologist||

    how about the fact that you're polluting shit out of the environment (if you're using a contraceptive that's an alkyne progesterone mimic) or the fact that you're fucking up your sexual preferences?

  • ||

    It fucking amazes me how people are willing to equate the entire panoply of freedoms with one: abortion rights. If we could have really limited government, free markets, and very broad liberty to act, I'd be okay if abortion was hard to do. It's just not on the top of the list, nor should it be.

  • Apogee||

    If we could have really limited government, free markets, and very broad liberty to act... then preventing people from having abortions would be next to impossible.

  • Joe R.||

    This is also the way I feel about IP issues. It's way down the checklist of things I'm worried about from a libertarian perspective. If we could do things like end the war on drugs, end military adventurism, free up the markets, and ratchet down the police state, I'd be willing to flip a coin on IP.

  • ||

    Believe me, I hate to play the "well look who's not a woman" card, and I don't think for a second that men shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinions on this issue. That said, an unplanned/unintended/unwanted pregnancy would be the absolute single worst thing that could happen to, I won't say "the average girl/woman" or "most girls/women," but definitely many of them. It's a massive health issue that can derail your entire life, forever. Hell, I'm 27 now and have a good job and a pretty stable life and I still can't imagine anything worse. And yes, that includes maiming, imprisonment, etc. There's a reason people risk(ed) their lives for illegal abortions. Remember also that women are totally brainwashed by insane hormones the entire time they are pregnant, and forcing them to carry to term is like forcing them to give up their entire identity for that period. Which of course plays a big role in why so many women keep babies they would be much better off giving away.

    Seriously. Life-changing and horrible. Nothing worse. I'm as radical a libertarian as you could ask for (anarchist actually), but pro-life is a dealbreaker for me. It's visceral.

  • ||

    It's a wonder our species has survived with the vast majority of women undergoing such a horrible ordeal, most of them multiple times!

    Really? So a woman having her arms and legs cut off is less destructive than carrying a pregnancy to term?

  • ||

    Okay, I'm not going to say anything about a woman's right to choose or the fun discussion of whether or not it is murder. But if you're saying that you wouldn't vote for a libertarian candidate because of their stance on this single issue, that is beyond fucked up.

    Also, making the decisoin to have sex, knowing that the consequences could be an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy, is nowhere near the same thing as being physically harmed against your will

  • ||

    I'm pro-choice ... but a large part of the reason people risked their lives for illegal abortions was because the social culture at the time meant that an unwed mother became a pariah.

    That meant not just exclusion from polite society, but also, most likely condemnation to a life of poverty, since a woman of "poor moral character" would have a hard time finding a job doing anything but menial labor.

    However, it is worth noting that that really isn't the case anymore today. While it can still do major damage to a teenager's life by throwing her off a normal educational course, a woman in her 20s whose already completed college isn't going to suffer much more than a married woman having babies on purpose. It's purely a logistical matter of juggling a family without a husband to share expenses.

  • Ted S.||

    Remember also that women are totally brainwashed by insane hormones the entire time they are pregnant

    No offense, but aren't women brainwashed by insane hormones the entire time they're not pregnant, too? :-p

  • Tony||

    Libertarianism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority... magic.

  • Derpinator||

    Socialism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority... starvation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Give money to able-bodied, sound-minded people, instead of said people working for their own money... yeah, that's a good idea.

  • Xenocles||

    Socialism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority... starvation making everyone poor.

    FIFY.

  • OO||

    holy crap tony is even stupider than i am

  • PIRS||

    Tony,

    I have two questions for you:

    1. What does the word injustice mean to you?

    and

    2. What mechanisms are needed to create injustice?

  • Tony||

    Injustice is a lack of rights relative to other people in one's society.

    Injustice is caused by policy that maintains this imbalance of rights.

  • ||

    Poor people lack rights? Is this something besides a prelude to a positive liberty argument?

  • Tony||

    Poverty could be described as the state of lacking certain rights. I don't need to make a positive rights argument because I don't believe there's a meaningful distinction between them and so-called negative rights.

  • OO||

    well if u don't believe it it must be so herp derp moron

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... people have a right to having the same amount of money and material possessions.

    Got it.

  • Tony||

    You've been slacking in your headache-inducing strawmen FIFY, good to have you back.

  • ||

    That's not a strawman. What he said is literally what you are saying.

    Mr. FIFY|7.7.11 @ 4:11PM|#|show direct|ignore
    So... people have a right to having the same amount of money and material possessions.

    Got it.
    Tony|7.7.11 @ 5:18PM|#|show direct|ignore
    This is pretty heavy liberal theory so I don't expect you to buy it. Poverty can be said to be the state of having a diminished capacity to participate in society. Being poor is not the consequence of one's actions, it's the major impediment to acting.
  • Tony||

    Which in no way implies total wealth egalitarianism. I just want some basic needs met so that equality of opportunity is real and not justified by visions of cartoon characters as human beings.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You can bitch about strawmen when I actually POST some, Tony.

  • ||

    So since you don't believe there is a meaningful distinction, you can forgo any explanation. Begging the question you are!

    Tony|7.7.11 @ 3:37PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Libertarianism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority... magic.
    Tony|7.7.11 @ 4:01PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Injustice is a lack of rights relative to other people in one's society.
    Tony|7.7.11 @ 4:06PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Poverty could be described as the state of lacking certain rights.

    1) Being poor is unjust
    2) Injustice is a lack of rights granted others
    3) Poverty is a state of lacking rights
    4) Being poor is unjust

    That is some ridiculous circular reasoning. I'm putting you back on ignore status. My fault for responding. Fool me 7 times shame on you, fool me 8 times shame on me!

  • Underpants Gnomes||

    1. Collect Underpants
    2. ?
    3. Profit

  • Tony||

    It could be circular. What's wrong with that? No better than saying the free market produces the best outcomes because whatever the free market produces is by definition the best.

  • ||

    It could be circular. What's wrong with that?

    The problem with a circular argument is that the argument purports to prove what it simply assumes. So, saying that its circular simply points out that your argument has at most shown that your premises are consistent (which is a very low bar to cross)

    To move beyond mere assumptions and circular arguments, you must go some way to show why your interlocuters must accept your premises.

    No better than saying the free market produces the best outcomes because whatever the free market produces is by definition the best.

    Only if you confuse 2 types of libertarians with eachother. Libertarians who say that free markets produce the best outcomes are arguing that free markets maximise the good, or maximise the welfare of the worst off in society etc etc etc.

    People who say that whatever the free market produces is inherently the most just are saying that the consequences are just in virtue of the process (which they believe to be inherently just) through which the consequences took place. But these libertarians cannot certainly be the same libertarians who make the pragmatic argument (as the pragmatic argument relies on the inherent justice of the results and only make an empirical claim about policies)

  • Zeb||

    "I don't believe there's a meaningful distinction between them and so-called negative rights."

    So you really are an idiot? I always try to be charitable to the semi-trolls, but that is just plain stupid. You really can't see the ditinction between a right which requires someone else to give you something and a right which is something you can do all on your own without having to take anything from anyone? This is pretty basic stuff and not a distinction that only libertarians make.

  • Coeus||

    This is pretty basic stuff and not a distinction that only libertarians make.

    It's not? I know of no one besides my few libertarian friends who understand the distinction. Any time I try to explain it to people, I just get blank stares.

  • Tony||

    You really can't see the ditinction between a right which requires someone else to give you something and a right which is something you can do all on your own without having to take anything from anyone?

    There may be degrees but not a meaningful distinction, for a couple reasons. One, nowhere is it written that the state should only protect so-called negative rights. That's an opinion of anti-government types. Second, there are vanishingly few rights that don't require any positive action to exist. The big one for libertarians is property rights, property being something that doesn't even make sense absent a legal framework and enforcement.

  • ||

    Poverty can certainly be CAUSED by the state of lacking the right to own property, enter into a profession, start a business, or get a job.

    There's a big difference however, between lacking the LEGAL RIGHT to do so and lacking the ABILITY.

    Somehow Tony thinks not having the physical ability to be a firefighter is a greater injustice than not being granted a medallion that says you're allowed to exchange money for transportation in a car.

  • Tony||

    This is pretty heavy liberal theory so I don't expect you to buy it. Poverty can be said to be the state of having a diminished capacity to participate in society. Being poor is not the consequence of one's actions, it's the major impediment to acting. I believe a wealthy society should protect a right not to be poor before it protects a right for a wealthy person not to be taxed any more, and I don't need squishy emotional reasons but have perfectly practical ones to justify it. I'm simply not bogged down in the idea that absolute entitlement to ownership is the king of all rights.

  • ?????||

    ---"I believe a wealthy society should protect a right not to be poor"---

    ??????????????????

  • PIRS||

    "Being poor is not the consequence of one's actions, it's the major impediment to acting."

    Do you honestly think there are NO cases on Planet Earth where people are poor as a direct result of their own actions? What of people who make poor choices like using the savings bonds their parents bought them for college** to buy cool video games instead of furthering their education?

    **we can debate the value of a college education in another post. For the sake of this post assume it IS valuable.

  • Tony||

    Do you honestly think there are NO cases on Planet Earth where people are poor as a direct result of their own actions?

    Um, of course I don't think that. It's obviously a combination of choices and luck. You're the ones who want to base policy on the moral calculation that there is no such thing as luck.

  • Ray Pew||

    This is pretty heavy liberal theory so I don't expect you to buy it. Poverty can be said to be the state of having a diminished capacity to participate in society. Being poor is not the consequence of one's actions, it's the major impediment to acting.

    This statement is empirically and logically false. Poverty MAY not be the consequence of one's actions, but it most surely CAN be.

    I believe a wealthy society should protect a right not to be poor before it protects a right for a wealthy person not to be taxed any more, and I don't need squishy emotional reasons but have perfectly practical ones to justify it. I'm simply not bogged down in the idea that absolute entitlement to ownership is the king of all rights.

    Ownership is the key to all human existence. Food, clothing and shelter all must be owned to be used individually. If I have no right to ownership, then I can't even claim the very food I need to exist.

    And your argument is founded on a premise of absolute entitlement to ownership, you just claim that this absolute right is granted to the abstraction of "society" and not the individual.

  • Fluffy||

    Poverty could be described as the state of lacking certain rights.

    Like what?

    All of us equally lack the right to force people to give us stuff while giving them nothing in return.

  • Joe M||

    Shorter Tony: Yes.

  • Joe M||

    Oh, and "no" to the second question.

  • db||

    "injustice is caused by policy..."

    And policy is conceived and executed by governments. C'mon, Tony, even you can take the next step. And no, it's not "we need the right people making policy."

  • ||

    So you don't think a medallion system, in which some people are awarded the right to operate a taxicab preferentially over others, constitutes an "injustice" ?

  • yonemoto||

    not if the right people are in charge of the medallions

  • ||

    Because having the right to start your own business - without bribing a politician - has no role to play in lifting poor minorities out of poverty.

    That's for welfare programs to do.

  • ||

    For like the zillionth time, Tony: libertarianism isn't about equality of outcome (ie, eliminating poverty), it's about equality of opportunity (ie, equal access to the marketplace).

    Also, this article was not about the injustice of being a poor minority, it was about the taxicab medallion issue.

    The notion that you can't even talk about issues like taxicab medallions until issues like poverty are addressed is pure bunk.

  • Tony||

    Equal access to the marketplace is the only problem anyone's talking about. How equal is your access to it if you're poor? What if you're disabled? How does libertarianism handle these things? It doesn't it says the magic marketplace will produce better OUTCOMES for these people because of magic. If it doesn't care about outcomes then it truly is simply and wrongly market worship. At some point you have to address human well-being if you are going to be a philosophy of how to live.

    I'm not getting into the taxcab thing... seems like the response was a bit hysterical.

  • ||

    It's certainly harder to equal access to the marketplace if your poor, IF the government forces you to first buy a license to enter that marketplace.

  • Fluffy||

    Libertarianism handles your disability by stating that anyone directly responsible for it should have to compensate you for it.

    People not directly responsible for it should not.

    This is either just, or not. And we can disagree about that and talk about it.

    But I'm not going to try to prove to you that libertarianism generates great outcomes for people who have problems that no one else is directly responsible for - because I never claimed that it did, and we have never agreed on that as a basis for judging it to be valid.

  • ||

    What about random birth defects? I read your solution as a tort based solution, does a child with a disability have a tort against his parents?

  • Joshua||

    Read his post again. "not ... libertarianism generates great outcomes for people who have problems that no one else is directly responsible for"

    In Libertopia, a child with a disability must either work hard to overcome that disability or hope for the charity of others.

  • Tony||

    And why is that appealing?

  • Tony||

    Right--I was thinking disability due to random luck, and that's the crux of our differences. You seem to accept a huge amount more of pure darwinian luck in modern society than I do. That you want to claim that this somehow represents more fairness and justice is what baffles me.

  • ||

    Or, we might think that attempts to forcibly correct for bad luck by punishing people who luckier is even more unjust.

  • Tony||

    That's because you define taxation as punishment, whereas it's totally possible to have a society fair enough in which it's merely paying for services rendered.

  • ||

    Whether you callit a punishment or not, it is a *harm* objectively.

    Why should the luckier people be harmed to compensate the less lucky?

    Move importantly, how can you guarentee that those systems by which the compensation is measured and doled out won't be susceptible to bias which will create further injustices?

    How can you ensure that the redistributions of harms and benefits intended to compensate for luck, won't actually be used to make certain people advantaged and others disadvantaged, depending on what is politically expedient ?

  • Tony||

    Whether you callit a punishment or not, it is a *harm* objectively.

    No it isn't in any objective sense. It's not any more harm than being forced to pay for anything else you buy. Payment for services. Just because this clearly fair situation takes the form of taxes paid for existing services (since remaking all policy with each new human born is a bit impractical) doesn't make it meaningfully different from any other situation you would find perfectly fair.

  • ||

    Ok, what "service" are you receiving by being disproportionately taxed in order correct for other people's misfortune?

  • Tony||

    How can you ensure that the redistributions of harms and benefits intended to compensate for luck, won't actually be used to make certain people advantaged and others disadvantaged, depending on what is politically expedient ?

    I can't. That's the job of an informed electorate. How can you ensure that your system won't be similarly corrupted? You don't offer mechanisms to protect against corruption because you don't believe government should do anything.

  • Fluffy||

    Well, let's say an asteroid hits the earth tomorrow.

    This would be an unpleasant event. It would be an event associated with a lot of suffering. But it would not be an unjust event. It would be neither just nor unjust. It would just be. Not every unfortunate event is an issue of justice.

    I think that justice is served by making individuals accountable for the actionable harms they cause. You think justice is served by making individuals accountable for misfortunes they DIDN'T cause. And that is what baffles me. To me, it's like making me personally liable if an asteroid hits the earth. It makes no sense.

  • Tony||

    The injustice would come when the rich and well-connected get emergency treatment before the poor. I can call it injustice because I believe all people should have a right to such care. We're on the same wavelength I believe; you just believe in fewer rights than I do.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Where is this "right" enumerated?

  • ||

    ---"Where is this "right" enumerated?"---

    Where are any "rights" enumerated. We don't have enumerated rights,we have a Government with Enumerated Powers.

  • Au H20||

    Tony, by your logic is a medical triage unjust?

    A hospital has scant resources- only a limited supply of pain killers for example. Therefore, it treats those not worse off, but rather those who it has the most chance to cure succesfully.

    Hell, in war, medical professionals may run out of supplies on the front lines and only be able to treat those with the most minor of injuries.

    Essentially, if resources are scarce, as all schools of economics hold, then shouldn't they be distributed based on who is best able to use them-ie who is best able to be cured- not who is worse off?

  • Tony||

    Tony, by your logic is a medical triage unjust?

    Okay I don't really believe in a thing called "justice." Its meaning is subject to context and opinion. A triage is a context of resource scarcity. What isn't is a social safety net in a wealthy country, which I don't favor for emotional reasons but because it improves everyone's lot, even those not directly receiving the benefit.

    When we're in the middle of the Bachmann administration we can talk about emergency contingencies.

  • ||

    The injustice would come when the rich and well-connected get emergency treatment before the poor.

    What makes you think this wouldn't happen in a single-payer government run health care system?

  • Apogee||

    That is exactly the scenario where it will most likely happen.

  • Tony||

    Well not quite as likely as the scenario in which how much money you have equals how much care you get (unless you're on a single-payer system like old, poor people). Even the single-payer examples in our own country are superior to the marketplace in delivering healthcare. That's controlling for all variables!

  • ||

    The US had more rapid advances in medical technology, which ultimately get cheaper and are made available to pooer people. So the "unequal" healthcare drives faster progress and even the poor end up better off. Aside for the utilitarian premises, single-payer is sacrifcing long-term gain in favor of short term improvements in care, and in favor of more "equal" treatment.

  • ||

    I'm sorry, I didn't realize poor people couldn't work two jobs like the cooks at the restaurant my wife works at.

  • ||

    Tonio, dude, it's a sockpuppet. You really shouldn't waste your time with something whose entire purpose is to get you to waste your time.

  • ||

    Thanks, Epi, and I know that but sometimes I can't resist the bait.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Egalitarianism is, like other concepts, fine on paper... but unworkable in reality.

    Like socialism, for instance.

  • Apogee||

    it's a sockpuppet.

    Yeah, agreed. Nothing's that stupid. It never could respond when I pointed out that the unending talking points were indicative of either a paid shill or someone who profits from the current system.

  • rather ||

    Does their magic have glittery dust made from unicorns too? I knew somebody made those unicorns extinct.

    Libertarians are worse than the Chinese who slaughter animals for parts http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/20.....exist-too/

  • ||

    Libertarianism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority... magic.

    Libertarianism has a perfectly understandable mechanism for dealing with the injustice of being a poor minority...by giving voice to their plight with media coverage.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Why do I get the feeling Tony is a male prostitute?

  • rather ||

    "Why do I get the feeling Tony is a male prostitute?"

    wishful thinking?

  • Mr Whipple||

    What the hell, it's cheaper by the hour.

  • ||

    Oddly enough, free-ish market capitalism has raised far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, FAR more people out of poverty than left-wing social policies. And of course the left-wing policies are invariably dependent on capitalism to create the wealth for them to redistribute.

  • Tony||

    None of that improvement in the human condition came about without some level of government investment in it.

  • ||

    That's like saying none of the investment in garbage truck companies in NYC came about without some level of Mafia investment in it.

    Just because the government sticks its nose into everything it can find doesn't mean it is beneficial.

  • ||

    No one can be that stupid. deBoer must know that reporting on a city government who is trying to screw the truly "powerless", is crucial in helping the powerless. Therefore, he must have another ax to grind. And I believe he should grind it up his rectum.

  • ||

    Oh fuck yes they can be that stupid. Subsuming your thought processes in partisan groupthink in fact makes them that stupid. And they do it willingly.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I'm telling you, they fucking hate small businesses. They can't be unionized. In fact, small businesses undercut the corporations that are unionized. Small business owners are just scabs to them.

  • alan||

    That's kind of a throw back to John Kenneth Galbraith's anti-entrepreneur screed. According to him, their existence screws up the otherwise sound calculation of central planning.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I also speak from personal experience. I've been on job sites in right-to-work states that had a union "presence".

  • ||

    I'm telling you, they fucking hate small businesses. They can't be unionized. In fact, small businesses undercut the corporations that are unionized.

    I think it is that plus other things.

    It is multifaceted.

    Balloon Juice for one thing got scooped.
    Also they do not like libertarians using a narrative that they think they own. "Small guy being hurt by big guy" has been a staple of left wing class war for some time....when libertarians use this type of narrative it stops being about class warfare and simply an argument of liberty vs authority. If the left loses their skewed interpretation of this narrative they are sunk.

    Lastly the power of the state is more important then any justice. yes the little guy is getting screwed...Balloon Juice stated in its article the issue is complex...complex as in the Big guy is the state and the state needs to retain authority in order to usher in a socialist Utopian.

  • Apogee||

    If the left loses their skewed interpretation of this narrative they are sunk.

    Yes, which means stupidity isn't so much the case as corruption.

    It's more important for their 'team' to be able to collect the bribes from the larger businesses in exchange for limiting access to the market.

    That is the 'complexity' that Balloon Juice and their cronies don't want to discuss.

  • ||

    'Complexity' is the new 'nuance', dude.

  • yonemoto||

    what, we do it unwillingly?

  • So Many Trolls||

    Cat fight!

  • Warty||

    Speaking of failures, Should we abolish the jury system?

  • Magic 8-Ball||

    What do you think?

  • Warty||

    Ask again later.

  • Aqua Buddha||

  • WTF||

    Should we abolish the jury system?

    Only when it returns verdicts we don't like.

  • +1||

  • rather ||

    How do we avoid the OJ'd jury? One of them has an agent, and is looking for a heck of a lot of money for his story.

    Do you think the tale would be worth a cent if she was given the death penalty?

  • Fluffy||

    One juror is not sufficient to get an acquittal.

    The Casey Anthony jury acquitted because the state had nothing besides a loathsome defendant, questionable forensics that were shredded by an expert rebuttal witness, and "Well, somebody had to kill the kid, right?" and that's just not enough to convict someone.

  • rather ||

    the first vote was ten to two. If ten of them get agents, I'd say the jury system is permanently 'altered'

  • ||

    If ten of them are writing books that's going to fragment the already small "murder trial jury expose" market pretty badly.

    Very few trials are even going to offer such an opportunity -- the risk of "rubber stamp" verdicts are far worse if we alter the jury system in favor of the prosecution or or abolish it.

  • Coeus||

    He does say this:
    The answer doesn't lie in abolishing the jury system utterly, but in revamping it completely.

    I've said that as a preface to changing certain rules of Voir Dire.

    Though after reading the rest of the article, I don't think that's what he meant.

  • ||

    1. Allow jurors to take notes.

    2. Allow jurors to question witnesses.

  • Ted S.||

    At the very least, allow jurors to send questions to the judge to ask. This would be especially true of so-called "expert" witnesses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    False imprisonment is a trifle complaint in the face of free citizens not having adequate wealth redistributed to them (which we all know is the only way out of poverty and not at all a contributor to it).

  • Warty||

    I also like how the entire essay is based on a misreading of who Nick means by "the powerless".

  • ||

    Xacly.

  • Michael||

    I especially like how their entire world-view is based on a misreading of what libertarians stand for.

  • ||

    It always is, Michael. And the "misreading" is often a deliberate failure to understand.

  • Apogee||

    yes - replace 'misreading' with 'lying'.

  • ||

    Plus, if you want examples of statists creating strawmen who are cartoonish parodies of libertarianism, look no further than our own Tony.

  • ||

    It's harder to demonize and create another out group to hate if you actually think and aren't abject tribal morons.

  • Warty||

    We have gingers and you. Who more do we need to hate?

  • ||

    False metallers.

  • Warty||

    Disturbed?

  • ||

    Certainly. I would maybe add Slipknot, Lamb of Pantera, The Sword (even though they're a guilty pleasure of mine), The August Burns Red the Sky and every other core band, and the entire category of Black Metal.

    I have tried for years and I cannot enjoy that shit. As far as I can tell, the essence of Black Metal is to intentionally sound bad. The only black metal I can get into is hybrid, and I only dig the hybrid non black part of the sound.

  • Warty||

    I dig Rotting Christ and certain Gorgoroth songs. Dimmu Borgir is sometimes fun. Oh, and its spinoff Old Man's Child is cool. Other than that, black metal is worthless.

  • Otto||

    What?! What about Venom or Bathory, or...

    Ah, fuck it, you're right.

  • Warty||

    Venom and Bathory are awesome, don't worry. They're also not really black metal.

  • ||

    "Rotting Christ," LOL

  • cw||

    The only black metal I can get into is hybrid, and I only dig the hybrid non black part of the sound.

    RACIST!!111!!!!1111!

  • 80's Throwback||

    This ^^

  • Trespassers W||

    OK, I thought I was nuts for a second. That's pretty much it, right?

  • OO||

    most. worstest. headline. evah.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Besides the ad homs, Is his complaint actually that this happened to two white dudes with jobs, and they aren't victimy enough, so this doesn't count?

    Thats all I can get out of it. Allthough it is really hard to actually make my eyes read each actual individual word in a one-at-a-time way, since there is such a commie asshole bootlicker thief stench so heavily wafting off the words.

  • pmains||

    Yep. He is studiously ignoring all of the minority potential cabbies and customers who would suffer under a medallion system.

    My favorite part is that he finds the "aesthetics" of opposing gun control to be bad. A few years ago, he could have just screamed "RACIST!" Now the race-baiters have been so marginalized that they have to engage in the sort of dog whistle politics that they routinely accuse their opponents of dealing in.

  • alan||

    My favorite part is that he finds the "aesthetics" of opposing gun control to be bad.

    When the statist imposed bright neon orange jackets for hunters in several states back in the 80's, it occurred to me their was another agenda involved. So, now we know. the sexy allure of earth tone camo was effectively nipped in the bud.

  • sven||

    The comments section on that site makes me want to choke on my own shit.

  • WTF||

    The comments section on that site makes me want to choke on my ownthe shit out of the idiot commenters.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Seeing an uptick in the amount of Libertarian baching going on in the MSM. I consider that good news. That means Libertarian ideas are catching on and they see that as a threat. Not quite getting Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman level bashing yet, but it's a start.

  • Apogee||

    Libertarian baching

    I see what you did there.

  • cmoney||

    Nothing combats the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty like arbitrarily bullying lower middle class immigrants out of their livelihood who provide a service that harms no one, customers are happy with, and at a lower cost than most major cities in the country.

    And those that report on the issue and advocate for the cabbies' right to earn a living are really just in-it-for-themselves well-to-do snobs.

    What a fucking moron.

  • A Straw Man||

    Freddie deBoer just raped me. (shivers)

  • Michael||

    Here's the only part of the essay I bothered to read:

    "We will not be dislodged from our mantle of righteous moral indignation by those dastardly robber barons! Quick, to the Slandermobile!"

  • Nipplemancer||

    Your first mistake was going to Balloon Juice. Your second mistake was reading it. I understand there are things that can not be unseen, but that site is a waste of 0's and 1's.

  • A Serious Man||

    deBoer is correct: DC does have one of the highest poverty rates in the country. And it's also the most solidly Democratic city on the East Coast.

    So, based on the logic that Democrats are champions of the poor while Republicans and libertarians hate them, why haven't they solved minority poverty and violence?

  • Wesley Mouch||

    We don't have enough tools to combat the poverty! I've told you before! You have to grant me broader powers so I can address this historic economic crisis!

  • yonemoto||

    eh, DC doesn't really have sovereignty. All its laws have to be passed by congress, so it's a mixed bag. Probably half repubs in congress fucking them over, half dems in congress keeping them on the plantation.

  • ||

    Sorry, no. DC has home rule. The DC city council can pass laws just like any city does.

    True, Congress can override home rule by passing legislation but that's not the same thing.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    OT, but tangential:

    http://www.google.com/hostedne.....adfb9e0c52

    Atlanta schools announce changes after scandal

    By DORIE TURNER, Associated Press – 5 hours ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — As the Atlanta school district grapples with a cheating scandal that has drawn national attention, the interim school superintendent said Thursday that the district will automatically investigate suspicious test scores and require ethics training for all employees.

    The changes announced by interim Superintendent Erroll Davis Jr. come two days after state investigators said 178 educators had cheated on standardized tests used to meet federal benchmarks dating back to 2001. Davis reiterated Thursday that none of those educators will work in an Atlanta classroom again.

    The educators face possible criminal charges and could lose their teaching licenses for changing answers on students' tests and helping students answer questions. Some may face charges of lying to investigators or tampering with state documents. ...

    BWAhaha.

  • db||

    The educators will face large amounts of unearned na k pay deposited to their accounts by the time their union gets done contesting the disciplinary actions.

  • db||

    ...back pay...

  • Warty||

    Ethics training. That'll fix it.

    Reminds me of when Groundskeeper Willie put the "DANGER: WELL" sign next to the well. "There. That oughta do it."

  • Coeus||

    Why are people always shocked when incentives produce predictable outcomes?

  • ||

    Kain, doesn't get it either. Too interested in do the worn out dance of tarring the Tea Party with lazy stereotypes, so he can cling to his elitism.

  • Joe Kristan||

    You noticed that too. He gives it away when he says "When I look at the Tea Party, for instance, I don’t see a group of people that is particularly interested with the plight of the poor."

    To Kain it's not about what actually helps the poor, or whether it increases freedom. It's about your level of concern for the poor, measured solely by your support for big government.

  • ||

    When I look at the Tea Party, for instance, I don’t see a group of people that is particularly interested with the plight of the poor.

    Of course he doesn't! The problem is he also doesn't question whether he needs a metaphorical eye exam.

  • Freddie deBoer||

    Also, Epstein? Can you say jooooooos?

  • ||

    Also Kain, You don't have to understand Mises, or economics at all to love freedom, and to, as the man in the video said, "smell the stench of tyranny".

  • Mr Whipple||

    You're right, Matt. Nothing worth responding to over there. Just a bunch of brain dead pseudo intellectuals pissing in the wind.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    pissing in the wind.

    Well, when the stimulus failed, they had to try something.

  • ||

    Credit needs to be given where credit is due:

    The comments on Balloon Juice are not threaded.

  • yonemoto||

    -1!

  • Fluffy||

    If no one who is white and affluent is allowed to complain about injustice as long as any brown people are poor, then I certainly hope DeBoer is going to make sure that all the bitches at Feministing shut the fuck up.

    Doesn't EVERY LAST THING WRITTEN on most feminism blogs not qualify as sufficiently unjust to be worthy of notice, by the standard DeBoer is promulgating here?

  • ||

    The medallion issue is a complicated one

    NO IT ISN'T, GODDAMMIT!

  • Mr Whipple||

    You're right. It's exactly why we have those evul korporashuns that the lefties hate so much. Or do they? As long as they can be unionized and "controlled", it's a hell of a lot better to them than a bunch of small business people undercutting their precious unions.

  • robc||

    Exactly.

    Want to regulate taxis? Fine, you have a licensing system already, you can regulate via it.

    Medallions are ENTIRELY a barrier to entry to protect an elite group. It is nothing else. It is the simplist issue in the universe.

  • ||

    " in a town where the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty persists on a broad scale. Unfortunately, libertarianism has no mechanism whatsoever to address that injustice,"

    First, libertarianism offers myriad ways to address "major poverty". He completely misses the point but then most big government stooges do.

    Secondly, i don't think the word "major poverty" means what he thinks it means.

  • pmains||

    Nor "justice." Justice is defined as giving what is due to whom it is due. Who owes what to the poor of DC?

    Oh, right. "Society."

  • ||

    Yes, having the right to operate a business without getting special permission from the government.... has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with addressing issues of injustice or poverty.

    Cause everyone knows that rights have nothing to do with justice, and poverty has nothing to do with economic opportunity.

  • ||

    If the government didn't do it then it wasn't done. Unless it was bad, of course, then capitalism did it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    That LoOG site was pleasant enough -- I wonder if Nick and Matt wish H&R commentors were more polite and logic-y like? I certainly hope not.

    And really, E.D. Kain, -- you still think liberals have good intentions? You really think a guy like Freddie deBoer gives one shit for the poor? You think he cares about truth, about justice, about creating abundance and extending freedom to all people, about mitigating suffering, about fulfilling humanity's potentially transcendent destiny?
    Fuck.
    I gave them the benefit of the doubt for about 20 years. No more. Fuck 'em. The liberals are as evil as the conservatives -- perhaps more, because they should know better.

    Shake off your fucking chains, E.D. and crew -- polemics shall set you free!

  • ||

    "Evil" doesn't roll off the tongue easily for me anymore.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Youth is wasted on the young.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, libertarianism has no mechanism whatsoever to address that injustice

    As usual, anything not a comprehensively structured top-down government program to eliminate poverty by taking from the rich and giving to the poor counts.

  • Tony||

    Didn't make any claims of the sort. I just don't think libertarianism has any solutions to poverty or disability that pass the laugh test.

  • yonemoto||

    fuck you. I personally deliver meals to disabled folks every week.

  • Tony||

    And yet people still go hungry.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Yonemoto didn't say that he was good at what he did.

  • ||

    Yonemoto didn't say that he was good at what he did.

    Yeah I don't know what Tony's problem is...by definition trying and failing to help the hungry is in his moonbat world a fantastic success story.

  • ||

    Tony|7.7.11 @ 5:20PM|#

    And yet people still go hungry.

    Lots of left wing solutions have been implemented to help people go hungry...opps i mean to stop hunger...sometimes i get confused as to what the left intended to do vs what they actually did.

    So the left made a bunch of programs to stop hunger...
    and yet poeple still go hungry.

    So to recap...no libertarian solution passes the laugh test and yet all left wing solutions to stop hunger have failed....and somehow they pass the laugh test.

  • Tony||

    Really because I could swear I hear on this site constantly that there is no starvation in America. You could attribute it to the free market, I could attribute it to food stamps, but of course there is starvation and especially malnutrition in this country, and just because liberals exist doesn't mean it's a problem that's been solved. Now what was your plan for starvation again?

  • yonemoto||

    That wasn't his point.

    So, here's the tricky wicket. Which has made MORE of a difference to alleviate starvation? Redistribution (minus voluntary redistribution, like food banks)?

    Or Norman Borlaug.

    My vote goes with Norman Borlaug. Until someone invents nuclear fusion. Then it goes with her.

  • yonemoto||

    aw fuck, I didn't finish the sentence:

    *that wasn't his point. His point was that if you're going to take a "100% no starvation or it's laughable" line then liberal policies are just as laughable.

  • alan||

    Far more so. They've spent trillions of other people's money in what they claimed to be an attempt to eliminate poverty only to exacerbate the problem while simultaneously creating (its real purpose) a semi-professional class rewarded with pay checks to give that failed system a veneer of functionality.

    The man responsible for implementing the Great Society in New Mexico wrote a confessional book detailing how it was never about alleviating poverty in the first place. It was always about votes and expanding the public sector. Not even an ounce of sincerity went into its creation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... it's Yonemoto's fault, because he can't deliver meals to EVERY SINGLE DISABLED PERSON.

    Got it.

    IOW... Yonemoto is a slacker.

  • ||

    I'd help, but I much to busy writing angry hyperbole.

  • ||

    TOO
    TOO
    TOO

    FUCK FUCK SHITCUNT PUNCHESSELFINFACE

  • pmains||

    Really. What a jerk. I blame this all on the Bush-era deregulation of yonemoto.

  • Dept. of Yonemoto Affairs||

    We obviously didn't have sufficient funds to regulate Yonemoto effectively.

  • l0b0t||

    "I just don't think libertarianism has any solutions to poverty or disability that pass the laugh test."

    I think this might be because those are concepts that libertarianism does not seek to address. Libertarianism is a philosophy of maximal individual liberty, it is not a system of governance. You seem, I think, to be conflating libertarianism with anarchy.

  • yonemoto||

    Nope. I think libertarianism addresses this, as a personal responsibility. Which is why I do it, because I believe what I say, and I try to act on it.

  • yonemoto||

    Nope. I think libertarianism addresses this, as a personal responsibility. Which is why I do it, because I believe what I say, and I try to act on it.

  • ||

    I think this might be because those are concepts that libertarianism does not seek to address.

    No tony is being a complete idiot. Bottom up Free Market reforms and open trade policies have done more to pull 100s of millions people out of bone crushing poverty in China then anything his side has ever tried anywhere.

  • Tony||

    What free market reforms in China? I'm not against capitalism--I'm against unregulated capitalism. What about China says "unregulated" to you?

  • pmains||

    So, let's see here. The financial crisis can be blamed on deregulation despite the fact that the number and complexity of the regulations governing the banking sector were actually increasing. Decades of China moving toward a more capitalistic system where people are subject to fewer government restrictions is a triumph of state regulation.

    This is why we don't take you seriously, Tony. Your pragmatism doesn't you seem sophisticated or nuanced. It makes you seem like a dementia patient who doesn't know up from down or black from white. Every day is a new adventure as you haphazardly invent new principles to justify the side you've chosen.

  • alan||

    This is why we don't take you seriously, Tony.

    But, you guys do take him seriously. He gets more responses to his post than anyone else.

    I know for a lot of people it is like picking at a scab with an itch underneath tauntingly in need of being scratched, but his arguments are so silly on their face that they are self defeating without you needing to engage them.

    Absolutely no one is fooled by them, so save yourself the trouble and leave him be.

  • Tony||

    China is too much government control for me. You don't get to use it as an example of the virtues of the free market. Okay? The reason they're probably going to surpass the US as a power is not because it will be more capitalistic, but because it has its shit together on making public policy for certain goals. We would be lucky if we saw any merit at all in the "free market" after all is said and done.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "China is too much government control for me."

    BWAhahaha!

  • Corporate Lobbyist||

    I thank you for your support, Tony.

  • Tony||

    What's the difference between maximal individual liberty (as you define it) and anarchy?

  • yonemoto||

    being a compromiser versus being an idealogue?

  • l0b0t||

    The former is a philosophy, the later is a form of governance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shut up, yonemoto, and go feed more people. You're slackin', dude.

    /snark

  • ||

    What would be more accurate owuld be to say that libertarianism does not seek "Universal" solutions to poverty or inequality.

    We don't claim we can guarentee that every single child will receive an adequate education, or that nobody will ever go hungry, or everyone will have access to "universal" healthcare.

    We do claim that in a libertarian system *most* people would have improved access to those things, because a freer market would drive faster innovation and greater prosperity. But we're not attempting to universalize it. We're not claiming we've found the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and are going to bring it down to earth.

  • ||

    Libertarianism doesn't have to have any solutions, it leaves that up to market capitalism.

    You know, the system you liberals depend on to create wealth for your harebrained and failed attempts to solve poverty and disability.

  • Tony||

    So we have to solve the most complex and intractable problems in the world before we are allowed to attempt to solve them?

  • Brandon||

    The comments are painful:

    "When libertarians start complaining about the prison system in the U.S, abuses of police power, abuses of military/intelligence powers and the like, I’ll start believing that they have an all-around philosophical problem with the power of the state. But in most cases, all I see is spoiled brats whining about the taxes that sustain their lifestyle."

    "Dig a canal across Panama despite the fact that two other nations had attempted to do so and failed. Can do! But that America is, apparently, dead, leaving us with this defeatist Libertarian philosophy that is fundamentally a can’t-do philosophy. So it goes.

    – Badtux the Can-do Penguin " (This is in a post that excoriates libertarianism as a pie-in-the-sky, unworkable in the REAL WORLD philosophy.)

    "I think the progressive movement is more libertaran than the Libertarian movement.

    At least in regards to civil liberties and the wariness of accumulations of power in either corporate or government hands"

    A terrible combination of epistemic closure, sanctimony and intellectual dishonesty.

  • ||

    But during the Supreme Court case that overturned that ban, I saw essentially no commentary from institutional libertarianism that acknowledged the ugly aesthetics of a bunch of white, privileged libertarians working to undermine efforts to reduce gun crime in an impoverished black city. It was as if those people and that problem simply didn’t exist.

    Wow.

  • Coeus||

    That's actually intellectually honest of him (or at least consistent). Aesthetics have always trumped results with them.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Trump principles too.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So only certain white people should be entrusted to look out for black folks. "Those People" are incapable of feeding, clothing, and protecting themselves. Paternalist fuck.

  • ChrisO||

    True justice will only be achieved when everyone is able to buy his/her own city councilman.

  • ||

    What I see in libertarianism is a deeply progressive streak often unfortunately colored by a long history of affiliation with the right.

    Why should I take you seriously?

  • ||

    Oh, Nick Gillespie, what evil shenanigans aren't you and your jacket up to?

    http://blog.vdare.com/archives.....-gillespie

    The reason the libertarian Gillespie would welcome a far-left, Mexico-oriented president of the United States is that what really motivates Gillespie is not the belief in freedom, but the desire to undo America. In this, he is just like the feminists, who never have a critical word about the Muslim treatment of women, but side with Muslim immigration and Muslim empowerment, which will assure the spread of Muslim-type suppression of women in the West. I began pointing out nine years ago, and many other conservatives, including mainstream conservatives, have now also been saying it, that this proves that the feminists’ real motive is not the advance of women, but the destruction of America. The same is true of Gillespie. His true aim, as shown by his support for a left-wing, Mexico-style president of the U.S., is not liberty, but the destruction of America.
  • alan||

    V-Dare & BaloonJuice with Huffypostal in between. To be universally hated by all! If that is not the worthiest goal for a man to possibly aspire to, I don't know what else could possibly be its equal. How I envy The Jacket.

  • Michael||

    82. Georgia Pig - July 6, 2011 | 5:48 pm

    ...Hence their ridiculous fixation on the size of government instead of worrying about the structure of the government...

    Actually, we do worry about that as well. Except our ideas for properly structuring government don't involve a mouse running on a treadmill which turns a pulley that strikes a match and raises it to ignite a wick setting off a firecracker that dispatches a bowling ball down a chute thus setting off an array of dominoes whose path leads to a switch that powers a reciprocating saw which cuts through a wooden barrel subsequently releasing sweet, sweet social justice.

  • Fr Coughlin||

    That's "social justice (™ by the National Union for Social Justice)".

  • solly989||

    world's ugliest dog @5:42

  • ||

    As a Libertarian, out of all the people I disagree with, people who write crap like this piss me off the most, and Balloon Juice seems to be a prime example of this. They just decide to make up their own definitions and apply them to concepts they disagree with (and in this case are too small-minded to understand). Thankfully, most people (Balloon Juice readers excepted) are smart enough to know how stupid the face behind these words is.

  • ||

    a town where the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty persists on a broad scale. Unfortunately, libertarianism has no mechanism whatsoever to address that injustice, and taken as a whole, the ideology has consistently demonstrated little interest in finding one.

    ...... (psst, watch the video above! you know, the one the blog post was previewing, about the issue for which a libertarian got arrested)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The medallion issue is a complicated one, and Reason's ethos generally leaves little room for complexity. Surely, the unwarranted arrest of two upwardly mobile, financially secure reporters is an exceedingly minor example of injustice in a town where the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty persists on a broad scale. Unfortunately, libertarianism has no mechanism whatsoever to address that injustice, and taken as a whole, the ideology has consistently demonstrated little interest in finding one."

    These "upwardly mobile, financially secure reporters" were trying to expose a plan to oppress cab-drivers and passengers in the District with an expensive monopoly. Cab drivers may be upwardly mobile, but I wouldn't call all of them financially secure - certainly not if the government takes away their livelihood. If these reporters had been truly selfish, then they wouldn't be bothering to expose the mistreatment of lower-income Washingtonians - and they certainly wouldn't be risking arrest to do it.

    Also, acknowledging complexity requires more than chanting the *word* "complexity" like a mantra. This mantra gives excellent coverage to imbeciles who don't know anything about an issue.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's like the guy has appointed himself the arbiter of "who can be concerned for the plight of poor black folk." I wrote it upthread, this guy is a paternalistic fuck.

  • GILMORE||

    ""Surely, the unwarranted arrest of two upwardly mobile, financially secure reporters is an exceedingly minor example of injustice in a town where the daily injustice of permanent and major poverty persists on a broad scale""

    "injustice only happens to the poor!"

    or

    "When pro-capitalists complain of injustice, getting fucked by The Man is a naturall response! It's only unfair when..."

    ""Medallions are complex""

    ...*because of the interference by the DC Taxi commission, maybe?* Nooooo.... we NEED government to sort these *inherently complex public issues*. And by logical extention, they *need* their own personal cop-force to trample on the rights of journalists who fail to appreciate the complex-complexity trying to be managed by the Wise Bureaucrats Who Sort Out Problems For Others...

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