Better They Sleep Outside: Zoning Commission Shuts Down Housing Shelter For No Good Reason

Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki | Wikimedia CommonsCredit: Thomas R Machnitzki | Wikimedia CommonsWhen newcomers arrive in Williston, North Dakota they often can't find housing immediately; demand far outstrips supply in the bustling oil town. So for over two years the Concordia Lutheran Church has offered job seekers a place to crash.

From the Oil Patch Dispatch:

When they arrive, [Rev. Jay] Reinke gives them the same message:

“I’ll say, ‘I need to tell you that you are a gift. You’re a gift to us. You’re a gift to Williston. Welcome,’ ” Reinke said. “Sometimes men have just started to cry. They have been so alone, they’ve just really suffered. And they haven’t felt welcomed.”

So naturally code enforcement had to go and shut the place down.

From the church’s Facebook page (via Mollie Hemingway of Ricochet):

Very sad tonight. …Our Overnighters will spend their last night in the church on Thursday night. The [Planning & Zoning Department] has determined the health and safety of the men in our church is better served by allowing them to sleep outside instead of in a building without a fire sprinkler system.

… FYI—a year ago, the fire chief said our building was safe for our purposes without a sprinkler system. Two weeks ago, he said it isn't. What a difference a year makes.

From The Dickinson Press:

Bret Schoening, 28, arrived in Williston on the train from Ohio a week ago....

“We just want to come here and make a better life for ourselves and our children,” said Schoening, who spent hundreds of dollars on hotels before going to Concordia this week. “We just want to be honest and work hard and pursue the American dream.”

…An inspection by city planning, building and fire officials determined that allowing people to sleep in the church overnight is not permitted under zoning ordinances.

And the city will not grant a variance without modifications to the facility that the church cannot afford.

A letter from a staff planner outlined the upgrades needed, including being handicap accessible, have a designated sleeping room and showers and bathroom facilities to accommodate the number of people staying there.

In addition, the letter states that the church would need to provide overnight supervision and adequate resources for job searching and counseling.

“You’re raising the bar so high that no churches can help,” Reinke said.

…The men staying at the church this week said they’re unsure what they’ll do…. Some said they’ll sleep in their vehicles, another said he’ll “squat” somewhere until he can return home to get his vehicle.

Read more about the good work the church had been doing here and here.

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  • ||

    We are from the government, and we're here to help.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Will you quit it? You do that too well!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, nailed all of our thoughts exactly.

  • ||

    sorry

  • Marshall Gill||

    Now who was that again who said that those are the scariest words in the English language?

  • Snark Plissken||

    That reminds me, I was listening to Jay Mohr's podcast, which is normally quite entertaining and apolitical, and I had to listen to Guns N Roses drummer talk about how Prop 13 destroyed CA schools.

    Also something about too much STEM and not enough STEAM.

  • Dweebston||

    He does realize geothermal power is kindof a Scandinavian thing, right?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Probably A == Arts.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I love the Jay Mohr podcast. He's self-identified as libertarian.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    outdoors in North Dakota? I hope these boys have been watching Les Stroud.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    FYI—a year ago, the fire chief said our building was safe for our purposes without a sprinkler system. Two weeks ago, he said it isn't. What a difference a year makes.

    Them bums and roustabouts are wreckin' this town!

  • SKR||

    whenever a government official grants permission, always get that shit in writing. No that it will stop them, but it will make them look like the douchebags they are.

  • Blinded by the Derp||

    I served as a missionary in Slovakia after the fall of Communism. Communist Slovakia's anti-religiousness was not as extreme as Russia. Slovakia did not confiscate church property, but it did work actively to destroy the Church and its membership. One of the many tactics the State employed to destroy the Church's presence and influence in the community was to forbid the Church from charity work. The State then became the sole source of large scale benevolence. I see that happening in Williston and with similar impediments to private assistance like the bans on feeding the hungry and homeless.

    When private entities can no longer help the unfortunate the statists then bemoan the homeless and their unfortunate circumstances, and shed crocodile tears about how terrible it is that no one will help them. The solution the statists will propose...government assistance. Of course, the media will do its part and disregard the impact of regulations and attacks on charities that earnestly want to help or did help before government muscled them out.

  • Fluffy||

    You know what?

    This article fills me with rage.

    But that cannot be. Because Tony has informed me on numerous occasions that libertarians are psychopaths who care only about themselves.

    I am not now, nor will I ever be, a homeless person or transient seeking employment in North Dakota.

    I am not now, nor will I ever be, a member of a church.

    So I be confused. Why am I angry? It is unpossible.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Or you could just stop paying attention to trolls like Tony and Obama's Buttplug. You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

  • Fluffy||

    But Tony has such a refined moral sensibility!

    He devoted a lot of time to philosophical study back when he whored himself out to a sugar daddy. Kept men have a lot of time on their hands to think.

    He can't possibly have gotten this one wrong.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the cosmotarians will live as one*


    *except for abortion, circumcision, joos, gay marriage, age of consent, deep-dish pizza, neocons, gamboling and football season.

  • ||

    Why am I angry?

    Could it be because you had people helping each other voluntarily only to be FORCED to a state of lesser good by disgusting bureaucrats imposing their will upon others?

  • MoreFreedom||

    In general, most of what government does, is prohibit voluntary transactions among individuals where both benefit. What they are supposed to do, is protect us from criminals, and protect our liberty (including our economic liberty) rather than restricting it for their benefit (typically campaign cash they get from those who like it that way).

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Government has two functions: to compel and to prohibit.

    Its core competency is coercion.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    But here's the money shot: it's people like Tony who put decent folk into the cold ND streets and deny them shelter. They do it because they don't give a shit about anyone else. They love govt above all things (except maybe telling others how much they care about the homeless).

    This is why there is only one response to them: fuck off, liar!

  • John||

    They do it because they are total fanatics who have managed to detatched themselves from reality. People like Tony honestly think that if the government dictates something it will happen. So they look at this and go "homeless people shouldn't be living in a place that isn't safe". So they honestly think that if you shut this place down that another one that meets the standards will be built and the people will be better off.

    The idea that an inperfect solution is the only solution never occurs to them. They live in this fantasy world where the only reason something isn't happening or something isn't better than what it is, is becuase the govenrment hasn't stepped in and degreed it to be better.

    They are totalitarians. For Tony and his ilk, the government encompasses everything. So, any problem can be solved and anyone's life can be made better by the government decreeing it. In Tony's view, you hate homeless people because you don't want the government by stepping in and eforcing zoning and code laws to step in and degree that their lives should be better.

    They are really that fucked up. You have to carefully think about what they say or you will talk right past them.

  • Damned Fool||

    "degreed it to be better"

    All my econ and pubic policy major acquaintances nod enthusiastically.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    For Tony and his ilk, the government encompasses everything.

    Yep, we need to come up with an Americanized version of:

    "Everything within the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State."

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Bingo! I realize it's too late in the day for you to read this comment, but you match something I wrote to a friend so well tat I have to chime in.

    Statists make Frankenstein look like a documentary. They stifle, suffocate, and dismember markets, then panic when the economy stumbles, throw random peices together, try to revive them with external stimuli, and holler success when the parts twitch. They have no more idea of what they are doing than astrologers trying to ape the appearance of science with jargon, formulas, tables, and computers to impress the rubes. They bark whatever orders pop into their heads, without comprehension or accountability.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -They do it because they don't give a shit about anyone else.

    I doubt that is true. I imagine they think that overall building codes and zoning laws help more people than they hurt, and they are willing to make the offsetting 'trade off' in liberty. I think it highly counterproductive (as well as likely simply incorrect) to suppose that those who disagree with you are ill motivated.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    They don't care about the people they pretend to care about.

    This was proven once and for all when the dead troops and Iraqis we heard about every day were disappeared from the public consciousness the instant The One took office. Not to mention how they threw Cindy Sheehan under the bus the moment her dead son was of no use to them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    -They do it because they don't give a shit about anyone else.

    I doubt that is true.

    Actually it is true.

    Government to them is some magic, mystical force for good whose will is done effortlessly. Who could be against people dying in residential fires? So pass laws requiring sprinkler systems and the issue is automatically resolved.

    It never occurs to them that it requires force to actualize government edicts and that things like shutting down non compliant housing and creating homeless people is a foreseeable and inevitable consequence.

    So they actually don't care about the people harmed by government action. They don't think of them at all.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Who could be against people dying in residential fires?

    Do you not realize you proved my point (which was about not giving 'a shit about anyone else' rather than your quite different 'don't care about the people harmed by government action') here?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Saving people from dying in residetial fires in this example is an abstraction.

    The people harmed by the implementation of the the regulations are real people.

    The proglodytes care about the abstraction but not the real people. And that doesn't mean that they wish harm on the real people it means that they don't consider them at all.

    So the formulation that they don't give a shit about anyone else is essentially correct.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    VG, you don't see how that argument style can be turned around in favor of the statists?

    "Running deficits so you can give out free goodies to people today is real, while having to pay back the debt sometime in the future is an abstraction." It would roll right off Krugabe's tongue (and in a sense already has).

    I don't see a foreseeable and likely future event as an "abstraction".

  • VG Zaytsev||

    His using the same formulation does not make it invalid in this case.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I doubt that is true.

    It's 100% true.

    Tony and his ilk don't actually ever help people on their own volition. They always ADVOCATE for help but never ACTUALLY help on their own. If they did actually close thier mouths and provide actual help, they'd run into these exact roadblocks and rethink their position on having government almighty being the monopoly provider/ overseer of "helping others".

  • Nazdrakke||

    This article fills me with rage.

    Me too. I spent several years homeless as a teenager and observing firsthand government handling of all sorts of "undesirables" was one of the primary drivers of my libertarianism.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. My homeless experience taught me that anyone who says government helps people is naive or a liar.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Thousands of people in this country are homeless every night, for a variety of reasons, and have been for dozens of years, and you don't get angry about that. So the only conclusion is that you're angry because your ideology has been violated.

    This isn't a criticism -- I totally understand it and experience it myself quite often. Just don't mistake it for altruism.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Altruism? You use that word but it doesn't mean what you think it means.

    How about, I don't like to see other people getting fucked by government because I know my turn will be next? I don't have to give a shit about homeless people to oppose this kind of thing because I might be homeless one day and have it happen to me.

    Just like I don't give a fuck about the rich. Since I hope to be rich one day, I am hoping that if that happens I will not also be fucked.

  • Fluffy||

    I'm angry because it's unjust.

    I'm not angry about every last person who's homeless because in many cases there is no justice issue connected to their situation.

    But I'm angry at an injustice to which I could never possibly be subject.

    That's not altruism (and I'm not claiming to be an altruist, because altruism is fucking stupid) but it is definitely, unquestionably concern for someone other than myself, who is in a situation I do not and will not face.

    You seem to be defining "getting angry when things happen that you think are wrong" as a selfish interest, because I naturally identify with my own set of things I consider right and wrong. But that is an asinine and perverse way of looking at things, by which standard nobody anywhere has any fellow-feeling whatsoever and by definition never can.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -and I'm not claiming to be an altruist, because altruism is fucking stupid

    Depending on altruism is defined it seems Tony may have been more correct about the psychopath comment than we would like.

  • Rhywun||

    I would refine it and say altruism is not necessarily stupid but it is extremely uncommon to find it in any individual. What is stupid is pretending that it can be instilled in every individual (see: the long, bloody history of the 20th century).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    To the contrary I think it is extremely common. Everyday in myriad ways people do things that bring them no real benefit and which help others. Think of when some stranger who you will never see again stops you on your way somewhere and asks for directions. Nearly everyone takes time from their day and its goals to give the person that.

    It is forced altruism that is truly despicable, and, since it comes quite naturally to people, unnecessary to boot.

  • ||

    Depending on altruism is defined it seems Tony may have been more correct about the psychopath comment than we would like.

    Or possibly some people are capable of recognizing subjective psychic rewards that motivate behavior, which render the customary definition of "altruism" essentially wrong.

    But, yeah, if you define a word such that anyone who does not embody it is a psychopath, then you can easily reach the conclusion that people who don't embody the word are psychopathic. See how easy circular logic is?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -if you define a word such that anyone who does not embody it is a psychopath

    One who is trying to redefine selfish in such a broad fashion so as to encompass seemingly plainly altruistic behavior should probably be careful about tossing this criticism around.

  • ||

    Here again, the "redefinition" of the one term depends on your utterly inane and absurd definition of the other. Round and round we go!

  • Jerryskids||

    Everyday in myriad ways people do things that bring them no real benefit and which help others. Think of when some stranger who you will never see again stops you on your way somewhere and asks for directions.

    It makes me feel good to be able to help someone in a way that is of relatively great value to them at a low cost to myself. What you describe as altruism I would define as a mutually beneficial transaction - I got a cheap way to feel good about myself out of the deal.

    Suppose you yourself were late to an important meeting and were stopped by someone who wanted directions to some place you knew would be difficult to describe how to find. Would you be as willing to help, to pay a higher price for your feeling good about yourself? At some point you understand the costs and benefits of the transaction and that therefore it is a transaction.

    (Now imagine you had a government job being paid by the taxpayers to give lost people directions. Do you really deserve to feel good about helping people without considering how many other people are actually doing the work of keeping you in business? This is why I throw up in my mouth a little every time I hear about our wonderful humble public servants. If they were working as unpaid volunteers I would be the first to applaud their selflessness, but I don't want to hear that crap about how noble their profession is when their pay and benefits are more than the average private sector taxpayer who funds their paycheck.)

  • sgs||

    "and you don't get angry about that"

    And how exactly would you know that?

  • Lord at War||

    Fuck you, Tulpa.

    Thousands of people in this country are homeless every night, for a variety of reasons, and have been for dozens of years, and you don't get angry about that.

    Why would I be "angry"?

    I don't mistake it for "altruism"-- I just think it's completely ignorant.

    I choose to respect the fact that the vast majority of those "thousands" were "homeless" for the same reason I was-- I will never be a leech upon others.

    I was homeless for five months in 1987.

    I was already a "libertarian", so I never expected or even asked for any assistance from the state.

    I got over my addiction to "free-base" cocaine- all by myself. I lived in my car, washed myself at a cold water fountain in a "public" park, and depended upon friends for a weekly shower.

    I had a job during each and every day of the the last four months of my "homelessness".

    Then, I paid for my home. (a shit-hole $235/mo apartment in "ghetto-town") paid for by working with a $3.35 minimum wage.

    Put up or shut up...

  • John C. Randolph||

    Tony has informed me

    Tony has never informed anyone on any subject.

    -jcr

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A letter from a staff planner outlined the upgrades needed, including being handicap accessible, have a designated sleeping room and showers and bathroom facilities to accommodate the number of people staying there.

    In addition, the letter states that the church would need to provide overnight supervision and adequate resources for job searching and counseling.

    Yup. Safety first. If it's not perfectly suited for someone, it's not suitable for anyone.

  • Blinded by the Derp||

    How did Minnesotan bureaucrats get jobs in Williston so fast?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Tony has informed me on numerous occasions that libertarians are psychopaths who care only about themselves.

    Severe empathy deficit syndrome; u haz it.

  • Fluffy||

    In its majestic equality, the regulatory state forbids rich and poor alike to sleep in churches, beg in the streets, and eat food distributed in parks without prior inspection.

  • Snark Plissken||

    So which City Council member decided that the Church was lowering their property values?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm guessing either the townsfolk who are benefitting from this boom nonetheless don't like for whatever petty reason the idea of people sleeping the church, or local lodging business entities don't like the competition. Either way, zoning laws cannot possibly be altered to accommodate a changing environment.

  • Irish||

    NYPD opens fire on a man for pointing his finger at them like a gun, miss him, hit two bystanders including a 54 year old woman using a walker.

  • Aloysious||

    Thanks for the morning squirrel punch. Thanks a lot.

  • Snark Plissken||

    “He aimed it at the cop,” said Favilla, 33, of Elmhurst, Queens. “He was pretending like he had a gun.”

    Ahem!

    Fingers were aimed. Guns were pretended.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Could have been worse, could have been pointing a chicken finger as a gun.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Wonder if the local jail has a fire sprinkler system? I'd bet money it doesn't.

  • Fluffy||

    I also wonder if they have overnight supervision that prevents all violence in the jail.

    Oh, wait, silly me. The local jailors are "doing the best they can". Because the state is entitled to "do its best", but all others must "follow applicable regulations".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They probably don't have as many cells as there are people in the church basement. I think the zoners are jerks (mostly for the handicap accessible/shower requirements they're laying on) but they do have a point about the place being a fire hazard. 30 people + fire + confined space = meat grinder.

    Obviously there will be problems in a jail if there's a fire, but that's inevitable when people are locked in cages -- not sure how you could avoid that. Plus this town is probably small enough they don't have 30 cells.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Building codes are a tough one in my opinion. On the one hand they seem fairly plain violations of the NAP, but on the other very few people are likely very informed enough on building conditions to say they are voluntarily agreeing to stay in a potentially dangerous structure.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, like everything else, the legitimate reasons for building codes (protection from dangers in fire and collapse, etc) have long since given way to social engineering purposes.

  • sgs||

    Why are you talking to your sock puppet like it isn't obviously your sock puppet?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's a difficult, thankless job, saving people from themselves. I'm sure those noble code enforcement people didn't WANT to inflict misery on people. They didn't WANT to crush their dreams of coming to a modern day frontier boom town in hopes of striking gold. They don't WANT those people to go from sleeping in a heated indoor space to sleeping in their cars even as overnight temperatures begin to dip toward freezing.

    They owe it to those people to force them out of that church, for their own good. How about a little empathy for a group of hardworking local planners and zoners, you monsters?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What they are supposed to do, is protect us from criminals, and protect our liberty (including our economic liberty) rather than restricting it for their benefit (typically campaign cash they get from those who like it that way).

    I don't know what you've been reading, but I think it's out of date.

  • Aloysious||

    " “You’re raising the bar so high that no churches can help,” Reinke said. "

    That's the whole point. Feature, not a bug. They're doing this to you for your own good, because they have your best interests at heart or something.

    Now cough up some dough.

    *barf*

    i just made myself sick.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    My brother went thru the "fire sprinklers" bullshit with his storage unit business. He was finally able to convince enough braindead bureaucrats that, under normal circumstances, steel buildings will not burn.

    ... Hobbit

  • From the Tundra||

    OT: More comedy gold from Obama:

    Asked if a president just couldn’t stop inequality, he responded, “I think the president can stop it. The problem is that there continues to be a major debate here in Washington.”

    He's not even trying anymore. Oh, and he's gonna kick some Iranian ass, too.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....print.html

  • The vermin in the media||

    "I'm tough! I can handle things! I'm not an in over his head pussy like everybody says. I'm tough and I want respect!!"

  • BakedPenguin||

    If he only were as competent as Fredo.

  • Ted S.||

    Oh, and he's gonna kick some Iranian ass, too.

    I misread this the first time, and thought you were sayind Obama would lick some Iranian ass, too. :-|

  • Damned Fool||

    It's all part of his Vulcan 3D chess plan to disgrace their leaders and forever bring peace and liberty to the Middle East.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Reading the linked articles, some church elders got their panties wadded up and sicced the government on their own church. So nannyism AND Christian hypocrisy for the win.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Obviously the fire chief decided that homeless people are icky and he wants them out of his town.

    -jcr

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Zoning boards deserve to burn in hell, everywhere. That said....

    It's not like the ND oil boom is a new thing... why hasn't the free market taken care of this yet? Why aren't the employers who need workers financing temporary housing?

    And no, a church providing free housing is not part of the free market.

  • John||

    And no, a church providing free housing is not part of the free market.

    Yes it is you ignorant twat. The free market is not just cash goods and services. It is also things like satisfaction and good will and moral rectitude. Those things are "goods" just as much as oil and food. That church exists and has the money to do this because in the marketplace they provide the goods of metaphysical meaning and satisifaction of helping others. In return for providing those goods in the form of charity, they get money from people. It is a great example of the "market" providing for more than just monetary profits and neat goods. And when you think of it that way, you understand why the government doing welfare crowds out such things. If I am getting my help others high by paying taxes, I am less likely to get it by giving someone like this my money.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The church existed before the oil boom, and will continue to exist after this program is over. It doesn't exist to provide vagrant housing, it exists because people think Sevo's friend in the sky will save them if they give money to the church. It's not reliant on market forces, so it's not part of the market.

  • John||

    The church existed before the oil boom, and will continue to exist after this program is over. It doesn't exist to provide vagrant housing

    Yes it dos you fucking moron. Giving charity is part of their function as a church. If you want to insult churches, at least try to understand their misison and how they function. No church that didn't serve the community and provide its members with some sense of satisfaction from helping others would last. To say that providing rooms for the homeless is like saying selling hamburgers is not why McDonalds exists because they could be selling tacos.

    I try to defend on here Tulpa. But my God, you really don't help me out much.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Just to clarify, these aren't homeless people who became homeless from circumstances beyond their control, while living in the community. They're job-seekers looking for free temporary housing. They're "homeless" because they chose to leave their previous homes.

  • John||

    What difference does that make? They need a place to stay and the church gave it to them. Just because someone comes there looking for a job and needs a place to stay for a few days or weeks until they get establish doesn't mean they are not proper beneficiaries of charity.

  • John||

    And there is no such thing as the "market" in the literal sense. The "marke" is a way of looking at the world and explaining people's behavior.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Yes, the free market is simply a shortcut for people being allowed to exchange goods and services and even just time and effort, without State intervention.

  • ||

    It's not reliant on market forces, so it's not part of the market.

    Holy fuck. You're way dumber than I had ever previously given you credit for. Congratulations.

  • tarran||

    He's spinning so fast that the event horizon doesn't exist and we can peer into a singularity of peevishness.

  • Invisible Finger||

    He said he was a teacher. What other evidence did you need?

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Very well said, John.

  • Nazdrakke||

    vol·un·tar·y [vol-uhn-ter-ee] adjective, noun, plural vol·un·tar·ies.
    adjective
    1. done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution.
    2. of, pertaining to, or acting in accord with the will: voluntary cooperation.
    3. of, pertaining to, or depending on voluntary action: voluntary hospitals.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Random definitions of words I didn't use are random.

  • Andrew S.||

    I can never tell if you're trolling or just stupid. Hanlon's razor would tell me the latter, but I just don't know.

    A person or entity freely giving of itself to help others is absolutely part of the free market. What the hell else could it be?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's free, but it's not part of a market.

  • Andrew S.||

    Sure it is. Unless you're of the belief that the only way something is part of the free market is if it costs money. Which is, of course, lunacy.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    A market requires exchange of value. That's a basic definition.

    The reason I'm nitpicking so much is because libertarians so often pull in the deus ex machina o f private charity to cover up for the (sporadic and limited) inadequacies of free markets.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Virtue is its own reward. There's your exchange of value.

  • Fluffy||

    A market requires exchange of value. That's a basic definition.

    No, it doesn't.

    If I grow tomatoes in my own garden and eat them, that activity is part of the "free market".

    If I give some tomatoes to my neighbor for free, that activity is part of the "free market".

    If you make either activity illegal, you are "restricting the free market".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If I grow tomatoes in my own garden and eat them, that activity is part of the "free market".

    Huh? No way. That's as silly as the claim that growing corn on your own land and feeding it to your own pigs is commerce.

  • Fluffy||

    Huh? No way. That's as silly as the claim that growing corn on your own land and feeding it to your own pigs is commerce.

    No, it's not.

    Think it through, dude.

    If what you are saying is correct, when the SCOTUS gave the federal government the power to stop people from growing corn and feeding it to their own pigs, they weren't interfering in the free market.

    Is that really your claim?

  • ||

    A market requires exchange of value. That's a basic definition.

    And since value is subjective, it may be the case (read: definitely is) that the feeling of good will, peace, spiritual fulfillment, altruism, etc etc that people exchange for the money they give to charity is valued more than the money to them.

    It's astonishing to me that you're unfamiliar with this concept. Even Ayn Rand recognized this principle (in fact, it underlies her argument that all altruism is actually selfish).

    Just wow.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Rand wasn't claiming that these are "market" activities, she was attempting to explain the motivation for charity. Rand was also pretty presumptuous in that argument, assuming to know what was going on in others' minds when they give.

  • ||

    Rand wasn't claiming that these are "market" activities, she was attempting to explain the motivation for charity.

    She actually did define charity in market terms, but that's beside the point. Contra your idiotic statement, an exchange of value does take place when one donates one's money, time, or effort to charity. You needn't assume what is going on in others' minds when they give in order to surmise that an exchange of value took place. If the person valued their money, time, or effort more than the charity they exchanged for it, the exchange wouldn't have happened. That's how "markets" work.

  • Aloysious||

    X values a charitable action (in this case providing a place to sleep).

    Y values a place to sleep.

    X earns gratitude. X possibly earns a donation, possibly monetary, possibly in some other form (labor, for example)

    Y earns a place to sleep.

    Value(s) exchanged.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    X possibly earns a donation, possibly monetary, possibly in some other form (labor, for example)

    How? That's not happening in this story at all.

    And gratitude and charitable actions aren't goods or services. If the gratitude inevitably leads to a return gift then maybe it's a market exchange, but that's dubious in this case.

  • Aloysious||

    If you could clarify for me: Do you consider a voluntary exchange that is defined as bartering (no money changing hands) to be part of a market?

    I would state that it is.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's an exchange of value, so yes, part of a market.

    If I have blue eyes, and someone gives me money because they like people with blue eyes, that's not an exchange of value.

  • ||

    If I have blue eyes, and someone gives me money because they like people with blue eyes, that's not an exchange of value.

    Why did the person give you money if they didn't some reward for their effort? Just because you may not understand his motivation for giving you money doesn't mean he hasn't made an exchange of value. Perhaps the sight of blue eyes gave him such psychic pleasure that he felt compelled to reward it with his cash. Maybe he got such a charge out of seeing how good you felt upon receiving the money that he felt the cash was worth the feeling. You may never know. But you do know that something motivated the exchange, or else it wouldn't have happened. Whatever motivated the exchange is the value in the transaction.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Welcome to Circularargumentville.

    There is no altruism because there is no altruism.

  • ||

    There's no premise in the conclusion, that's just a basic acknowledgment of how exchanges of value take place. The only alternative argument is that good things happen for no reason whatsoever. Maybe because we were made in the image of an unendingly loving God? But then, you aren't religious. So that can't be it. It must be some other, unexplainable thing, that happens sans any personal reward or motivation. Hey, why don't we call it "altruism"? Yes, that is a very nice placeholder for this supernatural invisible guidance. Or alternatively, we could call it God or Karma or Oogie Boogie. But the point is, it's there. We know it is. Because if it weren't there, we wouldn't have altruism.

  • Fluffy||

    And gratitude and charitable actions aren't goods or services.

    Now you have truly gone off the deep end.

    So the food at a soup kitchen isn't "goods"? It has no material existence whatsoever?

    The work performed to cook and serve food at a soup kitchen isn't "services"?

    That is more than your usual level of absurdity.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I think you've forgotten who "X" is.

    X is the church/church donors. They're not getting food or labor from the vagrants (Y).

  • Fluffy||

    That doesn't make the food cease to have material existence, dude.

    A stack of boxes of food on a shelf are definitely, unquestionably "goods" whether you're going to sell them or give them away.

  • ||

    X is the church/church donors. They're not getting food or labor from the vagrants (Y).

    Jesus Fucking Christ man, try to keep track, this isn't too complicated.

    X in the example is getting gratitude. X possibly earns a donation, possibly monetary, possibly in some other form (labor, for example)

    Or possibly they got none of those things. But they still got the psychic reward of "doing good" or "helping the community" or "embodying Christ", or satiated some other motivation that they had for offering their money, time or effort. Otherwise, they wouldn't have offered their money, time or effort.

  • Aloysious||

    Interesting. We seem to agree on what a market is, but we seem to disagree on the definition of 'value'.

    I'm off to work. Have a good day, and enjoy the football games, if that's your thing.

  • ||

    Interesting. We seem to agree on what a market is, but we seem to disagree on the definition of 'value'.

    That's because Tulpa is apparently unfamiliar with the idea that value is subjective and can be measured in non-monetary terms. It's not so much a disagreement as Tulpa's utter ignorance of the concept.

  • Snark Plissken||

    FOOD TRUCKS PARKING PERPINDUCULARLY!!!!

  • ||

    It's free, but it's not part of a market.

    It may be instructive at this point for you to define a "market" for us, so that we are operating from the same bastardized definition you have somehow concocted where a private entity that relies on people voluntarily giving it money and goods in exchange for its continued existence is not a part of it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Are people going to stop giving money to this church now?

    Were they not giving it money before the oil boom started?

    I don't see an exchange here, but gifts.

  • ||

    Are people going to stop giving money to this church now?

    Possibly. If the church is not satisfying the needs and wants of its members they will undoubtedly stop giving it money and goods, and volunteering their time. How did you somehow become so horrifyingly confused as to think that churches can compel money and resources from unwilling participants?

    I don't see an exchange here, but gifts.

    Gifts are also a part of the free market, so it does nothing to enhance your argument, and you're still wrong.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    How did you somehow become so horrifyingly confused as to think that churches can compel money and resources from unwilling participants?

    Probably from reading the Bible about tithing.

  • ||

    Probably from reading the Bible about tithing.

    Hmmm. I've read the Bible, but I can't recall off hand the verse that requires participation in tithing to a church of which you are not a member. Could you cite it?

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    ask tulpa which church he's forced to tithe to.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If you're not a member of a church, you burn in hell. "Outside the church there is no salvation" as the saying goes.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    tulpa, if you choose to tithe or be a member of a church, you've made a free market choice, the same if you choose not to.

  • ||

    tulpa, if you choose to tithe or be a member of a church, you've made a free market choice, the same if you choose not to.

    This guy gets it.

    I'm just as free to forgo my salvation and leave my church as I am to forgo my Big Mac and leave McDonalds. Because they both operate in a market.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think it is truly bizarre to try to cram the example of someone deciding their church into the concept of 'free market.' This makes the term mean 'every decision one makes of their own accord.' Why call this the 'free market?' We have a better term: liberty, or freedom. Freedom in markets is good, but so is freedom in property use, or gift giving, or in religious exercise, etcetera. There is no necessity for libertarianism to be simply some broad form of economics.

  • Fluffy||

    This makes the term mean 'every decision one makes of their own accord.'

    Every decision one makes of their own accord with their property or their labor would be part of the free market, sure. I have no problem with that definition at all.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Whether you have no problem with it or not, you should recognize that it is idiosyncratic for one, and not necessary to a libertarian philosophy for another.

  • ||

    you should recognize that it is idiosyncratic for one, and not necessary to a libertarian philosophy for another.

    Idiosyncratic to whom? I would venture to say that the vast majority of libertarian thinkers would describe tithing, or its withholding, in market terms.

    Perhaps using descriptive language isn't necessary to libertarian philosophy, but it certainly helps.

  • ||

    This makes the term mean 'every decision one makes of their own accord.' Why call this the 'free market?' We have a better term: liberty, or freedom.

    That's a pretty good definition so long as it refers to any decision that involves a tradeoff of value (like tithing to a church or withholding one's participation due to a disagreement about proper allocation of resources, which was the context of the conversation) - keeping in mind that value is subjective and needn't be monetary. "Liberty" and "freedom" encompass perhaps a broader set.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Can you tell me about any activities that would fall into this 'broader set.' Everything I do is the result of my choice and presumably involves me choosing something that can be said to provide me 'psychic value.'

  • ||

    Can you tell me about any activities that would fall into this 'broader set.' Everything I do is the result of my choice and presumably involves me choosing something that can be said to provide me 'psychic value.'

    I guess you missed the "tradeoff of value" part. Decisions, let alone the much broader term "activities", by themselves do not necessarily involve a tradeoff of value. My freedom and liberty to write a poem or to decide to dance naked in my living room involve no tradeoff of value. My decision to tithe to my church does.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Decisions, let alone the much broader term "activities", by themselves do not necessarily involve a tradeoff of value.

    What?

    My decision to study for my class tomorrow instead of going to a party does not involve trade offs of value?

  • ||

    My decision to study for my class tomorrow instead of going to a party does not involve trade offs of value?

    It's a tradeoff among only yourself, so in a market of one, umm, I guess.

  • sgs||

    "I think it is truly bizarre to try to cram the example of someone deciding their church into the concept of 'free market.' "

    That's because you're a fucking sockpuppet for Tulpa, who is an imbecile.

  • ||

    If you're not a member of a church, you burn in hell. "Outside the church there is no salvation" as the saying goes.

    We'll just give you that, even though there's an entire red-herring discussion of theology we could have on the topic (I hate to steal that favorite debate tactic from you, but it's much more expedient this way).

    So sure, if you're not a member of a church you burn in hell. You're still free to leave. Or to join a different church. I'm not aware of any new legislation passed enabling the church to come take your from you at the point of a gun after your baptism. If you don't like your church, you can most certainly leave it, or deprive it of your money and time.

  • ||

    why hasn't the free market taken care of this yet?

    Maybe because, due in no small part to the same types of nitpicking ordinances that shut down the church, it takes a lot of time and capital to build housing units that people can actually live in. Even if you've got the capital, you're going to be spending a lot of time on compliance, unless you like tearing down and re-doing the same work 3, 4, 5 times before it passes inspection and you can progress with your project.

  • John||

    The market has taken care of it. People have a desire to help others. That is a good people buy. And one of the best places to buy it is a church. The market for some by giving them a job. It provides for others by giving them a place to stay for the night in return for nothing except providing the person giving it satisfaction.

  • ||

    Correct, but I mean to the satisfaction of Tulpa's admittedly retarded framing of the issue. Even if XYZ Oil Company wanted to build 2,000 housing units tomorrow to handle the influx of new workers for its oil fields, there's a massive lag time involved even in the absence of a regulatory state (it may have escaped Tulpa's notice that ND is frozen solid for about 10 months of the year, and you can't dig foundations and pour concrete in those conditions). That not being the case, take whatever the normal lag time would be and at least double it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    ND is frozen solid for about 10 months of the year

    Bullshit. ND is hot as fuck in the summer.

  • ||

    in the summer.

    You do know how long summer lasts, right?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Monthly average temperatures (Southwest North Dakota)
    (Based on climate data from Dickinson and Bismarck)
    Temperature Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
    Mean Max (F) 23 28 38 55 66 75 83 82 71 58 40 28
    Mean Min (F) 0 4 15 28 39 59 54 51 41 30 17 6
    Mean Max (C) −5 −2 3 13 19 25 30 29 22 14 4 −2
    Mean Min (C) −18 −16 −9 −2 4 10 13 12 5 −1 −8 −14

    Not the stuff of permafrost.

  • Fluffy||

    I only see two months where the mean min wouldn't make it pretty damn uncomfortable to sleep outside regularly.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Which is not what we're talking about, Fluffy.

    And you guys complain about arguing with me?

  • ||

    Okay. I count 5 months where the mean min is above freezing. Suffice it to say if you break ground and pour in those other 7 months, you're gonna have a bad time. May at 39* for the mean low isn't necessarily a lock either. Point being, you've got natural constraints to deal with in addition to the much more arduous artificial ones. If you suppose you can plan, site, and build a housing development in 5 months, you should get to work putting every property developer in America out of business.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's a wonder that anything ever gets built in the Midwest! Omigod, only 5 months! I supposed the siting and planning has to be done during summer, too?

  • ||

    It's a wonder that anything ever gets built in the Midwest!

    It actually is quite remarkable how much construction gets done in intemperate climates. Having grown up in the construction industry, I can tell you that it is a risky and tumultuous proposition that has bankrupted many a fine tradesman.

    I supposed the siting and planning has to be done during summer, too?

    Uhh, retard, time doesn't stop in the winter. Even if you have your plans drawn in January, you're gonna be sitting on them until you can actually break ground. The time you spend with your plans sitting in a filing cabinet because you can't fucking build is that "lag time" I was referring to. Then you also have to get the structure built, complying with every local code and ordinance. If you're lucky and you complete it all in the course of a summer (bearing in mind that shit like drywalling and painting a large residential apartment complex will take 2-3 months by itself), that's a 9 month project. In the meantime you still have people waiting for housing. Even if the market reacted instantaneously to new demand, housing doesn't come online overnight.

    Like I said, instead of a being a smartass about an industry you clearly know so well, you should be out putting every developer north of Oklahoma out of business. Go get 'em tiger.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'd actually heard about the housing shortage there, and given some thought to buying used RV's, bringing them up to North Dakota, and either selling or renting-to-own to people there.

    The main argument against that was that they probably had pretty bad restrictions / regulations against RVs if no one had already done it.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    It's my understanding that the housing shortage there is entirely due to government interference in the market.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's not like the ND oil boom is a new thing... why hasn't the free market taken care of this yet?

    Uh, zoning regulations would be my guess.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There's plenty of open land in unincorporated areas in ND. We're not exactly talking about Manhattan or the Bay Area here.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Unincorporated doesn't mean unowned and not being used. Most of that land is in production of some type or another, mostly farm land (and the stuff not being used for farm land is probably federal or state land that's not up for sale). So, you have to find farmers 1) close by your operations, who are 2) willing to sell out. A lot of that is probably being done, but when you have a boom that big it simply can't be done fast enough, no matter how simple you think it is.

  • sgs||

    "And no, a church providing free housing is not part of the free market."

    CUZ I SAID SO!

  • ||

    Once the state runs off entities like this, then we get Tony to come 'round and tell us how the private market has failed to meaningfully address homelessness - evidence that it is an issue only capable of being tackled by government.

    He has actually made the argument, word for word. A more vile, disgusting excuse for a human being I have never encountered.

  • Fluffy||

    "The market" is that state of affairs that exists when people are free to do what they want with their property - whether by use or by exchange.

    If you grant people liberty to use their property as their see fit, some will exchange that property for other goods and services, and some will use it as a flophouse for transients.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Here we go redefining words again.

    A market requires exchange of value. That underlies every understanding of the word.

    I understand that "the market" is not synonymous with a farmer's market or a supermarket, but the meanings are closely related.

  • ||

    Read above where this was addressed. It's positively stunning you've spent this much time brushing up against libertarian philosophy without encountering an explanation of the nature of charity.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    which church do you tithe to?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    None -- I have taken my place among the damned.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    me either. like you, I made a free market choice.

  • Fluffy||

    You're thinking of the word "commerce".

    That is not what is meant by the term "a free market".

    Don't die on this hill, dude.

    There are better hills.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think perhaps Tulpa is making the argument that the term 'free market,' especially when referred to in the context of 'the free market can solve this problem', refers to economic (or economically motivated) behavior and not everything that can occur in the absence of government regulation.

    And likely this is linked to a further point, for example, that a truly decent society with a 'free market' would be one where institutions guided by altruistic or communitarian, rather than economic, motivations would be thriving and taking care of problems that economically motivated behavior would not.

    If that is what he is saying it actually sounds correct to me. The terms free market is not usually meant to apply to any and all activity that occurs sans government regulation, and the critical role of non-economic sentiments and institutions in a decent society has been recognized by classical liberals as important quite often (see Smith's TMS for example).

  • Fluffy||

    The terms free market is not usually meant to apply to any and all activity that occurs sans government regulation

    Sure it is.

    Zoning regulations impact the "free market" for everybody who wants to use their property in a given way - not just the people who want to sell their property in a given way.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I doubt you can point to any dictionary definition of 'free market' that does not involve either economic activity or economically motivated activity.

    Libertarianism traditionally gives a place of honor to economics and markets. To some extent that is good since so many people fail to see how much free markets can accomplish. But there is no reason to make it encompass everything we value. A libertarian world would hopefully include lots of behavior not motivated by economic self interest, and it would replace, and probably do a much better job, of alleviating social problems than government, coercive measures.

  • Fluffy||

    Libertarianism traditionally gives a place of honor to economics and markets.

    Libertarianism gives a place of honor to property.

    That inevitably leads to support of the freedom to buy and sell, because that's what most people want to do with their property. It's also the area most brutalized by the state.

    But actively using your property in the way you see fit is just as important an element in property rights as selling it to someone else.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree that freedom to engage in economic or economically motivated behavior is a great thing, and that freedom to use your property or labor how you see fit is a great thing. And I agree they can overlap. I just do not think they are the same thing or are usually thought to be by most.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The word that you are looking for is liberty which is central to libertarian.

  • ||

    refers to economic (or economically motivated) behavior and not everything that can occur in the absence of government regulation.

    In that case he'd still be a moron, because charity is economically motivated.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    What?

    I hope you are not arguing that it is because we can define 'economically motivated' to include something like 'the good feeling you get by doing charitable things.' This broadens the concept to include everything, and therefore nothing.

  • ||

    I hope you are not arguing that it is because we can define 'economically motivated' to include something like 'the good feeling you get by doing charitable things.'

    Yes, I am. You may have surmised that by reading my other 200 posts in this thread.

    This broadens the concept to include everything, and therefore nothing.

    It doesn't broaden anything. It accurately describes the way humans behave when valuing competing interests. That's what a "market" is.

  • sgs||

    "If that is what he is saying it actually sounds correct to me"

    That's because you're his fucking sockpuppet.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Having trouble finding your definition in Merriam-Webster:

    1
    a (1) : a meeting together of people for the purpose of trade by private purchase and sale and usually not by auction (2) : the people assembled at such a meeting
    b (1) : a public place where a market is held; especially : a place where provisions are sold at wholesale (2) : a retail establishment usually of a specified kind
    2
    archaic : the act or an instance of buying and selling
    3
    : the rate or price offered for a commodity or security
    4
    a (1) : a geographic area of demand for commodities or services (2) : a specified category of potential buyers
    b : the course of commercial activity by which the exchange of commodities is effected : extent of demand
    c (1) : an opportunity for selling (2) : the available supply of or potential demand for specified goods or services
    d : the area of economic activity in which buyers and sellers come together and the forces of supply and demand affect prices
  • Fluffy||

    If what you are saying is correct, when the SCOTUS gave the federal government the power to stop people from growing corn and feeding it to their own pigs, they weren't interfering in the free market.

    Is that really your claim?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I thought Filburn's argument was exactly that he was not engaged in a market, and the government's argument was that he was (albeit indirectly) so engaged, and so open to their thuggish policies?

  • Fluffy||

    His argument was that he was not engaged in interstate commerce.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, he used that term because of the legal context. But in a more general sense the government's argument was 'we have to manage the market (which is interstate in nature) in wheat, and Fliburn's growing it and giving it to his livestock is impacting that market.'

    Later the Rehnquist court would decide that the interstate commerce clause only allowed the government to regulate economic activity. This led people who opposed to the health care mandate to argue that not buying insurance was not economic activity. But if every choice is actually an economic, market one then it seems like the Obama administration and its supporters were right!

  • ||

    This led people who opposed to the health care mandate to argue that not buying insurance was not economic activity. But if every choice is actually an economic, market one then it seems like the Obama administration and its supporters were right!

    Incisive analysis, so long as you can answer what exchange of value, even psychic value, has taken place when one fails to make an exchange? Decisions in and of themselves do not make a market, but exchanges of value, even non-monetary value, do. Even if spite or surliness constituted psychic value, not performing an exchange based on those values still doesn't qualify.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    PM, how in the world would your view be falsifiable?

  • ||

    PM, how in the world would your view be falsifiable?

    I'm actually describing the caricature viewpoint that you put forward, which was based on the intentionally false premise that all decisions are economic, market decisions. We were addressing decisions that involve an exchange of value. The point of contention is whether or not psychic value "counts". Even if we accept that psychic value "counts" as an economic value, failing to make an exchange to satisfy a psychic value (like spite, for example) doesn't result in an exchange of anything. That's not falsifiable because it is axiomatic. I suppose if you wanted to be really sure, you could construct an experiment in which not exchanging anything in return for value ended with an exchange of something for value. Let me know how you get along.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I suppose if you wanted to be really sure, you could construct an experiment in which not exchanging anything in return for value ended with an exchange of something for value.

    No, this would not work, because you could always say that the person doing the second exchange was 'really' motivated by some 'psychic value' in his head. I mean, you just described most gift giving situations (unless, of course, you assume your conclusion and posit that what 'really' lies behind all gift giving situations is the 'psychic value' of the good feeling the giver gets from giving).

  • ||

    No, this would not work, because you could always say that the person doing the second exchange was 'really' motivated by some 'psychic value' in his head.

    Well there was no "second" exchange. You'd have to show how literally not exchanging anything resulting in there somehow actually being an exchange. but allow me to indulge you:

    We know that the giver in this theoretical transaction was motivated by something, right? Can we at least agree that even in an "altruistic" situation, the altruism itself was the motivation for the giver in the transaction? If so, what difference does it make whether you call the satisfaction of that motivation "value" (as in psychic value) or whether you choose to ascribe some supernatural quality to it, the only functional purpose of which is to deny that the exchange was actually a "transaction" that took place in a market, and slap a different term on it? You're describing the same exact thing. You just feel more comfortable with the idea that altruism has no underlying psychological motivation and is some gift dropped upon mankind from the ether. Well and good, but you're making an arbitrary distinction. And the only accomplishment is that you get to deny that giving something away to someone because it makes you feel good is "free market". If that helps you, that's great I guess.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The difference is that I do not assume the conclusion. People could act in ways that bring them advantage, or they might act in ways that bring them no advantage of disadvantage, out of duty or a moral sense. We watch them and see what they do, the difference between you and I is when they seem to act in ways that bring them no advantage you say 'ah, but what is 'really' going on is they are getting some unseen psychic value from their seemingly altruistic act!' Such an unnecessary and unfalsifiable view is inherently suspect.

  • ||

    People could act in ways that bring them advantage, or they might act in ways that bring them no advantage of disadvantage, out of duty or a moral sense.

    And this duty or moral sense constitutes altruism? It almost sounds like you've got a link between motivation and action there. Whether or not there is any discernible *material* advantage to the person in that situation, whatever it is that motivates them to do what they did, whether good or bad, right or wrong, is, in my estimation, "selfishness". That is, the pursuit of their self-interest - their self-motivation.

    (cont'd)

  • ||

    the difference between you and I is when they seem to act in ways that bring them no advantage you say 'ah, but what is 'really' going on is they are getting some unseen psychic value from their seemingly altruistic act!'

    No, the difference is that you define "advantage" very narrowly, and only in material terms. We both see a Boy Scout help an old woman through the crosswalk and you see "no advantage" to the Boy Scout because he got no material reward for his effort, and therefore you ascribe some supernatural virtuousness to the act that transcends the boy's self-interest. I see the swelling pride, the honor, the sense of duty he feels and I see an advantage to the boy that is far beyond commensurate with the effort he undertook. We're describing the same thing, you just have some Puritanical need to deny the boy any pleasure, even psychological or subconscious, from his actions, because it somehow by your definition taints the goodness of what he did that he got some satisfaction from it.

    Such an unnecessary and unfalsifiable view is inherently suspect.

    You could falsify that view by finding me a miserable curmudgeon who does a fine, charitable, "altruistic" deed and feels even more miserable for having done it. Presuming you didn't pluck a bipolar from a lunatic asylum, I'll be shocked if you can do it.

  • Fluffy||

    Well, he used that term because of the legal context.

    He didn't deny being engaged in economic activity.

    He denied being engaged in economic activity the federal government possessed the constitutional power to regulate. Namely, interstate commerce.

    But if every choice is actually an economic, market one then it seems like the Obama administration and its supporters were right!

    Not if you only accept a pre-New Deal court definition of what constitutes interstate commerce.

    In any event, even if Wickard was undone and the federal government only regulated commerce that was truly interstate, you know what? As soon as they did that, we wouldn't have a free market.

    You just can't get around the fact that if we lived in a country with a free market, and the legislature met one morning and passed a law saying you couldn't grow your own corn on your own land and feed it to your pigs, after they did so we would no longer have a free market.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So, you agree that people who decide not to buy health insurance are engaging in economic activity?

  • Fluffy||

    It's not relevant. I don't recognize your moral right to regulate economic activity, or economic inactivity.

    That was a critical distinction to people who had already decided that regulation of existing activity was OK, but compelling new activity was not.

    The people who made that argument believed that the relationship of the mandate to, say, involuntary servitude would become immediately apparent to progressives if it was just framed the right away.

    It was less important to me, because to me it's involuntary servitude all around.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think you see that Obamacare would have won on interstate commerce grounds if your view on the subject we are discussing were adopted. You just say that you would want it rejected on broader philosophical grounds that were not at issue legally there. Fair enough, but,in the same vein I would suggest that you try not to invoke Wickard on me.

  • ||

    So, you agree that people who decide not to buy health insurance are engaging in economic activity?

    What was exchanged? They refuse to exchange their money for insurance. Even if they did this to satisfy some psychic value, they didn't exchange their psychic value for anything else. Anytime an exchange of value takes place, even if it is non-monetary value, there was a market transaction in the broad sense. I.e., I give a starving man a loaf of bread. I receive a feeling of good will, or the satisfaction of satiating another man's hunger. He receives the bread and the satiation of his hunger.

    However, when no exchange takes place, I'm struggling to understand what value you think was traded, monetary or otherwise? If I keep my money instead of spending it on insurance, even if I'm doing so because of psychic motivations (i.e., it makes me feel good to not have insurance, it makes me feel good to stick it to Barack Obama, etc etc), my psychic values may be satiated, but not in exchange for anything from anyone else.

    I understand you're being intentionally obtuse here, but please drop the pretense.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    PM, just to be clear then, Tulpa's decision not to join a church is then not part of the free market?

    Because if your answer is it is not, then you have some more intentionally obtuse people below you might want to challenge.

  • ||

    I think you misunderstood the discussion below. Tulpa was suggesting that participation in church tithing and therefore charity was somehow compulsory, which negated participation in the charity work of the church being a free market transaction. Clearly that's not the case, since one is free to leave the church or withhold his money - one participates in that on a voluntary basis, receives a benefit for doing so, and so engages in a free market exchange in so doing. When that obviated his original argument, we moved on to whether or not non-monetary benefits are actually "value" for the purposes of a market transaction. Tulpa's heathenism was tangential to the argument that there is, indeed, a "free market" in the church to which one wishes to donate one's time and money. Failing to donate time or money is no more a market transaction than failing to buy insurance or failing to buy a hot dog.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Tulpa was suggesting that participation in church tithing and therefore charity was somehow compulsory, which negated participation in the charity work of the church being a free market transaction.

    That's not what I was saying. I was saying that the donations to the church have nothing to do with providing shelter for the vagrants. Given that the church existed before they came, and will continue to exist after this event.

  • ||

    I was saying that the donations to the church have nothing to do with providing shelter for the vagrants

    Which is plainly ridiculous. People donate money to the church to carry out it's mission, one facet of which is to provide shelter for the homeless. And if they are unhappy with the way their money is being spent, they are free to withdraw it or shop it to another "vendor".

    The only point in showing that Tulpa is free to shop around or not participate in charitable giving to a church was to demonstrate that there does exist a "market" in such giving - not to indicate that his lack of participation in that market constituted participation in that market. Vis-a-vis the ACA, no one was arguing that health insurance wasn't a market. They were only arguing that their failure to participate in the market didn't constitute "economic activity". I would unequivocally say that the same applies to Tulpa not donating to a church. But that wasn't the point of the conversation.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'm pretty sure the pastor of that church would be grossly offended if you told him he's just providing shelter for these guys so he can turn around and solicit donations.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure the pastor of that church would be grossly offended if you told him he's just providing shelter for these guys so he can turn around and solicit donations.

    I'd probably be as offended as he was, seeing as how that bears no resemblance to anything I've ever said anywhere in this entire discussion.

    The point is, if he's soliciting donations, and the donors don't want their money spent on sheltering the homeless, they'll cease their donations. Or at least they certainly can do so. And they could reallocate their giving to a different charity that prioritizes the causes they find more important. That is in marked contrast to your contention that:

    donations to the church have nothing to do with providing shelter for the vagrants

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That sort of destroys the idea of this being part of the market though, doesn't it?

    This part of the discussion arose from people claiming that the value the church gets in return for sheltering these people is in the form of donations. Is the pastor unaware of this connection, if that's so?

  • ||

    That sort of destroys the idea of this being part of the market though, doesn't it?

    We must really be talking past each other if you interpreted the fact that there is potential competition for charity dollars as destroying the idea that a church doing charitable deeds with donated money is part of a market.

    This part of the discussion arose from people claiming that the value the church gets in return for sheltering these people is in the form of donations. Is the pastor unaware of this connection, if that's so?

    Kinda sorta. That the people who donated the money received value in the form of housing the homeless was a more significant point. But in any case, why does the pastor need to be unaware of the possibility of losing his donations if he uses the donated money for causes the donors disagree with? Of course he's aware of it. That's a huge part of what makes the church market-based in this regard.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So the pastor is aware of his simply being a merchant of good feelings?

    It doesn't strike me as market-based in the slightest. If the zoning board prohibited McDonalds from selling food, they'd go out of biz, but the zoning board's decision here won't harm the church in the slightest. Well, except for the deprivation of warm fuzzies which apparently are now commodities.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, the law that was upheld in that case obvioiusly interfered with the free market in other ways, as it set prices.

    The effect it had on Wickard himself was interference with his personal freedom. I don't see how deciding to use property you already own for your own purposes is part of a free market.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't see how deciding to use property you already own for your own purposes is part of a free market.

    This is one of your many problems.

  • Fluffy||

    Now I can't take my eyes off the sentence I quoted in italics.

    Dude...dude.

    DUDE!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Personal freedom and property rights are part of libertarianism of course. But that's not coterminous with a free market.

    Or do you think "free minds and free markets" is redundant?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I take it you don't have an argument to support the viewpoint that it is a free market?

  • Fluffy||

    The reason people enter into exchanges is to acquire property to use, dude.

    To look at the exchanges, and only the exchanges, as being part of "the free market", and not the use(s), is absurd. Literally absurd. Almost Kafkaesque.

    It would mean that a law that made it legal to sell the products you needed to install a pool on someone's property, and made it legal to sell the service of installing a pool on someone's property, but which made it illegal to swim in a pool on your own property, would not violate "the free market".

    Why are you complaining? You can still buy and sell all that pool-related shit. The mere act of using the pool is not a market activity, after all, according to Tulpa.

    Don't you see how literally crazy that is?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The reason people enter into exchanges is to acquire property to use

    Lots of exchanges involve no property at all.

  • Fluffy||

    Or do you think "free minds and free markets" is redundant?

    Yes, I've always thought that, actually.

    Although Reason has to times employed the expression "free minds" to be "minds free of inherited religious dogma" which is a slightly different use of the term than "free of government control".

    A nation with a free market wouldn't have to worry about protecting free minds from government control, because everything they could do to attack a free mind (in that sense of the word) would be something they'd already be prohibited to do by the rules that protected the existence of a free market.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The effect it had on Wickard himself was interference with his personal freedom. I don't see how deciding to use property you already own for your own purposes is part of a free market interstate commerce.

    FIFY.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That too.

  • Fluffy||

    And you should have searched for "free market" and not just "market".

    Google defines "free market" as:

    an economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.

    Unrestricted competition allows prices of $0.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They're trying to give a succinct definition, probably not foreseeing that someone would claim that letting someone sleep in your basement for free is part of a market.

    The free market is a market.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So gift giving is actually an economic transaction where the cost is zero? Heck, by this thinking when a husband decides to sleep with his wife he is engaged in free market activity.

    With all due respect, that seems very strained.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    I have to agree and amplify this. there is no sexual marketplace.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Entire article

    A woman called 911 after Jonathan Ferrell, 24, began knocking insistently on her front door in a leafy residential neighborhood in Charlotte at about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

    The woman, who immediately closed the door on Ferrell after seeing it was not her husband, may not have been aware that he had just crawled out of his wrecked car in nearby woods, police said.

    Three police officers arrived, finding Ferrell a short distance from the woman's house. As soon as the officers got out of their vehicles, Ferrell started running toward them, police said.

    One officer unsuccessfully fired a Taser at Ferrell, but he kept running. Randall Kerrick, another officer, then shot Ferrell several times with his service weapon, killing him, police said.

    Police found Ferrell's wrecked car later in the morning.

    The police department has placed all three officers on administrative leave while they investigate the shooting. Detectives charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter on Saturday.

    "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter," the police department said in a statement.

    Panic-stricken baboons shoot anything that moves.

    We'll have to wait for the plea bargain before doing any celebratory handsprings.

  • John||

    Speaking of market, zoning and such. My father is looking to sell his house and move. One of the things his real estate agent checked was if there was a dreaded "sex offender" within two miles of his house. Apparently that greatly affects the value of your house. These lists are creating a direct incentive for people to go and victimize the poor bastards we put on them. There is no way for these people to live in peace. Thanks to these lists, their very existence drives property values down.

  • Fluffy||

    Speaking of the President solving the problem of inequality, he can go play another round of golf, because the US "rising inequality crisis" does not exist.

    I have thought for a while that stagnating US household income might have something to do with changes in household composition.

    So I undertook a really basic exercise that I haven't seen undertaken anywhere else - I looked up the inflation-adjusted median US household income for the last 40 years, and the household size data for that time period.

    Here's what I discovered:

    Inflation-adjusted, median household income in the US in 1970 was $45,146. In 2004, it was $52,788.

    Oh no! Household incomes have stagnated! The broad mass of the public is not participating in our GDP growth and productivity growth!

    But you know what? Average household size went from 3.14 persons in 1965 to 2.57 persons in 2004. Instead of ekeing out 17% median household income growth, we would have had 43% median household income growth.

    That means that the median household income in 2004 would have been $64,495 if you reassembled household units of the size that prevailed in 1965.

  • Fluffy||

    So the stagnating median household income figure actually means, I think, that household incomes are large enough that people can preferentially choose to spin off into their own households and still support themselves.

    Increasing wealth has allowed retirees to live alone, single moms to live alone, etc. - and each one of those decisions to live alone represents an expressed preference (and therefore an increase in utility).

    If what people wanted was to live in households with strong income growth, we'd still have households the size of households in 1965. The fact that we don't says that people are choosing independence over household income.

    But that means it's not an evil plot by the 1%.

  • Nazdrakke||

    But that means it's not an evil plot by the 1%

    Then obviously there is a mistake in the data somewhere.

    /occutard

  • John||

    That is an excellent point. Combine the freedom our extra real wealth has given us with the complete collapse of any sort of stigma to single motherhood or divorce and you have a pretty good explanation for what is going on here.

    I would also point out that income is only meaningful because what it can buy you. If you look at what we actually have, say median household phone service, median household clothes purchases, median size of residence per occupant, the US is much richer than it was even 20 years ago. Sure, the market made Bill Gates and that facebook douche bag as rich as any man since Rockefeller. But it also made it so a illegal Salvadoran mowing lawns for seven dollars an hour can call home every night, when before no one but the rich could even dream of calling overseas.

  • Fluffy||

    If people can get away from unpleasant personal relationships, they will do so, even if they can just barely scrape by.

    So you could say that poverty is growing in America, because we have more households in poverty.

    But when those households are smaller than the ones we had before, it's very likely that a large number of those new poor households represent people who were happy to just scrape by, if it meant escaping a worse situation in a larger household.

    It's not "class warfare". It's people making a rational choice in the face of incentives.

  • John||

    The double irony of that is that it was liberals who have encouraged people to do this. The conservative position has been that divorce and single motherhood is a disaster because you are finacially better off being married. It was liberals who told people that didn't matter, that being on your own is better than being in even an inperfect relationship.

    And now it is liberals who are pissing and moaning that people took thier advice and chose less income over committment to marriage.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The conservative position has been that divorce and single motherhood is a disaster because you are finacially better off being married.

    If their position was only to give that advice then I would have no problem, but many of them would like to have seen laws forcing that view on people. The libertarian has no necessary position on whether marriage is prudent or not, but we disagree with conservatives that people should be forced to be together for 'the good of the public.'

  • John||

    No. Many of them would like to see laws set up to stop subsidizing that option (stop paying single mothers who have children extra welfare) or to make it harder (getting rid of no fault divorce), so people choose it less.

    If you want to hate SOCONS, do yourself a favor and learn what they actually think.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Are you arguing SoCons have not in the past, and still today do, argue that divorce laws should be more restrictive?

  • John||

    Which part of "make it harder (getting rid of no fault divorce)" do you not understand?

    Sure, they want to make divorce harder so people really make sure they want to do it. But that is not enforcing anything on anyone. Even the strictest Catholics admit to the possibility of annulment. And no one I know of is saying divorce should be illegal.

    Mostly, conservatives object to the concept of no fault divorce. That has nothing to do with forcing anyone to stay married. It is saying that if you enter into the contract of marriage, you can't leave it without a good reason or the other party saying you can. That is not forcing anything. Both parties are part of the transaction aren't they? Why should one party be able to walk out for no reason and without the other's permission? No one made you get married.

    I can see the argument for having it both ways. But ending no fault divorce is no more forcing people to stay married than having no fault divorce is forcing people to get divorced. In both systems, one party is often going to be forced into a situation they don't want due to the wishes of the other. The question is, which do you think is worse, letting one spouse force the other into divorce or one spouse force the other to stay married?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Sure, they want to make divorce harder so people really make sure they want to do it. But that is not enforcing anything on anyone.

    Preventing people who want to end their marriage from doing so is 'not enforcing anything on anyone?'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -letting one spouse force the other into divorce or one spouse force the other to stay married?

    The mentality so often present in Progressives that is reflected in this comment is duly noted.

    Leaving a marriage=forcing your spouse out of the marriage in the same way of a spouse forcing someone to stay married to them.

  • John||

    You are really dense. In a no fault state my wife can divorce me over my objection. I am stuck divorced even though I didn't want to. In the old system, I can say no and she is stuck remaining married even though she wants to be divorced. In both cases one of us is being forced by the other into a situation we don't want. For that reason neither system involves any more or less coercion than the other. It is just a question of whose interests you vie more.

    So no one on either side is trying to force anything. It is just that liberals and conservatives disagree about which side the state should take.

    Maybe I am just not clear enough. What I said went right over your head.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    John, if you and I were friends, and you decide that due to my denseness you no longer wanted to be my friend, what would you think of a law which required you to, say, wait a full year before you could say we were not friends? Would you say 'well, allowing me to break of the friendship unilaterally would be to allow me to 'force Bo into a state of no-friendship?'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, I would also like you to explain how the government requiring us to remain friends for a year would be an example of not forcing anything on anyone.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It depends on how you view marriage. If you see it as a contract (which I don't) then Johns view is more correct.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So the only conclusion is that you're angry because your ideology has been violated.

    Sayeth the martyr from his cross.

  • AnarchoAlex||

    If I was in their shoes, God would have to look away for a bit, because there's no way someone wasn't going to get their ass kicked, and I'm talking Walking Tall style with a 2x4. Every politician in the town would be beaten until they're limp

  • John||

    Of all of the dumb things Tulpa has said on this thread, the dumbest is that the "market requires a fair exhange of value". No, in the market any voluntary exchange is by definition fair since both parties voluntarily agreed to do it. The idea that there is some objective standard of a fair transaction independent of the judgement of the parties involved is one of the more vile falsities progressives tell themselves. That is the thinking that gives us idiocies like usery laws and minimum wage and so forth.

  • sarcasmic||

    A person does indeed get something of value from giving to a church. They get the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping people, and that has value. Tulpa the Moron does not value voluntarily helping people by giving to charity, so Tulpa the Moron cannot comprehend how someone else might value helping people. What a fucking moron.

  • John||

    It is amazing how simple minded he is. People give money in return for satisfaction all of the time. That is all kick starter is. Hey, sarcasmic, I have this great idea for a documentary or a record I want to make. Send me some money so I get to make my movie and you get the satisfaction of seeing it make. It is nothing but a transaction of you giving me money in return for me doing something you like and get satisfaction out of.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's funny how the people who explain away altruism and charity as a selfish act of hedonism then tut-tut about how evil a person I am for being against charity.

  • John||

    It is a matter of semantics. You define "selfish" as to always mean bad. I define "selfish" as anything the individual thinks is worth doing. If I think helping people is worth doing, I have a "selfish" reason for doing it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I define selfish to mean "done purely to help oneself", like the rest of the English-speaking world. So did Rand when she made her silly arguments against altruism. Rand was trying to remove the bad connotation of the word, not the definition.

    Sevo Christ, you guys love redefining words even more than leftists.

  • John||

    I define selfish to mean "done purely to help oneself", like the rest of the English-speaking world

    The idea that someone can do something for their own piece of mind, metaphysical future, or out of a sense of duty as their primary motivation goes back to Plato.

    I am not a Randian and frankly have no interest in readin her agument. But I am a neo Platonist in many ways. Doing good things is good for one's well being or soul or however you want to view it. Therefore, when we do good things we are doing them because we understand that doing so is good for ourselves. Everything action can be broken down to self interest. Self interest is really just another way of saying "the will". Whether you view helping someone as being in your self interest depends on your values.

    What is silly is the idea that we can step totally away from the self and somehow do actions that are "selfless". The entire concept of "selflessness" is silly and idiotic. When I do something good, I am still a self. And that self has for whatever reason decided this was the right thing to do.

  • ||

    I define selfish to mean "done purely to help oneself", like the rest of the English-speaking world. So did Rand when she made her silly arguments against altruism.

    No, she didn't. Rand recognized over and over again that a person may help someone else for entirely selfish reasons. Jesus Christ dude, at least skim the Wiki pages before you post.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I mean, if anything a person wants to do is "selfish", that makes it a pretty useless word, doesn't it? It's a synonym of "voluntary" in that case.

    I don't like obsolescing words, which is why I don't like what Rand was doing (among other reasons).

  • John||

    Yes selfish is a useless word. It doesn't mean what you think it means. When I say you are "selfish", I am saying "I don't like your values".

    "It is selfish of you to eat the last piece of cake and not offer to split it with the group" is really saying

    "I don't like it that you value the pleasure of eating the cake more than you value the pleasure of sharing it with the group".

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes selfish is a useless word. It doesn't mean what you think it means. When I say you are "selfish", I am saying "I don't like your values".

    Even worse, it means you're not doing what I want, serving my interests.

  • Fluffy||

    Rand did exactly the opposite of what you're saying, Tulpa.

    She most emphatically rejected the argument that "anything a person wants to do is selfish". Fuck, half of The Fountainhead, if not more, is about rebutting that.

    She defined altruism as the conscious belief that the good of others is more important that your own, and the moral demand that you sacrifice your own good, and accept injustice patiently, if doing so could be claimed to benefit others.

    She employed this definition even if you thought you wanted to do the thing you were doing that was "altruistic".

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    and in a shocker, MNG Esq. doesn't get it either.

  • sarcasmic||

    And I should add too that Tulpa the Moron is also a selfish piece of shit for not putting any value on helping people and not understanding how someone else could value helping people. Fuck. If I ever had any respect for Tulpa the Moron it has gone out the window. What a piece of shit.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Where did I say any of this?

    It's my opponents who are denigrating altruism and charity, not me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah right you piece of shit. I can see why you only stink this place up on the weekends now. Fucking fuck. Go to Hell.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Usually the descent into repetitive, pointless, nasty name calling is not seen as a strength of argument. Can you not rationally disagree with Tulpa without all the invective?

  • sarcasmic||

    When I want your opinion I'll go take a shit. Thank you for playing.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Looks like you have your answer, Bo.

    I once tried to reform these people to become polite and effective, years ago. It's a losing battle.

  • sarcasmic||

    Long ago people tried to be polite with you, but you have shown yourself to be obtuse to the point of stupidity. So no one bothers anymore.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is interesting. I imagine it is seen by them as some type of 'toughness' when of course it more likely demonstrates to most observers profound weakness in being able to argue one's position. Additionally, the selfishness of it is pretty amazing. Not only does it disregard Reason.com's request that people be civil on what, after all, is their discussion board, but it also gives no thought as to how it might turn off those checking out the website and the philosophy behind. All such consideration matters not, their angry righteousness must be heard!

  • Nazdrakke||

    Concern troll is concerned.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And what, you are concerned about my concern?

    This has always struck me as such an ironically funny comment since I first saw it used here.

  • Snark Plissken||

    When I want your opinion I'll go take a shit. Thank you for playing.

    Sevo and sarcasmic are the same person?

    I disagree with Tulpa 98% of the time, but this but this childish ad hom stuff is as childish as you having an orgasm when a cop gets shot in his driveway.

  • Nazdrakke||

    This has always struck me as such an ironically funny comment since I first saw it used here.

    One, you'll please note that I haven't engaged in any of the behavior that has you so a-flutter in this thread. To the point you've pulled this "oh, what will they think of us, and how can we be so ungracious to our hosts?" pearl-clutching bullshit repeatedly and it's tiresome in the extreme.

    You have a point to make, make it. You want to lecture people about their tone teach a sunday school class or something.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And now you are pearl clutching about my pearl clutching. As I said, it is amusingly ironic.

  • Nazdrakke||

    And now you are pearl clutching

    No, I'm telling you to stick a fucking sock up the ass of your high horse.

  • ||

    This has always struck me as such an ironically funny comment since I first saw it used here.

    Perhaps you're not familiar with the term as it used in this context:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....cern_troll

    It doesn't mean being concerned, generally. It means affecting an agreement with someone on an issue, only to introduce "concerns" that undermine the agreement.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Then I guess you have some other people to educate on this, since I did not affect an agreement with someone only to introduce concerns that undermine the agreement. I disagreed with sarcasmic and expressed concern (or more like dismay) at his callousness toward his hosts and his cause.

  • ||

    You've affected a shared interest in some communal standards for the website and libertarian evangelism, showing concern that we are undermining those shared goals with our crassness.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    Bo Cara Esq.| 9.15.13 @ 1:06PM |#

    "And what, you are concerned about my concern?"

    Ha I'm glad someone else notices this sort of thing. I was having a discussion about evangelism with someone and they said they believe people should just keep their beliefs to themselves and I said maybe you should lead by example and keep that belief to yourself.

  • ||

    Or it could be that explaining the same thing 150 million times to the same person who willfully pretends not to comprehend gets so tiresome that invective becomes a convenient shorthand.

    As for the consideration of the unacquainted who may venture here, fuck them, we're altruism hating bastards, remember?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Let us remember the source of this invective: Tulpa has not called for something un-libertarian, he has merely challenged psychological egoism. Psychological egoism is not a necessary component of libertarian or classical liberal thought. And for challenging this he merits all this cursing and insulting?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Back when Tim Cavanaugh was in charge of H+R they cleaned the stables once in a while of all the personal attackers and such.

    It's nice that the new regime allows free speech etc, but there are unfortunate consequences. That policy leads to YouTube-level discourse eventually.

  • Fluffy||

    There really is no higher value than angry righteousness, Bo.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Back when Tim Cavanaugh was in charge of H+R they cleaned the stables once in a while of all the personal attackers and such.

    I defend Tulpa's right to be an obnoxious borderline troll. But he really does seem to go out of his way to be an fascist cunt, sometimes.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There's nothing fascist about Reason controlling its property. Cavanaugh wanted a good discussion board and opined that people launching personal attacks weren't conducive to that end.

    No one ever prevented Gary Gunnels or Dave W. from buying his own domain and starting his own blog, as far as I know.

  • Snark Plissken||

    There's nothing fascist about Reason controlling its property.

    Really? Could ya explain basic property rights to me?

    I'm not calling you a fascist cunt for that. I'm calling you a fascist cunt for going out of your way to be a cunt, for moving goalposts, for arguing dishonestly and for obnoxious nitpicking or pedantry when it suits your purposes to be an obnoxious cunt. Or maybe just for whingeing about Cavanaugh 'clearing the stables'.

    Still, you raise some interesting points once in a very great while and aren't in the same category as the obvious trolls.

    So I don't think people should use such ad homs unless it's me using them because I would only do so when its necessary to point out what a fucking cunt you can be.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "but it also gives no thought as to how it might turn off those checking out the website and the philosophy behind."

    They truly are awful, I was much more sympathetic to libertarians before I started reading the comments here lol.

    For a while I despised them (around the time they were claiming that liberals loved it when kids got killed so they could push their gun control agenda) but now I just get some mild amusement out of their nonsensical claims and fallacious reasoning.

  • ||

    I was much more sympathetic to libertarians before I started reading the comments here lol.

    It's a lot easier to be sympathetic to another's beliefs when you're utterly ignorant of their viewpoints that happen to diametrically differ from your own. Sorry to shatter your illusions.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "It's a lot easier to be sympathetic to another's beliefs when you're utterly ignorant of their viewpoints"

    yea I got tricked by the marketing, I see the word libertarian and think oh these people value liberty. Kinda like democratic peoples republic of korea, it sounds like they value democracy if you know nothing about them but the name.

  • ||

    Either that or you were confused about the nature of liberty because you believe in positive rights, and you just liked the idea of a group of people you thought would be chill and like to smoke pot.

    You might actually like the kind of democratic republic they have in Korea - it's the antithesis of the evil libertarians that confound you so. And positive rights are best rights.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "You might actually like the kind of democratic republic they have in Korea - it's the antithesis of the evil libertarians that confound you so"

    It's only the antithesis in means not results. You would be perfectly fine with the atrocities in korea if they were arranged by private business using "non-coercive" contracts.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    PM, the preexisting perception on libertarians in most circles is that they're selfish, immature, arrogant assholes. A knock that's confirmed by some of the most vocal people here. ( I think most people here are really good and smart and interesting, but they don't speak up as much)

    When someone responds to a dissenting argument with "fuck you, die in a fire, you insufferable cunt" as a matter of course, that's aligning with the perception. sarcasmic's blaming his behavior on the person he's insulting isn't helping in the maturity department, either.

    If you went to a Doctors Without Borders volunteer worker site and got the same response, you'd probably think it's just a bad seed because those people are supposed to be caring and thoughtful. Unfortunately, libertarians don't have that reputation.

  • sarcasmic||

    When someone responds to a dissenting argument an obtuse piece of garbage engaging in constant straw men arguments while moving the goalposts, also known as Tulpafication with "fuck you, die in a fire, you insufferable cunt" as a matter of course, that's aligning with the perception perfectly reasonable if you ask me.

    ftfy

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "( I think most people here are really good and smart and interesting, but they don't speak up as much)"

    I don't know about most but certainly there a few who are willing to engage in a civilized conversation/argument and have interesting and reasoned input even with people of differing ideology, but mostly they are drowned out by the "fuck you" brigade.

  • sarcasmic||

    A market requires exchange of value. That's a basic definition.

    A person gives to a charity, and in exchange the charity uses that money to help people. Your statement says that there is no value in knowing that you are helping people. That makes you a piece of shit. Fuck off.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Your statement says that there is no value in knowing that you are helping people.

    I am pretty sure you are misunderstanding. It is not that there is no value there, it is that it is not an economic or selfish value.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is nothing selfish is feeling good about one's self for knowing that you are helping others?

  • sarcasmic||

    *in* not is

  • ||

    it is that it is not an economic or selfish value.

    By what definition of the terms "economic" or "selfish"? And why need value be "economic" or "selfish", which I presume you mean to stand in for "monetary", in order for its exchange to be considered a market?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Of all of the dumb things Tulpa has said on this thread, the dumbest is that the "market requires a fair exhange of value".

    I never said "fair". You're joining SugarFree in editing what I say and then arguing against the stuff you edited in.

  • John||

    Here we go redefining words again.

    A market requires exchange of value. That underlies every understanding of the word.

    You said free. But then you go on to talk about how this is not value. Yes it is value.

    You are insisting on there being some kind of objective definition of value rather than it being up to the parties involved in the transaction, which is the same thing as saying there is an objective standard of fair.

    You can't see this as a transaction because to you one party isn't getting anything out of it. Yes they are. You just don't like what they are getting and can't understand why anyone would pay for it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You are insisting on there being some kind of objective definition of value rather than it being up to the parties involved in the transaction, which is the same thing as saying there is an objective standard of fair.

    Even if that is the case, what does that have to do with anything I've said so far? I never said fairness was a requirement for a market, which is what you're trying to pin on me.

  • John||

    You can't see the church being part of the market because you can't see how the people who fund it are getting any value. Why? Because to you the satisfaction of funding a church and helping homeless people can't be valueable. So you can't understand why anyone would voluntarily engage in a transaction for it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    John, I used 'control+F' and cannot find where Tulpa said the "market requires a fair exhange of value". He has argued there has to be an exchange, but never a fair one. Your entire post here is based on a mistake.

  • sarcasmic||

    Fairness is implied because it would be pretty dumb for someone to make an exchange if they didn't think it was fair.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Wow, you read quite a lot into a lot of things to maintain your arguments.

  • sarcasmic||

    So you go out and voluntarily enter into exchanges that you do not believe are fair? Your dumber than I thought.

  • sarcasmic||

    *You're*

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    People do that all the time.

    My father doted on me quite a bit and I never did the same for him. It was pretty unfair (unless, of course, you are going to stretch the concept of 'fairness' to include some 'psychic benefits' he got from 'living up to his values' or some such Randian nonsense).

  • ||

    (unless, of course, you are going to stretch the concept of 'fairness' to include some 'psychic benefits' he got from 'living up to his values' or some such Randian nonsense).

    If you reject this notion, what possible motivation did your father have for entering into such a retarded exchange? The answer, of course, is that anytime an exchange voluntarily takes place, an equal value was exchanged at least in the minds of the participants, or else the exchange wouldn't have taken place. You can call that nonsense when you come up with a better explanation.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You're making circular arguments again, PM.

  • ||

    You're making circular arguments again, PM.

    Explain to me how a transaction takes place if neither party is satisfied that they traded something of equal or greater value for what they received in exchange? Sans a gun to their heads, that transaction will never take place.

    In this particular example, if you didn't love your kids, you could run out on them and not provide for their needs. You'd be a deplorable asshole, but that's your option. If you love your kids, you will receive satisfaction in exchange for providing for their needs. That doesn't make the transaction somehow dirty - it means you're a properly adjusted human being with normal motivations and impulses.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Presumably Bo's father wasn't considering his care for his child to be a transaction.

  • ||

    Presumably Bo's father wasn't considering his care for his child to be a transaction.

    Is that a precondition for a transaction to have taken place? I thought the relevant criteria was exchange of value?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -what possible motivation did your father have for entering into such a retarded exchange?

    He was motivated by altruistic reasons. His son's well being was more important than his own. Additionally, he likely thought that a small, helpless child was more deserving of the resources he had under his control than he was.

    Your alternative explanation requires us to dismiss what it seems to be on its face and argue that there was 'really' something else going on behind the 'façade,' and that something else is non-falsifiable and tautological. Those are not usually compelling theories in my experience.

  • ||

    He was motivated by altruistic reasons.

    And here, altruistic is just a stand in for the following feeling:

    His son's well being was more important than his own.

    You ascribe this to what? Magic? If your father believed your wellbeing was more important than his own, then he was making a rational decision to give you things at the expense of himself, and doing so gave him psychic pleasure. You think this is somehow sinister. It's just an acknowledgment of motivation and reward. If there were no motivation or reward for taking care of your kids, the human species would have died out a long, long time ago. "Altruism" doesn't have to be magic that spontaneously happens with no motivation or reward in order for it to be genuine or meaningful.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    PM, you're assuming that Bo's father needed a selfish reason to do anything he did -- and then using this to prove that Bo's father needed a selfish reason. You don't see the circularity in your reasoning?

  • ||

    PM, you're assuming that Bo's father needed a selfish reason to do anything he did -- and then using this to prove that Bo's father needed a selfish reason. You don't see the circularity in your reasoning?

    It's no more or less circular than assuming Bo's father needed an altruistic reason to do something nice for his kid -- and then using this to prove that Bo's father is altruistic for doing something nice for his kid.

    The problem here, as I just explained below, is that you use "selfish" and "altruist" to describe the exact same phenomenon depending on the outcome. Act like an asshole because it satisfies you, you're "selfish". Act like a nice guy because it satisfies you, you're "altruistic". Point being, pursuing whatever end gives you the most satisfaction is "selfish" and may result in either outcome.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    PM, there was a child in my neighborhood my age whose father had a drug habit. He commonly put his interests ahead of those of his child, sending him to bed hungry and then sneaking out to spend his last dollar on drugs.

    According to your view that father and my father were equally selfish. Do you not find that to be a rather incredible result of your theory, or at the least one quite counterintuitive?

  • ||

    According to your view that father and my father were equally selfish. Do you not find that to be a rather incredible result of your theory, or at the least one quite counterintuitive?

    I don't find it particularly incredible or counterintuitive, but it's because I don't have the same concept of "selfish" that you do. You think satisfaction of one's desires is "selfish" when the outcome is evil and "altruistic" when the outcome is good. I don't think the outcome matters that much in describing the motivation for it.

  • Fluffy||

    My father doted on me quite a bit and I never did the same for him. It was pretty unfair (unless, of course, you are going to stretch the concept of 'fairness' to include some 'psychic benefits' he got from 'living up to his values' or some such Randian nonsense).

    Rand never said any such thing. Not even close.

    She essentially ignored the issue.

    To me, it's pretty evident that people have powerful biological drives to take care of their own offspring, and that saying it's "selfless" to satisfy those drives is like saying it's "selfless" to get laid or eat a sandwich or run from a predator.

    Biology gives you the child-rearing itch and you scratch it. It doesn't require complex philosophical explanation, any more than enjoying a blowjob does.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    To me, it's pretty evident that people have powerful biological drives to take care of their own offspring,

    No doubt ensuring the survival and reproductive viability of one's offspring is a biological drive, but many parents go beyond that. You'd really have to screw up as a parent in 2013 America to threaten your kid's survival.

    Lots of parents (including, I hope, yourself) want their kids to be happy. Which is a very different thing from bare survival.

  • Fluffy||

    No doubt ensuring the survival and reproductive viability of one's offspring is a biological drive, but many parents go beyond that.

    The biological drive results in an effect where doing something for your child feels good.

    It's like eating. You only have to eat a certain amount to survive, but to give you incentive to actually DO that, human beings are set up so eating is pleasurable. That means that many people go right on eating after their basic needs are met.

    But no one would ever say that it was selfless to eat a lot of food.

    You don't have to do a lot to make sure your offspring survive, but to make sure that happens, human beings are set up in a way that makes taking care of offspring pleasurable. We're EVEN MORE acutely set up to feel distress if we perceive our offspring to be distressed. The fact that people spend a lot of time and effort satisfying those drives, even way, way past the bare minimum necessary, does not really require any special explanation.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    human beings are set up in a way that makes taking care of offspring pleasurable.

    Everyone I know who has young kids must be lying, then.

  • Fluffy||

    Everyone I know who has young kids must be lying, then.

    Everybody who I know who has young kids completely loses interest in all other areas of life, posts nothing but pictures of their kids on Facebook, tells everyone that their kids are the most beautiful objects in the universe, and tells everyone that if you don't have kids you can't possibly understand the incredible satisfaction and joy they get from them every day.

    If they acted that way about a video game they were playing or a girl they were fucking, no one would say, "Wow, man, I'm impressed with your touching selflessness."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Could you ship some of the drugs they're taking down to VA? I could probably make a killing down here. I'll give you 30% of the profits.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Which is not to say the people I know DON'T post pictures of their kids and fawn over them, it's that they also often complain about the difficulties of raising kids.

  • ||

    Which is not to say the people I know DON'T post pictures of their kids and fawn over them, it's that they also often complain about the difficulties of raising kids.

    Clearly refuting the concept that they are hard-wired evolutionarily to want to see their kids happy...

    I've had moments pursuing things I wanted that were difficult and frustrating where I cursed myself for having undertaken them, but nevertheless saw them through with great satisfaction. Bitching about something doesn't mean it doesn't bring you happiness of a sort. And in this case it may be simple satisfaction of an evolutionary impulse partially beyond our own conscious control.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So despite the fact they're complaining about it, it actually gives them pleasure underneath.

    We're entering psychoanalytic territory here.

  • ||

    So despite the fact they're complaining about it, it actually gives them pleasure underneath... We're entering psychoanalytic territory here.

    Well, they could just be total assholes, which actually wouldn't be all that shocking considering the company they keep. But there's no need for psychoanalysis. For one thing, you could just ask them, and I'm sure there wouldn't be many who told you they hate their children, that they are burdensome, and that they get no satisfaction in raising them. Even if they did tell you that, some biological impulse keeps them from crushing the child's skull while it sleeps and keeps them feeding it when it cries. Reproduction is our evolutionary imperative, remember. It may not be "pleasure" they are experiencing, but there's a bio feedback loop that keeps it going.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's not what I was arguing. I was arguing that they don't find changing diapers or waking up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying baby or separating kids fighting in the back seat "pleasurable" in any sense. It's seen as a necessary evil that eventually will be looked back on as the price to pay for bringing a new life into the world and making that life a happy person.

    Now you might say there's an animalistic biofeedback loop that causes people to enjoy driving their kids to soccer practice every day, or spending money on the latest video game so the kid is happy on their birthday. But sorry, I find that to be hogwash. People just love their kids. I don't think you can reduce love to a hedonistic impulse, which appears to be what Rand sought to do, perhaps to justify her own well-documented hedonism.

  • Fluffy||

    That's not what I was arguing. I was arguing that they don't find changing diapers or waking up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying baby or separating kids fighting in the back seat "pleasurable" in any sense.

    I also said you were biologically hard wired to feel distress if your offspring feels distress.

    People just love their kids. I don't think you can reduce love to a hedonistic impulse

    Do dogs "just love" their puppies?

    Or are they driven to act in a particular way by powerful biological drives?

    Is a penguin motivated by love when it recognizes the distress call of its own chick out of thousands of chicks?

    Or is it acting under the influence of a powerful biological drive?

    Dude, the idea that the affection between parents and children is noble and selfless is precisely what motivates most leftists - because they think you can just choose to feel the same way about the world as you do about your children, if you're just a "good enough person" or "have the right incentives".

    I, OTOH, observe that pretty much all mammals are driven to eat and shit and fuck and have babies and then raise those babies. And that when you see a mammal do any of those things, it doesn't require any special philosophical explanation.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Rand often posited characters who would stand up for some ideal which normally would not be seen as selfish (such as artistic integrity, or to respect other people's rights even if doing so foregoes an advantage for you), and then she would claim these characters were 'really' being selfish by putting their ideals ahead of advantage for themselves. This stretches the term 'selfish' in nonsensical ways. By this reasoning the man who allows himself to be tortured to death rather than give up the whereabouts of his fellow soldiers is 'really' being 'selfish.' That strikes me as nonsense, yes.

  • Fluffy||

    Rand often posited characters who would stand up for some ideal which normally would not be seen as selfish (such as artistic integrity, or to respect other people's rights even if doing so foregoes an advantage for you), and then she would claim these characters were 'really' being selfish by putting their ideals ahead of advantage for themselves. This stretches the term 'selfish' in nonsensical ways.

    No. She claimed that dishonesty, theft and a lack of integrity would not gain you durable advantages.

    That might have been naive, but the ideals weren't ends in themselves. She specifically and explicitly argued that you'd be better off (for example) fighting for a society in which property rights were respected for everyone, rather than taking part in the looting of others, because even if you temporarily succeeded in being head looter, your position was inherently insecure.

    Even Howard Roark didn't pursue ideals as ends in themselves. The "selfish" value of each choice was spelled out in excruciating detail. It's why the book is so long.

  • Fluffy||

    He has argued there has to be an exchange

    But there doesn't.

    Let's say I'm in a free market and decide to destroy a competitor by giving product away for free.

    Textbook antitrust behavior of the type made illegal by Sherman.

    Are you claiming that my act would not be a part of "the free market", and that when Sherman made it illegal that wasn't a restriction on "the free market"?

    Come on.

    So now we've got Tulpa backed into a corner where for him to be right the SCOTUS in Wickard has to be right, and the Congress had to be right when they passed Sherman.

    Pull the other one.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I think you mean "trust behavior", but in any case it's not illegal to give stuff away under the Sherman Antitrust Act, if that's all that's going on. There has to be a connection to harming a competitor.

    If Google buys space next to Baskin Robbins and gives away free ice cream, that's not an antitrust violation unless it can be shown Google would benefit from BR going out of business/moving.

  • Fluffy||

    In any case it's not illegal to give stuff away under the Sherman Antitrust Act, if that's all that's going on. There has to be a connection to harming a competitor.

    So what?

    It means that there are circumstances in which Sherman makes it illegal to give stuff away for free.

    So there's no exchange, but the law makes it illegal. Is that a restriction on the free market? Yes or no.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But they're not really giving stuff away for free. They're giving stuff away to prevent people from buying from a competitor.

    The giving away stuff for free is not free market activity, but it has an effect on the free market. Just like Target hiring someone to beat customers up in Walmart parking lots would not be a free market activity by anyone's definition, but it has an effect.

  • Fluffy||

    But they're not really giving stuff away for free. They're giving stuff away to prevent people from buying from a competitor.

    So what?

    It's not an exchange, as you have defined exchange elsewhere.

    But when it was made illegal, was that or was that not a restriction on the free market?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So now we've got Tulpa backed into a corner where for him to be right the SCOTUS in Wickard has to be right, and the Congress had to be right when they passed Sherman.

    Uh, sure, whatever you say. Have you appointed yourself referee of the debate or something?

  • Fluffy||

    I'm just explicitly pointing out what anyone with any intellectual honesty whatsoever can already see.

    To shame you.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: John,

    Of all of the dumb things Tulpa has said on this thread, the dumbest is that the "market requires a fair exhange of value".


    He means "fair" as it is immaculately conceived in his mind and not in the lesser minds of the two parties engaged in the exchange. He's above such mundane things.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    He never said fair.

    Never. We have people now commenting about how stupid it was of him to say fair when he never said it.

    Amazing.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's implied you literalistic moron.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is not implied. You want to see it there, so you do.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    but he did say churches aren't part of the free market, which is dumb considering he freely refuses to buy what they are selling. it's actually one of the free-er markets out there.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If Tulpa deciding not to go to a church and tithe there is 'free market' behavior, then people deciding not to buy insurance is free market behavior, right?

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    yes. but it's not interstate commerce and the constitution doesn't grant the government the power to compel purchases either. in fact it guarantees the right of freedom of association of which freedom to not associate is implicit.

  • Fluffy||

    People deciding not to buy insurance is free market behavior, right

    It has to be.

    Because if it's not, a state that compels its citizens to purchase insurance is not, by so doing, interfering in the free market.

    State X has a perfectly free market.

    State Y has exactly the same laws, but then passes a single new law compelling everyone to purchase insurance.

    Following that act, which state has the freer market?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So... Terri Schiavo, lying in her PVS with liquidated brain and all, was participating in the free market?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I mean, she wasn't buying anything.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    are you saying you are not freely not choosing to be associated with a church because you are in are permanent vegetative state? I can accept that.

  • Fluffy||

    Terri Schiavo, lying in her PVS with liquidated brain and all, was participating in the free market?

    The proper way to frame the question would be to ask:

    If a law were passed that made it legal to sell food (if certain requirements were met) but made it illegal to give food to Terri Schiavo for free, would that law be a restriction on the free market - in food, or in whatever?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Don't you love this place, Bo?

    This isn't a new thing either. SugarFree loves to do this, and Randian (who I've not seen in ages) not only would edit my comments, but edit those of the people I responded to. I guess he considered himself to have author's rights to the entire thread.

  • ||

    I can't imagine why anybody would bothering editing your comments to make you look stupid when you rise to the level of a professional at it all on your own with no embellishment of any kind.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I too wonder about that. If I'm really as awful as people think, they shouldn't have to misrepresent me -- yet they continually do so.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Bo Cara Esq.

    He never said fair.


    You are right, he never wrote "fair"; that was John's artistic license.

    He DID say, though, that the church's actions are not part of the free market. This extraordinary assertion can only make sense within the context of his definition of a market which he provided: a market requires an exchange of value. What is value, then, if he excludes the exchange between the church and the shelter-seekers as "not a market exchange"? The only conclusion I can think of that makes sense is that Tulpa thinks that all market exchanges have to involve a fair valuation of each of the economic goods, a quid pro quo that doesn't sound like altruism, at least to HIM.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You don't have to be able to determine fairness to tell the difference between a gift and a trade.

    I would say there is such a thing as objective "fairness" but it's usually impossible to determine precisely, and certainly not in real time. Most trades probably aren't "fair", someone is getting the short end. The free market is still the best way to keep things as fair as possible, though.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    You don't have to be able to determine fairness to tell the difference between a gift and a trade.


    And what is the difference between a gift and a trade?

    While you're at it, where do you place the threshold between a gift and a trade? Believe me, I know economics and I can't read minds, which means *I CAN'T TELL*, but you must.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Perhaps not all human actions are exchange motivated?

    I imagine the church provides the service because they feel it is the right thing to do. To twist that into 'they get a psychic value from doing what they think is right' produces a non-falsifiable, tautological, question begging, and unnecessarily complex explanation of the behavior in question.

  • Fluffy||

    The bigger problem is that you're hung up on exchange.

    The thing about the church giving people a place to stay or something to eat that's part of "the free market" is the fact that the building's their property. So if they are stopped from doing something they want with that property, doing so is a violation of the free market.

    A law that says they can't rent the space out violates the free market.

    A law that says they can't use the space for techno raves violates the free market.

    And a law that says they can't let people crash on the floor for free violates the free market.

    What if they made everyone who stayed in the shelter pay one cent? Would you then acknowledge that a law stopping them from doing so violated the free market? You'd be putting a lot of weight on that one cent.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Fluffy, your framing on this issue is pretty convoluted. You're assuming that if a law that interferes with one thing also interferes with the free market, then the thing must be part of the free market.

    A law against the church doing this is interference in the church's private property rights. It doesn't have to "violate the free market" to be un-libertarian, which is what I think you're getting hung up on.

  • sarcasmic||

    I always thought Tulpa was stupid, but I really didn't believe he was that stupid. I mean, holy shit. What a fucking brain-dead moron. Wow.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'd actually heard about the housing shortage there, and given some thought to buying used RV's, bringing them up to North Dakota, and either selling or renting-to-own to people there.

    The main argument against that was that they probably had pretty bad restrictions / regulations against RVs if no one had already done it.

    There are apparently lots of "Man Camps" in the region which are exactly that; more or less ad hoc RV parks on private ranch/farm land. Ranchers make money, workers have a place to sleep.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Market is merely a conceptual convenience for depicting the earthly manifestation of billions of individual decisions.

    Value is relative.

  • John||

    Well said. The market is a concept that explains why people do what they do.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Relative to labor.

    *drops mic*

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So it has nothing to do with actual markets?

    "Free Minds and Free Markets" was a pretty poor choice of motto in that case!

  • Hollywood||

    "I don't know what, they want from me
    It's like the more money we come across
    The more regulations we see"

    Or

    "I don't know what, they want from me
    It's like the more money we come across
    The more problems they perceive"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't see how deciding to use property you already own for your own purposes is part of a free market.

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    I think the zoners are jerks [...] but they do have a point about the place being a fire hazard.


    One could argue that they could have a point if the place is not meteorite-proof, or Volcano God-proof. There are many risks in this life that one could think of, but believing in one's special acumen on risks to override the property rights of the owners owners or managers and the freedom of choice of the people who accept the temporary shelter is the highest display of arrogance one could find in a lifetime.

    Why aren't the employers who need workers financing temporary housing?


    Let me ask you this: Let's say you go out to a car lot and buy a car, and then tell the car lot owner that HE needs to finance YOU for a temporary garage to place the car you just bought. Now tell me that you think the car lot owner should consider such argument.

    And no, a church providing free housing is not part of the free market.


    There's an exchange, isn't it? The space in the church facilities is scarce, is it not? Then, pray tell, what makes you think that the church managers' ACTIONS are not part of the free market? I read all of your arguments and mostly have to do with semantic nit-picking and not economic arguments.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There are many risks in this life that one could think of, but believing in one's special acumen on risks to override the property rights of the owners owners ....

    I actually do respect the libertarian argument against fire safety regs, and in view of the way social engineering always creeps into these building regs after the legitimate stuff is already in place, it certainly needs to be considered. Myself, I try to follow libertarian principles until it becomes necessary to compromise with reality. Wrongful death suits after the fact , which are the libertarian response to the danger, are not going to bring people back to life. But, I do respect the no-interference-with-private-property-ever viewpoint.

  • Fluffy||

    The question is whether you think that interfering with private property interferes with the free market.

    You seem to be saying a law requiring certain building codes interferes with the free market if I'm building a building to sell, but not if I'm building a building to live in.

    At this point in the thread I know you'll never give up, but to me that seems like an absurd distinction.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Fluffy, you're framing this in a very strange way. You're not discussing whether something is part of the free market, you're discussing whether some action that interferes with it also interferes with the free market.

    Kind of like saying that if I interfere with the Yellowstone wolf population, I interfere with the Yellowstone deer population, therefore deer are wolves.

    What a person does with their own property is not part of a market. Interference with what the person does may affect the market, and it certainly would be un-libertarian, but that doesn't mean that the personal life is part of the market.

  • Fluffy||

    Fluffy, you're framing this in a very strange way. You're not discussing whether something is part of the free market, you're discussing whether some action that interferes with it also interferes with the free market.

    It's necessary to frame it my way.

    Because if you don't, a state that allowed anyone to freely buy and sell food (for example) but which engaged in totalitarian control of your actual consumption of food - placing limits on how much you ate, when, where, with who, how you cooked it, its color and texture and flavor, what you did with your leftovers, and so on to infinity, could be said by your standard to "have a free market in food".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And?

    The market would be free, it would be people's personal lives that would be regulated.

    Let's turn things around: do you claim that the US government buying large amounts of ammunition for military serving overseas and for government agencies interferes with the free market? Because it certainly affects the supply and the price.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    The market would be free, it would be people's personal lives that would be regulated.


    If YOU interfere with people's personal choices, you WILL affect how and what they exchange. Think of how the market is affected by the prohibition on sex for hire.

    [D]o you claim that the US government buying large amounts of ammunition for military serving overseas and for government agencies interferes with the free market?


    Of course he can claim that, and I claim that. Government produces NOTHING, so those shopping sprees are achieved by making the rest of us poorer through taxation. It also makes ammunition more expensive.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    What a person does with their own property is not part of a market.


    You're right. Markets are about exchanges.

    Interference with what the person does may affect the market[...]but that doesn't mean that the personal life is part of the market.


    You're equivocating in this case. What the zoning authorities are doing is raising the opportunity cost for property owners who may be considering using their property to increase their wealth thus depriving potential consumers of necessary goods. THAT is intervening in the market.

    I interfere with the Yellowstone wolf population, I interfere with the Yellowstone deer population, therefore deer are wolves.


    The conclusion would not be justified by the premises. The only conclusion that can be drawn from your own syllogism is that deer and wolves depend on each other.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    I try to follow libertarian principles until it becomes necessary to compromise with reality. Wrongful death suits after the fact, which are the libertarian response to the danger, are not going to bring people back to life.


    Neither are zoning laws or regulation, which are always brought after the fact just like lawsuits and the other sort of awful things you mentioned that cannot bring people back to life. If regulatory bodies were populated by such far-sighted people that were indeed able to see what other could not, then actuary professionals would be living in perpetual poverty.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Let me ask you this: Let's say you go out to a car lot and buy a car, and then tell the car lot owner that HE needs to finance YOU for a temporary garage to place the car you just bought. Now tell me that you think the car lot owner should consider such argument.

    A car doesn't need a garage like a person needs shelter.

    And of course, if the dealer really needs to sell that car, and every potential buyer needs a garage, maybe he will consider it. Supposedly the ND oil drillers really need workers, so why don't they provide shelter for prospectives? And if they don't need oil workers, people probably shouldn't be emigrating there.

    There's an exchange, isn't it?

    I don't see the church getting anything.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    just because you can't see it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    A car doesn't need a garage like a person needs shelter.


    Non sequitur.

    And of course, if the dealer really needs to sell that car, and every potential buyer needs a garage, maybe he will consider it.


    That's a possibility. If he needed to sell the car that badly, yes.

    But if most people who buy cars already have places where to place them, then the marginal value of the car suddenly increases enough not to offer the buyer a whole garage to place it. Tell me if I'm wrong.

    Now consider the deal between those workers who, you say, would benefit from temporary housing from their potential employers. If the very place where the jobs are being posted has NO housing, then it would make sense to set up temporary housing for any worker that is willing to move to work in that place. But if the place already has people living there, reasonably housed, then the marginal value of the job post rises enough NOT to offer temporary housing for any Joe that decides to try his luck in that town. Tell me if I'm wrong.

    I don't see the church getting anything.


    What you see is meaningless. What matters is that the church felt the exchange advantageous enough to engage in it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So it has nothing to do with actual markets?

    That must be it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    people deciding not to buy insurance is free market behavior, right?

    Very good. You win a cookie.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You've got to hand it to him; despite his new abbreviated trolling schedule, Tulpa certainly gets his money's worth.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There was no exchange of value.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    There was no exchange of value.


    You're just guessing there wasn't.

    I can argue there was an exchange of value. Space for good feelings. A profit is a psychic gain, it is what one feels it is. Value is subjective, which means that what is valuable to YOU is not necessarily valuable for someone else, and for a church administrator, the feeling that he scored points in God's eyes is profit enough to provide the temporary shelter. Just because that kind of exchange you find alien does not mean it is not a market exchange.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And how am I the troll?

    I ask a simple question about free markets, that should be easy for people to answer, and everyone else piles on and calls me cunt and fascist and such.

  • ||

    I ask a simple question about free markets, that should be easy for people to answer, and everyone else piles on and calls me cunt and fascist and such.

    I don't think it was asking the question. I think it was doggedly refusing to acknowledge it had been answered after the first several times it had been, and insisting on the supremacy of your purely monetary conception of value.

    Of course, it could just be that you're a passionate debater. We've all been guilty of carrying on tirades long past the point of productivity (in point of fact, I'm doing it now). It's the constant shit-stirring for its own sake that I think gets you labeled a troll.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Oh my God, the Redskins suck. I agree with the protesters, they should change their name to the Red Anuses.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    Don't change the subject you... you... you subject-changing loony!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    At least the refs are trying to keep it "close" now by failing to call holding on the Skins on every play.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Greasypalms Peterson strikes again! The Bears D still looks awful, though.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    What a difference a century makes... I recently read "Devil in the White City" and I just about fell out of my chair when it said the mayor of Chicago ordered police stations open overnight to homeless for sleeping during a particularly cold spell. Humanitarian gestures like that (and like with this church, and numerous other churches throughout the country) are simply not possible in today's rigidly liability obsessed culture. Human interaction has to be reduced to what is legally defensible, not morally defensible. And yet us libertarians are the heartless ones.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    Marty Feldman's Eyes| 9.15.13 @ 3:19PM |#

    "What a difference a century makes... I recently read "Devil in the White City" and I just about fell out of my chair when it said the mayor of Chicago ordered police stations open overnight to homeless for sleeping during a particularly cold spell. ...And yet us libertarians are the heartless ones."

    If that police department doesn't do that the lbtns complain that they aren't helping the needy, if they do then they are wasting resources and building dependence. iow lbtns don't care about cold homeless people, it's all about criticizing the state no matter what. At least for the ones that frequent this board, I still have hopes that this is a collection of the worst vile filth lbtnism has to offer and that the ones you meet in the real world do care.

  • ||

    At least for the ones that frequent this board

    I will gladly suck a turd out of your ass at high noon in town square if you can find me a single example of anyone on this board, at any time, having advanced the retarded strawman you just made. I'll be holding my breath...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    There was no exchange of value.

    I cannot argue with that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Strawmen were attacked. Goalposts were moved. Comments were Tulpafied.

  • Robert||

    That's not all, folks. I looked at the main page, http://oilpatchdispatch.areavoices.com , and also this week the city commissioners approved unanimously a 1st reading of a 6 mo. moratorium on new mobile businesses.

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