Intelligent Design

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Beloved H&R commenter "joe," who identifies himself as a city planner of some sort, will appreciate this tale of urban planning comeuppance from America's Finest News Source. [Thanks to Sandy Smith for the heads up]

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  1. I thought of Joe as soon as I saw that article in the Onion.

  2. Didn’t know Joe was such a good looking guy.

  3. joe actually mentioned it in one of the threads below.

  4. “Beloved”?
    Heh.

  5. For some reason, the word “petard” is floating about in my head.

  6. Nothing that a hefty dose of light rail couldn’t fix!

  7. This place wouldn’t be the same without joe. Especially since Lefty…uh…left.

  8. Aw, you wove me.

    Wots of wibertoid wove.

    Cheers.

  9. Lexus GS 300 my ass.

  10. I think that’s a typo, joe. We meant to say “loathe”.

  11. joe:

    We libertoids are incapable of love, but some of us may find utility in your presence in persuit of our own self interest …

  12. Just don’t let Pittsburg solve traffic problems
    like Cincinnati did.

  13. joe usually seems quite insightful about foreign policy matters but somehow, he seems to undergo a sort of dementia or something when he discuses economics. I think if we try, we can help him thru it. After all, Wuv conquers all.

    Also joe, about that government gig. Now if you could just find honest work instead…
    Hey, what if this place is starting to rub off on joe? Can’t you just hear his colleagues…”What’s that joe? You say we should privatize what?!”

  14. And, let’s not forget our good friend Jean Bart, an interesting fellow who is also quite sensible on foreign policy matters, and whose charms include a ready willingness to point out our Americentric perspective to us.

  15. Time to get into your jammies and have your Ovaltine, Rick.

  16. Sell the Streets! I’m too tired to go into it, but I at least wanted to get it out there.

    Hey Jason Ligon: Good job making the case for liberty over on that censoring, lefty blog a couple of days ago. (if I’m remembering correctly and that was indeed you)

  17. Jose,
    Relax. I think that if you look close, you’ll see that the posts here reflect exactly the sort of “nuanced” thinking you are calling for. The snarky “you suck from the public teet, therefore you suck” comments (almost always) take the form of good-natured ribbing. Just a little free market humor.

  18. Jose,

    I work for a state government. There isn’t a single government employee I have come across who doesn’t fit at least one of these categoriztions:

    lazy
    corrupt
    incompetent
    inefficient
    ineffective

  19. On the subject of gov’t jobs: I know another physicist who’s a die-hard free marketeer, not a softy like me.

    He said that he doesn’t fault scientists for taking federal money. Science is a noble profession in its own right, and although it should ideally be privately financed, that doesn’t mean somebody with the talent and the passion should renounce science until the funding situation is changed. The reality is that if one wants to be a professor, most funding will be from public sources. Yes, there are industrial grants (I’m funded by one right now) and one should obviously seek those out. However, the reality is that private sources probably see less need to fund research as long as the gov’t is there. If your passion is to do scientific research and teach science to people, you should do that. Apply for as much private funding as you can find, do what you can to encourage more privatization, but don’t leave a noble endeavor (uncovering new science and teaching it) just because the funding situation is screwed up right now.

    Some of it can even be made quasi-legitimate from a free market standpoint: The military funds a lot of academic research to ensure a supply of talent and knowledge that will be useful for national defense, so if you want to you can use that fact to sleep easy at night.

    A similar argument could be made for other noble fields with a lot of gov’t meddling, especially medicine. Do what you can to minimize the gov’t’s role in your practice, but don’t abandon a noble profession because the funding situation is screwed up.

    I imagine some here will crucify me for this statement, but it’s no different from Warren’s admonition to vote against the public stadium bond but get a job as a vendor once it’s built.

    Incidentally, for what it’s worth, my department has a lot of professors who got their start in industry, and a growing portion of funding is from industry grants. It’s a small step, but it’s a real step. When I finish my degree I’ll probably go to industry for a while before I go back to academia to teach.

  20. “Also joe, about that government gig. Now if you could just find honest work instead…”

    Good idea. Maybe I’ll go to law school
    🙂

  21. One word:

    MONORAIL!

    “What about us brain-dead slobs?”

    “You’ll be given cushy jobs!”

  22. Jose Ortega y Gasset,

    First; two things: One. I want to make it clear that although I do believe that government is, by nature, not as honest as the private sector; I do not believe that those who work for government are necessarily personally less honest than the rest of us. No way.

    Two. I find your logic in this post much less tight than what I’ve read of your famous philosopher namesake.

    “I do not understand the inherent bias against those who work for government.”

    A private enterprise gets is money thru voluntary patronage, unless they are a government protected monopoly. Government gets its money via forced compliance.

    “First, most libertarians acknowledge the need for some limited government.”

    That fact doesn’t provide pretext for the rest of government, which is the vast majority.

    “Many occupations enjoy some sort of government benefit. Farmers receive subsides.”

    That does not mean that they should. Also; if corporations or farmers are getting money from the taxpayers via force, that means that they have to try less hard to earn their patronage in the market.

    “Many corporations receive favorable tax treatment.”

    “Favorable tax treatment” means that those concerns are stolen from at a more modest rate. Consumers of the products of those corporations benefit from reduced business taxes since they have to pay them as added costs on the products. Reduced taxes on corporations are always a good thing accept when their direct competition does not get “favorable tax treatment” as well. This is a good reason to eliminate all business taxes.

    “Physicians benefit from Physicians benefit from supply-side limitations imposed by medical schools imposed by medical schools.”

    These supply-side limitations are only made possible by government licensing and they make the costs of medical care much higher.

    “If someone works in a position aided by some sort of government intervention, is this work dishonest?”

    It’s not as honest as work that does not require intervention by an agency of force.

    “Are private firms who sell some goods or services to federal, state or local governments not doing “honest” business?”

    They are receiving money that has been extracted from its owners via force. This is certainly not as honest as receiving money that came from voluntary patronage.

    You might just as well ask if people who buy and sell stolen goods are “not doing “honest” business”.

    “I do not see a clear, bright line between the public and private sector”

    You must be blind. 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t resist. Or, you fail to see the difference between free and unfree exchange!

    “”Business good, government bad,” is popular theme in this forum… but one would think such an intelligent group of posters could provide thinking that is touch more nuanced.”

    More like; it’s exactly because H&R sports such an intelligent group of posters that you see the theme and observation of the superiority of free enterprise over government so often here. I hope this response has sufficient nuance for you.

  23. thoreau,

    If only President Bush were as much of a “softy” on the free market as you are…well, I can dream can’t I?

  24. And lets not forget Jennifer, another public employee. Of all of the progressives who post, she seems the most likely to come around to the lib way of thinking

  25. This is so true of Pittsburgh it’s painful to read.

    I couldn’t breathe for minutes after reading the article.

    If only we could keep the city from spending all kinds of tax money to “attract” young professionals.

  26. Wuv to all the H&R lefties. Thanks for coming around to remind us that even a liberal exposure to Reason does not persuade most folks. API

  27. Douglas Fletcher,

    That was wierd. You said “jammies” before I said I was tired. mmm….Ovaltine. Ni Night Doug.

  28. I do not understand the inherent bias against those who work for government (in one form or another). First, most libertarians acknowledge the need for some limited government, i.e. national defense. Should one urge American soldiers to desist from their “dishonest” work?

    Many occupations enjoy some sort of government benefit. Farmers receive subsides. Many corporations receive favorable tax treatment. Physicians benefit from supply-side limitations imposed by medical schools. Engineers benefit by government-sanctioned licensing requirements. If someone works in a position aided by some sort of government intervention, is this work dishonest?

    Assuming one is free to sell one’s labor in the marketplace, what is dishonest about selling one’s labor to government? Are private firms who sell some goods or services to federal, state or local governments not doing “honest” business?

    I do not see a clear, bright line between the public and private sector nor do I find it particularly useful to characterize economic activity that is related to some aspect of government as inherently dishonest. “Business good, government bad,” is popular theme in this forum… but one would think such an intelligent group of posters could provide thinking that is touch more nuanced.

  29. Jose: To me there is a distinction between an individual selling labor to the most attractive buyer (frequently the state) and an individual promoting/supporting state involvement in personal lives.

    Vote against the new corporate welfare stadium, but when the wiser-than-thou public builds it, take that vendor job so you can get paid while watching the beloved home team.

    Once the state jobs program becomes fact, it seems less rational to ignore its personal opportunity while complaining that it was a bad idea. Transactions happen now; the best decisions are made with current information.

  30. “Why should one criticize Joe (even in jest) for selling his labor to the highest bidder?”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa! I’m am earning a little over half what I could get in the private sector, because I feel that I can do more good at this lower paying government job.

    There are a lot of people who would criticize my choice on the basis of efficacy, but I think H&R is the only place I’ve ever been where people would criticize, on principle, my decision to place the interests of others ahead of my own material comfort.

  31. Thank you, Joe. It’s one of life’s little paradoxes that people rarely act in their own financial self interest yet so many assumptions are made that they do.

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