Libertarian History/Philosophy

Paul Krugman's Koans

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Krugman on libertarianism: It won't work, because what's to stop politicians from passing un-libertarian laws?

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  1. This is because for all his Nobel-winning intellect, Krugman suffers from a terminal lack of imagination.

    Do our free speech rights rely on incorruptible politicians? Yes? No?

    He is either too stupid or too unimaginative – or too dishonest – to see the really very simple and obvious solution of using constitutional mechanisms to place the important aspects of economic libertarianism beyond the reach of politicians.

    It’s not really that fucking hard to think of these answers, Paul.

    1. using constitutional mechanisms to place the important aspects of economic libertarianism beyond the reach of politicians

      Are you serious? Are you serious?

    2. We really need to re-write the first amendment to include separation of business and state, not just religion.

    3. Fluffy is to Paul Krugman as a mouse turd is to Einstein’s brain.

      1. Bugger off, Max.

      2. You know what I don’t see here? An actual response to my question.

        And you know what? Einstein’s brain is currently pickled in formaldehyde and not doing any thinking at all. Which means that Krugman is, in fact, a lot like it.

        1. At least his pickle isn’t brained…

  2. Given his support for many Marxist policies, I can’t understand why he’s so condescending here…

    History has proven that the Marxist regimes never enter that period where the state “withers away”. That they never bring about the goals of social and economic justice because the people in power decide that they like having the money and influence too much to redistribute it once they lay their hands on it.

    But hey, let Krugman keep on thinking that rational, reasonable people still think he’s got a lick of sense.

  3. Milton Friedman says that there’s no need for product safety regulation, because corporations know that if they do harm they’ll be sued.

    Things are always better when the state is in charge. Look at how well things went at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

    Somewhere in Stocklholm Alfred Nobel is rolling over in his grave. In three sentences Krugman manages to commit two logical fallacies and sound like my 9-year old daughter wrote it for him.

    1. And that permit system for the oil rigs in the Gulf is working out real well. Liberals will say the gulf disaster points to the need for regulation. In fact the opposite is true. Even with regulation we still get disasters. Without them, at least we would get the benefit of easier drilling to go along with the occasional disaster. As it is we get the disaster without the benefits.

      1. No, the big benefit is that without regulation we get companies that are actually held liable for any environmental fuckups.

        1. We have that. BP is going to be held responsible. But I fail to see how the regulations are doing us any good.

          1. No. BP is gong to be held responsible for the clean-up. But their liability is capped. We’ll see how that plays out.

            I’m not sure that the Rothbardian approach is any better here. But I don’t see that it’s any worse, and the less government does, the better.

            1. The Rothbard approach is better in that we get the benefit of more drilling.,

    2. Actually Alfred Nobel is probably patting himself on the back since he did not sponsor a Nobel Prize in Economics, that was done latter by the Sveriges Riksbank, which is why its really called the ” Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”. He probably had met enough economists that he knew that it was called the “Dismal Science” for a reason and did not want to get involved in giving out prizes in such a politicized “science”.

      1. Yes, I’m sure Nobel would have LOVED me! The Science is Settled(tm)!

      2. It was called dismal by Victorian Englishmen who could not stomach economists’ support for the emancipation of slaves. Try again.

        1. Truly, my philanthropic friends, Exeter Hall philanthropy is wonderful; and the social science — not a “gay science,” but a rueful — which finds the secret of this universe in “supply and demand,” and reduces the duty of human governors to that of letting men alone, is also wonderful. Not a “gay science,” I should say, like some we have heard of; no, a dreary, desolate and, indeed, quite abject and distressing one; what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science. These two, Exeter Hall philanthropy and the Dismal Science, led by any sacred cause of black emancipation, or the like, to fall in love and make a wedding of it — will give birth to progenies and prodigies: dark extensive moon-calves, unnameable abortions, wide-coiled monstrosities, such as the world has not seen hitherto!

          1. What Thomas Carlyle anticipating Lovecraft with that prose? Geez…

            1. Err, “What” = “Was”

      3. He also didn’t sponsor a Nobel prize for mathematics, possibly because his wife was having an affair with a studly mathematician. But I repeat myself.

    3. Why should the onus be on the consumer to keep up with which corporation killed which consumer through its negligence lately? I mean really, if I were to go through your kitchen and medecine cabinet I would bet any of you (myself included) don’t know much about the producers of teh projects you use. Corporations change names, buy sudsidaries, merge, etc., so much that I just do not buy this argument that threats to their reputation will make sure they behave.

      1. Why should the onus be on the consumer to keep up with which corporation killed which consumer through its negligence lately?

        In other words, you have to restrict my liberty to engage even in non-harmful conduct, because you’re too lazy or stupid to make any effort. Nice.

        1. I just don’t think the potential victims should have the responsibility placed entirely on them to avoid victimization. Why shouldn’t it be placed on the potential victimizer?

          1. MNG|5.17.10 @ 10:27AM|#
            “I just don’t think the potential victims should have the responsibility placed entirely on them to avoid victimization. Why shouldn’t it be placed on the potential victimizer?”

            Uh, it *is* on the (to use your twisted language) the ‘potential victimizer’. Ever hear of that new financial technology “Insurance”?
            But then, the ‘potential victimizer’ (IOWs, every one on earth and any of the various conglomerations of them) can’t sue themselves; I’ll bet your never heard of “standing” either.

          2. Because we shouldn’t be assessing criminal penalties for “potential” crimes.

            That’s the bottom line.

            In the city in which I am sitting right now, it is a criminal offense to sell a sandwich without applying for the proper permit.

            Now, you might think this is a good thing, because it means that lazy-ass consumer deadbeat scum don’t have to take the time and trouble to make sure that they don’t buy a sandwich for Mr. Roach the Poison King.

            But to me, I don’t see how it can POSSIBLY be just for me to face criminal sanction if I sell someone a sandwich unless that sandwich actually harms them. If I sell someone a perfectly good sandwich, why should I be punished? Because I’m a “potential” victimizer? Fuck that shit.

        2. +1 for Fluffy.

      2. Why should the onus be on the consumer responsible adults to keep up with which corporation killed which consumer through its negligence lately threats to their health and safety?

        Especially when we have an incorruptible and nigh-omniscient Ruling Class to do it for us?

        What you can’t seem to grasp, MNG, is that libertarianism doesn’t claim, or need to claim, that it will result in perfect outcomes everywhere and always. Only that it will work better than the alternatives.

      3. Do you liberals just hear the word “corporations” and immediately picture hordes of Terminator droids just gunning down consumers, or what?

        1. Which is so much less subtle than how libertarians view government.

          1. Although, of course, governments have a history of gunning people down, but corporations, not so much.

            1. Well, corporations haven’t yet managed to remove from government the responsibility of being the sole legitimate users of force, though plenty of government force has been perpetrated in the interest of corporations. I fail to see how making government weaker will fix this.

              1. plenty of government force has been perpetrated in the interest of corporations. I fail to see how making government weaker will fix this.

                Clear evidence of mental retardation here.

                1. Sorry, I think the retardation is thinking that a weaker government is somehow less prone to abuse. I suppose technically if there is no one with any authority saying that a corporation is committing abuse, then it’s not committing abuse, but that is kind of circumventing the problem, don’t you think?

                  1. Hey, dipshit. When have you ever heard libertarians advocating for “weaker” government?

                  2. “Sorry, I think the retardation is thinking that a weaker government is somehow less prone to abuse.”

                    No, a less accountable government is more prone to abuse. But most people would consider a less accountable government “stronger”, as an institution.

              2. I fail to see how making government weaker will fix this.

                Weaker governments have less ability to use force.

            2. It happens all the time in historical films like Blade Runner, Star Wars and Idiocracy.

          2. Which is so much less subtle than how libertarians view government.

            It does describe what happened with governments in Nazi Germany, the U.S.S.R., militarist Japan, and Khmer Rouge Cambodia.

      4. its not primarily the threat of damaged reptation… its the threat of lawsuit and huge damages.

  4. It won’t work, because what’s to stop politicians from passing un-libertarian laws?

    Guns.

    1. Word.

      Most people in today’s “ewww, guns! yaaay government!” society would never follow your argument, but we don’t have the Second Amendment because James Madison liked to go hunting.

      1. Most people in today’s “ewww, guns! yaaay government!” society would never follow your argument, but we don’t have the Second Amendment because James Madison liked to go hunting.

        Funny how they do not seem to have a problem with government having guns.

    2. Er, uprisings against the government are a pretty blunt instrument. Are you saying the population should revolt if the legislature passes a law regulating florists?

      The right to bear arms as protection from tyranny is supposed to be an absolute last ditch failsafe against tyranny — not an ordinary check and balance.

      1. Are you saying the population should revolt if the legislature passes a law regulating florists?

        No, it should be done – way -before they get that far. It should have been done the instant a federal law was passed which violates the constitution and is upheld by the SCROTUS. Since that didn’t happen, (examples: federal income tax, numerous 4th amendment violations, and pretty much any use of the commerce clause since FDR)I can’t really see it happening ever.

        More likely, any violent uprisings will be Greece-style, positive-right spouting morons who are pissed that the economy tanked. And very few, if any, of them will realize that it’s fucked due to the free bread and circuses they kept voting for.

  5. And don’t say that we just need better politicians.

    OK, Paul.

  6. Ah yes, I remember how libertarian politicians wrote and enacted the bill that put $75 million cap on liability and socialized liabilty for spills by putting an $.08 a barrel tax on domestic and imported oil.

    Because libertarians are all for socialism and corporate welfare.

    Krugman is a fucking disingenous idiot.

    1. But to Krugman, that liability cap is ALSO libertarians’ fault – because we didn’t stop the state from putting it in place.

    2. You want to know the potential irony of raising the 75 million dollar cap. Insurance companies cover most independents drilling in the gulf (not just deepwater. If insurance companies are on the hook for civil liability in the gulf, that may drive them out of the business of insuring those independents. If that happens, independents won’t be able to raise the capital to drill in the gulf. Big companies like Shell, Exxon, BP, Total, etc will then not have to compete then with the independents and since they self insure, they don’t have to worry about liability (because they know their sheer assets would prevent them from hiding behind any law). So, since the pool of competition is reduced, lease prices crash (along with negotiability of royalty agreements). The government then can’t get as much money from oil companies and BP, being the largest operator in the gulf, would be able tto recover their losses even faster now that prices for investment shrink dramatically. Go ahead Obama, raise the cost of liability. Their’s your corporate welfare.

  7. and sound like my 9-year old daughter wrote it for him.

    Jeez, dude, that makes me feel kind of bad for your daughter.

    Paul Krugman, shut the fuck up, yo.

    1. Jeez, dude, that makes me feel kind of bad for your daughter.

      She is young, naive and pure of heart. He is a malignant soul.

      1. Have her read Radley. She’ll grow up real fast.

  8. It’s remarkable that someone this well-respected could write something this dumb. He tacitly admits that politicians are corruptible. Yet, he wants to give them the power to run the economy. The scary part about central planning is that it requires incorruptible politicians and incorruptible bureaucrats. Good luck with that Krugman.

    1. “It’s remarkable that someone this well-respected…”

      What I find remarkable is how in the blue hell did Krugman become so well-respected? The vast majority of what I’ve read from him is just so, so incredibly stupid.

      1. What I find remarkable is how in the blue hell did Krugman become so well-respected?

        He tells a certain wealthy and disproportionately influential class exactly what they want to hear.

        1. Quothe me:

          Money and power always find each other.

  9. I don’t even want to read the article. I just want someone to go to Krugman’s house, take all of his degrees, certificates, papers, etc and hit him with a rolled up newspaper on the head repeatedly, saying “No, bad economist, bad bad economist”

  10. What next, is Klugman going to come out against Keynesian stimulus packages because corrupt politicians will use the money to fund their pet projects instead of projects which actually stimulate the economy?

  11. Wow, they must really be setting the Nobel prize in economics bar pretty low. I don’t even expect this level of idiocy from an Internet troll.

    1. To be fair, he did not win the prize for his NY Times column. He was good at something at some point in his career.

    2. I resemble that remark!

  12. Holy shit. I made the mistake of reading some of the comments.

    These people vote, and possibly even breed, and that is why we are doomed.

    1. Yep. Look at it this way though, perhaps their offspring will rebel against them like many other generations have. By doing the near exact opposite of what they do and say.

      Then again, those same youthful rebels often become quite like their parents later in life. So yeah, we’re fucked.

      1. Or their children will rebel against them by becoming statist fucks. I’m told that’s the current generation’s shtick.

        1. Being a statist fuck is cool!

        2. Or their children will rebel against them by becoming statist fucks. I’m told that’s the current generation’s shtick.

          If was also the schtick of previous generations in Russia and Germany.

    2. But your philosophy doesn’t instantly make everyone equal and rich and doesn’t get rid of racism and risk and disasters therefore it must be wrong.

  13. “He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For.”

    -Alfred E. Krugman, January 20, 2010

    “If Democrats hold the House, which is still a big if but is starting to look possible, the 111th Congress ? and, yes, Obama’s first two years ? will go down in history as an epic success.”

    -Alfred E. Krugman, May 16, 2010

    I almost feel sorry for the man, the poor guy is a paranoid schizophrenic hack.

  14. the 111th Congress ? and, yes, Obama’s first two years ? will go down in history as an epic success.

    It will go down in history; he got that part right.

    1. History will record it as an epic success regardless of the facts. History will not be allowed to portray the First Black President as anything less than an incredible, magnanimous success.

      1. History will record it as an epic success regardless of the facts. History will not be allowed to portray the First Black President as anything less than an incredible, magnanimous success.

        President Obama will do in the Democrats in one-third the time it took for President Woodrow Wilson to do in the Democrats.

        Does that count as a success?

        1. I don’t remember my history classes in school painting Wilson in a very negative light.

    2. Go down *on* History, more like it. And then cover her with his statist jiz.

  15. “What is Krugman good for?” “Three pounds of flax.”

  16. Krugman must be like some kind of anti-Christ for market fundamentalists. They like to think they represent the knowledge of the field of economics and their opponents are just ignorant of “EKON 101” but they can’t pull that with Krugman who has proven more knowledge in that field than they will. So maybe it’s not so simple as you guys knowing whats up and your opponents just insanely choosing to be ignorant all the time…

    1. Krugman’s knowledge of economics has nothing to do with my, nor probably most peoples’, problems with the man. Most of his blatherings have nothing to do with economics.

      1. “…who has proven more knowledge in that field than they will (sic).”
        I’ll see your Krugman and raise you a Hayek.

    2. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF

    3. Krugman does not make an economic argument in the linked article, but a political one.

      He argues that since politicians are corruptible, libertarianism can’t work.

      In the specific instance he cites, his argument is that using tort liability to control the bad behavior of corporations won’t work because corporations can get corrupt politicians to pass laws specifically limiting their liability under certain torts.

      Krugman possesses no Nobel Prizes in Political Science on his mantelpiece, so your grade school argument from authority is a great big pile of FAIL.

      And Krugman’s argument is idiotic for two additional immediately obvious reasons:

      1. We currently enjoy many freedoms that have been placed beyond the reach of corrupt politicians using the mechanism of constitutional law. For Krugman’s argument to be valid, there has to be no area of our political life that is outside the reach of corrupt politicians, so the existence of even a single facet of our governance that is outside their reach invalidates his argument.

      2. If corrupt politicians can’t be trusted to not tamper with the legal mechanisms libertarianism requires to function correctly, they ALSO can’t be trusted to not tamper with whatever mechanisms statism requires to run correctly. Krugman’s regulatory state also can’t function if corrupt politicians will always undermine every legal effort you make.

      Krugman’s Nobel can’t make #1 and #2 go away. Sorry.

      1. We currently enjoy many freedoms that have been placed beyond the reach of corrupt politicians using the mechanism of constitutional law.

        So naive. So soft and cuddly, yet naive and idealistic.

        1. Actually, the Constitution isn’t quite dead yet. It’s in a kind of weird dream state, akin to a coma, except that it sometimes wakes up and bitch slaps you.

          1. I see you are familiar with my approach.

        2. So naive. So soft and cuddly, yet naive and idealistic.

          Look up Loving v. Virginia for one example.

    4. Keynesians should never be taken seriously, MNG.

    5. Are you seriously defending this imbecile? I mean, you can not be serious.

  17. “Has a Krugman Buddha-nature?”

    “MUUUUUUUUUUUUU”

  18. MNG, did you actually read the linked blog-spittle and the glorious idiocies contained therein, or are you just appealing to authority? “Well, he got a prize with Alfred Nobel’s name on it and YOU DON’T NEENER NEENER.”

    1. you’re asking a lot out of the guy, Xeones. Why read when you can just extrapolate what you believe from what drives “the other side” crazy? That’s what party sycophants do anyway.

      1. I think I’m making the opposite of an argument from authority here. Libertarians have to hate Krugman because he provides the fly in the ointment of their arguments from authority (you can’t claim that your views are “just the facts” of economics for example).

        1. Again, MNG, Keynesians should be ignored every time they open their tofu-holes.

        2. Just because you have a position that should carry respectability doesn’t mean you have it. Look at Bush, he was the frigging President. That certainly didn’t make him right on anything I think you would agree. Just because Krugman has a Nobel doesn’t mean much either. So does Obama. I think even you MNG will admit he didn’t earn it.

          Bottom line is Krugman is a Keynsian which most folks gave up on a long time ago. Hell how long did NYT have to look to find one for their paper as there are not many left. Fortunately Nobel is a liberal organization and helped by giving him a prize.

        3. If it’s not an argument from authority, address my objections in my response to you above.

          Because in this post you AGAIN rely on nothing any better than “But Krugman is a famous award-winning economist!” You said that already.

        4. Summarize, in one paragraph or less, the work for which Paul Krugman received his Nobel and how it invalidates, in any way, libertarianism. If you can’t do that, right now, STFU about how Krugman’s knowledge of economics invalidates anything.

  19. “What is Krugman?” “Dried dung.”

    1. The lessen here: Store High In Transit, lest your ship explode.

  20. The politician in this instance is Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who has received over 425,000 units of free speech from the oil and gas industry over the last eight years. I’m personally shocked and appalled she blocked the bill raising the liability cap.

  21. So what Krugman is saying, albeit indirectly and unintentionally, is precisely what libertarians have said all along: “Democracy” is nothing more than mob rule, “democratically elected” politicians are nothing more than gang leaders, and that a government’s legitimacy derives not from how it is established, but by what it does after it’s established.

    Go figure.

  22. Krugman is pointing out that the $75 million cap is an example of the Libertarian Catch-22…you don’t mind corporations becoming as powerful as they can yet you wonder why they keep using that power to influence government in their favor.

    1. If the government they influence is small and weak, why would their influence matter?

      1. Because it wouldn’t be small and weak for long.

        1. And that’s libertarians’ fault how, exactly?

      2. They want government to be small and weak, particularly in terms of its regulatory scope of their industries. Wanting government to be big in other areas (say in contracting out to these same industries) is just the other side of the same coin.

        1. Tony|5.17.10 @ 12:17PM|#
          “Wanting government to be big in other areas (say in contracting out to these same industries) is just the other side of the same coin.”

          “Contracting out” = “Big”? My goodness!
          Sorry, you can repeat it all you please, but “up” /= “down”.

          1. Hey I’m not the one who hangs on a faulty distinction between big and small government. Nobody ever really explains what they mean by it. I’m with Obama, big vs. small is a red herring. What we should want is a smart, functional government.

            1. How about having a smart functional government with a clear set of simple minimal rules that everyone can understand, and which treat everyone identically?

              Why is it that having a “smart” government somehow always involves deliberately penalizing some groups and favoring others on no basis other than political expediency?

              1. What are you referring to? More “the rich are the oppressed, the poor the oppressors” crap?

                1. What are you referring to? More “the rich are the oppressed, the poor the oppressors” crap?

                  YES. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ALL ABOUT.

                  Now go away. You are interfering with my enjoyment of reading H&R and eating babies.

                  1. Now go away. You are interfering with my enjoyment of reading H&R and eating babies.

                    You forgot “while wearing a tophat and monocle”.

                2. I’m referring to the practice of specifying different regulatory and tax treatment down to the level of practically niche markets in each industry, rather than having a broad general principle that can be applied to any situation.

                  This gets right to why Krugman’s complaint is so stupid. Liability is the one approach that is perfectly equitable – you pay for the damages you do, period. Equal justice under law. No special tax status. No special liability caps. No special protections or regulations.

                  Instead, we have a regulatory system where one industry gets hammered by unnecessary regulations causes by paranoid enviro-freaks (see biotechnology), while another one gets their liability capped by the state. It’s favoritism, and it’s fundamentally unfair.

                  You guys blather on about “social justice”, but you’ve seemingly got no qualms about screwing over one guy, while handing money to another one on the basis of something as arbitrary as which type of business they go into.

    2. Libertarianism doesn’t believe in government influence. Laws are created by buying people off. What is so confusing here?

  23. Yet there is a common thread running through Katrina and the gulf spill ? namely, the collapse in government competence and effectiveness that took place during the Bush years.

    ….

    Yet antigovernment ideology remains all too prevalent, despite the havoc it has wrought. In fact, it has been making a comeback with the rise of the Tea Party movement. If there’s any silver lining to the disaster in the gulf, it is that it may serve as a wake-up call, a reminder that we need politicians who believe in good government, because there are some jobs only the government can do.

    -from “Sex, Drugs, and the Spill”

    There’s some serious economic analysis, right there. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy will make the world a better place; keep clapping!

  24. Pretty much, Kip. And yet he says it as an indictment of libertarianism in favor of his own ideology of turbo-Keynesianism, which does in fact require politicians and bureaucrats to be infallible and pure of heart in order to make any goddamn sense whatsoever.

    Krugman is an idiot. Yes, MNG, despite being respected by powerful and influential people.

    1. Krugman is basically just saying that any effective government structure is going to have to take into account that people are not 100% honest.

      Libertarianism does not…

      1. Actually it’s the only that does. Of course people are not 100% honest, that’s why we want to take away people’s power over other people.

        1. I know why is this SO HARD for idiots like you Dan T?

      2. Libertarians would much prefer the govt enforcing anti-fraud laws than anti-drug/sex/gambling laws because we realize that fraud is going to happen just like violence. Like violence, fraud is something the government is supposed defend us against. As opposed to the naive belief that fraud won’t happen if we have the right people watching over everyone’s shoulders.

      3. Dan T.|5.17.10 @ 10:29AM|#
        “Krugman is basically just saying that any effective government structure is going to have to take into account that people are not 100% honest.
        Libertarianism does not…”

        Which means you haven’t a clue; ‘wrong’ doesn’t begin to cover your statement.
        Please read something of libertarianism from something other than your comic book collection.

      4. You have this exactly, perfectly wrong. You have it exactly backward. Libertarianism is the ONLY political philosophy that takes into account the corruptibility of men. It is for this reason that it advocates not given people power and authority over others.

        1. What bullshit. Every political philosophy takes corruption into account. Libertarianism has a blind spot with regard to the “power and authority” that naturally emerges in the absence of government. More sophisticated philosophies than libertarianism simply recognize that government is needed to check these potential sources of abuse, while government itself should be subject to all kinds of checks on its own power.

          1. Libertarianism has a blind spot with regard to the “power and authority” that naturally emerges in the absence of government.

            You’d need to give me an example, because in the overwhelming majority of cases when someone like you talks about power in the absence of government they really mean that they don’t like it when other people aren’t obligated to be their slaves.

            So please, give me some examples.

            1. At the most basic, without government any unscrupulous person is able to take away my life, liberty, or property. The fact is there will always BE some form of government, whether it’s a universally representative form with adequate checks and balances, or just some guy with a bigger gun than you.

              1. I agree with this wholeheartedly.

                But you are the one arguing that if I am allowed to enjoy my liberty and property, that I will somehow exercise “power and authority” over others. So I’d like examples of THAT, please.

                Because we aren’t arguing about anarchism, we’re arguing about libertarianism.

                1. See this is a big disconnect.
                  You have people like Chad running around arguing that if I enjoy lawn flamingos and my neighbor finds them gaudy that counts as an “externality”.

                  At some point you have to draw the line, and declare that the effects that some people have on others don’t count as power or force, particularly if those effects are entirely dependent on the internal attitude of the person being affected.

                  Yet it’s Chad and Tony want to set up rules that make me financially obligated to fund other people’s lifestyles.

                  This is “social justice” ? This quagmaire of rules forcing your to simultaneously fund and restrict everyone else’s day-to-day lifestyle choices?

          2. Poor guy.

  25. you don’t mind corporations becoming as powerful as they can yet you wonder why they keep using that power to influence government in their favor.

    Alternatively, it could be that people spend tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars attempting to influence the outcomes of elections because the government has managed to involve itself in every aspect our personal and business lives.

  26. Libertarianism doesn’t even fit the old saw about communism–nice theory wrong species. Libertarianism is a stupid fucking theory to begin with. But hey, keep the faith, fuckwits.

    1. I would say that minarchy has worked every time its been tried, Max.

      How’s that whole Total State thing working out?

      1. We just got a bailout! (breaks plate) Opa!

      2. Max is too busy masturbating to the Krugman column. He’ll get back with you later.

      3. Where and when has “minarchy” worked, and who in mainstream American political discourse is advocating for a Total State?

        1. Tony|5.17.10 @ 11:41AM|#
          “who in mainstream American political discourse is advocating for a Total State?”

          You and similar brain-deads, piece-by-piece.

          1. Nope. Convenient straw man though.

            1. Yep. Convenient denial, though.

              1. See, this accusation betrays the fundamental misunderstanding of modern-day libertarians. You do realize that when speaking of government power, you are to my left, right? Anarchy is the most extreme left-wing view there is, after all, liberalism being fundamentally about checks on authority and increasing individual liberty.

                Yet most libertarians these days accuse the left of being for the most authoritarian system, and liberals on these threads are cast in the position of defending government. I can see where you’re confused. But I’m no authoritarian–we’re both against that (authoritarianism being on the extreme right). I’m just for a little more government than you, which apparently is too subtle a concept for you to grasp.

                1. Please give me an example of economic activity where you are not in favor of state power.

                  When you can’t name any, guess what? That means you advocate for a Total State.

                  1. I’m in favor of as little state intervention in the markets as is necessary to ensure fairness, justice, and protection from harm.

                    1. protection from harm.

                      There’s a nebulous statement with no logical endpoint. Good luck with protecting everyone form harm, BTW.

                    2. True, and we will never be able to completely eliminate harm. But that doesn’t mean not trying at all is the best way.

                    3. “It’s intent, not results, that matter”

                    4. I think you’ll also be unpleasantly surprised by his definitions of “fairness” and “justice”.

                    5. I’m in favor of as little state intervention in the markets as is necessary to ensure fairness, justice

                      How is fairness and justice ensured by making the rules of the market totally different depending on what type of business you do?

                      How are fairness and justice ensured by giving the state the power to hand out special subsidies, tax credits, and deductions?

                      What exactly is “fair” about farm subsidies? Why should some guy get free money from the government just because he happens to be a farmer?

                      What’s “just” about forcing low-risk people to subsidize health care costs for high-risk people?

                      In my mind all of these things are fundamentally unfair and unjust.

  27. from the comments:

    But if you support the War on Drugs, then in a perverse way, you do support libertarianism.

    Since illegal drugs are, well, illegal, government regulations like labor or environmental or tax laws can’t easily be applied.

    That’s why the profit margins are so huge. Huge enough to attract the most ruthless and violent people on the planet.

    This is a form of libertarianism that the voters have chosen by deciding to keep illegal drugs illegal.

    This form of libertarianism certainly does work. Look at how much money the government spends to eradicate illegal drugs, without producing any measurable impact on the overall drug economy.

    1. The stupid in that comments section hurt my brain, too.

  28. Ugh.

    Keynesian free-lunch attempts will fail until the next war and/or die-off… and then they’ll declare success.

  29. Every time a committed free marketeer in power is shown to be corrupt, then he’s just dismissed as a “corporatist” or otherwise not a true capitalist, as if true capitalists could never be corrupt. If you admit that even the freest of markets is able to be abused then you’d have to concede that there should be market watchdogs, but you guys would never do that, so you revert to stupid fantasies that rely on unworkable assumptions. Not just “assume a can opener,” but “assume an incorruptible capitalist.”

    1. I know you are not really this stupid. It does not matter what sort of people you have in government. What matters is the power you entrust them with. Government should be limited in power to the extent that no matter who you have in office – Hitler, Mao, Stalin – no matter how horrendous their character, they simply do not have the authority and power at their disposal to wreak harm on others. Libertarians want limited government precisely because human beings are flaw and corrupt and so on and are not fit to wield vast power over the lives of others. Like libertarians are inclined to say – it’s not the abuse of power that’s the problem, it’s the power to abuse. This is not hard stuff.

      1. I’m in total agreement about that. I just recognize that there are other ways for people to abuse power, and the whole point of a government is to check those. If it’s rightly ordered, it’s also checking its own power. But fat chance of getting a rightly ordered government from people who disdain the very idea of government from the start.

        1. “But fat chance of getting a rightly ordered government from people who disdain the very idea of government from the start.”

          That’s a feature, not a bug.

    2. If the corruption in any way involves securing a favor or funds from the state, then guess what? He’s a corporatist.

      Rent seekers can’t be capitalists any more than burglars can. There are acts that one can take that by their very anti-property nature exclude you from claiming to be for property rights. No matter how loudly a jewel thief screams that he’s for capitalism, he never can be. Sorry.

      1. Interesting. So in order for capitalism to exist we need protections for property rights. Gee, I wonder where that comes from.

        1. Well it certainly can’t come from a government that loves to confiscate your shit because you bought some pot.

  30. stupid fantasies that rely on unworkable assumptions

    Like, “I’m from the government; I’m here to help you.”

  31. liberalism being fundamentally about checks on authority and increasing individual liberty.

    *guffaws, slaps knee*

  32. If it’s rightly ordered, it’s also checking its own power.

    Assume a can opener.

  33. I’m going to start the Libertarain Football League…there will be no referees since they can’t be trusted to call penalties. We’ll just make sure all the players agree to follow the rules.

    What could go wrong?

    1. Look, gentlemen, a man composed entirely of…

      Aw forget it. You won’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

    2. I’m going to start the Libertarain Football League…there will be no referees since they can’t be trusted to call penalties. We’ll just make sure all the players agree to follow the rules.

      What could go wrong?

      LOL!!! Epic fail!!

      I mean cause errbody knows that sports rule books are so analogous to say the Internal Revenue Service codes.

      1. ever heard of golf motherfucker?

        ever played call your own fouls basketball? fuck libertarians.

  34. So, if politicians pass laws contra a certain ideology, then that ideology is not followed in practice? Well, holy shit! Eureka!

    Next, he’ll tell me that progressivism won’t work because politicians will just pass un-progressive laws. And conservatism obviously can’t work, because politicians could always pass liberal laws.

  35. Your Libertardian theories do not work in the real world. Why can’t you get it through your thick skulls? I was working at a glory hole on a I-95 rest stop when this 6′ 5″ transvestite name Kissie bounced me and took over my spot. Where was your libertardian theory then? It didn’t do me a damn bit of good. Lucky for me, I pay protection money to a state trooper named Charles, and I got that bitch Kissie bounced. Call it rent seeking or whatever, I don’t care, I don’t even have to be all that good of a cocksucker ’cause nobody works that spot but me, thanks to Charles. You libertarians can kiss my ass! I LOVE the government!

    1. i had to live with a piece of shit libertardian once. he claimed he hated the government but the sloth spent all his time playing a video game in which his avatar was a government employee. he also went to public school.

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