Corporate Welfare

"Capitalism," It Fails Us Now

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As Michael Moynihan notes below, there's an effort afoot to rebrand "capitalism" as "free enterprise." On the face of it, I like the idea. Capital is going to be a central part of any modern economic system, whether or not there's a lot of government intervention. By contrast, the phrase "free enterprise" implies economic liberty.

Unfortunately, MSNBC identifies the chief force behind the idea as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group whose commitment to economic liberty is so strong that it came out for TARP, the Detroit bailout, and the 2009 stimulus. If the Chamber were more honest about its outlook, it would reject "free enterprise" for a more frank label, like "corporate welfare." But I suspect that wouldn't be good branding.

NEXT: Rebranding Capitalism

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  1. From the MSNBC link:
    Nearly two years after the financial crisis helped push the nation into deep recession, costing millions of Americans their jobs, their homes or their retirement savings, even capitalism’s most ardent supporters concede it’s developed a bit of a bad reputation.

    Right. Because capitalism caused all that. Now I get it. Economics for retards.

    1. An MSNBC article you’ll never read:

      “Enjoying living standards that would be the envy of the richest kings in human history, even capitalism’s most ardent detractors are forced to admit its benefits are as incredible as they are innumerable.”

  2. A HA!! A HA!!

    Finally a Reason writer comes clean admits he’s in favor of corporate welfare. “Free minds, Free markets” MY ASS!

    No wonder the Libertarian Party never gets anywhere – its own flagship publication can’t even get its policy positions straight from one administration to the next! How convenient.

    You know, it occurs to me that for a publication called “Reason”, it’s writers would be a bit more, I dunno, reasonable. But no, just a bunch of corporate fat-cat apologists that only care about money and the President’s birth certificate. Probably racists too. It’s all Obama’s fault, right?

    /Enjoy

    1. That was pretty good.

      1. He left out “A Libertarian is just a Repblican who wants to smoke pot.”

        Minus 1.

        1. And fuck dogs. But we digress???.

        2. With correct attribution: “A libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs.” – Bob Black, “The Libertarian As Conservative” (1984)

          1. It warms my heart to see this oft-recycled joke attributed properly.

            1. Attributed to the little snitch-bitch who coined it. Dime-dropping ain’t a good career move for an “anarchist”

              1. Interesting to learn the origin of the phrase, since it has been part of the political culture for so long it’s almost a proverb. I’d never heard of Bob Black before now.

          2. A libertarian is just a Democrat who understands how money works — me.

          3. I prefer to think of us as minarchists who take drugs.

      2. Finally a Reason writer admits he’s the Chamber of Commerce is in favor of corporate welfare.

        FTFY

        Maybe a good troll, but not very good reading comprehension.

        1. I know, I thought for a second there I had misread the article or something.

    2. That was OK. If he had said Libertarians ARE racists, not probably racists, and added something disparaging about Ron or Rand Paul it would have been better.

      B

      1. Or, the intellectual route: “Property rights are inherently racist!”

    3. You know, it occurs to me that for a publication called “Reason”,

      Drink!

  3. Aging hipster SUCCEED.

  4. Capitalism and corporate welfare are consistent. A major theme of modern capitalism is the use of state power to benefit those with the most capital, e.g., to give tax money to businesses, and to make it more difficult for newcomers to compete with established businesses.

    Free enterprise is inconsistent with corporate welfare. We need to take back free enterprise from the major corporations that seek to limit competition.

    1. Steve Premo|7.22.10 @ 7:05PM|#
      “…We need to take back free enterprise from the major corporations that seek to limit competition.”

      Yep, but blaming the corporations for grabbing what’s available isn’t going to cut it.
      We need to reduce what’s available; reduce the gov’t’s ability to hand out the goodies.

      1. I have felt for a while that we should abandon the term capitalism – it’s all capitalism of some sort or other, as the article suggests – and use the term free market (rather than “enterprise” which has, sort of, a touchy, feely, nonspecific feel to it. Free markets, as the name suggests, is about economic liberty which is fundamental to liberty itself and no one gets special consideration at tax payer expense in a free market.

  5. Chamber of Commerce. A usefully vague name.

  6. Charlie Rangel fucked.

    1. About time!

      1. Rangel abused NBC correspondent Luke Russert for asking uncomfortable questions, assuming from his impertinence that he worked for FOX News! Comedy gold!

    2. or failing to report taxable income from his villa in the Dominican Republic.

      That’s not an ethics violation, that’s a crime.

  7. Seems to me like changing the name of your ideology when it comes under attack is a form of retreat. Sort of like changing your name when you’ve been falsly accused of a crime instead of clearing your name. If demagogues have managed to convince the general public that capitalism = corporate welfare and bailouts, then any self-respecting proponent of capitalism should be getting the word out that “capitalism” actually means something entirely different, not abandoning it for some new term. Leftists will (rightly) accuse you of selling the same old crap under a new name, and your former supporters will feel betrayed. Ayn Rand is turning over in her grave.

    1. Yep. But relax. Nobody really takes this seriously.

    2. Leftists will (rightly) accuse you of selling the same old crap under a new name, and your former supporters will feel betrayed.

      I think you are exaggerating. first off lefties pull this sort of crap all the time and never get called on it…even by the right.

      And second because they have pulled it off so many times in the past i think they would be reluctant to put a shining light on the practice.

    3. Leftists will (rightly) accuse you of selling the same old crap under a new name

      Leftists have soiled and thrown out more political labels for themselves than any other movement. They’ve called themselves socialist, progressive, liberal, and now back to progressive again.

      1. Is this part of epistemic closure? After spending decades painting a big fat target on any name the left calls itself and relentlessly smearing them as socialists, liberals, and progressives, the right is now attacking them for changing names.

        1. Yes, it’s “the right” who smeared your names…

        2. Tony|7.22.10 @ 7:59PM|#
          “After spending decades painting a big fat target on any name the left calls itself and relentlessly smearing them as socialists, liberals, and progressives, the right is now attacking them for changing names.”

          Pointing out that they are brain-dead under *any* label isn’t “smearing” them; it’s stating the truth.

        3. the right is now attacking them for changing names.

          To clarify re-branding is not a big deal regardless if left or right does it.

          Also to clarify I do not like the left using the term liberal to describe themselves but it is not because of re-branding it is because the name is inaccurate. I am liberal….the left is not liberal.

          Anyway in the context I was thinking of two name changes…NOAA changed its name a while back then went back to NOAA.

          and Thousand Friends of Washington State changed its name to Futurewise.

          no one seemed to care about the name changes. So it is not a big deal.

          I guess a rightist example of a name change would be when Bush took a grab bag of government agencies put em in a blender and called the result the Department of Homeland Security. When that happened no one seemed to care either.

          1. No they made the biggest leap of all. From Republican to Tea Party.

            1. I think Tony still lives in alternate universe where the tea party was created by Republican astro-turfing.

              for the comment to be funny or even remotely accurate it would need to read:

              “After 2010 they will make the biggest leap of all. From Tea Party to Republican.”

              It is kind of cumbersome and contains a lot of ifs….but it has more of a chance as at least it has a whiff of reality in it.

              Much better then the sad cognitive dissonance spewing from the keyboard of tony who has absorbed every bit of Democrat propaganda as Gospel.

        4. So the right attacks the left by calling them the name that the left chose for themselves? Umm… ok. As Jordan alludes to, maybe it’s not the “right” who smeared those names.

      2. Even to themselves, they won’t admit it.

    4. IIRC, Ayn Rand didn’t think the word “capitalism” was very useful or descriptive to begin with.

    5. “Seems to me like changing the name of your ideology when it comes under attack is a form of retreat.”

      That’s why I use the term “Free-market Capitalism.”

  8. Unfortunately, MSNBC identifies the chief force behind the idea as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group whose commitment to economic liberty is so strong that it came out for TARP, the Detroit bailout, and the 2009 stimulus.

    Yup i am sure the US Chamber of Commerce has a spotty free market record and Jesse is correct in pointing out those spots.

    But to condemn them wholesale is a bit much. Not everything they do is is pure cronyism and they have supported policies libertarians hold dear.

    The fact is there is no pure libertarian institution. And on the whole libertarians have a better chance getting good things out of the US chamber of Commerce then they do most other groups. On a positive note they did push to kill climate change legislation.

    If the Chamber were more honest about its outlook, it would reject “free enterprise” for a more frank label, like “corporate welfare.”

    Perhaps a more honest label would be “free enterprise sometimes but not as much as it should be”

    1. I’ll give them this: They’re better than a lot of the other business lobbies, because they’re less likely to endorse a bill that benefits one industry at the expense of all the others. A benefit of being broad-based.

      1. In my job i have been in a few local Realtor meetings and a few Builder association meeting and i have seen pure cronyism but it is rare. in most cases these groups make strategic concessions. The conversation goes something like “Fuck this new regulation/tax/policy is screwed up and it hurts free markets”

        “yeah but we are going to lose if we use that argument”

        “Ok so what can we do to soften the blow?”

        ” We can support the change in exchange for some concessions”

        Another thing to consider is that the foes of these organizations cannot be fired. namely government employees. So in essence their opponents can lie cheat and steal and are given full times jobs that they cant be removed from while you as a member of these organizations have a business to run and if you fuck up you are in the poor house.

        I don’t know if that softens your heart or not…but the simple fact is there are tons of real world obstacles in the way for these organizations to act more libertarian.

        They do not have the luxury of getting a job as a libertarian journalist. So the purity of their convictions tend to suffer.

      2. I have to agree with Jesse. CoC are certainly corporatists, but there’s some overlap between what benefits corporations and free market principles, and to the extent they promote policies in that overlap they are performing an extremely valuable function.

    2. the brand in the process.

      Your attitude toward the Chamber of Commerce should be the same as it is with all Republicans…the enemy of my enemy is my friend…for now. In a crowd of liberals, defend them. In a crowd of conservatives, attack.

      1. yeah i think you are going to far. the chamber of commerce unlike the republicans is not an ideological organization.

        They can be libertarian’s natural ally and the reason they are not is because they react to adverse government intervention in non-ideological terms. So they will compromise more readily then say you or jesse.

        But that is a natural reaction to the real world. and by you equating them to an ideological opponent is like getting mad at math or gravity.

        They can be moved if that movement is in their interest. If you want the chamber to be more libertarian then you need to show them what they can do and how that helps them.

        But since we are talking about idiologocial convictions let me ask you this: does libertarianism offer a better economic solution to business and business environment then other alternatives?

        If it does then why hate them if what you are offering helps them?

        If it does not help them and libertarianism is inferior to other solutions then what the fuck are we doing here at all?

  9. Capitalism is the word marxists made up for freedom. So if MSNBC doesn’t like it, its probably a good thing. And fuck MSNBC too.

    1. Identifying the economic system of Marx’s time and place — German state capitalism — with “freedom” is pretty insulting to freedom.

      1. I agree. Marxists are insulting to freedom.

  10. I’ve always liked the term “marketism”, focusing on the free exchange of goods, labor, and services, rather than on the stockpiling of wealth evoked by “capitalism” or even the preference for business owners implicit in “free enterprise”.

    Unfortunately it sounds like Marxism, so that’s probably stillborn too.

    1. I’ve always liked the term “marketism”

      Reminds me of marketing and advertisement….

      Which to the general public is not hugely popular.

      1. Maybe we need to hire some marketing consultants to help us market markets.

  11. They really went downhill fast after Entertainment!. Had a good dance track or too but that’s about it.

  12. I’ll suggest: separation of business and state.

  13. A Libertarian is just a Repblican who wants to smoke pot.

    That seems a bit dated. Replace drugs with saturated fats, salt and cigarettes.

    I’ll suggest: separation of business and state.

    Separation of economy and state. Has a nice ring to it, but for some reason it sounds familiar to me.

    Also, what is the deal to push a popular term? Do we need good PR when in essence what we are truly advocating is youwannaeatdontcha?ism? Why give up being a magnificent bunch of bastards when we don’t have to?

  14. Joshua Corning|7.22.10 @ 7:50PM|#

    Leftists will (rightly) accuse you of selling the same old crap under a new name, and your former supporters will feel betrayed.

    I think you are exaggerating. first off lefties pull this sort of crap all the time and never get called on it…even by the right.

    And second because they have pulled it off so many times in the past i think they would be reluctant to put a shining light on the practice.
    reply to this
    Quickly followed by

    Tulpa|7.22.10 @ 7:51PM|#

    Leftists will (rightly) accuse you of selling the same old crap under a new name

    Leftists have soiled and thrown out more political labels for themselves than any other movement. They’ve called themselves socialist, progressive, liberal, and now back to progressive again.

    Note the Glenn Beck mantra used to “call out” the left on this very issue showing up (yet again) here at H&R.

    Indeed the right’s tendency to call out the left by saying that “the left doesn’t get called out on XXXX” has become so ingrained in their discourse that I think it has turned them into a “victim” culture with unusually intense levels learned helplessness with an unusually deadened sense of irony.

    1. I think the double quoted part is Neu’s text…

      Anyway you read what i wrote wrong. I think the left do not get called out for rebranding because there is nothing wrong with rebranding. And i think think the right will not get called on it of the same reason. i was using the left’s use of this tactic and not being called on it as an example of how this concern is not a big deal.

      Anyway I hope that clears it up.

      1. JC
        I was primarily struck by Tulpa’s response to what you wrote, but I agree that getting called on things in an endless partisan bicker is pretty unimportant. I do disagree about the “not getting called on it” idea. I actually think one of the problems with today’s political discourse is the tendency to try and call out this kind of trivial stuff endlessly. It makes so much noise that people don’t notice when something serious is called out. If that makes sense.

        1. I was primarily struck by Tulpa’s response to what you wrote

          If that is so, it’s interesting that your response only addressed the “victim” mentality you claimed Mr. Corning’s post revealed, rather than addressing the substance of my comment. Unless you consider “Glen Beck said that too” to be a substantive argument, in which case you’d be wrong.

          1. I was “struck by” your response in the context of JC’s comment. You were “calling the left out” from the right, just as is done frequently. JC’s comment (now clarified) seemed to me to reiterate a common claim that “the left gets away with behavior that the right would get abused for.” And the fact that it was followed directly by an example of the left getting called out using a mantra that is pervasive in today’s media seemed ironic.

            1. As for the substance of your comment…it is addressed in my follow up to his clarification at 11:44am

    2. Criticism of the Left’s self-appellation drift (particularly the lifting of the “liberal” label from classical liberals) long predates Glen Beck, so your attempt at guilt by association is as foolish as it is clumsy.

      1. Re: Glenn Beck.
        Just a reference to current events…all of Glenn’s ideas are just a repackaging old arguments.

        1. One of the problems with having well-kept records of public discourse going back at least a couple of centuries is that every argument is just a derivative of previously made ones. That’s not unique to Beck.

          And in any case, if you truly believe Beck’s arguments are old ones, it’s not really appropriate to call them Glen Beck mantras.

          1. And in any case, if you truly believe Beck’s arguments are old ones, it’s not really appropriate to call them Glen Beck mantras.

            If GB repeats them in the hope of transforming the world (as he does), they are his mantras, no matter their source.

    3. Not to mention the fact that the replied-to commenter is claiming the left will be correct in criticizing the capitalist name change.

      1. Not to mention the fact that the replied-to commenter is claiming the left will be correct in criticizing the capitalist name change.

        Well i think the word capitalist is not very accurate. To be honest i don;t understand it and it is not very descriptive of what i believe in. Obviously we have different definitions of it cuz I thought the term encompassed what was going on in china 1000 years ago and you did not.

        I think the left’s reasoning for criticism of it is off base. But if i am confused about the term then i assume those who do not have wooden ears would be more open to a term that is more descriptive. Free enterprise in my opinion is more descriptive.

        1. I think that there are subtle distinctions between the terms “Free Enterprise” and “Capitalism” that have kept them both active in the language. Capitalism as a term comes from the writings of the proto-communists and from my reading is meant to frame who owns what (or who should own what)…whereas “free enterprise” places emphasis on how exchanges of goods are or are not regulated.

          1. The definition of “enterprise” from Merriam-Webster:

            1 : a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky
            2 : readiness to engage in daring or difficult action : initiative [[showed great enterprise in dealing with the crisis]]
            3 a : a unit of economic organization or activity; especially : a business organization b : a systematic purposeful activity [[agriculture is the main economic enterprise among these people]]

            So “free enterprise” is referring to the fact that businesses are allowed to go about their business, so to speak, as they see fit. Which is a necessary component of the system we advocate, but it also conjures up images of Pinkerton guards coercing workers to work, unscrupulous company-town and company-store activities in mining communities, etc.

            Which is why I think “marketism” better captures the exchange element of the philosophy.

  15. I like it, because it describes the best and most important part of capitalism. I’m using this from now on. Capitalism is dead, long live free enterprise!

  16. I guess “Corporatism” is too hard to say?

  17. I am reposting something that PapayaSF said late last night in a similar thread. Most people probably missed it, but it deserves to be read. Thanks for writing this.

    And two quick points to you, Papaya.

    One, we can go data on data any time you like. Two, cost-benefit analysis is, more often than not, dangerously useless. There are simply too many things that are both big enough to matter and impossible to meaningfully quantify…or ignore. This is particularly true over long time frames, when the assumed discount rate trumps everything…even to the point of concluding that the entire planet and everything on it in the year 4000 is not worth a millionth of a penny in today’s dollars. This is why CBA analysis of things like climate change stop in 2100. Even at that point, any “results” they generate fluctuate by an order of magnitude or more depending their differing choices from a legitimate basket of assumptions.

    PapayaSF|7.22.10 @ 2:22AM|#

    Believe it or not, I’m going to partially defend Chad. He goes off the rails as usual, but there’s a core of truth early on. There is a sort of blindness among ideologues of all stripes who think they have 100% of the truth, and that applying their principles at full strength everywhere will solve all problems. Libertarians are not immune to this failing. I say that as a self-described moderate libertarian, one who has strong leanings but thinks it’s safe to assume that any human ideology is an imperfect construct against the complexities of the real world.

    Open borders is a good example. Many arguments amount to “immigration is a Good Thing, thus more is better.” In theory, the benefits always outweigh the costs, and that settles it. Unfortunately a basic principle of real life is that it’s always (or almost always) possible to have Too Much of a Good Thing. Can anyone convincingly argue that it would be Good for 500 million people move to the US this year? Of course not, it would be a giant refugee crisis. Even a tenth of that would be a crisis, a social and political and economic mess. (In the short term, at least, but we all live in the short term.) Once you concede that, you’re in the tall walls/wide gates camp and we’re just discussing details. (And no wussing out by saying it wouldn’t happen in the real world: all I need is a concession that it’s possible to have Too Much.)

    But look where that leaves us: arguing that government can sometimes (but not always) do something right. Libertarians aren’t anarchists, and so what’s the harm in conceding that? Government can be a benefit… sometimes. Rejoice, libertarians! We now face our opponents in the middle of the field, for they have just conceded there are (or should be) practical limits to government, that of course government intervention cannot be assumed to be a good thing.

    So how can we tell when it’s justified? Obviously we need objective data about specific cases. Let’s look at history. Let’s apply cost/benefit analysis to all government functions. For every law or government program, let’s exempt some areas as “controls,” the better to analyze the results of the law or program. Of course all agencies need regular, thorough audits and full public transparency, to end waste and fraud. I’m sure others can think of more ways to study the real effects of government. I’m not afraid of experiments and objective data… but I’ll bet Chad and Tony and Shrike are. If they aren’t, they sure should be.

    So I say to libertarian purists, for the price of a small concession you are out of the political fringes of the debate and smack in the middle. Your opponents are squirming, forced to use cost/benefit analyses, real-world tests, audits, and transparency to prove that the vast bulk of government programs are worthwhile. What libertarian wouldn’t be happy to bet on the results?

    Once our present leviathan of a government is a shrunken remnant of its former self, I welcome purist arguments against remaining, lonely bits. But we won’t get to that point using purist arguments from the start.

  18. So I say to libertarian purists, for the price of a small concession you are out of the political fringes of the debate and smack in the middle. Your opponents are squirming, forced to use cost/benefit analyses, real-world tests, audits, and transparency to prove that the vast bulk of government programs are worthwhile. What libertarian wouldn’t be happy to bet on the results?

    You can’t even get government to justify its action through rule of law….and you expect cost/benefit analysis?

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

  19. I think Danny Elfman summed it up pretty well:

    There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism
    There’s nothing wrong with free enterprise
    Don’t try to make me feel guilty
    I’m so tired of hearing you cry
    There’s nothing wrong with making some profit
    If you ask me I’ll say it’s just fine
    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live nice
    I’m so tired of hearing you whine
    About the revolution
    Bringin’ down the rich
    When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!
    If it ain’t one thing
    Then it’s the other
    Any cause that crosses your path
    Your heart bleeds for anyone’s brother
    I’ve got to tell you you’re a pain in the ass
    You criticize with plenty of vigor
    You rationalize everything that you do
    With catchy phrases and heavy quotations
    And everybody is crazy but you
    You’re just a middle class, socialist brat
    From a suburban family and you never really had to work
    And you tell me that we’ve got to get back
    To the struggling masses (whoever they are)
    You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain
    Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain
    What the hell do you know about suffering and pain . . .

    There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism

  20. PapayaSF,

    I know that it must be deeply embarrassing what Chad just did to you so I feel for you, buddy. You threw him a sympathetic bone and now he is exploiting it. Just tell him that after you read my thoughtful and brilliant reply that you gave it consideration and realized that even government doesn’t exist as an aggregate nor can it be realistically treated as such beyond the purposes of a discussion, so you withdraw the previous statement.

    No loss of respect from me. I have been wrong on occasion. I once said Kim Kardashian’s ass was unhittable under any circumstances; however, I have since discovered that under the influence of Red Stripe beer, and that brand alone, an ass that size is hittable.

    BTW, forcing them to consider cost-benefit analysis? What were you thinking? We would succeed in doing that where there has been failure to force them to concede anything since before Bastiat?

    1. Re: alan,

      I know that it must be deeply embarrassing what Chad just did to you so I feel for you, buddy. You threw him a sympathetic bone and now he is exploiting it.

      Which is why there could never ever be a reconciliation between liberty-seeking individuals and authoritarians.

      1. The boot doesn’t reconcile with the face.

  21. Even better idea: how about we steal the word “progressive” from them like they stole “liberal” from us? We know that almost all of their policies are destructive of small businesses and disproportionately burden the poor (from the devaluation of currency to gas taxes to the public school monopoly to licensing laws and on and on). Welfarism is yet another impediment to progress and equality, be it for the most unfortunate individual or the biggest corporation.

    For all their pretense of caring about the little guy, their policies are either totally hypocritical, totally counterproductive or end up trying to bribe/distract the little guy into accepting and supporting their bad system. We should start calling them “regressives” just to watch them writhe and force them to explain why they want to artificially price the poor out of their cars, why they support routing money from small businesses to big businesses via bailouts and subsidies, and why they would support regulating out of existence cheap entreprenuerial ventures for low income people, like taco trucks and unlicensed hair salons.

  22. Marketing suggestion:

    Liberals/leftists/statists: “Looters”.

    Libertarians: “Producers”.

    1. Liberals/leftists/statists: “Brats”.

      Libertarians: “Adults”.

    2. Only worthwhile if the debate is about people and not ideas.

    3. Looting is an action, not a belief. Many in the looter camp may be net producers through their actions, even if their hearts side with those who exploit them.

      1. They’re looters too. It’s not their money they’re giving away.

  23. Regarding the discussion between Chad and PapayaSF:

    Two, cost-benefit analysis is, more often than not, dangerously useless. There are simply too many things that are both big enough to matter and impossible to meaningfully quantify…or ignore.

    A nice discussion of this general topic here

    http://www.nature.com/nature/j…..6441a.html

    A more enlightened institutional culture around science and policy would foster wider debate about the implications of interventions, and of burdens of proof weighed against social benefits and the costs of erroneous outcomes. This might resemble the ‘extended peer review’ system of philosopher-sociologists of science Jerome Ravetz and Silvio Funtowicz, in which specialists (including non-scientists) review policy-relevant scientific claims but a wider variety of stakeholders bring further knowledge to bear in interpreting them. Rather than assuming that disputes are solely scientific, opening up these decision-making processes would render their primary nature more honestly political and economic, while giving proper weight to scientific reason and evidence.

    1. FWIW, I think Papaya’s point is generally excellent. Libertarianism is a set of ideas that need to be kept on the table in any policy discussion, but they are balanced against other factors, pragmatic and principled, that are also essential to coming to the best possible (not perfect) policy decision.

      1. When you are talking about externalities based on harm that is impossible to quantify (i.e. Plant A add such and such level of pollution during a thirty year period where life expectancy in the surrounding communities rose), and you still want to tax, regulate and litigate than you are not using a standard that is ‘pragmatic’, or ‘scientific’, but one that is best described as homeopathic.

      2. BTW, the scenario I used may be idealized and leading in my preferred direction, but it also has the advantage of being the most common. What of the externalities that arise from punishing nonpolluting actors in a dragnet fashion in a way that was common with the Superfund? Are we not all made poorer for this? Should not the people that make up the regulatory bodies that engaged in legally sanctioned abuse be made to pay to us for the externalities of their actions much in the same way you ask private interest to on claims against them, or are those actors somehow in some idealized fashion outside the world of mere causality?

      3. I mention Superfund because the manner Chad and PapayaSF approach the topic you would think that these are new ideas never tried before, whereas there exist a long checkered past associated with them.

  24. CoC are corporatists, no doubt about it.

    Between the statists and corporatists, we’re pretty screwed.

  25. You’re Ignoring the fact that the word “capitalism” subsumes the political idea of individual liberty. Capitalism is “Free minds, Free markets”. Haven’t you read Rand’s “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”.

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