Democracy

Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud

Once it grows to a certain size, so-called democratic government begins to soften and weaken the people.

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Cain and Todd Benson/Flickr

What if you were allowed to vote only because it didn't make a difference? What if no matter how you voted the elites always got their way? What if the concept of one person/one vote was just a fiction created by the government to induce your compliance?

What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people's understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no?

What if the purpose of contemporary democracy has been to convince people that they could prosper not through the voluntary creation of wealth but through theft from others? What if the only moral way to acquire wealth is through voluntary economic activity? What if the government persuaded the people that they could acquire wealth through political activity? What if economic activity includes all the productive and peaceful things we voluntarily do? What if political activity includes all the parasitical and destructive things the government does? What if the government has never created wealth? What if everything the government owns it has stolen?

What if governments were originally established to protect people's freedoms but always turn into political and imperialist enterprises that seek to expand their power, increase their territory, and heighten their control of the population? What if the idea that we need a government to take care of us is a fiction perpetrated to increase the size of government? What if our strength as individuals and durability as a culture are contingent not on the strength of the government but on the amount of freedom we have from the government?

What if the fatal cocktail of big government and democracy ultimately produces dependency? What if so-called democratic government, once it grows to a certain size, begins to soften and weaken the people? What if big government destroys people's motivations and democracy convinces them that the only motivation they need is to vote and go along with the results?

What if Congress isn't actually as democratic as it appears? What if congressional elections don't square with congressional legislation because the polls aren't what counts, but what counts are the secret meetings that come after the voting? What if the monster Joe Stalin was right when he said the most powerful person in the world is the guy who counts the votes? What if the vote counting that really counts takes place in secret? What if that's how we lost our republic?

What if the problem with democracy is that the majority thinks it can right any wrong, write any law, tax any event, regulate any behavior, and acquire any thing it wants? What if the greatest tyrant in history lives among us? What if that tyrant always gets its way, no matter what the laws are or what the Constitution says? What if that tyrant is the majority of voters? What if the majority in a democracy recognizes no limits on its power?

What if the government misinforms voters so they will justify anything the government wants to do? What if the government bribes people with the money it prints? What if it gives entitlements to the poor and tax breaks to the middle class and bailouts to the rich just to keep everyone dependent on it? What if a vibrant republic requires not just the democratic process of voting, but also informed and engaged voters who understand first principles of human existence, including the divine origin and inalienable individual possession of natural rights?

What if we could free ourselves from the yoke of big government through a return to first principles? What if the establishment doesn't want this? What if the government remains the same no matter who wins elections? What if we have only one political party—the Big Government Party—and it has a Democratic wing and a Republican wing? What if both wings want war and taxes and welfare and perpetual government growth, but offer only slightly different menus on how to achieve them? What if the Big Government Party enacted laws to make it impossible for meaningful political competition to thrive?

What if the late progressive Edmund S. Morgan was right when he said that government depends on make believe? What if our ancestors made believe that the king was divine? What if they made believe that he could do no wrong? What if they made believe that the voice of the king was the voice of God?

What if the government believes in make believe? What if it made believe that the people have a voice? What if it made believe that the representatives of the people are the people? What if it made believe that the governors are the servants of the people? What if it made believe that all men are created equal, or that they are not?

What if the government made believe that it is always right? What if it made believe that the majority can do no wrong? What if the tyranny of the majority is as destructive to human freedom as the tyranny of a madman? What if the government knows this?

What do we do about it?

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  1. I couldn’t get past the second paragraph because of question overload.

    1. What if every article was a series of rhetorical questions?

      1. What if someone was too in love with the Socratic method?

        1. What if an editor took a look at the draft and said “use some frigging declarative sentences”?

          1. What is the air speed of an unladen swallow?

            1. African swallow or European swallow?

            2. African or European Swallow?

              1. What is your favorite color?

            3. What if you refrained from making veiled references to the mile high club?

              1. Man #1: When I was young, I was a member of the 4-H club.

                Man #2: When I was young, I joined the mile high club, but I could never last four hours.

          2. What if I run out of milk, half way through my breakfast?

            1. What if Warty closed up his rape dungeon?

              1. What if the survivors wrote a book about their ordeal?

        2. Imagines Napolitano, in Barry White’s voice, singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” to the Socratic method.

          1. The Socratic method necessarily involves a dialog and if one is to have a dialog with himself he should at least answer his own questions instead of just repeatedly asking his readers as their eye’s bleed from reading Napolitano’s article.

        3. What if our Judge has been going through another Smashing Pumpkins phase.

      2. What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home?

    2. Yah, TL;DR sets in fast on this one.

      Failed rhetorical device or too much admiration for “A Tale of Two cities?”

  2. What if the good Judge Nap. wrote an article that was not solely composed of ‘what ifs’? What if??

    1. What if 50+% of Americans weren’t retarded?

      1. What if I was better at conveying sarcasm on the internet?

    2. What if Andrew Napolitano learned how to use alt-text properly?

  3. What if Louis Lerner’s emails show she insisted everyone be treated evenly regardless of politics? What if her hard drive showed that no one at the White House was involved in using the IRS to hassle its enemies? What if Benghazi was a youtube protest gotten out of hand? What if stifling speech is the best way to protect our ambassadors? What if prosecuting the war on drugs is more important than Constitutional protections? What if it’s more important than handing American firearms to drug cartels? What if political secrets are more important than a free press? What if preaching transparency while doing the opposite is what’s best for governance? What if supporting friends with green energy companies you know are doomed to fail is what’s best for the environment? What if knowing everything about your citizens and sharing that information with any and all state agents does make us feel safer? What if hurting the poor through higher energy costs to pretend to save the planet is noble? What if Cash for Clunkers never happened?

  4. What does it matter at this point?

    We need to end capitalism!

    Greentards call for end of capitalism

    1. Watermelons.

      1. And, fried chicken?

        1. Brown on the outside, white on the inside?

          1. Oreos?

          2. Moon Pies?

          3. Toe jam?

    2. “Environmentalists have declared that global warming can’t be stopped…”

      And yet it has, all on its own.

      The Margarita convention? My wife attends those, and it is true, they solve all the world’s problems on a weekly basis.

      1. If Global Warming can’t be stopped, then we can saely ignore their shieking about carbon and enjoy the fruits of prosperity.

      2. “Environmentalists have declared that global warming can’t be stopped…”

        At least there’s some honesty to *that* sentence. Punitive/predatory/confiscatory taxation schemes + cronyism.. or any other human endeavor, won’t stop sunspots, volcanoes, or any other natural global phenomenon from happening.. no matter how hard they fleece the west wealth and close their eyes and wish it so.

    3. The Lenin mask slipped off, to reveal.. Stalin.. imagine that.

      1. The ultimate matroshka

    4. I was looking for a list of the organizations, but the articles yesterday claimed that it was unclear exactly who had signed the list.

  5. My 8 year-old ghost wrote this article.

    1. I was trying to figure out where you got an 8-year old ghost from. (and whether that meant it had been a ghost for eight years or it was the ghost of an eight year old).

      1. +1 Casper.

      2. It’s one of the orphan workers from his monocle factory. The kid died from being overworked.

        1. Well then, at least he died with dignity.. for a worthy cause.

  6. Ok, this isn’t weird and creepy at all:

    Robot overlords for the childins

    Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire

    1. They will learn to love Big Brother.

      1. B is for Buy N Large, your very best friend.

    2. What if they include monocle polishing as part of the training?

      1. What if resistance was futile?

    3. “The NSF has allotted $10 million for the study through 2017. The grant is one of the highest amounts the agency dispenses.”

      I wonder wonder the creeps involved in this project voted for?

      Also, “..to teach english as a second language…”.

      Huh?

        1. I was going to say “assembly” then you ruined my day.

          *shuffles off for coffee*

    4. “we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire”

      I suppose this is the end game they have in mind..

    5. I thought we wanted to make robots more human, not the other way around.

    6. Just what the childerns need; weird, creepy robots guiding their behaviors.

    7. “Hasta Levista”

  7. “What do we do about it?”

    The problem is as old as humanity itself, and there is only one solution. Wide dispersal of power.

    Easy peasy, right?

    1. The problem is as old as humanity itself, and there is only one solution.

      Stand up to the bastards, then rise up and defend those who did the standing up. Make them afraid of being tyrants.

      1. One of my proggie acquaintances told me just yesterday how vile and despicable Ted Cruz is. She went on for ten minutes with a spittle flecked screed about….well I dunno. All she had were generalities and vagaries. She never said what he has actually done. She sure wants to stand up to him though.

        The list of evils Obama has perpetrated is endless, yet not a word about any of it.

        1. You should have ask her, ‘So, what do you think about Captain Murder Drone so far?’

        2. Ask her what her thoughts are on the Nobel peace prize recipient’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, or.. Nigeria.

        3. Tell her you agree, attribute things that Obama has done to Cruz, she’s most likely complete ignorant of all of them.

          And then at the end pull the switcheroo and let her know that those evil things were all done by Bammy.

        4. Sounds like a fun time for all.

  8. What if Napolitano wrote a mixture of questions that clearly imply anarchism is necessary, along with some that still kowtow to the notion that some government isn’t destructive and parasitic? What if that author is suffering from cognitive dissonance?

    1. It’s like he’s only subconsciously aware of his logical inconsistency.

  9. Democracy has always been a fraud. Even when it functions properly, it quickly leads to destruction. They forget to teach school-kids how disastrously democracy ended up in Athens.

    That’s why the guys who founded this country made it a Republic. Takes longer to undermine the institutions and bypass all the controls – about 180 years or so.

    1. The last “world power” republic was the Roman one.

      It looks like they had a breakdown earlier (about 70 years in) that (among other things) created the office of the censor (which was intended to police the Senate and executive offices).

      Anyone familiar with this period (marked by military tribunes with consular authority)?

      1. Reading a little about it now, in this book.
        http://www.amazon.com/Greeks-R…..ring+gifts

      2. It seems like the Roman Republic began to become less like a Republic the more powerful that it became. Early on, the aristocrats did try to maintain a balance between the one, few, and many – in part because they knew they depended on the plebes to fill the ranks of the army. The plebes knew this and on at least one occasion completely left the the city and camped on the other side of the Tiber until their demands were met.

      3. I am.

        In my opinion the Roman Republic fell for the same reason that democracy in America is doomed.

        Which is empire.
        a) The old republican-democratic forms and traditions are inadequate for imperial government and are ultimately undermined.

        b) The spoils of empire create an exogenous source of funding for the government that is outside the established republican controls.

        1. ok, that’s cool,
          so where exactly do we have an “empire”?

          I’m waiting…
          Where’s my check of tribute from the conquered saracen peoples of Thracia?

          Oh, what, I didn’t get any, and all of our military bases COST us money as opposed to MAKING us money? We own/control no other countries outside our own? Oh, yeah right, WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE CALLED AN EMPIRE

          1. Is South America free to have their own drug laws that aren’t in line with the US?

            1. VG Zaytsev is saying that empires destroy republics/democracies because they give the government a source of funding (tribute from the ruled states) that is immune from control by the people.

              Edwin says that, instead of providing a source of income to the State, our ’empire’ such as it is, costs us money.

              Your question is valid – Really, we can’t possibly call what we have an Empire? – but Edwin’s response is still a good argument against VGZ’s post.

              1. //VG Zaytsev is saying that empires destroy republics/democracies because they give the government a source of funding (tribute from the ruled states) that is immune from control by the people.

                That is a broader concept that is a very good insight, but not really related to anything having to do with “empire”

              2. You could certainly call the United States an empire. It need not have an emperor, a throne or ’empire’ in it’s name for it to qualify.

                1. //You could certainly call the United States an empire. It need not have an emperor, a throne or ’empire’ in it’s name for it to qualify.

                  Are you being serious?
                  It kinda does need exactly that. Empire usually refers to one large country/body politic that is made from many smaller nations who were conquered, with wealth flowing from the smaller states to the overlord state

                  The United States certainly is not this

                  VG Zaytsev’s comment, if it’s about an external source of funding being outside political control by the people, as SRVolunteer says it is above, then that’s a good point. But that isn’t empire.

                  And I don’t find the Roman comparison apt in that regard. The Romans never really had that much popular control over the Republic, and government by the people for the people wasn’t even really their ideology. The Romans’ problem with empire was that the money it brought in kept tempting them to expand it, and eventually they tried to control too much land, and the barbarians eventually got wise and unified against them, and Rome’s riches then painted a huge target for the barbarians

                  1. Are you being serious?
                    It kinda does need exactly that

                    Yes I am because you see, I possess an understanding of terminology higher than the one you’d attain from an elementary school.

                    smaller nations who were conquered, with wealth flowing from the smaller states to the overlord state

                    So the American continent was not conquered? does wealth no flow to the central government from the provinces? And how many “states” existed within the Roman Empire?

                    And I don’t find the Roman comparison apt in that regard. The Romans never really had that much popular control over the Republic,

                    Not much popular control by 2014 California standards, sure, in antiquity it was virtually an unprecedented amount of popular control. But that’s not even the issue. The Roman Republic was an empire even before the Principate period, and even after the principate it immediately have ’empire’ in it’s name. Nor did Augustus and his dynasty rules as ’emperor’ over their empire. They took the title of ‘princeps’, first among equals, and they ruled over what they termed a ‘republic’. Again an empire need not have a guy calling himself emperor and calling his turf an ’empire’ in order for it to be an empire.

                    government by the people for the people wasn’t even really their ideology.

                    Not really “ours” either. It’s just a euphemism to legitimize democracy.

                    1. The Romans’ problem with empire was that the money it brought in kept tempting them to expand it, and eventually they tried to control too much land, and the barbarians eventually got wise and unified against them, and Rome’s riches then painted a huge target for the barbarians

                      My god, where to begin. Conquest is profitable when there exists wealth to plunder. People do not produce economically when living under a system of plunder. Thus you get diminishing returns. The Roman Republic was rich not because it conquered, it conquered because it was rich. Plunder does not generate wealth, it destroys it.

                      Nor did the barbarians unite. The Empire fell because it’s internal institutions were disintegrating and while a diffuse migration of barbarian tribes was taking place.

            2. Considering that Uruguay has just that and the rockets aren’t raining down… I’d say yes.

          2. Oh, what, I didn’t get any, and all of our military bases COST us money as opposed to MAKING us money?

            You think empires in and of themselves net a return to the conquerors? Hitler thought highly of self-perpetuating conquest too, but alas the diminishing returns of political coercion proved him wrong, just like every other conqueror.

            We own/control no other countries outside our own? Oh, yeah right, WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE CALLED AN EMPIRE

            Well the Roman Empire didn’t own any other countries that weren’t the Roman Empire. Not that military conquests alone constitute an empire, but even on that elementary standard, did the US not conquer any of it’s territory?

    2. Unjust treatment at the hands of the majority is at best no better than by the minority.

  10. There’s the Andrew Napolitano we all know and love! Well, the Andrew Napolitano we all know.

  11. I had Stossel and Napolitano mixed up for a moment but I figured there’s no way Stossel is going to ask if something is fake again.

  12. What do we do about it?

    Obviously the solution is to do nothing, and just patiently wait for big government to “die a natural death”.

    1. I think this will take a long time.

      1. I know. I was making a mocking reference to Napolitano’s explanation of how the US should have dealt with slavery.

        1. Well I certainly don’t think you need tremendous bloodshed and dictatorship to abolish slavery. I cite the case of pretty much everywhere else as evidence.

          1. There’s a legitimate argument to be had about what we should have done about slavery, and whether the way we did end it was a bad way.

            But that’s not Napolitano’s “meh, slavery wasn’t THAT bad. If we’d just ignored it, it would have gone away all on it’s own eventually” argument. I can’t think of any other freedom issue where he’d propose a similar response, so I find the blindspot he has on this issue baffling.

  13. On a scale of one to giraffe, what is your favorite color of the alphabet?

      1. You win.

        Please send me my prize.

        1. For fuck sake, everyone knows the correct answer is potato.

          1. Favorte is an opinion. There’s no obligation to follow some meme you’ve never heard of.

      2. I think you mean Phish.

        And it’s too bad the latest reports won’t hurt our corrupt-as-shit governor in the polls.

        1. My opinion on the accuracy of polls can be best described by the Patron Saint of the Civil Service – Sir Humphrey Appleby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

          1. Maybe, the curricula for HS government class should consist entirely of watching, “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”

        2. Phish is your governor?

    1. Door knob!

      1. Sorry – illegal use of noun.

        Fifteen yard penalty, and an night in the box.

        1. Shit! there goes my baking stick.. how am I going to power drill the sun now? This sucks. I demand a fair and independent pogrom, NOW!

          1. In your dreams, wombat!

  14. Um, this is pretty awful.

  15. Whoa boy. This is actually unreadable. I have never seen this form of literary fuckup, but there it is.

  16. What if some guys got together and formed a Representative Republic, and allowed only land owners, those with skin in the game, to vote?

    1. Slaves would never be emancipated, and conscription would be abolished ..

      1. and conscription would *never be* abolished

        1. You realize his what-if isn’t rhetorical?

          Just asinine because we know how the story ends to this point.

          1. What if we hadn’t allowed 47% of the population to vote themselves the rights to the other 53% of people’s property?

      2. Nonsense. You are aware that according to the US Census, when the civil war was fought less than 6% of households in the Confederacy actually owned slaves, and slightly less than 1% of all US land owners owned slaves, right?

        1. What was the proportion of slaveholders who sat in the various state secession conventions?

        2. So then at least 44% of all households did not own slaves yet wanted to preserve slavery. I’m not sure how that refutes Pathogen’s point.

          Of course, legal slavery has been abolished, so the question really should be, would property-based suffrage lead to the re-institution of slavery?

          1. I think if you do the math, the number of households that DID NOT own slaves in the US was more like ~96%.

            Where did you come up with the idea that “at least 44% of all households did not own slaves yet wanted to preserve slavery”?

  17. Do you believe in the separation of Church and State?

    Would you swear to your answer on a Bible in open court?

  18. Would be a lot more provocative without that many “what ifs.”

  19. We need a dictatorship of pro-corporate, anti-abortion libertarians.

    1. libertarians are pro markets, not pro business.

  20. Am I the only one who notices that there is a specific solution, and that’s us actually BECOMING a democracy, rather than a republic? I mean, you guys point out, for example, that inner city people repeatedly vote for charter schools. Imagine what else they would vote for if they actually COULD.

    Nobody ever VOTED for public sector unions, government-run schools, no-fault marriage, insane litigation/tort, or anything else like that.

    We only get to vote for people, which is meaningless. The whole “well, people could vote those guys out” thing is bullshit when our party system set-up naturally tends to two huge parties with McDonald’s-esque watered-down political philosophies, and everyone just has to vote to stop the OTHER guy. I don’t think I’ve ever voted FOR any politician, only AGAINST the democrats

    WE NEED MORE REFERENDUMS, A NATIONAL REFERENDUM, AND AN END TO THE PARTY SYSTEM

    1. Um, no. Statistically, half of all people are of below average intelligence. In reality, roughly 70% of Americans are blithering fucking idiots, who are either willfully ignorant, or just don’t give a fuck unless it involves football or NASCAR. What we really need are more restrictions on voting. If you don’t pay income taxes, you shouldn’t be able to vote.

      1. ^^^ This. Personally I’m tired of working for what you call the “Free Shit Brigade”. I’m also very tired of hearing them bitch.

        1. I’m tired of hearing people who are wealthy enough to pay income taxes bitch about people poorer than them. It’s all very unseemly.

          But thanks for explicitly advocating plutocracy. I’ve been telling you guys that’s what you were about for years!

          1. Plutocracy huh. That’s exactly what people like you do, when you you take money from working people like me, and spend it on buying votes.
            Personally responsible,gracious,charitable people get to vote. Ignorant, lazy assholes like you, do not get to vote. Of course I do not expect someone like you Tony to understand the concepts of personal responsibility, or charity.

          2. Easy solution: Require EVERYONE to pay income taxes at the same rate. 15% should do it. That’s fair, isn’t it?

            1. Well Anon E. Mouse. Do you prefer to be robbed at a flat rate, or a progressive rate?

              1. Ok. Honestly if I have to live under a government, and pay an income “Tax” I would rather pay a flat tax. IMO progressive taxation is punitive.

            2. No, because for some bizarre reason, like everyone else who favors a flat income tax, you are pretending or don’t know that there are other taxes and they tend to be regressive (sales, payroll, etc.). The whole point of the income tax is to balance those. In no way whatsoever is it fair to make the poor pay a higher portion of their income on taxes than the rich, right?

              1. Tony:

                The whole point of the income tax is to balance those.

                The point of income tax is to generate revenue. Period.

                The sales taxes are all local, and vary from place to place, as well as state income taxes. The fed doesn’t choose a smorgasbord of federal tax rates to offset sales taxes, state income taxes, and whatnot.

                If you can’t accurately describe the purpose of a tax, then I don’t see the point.

              2. Look, you commie bastard: The top 50% of income earners pay 97% of all federal income taxes. They also pay the majority of property taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, luxury taxes, social security taxes, medicaid taxes, import tariffs, licensing and permit fees, fuel taxes,…everything. The bottom 50% pay only 3% of federal income taxes, and the bottom 40% get more cash back from the federal government than they contribute. In short, half the population is paying for everything, and the other half is riding for free. Fuck them, and fuck you. I’m tired of working my ass off, only to have nearly half of what I earn taken from me. What I’d LIKE to see is what would happen if the flow of free shit was to stop. Would the recipients of free shit find a way to survive, without continuing to take what they didn’t earn, from those that did earn it? I doubt it, because leaches will be leaches.

          3. Tony:

            I’m tired of hearing people who are wealthy enough to pay income taxes bitch about people poorer than them. It’s all very unseemly.

            Yes, we should all be ashamed, shouldn’t we?

    2. You’ve only ever voted against the democrats, yet you promote a governing system that would allow 50.1% of the voting public to control government policy. I’d like to compose a reply consisting of a long series of sentences the begin ‘What if…’ that highlights the folly of your suggestion, but that wouldn’t go over too well around here.

      1. do you doubt people would vote against public schools in favor of school vouchers or charter schools, against insane litigation (EVERYONE knows about/complains about the McDonald’s burning-coffee stories and the like), for marriage reform, etc.?

        1. Hear that whistle? That’s the free shit train coming to a town near you.

          1. even assuming your premise

            the people would also vote away the free shit that goes to smaller numbers of people who have poitical pull, like the public sector unions. I mean, do you doubt that people in our doomed cities would vote to cut all the damned spending on the pensions?

            right now those kinds of costs are some of the biggest

            On the other hand, assuming the general populace wants to vote itself free shit, what kind of shit would that be? There are only a few things people are susceptible to thinking they can get for free, and in the case of healthcare, at least it would be an improvement over obamacare if one state created a subsidised -for-the-poor healthcare system.

            You have to remember that part of referendums would be low signature requirements to get on the ballot, and all types of NGOs would be empowered to write the laws on the ballot. Furthermore, change could happen rapidly, in case something gets too expensive quickly

            1. “You have to remember that part of referendums would be low signature requirements to get on the ballot, and all types of NGOs would be empowered to write the laws on the ballot.”

              So in other words, every time some NGO wanted more tax dollars, everyone else would have to stop what they’re doing to vote for or against it? There are thousands of NGOs, and given the ability to draft laws, there would be thousands more; all of them seeking to benefit from this new-found power. Have you actually put more than a few second’s thought into this?

              1. // every time some NGO wanted more tax dollars, everyone else would have to stop what they’re doing to vote for or against it?

                Are you retarded? When the hell has any group that isn’t the government drafted a referendum to give itself money. That’d be found illegal even without statutes saying so. Abuse of the political process.

                I meant NGOs the American Enterprise Institute or the Heritage foundation or whatever. They could all write up laws to be put on referendum

                1. WE NEED MORE REFERENDUMS, A NATIONAL REFERENDUM, AND AN END TO THE PARTY SYSTEM
                  […]
                  I meant NGOs the American Enterprise Institute or the Heritage foundation or whatever. They could all write up laws to be put on referendum

                  Why are my neighbors uniquely qualified to vote about my life, liberty and property?

                  When the hell has any group that isn’t the government drafted a referendum to give itself money.

                  Pick a tax referendum. There are no doubt tens of thousands of historical occurrences for you to choose from.

                2. You do realize that NGOs constantly lobby the government for grants and funding (taxpayer money), right? And you want to give them the power to draft laws that idiots will vote on directly? Throw in a few pictures of a buzzard stalking an African kid, and you’ve got access to my earnings? No thanks.

                  1. A) who would vote for the XYZ organization to get more money from the government

                    B) The new referendum laws could be written to exclude votes for such things

                    Pretty simple solution

                    Really if you guys think my proposal is wrong you’re picking the wrong element to focus on.
                    But something tells me you just want people to join in your pouty “our country is falling apart” whining. Yeah, we’re probably doomed, but that doesn’t mean that there might be solutions, and that we should at least try to fix things. And you ignore after the Fed goes bankrupt, the states will still be leftover, and some of them will probably pretty powerful and well-off (Texas) and succeed America as the new local power, and what policies are put in place then also matter.

                    1. A) who would vote for the XYZ organization to get more money from the government

                      Those who stand to gain.

                      B) The new referendum laws could be written to exclude votes for such things

                      Pretty simple solution

                      Laws can be changed rather easily and the empowerment of referendums is based on the premise that democratic decisions are more valid and virtuous than non-democratic ones. The breadth and scope of government power always increases under democratic conditions thanks to those promoting the false legitimacy democratic government.

                      we should at least try to fix things.

                      Yeah we need more democracy, that should do the trick.

                    2. //Those who stand to gain.

                      Da fuck are you talking about? You’re talking nonsense. Any one of these NGOs is outnumbered by the general populace 1000-1. Who would vote to give them money for no reason?
                      We’ve had these NGOs like the Hiertiage foundation and the AEI for years, and all they ever do is talk about policy, not try to gain regulatory capture. When the hell has an organization LIKE THAT ever done that?

                      //Laws can be changed rather easily and the empowerment of referendums

                      That’s pretty stupid. The law would just say that element of the law can’t be changed without a referendum itself.

                      Look, half the states already have referendums, and what you’re saying hasn’t happened. I heard of Prop 8 in California,, I heard of the high speed rail one they had, but I ain’t never heard of the Ayn Rand Institute or the Karl Marx Society for the Advancement of Socialism try to get free money for nothing in a referendum. What the hell are you talking about?

                      //The breadth and scope of government power always increases under democratic conditions thanks to those promoting the false legitimacy democratic government.

                      //Yeah we need more democracy, that should do the trick.

                      Yup. Should help. You’re ignoring the fact that I keep pointing out that we have a REPUBLIC, not a democracy.

                      So far the scope of government has increased in numerous ways that were NOT voted for by the people under a REPUBLIC government.

                    3. You’re trying to make this about your pet libertarianist purity dogma BS, but a lot of it is just our shitty political system. Something like the ACA would never have ever passed if we actually got to vote on the fucking laws; it had massive resistance BEFORE it turned out to be work horribly.

                      I’m not saying it’s a cure-all, or even a cure, but it’s at least a good theory to start with

                      Gerstanlicht?

                      Especially considering libertopia doesn’t exist, will never exist, and frankly pure dogmatic libertarianism has never once been completely consistent. The purists like you ALWAYS make some huge philosophical mistakes

                    4. Something like the ACA would never have ever passed if we actually got to vote on the fucking laws; it had massive resistance BEFORE it turned out to be work horribly.

                      lol. Right, because people are just so knowledgeable, educated and informed.

                      I’m not saying it’s a cure-all, or even a cure, but it’s at least a good theory to start with

                      It’s not a good theory to start with. It can be easily invalidated with basic knowledge of morality and logic.

                      Especially considering libertopia doesn’t exist, will never exist, and frankly pure dogmatic libertarianism has never once been completely consistent. The purists like you ALWAYS make some huge philosophical mistakes

                      And here I was going to say logically inconsistent ideological blunderers like yourself lack any philosophical credit whatsoever. But where is the huge philosophical mistake I’m making?

                    5. Da fuck are you talking about? You’re talking nonsense. Any one of these NGOs is outnumbered by the general populace 1000-1. Who would vote to give them money for no reason?

                      Your little feud about NGos is with another poster. But as to my actual point, people vote their preferred groups extra privilege and redistributed wealth.

                      That’s pretty stupid. The law would just say that element of the law can’t be changed without a referendum itself.

                      Do you actually read what you’re writing? You’re telling me that you would limit the power of of referendums by way of referendums. Now what were you saying about stupid?

                      Ayn Rand Institute or the Karl Marx Society for the Advancement of Socialism try to get free money for nothing in a referendum. What the hell are you talking about?

                      I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Groups, that is ‘people’, do by way of referendums direct money to favored groups.

                      Yup. Should help. You’re ignoring the fact that I keep pointing out that we have a REPUBLIC, not a democracy.

                      So far the scope of government has increased in numerous ways that were NOT voted for by the people under a REPUBLIC government.

                      I forgot I’m talking to a guy who thinks the nature of a government is determined by the title the government describes itself with.

                      I said democratic conditions cause the scope of government power to expand, without fail.

                    6. //Your little feud about NGos is with another poster.

                      Then stop jumping on his argument, it’s confusing.

                      //I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Groups, that is ‘people’, do by way of referendums direct money to favored groups

                      Yes yes yes, governments are subject to the whims of special influential groups blah blah blah

                      That is not what I was talking about

                      Clearly, if there is a solution, referendums are probably part of the solution. People never actually got to vote for public sector unions or public schools or insane tort or anything like that.

                      // said democratic conditions cause the scope of government power to expand, without fail.

                      And I told you guys, we didn’t vote for any of the craziness that’s being shoved down our throats. Even the ACA wouldn’t have passed if we had some more god damned democracy.
                      Clearly we don’t have that much democracy (just republic), and that’s part of the problem

                    7. Then stop jumping on his argument, it’s confusing

                      You brought that to the table. I’m saying people vote themselves and preferred groups other people’s money. That fact is irrefutable.

                      Clearly, if there is a solution, referendums are probably part of the solution. People never actually got to vote for public sector unions or public schools or insane tort or anything like that.

                      People vote for public schools in referendums all the time! Not a single school tax levy in 10 years has failed in my district. In fact, no tax levy of any kind has failed in this district. Basically I have to pay more because of the moral righteousness of my neighbor’s dumbfuck opinion. Yay democracy.

                      And I told you guys, we didn’t vote for any of the craziness that’s being shoved down our throats. Even the ACA wouldn’t have passed if we had some more god damned democracy.

                      I didn’t say anything about the hypothetical plausibility of one law or another passed by referendum. The “scope” of government refers to diversity of subjects of which the government is even permitted to legislate on. Which expands along with the voter rolls.

                      Your thesis about the root of the problem being “not enough democracy” does not address how the problems have gotten worse overtime and yet the government has not become more republican overtime, but vastly more democratic.

                    8. Here’s the deal, fuckstick: True democracy cannot and does not ever work. It is the tyranny of the majority over the minority. The Founders recognized that fact, and instituted a Representative Republic precisely for that reason.

                      A Representative Republic may not be perfect, but it’s a fuck-ton better than having every fucking moron voting on every legislative action. It acts as a buffer for knee-jerk, emotional irrationalism by a public that’s easily manipulated. Let’s face it: You put the right guy on TV saying the right things, at the right time and he’ll have 50.1% of Americans voting to carve a bust of Michael Fucking Jackson on Mt. Rushmore.

                      And for those of you that think that no government is the answer: You’re fucking idiots. There are people that will kill everyone in your town without a second thought just to fuck your daughters, and they run governments and control militaries. How exactly do you propose to stop that without a central government?

                      The problem isn’t our form of government; the problem is the people WE ELECT TO RUN IT. Al Franken and Jesse Jackson Jr didn’t elect themselves. Giving the same people who voted for them the ability to vote directly on legislation isn’t going to fix a fucking thing. As a matter of fact, it’s going “Full-Retard”, and you never go full-retard.

                    9. //True democracy cannot and does not ever work.

                      Agreed, but it doesn’t have to be an extreme republic, either. God forbid we have some more democratic elements, like referendums.
                      All the polls show that people would vote for reform on many many issues.

                    10. Under current conditions, you give me a couple of media outlets, air-time, a $6000 suit, and a pure democracy with “referendums”, and I’ll have this country voting to annex Mexico by force within 90 days.

                    11. All the polls show that people don’t know shit about shit.

    3. “public sector unions”

      So, tell me again why libertarians have a problem with self- organizing groups that aren’t part of the dreaded government. If a group of people decide that their boss sucks and the pay is shitty, libertarians should have a problem with that group walking off the job? Why should I, as a libertarian sympathizer, care about workers demanding better treatment?

      1. you’re being deliberately obtuse

        You know as well as anyone that none of that system is “free” by any stretch of the word. Employers, including the government, are FORCED BY LAW to deal with the union if it strikes. They ARE NOT ALLOWED to just hire other workers and fire the people in the union, or even things that are only half way to that. All the laws spell out all the shit like pay for scabs, regulations on negotiations, etc.

        We’d have no problem with the unions if the system were actually free and non-coercive.

        How can YOU, on the other hand, claim to care about the common people (socialist), when the unions are taking MILLIONS of dollars of TAXPAYER MONEY in every city, damn near bankrupting the cities. Detroit is bankrupt, and still 90% of their budget is going to pensions! How is that even remotely populist?

        1. Detroit is bankrupt, and still 90% of their budget is going to pensions! How is that even remotely populist?

          It’s perfectly populist. Which isn’t hard to believe when you consider the quality of populist ideologies and beliefs.

          1. ehhh… cute, but let’s be real

            The union situation is so clearly, grossly, overwhelmingly adverse to the general populace it’s amazing.
            And yet the left still defends them. I mean the mental gymnastics you have to go through, it’s amazing. It shows the blind faith and stupidity of these people

            it also shows how easy it should be to show the common man who they think they’re voting for really is. I mean, let’s face it, the only reason the Republicans have any trouble is the leftists own the media, and certain demographic groups are stubborn and just vote team blue all the time.
            Of course, those are actually pretty high barriers to get around

            1. The union situation is so clearly, grossly, overwhelmingly adverse to the general populace it’s amazing.

              I am being real. That’s why I’m acknowledging the populist appeal of labor unions and other opinions of a quality like that of Elizabeth Warren. What you wish populism was, isn’t necessarily what it is.

              Populism is only as valid as the opinions of the vast majority of people, which in 2014 are pretty fucking stupid. Even though popular opinions are more enlightened than they were several hundred years ago.

              the only reason the Republicans have any trouble is the leftists own the media, and certain demographic groups are stubborn and just vote team blue all the time.

              Yes the leftists are vile pandering plunderers but this alone is not the reason for republican defeat. The republicans policies are not consistent with the rhetoric. The only time it is, is when they pass absurd laws restricting social behaviors they disagree with. Which is a shitty premise to base you campaigns on when socialism and populism is destroying civilization. Neither of which being particularly feasible without institutions of democracy.

              1. I dunno, I disagree, I think that like with charter schools, the people would vote against the unions. It doesn’t take a genius to see that they’re massively harmful. I mean, non-public-union people outnumber the union people 10-1. You don’t think they’d vote them out, if only to save the tax money? The people vote to save tax money all the time when they do get to vote for laws/proposals

                1. Local districts all over the country are failing to vote out the public schools and vote in charter schools. Every single morning you wake up, those public schools persist and spend more money.

                  The people vote to save tax money all the time when they do get to vote for laws/proposals

                  I would argue that just as often referendums are responsible for tax increases, especially tax referendums. In my district, every tax referendum in the last decade has resulted in higher taxation, not a single increase put to referendum has failed. And so by what right do my neighbor’s authorize others to extort money from me?

        2. Oh, so, we should protect corporations, and give them all kinds of legal protections, like courts that enforce ip and private property rights and police protection to shitty CEOs who fire their workers, but should not give legal protections to labor unions. I get it.

          1. No. No one should get special favor. Libertarians don’t argue that in any way shape or form. The one’s supporting a system of economic privilege is your ilk.

          2. Let’s see. Wage bargaining? The state takes care of that. Safety standards? The state takes care of that. Retirement, disability? The state takes care of that.

            Currently the only things unions are good for is extorting money from the state, and it’s own members. With the increase of state power there is always a decrease of social power.

            Christ you are stupid AMSOC.

      2. They don’t have problem with self-organizing groups. If you don’t know why libertarians generally have a distaste for labor unions then you’re probably unaware of the Wagner Act and other laws that lend state power, monopoly rights and judicial privileges to unions.

        1. The problem is they rarely, if ever, voice concern over similar protections afforded to their employers.

          1. Libertarians rarely bitch about government enforced monopolies and protectionism? Are you serious? And pray tell, what law restricts empoloyees to the status of indentured serfs in relation to their employers?

            1. It’s the absence of laws like the Wagner Act you malign above that does that. There is a natural power imbalance between employers and employees that can only be ameliorated by law.

              And I’m talking about limited liability and other special rights granted to businesses. If workers should have to operate in a Darwinian environment with no government protection, why not businesses?

              1. There is a natural power imbalance between employers and employees that can only be ameliorated by law.

                So there is coercion in the relationship because there’s not enough coercion? Sorry here I thought the free market system allowing people to trade their labor is precisely why we live as well as we do.

                And I’m talking about limited liability and other special rights granted to businesses

                Corporations and banks in the Federal Reserve System, not businesses in general. Also if you have a problem with corporate welfare and regulatory capture, quit supporting the expansion of government powers and credit that make it possible.

                If workers should have to operate in a Darwinian environment with no government protection, why not businesses?

                The workers wouldn’t live in a Darwinian circumstances. Getting fired doesn’t mean the same thing as being eaten alive. Not being allowed to put a gun to the business owner’s head is also, not Darwinian. It’s moral.

                Do you think workers are served by monopoly unions that they’re forced to associate with?

                1. So there is coercion in the relationship because there’s not enough coercion?

                  No… There is coercion in the relationship naturally, and it only goes one way. The only known way to balance things so that workers have rights qua workers (and that’s most of us), is to have labor protections written in law. Anyone advocating for removing these is not doing anything for capitalism, they are just serving the interests of those with the capital.

                  Not being allowed to put a gun to the business owner’s head is also, not Darwinian. It’s moral.

                  Let me get this straight. It’s an acceptable metaphor to say that workers having government protections is like putting a gun to employers’ heads. But employers being able to end the livelihoods of employees on a whim is morality!

                  Do you think workers are served by monopoly unions that they’re forced to associate with?

                  I’m open to any proposal that offers protections to afford most people in our economic system (workers) the basic dignities of life. Things went pretty well with the union system. If you have a better alternative, let me know. I suspect your better alternative is tantamount to more government guns surrounding the employers’ interests, pointed in the direction of the workers.

                  1. You seem to believe that somebody somewhere “owes” you a job.

                  2. No… There is coercion in the relationship naturally, and it only goes one way.

                    No see business owners are human beings too.And people like you see to it that business owners are threatened and extorted. It’s hardly a one way street. The only coercion I see taking place is from the government. Business owners don’t shackle you to your work post.

                    Let me get this straight. It’s an acceptable metaphor to say that workers having government protections is like putting a gun to employers’ heads. But employers being able to end the livelihoods of employees on a whim is morality!

                    Nice strawman as usual Tony. But why shouldn’t an owner be able to fire an employee? Their interaction with each other is voluntary. Employers do not owe their employees a livelihood, they owe them the value of their labor as agreed upon by both parties. Anything else is support for slavery.

                    1. Things went pretty well with the union system. If you have a better alternative, let me know. I suspect your better alternative is tantamount to more government guns surrounding the employers’ interests, pointed in the direction of the workers.

                      Listen Mr. Strawman, I’m not sure how many times I have to say that libertarians are not arguing for any special privileges for anyone. That’s you and other twatty twats like you. I doubt you can tell me what the “union system” is. It’s not as though the only way to have labor unions is to force people to join it, force them to pay it, and force business owners to negotiate with it and only it. And THEN prevent any competing unions from coexisting. No sir, that would be unthinkable. In fact, every single law and whimsical regulation thought up by FDR is utterly integral to all life in the universe and the repeal of such policies would be unfathomable! You’re not open to shit, you’re a latter-day fascist.

                  3. Tony:

                    But employers being able to end the livelihoods of employees on a whim is morality!

                    Calm down, Susan. Losing a job isn’t ending livelihood.

              2. //It’s the absence of laws like the Wagner Act you malign above that does that.

                Nonsense. What the hell does the Wagner act have to do with regular, non-union labor? That’s regulated by all the OTHER labor regulation. So what the hell are you talking about?

                //And I’m talking about limited liability and other special rights granted to businesses. If workers should have to operate in a Darwinian environment with no government protection, why not businesses?

                OK, let’s just accept what you say for a moment, and say those are unfair. That has no effect on whether it’s fair for a select few to be able to forcibly take taxpayer money (remember, the employing governments HAVE to deal with the unions). How on earth is that fair/OK?

                All you did was raise a separate issue as a distraction

                You can’t really argue on the actual issues, can you. I mean, you literally ALWAYS change the goalposts and have NEVER written anything substantive to counter what we say on this site. I know you claim you have, but nothing SUBSTANTIVE, that really negates anything we say.

                So I want a real explanation
                HOW IS IT FAIR FOR THE TAXPAYER TO FOOT THE BILL FOR EXTREME EXTRA BENEFITS TO PUBLIC SECTOR UNION PEOPLE UNDER THREAT OF FORCE? REMEMBER, THE GOVERNMENTS HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE UNIONS BY LAW.
                HOW IS IT FAIR THAT DETROIT, A BANKRUPT CITY, IS PAYING 90% OF ITS BUDGET TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS!?

                1. It’s the exact same discussion. You guys are absolutely fixated on the protections that workers/poor people get from government and completely ignore the ones wealthier interests get, except when you’re called on it.

                  I think it’s perfectly fair to use tax money to pay for a system of protections for corporations. I also think it’s perfectly fair to use tax money to pay for a system of protections for workers. Or to use taxes to pay for roads. These are just components of a civilization. Nothing incoherent or contradictory here.

                  The fact that among all the issues you guys still fixate on labor unions–after they’ve been practically eliminated from the private sector by people representing the interests of people who lose money in the presence of labor unions–only suggests that you’re not remotely interested in fairness, you’re interested in hocking bullshit in the service of the wealthy interests.

                  1. so, in other words, you ignored the question

                    There are lets say 99 taxpayers to every 1 public sector worker. Why is it fair that those 99 are forced to pay above market wages to give HUGE compensation packages to that 1 worker? Even if you want there to be private sector unions up the yin yang, the question still remains, and is separate from the private sector.

                    ANSWER THE QUESTION

                    1. Oh, was that the question? It doesn’t have anything to do with fairness. Unions are negotiating parties. They get what they can get, same as with employers. The availability of unions simply means workers have a comparable amount of leverage to their employers. There’s no reason public sector workers shouldn’t be able to have this arrangement. There’s nothing inherently fair about what you’re calling market wages–by which you mean wages that would exist in the absence of collective bargaining, or with the scales tilted in favor of the employers.

                      I think paying workers more, even government workers, makes for a healthier overall economy, so it doesn’t bother me to be paying taxes for that. Lots of other things I’d rather not be paying taxes for before that.

                    2. //There’s no reason public sector workers shouldn’t be able to have this arrangement.

                      Yes there is. You see, WE ALL HAVE TO PAY TAXES UNDER THREAT OF VIOLENT AND BRUTAL PUNISHMENT. (yes, violent and brutal, what do you think happens in prisons?)

                      So again, you have sidled around the question.
                      WHY DO THE 1% GET TO USE FORCE TO EXTRACT MORE MONEY FROM THE 99%?

                    3. WE ALL HAVE TO PAY TAXES UNDER THREAT OF VIOLENT AND BRUTAL PUNISHMENT.

                      Geez enough with the hysterics. I have to pay taxes to support a war that was based on lies. We all have to pay taxes, often for things we don’t like. It’s called life.

                    4. It’s not called life. It’s called being coerced into doing something you disagree with. What’s that called ? I forget.

                  2. so unions have been practically eliminated from the private sector. In other words, most people get non-coercive, market wages?

                    But public sector unions should have the right to use the violent force of the state to extract the huge (not “fair”, they’re HUGE) pensions and wages and bennies and employment secuirty (impossible to fire).

                    So exactly how is it fair that those workers you care so much about have to pay extra for the much much fewer number of public sector employees? How is that “fair”? When they could easily just what the market allows for.

                    How on earth can you describe this as fair?

                    1. //Lots of other things I’d rather not be paying taxes for before that.

                      WHY DOESN’T THE TAXPAYER GET TO VOTE ON IT? YOU KNOW, LIKE A DEMOCRACY?

                      As I have mentioned above, I don’t buy into the legitimacy a strict republic, and I think a lot of the problem is that we don’t have enough referendums

                    2. It’s not fair–private sector employees should get the same protections.

                      This country’s big problem is not that public sector workers make too much compensation. It’s that private sector CEOs do.

                    3. In other words, you can’t actually answer my question

                      If you’ll notice, above, I mentioned that even if you think private sector workers deserve to have more unions and union protections, the public sector poses a unique political/philosophical conundrum.

                      Even in a world of lots of unions and union protections, why should the unions in the public sector, who are payed via taxes that everyone has to pay by force, get union protections when all the taxpayers, that is, all of us, could simply pay less?

                      Why can’t we at least vote on it? At least that would remove the element of force

                    4. Of course we can vote on it. The existence of public sector union protections can be altered tomorrow by Congress or state legislatures–and it’s not like the Republicans aren’t trying. It’s very high on their agenda, in fact.

                      It’s a valid argument that, for the public purpose of saving taxpayers money, we should restrict the protections of public-sector workers. I just disagree that this should be a priority.

                    5. And I’ll be honest and say I don’t think it should be a priority because I think there is no actual public purpose here, just a mindless dogmatic anti-union movement whose sole purpose and outcome is to funnel more money upward and into fewer hands via the legislative process.

                    6. //just a mindless dogmatic anti-union …

                      Sure Tony, whatever you say.

                      Detroit is bankrupt, and still 90% of their budget is going to pensions. Cops make a retarded amount of money per year given the skill set, retire at 50, and then get a six figure pension.
                      I remember seeing one show, showed this NYC garbageman, dude makes $100,000 /year, as a hobby he’s a competitive bodybuilder.
                      Every fucking school, they find 1 principal, and like 10 vice principals and bureaucratic nonsense jobs, all getting $200,000 + a year

                      But you believe in helping the workers and the people right?

                      Your shit may have been relevant in 1935, but it’s 2014 and times are different.
                      Clearly YOU are the one who’s stuck on ideology and dogma.

                    7. I’ll entertain those arguments when they’re not being made by dogmatic anti-union crusaders.

                      I’ve heard this same shit my whole life. How high-on-the-hog those union workers live. Private or public, doesn’t matter, it’s always the same. They’re getting Too Much–as defined by the one doing the bitching, who’s likely not getting as much at their job (talk about the politics of envy).

                      Is $100,000 too much for a garbage collector? I sure as shit wouldn’t do that job for any less than that. Meanwhile there is absolutely no correlation between job performance/outcomes and CEO pay. That’s a rigged system, and that’s to the tune of orders of magnitudes more than what you’re bitching about.

                    8. //I’ll entertain those arguments when they’re not being made by dogmatic anti-union crusaders.

                      I just gave you a bunch of FACTS of the extreme nature of government worker compensation, and you’re claiming that everyone else are the dogmatic anti-union-ers?
                      You ever considered you’re the dogmatist, stuck in the 1930’s mindset, unable to take into account what’s actually happening now?

                      //Is $100,000 too much for a garbage collector? I sure as shit wouldn’t do that job for any less than that

                      Well I fucking totally would, so why don’t the taxpayers get to hire me and save money. You know, that money that is supposed to be under a sacred covenant to only be used to enhance their welfare?

                      //Meanwhile there is absolutely no correlation between job performance/outcomes and CEO pay. That’s a rigged system, and that’s to the tune of orders of magnitudes more than what you’re bitching about.

                      Who’s talking about that? why Are you talking about something else all of a sudden?
                      Do you See how you’re fucked in the head? Like I said, you keep moving the goalposts.

                    9. And even on that, you’re full of shit. All those leftist news calculations of CEO pay pull the bullshit move of including shit like stock options. The actual salary and bonuses is far less. Furthermore, it does correlate to performance. Granted, much less than it ought to given the dollars involved, but there is a rough correlation, in many instances these guys can turn a company around (I remember a Thomas Sowell article talking about the whole thing and mentioning Gilette, which got saved from bankruptcy by a savvy CEO). Ultimatey that’s neither here nor there because to a large extent that whole thing is fueled by a crappy judicial system and laws that allow management to treat a corporation like their own piggybank.

                      But MOST IMPORTANTLY, THAT ISN’T TAX DOLLARS. Like I said that’s not even what we were talking about.

                    10. It’s not our tax dollars but it’s still dollars that would otherwise be in our pockets. I’m just pointing out what I think is the bigger suck on people’s livelihoods.

                    11. Tony:

                      Is $100,000 too much for a garbage collector? I sure as shit wouldn’t do that job for any less than that.

                      Yes, $100,000 is too much for a garbage collector. I wouldn’t do it for twice that, because there’s no reason for me to take a pay cut just to collect garbage.

                      However, the price of a garbage collector shouldn’t be determined by my preferences and opportunity costs. If taxpayers have to pay this guy whether they want to or not, whether they have any choices, or not, then I think the going rate should be in the taxpayers favor: is there no someone else willing to collect garbage for, say, $90K/year? $80K? $50K?

                      I agree with you on CEO pay… up to the point that we’re considering CEOs who’s pay comes primarily from tax dollars. Otherwise, I really don’t care. The ramifications for crazy CEOs with gold plated bathrooms are insignificant, when compared to local government budget crises, in terms of their ability to screw up the average person’s life.

                    12. //Of course we can vote on it. The existence of public sector union protections can be altered tomorrow by Congress or state legislatures-

                      No I meant in a referendum.

                      So, if I start a referendum to change the public sector union laws in your or my state or wherever, you wouldn’t be against the referendum? I mean, you could be against what we’re voting for, but you couldn’t be against me actually having the right to hold the referendum if you wanted to be philosophically consistent.

                      Did you join the other leftists in their BS when the workers in that state voted against unionizing in that VW plant recently? Where they tried to paint it as labors being squashed, when instead people showed they don’t want the unions

                      If my referendum passed, and the Supreme Court said it was against Federal law, and we have to cater to the public sector unions, would you join me in decrying that as a squashing of democratic rights? Would you be consistent in your claimed belief in democracy and point out that a system of checks and balances and a federal republic still don’t give the higher-ups (the Fed or SCOTUS) the right to go against the wills of the voting people in one of the states?

                      Or would you be the same pissy, equivocating, inconsistent piece of shit you are and give me BS about how SOCTUS is effectively the dictator of the entire country, (thereby implying that democracy actually doesn’t matter)

                    13. I’m not generally in favor of legislating via referendum. But that’s kind of another issue. I do support your right to try to get your policies enacted by legitimate political means.

                    14. right, until SCOTUS strikes it down, then all of a sudden it’s all about checks and balances, and how the Constitution empowers SCOTUS to be dictator (even though it actually doesn’t)

                      And then, two months later, SCOTUS is the bad guy when they vote that corporations are groups of people who have rights, or whatever the hell you pissy whiny fuckasses are whining about. THEN SCOTUS is an illegitimate cabal controlled by corporations

                    15. It’s legitimate and it’s not controlled by corporations. It should be troubling to us all that four of its members live in the right-wing disinformation media bubble, but that’s a specific issue.

                    16. //t should be troubling to us all that four of its members live in the right-wing disinformation media bubble, but that’s a specific issue

                      There, see?
                      In two seconds you manage to paint them as illegitimate.

                      So which is it, are they the grand poobah dictators who have the final say, or are they illegitimate?

                      Or maybe you just want to say both so you can choose between compaining and praising, since, you know, your only philosophical consistency is your own personal pet preferences.

                    17. I’m open to the idea that the four ideological conservatives on the Court, put there specifically because they came from the ideological conservative spawning pools of the Heritage Foundation and what not, have all the right answers. I just don’t think it’s very likely, and I think it’s troubling that such a movement wields such power in our government. But as far as I know nothing illegitimate has happened in the process. In our system they’re free to rule the constitution is unconstitutional and everyone gets a free poodle, if they can get 5 votes. A little too autocratic for me–I favor doubling the size of the court or more.

                  3. Nothing incoherent or contradictory here.

                    If I define addition to be identical to subtraction, then If 3 + 1 = 2.

                    Nothing incoherent or contradictory here.

              3. ” If workers should have to operate in a Darwinian environment with no government protection, why not businesses?”

                Jesus

                Fucking

                Christ

                Tony. You just dismantled every single argument you have ever made on this board. Congratulations.

              4. Tony:

                There is a natural power imbalance between employers and employees that can only be ameliorated by law.

                [citation needed]

                And I’m talking about limited liability and other special rights granted to businesses. If workers should have to operate in a Darwinian environment with no government protection, why not businesses?

                Great argument against corporations being given special rights.

                One would think that the fallacy of democracy protecting the working class from power imbalances would become apparent when powerful corporations are given special rights.

                Eh, let’s not worry about that. Just throw the unions a bone, and they’ll sit down, shut up, and watch TV.

                1. If you’re truly interested in making corporations operate with full liability, no tax privileges, etc., etc., then I expect you to devote nearly all of your time to that matter instead of picking on the little people. Because your fixation on them comes across as a tad psychotic.

                  1. Eat a bag of dicks Tony.

                  2. Tony:

                    If you’re truly interested in making corporations operate with full liability, no tax privileges, etc., etc., then I expect you to devote nearly all of your time to that matter instead of picking on the little people. Because your fixation on them comes across as a tad psychotic.

                    Tony, your the one fixated on little people. They’re your goto “libertarians should be ashamed of themselves!” guilt trip, which you bring up as often as possible.

                    Hell, we can barely have a conversation about the stuff we happen to agree on without you saying, “Hey, let’s change the subject. What do you think about welfare programs? Really, that limited government? You’ll kill us ALL!”

                    Then, you whine that all we talk about is taking away welfare bennies.

                    I mean, I know I should feel really guilty or psychotic when I don’t fall in love with certain labor unions, especially public ones. I just don’t see much distinction between a public sector union screwing taxpayers as a special interest group, and a corporation screwing taxpayers as a special interest group. And the only difference you claim to make between the two is that since the government is much more powerful than the union, it must be pure awesome. Never mind the collusion between politicians and public sector unions, which defeats the whole argument of the “oppressed union.”

                    1. I’m saying if you were truly applying your principles and you were truly not a psychotic human being, you’d be a thousand times more concerned with the abuses engaged in by wealthy private interests than the ones engaged in by people who can’t feed their children without food assistance.

                      And maybe you are. But don’t tell me with a straight face that libertarianism in general has these priorities rightly ordered.

                    2. Tony:

                      But don’t tell me with a straight face that libertarianism in general has these priorities rightly ordered.

                      This is from a person who earlier said:

                      Tony:

                      This country’s big problem is not that public sector workers make too much compensation. It’s that private sector CEOs do.

                      On what planet is CEO pay the country’s biggest problem? Can you flesh that out? It wouldn’t be, perhaps, the military industrial complex, or the drug war, or the financial industry, and the associated collusion between corporations and government power that’s all involved with that, would it?

                      No, apparently, it’s the fact that Tim Cook and the like make too much money.

                      If that’s what you think this country’s biggest problem is, then you have some bizarre equality fetish/fixation, and I don’t see why anyone should take you seriously, especially when you start declaring the correct order of libertarian priorities.

                    3. The wealthiest and most abusive interests in the world are governments. Even your super duper cartoon evil version of corporations don’t drone children, they don’t purposely infect people with diseases, they don’t lock people in cages for ingesting a plant. Greed is a vice that may occasionally result in unethical behavior but the sins of private interests are impossibly small compared to the horrors of public ones. And the worst of the latter are not driven by greed but by so called altruism.

      3. Do you know what “public” means in this context?

        Also
        as a libertarian sympathizer,

        Bullshit.

        care about workers demanding better treatment?

        As long as they’re not using force or fraud to get what they want I don’t care. But, you show me a large union that doesn’t use force(either their own or the states) and I’ll show you a lion that only eats celery.

        1. Labor unions use force by their mere existence via the Wagner Act. So long as FDR’s fascist policies remain on the books, there is no such thing as a moral labor union.

      4. american socialist:

        So, tell me again why libertarians have a problem with self- organizing groups that aren’t part of the dreaded government. If a group of people decide that their boss sucks and the pay is shitty, libertarians should have a problem with that group walking off the job? Why should I, as a libertarian sympathizer, care about workers demanding better treatment?

        You shouldn’t. And, if you’re looking for a libertarian who supports the concept of unions, then you’ve round him in me.

        However, if you want to start holding up specific laws that govern unions and talk about them, then you’ll probably find some sensible libertarian objections.

        At the same time, when socialist democrats start complaining about Citizens United, they rarely whine about how special interest union money effects politics and government. Is it really a stretch to believe that the same political engineering that unions engage in might not be for their own advantage at the expense of the taxpayer, in the same way corporate political engineering? If so, you’ll have to explain that one to me.

  21. Damnit, I’m going to be hearing my imaginary voice of his questions all day!

  22. What if governments were originally established to protect people’s freedoms

    If that were the case, unicorns would be farting rainbows.

    Minarchy’s assumptions aside, I’m to the point where I don’t want to see another Napolitano article. If for no other reason than his writing being awful. He’s under the mistaken belief that repeating “what if” repeatedly is stylish instead of amounting to a rhetorical bludgeoning of readers.

  23. Interesting rhetorical device in a nauseatingly annoying way.

  24. It’s a good thing Mr. Napolitano doesn’t make any declarative statements, because he might have to admit that the only possible alternative he could be implying is that he thinks he should be king and decide what counts as rights and what laws are acceptable, based on his interpretation of what God Says (and let’s not pretend he doesn’t do the God thing).

  25. //he only possible alternative he could be implying

    How is that the only possible alternative? Do you really believe that? And you laugh at our thinking/philosophy?

    1. Well you guys can’t even agree on what your philosophy is, which is why I’m compelled to personalize it in this way. Napolitano has never made any argument that doesn’t fundamentally amount to “I/my deity knows the proper form civilization should take, and nobody, not even democratic majorities, should be allowed to disagree.”

      1. him being god king isn’t the only alternative to the current political situation

        you said something stupid, and you tend to say stupid things, just admit.

        1. So what is he offering besides the implementation of his pet policies and the exclusion of anyone else’s? It is highly unlikely he’s figured out exactly the correct form of civilization, no matter how insistently he slaps slogans about freedom and natural rights on his preferences.

          1. Tony:

            It is highly unlikely he’s figured out exactly the correct form of civilization, no matter how insistently he slaps slogans about freedom and natural rights on his preferences

            Right. Because democracy never comes with slogans, and always figures out the exact, correct form of civilization.

      2. MY philosophy is this:

        Leave me the fuck alone. Leave my money alone. I’ll help pay for roads and National Defense, but you need to pay for your own fucking food and healthcare. Keep your imaginary gods to yourself. Stay off my lawn.

        That’s it.

        1. And I wish you godspeed in getting your fellow citizens to come around to favoring a government that only does national defense and roads. Good luck with the oldies and their Medicare!

          1. Eat a bag of dicks Tony.

      3. Tony:

        Well you guys can’t even agree on what your philosophy is, which is why I’m compelled to personalize it in this way.

        Tony, you can’t agree on what your philosophy or ethics are. It’s alternately subjectivism, utilitarianism, nihilism, legalism, or a two point philosophy of 1. equality, and 2. democracy.

        It’s so incoherent that no one can follow it except you, because your philosophy shape-shifts to be whatever you need it to be to arrive at whatever pre-determined conclusion you can.

        You whine about libertarian philosophy being too simplistic. Meanwhile, you construct a rube goldberg machine of conflicting assumptions and conclusions that, when taken as a whole, allow you to pretend to construct some philosophy that coincidentally confirms every policy preference you have, while leaving you struggling to explain just exactly whether or not/why rape and murder are bad, or whether or not abolishing slavery is morally distinguishable from the holocaust.

        Congratulations on constructing such an unorthodox idea of philosophy and ethics that you can’t even figure out if rape is a bad idea. But, when reaching that point, most non-psychotic people would go back and check their premises and arguments. You just stroll on forward, content in the fact that you think you’ve given the welfare state some ideological cover. Bravo.

        1. You’re right that I wouldn’t strictly pin down my political philosophy. Once you do that you are exposed to the pathologies of dogma. I think the world is complex, that nobody has everything figured out already, and that the best approach to most things is a scientific one. So in terms of what policy I favor, I see what has and hasn’t worked in the real world and tend to favor what brings about the most well-being for humans. Defining well-being is another complicated task.

          Do you think it’s easy to say why rape and murder are bad? I think it’s a complex proposal. What does bad mean? For whom? And those are two of the easiest ones! It gets ever so much more complicated when we’re talking about torts or property lines!

          Don’t overestimate the virtue of having consistent philosophical first principles. Life is complicated.

          1. Eat a bag of dicks Tony.

          2. Tony:

            You’re right that I wouldn’t strictly pin down my political philosophy. Once you do that you are exposed to the pathologies of dogma.

            That’s just a very obfuscated way of saying I don’t pin down my philosophy because I want to avoid having to support it in argument. Therefore, I hand-wave away any counter-arguments beforehand as pathological and dogmatic, even though I haven’t made an argument that can be counter-argued. So you know the argument that you’re not bothering to make is completely superior to all the counter-arguments that aren’t being made, in response to nothing.

            How imaginary.

            Then you whine that libertarians don’t agree on their philosophy.

            How brilliantly lazy. I suppose it takes a special gift to complain about others not agreeing on their argument, while you make no argument, and pretend that that’s a smart thing to do.

          3. Tony:

            Do you think it’s easy to say why rape and murder are bad? I think it’s a complex proposal. What does bad mean? For whom? And those are two of the easiest ones! It gets ever so much more complicated when we’re talking about torts or property lines!

            Does it have to be easy for you to give it a shot? How lazy.

            I’m not saying that it’s easy to say why rape is bad. I’m saying that, whatever standards you set for your ethical theories, if, in the end, you have way to coherently apply it to rape and have some useful explanation of whether or not rape is bad, or why it’s bad, then I’m not sure what the point is. It seems your concepts of ethics are driven by justifying state power, rather than addressing, you know, ethics.

            So, when a BA English major, declaring himself to have superior knowledge on philosophy and ethics over math and engineering majors, tries to boil all ethics and philosophy down to “there is no right or wrong, and I have no argument. What you think the sky god tells you how it goes?”, doesn’t that seem ridiculously insane?

            People have actually studied the concepts of what good or bad mean, and have presented ethical theories defining the terms, applying them, and generating conclusions. You can explain exactly what a subjectivist means when he says that rape is bad, or an act utilitarian, or a rule utilitarian, etc.

            You just sit there and bravely say “Wow. Rape’s complicated. I’ll just ignore it. It’s not easy, like taxes.”

      4. Tony:

        and nobody, not even democratic majorities, should be allowed to disagree.”

        So, he favors mind control?

        Hell, lots of people do what they want, whether or not the majority agrees. They’re called criminals, and as the pages of law pile higher and higher, they become more and more respectable.

  26. //So what is he offering

    Nothing. It’s just a critical piece. It doesn’t offer any suggestions/alternatives. He is allowed to write that, you are not the god of media and we don’t all owe you explanations.

    Would you like me to find all the leftist articles that offer no solutions to their complaints?

    // besides the implementation of his pet policies and the exclusion of anyone else’s

    Nope, he never made any normative statements. If you think that, you have reading comprehension problems.

    1. I get that. None of you ever do get around to explaining what your alternative is, or how it’s not just the imposition of your will at the expense of everyone else’s, because you’re so smart and special.

      1. Eat a bag of dicks Tony.

      2. how it’s not just the imposition of your will at the expense of everyone else’s, because you’re so smart and special.

        Let’s just assume that libertarians would achieve their goals through democracy. This implies that it would be an imposition of will, just without necessary assumptions of smartness and specialness.

        And, it implies that you would think it automatically becomes awesome.

  27. //None of you ever do get around to explaining what your alternative is,

    We have repeatedly. For one thing, it’s often a pretty simple “Government shouldn’t even be involved in that, outside the basic rules set out by courts”. But many of us frequently make specific policy recommendations.

    Funny, how the only way you can make us look bad (after YOU say something stupid) is by painting us as one ultra-libertarian purist block, when there are plenty of commentors who are more moderate libertarian types.

    Hell, just above we were having an argument where I am specifically calling for more referendums. Wow, real dogmatic libertarian right there

    1. If Mr. Napolitano is asking these question, he should be reading Nock.

  28. Great article. I believe it shows how little the citizens of this country question what government does. It all begins with people understanding what inalienable rights are.

  29. JPyrate,

    you should write a song with “Eat a bag of dicks, tony” as the title and chorus.

    Other suggested titles for songs about tony could be:

    “Government Fellator”

    “Lying shitweasel”

    “Disingenuous Crapstick”

    I’d say “Dazed and Confused” but it’s already been done.

    Still, I’m sure you could manage to compile a selection for the Reason Christmas album that would have all of us bopping our heads in agreement.

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