Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 74 Percent Say Congress Should Prioritize Economic Growth Over Reducing Income Inequality

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recent Reason-Rupe poll finds 74 percent of Americans say they want Congress to prioritize policies that promote economic growth, while 20 percent want Congress to focus on reducing income inequality instead.

Similarly, when asked which economic issue would be most relevant to voters' judgments this November 23 percent said the "gap between rich and poor."

Focus on economic growth is a bi-partisan issue, including 69 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents, and 86 percent of Republicans who prioritize promoting economic growth over reducing income inequality.

Nevertheless, these results do not imply that Americans do not care about income inequality, quite the opposite. The Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of Americans think "the gap between rich and poor" is a "big problem" for the country.  Moreover, the Public Religion Research Institute found 66 percent of Americans say "government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor."

But what do people mean when they say the government should "do more" ? It could mean anything from income redistribution to deregulating industries to allow for more job creation. In fact, when Americans are offered more concrete alternatives, 58 percent of Americans think that private sector growth is a better method that government policy (31%) to reduce income inequality, according to a New Models National Brand Poll.

In sum, Americans care about income inequality and would prefer disparities attenuated. However, when policies intended to reduce income inequality conflict with those intended to promote growth, Americans opt for growth policies.

This implies that policy advocates should either explain why policies intended to reduce income inequality will ultimately come at the expense of economic growth, or alternatively why this would not occur.

Ultimately, if Americans must make a choice, they opt for a more prosperous economically differentiated society over a less prosperous economically egalitarian society.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1000 adults on cell phones (500) and landlines (500) August 6-10, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.7%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).

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  1. It’s hard for me to imagine the mind set of answering the other way.

    1. Because maybe the rich get richer is not a good governing philosophy?

      1. Nothing in ‘prioritizing economic growth’ is limited to ‘the rich getting richer.’ Or is the idea that the rich might get richer something that bothers you so much that the non-rich should have to suffer for it by economic stagnation?

        1. Is this the sum of libertarian thought, a false dilemma of ‘either you support the rich getting richer or you hate poor people?’ It’s like Orwell had a stroke and wrote blog comments.

          1. Is this the sum of libertarian thought, a false dilemma of ‘either you support the rich getting richer or you hate poor people?’

            What the fuck are you talking about? The false dilemma is exactly in reverse “you don’t begrudge rich people, you must hate poor people” and always coming from people like you.

            1. If you read his derp from the non profit thread you will see he doesn’t understand logic or reasoning.

              1. Yep I know him. He had to take remedial sophistry and he’s still not very good at that disingenuous method.

          2. No one posed such a false dilemma, if you got past your reflexive rudeness you will see that instead I just argued that the fact that some rich person might get richer should not be the cause of economic policy that harms the poor. It is you that pose the false dilemma: you cannot prioritize economic prosperity without simply making the rich richer.

      2. If the richer get richer and no one is made worse by their gain, the wealth of society has definitely increased. If you don’t like rich people getting richer, avert your tender little eyes and lower the gun you would point at them.

      3. I can assume you’ve never had a job. Because if you had ever had a job, it would have been given to you by a rich person, and you would appreciate that the fewer rich people there are, the fewer jobs there are for the rest of us.

        1. Not only that but even the rich playboy who doesn’t do shit with his time still buys things and owns things. So long as those transactions take place without coercion, everyone is better off. The fisherman may hate the rich but he is sure glad to sell them crab legs and caviar. The union rep of an assembly-line workforce may hate rich people but he certainly doesn’t mind selling him a high priced car.

          1. Hasn’t this point been proven every time someone has a luxury tax? The rich just spend their money on other things or in other places and the “poor” people who make those products lose their jobs.

            1. Because it’s not fair that rich people have expensive yachts, the federal government imposed a luxury tax on them. Several local yacht builders soon went out of business, rendering many skilled craftsmen unemployed.

              Social justice!

            2. The ‘unseen’ problems of government policy almost seem to go on ad infinitum.

            3. Exhibit 1 should be that big empty hole where the New England yacht building industry used to be.

            4. Remember the boat tax? I forget exactly when it was passed and by whom, but it basically caused rich people to stop buying boats and voila! the people that make boats were suddenly out of work. Dumbasses.

        2. Ive had employees.

          Not all business owners are rich.

          In fact, lots of business owners arent rich. Most would do better financially not starting businesses.

          1. Rich is a relative term.

            1. And trust me, compared to where I would have been if I hadnt started my own business, I aint rich.

              Compared to the average Ugandan? Sure.

          2. No, but most rich people are business owners, or significant stake holders at least.

        3. To be fair, when you’re the dictatorial ruler of your own tiny European country, you don’t really have to work.

          1. There is work involved in preserving your position and protecting the capital value of your “property” which is the tiny state. Plus the penalty for failure in this task can be a violent death, as it is with all non-democratic wielders of state power.

            1. And yet every time the Fantasitc Four beat his ass, he just slinks back to his castle, the peasants never rising up to oust him.

      4. Because maybe the rich get richer is not a good governing philosophy?

        Seems to fit Obama’s policy just fine.

        Or have you even looked at the loss of wealth among the middle class and the FED fed growth of the 1% over the past 5 years?

        Have you even read about Goldman Sachs collusion with the FED all of which was under Obama?

        Perhaps you should rewrite you statement as “the rich get richer is not good rhetoric but great policy if you can keep the idiot TEAM BLUE base from recognizing it”

  2. No one who bitches about income inequality can give you even a halfway reasoned answer as to why inequality is a bad thing, or answer what level of inequality is acceptable. The most common (non-ad Hominem) answer I get these days is something like “well you need to read Thomas Picketty’s new book on inequality.” As if they’d read the damn book themselves. Even if they had, that book does not contain an answer about why inequality sucks, just an assumption that it does.

    1. How about read that work that goes ‘all men are created equal?’ Who wrote that again? Probably some Marxist, lol!

      1. How about read that work that goes ‘all men are created equal?’ Who wrote that again? Probably some Marxist, lol!

        Can you tell me what was meant by ‘all men are created equal’?

        1. Oh, sure, I guess what he meant is that some kids should be born with a trust fund and some eating lead paint of the walls.

          1. Oh, sure, I guess what he meant is that some kids should be born with a trust fund and some eating lead paint of the walls.

            Weren’t you just lecturing us about a false equivalence?

          2. Looking past your hyperbole, are you suggesting that if that ‘paint eating’ child were to somehow grow up and become wealthier than the child born with the trust fund (that does happen, perhaps not the general trend but it does happen), we should, what, use force to ‘knock him down a peg’ in the name of equality? That strikes me as being as monsterous as your moniker.

            1. Come ON. This has to be a troll. Nobody is this stupid.

        2. Dr. Doom’s confusion is that he can’t differentiate between “Equal opportunity for all” (which is really what his quote means) and “Equal results for all,” which is what progressive/liberal/socialists believe is the best goal ever!

          Please don’t waste time trying to explain the difference to him.

      2. The good Dr. seems to be confusing a lot of things, not least of which is that ‘being created equal’ does not mean everyone is created with equal abilities or motivations, and that it also does not mean being guaranteed an equal outcome.

        I do have to commend the commentariat for shredding this imbecile to pieces.

      3. Harrison Burgeron called, he want’s his premise back.

    2. Inequality is bad because it makes people feel mad. No further explanation needed.

      1. You dudes have it backwards: there is no justification for one kid having a trust fund and another born in a slum. It’s you guys who have the burden to justify why we should just let that be.

        1. The burden of proof is on the guy who wants to erect a massive coercive edifice for the sole purpose of looting people under the guise of justice.

        2. There is no justification for one kid being born blind and others not. Could I give him one of your eyes? There’s no justification for one kid being born sick and the other healthy. I guess its leukemia for everyone. There is no justification for some kids to be born with high intelligence and you to be born with brain damage.

          But there is a justification for one kid to have a trust fund. Somebody earned that money through their labor, creativity and trade. Since they exchanged part of their life for that money they can dispose of it how they see fit.

          1. There’s no justification for one kid being born sick and the other healthy. I guess its leukemia for everyone. There is no justification for some kids to be born with high intelligence and you to be born with brain damage.
            […]
            Since they exchanged part of their life for that money they can dispose of it how they see fit.

            +10

            Yet as a matter of justice we tax that person’s property again after they die, often to the tune of 55% or more.

            1. re: “Yet as a matter of justice we tax that person’s property again after they die, often to the tune of 55% or more.”

              … my definition of the Ultimate Taxation Without Representation… which some folks long ago fought against…

          2. Equality means reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator.

            1. Well since government is incapable of yielding a net increase in the amount of wealth to divide, necessarily the only thing it’s coercion is capable of is to reduce wealth to that lowest common denominator. There’s no other way it could be and it’s amazing entirely expected that about 66% of the respondents in this poll don’t seem realize that what they support.

        3. there is no justification for one kid having a trust fund and another born in a slum

          To live his life in his own way, to call his house his castle, to enjoy the fruits of his own labour, to educate his children as his conscience directs, to save for their prosperity after his death — these are wishes deeply ingrained in civilised man.

          Not to often I get to use one of my favorite quotes AND slam someone as an idiot at the same time.

        4. “there is no justification for one kid having a trust fund and another born in a slum.”

          Yes there is.

          The rich kid’s parents (or their parents, etc, etc) created a massive amount of social value and decided to pass the rewards from their efforts to their child. As long as they didn’t steal it, it’s justified.

          The slum kid’s parents created very little of social value and decided to pass the rewards from their efforts to their child. As long as they didn’t steal it, it’s justified.

          1. Why are the kids rewarded or punished for their parents’ actions? Because tough shit?

            1. Why should the kids whose parents didn’t fuck up have to suffer for the kids whose parents did?

              1. How are the rich kids suffering? Are we asking them to starve so that poor children might eat? Or are we merely asking their parents to pay a little taxes?

                It is entirely morally indefensible to say children are morally responsible for the actions of their parents! That you can’t fit this into your worldview means your worldview has a serious problem. Why can’t you consider that?

            2. Why are some kids born to stupid parents? Why do some kids inherit their parent’s habits, that’s not fair is it? I suppose it would be fair if all children were seized from the parents and raised in some equal hell.

              1. Again with the black/white thinking. Either total equality or maximum inequality. No room for attempting a happy mix that maximizes well-being. Because you are personally incapable of thinking that way.

                1. No room for attempting a happy mix that maximizes well-being.

                  What’s a happy mix? Who gets to decide? It’s something you don’t even think about. You’re just too damned nuanced to actually think through your propositions.

            3. They’re neither rewarded nor punished. Debts don’t transfer to the children, and whatever you get from your parents (big or small) is a gift.

              1. Tax “liabilities” most certainly are passed on to children, but only insofar as they are productive and not direct but that’s not what we’re talking about when we say inheriting debts. i.e. yes I’m not paying off my granny’s Medicaid take directly, however I am paying something for the sum aggregate of the Medicaid take along with anyone who dares produce or own.

    3. Actually, they worry about a handful of rich people exerting undue influence on the government. So their solution is to crank government power and reach to eleven of course and limit the ability of newcomers to challenge incumbents in the political realm.

      1. They are wary of rich people pulling the levers of power so their wise solution is to build more and bigger levers of power to be rented out.

      2. Well, yeah. The rich and the corporations control the government, and that is bad. To fix it we need to give more and more power to the government so it can control the rich people who control it, because the government is the people and if we give the government enough power to control the rich people who control it, then we the people will control the rich people who control the government, and…

      3. They kind of have Spinal Tap thinking anyway

    4. Inequality is only a bad thing in itself if you assume that the economy is a zero sum proposition. Which is completely absurd and wrong.
      Inequality can be a symptom of a bad system (highly corrupt third world governments are an obvious example).
      Inequality in the US may be a symptom of problems in the system. But if that is the case, the problem is not that rich people have too much. It is that overly burdensome taxes and regulation create barriers to entry into business that prevent or inhibit less wealthy people from creating more wealth.

    5. “No one who bitches about income inequality can give you even a halfway reasoned answer as to why inequality is a bad thing”

      Easy, although not reasoned: “It’s not fair!(said with a whine appropriate for a 4 year old)”.

    6. Inequality is not a bad thing. Starvation, ignorance, illness, having no opportunities in life–these are bad things. Once society fixes those problems, you can go be as rich as you like.

      1. Once society fixes those problems, you can go be as rich as you like.

        Society=/=government and those things can’t be fixed so long as people like you predominate. People in capitalist society are not starving, lacking opportunities, illnesses are more treatable than ever before and ignorant people like you are predominating but if we could just wrest the controls of the education industry from your ilk, we’d solve that problem too.

        1. Which capitalist societies are you referring to? Because I can’t think of one that both lacks robust social welfare programs and that I’d want to set foot in.

          Starvation and illness and lack of opportunity are mitigated only in those places that have chosen to do so via government programs. Capitalism does nothing about social problems except incidentally.

          1. Which capitalist societies are you referring to?

            The ones that embrace capitalism the most. Western(ized) societies for the most part.

            Because I can’t think of one that both lacks robust social welfare programs and that I’d want to set foot in.

            I can’t think of one wealthy society that owes it’s wealth to the “robust social welfare programs” or to the presence of a population of Tonys.

            1. So name the wealthy societies that lack welfare programs. Since they’re totally unnecessary to ensuring a prosperous society, surely at least one country has figured this out and delivered both unrestrained capitalism and universal prosperity.

              1. So name the wealthy societies that lack welfare programs.

                The United States right up until the Great Society programs. But regardless, what does the presence of social welfare programs prove? How are you so sure that welfare programs don’t spring up in places that simply have more wealth to loot? Even basic chicken before the egg kind of logic eludes you. How could a welfare program spring up where there is no wealth to redistribute?

              2. Name the wealthy societies that lack murder. Since murder is totally unnecessary to ensuring a prosperous society, surely at least one country has figured this out and delivered both unrestrained capitalism and an absence of murder.

            2. Starvation and illness and lack of opportunity are mitigated only in those places that have chosen to do so via government programs.

              What the fuck are you talking about!?!? Government programs don’t grow food, drive innovation or free up labor. It does the opposite of those things.

              Capitalism does nothing about social problems except incidentally.

              Typing on your keyboard, sitting in your air conditioning, eating your food, fapping on your smart phone, you are completely blind.

              1. Government programs don’t grow food, drive innovation or free up labor.

                If you looked at the real world for a moment you’d notice that this is completely wrong. Governments everywhere subsidize food production. Our government in particular has been perhaps the biggest driver of innovation of any institution in history.

                You’re just pretending that government didn’t play a role in the invention of computers or the delivery of food to my plate. You’re just making shit up that fits your preferred ideology.

                1. Subsidizing food production isnt’t ACTUALLY growing the food numbnuts.

                  1. And it distorts and inhibits it, to boot (see ethanol mandates.)

                2. If you looked at the real world for a moment you’d notice that this is completely wrong.

                  Vladimir Putin is tilling the fields?

                  Governments everywhere subsidize food production. Our government in particular has been perhaps the biggest driver of innovation of any institution in history.

                  Subsidizing isn’t producing, it’s manipulation of a supply and demand that already exists. And these subsidies have been disastrous. The driver of innovation is demand and consumer choice. Subsidies inflate the former and decrease the latter.

                  You’re just pretending that government didn’t play a role in the invention of computers or the delivery of food to my plate.

                  I suppose it’s feasible that you are getting Meals-on-Wheels like many other indolent folks. But I doubt you are using a WWII era computer to navigate the interwebs that Mr Gore invented.

                  1. If the market were superior at inventing the Internet then it would have done it first. Markets tend to follow rather than lead. Which is why it’s better to think of the market as a tool rather than something to be worshiped.

                    1. I guess you really are that stupid…. So for your edification:

                      DarpNet != current internet

                    2. It’s called “projection”, Tony. You’re projecting dissatisfaction of your own state worship onto me. It’s not market worship to oppose state interference with markets. A shopkeeper isn’t guilty of idolatry because he opposes the mobsters that extort him for protection money.

  3. Speaking of false dilemmas and this thread topic, I’d like for people like our good Doctor to read thing like this:

    “nothing has changed my mind about the strong probability that the notion of a trade-off between growth and equality is false. The weight of the evidence indicates that the Kuznets effect does indeed hold (increased inequality as a modern economy takes off, with a leveling-off occurring within a reasonable time thereafter), but that it holds regardless of whether economic growth takes place under a capitalist or a socialist system. In other words, the basic choice between capitalism and socialism is irrelevant to the issue of equality, except that capitalism greatly accelerates the growth process, thus accelerating both the inegalitarian and the egalitarian phases of the Kuznets curve. It follows that to opt for capitalism is not to opt for inequality at the price of growth; rather, it is to opt for an accelerating transformation of society. This undoubtedly produces tensions and exacts costs, but one must ask whether these are likely to be greater than the tensions and costs engendered by socialist stagnation. Moreover, the clearer view of the European socialist societies that has now become public radically debunks the notion that, whatever else may have ailed these societies, they were more egalitarian than those in the West: they were nothing of the sort. ”

    http://www.firstthings.com/art…..revolution

    1. The false dilemma is between capitalism and inequality.

      Increasing economic prosperity can lead to less inequality, but coercive measures to increase inequality do not lead to increased economic prosperity and are less likely to lessen inequality to boot.

      1. I agree with the consequentialist perspective that efforts to decrease inequality often lead to decreased prosperity for everyone.

        However, I also believe such laws may be inherently unjust: why should someone who’s already provided a product or service, absent real coercion, be punished if such an act makes him wealthy?

    2. Thank you.

  4. Yup!!!
    74% of Libertarians feel that we should improve economic growth over addressing economic inequality and fairness.

    1. Please explain why economic inequality is inherently bad. We’ll leave that “fairness” can of worms for now.

      1. You’re asking it to think. It doesn’t know how. All it does is feel.

      2. My post does not state or imply that economic inequality in inherently bad.

        My personal opinion as a progressive, I feel that economic inequality is impossible.

        Now, should Doctor B make the same as Doctor B? You and I know that this depends on many things.

        Should Bus driver A at pay grade X make the same as Bus driver B at pay grade X? i think they shouldn’t be that too far apart from each other.

        Should be have transparency on who makes what? I think we should. That is, publish salaries of all workers in publicly traded companies. We do it in the public sector as the tax payer demands this. I, as a stock holder, demand it as well.

        If you open up a lemonade stand and only hire your relatives, I see no point in publishing wages. However, if you start hiring from the public, people working for your lemonade stand should know that you are paying your sister twice as much as a John Doe for the same work. Let John Doe make the decision.

        This is what liberals are looking for. Economic Equality is impossible to obtain and completely not necessary in a fair/free society.

        1. Should be have transparency on who makes what? I think we should. That is, publish salaries of all workers in publicly traded companies. We do it in the public sector as the tax payer demands this. I, as a stock holder, demand it as well.

          These two situations are distinguishable. As a taxpayer, I am forced to pay for public salaries, regardless of whether I use public workers’ products or salaries. Basically, I’m forced to be taxpayer.

          On the other hand, I am not forced to be a stockholder. My life, liberty, and property are not at risk if I choose not to participate. Although demanding that management publish its compensation information is important as a stockholder, I still have a choice whether to buy that stock in the first place. I do not have the same choice in regard to paying taxes.

        2. So you dont believe in a right to privacy?

          Interesting.

          A contract between me and my employees is no one else’s business.

          1. But let ask you robc:

            If the boss is my cousin Vinny and I make twice as much as you for the same job, will you be ok with not knowing?

            1. Yes.

              If Im happy with what I have agreed to earn, the only reason to care about what you make is envy.

              Every liberal is an envious fuckhead.

              1. That is fair enough and noble of you.

                I don’t know if deep down inside, people truly feel this way.

                1. I don’t know if deep down inside, people truly feel this way.

                  Very few do, but they should.

                  We should law favor people’s baser emotions?

                  In fact, the law goes the other way. (Some) People want to murder or steal so we legislate against it.

                  People are jealous. That doesnt reach the level of a crime, but we shouldnt encourage it thru the laws either.

                  If you want to be envious, do it on your own dime.

                  1. It is not envy if one is angry that the someone is making more via cronyism. It is envy if that person is making more do to merit.

                    1. It is not envy if one is angry that the someone is making more via cronyism. It is envy if that person is making more do to merit.

                      You advocate the increased supply of cronyism. That’s precisely what progressives do. No one more consistently stands against cronyism than libertarians. We have principles, you have malleable utility.

                    2. Yes, its still envy. What do you care what someone else makes? It is none of you damn business. Period. End of story. Get the fuck over it and do your job.

                    3. It’s still fucking envy.

                2. “I don’t know if deep down inside, people truly feel this way.”

                  Also, deep down people are racist and nepotistic, yet you guys don’t think that justifies racism or nepotism. Why, then, does envy justify theft?

            2. Yes.

              If Im happy with what I have agreed to earn, the only reason to care about what you make is envy.

              Every liberal is an envious fuckhead.

              1. Stupid squirrels. Oh well, worth saying twice.

                Except I think I meant progressive, but whatever.

                1. Yep. Progressives don’t think. They feel.

                  Human beings have the gift of reason. Progressives shun that gift. They’re not human beings. They’re animals.

                  1. They’re animals

                    And as we all know, some animals are more equal than others.

            3. If the boss is my cousin Vinny and I make twice as much as you for the same job, will you be ok with not knowing?

              Yeah, it’s both not my business and it’s also literally not my business.

            4. If I pay my cousin Vinny more money and only pay you the contracted fair market wage, I am not cheating you. If I fired Vinny, I would hire somebody at else like you at fair market wage. So, the extra I pay my cousin really comes out of my pocket, not yours. None of your business and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

              1. He is just proving how much of proggie thought is based on envy.

                Follow the last 5 of the 10 commandments (the first 5 are religious, and so I can see some people objecting) and things are much nicer.

                Dont murder. Dont steal. Dont commit adultery. Dont lie. Dont covet.

                Even if only the first 2 (and #4 when under oath — and it may better translate as that anyway) should be illegal, its still the smart way to live.

                1. And so, with all of this in mind, folks, I offer you my revised list of the Two Commandments:

                  First:

                  ?THOU SHALT ALWAYS BE HONEST AND FAITHFUL, ESPECIALLY
                  TO THE PROVIDER OF THY NOOKIE.

                  And second:

                  ?THOU SHALT TRY REAL HARD NOT TO KILL ANYONE, UNLESS,
                  OF COURSE, THEY PRAY TO A DIFFERENT INVISIBLE AVENGER
                  THAN THE ONE YOU PRAY TO.

                  George Carlin

        3. Re: NYC Liberal,

          Should Bus driver A at pay grade X make the same as Bus driver B at pay grade X? i think they shouldn’t be that too far apart from each other.

          Even if bus driver A is a better worker?

          Why you… you… barbarian!

          1. Pay grade is usually a range. If both are in Pay Grade X, they both are classified at a certain level. If Bus Driver A is better, then he should be in Pay Grade Y, correct?

            1. If the employer has determined they belong in the same paygrade, then where does the problem lie?

            2. Re: NYC Liberal,

              Pay grade is usually a range.

              If you say so.

              If Bus Driver A is better, then he should be in Pay Grade Y, correct?

              You’re not making sense and you’re obfuscating. If Driver A is a better worker, then he should perceive a better salary, end of story. Or he will shop around for a better-paying job. This is why you will have workers who are paid more than others. What you’re doing is being fixated on Union contractual language.

            3. Jesus Christ, what is it with progs and “pay grades”? How about I negotiate my salary with my boss and you stay the fuck out of my business with your “grades” and “classifications”.

              1. Because in the ideal society, all the proles are interchangeable parts in the union machine.

              2. Pay grades are a way for them to (grudgingly) acknowledge ability while also maintaining control and the illusion of equality of outcomes.

        4. My personal opinion as a progressive, I feel that economic inequality is impossible.

          Somewhere out there is at least one other person who is better off economically, than you.

          Should Bus driver A at pay grade X make the same as Bus driver B at pay grade X? i think they shouldn’t be that too far apart from each other.

          What if one is better at his job? What if one bus driver makes less because the company he works for takes lower fairs for passengers? What if one driver makes less because he has a poor driving record and his boss must pay higher insurance premiums? What you “think” a person should earn is just swell, but unless you are the employee or the employer you just don’t have any of necessary information to have a valid thought about the subject.

          Should be have transparency on who makes what? I think we should.

          Why? Because it would be easier to coerce other people’s wealth? You seem to want a big target to be painted onto people’s backs.

          1. If you open up a lemonade stand and only hire your relatives, I see no point in publishing wages. However, if you start hiring from the public, people working for your lemonade stand should know that you are paying your sister twice as much as a John Doe for the same work.

            Well then John Doe is shit out of luck because I’m not going to bother opening up a lemonade stand or hire anyone over-the-table if it means inviting the anal probe of social justice.

            This is what liberals are looking for. Economic Equality is impossible to obtain and completely not necessary in a fair/free society.

            You got some splainin to do as to how these little pet policies are really addressing any actual instances of systemic injustice.

        5. That is, publish salaries of all workers in publicly traded companies.

          Fuck off, slaver. My salary is between me and my employer. You have no say in it. What. So. Ever.

    2. What’s fair about giving politicians and bureaucrats the power to decide who succeeds and who fails?

      Or are good intentions enough?

    3. Libertarians don’t use their feelings to make law or policy. We leave that to progressives

      1. Libertarians don’t use their feelings aspire to make law or policy. We leave that to progressives.

        FIFY.

        1. You are correct. I’m still having Michael Hihn flashbacks with “libertarian” version of TOP MEN

  5. Despite the Progs best efforts, America is still at heart a generous and good country. Most people don’t wake up every day begrudging other people’s success. That is a good thing and something that must desperately disappoint the Progs.

    1. Indeed. It is no wonder they pine away for authoritarian figures like Stalin, Mao, Castro, Mussolini, etc.

      1. The hard core progs are always such angry bitter people. Even when they win they are still pissed off. They were not even happy the day after the 08 elections. The ideology just attracts angry, resentful people.

        1. The most aggravating part of their anger is their refusal to possibly consider that maybe, just maybe, thousands of pages of statutes and regulations make running a small business, which is already a difficult affair, even more of a hardship.

          They also don’t consider that politicizing the economic system increases the stakes businesses have in electing preferred politicians and influencing regulators. As a business owner, why wouldn’t I want to ensure that the wealth I rightfully acquired is protected?

          1. Small business is nothing to them because it can’t be co-opted by the government to effect the progressive agenda. The more of it that is eradicated the more economic power that gets consolidated into larger companies that can be more easily bought off or forced to comply with a political agenda.

        2. hey were not even happy the day after the 08 elections. The ideology just attracts angry, resentful people.

          You left out the bitter envy that drives their opinions.

    2. The way we see it, Despite the Callous Libertarian and Conservative best effort, America is still at heart a generous and good country. We have safety nets paid for by those of us that can help out. Most people don’t wake up every day begrudging other people’s hardship and (god forbid) having to pay for them. That is a good thing and something that must desperately disappoint the Libertarians/Conservatives.

      1. You’re absolutely right. Because libertarians and conservatives oppose government “charity” funded by money acquired through coercion, they must oppose all charity. They must want to abolish volunteer organizations, churches, and every other way in which people give charity of their own free will. Because if you are opposed to something being done by force of government, then obviously you are opposed to it being done at all.

        1. Forget it, sarc. It’s Government-town.

        2. I don’t know if it is necessarily me Sarcastic.

          The problem with the Charity is that people will not contribute to certain perils. This is why it’s best to skim all for the perils of whomever.

          If you recollect, back in the 1980s, people the likes of Ronald Reagan didn’t want to contribute towards AIDS research, help, etc. He saw these people as sinners.

          I can look at anyone with whatever political/religious/etc. persuasion and justify their hardship and decide not to contribute. That is wrong.

          No progressive wants to eliminate charity. But we should skim all to pay for the few. That is my opinion of what would work best.

          1. I see. So you would substitute the judgement of the individual for the judgement of the bureaucrat, and then have men with guns take the individual away and lock them in a cage should they disagree with the judgement of the bureaucrat.

            How charitable of you.

          2. Good point to bring up.

            Oh yeah, except that all the treatments for AIDS were all developed by private companies with a profit motive while the CDC was still passing out condoms in the gay community.

            Thanks for,proving our point for us, dipshit.

            1. If you recollect, it was the Pasteur Institute of Paris that was 1st in identifying the retro virus and the pioneer various treatments.

              1. The private sector has spent nearly a billion dollars on AIDS research between 06 and 11 alone. That’s not exactly chump change.

                http://www.hivresourcetracking…..files/July 2012 Investing to End the AIDS Epidemic- A New Era for HIV Prevention Research & Development.pdf

          3. The problem with charity is that some people do not wish to contribute to what you feel is important, therefore you use government to force them to pay for what you feel is important.

            Funny, but if that was turned around, and some libertarian or conservative wanted to force you to pay for what they think is important, like private schools through a voucher system, you would scream and kick and cry about how unfair it was.

            But it’s different when you feel it is important.

            1. I find it revealing that NYC Liberal refuses to acknowledge and defend the necessity of force in all government plans to confiscate wealth.

            2. Exactly right. With vouchers, the left moans that the state is establishing a religion. However, the real motive is that, like libertarians, they object to their taxpayer funds going to something they dislike, like icky religion.

              They, of course, have no problem forcing you to violate your conscience.

              Maybe they should have foreseen that their desires to foist one kind of school system on top of everyone would result in dissenters trying to establish an alternative.

              1. Pity that the voucher and charter school movement has proved an abysmal failure, and so soon into the experiment.

          4. Then you should be wary of leaving it up to government, since your example is of the chief executive of the federal government withholding funds for AIDS. (Of course, you’re full of shit with your example of Reagan withholding funds for AIDS research.) If someone doesn’t want to contribute to certain charities, for whatever reason, it’s none of you or anyone else’s business. Your bogus example of Reagan only works because he’s in charge of other people’s money taken by force.

        3. And studies have shown that conservatives donate a greater %age of their income to charity.

          1. That is mostly explained by giving to churches, which liberals do not consider to be charity. After all, churches only help the people their congregations wishes them to help, not the people that liberals wish them to help. And they don’t collect their money by force. So to a liberal it’s not true charity.

            1. The giving patterns with denominations is interesting. Mormons* are high, catholics are low. Within protestantism, AoG is high and as you get less charasmatic and more mainline, giving rates drop.

              *not that I consider them a christian denomination.

      2. We have safety nets paid for by those of us that can help out are threatened with imprisonment.

        FIFY.

        By the way,Mae had a system like what you mentioned prior to the income tax. And I don’t recall hearing horror stories of mass starvation from those times. Except, you know, for places with strong central governments that intentionally starved their own people…basically the society you strive for here.

      3. It’s not generosity if its someone else’s money.

      4. It’s odd that your basis for “generous and good” starts from the premise of a state actor taking the earnings of a population under threat of imprisonment.

        Kinda the opposite of “generous and good” if you ask me.

      5. The way we see it, Despite the Callous Libertarian and Conservative best effort,

        There’s nothing callous about proposing that people should not be systemically robbed and extorted.

        We have safety nets paid for by those of us that can help out.

        Those with a gun to their head. That’s not charity.

        Most people don’t wake up every day begrudging other people’s hardship and (god forbid) having to pay for them.

        You are the one’s who are begrudging other people’s success.

        1. My family and I live in Tribeca (NYC).

          You may have heard of us. We don’t “keep up with the Jones”. We are the Jones.

          I guess that is why people like us are more open to help out others.

          1. “help”

            You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          2. You are welcome to help whomever you want. Youre not welcome to threaten me with death if I don’t help whomever you want.

          3. What does that even mean? Only rich people like you are charitable? Because that is very much false.

            1. I know lots of “poor” people who volunteer their time to others instead of money. That’s real charity. Throwing money at problems is not the answer in most cases.

          4. I guess that is why people like us are more open to help out others.

            You are so noble, m’lord. Good to us smallfolk you are. Our Lord Liberal is so generous that just the other day he bestowed his generosity upon with me the tax revenues he plundered from my neighbors. God bless you.

            You are the worst kind of wealthy person even if that is true. To you support crippling taxes on the productive capacity of everyone else and you claim the moral high ground with that? Use your own fucking money and keep off mine.

          5. Dude, Tribeca is a very tony part of NYC. If you can afford to live there, you are far, far better off than anyone that can be characterized as a ‘Jones’. You seriously need to get out more – and I don’t mean in a plane passing over ‘fly-over’ country.

            1. Too bad he didn’t use all that Hollywood money to better educate himself in grammar and spelling.

          6. You may have heard of us. We don’t “keep up with the Jones”. We are the Jones.

            I guess that is why people like us are more open to help out others.

            Fucking snob that’s so rich, he spends his money lobbying to tax people more.

          7. I guess that is why people like us are more open to help out others.

            Good for you. I hope you freely give your time, as well as your money, to helping others who desperately need it.

            However, don’t confuse taxpayer-funded safety nets with charity: there is nothing generous or charitable about using the threat of force to compel others to participate.

            Maybe some kind of minimal safety net is necessary, like for sudden emergencies. But maybe not. Maybe, as society becomes wealthier, charitable insurance funds or the like could replace a government-funded welfare program.

            All I’m saying is that people should scrutinize any taxpayer-provided welfare, because (a) those funds are provided by individuals who had no choice in the matter; (b) the same human tendencies of greed, carelessness, and incompetence influence the distribution of those funds; and (c) even when all the care and good intentions in the world are put into that system, there is still the possibility that the welfare may be retarding the recipients’ progress to a better financial state. See, for example, studies concerning unemployment benefits.

          8. People like you feel guilty about your wealth but don’t want to actually expend the time/energy/money involved in helping people. Your conscience free rides off the state.

      6. Sending men with guns to either kill me or threaten to lock me in a cage if I don’t give to your charity is not charity you ass weasel

      7. Funny that conservatives/libertarians are consistently far more charitable voluntarily than are people who identify as liberal/progressive.

        Strange that.

  6. Poll: 74 Percent Say Congress Should Prioritize Economic Growth Over Reducing Income Inequality

    Unfortunately, what 74% of what Americans believe as “Government Prioritizing Economic Growth” scares the crap out of me.

    1. GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY

      would be the greatest growth policy of all time, but they are too chicken-shit to try it.

      1. What? And just allow people to get rich? You would let people sell goods and services without asking permission and obeying orders? How will you know they’re doing it right? Huh? How will you know that their food is not poison, or that they really have the skills to do the job? How will you know if government doesn’t say it’s OK? How?

    2. Unfortunately, what 74% of what Americans believe as “Government Prioritizing Economic Growth” scares the crap out of me.

      Why? Do you not enjoy your air conditioning, transportation, medicine and ample food supply? The economic growth of those who came before us, made that possible before you were even born.

      1. I misread you Paul. Apologies.

        1. Accepted.

          *points at my eyes, then points at Free Society*

          I’m watching you.

  7. The reason we have law and order is probably not because of any of us on this blog right now.
    The reason we have locks on our doors is not because of any of us on this blog right now.

    It is because a certain element among us are ASSHOLES.
    This is why we lose our freedoms.

    You libertarians give Government workers way too too much credit. They are lazy and don’t lift a finger for anything.
    Before they enact a policy, law, act, ordinance, regulation, it is proceeded by a mountain of consumer/citizen complaints of a certain ASSHOLE.

    1. Define “law and order”. Does it involve imprisoning people for engaging in voluntary transactions for a good they will use in their,own home and pose no threat to,anybody else? Does it involve the state disproportionately robbing from younger generations and transferring the income to older ones in greater amounts than they paid in?

      The reason I have locks,on my doors is because the state does a shitty job of preserving “law and order”, so I will ensure that I do it myself. The reason I have a gun is because people are assholes.

    2. It is because a certain element among us are ASSHOLES.
      This is why we lose our freedoms.

      Your kind are working on that everyday.

      1. Do you mean that only liberals are passing laws?

        1. No but it seems the current crop of “liberals” are taking away my freedoms faster than any “conversation” even dreamed was possible. Current liberals are far from liberal

        2. Do you mean that only liberals are passing laws?

          Your irrational philosophy about government power isn’t restricted to ‘liberals’, is it? You are actively promoting a leviathan state that supposedly pillages the land for the sake of the land.

    3. As long as that ASSHOLE isn’t using force or fraud to deprive another citizen of their life, liberty or property, then it should be none of the government’s business what they do.

      1. I am referring to the person that deprives another of life, liberty, property, etc. Not just the big meanie.

        1. Bullshit.

        2. I am referring to the person that deprives another of life, liberty, property, etc. Not just the big meanie.

          Well judging by what we can safely assume to be your voting record, you are one of those assholes who would deprive others of life, liberty and property.

      2. It’s another fallacy they cling to. Human nature (some people are assholes – thanks for the tip, Captain Obvious) can be changed with the stroke of a pen, the restriction of freedom, and the shackles of rules and regulation.

    4. Re: NYC Liberal,

      The reason we have law and order is probably not because of any of us on this blog right now.

      The notion of law and order goes back several centuries.

      This is why we lose our freedoms.

      That’s a lie. We don’t lose our freedoms because there are bad people out there. That’s a non sequitur.

      You libertarians give Government workers way too too much credit.

      Nuestro amad?simo se?or presidente Barack “You Did’t Build That” Obama says that we don’t give Government workers enough credit. I wish all you little red marxians would at least get your stories straight.

    5. You libertarians give Government workers way too too much credit. They are lazy and don’t lift a finger for anything.

      Yet you think you are charitable by relying on this same government worker to provide aid to the needy.

      Jesus titty-fucking Christ, you really are fucking stupid.

  8. How would libertarians address cronyism ?

    1. We would grant the government so little control over people and their interactions thatbit would be a waste of money currying favor with them.

      1. As an added bonus that a liberal should appreciate, our method involves a lot less guns and slavery than yours does.

        1. Liberals love guns and slavery, as long as it’s their beloved government holding the guns and the whips.

          1. Come now, Sarc. We are long past the point where government uses guns and whips for nefarious, evil, and enslaving purposes.

    2. Re: NYC Liberal,

      How would libertarians address cronyism ?

      By not having regulations. Period.

      The more regulations you have, the more cronyism you will have.

    3. Easily. Quit taking my money at gunpoint. No money, no cronyism.

    4. You seriously need to ask?

    5. For starters, at least for me.

      First, eliminate the artificial, government created regulatory burden that limits human creativity, economic activity, and the freedom to contract.

      Second, eliminate the wall of secrecy that government officials work diligently to maintain and expand.

      Thirdly, term limits for all politicians.

      1. I think we’d achieve all of those objectives if we could sufficiently promote secession to the point of there being thousands or tens of thousands of sovereign states in the world. Small polities typically don’t have the flexibility or capability necessary to plunder and murder domestically and abroad.

        1. If we could devolve into smaller entities all based on some sort of libertarian code then yes. However, the experience of the Greek city-states serves as a warning, I think, as does the Roman conquest/consolidation of the Italian peninsula.

          1. However, the experience of the Greek city-states serves as a warning

            The periods of a decentralized Greece was the Golden Age(s) of Greek civilization. Those periods of consolidated power were characterized by lower standards of living and more destructive conflicts.

            as does the Roman conquest/consolidation of the Italian peninsula.

            The periodic consolidations of polities doesn’t necessarily disprove that people are better off under small states. Changes in economic, technological and tactical circumstance drives the cycle of centralization and decentralization.

            Those larger polities are more prone to implosion and turmoil and they tend to grow as technology and tactics change. However when offense becomes cheaper than defense larger polities will form and aggregate. As the tactical and technological pendulum swings back towards the comparative effectiveness of defense, smaller states don’t only become more prevalent, but more resistant to their expansion inclined neighbors.

            There are other factors at work enabling empires to exist, a relatively free producing population to feed from for example, but what drives the number of states up and down, seemingly in cycles, is largely the relative cost/benefits of expansion in a given time. I think in our current age, defense is pretty damn cheap for a technologically advanced society.

            1. Well, the Golden Age of Greece was no fun if you were caught on the wrong side of Athens or Sparta. As great as the contributions were, Athens was a segregated, sexist and racist state, while Sparta was flat out police state.

              I’m also not suggesting that larger polities (Imperial Rome) are better, far from it. All I’m suggesting is that unless all of the surrounding polities are equally devoted to a libertarian belief system/structure, then a polity like Rome is liable to come along and conquer/consolidate.

              1. Well, the Golden Age of Greece was no fun if you were caught on the wrong side of Athens or Sparta. As great as the contributions were, Athens was a segregated, sexist and racist state, while Sparta was flat out police state.

                Well Sparta was an outright slave state and Athens is to this day held up by the opponents of democracy as an example why democratic institutions should be highly limited and restricted. All of this “Golden Age” talk is relative to the times in which it occurred. By the standard you set, there could not be a single “Golden Age” in any civilization or time in history owing to the existence of sexism, racism and so on.

                The poorest people in the West are living better than kings did just a few hundred years ago. Nowadays the fact that most people shitting in a porcelain toilet isn’t exactly a signal of an innovative, growing and “wealthy” society. And we just very recently abolished slavery.

              2. All I’m suggesting is that unless all of the surrounding polities are equally devoted to a libertarian belief system/structure, then a polity like Rome is liable to come along and conquer/consolidate.

                Yeah I can see how a general ‘international’ culture of libertarianism is ideal for everyone, I don’t think it’s a prerequisite a peaceful world of small state because small states by their very nature have to think small and act small. They can’t easily engage in trade wars or protectionism as compared to a larger state that has a larger internal market with more factors of production at it’s disposal (to squander).

    6. How would libertarians address cronyism ?

      By eliminating the government programs which demand it.

      1. Starting with the IRS.

  9. So, from what I learned today, libertarians are OK with Cronyism in the Private Sector but on in the Public Sector.

    1. So, from what I learned today, libertarians are OK with Cronyism in the Private Sector but on in the Public Sector.

      I don’t know how you possibly could paint that picture without a massive amount of cognitive dissonance. You are the one supporting cronyism by promoting a hyper-taxed hyper-regulated state. Do you really think are more powerful state will result in less abuse of that power?

    2. If you can’t understand that the words you use have more specific meanings to libertarians, then you’ve learned nothing.

    3. I asked if there needed to be oversite on and employee related to the business owner making more money. You guys are OK with that because it is in the private sector.

      You guys are against relatives/friends in government doing favors.

      Clearly, you are ok with Cronyism at the Private Level and not ok at the Public Level.

      1. I asked if there needed to be oversite on and employee related to the business owner making more money. You guys are OK with that because it is in the private sector.

        Well those are private relations. Not only is there no benefit from what you propose, but it’s decidedly unjust.

        You guys are against relatives/friends in government doing favors.

        Yes those favors are done with TAXES, i.e. those favors are only distributed because the wealth necessary was taken by force from someone who rightfully owned it. The government is a monopoly of legal aggression. You are damn right it’s problematic when it’s dolling out favors built on blood and loot.

        Clearly, you are ok with Cronyism at the Private Level and not ok at the Public Level.

        They aren’t “levels” but nevermind. What’s wrong with private people doing favors for other private people with their own private capital? If I buy jewellry for my wife and not for my sister, is that unfair “cronyism”?

        I don’t think you understand what these words mean.

          1. By fair enough you mean you now accept our conclusions?

            1. NYC you need to understand that when libertarian says government should not regulate something that is not the same thing as saying that thing is okay, or good,or that there should be more of it or less of it etc

              It is a statement as to the scope and role of government not a statement as to the benefits of X

      2. I don’t think you really know what cronyism is.

      3. The definition of cronyism is changing I see

        1. It does exists in publicly traded companies as well.

          1. Cronyism exists in publicly traded as well as private companies to the extent that the government imposes regulations and taxes on the activity engaged in, that is true. Eliminate/reduce the regulatory and tax burden then you eliminate/reduce the incentive for those businesses to hire lobbyists (that then can alter/change the regulatory environment in their favor), and contribute to election/re-election campaigns (that result in tax laws being changed in their favor with the political access that was purchased).

          2. It does exists in publicly traded companies as well.

            In the private market, such cronyism is punished as more meritocratic firms simply do better in the market. A boss may favor his nephew for as a sales rep, but that doesn’t mean the market will necessarily. That’s spontaneous order actively promoting meritocracy.

            In government there is no market feedback mechanism to discourage cronyism because taxes get paid regardless. Thus cronyism in the private sector is punished to an optimal extent while in the public sector it guaranteed to be punished sub-optimally, as revenues are generated irrespective of consumer satisfaction.

      4. As a general matter, if somebody does not believe there should be (govt oversight) of X, it does not therefore follow that said person is ok with or approves of X

        Thus, even if your premises are groovy, your conclusion is not

        Your error is probably the most common error I see when liberals and even many conservatives criticise libertarians and it is often commented on here

        To give an example

        A libertarian says that government should not regulate criminalise or have ‘ oversight ‘ as you say of marijuana

        It does not therefore follow that a given libertarian is okay with marijuana. He may think it’s morally repugnant, erosive of productivity, that it saps ones motivation, that people who use it are fucking tools, or he may think it’s wicked awesome

        Saying there should not be oversight of X is highly tangential to whether one or another libertarian okay with or approves of X

        If somebody says government should have no oversight of X that is a statement about what the scope of government is, what it’s role is, where it’s limitations should be, etc

        Libertarians recognise that there are plenty of good things bad things things they are unsure of etc etc that should simply be beyond the scope of government to regulate.

        1. To continue the above example it is perfectly libertarian to say marijuana should be legalised but I think it’s an I’m moral poison to the soul, that it is something only fools would use, and society would be better off if nobody CHOSE to smoke it

          Libertarianism is about freedom of choice, in many cases to include pretty bad choices, and also about understanding that one is responsible for the consequences of those choices

          Hth

          1. I’d suggest that it includes the ability to make any bad choice that could be made, along with the responsibility to suffer the consequences of. Once the government starts defining what bad choices cannot be made – well you end up with the bureaucratic equivalent of mission creep.

            1. I wouldn’t go quite that far as ANY , but yes to paraphrase as a general rule libertarians think that when it comes to a activity that is not ‘hurting others’ Government should have no authority to regulate same

              And we don’t use squishy progressive etc definitions of hurting others such as as regards to peoples feelings etc

    4. Please define the private sector cronyism that libertarians are in favor of.

      Warning, if it involves the government in any way specifically helping or hurting said private business libertarians are against it. And paying less taxes is not a handout.

    5. Re: NYC Liberal,

      So, from what I learned today, libertarians are OK with Cronyism in the Private Sector

      Yes. It’s their money, their funeral. If a company wants to practice cronyism in its own, the company can do that. Its competition can then take advantage of the opportunity being given for free.

      but [not] in the Public Sector.

      That’s right, because the Public sector is the one that has the monopoly of force. You’re not forced to buy from company X that practices – let’s say – nepotism. Or that has a procurement department that practices cronyism. You can always buy from company Y. Your dollar, your power.

      But cronyism endorsed by the government limits your choices. It is the government’s way or the highway.

      1. Its competition can then take advantage of the opportunity being given for free

        This is far beyond the cognitive abilities of liberals to understand since in their view the economy is static and can only be divied up fairly by government.

  10. I am really enjoying this debate. Here is a serious question for all of you guys.

    Do you think we can change modern day America into Lbertarian-Shagrila ?
    That is,

    – Taxes to be replaced by non-obligatory charity.
    – No government and just have alll businesses self-regulate
    – No police department and have all citizen’s self-regulate
    – No safety nets

    First, can America change into this? If so, how long would it take? And, finally, would the carnage be worth it?

    1. You forgot fire departments.

      1. That can be a private business. It doesn’t have to be tax payer funded.

        1. Then so can police departments.

          1. Trying the analogy between police and fire departments is usually problematic and I say that as somebody who has worked for both

            While society already has examples of Private versions of both to supplement the public ones by the way

            There are plenty of private universities that have full-fledged police departments with pretty much the same police powers etc as a public police department

            I have a friend who works Harvard University PD for example and they actually have a pretty good police department and much bigger than many people would expect

            1. There are plenty of private universities that have full-fledged police departments with pretty much the same police powers etc as a public police department

              Glad to see that you realize that such institutions can be voluntarily funded. In order to protect someone, you don’t need to use violence and expropriate property from them in order to protect those same people from violence and theft.

    2. Don’t be ridiculous

      None of those are tenets of libertarianism but just represent some excuse my terminology , ignorant caricature of it

      1. Judge Andrew N. on Fox News (a self-proclaimed Libertarian) says “All tax is theft”. So point a is Libertarian.

        All I hear from Libertarians is that there should be no regulations and let commerce and the free market self regulate.

        I also hear that there should be no safety nets outside of soup kitchens and the occasional Mother Theresa
        I also hear that the police and fire department should be privatized.

        Which point is not libertarian?

        1. It seem like you are conflating libertarianism with anarchism. It’s a favorite ploy of all government-lovers, left and right.

          1. God knows that is true and yes anarchists suck massive amounts of ass

            I am relatively close to just assuming this person is ambeing a troll and is not asking these questions in good faith

            1. anarchists suck massive amounts of ass

              Well Episiarch does anyway. But I don’t think that has much to do with anarchism.

              Anarchists are great as long as they aren’t silly enough to think that anarchy is really a possible stable state of affairs.

              1. Yes. It’s fine for a dope smokin’ group of college kids to smack talk about

                It’s just not something that belongs in the real world. It’s the phrenology of political systems – phun to talk about but not realistic

                Granted most of my exposure to anarchists in action was during WTO so they left a bad taste in my mouth

                1. “anarchists”

                  Cant you tell when people are lying about their labels?

                2. Well, yeah. Those “anarchists” are just assholes. And they are mostly communists who like to break shit.

                  1. Whether or not you disagree with anarcho-capitalism, I think it’s fair to say they are the only group utilizing the anarchist label correctly, that is that they are actually describing an anarchic system of governance. Where anarcho-syndicalists/socialists/communists all describe a “stateless” system where wealth is coercively redistributed by an institution that is just a state by another name.

                3. You mean the “anarchists” clamoring for more government?

              2. Some people think it is possible by using insurance companies for conflict arbitration. IMO that would be optimal, but it will never happen. I will settle for a limited government.

                1. Some people think it is possible by using insurance companies for conflict arbitration. IMO that would be optimal, but it will never happen. I will settle for a limited government.

                  It only needs to start happening in one little area and if it’s truly efficacious AND the circumstances allow, it will spread. The future is a long time.

                  1. Yeah I should have said “Not in my lifetime”. You are more of an optimist than I am Free Society. =)

                    1. Not in my lifetime is more likely the case. But I hope to leave this world with that goal closer to humanity’s reach and maybe my children and grandchildren will inherit less of a clusterfuck of a world order.

            2. Quick Officer Dumpy !!! The Dunkin Doughnuts is burning down !!!

        2. Jesus Christ get real and stop selectively quoting out of context

          Maybe get thyself over to the Libertarian party website and read some basic policy positions and show me where there was advocacy for elimination of police departments elimination of all taxes elimination of all social safety net etc

        3. Judge Andrew N. on Fox News (a self-proclaimed Libertarian) says “All tax is theft”. So point a is Libertarian.

          Sigh, time for robc’s 2 rules of libertarianism again, because some idiot didnt lurk for 3 months first:

          1. Everyone agrees with libertarians on something.
          2. No two libertarians agree on anything.

          As an example of #2, I dont think all tax is theft. Just most. Actually, the SLT is the only tax I dont think is theft. But my opinion isnt universal within the libertarian community.

          1. I think all taxes are theft, but they are also unavoidable (there will always be people like Dunphy who will cheerfully kidnap, beat, or even kill you, should you refuse to pay tribute).

            Being that taxes are theft, and that they are unavoidable, government should be a limited as possible.

        4. NYC Liberal. As some people are pointing out to you. Libertarians do not march in lockstep with each other, like other political philosophies. Some are anarchist’s, and others are minarchist’s
          One thing Libertarians do agree upon is the Non aggression principle.

    3. Why should there be any carnage?!?

      1. The people currently in power would probably fight you.

        1. Did the FFs care about the carnage when they removed the British from power?

          Yes, they did, but they understood it was necessary.

        2. Do you think killing slavers is a problem?

    4. Utopia doesnt exist.

      And that includes libertopia(you need to learn your terms).

      Oh, and you should lurk for 3-6 months before posting. You dont look like an idiot that way.

    5. Libertarian and anarchist aren’t the same thing. What you describe is more AnCapistan than Libertopia.
      I think most libertarians would assume that some kind of government and taxes will have to exist.

      1. Re: Zeb,

        I think most libertarians would assume that some kind of government and taxes will have to exist.
        You tend to assume too much.

    6. If you are really interested in this, I’d recommend watching the “Free to Choose” documentary series by Milton Friedman. It’s a bit old now, but still very relevant. It’s available on Youtube. He presents some practical suggestions on at least getting a lot closer to the libertarian ideal. He has some ideas that a lot of more doctrinaire libertarians don’t like and is more of a consequentialist than a lot of people would like. But it does get into how we might practically transition to a more free society.

      1. If you are really interested in this

        He’s not. He’s a troll who feels he is clever and “scoring points.” He has no interest in actually learning anything.

        1. Well, it’s worth a shot. People do sometimes change their minds.

          1. It is possible to persuade someone’s mind, but you can’t change how someone feels.

            This one feels. There is no mind to change.

            1. Some anonymously famous dude once said “You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

        2. He *can’t* learn anything. His beliefs forbid it. Learning is tantamount to growing, prog’s need everything to halt, to stagnate.

    7. – Taxes to be replaced by non-obligatory charity.

      Or non-obligatory market actors; private arbitration firms selling fairness in justice, protection agencies selling guarantees and indemnities in security of one’s life, liberty and property. Public goods are mythological.

      – No government and just have alll businesses self-regulate

      Market, not individual businesses regulate themselves. In addition to insurance companies that have certain incentives to make sure the businesses they insure aren’t going to cost them huge claims.

      – No police department and have all citizen’s self-regulate

      Private security paid for neighborhood associations, charitable figures, mutual aid societies, fraternal organizations and individuals.

      – No safety nets

      Tremendously higher amount of wealth in the world and the national poverty rate was declining at a rate of 1% per year right up until the moment that Great Society safety net was created.

      First, can America change into this?

      America is more likely than most places, since most societies are living in the stone age with no institutions of freedom and innovation.

      If so, how long would it take?

      No less than a generation.

      And, finally, would the carnage be worth it?

      A successful transition to a free society would require little if any “carnage”.

      1. PREACH IT !!

  11. Nice job with the trolls guys. Wish I hadn’t missed it.

  12. Re: NYC Liberal,

    That is,

    – Taxes to be replaced by non-obligatory charity.
    – No government and just have all businesses self-regulate
    – No police department and have all citizen’s self-regulate
    – No safety nets

    First, can America change into this? If so, how long would it take? And, finally, would the carnage be worth it?

    Yes, it can.
    How long? I don’t know.
    If you mean the carnage of all those ex-welfare recipients being shot on sight while trying to enter into people’s homes, then yes: it will be worth it.

    It’s going to happen anyway, NL, once the money runs out and the Great Default comes. You think all those wonderful things you think the government does are free?

    1. Why do people who insist that we live in near-anarchy have the most bloodthirsty daydreams?

      1. We don’t, that’s you and your fascistic, authoritarian pals. What we are referring to and hypothesizing about is that when all the goodies you and your idiot Top. Men. have promised can’t be delivered the right of self-defense will be necessary.

        1. You don’t daydream about violent apocalyptic scenarios, you just daydream about violent apocalyptic scenarios. Got it. Meanwhile good luck with that. I’m sure you won’t be outnumbered about a million to one.

          1. All I can do is see the facts as they are presented.

            There is $17 trillion of debt, and about $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities thanks to you and your Top. Men.

            At some point the bill will come due, and when it does there won’t be any money for all those things that were promised. It may turn some people violent. It may require some people to decide to defend themselves. Just because that is a plausible scenario doesn’t mean I wish it to happen – quite the opposite.

            But I don’t expect a simpleton like you to understand the distinction.

            1. How will the bill come due?

              And why is “raising taxes” never an option for you people who claim to care the most about debts? That is how we pay these things, you know?

              1. Umm, the economy is $17 trillion. So, if the government takes all of it – it is still $100 trillion short.

              2. Well when party A borrows from party B, it is with the understanding that the money will be paid back.

                And why is “raising taxes” never an option for you people who claim to care the most about debts?

                There is a pretty strong case to be made that theft is bad.

                That is how we pay these things, you know?

                Or perhaps you incur your debts and I’ll incur mine. I didn’t choose these “things” to be purchased in the first place.

              3. Let’s see. $17T divided by 310,000,000= $54,838 per person.

                That’s your share of the tax burden for the debt. Pay up.

                Oh, wait. WHat you really meant is you want someone else to pay your share. You just want the benefits.

                Got it.

                Immoral pig!

            2. At some point the bill will come due

              And a generation is sold into tax slavery for the debts that their grandfathers incurred. In fact grandpappy funds his retirement by borrowing against the profit from the extortion of his grandchildren. It’s immoral as fuck when you think about it.

              1. It won’t be tax slavery I think – only a massive confiscation via currency devaluation. Only.

                It is disgustingly immoral.

                1. I gotta say, people investing in government bonds are disgustingly immoral too.

                  1. I can see the government confiscating replacing by force all 401K and other retirement assets with government bonds. For our own good, you know.

                    1. If we don’t force you to invest in our extortion racket, who will create the next generation of Tonys?

      2. Re: Tony,

        Why do people who insist that we live in near-anarchy have the most bloodthirsty daydreams?

        I at least do not talk about putting 25 million citizens on “re-education” camps like your friends in the Weather Undeground were wet-dreaming about.

  13. Some of you have great points.

    Some of you think anyone with a contrarian opinion is a troll.

    What I’ve learned from our debate is that even here, libertarians are pretty diverse.
    You guys are so diverse that I almost feel like I can be called a libertarian.

    I believe in zero corporate taxes
    I believe in free markets and capitalism
    I believe in personal liberties
    I believe in closing down the board of ed and having taxpayer funded private schools througout
    I almost believe in the Negative Tax
    I’m a big fan of Milton Freedman

    Other than this, I’m pretty liberal fiscally and socially.

    1. Contrarian viewpoints are welcome especially if they are honestly presented and debated. It’s the manner in which they are presented that can foist the moniker of troll upon you.

      1. Yeah this place insists on its Southern mannerliness.

        1. Case in point.

    2. I believe in zero corporate taxes
      I believe in free markets and capitalism
      I believe in personal liberties
      I believe in closing down the board of ed and having taxpayer funded private schools througout

      Aside from taxpayer funded schools, that’s all well and good.

      I almost believe in the Negative Tax
      I’m a big fan of Milton Freedman

      Well don’t start believing in the Negative Tax. While I’m happy you’ve embraced some institutions of freedom, I would like to gently nudge you away from the Chicago school. At least read Rothbard or Hoppe and compare it to Posner or Kos before you settle on the Chicago school. Milton Friedman has been a great communicator of freedom but at the same time he was also counter-productive to his own ends by promoting negative income taxes and living wage schemes. But whatever. If you’re being sincere then you have been surprisingly open-minded on this day. Kudos.

      1. Thank you.

        I am being sincere.

        As or the Negative Tax (CItizen’s Wage). I am very on the fence with this. I don’t see who this would not cause the price of goods to adjust to the appetite.

        1. More dollars chasing the same amount of goods= price inflation, that is correct intuition.

    3. So why do you choose to identify with those don’t share your beliefs?

      The libertarian tent is fairly big, hell, we even let the anarchists talk. (Sorry, FS, couldn’t help it).

      If you believe in free markets and personal liberties, how do you square the corner of calling yourself a liberal?

      1. I am a fiscal liberal. That is:

        1. I want a flat income tax on all income regardless of earned, invested, inhereited.

        2. I believe we should have no other taxes. No property tax, liquor tax, sales tax, consumption tax.

        3. I believe we should have a single insurance pool for healthcare, disability, pension, and unemployment.

        4. I would like to get rid of cash and have a cyber currency like BITCOIN that is not annonymous and all transactions can be viewed. Had we eliminated cash altogether, there would be no need for borders and much of organized crime would go away. Would I be able to barter for a prostitute by buying lunch or a TV, absolutely. But u wouldn’t be able torun an effective criminal enterprise with barter.

        So these and a few other points make me a flaming liberal.

        1. Well, you are part way there. 3 and 4 make you something of a statist and therefore liberal – certainly not libertarian.

          1. I would say progressive, not liberal. I know, picky, picky.

        2. 1. Most libertarians agree there is a proper role for government (I believe it is to protect the rights of the individual). If there is government, it must be paid for, and therefore some sort of revenue generation is required. I can think of methods more equitable than a flat (rate) tax, but a flat tax is more libertarian than what we have now. The liberal position is for progressive taxation.

          2. That’s not a liberal position.

          3 & 4 I thought you said you believed in personal liberties? How is being forced to pay for insurance I don’t want/need, supporting personal liberty? How is taking away a person’s right to keep their transactions private supporting personal liberty?

        3. Keep your fascism in NYC please.

          1. Oh, come on Cyto. This person has potential.

            1. I agree, but anyone smack in the middle of the progtopia that is Manhattan will be a tough nut to crack.

              1. Hell, from what I’ve read, he/she is almost there. Simply has no idea what libertarianism actually is and has never been pushed to examine his/her inconsistencies.

                Believes in free markets and personal liberties…if true and consistently applied, that person is already a libertarian and just doesn’t realize it.

                Probably identifies as a prog because his/her friends say he/she should.

                1. Well, living in Tribeca guarantees he/she is surrounded by proggies and we all know how they feel about dissent

        4. NYC Liberal. Black Markets are created by laws. More laws, and regulations mean more black markets. Even from a progressive point of view black markets would be more managable if they only dealt in certain kinds of porn, and contract killings.

      2. The libertarian tent is fairly big, hell, we even let the anarchists talk. (Sorry, FS, couldn’t help it).

        Some of us are more libertarian than others but I won’t hold it against you. 😉

    4. Re: NYC Liberal,

      Some of you have great points.

      Wrong. Only my points are great. There may be others that are just so-so.

  14. @LightSeeker:

    so I don’t know how to make it underline, or bold, or strike through …

    Go here for more info: HTML Turorial

  15. Your ridiculous polls make me want to break things. American’s mustn’t make such a choice, because they go together. More income inequality equals more economic stagnation. You find me one historic economic cycle that demonstrates otherwise.

    1. We’ve had income inequality and economic growth throughout the 20th century.

      1. Consumer spending drives 70% of the economy. The top 5% or 1% income earners cannot sustain economic growth on their own. Not only are high income inequality and growth negatively correlated, it is arithmetically obvious why this is so.

        1. Yes the state fucks everything up for everyone except the politically connected, that’s “inequality”. Tell me how does “inequality” cause such misery? If I grow some tomatoes in my yard and become richer than you as measured by several pounds of tomatoes, how exactly did I make you worse off?

          1. You didn’t, but that’s not how the world works. In real life, I help pay for your ability to grow tomatoes unmolested and am prevented from stealing your tomatoes by this system. Perhaps integral to this system is ensuring that I don’t starve to death, forcing me to make the calculation that I have no choice but to steal your tomatoes. So you are taxed a few tomatoes and they are given to me, and we’re both better off in the end.

            1. Consumption does not drive economic growth.

              1. Cyto, Tony doesn’t have the capacity to think beyond the ECON 101 formula GDP=C+G+I+(X-M). I know you know that but just wanted to point it out.

                1. Cyto, Tony doesn’t have the capacity to think beyond the ECON 101 formula GDP=C+G+I+(X-M). I know you know that but just wanted to point it out.

                  Tony even gets that wrong. Changes in growth correlate most strongly to changes in investment.

            2. You didn’t, but that’s not how the world works. In real life, I help pay for your ability to grow tomatoes unmolested and am prevented from stealing your tomatoes by this system.

              The taxes you pay or don’t pay making you worse off HAS NOTHING to do with my own garden making you worse off. Tell me how you were made worse off by me becoming more wealthy than you.

              The existence of a monopoly doesn’t prove that only monopoly can protect you and that still doesn’t demonstrate your point that I’ve made you worse off by creating an inequality of wealth between us. Even your shaky logic doesn’t hold up as you cross a jurisdictional line. How does my tomato growing hurt a Canadian?

              I grow tomatoes and increase my wealth without any input or output from you. Demonstrate your harm.

              1. I never made the argument that you being more wealthy, in a vacuum, harms me. I never said it’s bad to be wealthy or that the only permissible system is communism, or whatever straw man argument you’re trying to make.

                1. I never made the argument that you being more wealthy, in a vacuum, harms me. I never said it’s bad to be wealthy or that the only permissible system is communism, or whatever straw man argument you’re trying to make.

                  No, you just said that you’d be forced to steal his tomatoes if they weren’t already forcibly taken through taxes and given to you anyway.

                  So you still stole his tomatoes anyway, just through proxy instead. Mendacious shithead.

                2. You keep saying that “income inequality” is a bad thing. I’m asking you how that is bad. It’s not strawman if it’s a direct fucking question.

                  1. It’s a strawman because he can’t answer it.

                    1. Nor can anyone (without claiming the economy is zero sum). It’s an invented political issue. Meaningless in any respect other than to attempt to rally an ignorant population around a specific voting block.

                  2. It’s not. Too much income inequality is bad, because it leads to too much power concentrated in the hands of too few people as well as a stagnant economy prone to recession.

                    1. So, who gets to decide when too much is too much? More Top. Men.? Because the Top. Men. we have are really good at fucking things up worse than they already are.

                    2. Ideally, governments responding to democratic will.

                      Our government has not always been successful, by a long shot. Almost entirely because people with similar ideas to you keep fucking everything up.

                    3. Right, and governments never go to far, do they? They never don’t take advantage of a crisis to advance their own agenda, does it? Governments never do things like put people in prison, or simply murder them, because they disagree with the government?

                      Oh, and since there are and have not been any libertarians in office at all nor has there been a libertarian caucus that has passed all the lousy legislation over the past 50+ years, it is far more on you and your ilk for the fucked up state of affairs.

                    4. Yea the libertarian hoardes are in control of the state. With tens and twenties of people, jeebus help us.

                    5. Tony stop being a piss chimp. These concepts have been explained to you time, and time again. You are a paid troll. I suspect the only reason people even respond to you is because even a paid political troll needs to earn a wage. Yes Tony. Every response you get from people on this board is Charity.

                    6. It’s not. Too much income inequality is bad,

                      How much is bad? What number is too much?

                      because it leads to too much power concentrated in the hands of too few people as well as a stagnant economy prone to recession.

                      That’s a fucking joke right? You, of all the centralized power advocates I have the misfortune to interact with, are telling me that income inequality creates concentrated power and NOW you think concentration of power is bad?

                    7. Is the hyper-powerful state not a concentration of power?

                    8. It’s bad because it’s not concentrated properly – with him and the government.

          2. BECUZ TEH EKONOMYZ ARE A ZERO SUM GAME! If someone winz it’s only becuz sumone else lost!

            /Tony

          3. … how exactly did I make you worse off?

            By not giving him your tomatoes! It’s not fair that you put in the time and effort to grow them – it gives you an unfair advantage! By Science, who even NEEDS so many extra pounds of tomatoes, you selfish kulak bourgeois wrecker!

            1. Oh holy shit, he beat me to my own comment by 7 minutes.

    2. Are you shitting in a toilet or in a hole in the yard? That’s one example you take for granted.

      1. Exactly how much of the world’s wealth do the richest 50 families or so get to suck up before I am allowed to stop being satisfied with not sleeping in human excrement?

        1. As much as your progressive/fascist economic policies allow it for the most part.

        2. No one cares how you feel.

        3. ZERO SUM GAME!

          /Tony *drooling down the front of his shirt*

        4. Uh, it’s products and services created by those richest families (along with everybody else that produces a net benefit) that prevent people from having to sleep in their own excrement.

          1. God could you suck plutocrat cock any harder?

            It’s strong institutions more than anything else that provides for widespread prosperity. That includes government and all its programs and a market that wouldn’t function at all without government. Only one of us is interested in either addressing the real world or not fixating on the idea that some aspect of society is a Big Bad Wolf always and forever.

            1. Brilliant. So, by this line of reasoning, the strong institutions of Soviet Russia were responsible for the economic powerhouse that was the Soviet economy. And the strong institutions of Communist China were so great at driving economic growth that they adopted free market principles and shit canned the communist ones.

              Honestly, could you be any more stupid and ignorant of history?

              And while I know it is beyond your cognitive ability, since you are driven by envy, but acknowledging and not begrudging people what they have worked for does not qualify as fellating them.

              1. To repeat, since I’m the only one apparently capable of dealing with any amount of nuance, the fact that bad institutions have existed doesn’t, to me, indicate that we should get rid of all institutions (except the ones libertarians like). You have to get them right of course, but you can’t have a decent society without them.

                Crying envy is the last resort of the libertarian who doesn’t have a point to make. I don’t envy anyone (except guys with great abs), and I don’t want to take anyone’s money (I make a good living). I’m arguing for what I think is the best structure of society, exactly the same as you. Only mine doesn’t come prepped and packaged by plutocratic interests and just so happen to benefit them and only them.

                1. Free markets benefit all who participate in them, much more so than planned, autocratic economies or agrarian feudal economies. Free markets have lifted more people out of poverty in the last 150-200 years than any government program. You are just envious of those that have more than you, and feel guilty about those that have less than you.

                2. It’s strong institutions more than anything else

                  You don’t even know what an institution is, and it’s a broad category of things spanning from abstract ideas to actual buildings filled with actual people. Political institutions DO NOT produce wealth, they consume it.

                  Only mine doesn’t come prepped and packaged by plutocratic interests and just so happen to benefit them and only them.

                  Last I checked everyone was benefiting from the vast network of voluntarily trading economic actors interacting with each other on a mutual beneficial basis. But hey you’re Mr Nuance so I can’t contradict you. I mean your “political force to solve all problems” ideology is just so nuanced I can’t possibly argue it!

            2. Tony. A plutocracy depends upon the rule of an Aristocracy. An Aristocracy depends upon bureaucrats, and enforcers. The theocracy loved this system. You are like some gay peasant begging the nobles for bread, and not letting the witch hunters burn you for being gay.

    3. Re: Tony,

      Your ridiculous polls make me want to break things.

      Take your Thorazine.

      Oh, remember that you are due for electroshocks tomorrow, honey!

    4. OK, I’ll bite: The Gilded Age. That horrible time when income was so unequal it’s hard to believe America survived and avoided a socialist revolution.

      It was also some of the strongest economic growth the country has ever seen. It was the opposite of stagnation.

      1. America didn’t avoid socialist revolution. Inequality in the Gilded Age led to the rise of labor unions, women’s suffrage, and a bunch of other socialisty stuff you guys think we should chuck into the sea. Throw modern monetary policy in the mix, which would have prevented the deep recessions of that era and accompanying widespread misery.

        Since this was a period of more or less historically incomparable industrialization, it wasn’t a period of income stagnation for the nonwealthy–their wages grew at a good pace. Hence, large economic growth. What’s happening now, with equal or greater inequality than during the Gilded Age, but without much income rising in the lower classes? Weak economic growth bordering on stagnation!

        1. What was the size of the government then compared to now?

          1. About 7% of GDP compared to about 35% today. In which era would you rather live, assuming you didn’t get to choose what kind of circumstance you found yourself in? I rest my case.

            1. I’d rather live in the one now, which was built on what came before. If I lived back then, I’d rather live at that time than what came before. You are just in denial on the negative effects that too much taxation and regulation have on the ability of free people freely engaging in economic activity to benefit each other.

            2. The bottom 10% of income earners live better than a king did a couple hundred years ago. You can rest your case til you’re blue in the face, you’re still fucking wrong and dishonest.

            3. Nice goalpost moving. He asked what the relative size of government was in the two era’s to compare the income growth rates. Of course virtually everyone would prefer to live in the modern era because of the increased quality of life due to technological advances. This is in spite of government growth, not because of it, as you well know, which is why you shifted the goalposts.

        2. The Gilded Age with diminishing prices and skyrocketing wages was just so awful. I mean those living standards rose so far so fast that it wasn’t entirely equal! Oh woe is us. Fuck you lie often.

          I’m sure stagnation has nothing to with the central banksters and regulatory state because without them feeding off of us, we would starve!

        3. Tony. You said. “America didn’t avoid socialist revolution. Inequality in the Gilded Age led to the rise of labor unions, women’s suffrage”
          This happened without government intervention, well the government did try to intervene. On the side of the robber barons,and politicians who got the police to beat, and rob union members, and women who dared to think that their voices mattered.

          1. Some liberal you are Tony “Turd Burglar” Piss Chimp.

  16. Your ridiculous polls make me want to break things.

    I know, right??

  17. Good luck explaining to a Progressive the difference between reducing income inequality and promoting economic growth.

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