Free Markets

What's Fair?

When government tries to make a free world "fairer" it just gets worse.

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Donald Trump's kids and Paris Hilton's siblings were born rich. That gave them a big advantage in life. Unfair!

Inequality in wealth has grown. Today the richest 1 percent of Americans own a third of the assets. That's not fair!

But wherever people are free, that's what happens. 

Some people are luckier, smarter, or just better at making money. Often they marry other wealthy, well-connected people. Over time, these advantages compound. Globalization increases the effect. This month's issue of Forbes says the world now has 1,826 billionaires, and some struggle to find enough parking places for their jets. 

President Obama calls inequality "the defining issue of our time." Really? Not our unsustainable debt? Not ISIS? The president also said, "No challenge[?] poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change!"

Politicians constantly find crises they will solve by increasing government power. But why is inequality a crisis?

Alexis Goldstein, of a group called The Other 98%, complains that corporations got richer but workers' wages "are lower than they've been in 65 years."

That's a common refrain, but it's wrong. Over the past 30 years, CBO data shows that the average income of the poorest fifth of Americans is up by 49 percent. That doesn't include all the innovations that have dramatically improved everyone's life. Today even the poorest Americans have comforts and lifespans that kings didn't have a century ago. 

George Mason University economist Garett Jones says, "If I was going to be in the bottom fifth in the America of today versus the bottom fifth of America in 1970 or 1960, it's hard to imagine that anybody would take that time machine into the past." 

And despite America's lousy government schools and regulations that make it tough to start a business, there is still economic mobility. Poor people don't have to stay poor. Sixty-four percent of those born in the poorest fifth of the U.S. population move out of that quintile. Eleven percent of them rise all the way to the top, according to economists at Harvard and Berkeley. Most of the billionaires atop the Forbes richest list weren't born rich. They got rich by innovating.

Rich people aren't guaranteed their place at the top, either. Sixty-six percent fell from the top quintile, and eight percent fell all the way to the bottom. 

That mobility is a reason most of us are better off than we would have been in a more rigid society controlled by central economic planners. 

Life will always be unfair. I want to play pro basketball. It's unfair that LeBron James is bigger and more talented! It's also unfair that George Clooney is better looking! It's unfair that my brother is smarter than me. 

Jones points out, "I was born with an advantage, too. Being born in the United States … totally unfair." He also has two married parents—another huge advantage.

The question is not whether people start out life in homogeneous circumstances, he adds. "The question is whether government policies that try to fix this actually make things better or worse." 

Worse, in most cases. Government "help" encourages poor people to be dependent and passive. Dependent, people stay poor. Also, most government handouts don't even go to the poor. They go to the middle class (college loans, big mortgage tax deductions, Medicare) and the rich (corporate welfare, bailouts to banks "too big to fail"). 

Instead of making government more powerful, let's get rid of those handouts. Left and right ought to agree on that.

America has prosperity and innovation because we have relatively free markets.

Progressives say, "Keep the innovation but have government make us more equal." But that doesn't work. It's been tried. Government-enforced equality—socialism—leaves everybody poor.

Equality is less important than opportunity. Opportunity requires allowing people to spend their own money and take their own risks. 

Instead of talking about "fairness," it would be better to talk about justice: respecting other people, respecting their freedom and their property rights. 

Real fairness requires limiting government power. 

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Darren Wilson's Friendly Trial

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  1. We’re gonna help just the ones on the very bottom. Ok, then the layer of people just above will become the bottom, so we better help them in order to be fair. Ok, ok, then we’ll help that new bottom layer, too. And we’ll do all this fairness through, drum roll, theft. (commission not incl.)

    1. Yup, like trying to find the most uninteresting person in the world, who immediately becomes interesting, renewing the search ….

  2. Even if the progs could push a magic Reset button and somehow put us all at exactly the same level of wealth and opportunity, it wouldn’t last more than a second or two. Then people would start making economic decisions again. Some good, some bad. Equality? Gone like a puff of smoke.

    1. But you can bet ‘their bottom dollar’ that the Progs won’t foresee that possibility or they’ll deny the possibility of that happening or, even after reality proves that the prediction was accurate, they won’t admit to the veracity of the ‘new reality.’

      Such are the hallmarks of cult members and other groups of insane folks.

  3. Your lunch time derp

    Spot the Not: Lee Atwater

    1. The game is mine. I deal the cards.

    2. Perception is reality.

    3. My childhood, adolescence and high school days are unusually important. If there has ever been a time that I developed a uniqueness and sense of humor and the ability to organize, it was then. In those early days, I developed the skills that gave me a certain degree of success in American politics.

    4. Most of the time I was in grammar school through high school, I was in some kind of rock n’ roll band.

    5. You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” ? that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.

    6. I am sorry for both statements: the first for its naked cruelty, the second because it makes me sound racist, which I am not.

    1. Hasn’t he been dead for a while?

      5.

    2. I’m going to say 2. That one seems to just be a common saying among certain unsavory types. One company I worked for had a chief of marketing who used to say that a lot. It made me want to punch him.

      1. I hate that phrase too. One time, when my boss said it to me, I asked him if he had ever scene a magic trick or an optical illusion. Another time, I asked what happens when 2 perceptions contradict each other. There’s only one reality, right?

        Wrong. He said there are as many realities as there are perceptions.

        Herp herp herpa derp.

      2. 6. I can’t imagine him apologizing.

    3. The Not is #1- that is from Charles Manson.

      #5 is real:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..n_Strategy

  4. Spot the Not: Karl Rove

    1. It’s like my mom says, the weak are always trying to sabotage the strong.

    2. If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek.

    3. Memo to White House: Calling voters stupid is not a winning strategy.

    4. Well, I’m a Christian. I was a born a Presbyterian and became an Episcopalian.

    5. We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!

    6. As people do better, they start voting like Republicans…unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.

      1. nope (I cheated)

    1. The Not is #1- that is a quote from Tracy Flick from the movie Election

    2. 2. Too much like a real person.

      1. I see the pattern. The answer is always 1.

  5. The thing the left cannot comprehend is that to get rich in a market economy, one must make others richer as well.

    An innovator who improves some product will improve the lives of the people who buy the product, while gaining a bit of wealth each time. So you’ve got concentrated wealth to the innovator, and a roughly equal amount of wealth spread throughout society. Everybody wins.

    People on the left feel that the economy is a zero-sum game. So for someone to get rich, others must be made poorer. When in fact the opposite is true.

    1. They don’t comprehend this, and for the same reason they cling to unions. They believe the rich (excluding their favorite donors) are all 19th century Rockefellers who only got rich by exploiting workers and gouging consumers. They don’t understand that things have changed a bit in the last 100 or so years.

      1. Plus, Rockefeller didn’t get rich by exploiting workers and gouging consumers.

      2. Uh, actually, the 19th century Rockefellers didn’t gouge consumers, they got rich by relentlessly driving DOWN the prices they charged for their oil products. Which eventually lead to the bogus charge of ‘predatory pricing’ by competitors who couldn’t match Standard Oil’s prices. And Standard Oil wasn’t unique — Cornelius Vanderbilt became the richest man before Rockefeller by driving down the price of steamship and railway tickets. Not that some of the ‘robber baron’ business practices weren’t shady, but gouging consumers was not one of their sins.

        1. Not to mention that price gouging is a myth

      3. The richest corporations on earth require either overseas sweatshop labor or massively polluting the earth. Maybe you can get kinda rich by being decent and upstanding, but to get really rich you still need to exploit workers and fuck consumers.

        1. Utilizing resources to their full potential to deliver products that consumers want at a price/cost they accept made them rich. Climate alarmists still feel it is enough of a trade-off to continue consume those evul pollutionz. The conundrum that is Al Gore and his pollute the world to save the world should have you in a rage. Oh wait! It is about TEAM, isn’t it?

          1. For constant malcontents you guys sure are selectively cheery about the world.

            1. Below you were talking about how great the world is thanks to something in the 40s and you would like to keep that up

              I can’t keep up.

        2. How dare Apple’s mercenary army march those Chinese into their factories and FORCE them to earn a better living than their relations that still work the farms!

          1. Going from shitty farm work to shitty factory work is not exactly a scenario involving a whole lot of independent choice.

            You don’t think it’s at least mildly concerning that our society seems never to have been able to be as wealthy as it is without exploiting either slave or seriously low-paid labor?

            I’m sure the Chinese sweatshop workers appreciate your support. Guess they’re jumping out of factory windows because life is just too good to bear.

            1. The reason why Chinese are poor is and only have a choice between dreary farm work and a sweatshop is Socialism, not Apple factory.

            2. Going from shitty farm work to shitty factory work is not exactly a scenario involving a whole lot of independent choice.

              Derp.

              You don’t think it’s at least mildly concerning that our society seems never to have been able to be as wealthy as it is without exploiting either slave or seriously low-paid labor?

              Exploitation is in the eye of the exploited. I don’t consider people making a trade-off that I wouldn’t to be some sort of soul-crushing moral imperative worthy of state intervention.

              1. Why doesn’t he go live in China and experience the choices that people have to make? Instead of moral posturing from his ivory tower (in this case, the USA).

            3. You do realize there are cost of living differences right? If they made the choice to work there…who are you to say they shouldn’t. let people live their lives and stop trying to control others

            4. Tony! Welcome Back… now please educate us all on “what makes labor ‘Low-Paid’?”

              Thanks. It’s really kind of dumb to use a term like that without describing or defining it first, eh?

              Ah, didn’t think you’d agree…

        3. Would the alternative for these overseas workers be better? Why are they freely working there?

          And as far as your pollution comment…how did you arrive at this thought and what would be an acceptable level of pollution?

        4. Do you support guys like tom steyer? He is really rich.

        5. And a subsidy.

    2. Whenever someone throws the zero-sum fallacy at me, I ask them if they get poorer every time someone wins the lottery.

      1. Bad analogy. Half that money goes to taxes, so you lose it twice.

        1. That’s good! Government is the people! Says that right in the Constitution with “We the People!” So money going to taxes is money going to the people! It makes us richer!

          /progderp

        2. Ah, Brett… how did “I” lose the money twice?
          If I won the lottery, any ‘winnings’ above the cost of the ticket, whether taxed or not, are not a ‘loss’ to me… I get money I wouldn’t have received otherwise. If I HAD RECEIVED the money and it was taken away from me, we might consider it a ‘loss’ but if the money goes to taxes before I get the net proceeds, what did I “lose”?

          Strange, eh?

          And if someone else won the lottery and some of their winnings got siphoned off into government coffers, those dollars did not come out of my pocket but actually help reduce the government’s need to get those dollars FROM ME, so since it came from thousands of willing and non-coerced participants, I would consider that a ‘win’ for me!

          Oh, and if I buy a ticket and DON’T win, which happens virtually all the time, I can also consider my losing ticket’s cost to be MY voluntary donation to The Cause… usually state education funding. My choice. Another dollar the state Revenue Department doesn’t have to squeeze out of me WITHOUT my agreement.

          Your logic escapes me.

    3. I certainly wouldn’t be driving the truck that makes my life so much easier, or living in the house that makes my life so much more comfortable, if it wasn’t for the life improving effect that generally trickles out from those that made themselves very wealthy. Of course, it could have only occurred in a nation that at least makes some effort to keep a lid on absolute corruption. Not sure how much longer it will last here.

      1. We’re pretty close to absolute corruption now. When you see bureaucrats just blatantly ignore Congress, you have to know we are heading for trouble. Disappearing emails, hard drive crashes, ignored orders to appear before congress, bureaucracies used to target political enemies, presidents ignoring laws or changing them without congressional approval.

        We’re on the road to serfdom.

    4. They don’t get that because a lot of people only think of wealth in terms of money. So when the consumer parts with money, and the innovator gets more of it, they think wealth only flows one way.

  6. Stossel did a special on ABC called “Are we scaring ourselves to death?”

    At the end, he showed a chart showing the average number of lost days off a person’s life from things like terrorism, murder, car accidents, and smoking. But the longest bar by far was poverty. It turns out that being poor takes more years off your life than smoking. So it you really want to save lives, you should get rid of regulations and taxes so there are more jobs.

    https://youtu.be/WmiFShBQDIs?t=39m44s

    The leftists went berzerk.

    1. +1 bald tire

  7. And yet after 7 years of Obama’s rule and 8 years with a Democratic majority in Congress the gap between the poor and rich has only increased. Why can’t they see it’s their own policies and legislation that exacerbates the very problem they express a desire to solve?

    Btw, I really hate the term ‘fair’ as it’s used by progs. To them the amount of fairness you receive depends on how you were born. Those who ‘choose’ the wrong gender, color, or sexual orientation don’t deserve ‘fairness.’

    1. Progressives cannot admit to such things, ever, or their entire ideology falls to pieces. Of course leftist policies do not work, and only make everything worse, this has been proven over and over and over again every place it has been tried. But they can’t give up the dream of a paradise on earth created by an all powerful and benevolent government.

      The other problem is that many of the older Democrats are team or die, until the very end.

      Clinton is fucking toast but read comments from around the web today and all you will hear out of people like this is things like ‘I don’t like Hillary, but if she’s the candidate then I’m supporting her, because the alternative is that a Republican gets elected and that’s tantamount to the apocalypse, women and children dying in the streets, minorities in chains, blah, blah, blah’.

      Some of the newer gen of voters may turn against her, but the old diehards, never will, if Hitler was resurrected and put on the stage with a D after his name, they would vote for him.

      1. I’ve noticed Dems also give their incompetent leaders a pass because they believe their intentions are noble–unlike those evil Conservatives and Libertarians who want everyone to suffer and die. I guess that’s what happens when you value feelings and emotions over logic and intelligence.

      2. You forgot the dogs and cats living together.

  8. What government intervention will do, is only to change who the 1% is. Instead of people who inherited wealth or got rich through hard work and innovation, the rich will be dull, dumb, no talent bureaucrats and sociopath party leaders. And instead of 1% of the population having all that wealth, it will be a small oligarchy who have declared themselves to be royalty. They will be above the law and unaccountable, 2 conditions that are pretty much already realized at this point, all that is left is for them to end elections and seize the rest of the wealth.

    1. “Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades,” cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, “surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?”

      1. Jones, or worse, Rethuglicans!

      2. Do kids still read that in school?

  9. Have I mentioned I like Stossel?

    1. Dr. D. David Schultz didn’t like him too much.

    2. I wish that he wouldn’t do things like referring to mortgage tax deduction as a “government handout”. That feeds the prog mindset that taxcuts are spending increases as opposed to revenue reductions. Which, in turn, is based on the overall mindset that all money belongs to the government and anything you are allowed to keep is a government handout.

      Yes, mortgage tax deduction is something that definitely benefits the rich more than the poor. Targeted benefits like that are valid items to consider eliminating (and replacing with across-the-board taxcuts). But I wish he wouldn’t affirm their position that allowing people to keep their own money is a government handout.

      1. Okay. We’ll call it deficit spending.

  10. I am a reader of self-help books and newsletters. One thing I’ve read about is the idea that you should never expect something for nothing. You will never become successful if you have that mindset. Trying to have income inequality is just another way for people to try to get something for nothing, just like playing the lottery. Sure, there are poor people in the US and around the world, who truly are destitute and I think should be helped through private charity. But “income inequality” in the US is pure envy. “That guy has more than me, and it’s not fair. I don’t care how he got it. The government should give me some of his stuff.”

    1. “you should never expect something for nothing”

      This is good advice. Plus, what do people appreciate and place more value on? Something given to them, or something they worked long and hard to achieve? I enjoy getting ‘free stuff’ as much as anyone. But working hard, saving money, and eventually buying something you’ve wanted for a long time is far more satisfying.

    2. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”
      — by Frederic Bastiat, 1848

  11. Thes best question to ask progressives when they start ranting about people paying their fair share is: So everything equal how much what percentage of their income should a rich person give to the government until they have paid their fair share? How much do the rich need to give the federal government until we have acheieved equality?

    Till this day never got a straignt answer

    1. I’ve gotten some straight answers. Basically the “fair” thing to do is tax income at 100% above some arbitrary level, like a million dollars a year. After all, no one really “needs” that much money. Call it “maximum income.” This will not have any effect on incentives, and the rich people will continue to work and innovate and produce, even though the fruits of their labor are being taken away from them. They will continue to pay themselves these exorbitant salaries, even though they only keep a million dollars of it. This money can then be used to provide a “minimum income” for everyone else. Like the “maximum income,” the “minimum income” will have no effect on incentives either. People will continue to work and produce just as they did before, the only difference is that the money will be distributed fairly.

      1. Basically the “fair” thing to do is tax income at 100% above some arbitrary level, like a million dollars a year.

        After all, why wouldn’t people do $2M worth of work for $1M?

        Duh!

        Progs (hell, 90% of the population) are economic simpletons.

        1. If someone busting his ass all week long can make $20K a year, there is no such thing as $2 million worth of work. That is simply making money.

          1. And somebody not busting his ass all week should still get $20K? Is that what you think? Should they get less? I have the choice between working hard or doing nothing but I still get the same benefit. Wonder which one people will choose?

          2. It’s value-add, not hours worked. Maybe if you ever had a job less menial than spellchecking employment announcements your higher-ups would have explained this.

            1. Even that doesn’t explain modern CEO-to-worker pay ratios.

              1. Your compensation essentially boils down to market value of the position plus value-add of the individual (Read up on the baseball statistic VORP for a general idea; it’s the same concept). CEO’s of major companies make a lot of money owners are willing to pay a premium for their skills, basically that they bring more value to the table than is directly quantifiable.

                Now, I wish there was some apparatus where you could directly invest against companies that were overpaying their CEO’s. A market possibly, one where a prospective future value of a company could be evaluated against what the value would turn out to be. A novel concept, I’m sure.

                1. Missing from this picture is power dynamics (which libertarians don’t think exist outside of the government-citizen relationship). The only reason workers used to make more relative to bosses is because they had more negotiating power because people hadn’t come along and used government force to deny them the freedom to form functional labor unions. By contrast, a CEO just has to be chummy with the board to get a zillion dollar bonus.

                  1. Actually, the reason that executives are paid so much more now is that their income is much more tied to the performance of the company through stock or other equity options. The rationale for this shift was simple: force the executives to have some “skin in the game,” make their income tied to the performance of the company. This has a certain facially logical appeal, and many companies started adopting similar compensation packages.

                    Employee salaries stayed more stagnant because the remained traditional hourly wages and not as much equity-based.

                    1. -1 Bank Bailout Bonus

                  2. The only reason …

                    This is false. It is likely part of it, though I think it pales in comparison to several others (I won’t bother getting into them, but they fill books which you won’t so much as glance at).

                    a CEO just has to be chummy with the board to get a zillion dollar bonus

                    Hey, it’s their money to waste (technically their shareholders’, but that’s brilliant illustration of the principal-agent problem!). Even when that’s the case, the CEO soon finds himself unemployed as the stock price tanks and the board is overtaken by activist investors looking to exploit undervalued assets. And if this doesn’t happen then the board can point to his bonus as a reward for success. Nepotism is only a problem when it’s a problem; there’s nothing wrong with it in a vacuum.

                  3. That … isn’t entirely true.

                    One of the big factors to CEOs making more money was an SEC program (read, big government) designed to shame them. Companies had to publish how much they were paying their top executives. The idea is that, if an Ernie the Executive is making, say, 500k/year sallary and 500k/year benefits, then the workers at Ernie’s Egregious Earbuds would revolt and demand he make less. Good idea, in concept, but forgot to factor in people.

                    What ACTUALLY happened is that Randy and Tommy and Lou and Jenny all saw Earnie making 500k and said, “Wait, that chucklehead, that schmucknuts, is clearing a million? I’m worth twice that! Hot damn! I gotta talk to my recruiter and get a new job!” And, when Ernie left E3, the next exec said “Wait, you paid him 1 million, I will make 50% more profit, so I need 50% more money!” And the board paid it, or something like it, and a golden parachute, to bring in the Hot New Tallent.

                    Oh, and this is important, the CEO doens’t have to be chummy with the board. Because investors (and, importantly, institutional investors, like fund managers) look at those numbers. And if they company is missing goals and giving raises to the executives, they better have good reason. The largest funds have ENORMOUS power in public companies like that, and will use it if they think it will make the company less profitable or the stock go down.

                    1. There’s been a big fight between an activist hedge fund and Dupont that’s been going on for about 6 months or more.

              2. Its not for you to decide simpleton. If the company makes more money because a new CEO is hired making XX million dollars a year then that is a good investment for both parties…dumbass.

                If no value was added by the CEO’s salary then eventually there would be an internal correction to that organization…dumbass.

    2. Well, obviously you cannot destroy incentive and productivity and create wealth and revenue at the same time. But this is exactly what leftists like Barack Obama intend to do. They believe that you can use force and coerce people into being what you want them to be and that nothing will go wrong. They don’t see the masses as people, but as biological resources to be manipulated for the benefit of the greater good that they envision.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    3. Most of the progs I’ve known set the level of acceptable income to about what they’re personally earning. In their opinion no one deserves to earn more money than they do, and they want the government to make sure that unacceptable situation never happens.

    4. Ed, you just haven’t talked to the income ceiling crowd.

    5. You people act like taxes are a novel concept. I know you don’t like the idea that we are a social species who share resources and responsibilities and that we can’t be anything but that, but I can’t help you figure out how to handle this fact except to say grow the fuck up. You want civilization, you have to pay taxes. Civilization includes everything from armed forces to transfer programs to alleviate poverty.

      A fair share is whatever it takes to fund the civilization we want without burdening anybody. Progressive taxation is based on the premise that taking half of a rich person’s income will not burden him, but taking half of a poor person’s income would devastate him.

      Libertarianism is the bizarre idea that we should all contribute to the pot, but the poor should be especially burdened. But wait there’s more. We can’t use any of those resources to help feed poor people–it all has to go to protect property. In fact, we should spare no expense to protect even the most absurd luxuries of the rich (while spending not a dime to support the basic needs of the poor). Is it obvious that not only is this the very definition of unfair, it makes no rational sense? Yes. Do libertarians fail to grasp this? Yes.

      1. libertariainsim is the ideal philosophy for anyone whos never passed the intellectual development of an early adolescent. they really beleive that theyre special snowflakes who are not to be held responsible for their actions and just being held back from being billionaires by the evil libruls. how else do you explain the thought process that produces “black people being shot by cops is the same thing as my bum traffic ticket – so lets only worry about my ticket and anyone who disagrees is a dirty race hustler”?

        1. they really beleive that theyre special snowflakes who are not to be held responsible for their actions

          Thanks for confirming that you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

          the thought process that produces “black people being shot by cops is the same thing as my bum traffic ticket – so lets only worry about my ticket and anyone who disagrees is a dirty race hustler”?

          Wow. Just. Wow.

        2. Well, Ferguson protests were sparked in part by police abusing poor people and milking them for revenue. So bum tickets matter.

        3. Believing one is a special snowflake, is actually the exact definition of Progressives and modern Liberals. You feel entitled to things that you haven’t actually ever earned and you want someone else to front the cost as nothing is free because someone has to foot the bill. Thinking that things are free, that utopia exists, that you can end all human suffering and you can do all this through the force of the gov’t (and marches that lead to huge wastes of energy and littering) sounds to me as the most adolescent of any though processes I have encountered thus far.

      2. Taxes do not pay for ‘civilization’, they pay for the government. If you want less government, it is reasonable to demand less taxes. You don’t have to be libertarian to see that.

        1. But we’ve cut taxes by trillions of dollars and only spent more money on government. I grant that Republicans don’t seem to think Middle East wars cost anything.

          1. US federal tax revenue went from ~$2 trillion in 2000 to ~$3 trillion in in 2014. Even accounting for inflation, I don’t think it counts as tax cutting. And we spent even more, yes, glad you noticed that.

          2. You are just figuring out that Republicans are just as bad as the Dem’s when it comes to lying.

            You seem quite certain that everyone here is a Repub and actively supports them.

            Some people may be, others are not (you are here, aren’t you?), others like me have no affiliation with any political party and would gladly exile all members of political parties to another galaxy if that were possible. We might actually be able to get something done then.

            1. Actually I go out of my way to pretend that it’s not the case that everyone here is basically a Republican in all but name. I’ve seen the polls, I have your number. And Republicans are, of course, about a thousand times worse when it comes to lying. Democrats don’t start whole decade-long wars with lies.

              1. How did you arrive at this 1000 times number? And can you show bush “lied”? I think if he knew he was lying that would be easy to prove. Not sure that is the case

                1. There were no weapons of mass destruction and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

                  1. That may or may not be the case. But it is non-consequential.

                    Look, I have no love for Bush or the Republicans. I have never, once, voted for a Republican. But the fact that he was WRONG does not mean he LIED. If I have strong reason to believe that the movie is at 3:00, and I checked the paper and it said the movie is at 3:00, but when we get to the theater it turns out that the movie is at 3:30, nobody is going to say I lied.

                    I was misinformed.

                    And Bush, more than likely, was too.

                    1. What possible difference does it make?

                    2. Did you mean to quote Hillary there? Because that is funny.

                2. And can you show bush “lied”?

                  Dude, gtfo of here.

              2. Actually I go out of my way to pretend that it’s not the case that everyone here is basically a Republican in all but name

                I came over to libertarianism from the more liberal side of things. I can think of only two Repub pols I’ve ever supported and they’ve been since I switched over (Ron Paul and Justin Amash). In the 2004 elections I was hoping Howard Dean would win and didn’t vote in the general because Kerry was too much like Bush. I’ve only voted for a Repub once, Ron Paul in the 08 primaries. And that’s it.

              3. Tony

                LBJ started Vietnam with a lie about the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

              4. Hillary voted to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and you’re going to vote for her.

                So GTFO.

      3. Tony, I have to ask you some questions if you don’t mind.

        1) Why do you come to this site? You obviously have a completely different view and it is quite natural to want to be around people who think like you (in form or the other).

        2) Do you really believe that you can make an argument over the web and change someone’s mind?

        3) Have you ever actually known a poor person. The homeless dude down the street doesn’t count.

        I also have some comments:

        1) I’m willing to bet that you come from the suburbs and was born into a middle class family.

        2) I was born and raised poor in East KY (One of the poorest places in the nation) and I never really worried about actually starving to death or some other disaster that you relate to being poor. That is just my experience but most of my family was poor and most of the people around me were as well. I can’t recall anyone ever actually starving or any such thing. Doing without, sure, but that is just life man. You can’t actually have everything that your heart desires.

        1. 3) Helping poor people is an admirable goal but what would you do when you run into poor people like me (and there’s a lot of us) that would say to hell with your handout. You wanna give me seeds so I can grow a garden, fine. You wanna give me food that you procured from somewhere, fuck you. You wanna give me a bullet so I can go kill a deer, fine. You wanna give me a deer, fuck you.

          4) Poor people are not a project. We have a totally different mindset than what you think we have. I don’t worry about a big house, fancy cars, nice clothes (the same Asian kid makes all the designer clothes anyway), etiquette, modern culture, or any of the stupid shit that guys like you worry about. Also we are not animals that will riot/kill/steal if we don’t get our gov’t peanut butter and cheese. Mainly we just want to be left alone and not looked at like some monkey in a zoo and used for your political preferences.

          1. 3) So seeds and bullets are good handouts, food and deer are bad handouts. Not sure I get the distinction.

            4) Everybody should worry about etiquette. My goodness! Manners aren’t optional and they certainly aren’t confined to a certain economic class. Sorry, I appreciate the point otherwise.

            But, and I hate to break this to you, you’re already surviving off of handouts, just like everyone else. You were lucky enough to be born into an existing sophisticated civilization with law and order, infrastructure, access to education, plumbing. A social safety net is simply one aspect of that, and you should feel no more guilty or resentful for partaking than you do for enjoying the benefits of having police and courts to reduce your chance of being murdered for your stuff. It’s all just civilization. If you want to live in the country with few luxuries, I think you should be free to do that, but I also think your children should have the opportunity to make different choices if they want. As it stands, people pretty much end up where their parents are.

            1. Seeds and bullets allow me to work for my own food and reap my own harvest. Perhaps that was a bad picture for me to use.

              Etiquette and manners are two totally different things. Manners are common courtesy and etiquette is what dumb ass people like to use to separate themselves from the peasants. Etiquette is how you get stupid shit like cisgender/trigger warnings/gender neutral/and any other dumbass thing that makes people feel that they are “enlightened”.

              Police and courts do not lower my chances of being murdered. Police may solve my murder and court may convict the murderer but they do nothing to protect me, your, or anyone else. With the amount of police we have, there should be no crime if that were the case Tony.

              Also if I am to look around me, I can debunk your poor people are fat shit that you spew. Fresh/canned vegetables are far cheaper than the processed crap you get out of the freezer. I could feel up a cart full of vegetables for $100 but could only get a fraction of the food if I buy processed. Sure I may not get the “organic” stuff that lefties like you obsess over but I see no difference between “organic” lettuce and any other lettuce. Yet poor people still buy the shit that they want and obviously are happy doing it, so I say let them do it.

              1. “Etiquette and manners are two totally different things.”

                This is a distinction I’ve not heard before, but if anything you have it backwards. Calling people the names they want to be called is not like using the right fork with your salad, it’s a much more basic tenet of good manners. Manners means not hurting other people’s feelings. A very mannerly person will not need to read up on obscure social justice terminology because he will know instinctively how not to treat another person like dogshit.

                “Police and courts do not lower my chances of being murdered.”

                So the entire criminal justice system exists not to reduce crime, but simply to impose punishment? What’s the point of that? This is an empirical question, and I think you’ll find that places without organized police forces tend to be rather scary.

            2. So seeds and bullets are good handouts, food and deer are bad handouts.

              My god you’re an idiot. Did it ever occur to you that someone, somewhere might NOT want to be dependent on your fucking handouts?

              Because that is the EXACT definition of liberalism today: keeping folks dependent on your “generosity”.

              Goddamnit I got trolled but some stupid shit you can’t let go.

        2. 1) I think it’s bizarre to want to have conversations only with people you agree with. I’m here to learn about libertarianism and hone my ability to debunk it. 2) No. Maybe someone who hasn’t yet made up his mind is lurking, though. 3) Define poor. I’m a typical liberal. I like people in general, but I don’t like to be around them. I don’t even like to be around typical middle-class people.

          That wouldn’t be an inaccurate way of describing my upbringing.

          It’s true that starvation is not a common threat in the developed world. Though, you might be surprised if you looked at how bad our food access and nutrition statistics are–or not, just look around you. Starvation is just at the extreme end of poverty. In the developed world poverty means you get fat and diabetic.

          1. I can honestly say that the biggest problem I have with leftists is not your ideas for safety nets. It’s that you are the complete antithesis of freedom. Wanting to legalize abortion and gay marriage while also wanting to ban about a million other things does not make you guys champions of freedom in my mind. Thinking that gov’t force is the only thing that makes people civil actually scares the shit out of me. If that were true then we are subjects not citizens, Tony.

            I live in a small town and am definitely not afraid of the local Barney Fifes and they would not deter me from doing as I will. Yet, I still have no desire to harm any of my neighbors or terrorize the black people over in the other neighborhood. How is that possible Tony, if the only thing holding me back is something that I’m not afraid of?

          2. Well, we can agree on one thing Tony, I typically don’t like being around people either. That’s why I live in rural areas, not to mention that suburb people scare the shit out of me.

            1. You’re getting to an important point. There is a good reason people who live in rural areas tend to favor less government, while people who live in cities tend to favor more government. Isn’t it obvious? You live in a city, you’re around a ton of people all the time, and you’re just going to need more rules and regulations. You can’t solve everything with handshakes in that environment. If you ignore the made-up lines on the map of the US you’ll find that Red America is rural and Blue America is urban. You guys don’t want liberals to impose their form of government on you. But while conservatives shout all the time about big government, they don’t seem to realize that city dwellers not only don’t want them to impose rural “leave me alone” forms of government on them, they couldn’t possibly function with that little government. Since the US is geographically big, this tension will persist. Smaller countries with less open space tend to go in the direction of more socialism more easily for these very understandable reasons.

              1. It is obvious though a lot of these guys on here probably live in urban areas and I think they will disagree with you about what is best for our hell-hole….sorry urban areas.

                1. Well, it’s indisputably a pattern. I’m being generous by attributing political differences to population density alone and not the fact that people in cities tend to be more educated.

                  1. Having a degree may make someone more educated but it doesn’t make them more intelligent. A degree in math doesn’t do much in the way of foreign policy and one in political science doesn’t do much in the way of finding new sources of energy.

                    I thought we were having a relatively polite conversation but then you go and run down an entire group of people because you feel that you and people like you are our betters. Don’t deny it because that is certainly what you alluded to.

                    I have yet to meet a person with a degree or several that absolutely blew me out of my socks. Their arguments are just as prone to their own personal bias. Go back and re-read some of what are being called the smartest people alive. Read as if you disagree with everything they are saying. You will find that most if not all will argue their point when convenient and then do a complete 180 when they get trapped. Or they may say one thing in one context and then magically that same standard doesn’t get applied when it comes to something else.

                    I had a history professor (aww shit, I’m just a stupid fucking hillbilly, I couldn’t have possibly ever had a professor, so I’ll say teacher so you still feel righteous) that was especially prone to this. Highly educated, and very prone to use his power to stamp out any argument that he didn’t like before it ever got started. He was also a lot like you, quick to tell us peasants that he has the magic smart paper and we do not.

                    1. I really do try not to be a snob. But you don’t have to be so defensive either. If you’re as clever or more clever than I, you need only demonstrate it. You seem clever enough and I just got through telling you that you are fairly well justified in having your political beliefs (but not in wanting to impose them on non-rural dwellers).

              2. So the logical solution is to impose high taxes and govt services at the local level while the rural locals can do less.

                Not this one size fits all control freak mentality via the federal govt

                1. Frank,

                  I was going to bring this up but I knew it would go no where. We will get the line of, “Cities can’t afford these programs all on their own, it will have to be federal.”

                  “You dumb cow fuckers, will just have to learn to live with it and love it. Us sophisticated types know better than you do. You guys don’t even lift your little finger when drinking from a glass, and you use one fork to eat with. It’s cute though that you thought your opinion counts but you’re still a peasant.” -Tony-

                  1. The thing is people who live in cities subsidize the government services for people who live in the country. Without fail, the small-government-believing neighborhoods and states and regions are the welfare queens and the big-government liberal areas are the “makers.” Now, I don’t want rural conservatives to give up their Social Security, because that would make the system less efficient and it would mean, well, old starving people all over the South. But they are welcome to offer.

                    1. No they don’t.

                      Aren’t most of the poor people that you care so much about for the social safety net in the city?

                      Werent you railing above about the evil corporations and using slave labor over-seas to make billions?

                      You do know the highest income earning americans pay on average more total dollars and higher effective tax rates right?

                      You keep contradicting yourself.

          3. OK Tony, I typed when I shouldn’t have and all of my previous responses to you have been absolute garbage. I actually got pissed because you talk about poor people as if they are your little pet dog or something. I would hate you guys a smidgen less if you just cut that crap out.

            The thing that I really wanted to say was that you aren’t debunking anything. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind. Arguing about politics is like arguing about religion. You have to come to your own conclusions as no one is going to change your beliefs. You believe what you do and that’s fine, my life is black/white to yours and I have my views.

            The difference between us is that you want to force your views while I say let people decide on their own. You think progress is forcing someone to do something through laws, ridicule, public shaming. I think change (I reject the notion of progress, as if human civilization is on some linear path or something) is people doing the same thing of their own free will. You think tolerance means acceptance. I think tolerance means not killing your neighbor because he prays differently but not having to like it either.

            1. I don’t consider my beliefs unchangeable. I have very little emotional attachment to them. If evidence comes along that shows that people are better off with lower taxes and fewer government services, that’s fine. That’s just not what the evidence shows.

              I have to completely disagree that I more want to impose things on other people than you do. A laissez-faire economy is a positive choice, and it’s one that’s more-or-less been tried and the outcomes measured. Given the real-world evidence, and given a basic ethical belief that we should maximize human well-being while minimizing harm, I’m simply forced to conclude that a relatively strong social democracy is the best we’ve managed to come up with to date.

              Which means I also disagree that there’s no such thing as collective progress. We have come a hell of a long way since the first half of the 20th century when it comes to not killing people in massive numbers. We feed more people than we ever have. More people are educated. And we have a long way to go. The idea that 7 billion people, or 350 million, can all wander around in individual bubbles making choices that don’t affect anyone else is a myth. Rugged individualism may work for people who don’t live around others. But it simply doesn’t for the majority of us who do.

              1. Please give us an example, Tony. I believe, 100%, that you are genuine and have recently changed your beliefs based on evidence and argument.

                Even if your opinion went more left-of-center, please give us an example of when you changed your mind. As an intelectual experiment, I would love to hear that.

              2. I forgot to say this a moment ago.

                You wrote, “given a basic ethical belief that we should maximize human well-being while minimizing harm”

                Are you really that much of a utilitarian? if I could show you proof that by carpet bombing Cambodia and killing every living creature with a painless death within the seemingly arbitrary borders of a very large African nation, and it had the net effect of raising well being of the world (even accounting for the lack-of-well-being coming from Cambodia), you would be okay with this?

                Consequentialism, or utilitarianism, has always frightened me. Do you really want to stick with “we should maximize human well-being while minimizing harm”?

                1. That’s why I said “minimizing harm.” I’m not a fascist. I don’t believe in sacrificing human safety and life for the benefit of others.

                  1. That would be you guys who believe that. And “the others” are billionaires. Lovely moral system you have there.

                  2. No, you did say “minimize harm,” which is exactly what I suggested. If we could (painlessly) carpet bomb Cambodia, again, as an example, and, by doing so, cure cancer, get all people fresh water and healthy food, cure aidas, and make sure all people are able to live a life of dignity, would it be worth it?

                    That would minimize harm. The “harm” factor in the world would go down dramatically, and the “pleasure” factor would go up dramatically.

                    And no, Libertarians aren’t consequentialists/utilitarians. They are, we are, usually, deontologists, that is, we have a principled belief system and believe that the ends DO NOT justify the means. In fact, most people’s problem, including yours, is that we believe certain things are right and wrong, and the consequences be damned. We are willing to accept some negative consequences in order to do what we believe is right.

                    That is a HUGE difference. And it is one you are well aware.

          4. and hone my ability to debunk it

            Well, that’s a total failure. You seem to be getting worse, saying dumber and dumber shit.

      4. I see that you’re still clinging tenaciously to the laughable idea that governments create civilization. There’s no point in arguing about that–we will never agree.

        So here’s why I come down. Although I believe in freedom, government has been around all of my life. I’ve lived with it and gotten along with it for more than fifty years-I “grew the fuck up” a long long time ago. And I can probably make it for the few decades I likely have left. I can live with some government and some taxes and some regulation.

        Here’s the problem: you statist fucks absolutely can’t quit. You find some problem–sometimes just make one up–and proceed to “solve” it in your usual ways: pass a law, start a program, start a war, etc. It goes one of two ways from there:

        1) The government intervention is a disastrous failure. How do you respond? Like a rational adult, stepping back and rethinking your plan? Fuck no. You just try the same thing harder and angrier, like a shrieking toddler. Make the law stricter, make the punishments harsher, increase the budget, use bigger bombs, establish a “czar”. Never stop no matter what the consequences.
        or

      5. or 2) True disaster strikes: your plan actually succeeds. Stick a fork in it, it’s done. A rational adult would realize that you can stop now. But not you. Oh fuck no. Gotta find a new enemy. A new mission. Ratchet up the threshold so that every casual gesture is a “micro-aggression”.

        Jesus crackers, if you just knew when to quit I wouldn’t really mind so much.

        1. I just don’t think we’ve figured out the perfect form of society yet (though other countries have gotten closer than we have), and so we are compelled by our basic humanity to work to figure out how to improve it. What is the other option? I am not the breathless moralist in this room usually. If you’re saying the status quo, with all its injustices and imbalances and threats to freedom, is where we should stop, all the pieces kept in the same place (and definitely don’t raise taxes on billionaires!), surely you can understand why people disagree.

          1. New poster here.

            What other countries have gotten closer and how did you determine what the perfect society is?

            You sound like a control freak.

            1. Libertarians are worse. “You aren’t allowed public healthcare, education, safety net, or really anything but what I think I personally need from government. You aren’t allowed these things because I say so and freedom or something.”

              There are countries from Europe to Asia that have better outcomes in terms of health, education, material well-being, etc. They are all more socialist than the US. Take that for what you will.

              1. Wow you completely butchered the view of libertarians. Nice strawman

                Which countries in Europe and Asia would you consider better than the united states and why?

                Didn’t you get done below saying how great society was since the 40s. Above you were talking about high taxes and govt services are so great…but yet you are saying all these countries in Europe and Asia are better off than the united states.

                It would help if you would stop contradicting yourself

              2. I am seeing a theme, here. Do the ends justify the means?

                1. Sometimes they do, obviously?

          2. It’s true that the need to improve is a basic human characteristic. But in applying it to the real world one must, as I once heard someone else say, fucking grow up.

            There are some things which I have no right to improve no matter how badly I wish to. People’s lives are not my playthings.

            And there’s also the point which I made before: my attempt at improvement must actually work. If it isn’t working it’s childish and petulant to just keep doing it harder anyway. I should either find another way or else have the wisdom to realize that I don’t own the universe and some things aren’t under my control.

            1. But you are not entitled to make up facts, and all of this convenient horseshit about dependency and how lower taxes on billionaires makes everyone else richer too, etc., etc.–the fact that you have to make this shit up is evidence that you’re more concerned with the ideology than with things actually working.

              You are right that you don’t have a right to mess with other people’s lives. But as we are all in this together, there’s going to be some form of society we’re all subject to, so we have to collectively decide what form it will take, whether it’s yours or mine. Yours doesn’t get Brownie points because you slap the word “freedom” on it. I believe in freedom too you know.

              1. What is an appropriate tax on income for billionaires?

                Do you understand the difference between wealth and income?

                Do you understand how investment leads to innovation which creates wealth?

                People get rich because others value what they are selling

                It is not a zero sum game.

                Let’s turn this around…how does higher taxes improve society?

                1. Yes I know, wealth is generated ex nihilo from the farts of billionaires. Problem is it does become more zero-sum the more wealth the billionaires accumulate for themselves, as a severely unequal distribution itself causes growth stagnation, as we have clearly seen.

                  Higher taxes fixes this problem by being the first step in redistributing some wealth downward so that people have money to spend. You get more jobs by making everyone a customer than you do by making one guy a customer, even if he buys more stuff. He’ll never buy as much stuff as a hundred million people will.

                  1. So if wealth is zero sum, would you say society as a whole poor thru rich isn’t wealthier now compared to 1900 with vastly more people?

                    1. You claimed it is zero sum. Not me.

                      Say we give them more money (re-distributed) of course….what do you think happens to goods? Do you think they will remain at the same prices?

                      Not too familiar with rising tuition costs huh?

                    2. How many Republicans or Democrats in Congress were against the bank bailouts? How many are against mortgage and rugrat tax deductions?

    6. the answer i get from my liberal friends and relatives seems to start at 70% above $5 million. it’s brilliant in their minds because, and this is pretty much a direct quote, “people will do whatever they can to keep from paying such a rate”.

    1. I’ll see you in hell, William Gates.

  12. “Fair” and “social justice”, as used by progs, is a more sophisticated way of statin their intent to reach into your cookie jar.

    1. What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is ours.

      1. We are all but mere custodians of a small piece of the universe manipulated to our own arbitrary ends. Some think those ends should be contributing to a decent society for all. Others think fuck you I got mine.

        1. Government is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about decent society. Cage to control others is more like it.

          1. Oh so surely you know of some historical or modern examples of decent societies without governments.

            1. There was one in Iceland. And in the modern world, less is generally better. Just like with murder and rape, can’t eliminate them, but less is better.

        2. Tony:

          Some think those ends should be contributing to a decent society for all. Others think fuck you I got mine.

          That’s funny, considering that this comes from a progressive who seems constantly obsessed over who’s being taxed too little or taxed too much, or whining about how material goods aren’t disbursed through society in a manner exactly according to his liking.

          I’ll believe that progressives just want a decent society and aren’t greedy bastards themselves when they stop trying to off-load their tax burden onto other people, and screaming their heads off at the unfairness of anyone who’s richer then they are.

          1. How convenient for you that progressives actually are all vampire-like caricatures and you didn’t just make that up in your head to justify not caring about having a decent society.

            1. Right. I’ll leave all the characterizations to you. That’s fair.

            2. Ah so the decent society is to be brought about by government mandate. Thanks to those benevolent control freaks…what would we do with out them!! praise be to you

              Are you volunteering to give more money to the government?

              1. I’m volunteering to give richer people’s money to the government. As soon as my policies are implemented and I make a wage commensurate with my position, I’ll happily pay the taxes then.

                1. Oh nice of you. How did you determine what constitutes “richer” and what is “enough”? Who gets to arbitrarily determine this?

                  Sounds like you thought it was commensurate with your position since you accepted it.

                  Anyway i have determined that you make too much. Please send a check to a poor person.

                2. Tony:

                  I’m volunteering to give richer people’s money to the government. As soon as my policies are implemented and I make a wage commensurate with my position, I’ll happily pay the taxes then.

                  In other words, exactly what I said.

                  Are you sure you have an honest appraisal of your position, and what wage is commensurate with it?

                  “Boo hoo! I’m not getting paid a wage that’s commensurate with my position! I just know I deserve more than this evil capitalist world gives me!”

                  How generous of you. Yeah, there’s no income inequality whining here at all.

                  1. Have you ever looked at a single graph relating to this topic at all? Do you not feel you need to? Or have you looked at income inequality charted over time and seriously thought “Nothin to see here. Massive concentration just must mean the ultrarich work that much harder and everyone else is that much lazier”?

                    1. So, basically, you don’t whine about income inequality, except when you do?

                      Or is it that you think all questions are swept away once you pronounce “It’s not out of envy!”

                      Gee, do I have to pick one, or the other? I wouldn’t want someone to mischaracterize my noble, unselfish motives. That would be unfair boo hoo.

                    2. Tony there is a difference between income and wealth. Make sure you are clear which one you are referring to.

                3. +1 Wimpy Burger

                4. Tony

                  Do you think public museums that have artwork that was “legally” confiscated from wealthy Jews during the 1930s should keep said artwork?

        3. Tony

          It isn’t about what I got. It is about what I earned (in spite of all the socialist and crony capitalist impediments that govt afflicts me with).

          I own myself. Not you. Not government. I should have the choice to determine how much I want to interact with society. And when I use a good or service I want to pay for it (at fair market price).

  13. it would be better to talk about justice

    Progressives see inequality as a matter of justice — social justice to be precise.

    1. There is no justice. There’s…just…us….

      /walks off on platform shoes with clear heels with fish in them

  14. Just for the record, I’d hit Nikki AND Paris Hilton, no probs.

    Thought I’d better make that clear. Thanks

    1. I recently had a dream where I was engaged in a threesome with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian–which is odd since I despise both of them. However, I went through with it in my dream just so I could tell people about it later. Not sure if I’d be open to such an unlikely encounter if I was awake, or sober.

  15. “Politicians constantly find crises they will solve by increasing government power. But why is inequality a crisis?”

    Because some of the other one’s they’ve done their best to whip up hysteria about are running out of steam in the minds of the general public (global warming).

    A new dragon that needs slaying had to be invented.

  16. John Stossel needs to check his mustache privilege.

  17. *Citation needed*

    1. Oh fuck off and go look up the studies. Just go fuck off. Why do you even come here? Why do you even live in this country? Why don’t you go move to your socialist utopia already?

      1. I’m trying to make this place into my socialist utopia.

        Stossel is libertarianism for kindergarteners. He doesn’t have any empirical data to support this laissez-faire moral cud. It just feels right. In the reality-based community we call it truthiness.

        1. Laissez-faire = It just feels right.

          In the reality-based community we call it truthiness.

          I LOL’d at that Shreik. Social justice is all about the feels?

        2. What about the people that don’t share your view on your utopia. Do you feel entitled to force them into it because you are more enlightened?

          What if they dissent, would you use force to crush them and put them back in place?(Gov’t force is still force Tony, and is usually the most violent, oppressive, and unjustifiable force in history)

          What makes you so absolutely sure that your model will work?(Is it cause it feelz right)

          Why do you want to veer off the path that has made the U.S. the most dominant nation in the history of the world? One would think that we would want to keep doing what we are doing in certain regards.

          1. I don’t believe there is any such thing as not having a model and not imposing it some people against their will. You may call your model “freedom” or “laissez-faire” or whatever, but it’s still a choice with policy options and real-world outcomes for people. Unlike libertarians, I don’t think I have everything figured out already. The most important question in philosophy is “how should people live?” and we haven’t found the perfect system yet. What we have done is improve upon past models. Representative democracy, in which the people being governed get some say in how they are governed, is more stable and fair and apparently productive of more widespread prosperity. I think we continue to make improvements to this day. Libertarians think the improvements we made in the 40s were a mistake, even though they resulted in the most widespread prosperity the world has ever known. So I quite want to stay on the same path. I’m not the one advocating radically overhauling society against most people’s will–that’s you guys.

            1. Tony:

              Libertarians think the improvements we made in the 40s were a mistake, even though they resulted in the most widespread prosperity the world has ever known.

              Earlier, I thought you said we owe our society to labor exploitation.

              Which is it?

              1. Are they mutually exclusive? One gets us the wealth, the other distributes it.

              2. We should thank the Axis Powers for our prosperity. And Stalin.

            2. You mistake me Tony, I’m not a libertarian. I have no idea what the NAP is (well I have an idea, but I’ve never read it), don’t know who the big thinkers in Libertarian politics are, or any other thing that I think an average Libertarian would know. I’m not a Republican, social conservative, or any other thing you would seek to label me.

              I don’t think I everything figured out. Actually I see the leftists as the one’s seeking to impose their will due to the perception that they know better than everyone else. You may not have noticed but Libertarian politics is not carrying the day in the U.S.

              I do have Libertarian leanings and I think that most people would oppose them due to the fear of uncertainty that a radical change would bring. People love to be ruled, to rule, and feel that those rulers have it all figured out. I reject that model and think people should be free. You think they should be controlled, or that’s how I see it anyhow. You want to restrain people to make up for a past aggression but you selectively choose which people to restrain and which past mistakes to champion. Everyone has been fucked over Tony. Every make, model, and color has been screwed at one point.

              1. I think people should be free too. On probably every policy disagreement we have, I favor mine because I believe it to increase human freedom. The fallacy is in thinking that the only thing in the world that kills freedom is government. That’s just not so. Lots of unlicensed kids driving around town is free in one sense, but makes everyone less free in another, more important sense. Order is freedom.

                1. I need to go train with my dog but before I go I just want to say that you scare the hell outta me Tony (order is freedom) but have a good day/evening/whatever, wherever in the hell you are.

                  1. You believe it too, you just don’t like it or don’t realize it. Or is there no fence around your property? Wouldn’t it make things more free not to have a stifling mobility-impairing barrier?

                    Goodbye and thanks for the conversation.

                2. Does having a license make kids driving more safe behind the wheel?

                  1. Does having a license make kids driving more safe behind the wheel?

                    Yes, assuming the license signifies that they have been properly trained.

                    1. But it doesn’t. My driving test consisted of driving .5 mile and weaving thru cones once.

                      Perhaps if it was more rigorous you would have a point

                    2. I did say properly trained.

                    3. Does the drivers license prevent teenage boys from drag racing? Doing 100 mph?

                      A driver’s license doesn’t mean they are properly trained.

                3. Re: Tony,

                  I think people should be free too.

                  And subordinated to society.

                  See? Logic!

                  Ah, those little red Marxians!

                4. “Order is freedom.”

                  Sieg Heil!

              2. Skyrim, welcome to this blog and thanks for being open-minded. If you have any questions, concerns, etc. about libertarianism, I’m certain the good folks here can respectfully and thoughtfully try to answer.

                1. Thank you, I enjoy this site so I believe I’ll stick around for as long as you will have me. I am sure I will be asking questions and I’m sure I’ll drive a few of you completely crazy with some of things I’ll post. Stick with me though and don’t worry too much about the respectful thing, I’d rather be called a fucking moron than coddled. Just tell me why is all I ask.

            3. What was it about the 40s and can you answer above? The theme with progs it is due to exploitation.

              Radically overhaul? Holy hyperbole batman!

    2. Re: Tony,

      *Citation needed*

      “Why, I never said I wanted equality, for cripes’ sake! I merely said that inequality was bad! That can’t be the same thing, can it be?”

      Idiot.

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  19. Progressives say, “Keep the innovation but have government make us more equal.” But that doesn’t work. It’s been tried. Government-enforced equality?socialism?leaves everybody poor.

    Progressives don’t ask for “Equality”. That’s always been a conservative argument that has been shoved in our mouths.

    We ask that people don’t starve, live in horrible conditions, or die of illnesses due to not being able to afford treatment.

    The fact is, America got pretty far is because of the various Social programs…not in spite of them.

    1. What social programs were innovators?

    2. Can you please elaborate on how america got far due to social programs? Which ones and how?

    3. Re: Alice Bowie,

      Progressives don’t ask for “Equality”. That’s always been a conservative argument that has been shoved in our mouths.

      We ask that people don’t starve, live in horrible conditions, or die of illnesses due to not being able to afford treatment.

      “We only ask for other people’s money with no consequences. That’s all! We’re thieves with no spine – cut us some slack!”

      I *knew* one of these days you would break ranks and spill the beans, Alice! Good show!

      1. Surely you’re aware that your absolutism (not to mention childishness) amounts to a conversation-stopper. We all get it. There can be no taxes and no government, no matter how many people suffer and die, because [wherever you get this bullshit from] demands it as absolutely morally imperative.

        1. Re: Tony,

          Surely you’re aware that your absolutism[…]

          “The thief then said ‘your property rights absolutism is hindering my job!'”

          amounts to a conversation-stopper.

          I’m sorry to hear that. Now, get back to your embroidery.

          There can be no taxes and no government, no matter how many people suffer and die.

          There were plenty of taxes and government in the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol-Pot’s Cambodia or Castro’s Cuba, and plenty of people suffered and died.

          And you talk about being childish and stopping conversations? Your mendacity and your inability to have rational conversations is enough of a show stopper. It’s like watching a person flapping his arms, attempting to fly off the Eiffel tower and bitchin’ about Physics absolutism.

          1. There were plenty of taxes and government in the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol-Pot’s Cambodia or Castro’s Cuba, and plenty of people suffered and died.

            And you talk about being childish and stopping conversations?

            Yes.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Yes.

              Indeed. There’s a reason they call it “Cognitive Dissonance.”

        2. Oh, come on.

          You can wrap as much high-minded BS around your progressive wishes, but it’s not a coincidence that, for practically every social “good” progressives want to buy, it’s always someone else who needs to do the paying.

          Apparently, it’s just a coincidence that, when progressives whine about social mobility, they invariably start whining about how hard it is to go from the lowest %1 in income to the highest 1% in income, as if you’re a failure in life with no social mobility unless you can manage to earn over $350K/year or something, much less starting out at $20K/year. It’s just a coincidence that those arguments aren’t based on actual quality of life, or the “necessities for decent civilization”, as they are “Look! Over there! Someone with more money than you! Grrrrrr!”

          It’s just a coincidence that the rich should be taxed more, and that they all consider themselves “not rich.” Apparently, they like all government programs, and they like them all even more when they’re not the ones who have to pay for them.

          When progressives start getting together, coordinating, and figuring out how to solve the social problems that they want to solve with their own money, and leaving other people alone, then they can go around lecturing people on how “greedy” they are. Because having grand plans for how to solve society’s problems, with absolutely no interest in paying for it yourself, isn’t exactly the hallmark of generosity.

          1. This envy story is all complete and total bullshit. It’s just made up. It’s an excuse for you guys to dismiss liberal arguments. You know it, I know it, let’s just stop with this crap. Warren Buffett is not envious of anyone else’s wealth. Neither am I.

            Civilization requires taxes. You cannot continue to weasel your way out of arguing things on their merits by offering cheap bullshit psychoanalysis and pretending that the only thing we’re talking about is liberals’ nefarious desire to punish the rich.

            1. It’s a much more accurate characterization of progressives than your characterization of libertarians as pure anarchists who want no taxes and no government, so, if you think I’m being unfair, boo hoo.

              1. I want no taxes and no government. But I know that in some cases, it’s the “best” option available, usually due to lack of imagination, so I tolerate it in those areas.

              2. That’s an accurate characterization of OldMexican. I talked endlessly of the hypocrisy of the rest of you, who think I should be forced to pay taxes to protect your shit from robbers, but you shouldn’t be forced to pay taxes to feed a starving child.

                1. Tony:

                  I talked endlessly of the hypocrisy of the rest of you, who think I should be forced to pay taxes to protect your shit from robbers, but you shouldn’t be forced to pay taxes to feed a starving child.

                  Yes, I’ve noticed you talk endlessly about it, and, frankly, I’m surprised.

                  The argument that libertarians are hypocrites for wanting to tax some things, but not others, is, itself, so blatantly hypocritical itself that I’m shocked that you have neither the mental faculties to see that, nor the self-respect to drop it.

                  It is quite funny to see all the income inequality rage being passed off as a strong, generous desire to feed starving children. We can’t just call it what it is, can we? And that’s seeing someone else who’s rich and either wanting a piece of it for yourselves, or assuming that they should shoulder the burden of the grand society you want, instead of yourself.

                  Yeah, that sounds bad. Let’s just pretend that all the outrage is over the starving children. That way, we can go home and pretend to have some shred of self-respect.

            2. Re: Tony,

              This envy story is all complete and total bullshit. It’s just made up. It’s an excuse for you guys to dismiss liberal arguments.

              Liberal arguments are already easy to dismiss as it is:

              Civilization requires taxes.

              And there it is!

            3. “This envy story is all complete and total bullshit.”

              If the Inequality canard isn’t naked envy, I don’t know what is. I have seen it described as such. ‘Having some much poorer than others, no matter how much they have, creates resentment’ .

              Go fuck yourself Tony.

            4. Civilization does not require taxes. Where do these taxes come from in the first place to pay for all these programs?

              It is pure envy.

            5. I’d pay higher taxes to make the government stop doing most things that it does.

            6. Above you said rich people should pay more cause they don’t via government mandate while proceeding to complain about how you are unfairly compensated.

              Yep you totally aren’t envious. I believe you!!

        3. This is a strawman, i am not sure any is arguing for no government.

          People suffer and dieing….how did that work out for those countries that bought your “order is freedom” notion? 100 million or so?

          1. You’re too dumb for me to to continue. I’m sorry.

            1. You don’t have any legit argument…you are relying solely on what makes you feel good.

              Are you trying to suggest we have the same amount of wealth now as back in 1900?

            2. Tony, you’re too dumb to even be here. Get out of here and go back to your own kind. I hear there’s an all atheist liberal self hating male homosexual orgy tonight.

    4. Progressives don’t ask for “Equality”. That’s always been a conservative argument that has been shoved in our mouths.

      Bullshit. Progressives complain about how unequally wealth and income are distributed all the time.

      1. Brian haha yep.

        But then they will give Obama credit for the great stock market gains!!

      2. You understand there is a spectrum that goes from total equality to total inequality, yes? Are you pretending not to comprehend what he’s talking about, or do you really not?

        1. Oh. I understand the point.

          The idea is that progressives don’t care about equality, just everyone having basic necessities.

          You know, other than they whine like babies over the sheer fact of inequality itself, with no tie-in to basic necessities whatsoever.

          1. That’s a separate and more subtile issue. Do you deny that large inequalities can cause resentments? You sure do like to accuse people of it.

            1. Do you deny that large inequalities can cause resentments? You sure do like to accuse people of it.

              I do believe that large inequalities can cause resentments.

              What I don’t believe is that inequality should be mitigated solely because someone’s butthurt over it. People get butthurt over things all the time.

            2. “That’s a separate and more subtile issue.”

              It’s the one he mentioned in his post. If you’re not reading, then don’t ask me to.

        2. What’s the ideal inequality and how did you arrive at this?

    5. Alice
      I don’t starve, I don’t live in a horrible condition (excluding the state’s involvement), and am not dying due to a lack of paying for medical care. And not a penny of the costs to maintain the above are paid by progs, the poor, SJWs, or folks coerced out of their wages. Is it too much to ask for the reciprocal?

  20. Derpelicious!

    Re: Tony,

    You are right that you don’t have a right to mess with other people’s lives.

    So we don’t, but we do.

    Ah, those little red Marxians!

    there’s going to be some form of society we’re all subject to,

    We’re all society so we’re subject to society!

    See? Logic!

    Ah, those little red Marxians!!!

    so we have [sic] to collectively decide [sic!!] what form it will take, whether it’s yours or mine. Yours doesn’t get Brownie points because you slap the word “freedom” on it. I believe in freedom too you know.

    “And freedom means being free to slave for the collective!”

    AH, THOSE LITTLE RED MARXIANS! They’re so funny.

  21. Tony|3.11.15 @ 4:18PM|#
    …”Order is freedom.”

    I’ll just leave this here so it can be treated to the laughter and derision it so richly deserves.

    1. That deserves its own Meme

    2. Sevo

      I believe the German translation is:
      Arbeit macht frei.

      1. Yep guys, Tony really nailed it right there, didn’t he? I’m sure equality requires some to be just a bit more equal than others, too.

  22. Tony you keep saying civilization requires taxes and talk about a fair share.

    What is the fair share and who put you in charge to determine what that is?

    1. I don’t talk about fair share. I am not in charge, that’s why we elect governments to represent us. You keep talking about how government is evil. Who put you in charge to abolish government?

      1. I didn’t say anything about abolishing government. Please stop making things up.

        Anyway you said above rich people should pay their fair share above.

        What would constitute fair in your mind? Since you are the one calling for it

      2. Tony
        Who put the government in charge of me? Tell me when I ceded authority over myself to someone or something else?

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  24. OH, OH! Look here!

    Tony|3.11.15 @ 5:41PM|#
    …”Warren Buffett is not envious of anyone else’s wealth.”…

    Naah, he’s just a flagrant hypocrite and rich enough that there’s no reason for him to be envious.
    Way to go, Tony! Stupidity on parade!

  25. I don’t have a problem with “inequality”. I do have a problem with people using the government to get rich off my tax dollar.

    The solution is not more government regulation – but rather, less government power. The Founding Fathers’ never envisioned Leviathan… yet here it is, sucking the blood out of our arteries and turning it over to the 1%.

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