Free Markets

U.S. Capitalism Isn't a 'Free Market'

Centuries of government intervention have distorted society and the economy considerably, and it will take time and patience to fix.

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In 1970 country singer Lynn Anderson had a hit recording of a Joe South song that opened with the line: "I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden." I often think of that song in connection with the libertarian philosophy.

You may be asking: for heaven's sake, why? Because it's what I want to say to people who seem annoyed that freedom would neither cure all existing social ills immediately nor prevent new ones from arising. It's a strange demand to make on a political philosophy—that it instantly fix everything that the opposing philosophy has broken. Moreover, I'm concerned that some libertarians, in their justifiable enthusiasm for "the market," inadvertently lead non-libertarians to think that this unrealistic expectation is part of their philosophy. Of course, that is not good because non-libertarians won't believe that the market would make all things right overnight, and so they'll write off all libertarians as dogmatists.

Libertarians of all people should understand that decades—indeed, centuries—of government intervention have distorted society and the economy considerably. It's safe to say that both would look different had that intervention not occurred. To pick one American example, the creation of an integrated continent-wide national market in the United States was in large part consciously planned by government officials (most prominently Abraham Lincoln, who embraced Henry Clay's corporatist American System) and their corporate cronies, especially but hardly exclusively through transportation subsidies. (This is not to say they were able to dictate developments in detail; moreover, zones of entrepreneurial freedom existed, constrained though they were.) This system is American capitalism, which is to be distinguished from the spontaneous, decentralized free market.

jonseidman1988/Flickr

Wouldn't the market have tended toward greater integration if left free? I believe so, but the differences would have been substantial. In a freed market, costs are internalized. Expanding trade across a continent would require private risky investment in the means of transportation—canals, roads, railroads, etc. No government land grants or other subsidies would be available. If a firm wanted to ship its products cross-country, it initially would have to bear the shipping costs, which would be reflected in consumer prices. Consumers, choosing in a competitive marketplace, would then be free to decide if the products were worth the price asked compared to those of more-locally produced products, whose manufacturers did not have high transportation costs to recoup. (They may have disadvantages due to their small size, but diseconomies of scale, as well as economies of scale, exist.) Consumers might be happy to pay the higher prices, but it's up to them. "National" firms would not have the advantage that government intervention has afforded them historically. (Today, repairs to the taxpayer-financed interstate highways is disproportionately paid for by private automobile operators. Owners of big rigs don't pay their share of the upkeep.)

The whole point of a government-led effort to create a national market was to impose costs on taxpayers, who had no choice in the matter, rather than have businesses charge consumers, who would have had a choice at the checkout counter. Since national firms' retail prices don't have to reflect the full cost of production, consumption is distorted and smaller firms are harmed. We cannot say exactly how things would look had the government not instituted this corporatist policy, but we can say that things would be different. To claim otherwise is to suggest that government interference with economic activity is inert. Libertarians should know better.

While some people have benefited unjustly from this "nationalization" policy, others have been unjustly harmed, at least relative to what their position would have been in a freed market. There's no way to put things as they would have been had the policy not be adopted—bygones are bygones. Radically freeing the market wouldn't immediately remove the lingering injustice of past policy; it wouldn't repeal what Kevin Carson calls "the subsidy of history."

The upshot is that the cleanup, to the extent that it can take place, would take time. I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden. Libertarians promise freedom and the prospect of improving one's lot in life, but not instant rectification of past injustices.

As I say, some libertarians strangely seem to want to downplay the deep distorting effects of government intervention and act as though the free market would make things right almost instantaneously. So, for example, when they talk about abolishing welfare-state programs, they imply that a seamless transition to a fully voluntary "safety net" would follow. But for decades the welfare state has made people (low- and middle-income) dependent on the government for, say, retirement benefits and medical care, and it has accustomed others to believe that the government will take care of people who can't look after themselves.

While I have no doubt that some voluntary help would kick in quickly were welfare programs canceled abruptly, we can't be confident that it would be enough or soon enough. Transitions take time because they consist in human action, and people don't always respond to other people in trouble immediately. For one thing, the free-rider phenomenon exists; an individual can easily believe that enough others will help and that his or her contribution would be too small to make much difference anyway. (However, the response after a natural disaster is typically quick and impressive. Perhaps the dramatic nature of a natural disaster helps to override the free-rider problem. Would the abolition of the welfare state have the same attention-getting drama?)

We see a similar downplaying of distortions whenever a government shutdown looms during a budget battle. It's one thing to applaud an impending shutdown (except that the worst parts of the state never shut down), but it's quite another to imply that no hardship will result. Since government creates dependency, a libertarian can't consistently claim that no one will be harmed even in the short term when government offices close. For one thing, since everyone knows those offices will reopen before long, we can't reasonably expect a constellation of alternative voluntary organizations to fully take up the slack. Some hardship will occur.

I don't offer this as an argument against abolishing "entitlement" programs or closing down the government. I'm simply cautioning libertarians against suggesting that should this happen, no innocent person would be at a disadvantage.

Similarly, a freed society and freed market don't guarantee that nothing bad would ever occur. Non-libertarians often ask libertarians what would happen with neglected and abused children or mistreated animals—the list of possible abhorrent acts is endless. Our interlocutors are unfazed by the fact that all societies have such problems, even those with the most activist governments. It's always possible for unfortunate people to fall into the cracks, so it is no blemish on the libertarian philosophy that it can't offer an ironclad guarantee against such things. All it can assure is that wrongdoing won't be paid for by taxpayers (because no one will be a taxpayer). We anarchists can also assure that, for obvious reasons, no abuse will be committed by government officials.

Libertarians can be confident that voluntary organizations will exist (as they do to some extent today) to minimize such wrongdoing and to act appropriately when it occurs. Let us not underestimate the ability of free people to respond to problems when left to their own devices. Social cooperation is potent, and a freed society would contain the seeds of the solutions to problems, thanks both to the lure of entrepreneurial profit and to what Adam Smith called "fellow-feeling."

But while we tout the virtues of freedom, let us not overestimate how quickly such an environment of mutual aid and charity would succeed the old order. Things take time. 

Unlike other political philosophies, libertarianism does not promise that a New Person will emerge when society is freed. For good and ill, people will still be people. However, we can be comforted that without the state, a major encouragement to the worst in people will be gone.

This piece originally appeared at Sheldon Richman's "Free Association" blog.

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  1. lol, I think you can almost be sure that anyone who promises you a rose garden when you support their beliefs is almost assuredly not supporting your rights.

    That’s because rights leave people free to have bad manners and bad ideas etc.

    1. very true mr. pearce. i do agree with sheldon to some extent that there is quite a bit of vitriol concerning the abolition of entitlements. while it is clear for anyone with eyes to see that medicaire, medicaid & SS are quite well on their way to bankrupting the country, and that dependency on government for neccessities is dangerous (dissidents will find themselves at the back of the line at the hospital), in the grand scheme of things safety net programs are some of the few government endeavors with a moral underpinning to them. that is not to say that robbing peter to pay paul is a morally neutral proposition – only that medicaid could be morally defended by a sane man, whereas the kidnapping and murder of drug addicts could not be so defended.
      this is why i am so concerned about libertarians alienating those on the left. it is a much simpler proposition to convince an intellectually honest person they have made a mistake re: economic policy than it is to convince someone they are mistaken in their support of police militarization, national surveillance, and non-stop global war.

      1. How many of the “nothing left to cut” leftist government nut gobblers are intellectually honest though?

        It would be as easy to convert to Pope to Hinduism as it would a central planner to being an advocate of free markets.

        1. Sloppy is right. Intellectual honesty is the problem. All leftists/marxists are basically mentally retarded when it comes to understanding market economics.
          Then add in the fact that their primary war cry is helping the poor. They all advocate for massive government to fix problems and taking from one to give to another.

          The discussion is abandoned when the subject of payment and bankruptcy comes up. Intellectual honesty should start with most leftists giving up their own wealth, which does not happen. I know plenty of massive leftists who shop at whole foods and send their kids to private school.

          Lastly, intellectual honesty is entirely necessary for capitalism to work. An honest exchange of value for benefit can only work when the majority of actors are honestly trying to let the invisible hand work. The degradation of society has corroded that prospect to a large degree.
          All that said, capitalism is the only thing to strive for because even in its imperfectness, it by far offers the most opportunity for the greater proportion of people all on equal footing, when practiced.

    2. “That’s because rights leave people free to have bad manners and bad ideas etc”

      The competitor is our friend. The customer is our enemy.

  2. Government intervention isn’t always bad. If government hadn’t intervened we’d all be buying gas from Standard Oil and have AT&T phones on our walls.

    I’m going to get called all kinds of nasty names here for pointing that out, but it’s the truth. A truly free market will still trend toward monopoly in many markets, and we need government intervention when that happens. Both to protect the consumer and allow innovation to flourish. There just needs to be a balance that we haven’t had for a long time. And a big blame goes to the large businesses that use their market share and money to influence laws and regulations that raise the barrier to entry.

    1. Government intervention isn’t always bad. If government hadn’t intervened we’d all be buying gas from Standard Oil and have AT&T phones on our walls.

      And a big blame goes to the large businesses that use their market share and money to influence laws and regulations that raise the barrier to entry.

      I’ll just let your own statements disprove your argument. You were somehow able to see the problem with government being involved in the market and come to exact wrong conclusion.

      1. Beat me by 2 minutes private. *Gets down and gives himself 20*

        1. If your orphans had typed faster that wouldn’t have been a problem. The real problem is that your monocle polishers are lazy. If you insist on giving them a free ride then you only have yourself to blame when there are spots in your vision.

        2. *Gets down and gives himself 20*

          You must be one of those contortionist guys.

    2. So if govt hadn’t intervened we’d all be buying our gas and oil from monopolies, yet a big blame goes to businesses that influence laws and regulations that raise the barrier to entry? I hope that was just stream of consciousness and not an attempt at logical analysis.

    3. If that were the only way in which government intervened, then fine. I’d be behind that.

      But it’s not.

      They intervene in literally everything. There isn’t one thing about doing business in america that isn’t controlled by government.

      And you can blame big business all you want, I suppose, but idiots like you always seem to forget that if the federal government didn’t have all of this (illegitimate) power, the businesses in question would never be able to get as far as they do.

      Go troll somewhere else.

    4. I’m not going to call you any nasty names. I’ll just point out that monopolies would be very difficult to maintain if it weren’t for government intervention in the market on behalf of the monopolistic companies.

    5. There’s never been any clear example of a monopoly arising naturally and without government assistance, directly or inadvertently.

      The most famous monopoly in history was Standard Oil and it was actually accused by muckrackers and lawmakers of “undercutting” competitors by continuously becoming more efficient at production. Ida Tarbell hated Standard Oil not because it price gouged or engaged in any coercive behavior, but because it had driven her brother’s oil company out of business by being better.

      You’ll have to explain to me why it is bad if one competitor wins a dominant market share because it sells more product to more people at cheaper prices. Sounds like a pretty great situation for everyone involved.

      1. Wait, so was Standard Oil a naturally arising monopoly, or not? Your post seems to say ‘there’s never been a naturally occurring monopoly. The most famous example of one is Standard Oil, but it was very efficient and that’s a good thing.’

        1. Re: Bo Cara Esq.

          Having greater market share thanks to greater efficiencies and economies of scale does not turn you into a monopoly. Monopolies need force to stay a monopoly.

          1. Sure, but I was asking Gran Moff to interpret what he wrote there. It seemed like he opened up with ‘there is no naturally occurring monopolies.’ Then he seemed to say ‘Standard Oil is the most famous example of such a monopoly, but it just really was very efficient, and that’s all good for everyone.’

            It was unclear whether he was saying if Standard Oil was a monopoly, but that a monopoly like that is fine, or whether Standard Oil wasn’t a monopoly.

            1. As they never had 100% market share, they werent a monopoly.

              1. I think it was a slip, I don’t think he meant to say that Standard Oil was a monopoly (it wasn’t). He might be newly unplugged from the leftoid matrix, it takes a while to undo all that government skool propaganda, go easy on him.

        2. “The Standard Oil trust streamlined production and logistics, lowered costs, and undercut *competitors*”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil

          Insufferable twits think a word means what they claim it means.

        3. Standard Oil’s market share had been declining for years from natural market corrections, as competitors learned to follow its lead and as the Ohio and Pennsylvania oil fields were overshadowed by the cheaper and better oil from Texas and Oklahoma. The government was a day late and a dollar short, as usual.

    6. Yes, the government protected us against monopolies and then created even bigger monopolies.

      Thank you government, may we have more?

      And a big blame goes to the government for colluding with large businesses to write regulations to form super monopoly crony businesses that use their market share and money to influence laws and regulations that raise the barrier to entry and line the pockets of greedy and corrupt politicians

      FIFY

      1. Not to mention that the most common monopolies that people face in their day to day lives are the many example of government agencies with monopolies over areas.

        1. Yep. I’m looking at my bills for the electric, natural gas, and water monopolies as we speak. [sarc] But aren’t government monopolies *good* monopolies? They’re regulated by the government, right?[/sarc]

    7. Bailers77:
      ” and have AT&T phones on our walls.”

      Because we all know that land line phones are necessary for all information and communication.

      This is what’s wrong with progressives: they see monopolies when there are none, and they just can’t imagine alternatives: we just all have to buy land line phones if we want to communicate beyond the USPS.

      1. Their definition of a monopoly is truly screwed up.

        I remember when there was some big hubbub about the NFL’s ticket prices, and progs were cheering for them to get smacked down in court. Because apparently, there’s some magical equation through which you can ascertain the true value of something, and the NFL was charging “too much” (read: more than people feel like paying).

        Someone said to me that the NFL is an unfair monopoly because “there’s only one superbowl”, and therefore the government should step in and dictate the price of superbowl tickets. I tried to point out that 1) there are several other football leagues, 2) there are other many other sports to watch, 3) there are endless alternatives to watching sports at all, 4) people must not have a problem with the ticket prices seeing as how the stadium is packed every time, and 5) it’s entirely possible that people simply like the NFL’s product more than anyone else’s. But it was to no avail. Progressive orthodoxy holds that the NFL is a coercive monopoly that requires government action.

        I think that a lot of progressives start out with those shiny, happy good intentions, but over time, they lose sight of any moral good and develop a fixation on dismantling what they see as “high society”. Before you know it, they’re just engines of pure hatred who are obsessed with “toppling the 1 percent”, as Hillary Clinton allegedly puts it.

        1. “There’s only one Superbowl, therefore it’s a monopoly, therefore the gubbermint gonna set things straight!”

          Wow. That is a clear-cut modern example of the bread and circuses mentality that rotted Rome from the inside-out.

    8. If government hadn’t intervened we’d all be buying gas from Standard Oil and have AT&T phones on our walls

      You forgot that we’d all have IBM computers, and be carrying Kodak cameras.

      1. And shopping at AM/PM!

        1. I don’t. . .I don’t know what that is.

          1. ARCO minimart.

            1. ARCO minimart

              IOW, place where you go to get gas that destroys your engine.

    9. You opposed to monopolies , bailers77 ?

      Right know people all have U.S. flags on their walls.

      And the state is a coercive monopoly which means it maintains that monopoly by physical force.

    10. You are so so wrong on every level, but since everyone else has already piled on, I may as well add to the pile.

      Standard Oil’s market share had been in decline from market pressure for years before the government took an interest, and that interest was only due to a muckraking book written by the wife of one of its losing competitors; 100%sour grapes, using government to interfere in a functioning market.

      AT&T was turned into government-regulated monopoly at the behest of AT&T when the lawsuits initiated by its victims began having an effect; absent that government regulation saving its ass, AT&T probably would have vanished with ten years by natural market correction.

      Your ignorance is typical of the uninformed statist. Something you could gain by is reading Jesse Walker’s magnificent history of radio, Rebels on the Air, which shows how FCC regulation of frequencies allocation was unnecessary for 30 years, and only instituted on behalf of cronies wanting to monopolize the airwaves with the backing of government thugs.

    11. Standard Oil made gas way cheaper than its competitors. All the so-called robber barons got their power by making the commodity in question much cheaper.

      1. And what were the methods they used to do so ?

        Are the means worth the ends to you ?

        I have no idea what he means and I am just asking.

    12. A truly free market will still trend toward monopoly in many markets, and we need government intervention when that happens.

      Government intervention creates monopoly. Always.

      Even in where it is not obviously so, as with Microsoft and more recently Google. Both attained a short term near monopoly because of strong IP laws which are government intervention.

    13. Lol, you delusional socialist meat-puppet fuckstick. GTFO and back to HuffPo where you belong. You are a goddamn moron.

    14. Um, Standard Oil never had a monopoly, although they did achieve a large market share. By the time the government stepped in to “bust” Standard, their market share had already declined significantly. So government came to the rescue long after the market had already resolved the issue.

      Yes, the government ended the AT&T monopoly, but it was only able to do so by creating the AT&T monopoly in the first place. The only true monopolies I know about are like AT&T: government-created monopolies.

      No nasty names, just simple historical fact.

      1. LOL, I should perhaps read *all* the posts before making my own post that just repeats what others have said?

  3. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  4. A sensible post from Richman? Repent, the end is nigh!

    1. He writes sensible stuff quite often. Unfortunately, most of it is just a generic rehashing of principles that people on this website already know and agree with. It’s at the point now, when Reason posts a link to the article on Facebook, I can tell it’s a Richman piece from the title.

      1. And then the comments will be about anything but the article.

  5. [Today, repairs to the taxpayer-financed interstate highways is disproportionately paid for by private automobile operators. Owners of big rigs don’t pay their share of the upkeep.]

    Citation required.

    1. Exactly. Having helped code an application for a trucking company that tracked fuel purchases and miles driven by state so that states could get their proportion of the fuel taxes based on miles driven on their highways (via IFTA) I know for a fact that carriers pay their share for the highways they drive upon. Non-commercial vehicles also pay for their use of highways by way of fuel taxes it just isn’t run through IFTA to make it “fair” so buying a tank in VA and burning it on NC highways leaves VA with more money and NC with less relative to actual highway usage.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I….._Agreement
      http://www.truckmiles.com/taxrates.asp

      1. My understanding is that the big rigs cause a lot more wear & tear on the roads than passenger vehicles do, so that while they pay fuel taxes, it doesn’t cover the true cost of the usage. I’ve seen (but can’t remember where offhand) some good write-ups of the matter.

        1. That’s my understanding too; roads have to be so massively overbuilt to stand up to big rigs, and need such massive increased maintenance, that the additional fuel taxes paid don’t begin to make up for.

          But I’ve never seen any studies. It’s all been just common received wisdom, and could well be wrong or exaggerated.

        2. If you’ve ever had the opp’ty to observe a parkway or blvd. from which trucks are excluded over many years, the difference is night & day. I’ve lived practically all my life a block from Pelham Pkwy. & see that the only lanes that need fixing are the ones used by buses.

        3. Studies have shown that the wear and tear on road surfaces by semi-trucks is very close to four magnitudes greater than that of a car.

          1. Semi Trucks average between 5 and 6 miles per gallon. They also use diesel which is taxed more than gasoline. If they use 4 times more fuel per mile than your average car then they pay 4 times more in taxes.

            If fuel taxes where actually used for the roads and not high speed rail, bike paths and walking paths then they would likely be in better shape. As sloopy points out elsewhere the only real way to find out is to privatize roads and let the owner decide.

            1. The study referenced may be a bit dated, but likely the assertions is pretty close to reality.

              Heavy trucks obviously cause more road damage than cars, but how much more? According to a GAO study, Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford, road damage from one 18-wheeler is equivalent to 9600 cars (p.23 of study, p.36 of PDF).
              Vehicle Weight and Road Damage

              1. I’m not denying that trucks cause more damage. I’m not really arguing that they shouldn’t pay more. My real argument is with those who keep insisting that they aren’t paying more already. I think roads should be privatized and let the owners decide what to charge.

                They also use a lot of assumptions in their analysis.

                1. Privatize roads? ROFL. where do you low IQ, low information drones come from? How is there competition? I suppose in your fantasy land there are multiple highways stacked on top of each other in competition?

                  1. Take a short trip to Austin. You’ll like it, it’s full of brain-dead progs. Take a ride up and down (public) 35. Make sure you have a pee bottle, it may take some time to traverse the city.

                    Now, relieve yourself and take a drive up and down (private) 130/45. It may cost you a buck or two into the coffers of an evil corporation, but that’s the price of tuition.

                    You may indeed be too stupid to draw a conclusion after trying this, but I’m always an optimist.

                    1. are you really that brain dead, my low IQ Republican drone? Where is the competition? You can live in your fantasy land all you want, but here in the real world, privatizing roads does nothing but make the costs go way up. Look at the Indiana Turnpike the idiots sold off. Tolls are skyrocketing and the private company went into bankruptcy as the higher tolls caused trucks and others to bypass the state.

                      Educate yourself before you spout such nonsensical garbage you stupid, illiterate dumb fuck. Here i will even help you…but you probably can’t read.

                      http://usa.streetsblog.org/201…..-highways/

                    2. privatizing roads does nothing but make the costs go way up

                      Since I don’t (directly) use private or public roads – I don’t drive – why should I care? Or better yet, why should I have to contribute one dime over and above the indirect benefits I get from the road system?

                2. One assumption the make is that there is no greater benefit to trucks being on the road than private autos. I’ll bet consumers benefit more the 4-5 times from trucks on the highways than they do some family going to Yellowstone or commuting to school.
                  But that doesn’t enter in their cost-benefit analyses.

        4. And not to mention the fact that your average Joe might use the Interstate Highway System a couple times per year for a couple hundred miles. Some people’s cars have probably never seen an Interstate, yet their fuel purchases fund them.

          1. yep. and all the goods they buy just magically appear on store shelves.

            1. That cost should be borne by the shipping company and passed along to the final purchaser in the price. No need for additional charges.

              1. so a tractor trailer which does many times the damage to a road, should not pay more than your average Joe driving a car which does a tiny fraction of the damage? You are an idiot.

          2. yep. and all the goods they buy just magically appear on store shelves.

  6. So the NYT has a story today about how Florida environmentalists pushed a ballot initiative intended to dedicate revenue from a real estate tax to land conservation efforts (something called Florida Forever). The voters approved it, but now there’s a controversy on whether the legislature there is using the dedicated revenue consistent with the initiatives purpose.

    This demonstrates a lot of what’s wrong with environmental (and other) movements: this myopic idea that it’s necessary that government solve their problem. What they should have done is call for a cut in the tax and urged people to take the cut and donate to something like the Nature Conservancy.

    1. IMO it more accurately represents what’s wrong with government.

    2. Nevermind. You said that.

    3. In northern Maine, Roxanne Quimby (founder of Burt’s Bees) owns a considerable contiguous piece of land and has for years been pushing for the federal government to take it and create a “North Woods National Park.” The only cogent argument for that versus just have her manage it the way she wants to is that if it were a national park it would attract more people. Maybe but I think some advertising would accompliah the same goal. And then you ate at the mercy of the feds, such as last year during the shutdown when national parks were closed.

      1. It’s probably wetlands that she can’t sell because it can’t be developed yet she still has to pay property tax on it.

        Maybe not, but that’s my initial gut reaction. I know people who have done that here in PA.

        1. She bought it to conserve it. I think it fits the definition of “The North Woods”…

  7. In 1970 country singer Lynn Anderson had a hit recording of a Joe South song that opened with the line: “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.”

    Meh, this is the better version.

    1. In a different medium, but the BEST version.

    2. Heh, thank you.

  8. America’s Capitalism is to Adam Lanza as the free market is to __________

    1. Hitler. The answer is always Hitler. Right?

      (scratches ass)
      (sniffs finger)

      1. Tulpa’s latest sockpuppet is also acceptable

          1. If Bo turns out to be Tulpa that would be as good as R + L = J. And I would give them/him/her a GGWP.

            1. Bo is MNG, an old-time troll, now disguising as a fake lawyer with Asperger’s.

  9. Good overview, but one niggle, in reality trucking companies do pay a lot of money to maintain the roads via fuel taxes. The IFTA regulates that miles driven in any given state and what state fuel is purchased within is then settled out so that states end up with the revenue where the miles were driven.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I….._Agreement
    Click on various links in below to see what tax rates trucking companies pay on their fuel. 15% seems common.
    http://www.truckmiles.com/taxrates.asp

    Yes, noncommercial vehicles also pay taxes on fuel which go toward highway maintenance but noncommercial vehicles also make use of the roads, so not sure why that would be perceived as subsidizing commercial traffic.

    All that said, I do believe the entire situation is distorted overall as the article reports.

    1. And of course they’re not as fuel efficient as passenger vehicles, but do they actually pay in proportion to the damage they do to the road surface?

      1. Oh! So that’s why adults pay more to got to the movies because their big bodies damage the seats more. Got it.

        1. If this actually causes more wear and tear, then perhaps yes. I’m not saying this should be sole pricing determinant. Adults having more disposable income is probably more crucial.

        2. From what I’ve read, the damage a vehicle/vehicles does to the road increases proportionate to the axle weight TO THE FOURTH POWER

          This means trucks EXTREMELY DISPROPORTIONATELY cause most of the wear and tear. The trucking companies pay a lot, but it’s still far less proprtionately to how much damage they cause

          1. You know what’s great? Here in my state of Illinois, we could cut the yearly budget by 45 billion dollars and still manage to keep up the roads without needing to charge trucking companies even more.

            And of course, nobody ever thinks about the end costs of doing shit like this. Do you remember when fuel surcharges started showing up on delivery manifests, back when the cost of fuel was skyrocketing? Remember how the extra cost of shipping goods such as produce caused the price of those goods to rise?

            If we charge these companies more in taxes, the goods they ship go up in price. Everybody suffers. In what way is that fair, exactly?

            1. if their vehicles use the roads, they should pay for it. unless roads magically get paid for by the tooth fairy

              1. My point, Tulpa, is that most states could easily pay for the roads with their existing tax revenue. Much of what gets spent these days is on stupid, useless, or plain old corrupt bullshit. Hacking that out of the budget and adding in regular roadway maintenance would make this problem go away.

                Illinois, the last time I checked, has a yearly budget of about 55 billion dollars. I found a proposed budget for Illinois, written by a conservative legal group, that found they could make Illinois run smoothly on about 7 billion dollars a year.

                So, even if we didn’t lower taxes after we adopted that budget, that would still leave 48 billion dollars a year that Illinois could spend on road maintenance. While that example may be extreme, I’d be willing to bet that I could find a good ten billion dollars worth of crap to cut out of my states budget that could be spent on roads.

                Your argument is invalid.

          2. The study referenced may be a bit dated, but likely the assertions is pretty close to reality.

            Heavy trucks obviously cause more road damage than cars, but how much more? According to a GAO study, Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford, road damage from one 18-wheeler is equivalent to 9600 cars (p.23 of study, p.36 of PDF).
            Vehicle Weight and Road Damage

      2. Not as fuel efficient? Compare the amount of fuel used to move the tonnage down the road. Sure, as a passenger vehicle they’re not as efficient. But try moving 5000 cubic feet of frozen food from the port of Los Angeles to Salt a Lake City in a fleet of Chevy Cobalts.

        1. So they pay more, which is a good thing. But do they pay enough relative to what is needed in order to repair the damage they do to the roads?

          1. The only way to know is to privatize roads and let the owners charge what they want.

            1. I totally agree.

      3. If they aren’t as fuel efficient then they purchase more fuel per mile than passenger vehicles so they pay more in taxes per mile than passenger vehicles. Vehicles tend to pay per axle on toll roads as well. Commercial vehicles tend to have more axels so they pay more. Also diesel taxes are more than gas taxes. Most commercial vehicles and private vehicles that are heavier and do more damage use diesel so again they are paying more.

        If you want to proportion out damage then I should pay almost zero for roads. I drive a motorcyle that gets less mileage than some cars (Hayabusa with the need to twist the throttle) but I have to pay the same tax as the government subsidized hybrids. Cars that run on batteries don’t even pay for the roads as they don’t use fuel and not only do we get to pay for part of his car with our taxes but he doesn’t pay for the upkeep on the roads he uses.

  10. So the NFL did not leave the Greg Hardy situation to the criminal justice system but conducted it’s own investigation and ultimately suspended him for 10 games. So the same people on the right that howl when a college does something like this are going to make an equivalent stink about this right? Because all that hasn’t been about attacking institutions seen as leftist but about the principled opposition to private organizations conducting their own investigations and making decisions about whether to associate with clients/employees regardless of the responses of the justice system, right?

    1. He should play by the same rules as everyone, although I think I was supposed to say that this situation is entirely different because football.

    2. Bo

      A student attending a college being accused of assaulting another student is not equal to a player employed by the NFL that assaults someone else.

      And the player has a strong union (I’m not advocating for it, just mentioning its existence) that represents the accused and the player will also have his own attorney. I’m not sure a collegiate parallel exists.

      I also believe the NFL at least has access to if not utilizes better investigative resources to gather information prior to making a decision.

      If the NFL ceased to exist it wouldn’t bother me.

      1. Not to mention that the NFL is a private organization and most colleges/universities are not. And those same universities like to use kangaroo courts where the accused has no access to lawyers or in some cases, to even present a defense. And those universities will violate their own rules and policies if the wrong think is bad enough (Oklahoma University)

        But yes, these situations are exactly the same and if all the right wingers who post here would just realize that the world would be a better place.

        1. “Not to mention that the NFL is a private organization and most colleges/universities are not.”

          Sorry, the outrage I’ve seen is not limited to public colleges, so that dog doesn’t hunt.

          “And those same universities like to use kangaroo courts where the accused has no access to lawyers or in some cases, to even present a defense.”

          So the students sign off on contractual provisions that are not as good as the ones that NFL players sign off on? Because if the colleges are violating the contracts they’ve entered into with the students they have just as much right to hire a lawyer and challenge the practices as the NFL player does.

          1. Sorry, the outrage I’ve seen is not limited to public colleges, so that dog doesn’t hunt.

            Because we’re all the same, and one guy (probably Tulpa) being a hypocrite means that all libertarians think that way, right Bo?

            Fuck off.

            1. Come on. You that, if you reply to Bo, your arguments don’t have to be consistent with other things you’ve said, but every random thing Bo’s ever read on the internet and finds convenient to assume on your behalf.

              1. I’m sorry. I sometimes get this weird delusion that I’m arguing with a rational adult.

          2. Bo

            And this is what we are seeing with the rape that did not occur at Columbia. If the school ends up paying a large settlement then I’d wager the NFl’s contracts are more legally defensible. And I’d expect the collegiate “contracts” to change should Columbia lose.

            Also, the students are customers of the school’s services whereas Greg Hardy is an employee.

          3. I think most people feel a lot more sympathy for a young college kid having the start of his adult life ruined by another young college kid’s accusations, backed up with little to no evidence, then they do an star NFL player who can’t keep his nose clean, or it’s appearance.

            Therefore, getting unequal treatment to some degree seems warranted.

      2. The NFL is, of course, just an example that is in the public eye. Most private organizations make their own decisions about whether to associate with clients/customers when they hear of alleged wrong doing by the same.

        1. Bo

          And because the NFL is in the public eye they need to be very concerned about their brand (if they value being a going concern). But in the case of Hardy he is neither a client nor a customer, he is an employee.

          1. The same applies to the NFL’s customers. If the NFL thinks you’ve done something at a NFL stadium that is a crime but also something they have a policy against, they’ll promptly decide whether to eject you or not and certainly won’t necessarily wait for a LE report on the matter. Contracts are contracts, whether made with customers or employees.

            1. But the rules as applied to the fans is different then the same team applying rules to the players.

              1. And the original rebuttal is that the contracts are far from equal both as they are written and to whom they apply. I would much rather be an NFL player wrongfully accused of a crime against another than a male college student wrongfully accused of a crime against against a SJW student at the same college especially if that college trends progressive/liberal arts.

            2. That’s untrue. The stadium operator is free to have you removed at their discretion. The NFL has no say whatsoever other than setting guidelines for stadium operators.

    3. Does the NFL not have a right to enforce the contracts its employees sign and the collective bargaining agreement their labor signs off on?

      Another difference are these kangaroo court justice systems imposed on college students are being devised to comply with a federal government mandate (Title IX). So there is direct involvement of the government there. In the Hardy case there is none but a contract laborer being held to the terms of his contract and the CBA he is subject to.

      1. You guys realize you’re engaging someone who never argues in good faith, right? A twit who will make up a strawman as he did right here and then start griping that people ‘don’t understand’ when they call him on his bullshit?
        Help yourselves…

        1. I fought the urge for as long as I could. I’m going to join Hihnfected Botox Anonymous this week. The first step is to admit you have a problem.

        2. Sevo, not just an honest, mentally balanced poster himself, but a policer of the same!

          1. Sevo, not just an honest, mentally balanced poster himself, but a policer of the same!

            Gee, now who’s conflating government/public vs. corporate/private?

            yes, when anyone calls you out, you’re being oppressed.

            1. “yes, when anyone calls you out, you’re being oppressed.”

              For some time, there seemed to be a question whether Bo’s assholery was a result of abysmal stupidity or mendacity. Finally, it became obvious that the answer is “yes”.
              So you might engage him thinking this time he just needs the proper info to be honest in an argument only to be blind-sided by his mendacity. Or vice-versa.
              Regardless, he’s a thorough-going piece of shit who deserves to be harassed and ignored.

      2. “Does the NFL not have a right to enforce the contracts its employees sign and the collective bargaining agreement their labor signs off on?”

        Do private colleges not have a right to enforce contracts its customers (students and parents) sign off on?

        1. Private colleges that are subject to Title IX? Absolutely not.

          1. Are public and private universities not, after all, public accommodations?

            1. Er, are you for public accommodations and Title IX laws?

              1. Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that under today’s system, that people are to be afforded more protections in a state supported school than in a workplace that operates under a CBA and all labor is contract labor.

  11. It’s a good thing that the government has almost saved us from that evil free market stuff. The only reason we aren’t slaves to corporations is that the government intervened in the free market. But things are still really bad, so the government needs to completely eliminate what’s left of this evil free market and form one super government owned entity to serve the people.

    Yeah, I know, it sounds too good to be true, comrades. But just look at the progress Venezuela is making. On a good day, you only have to stand in line for half a day to get toilet paper!

    We can do this comrades, but we’re going to have to hand the government lots more power so that they can defeat those evil free market corporations that are oppressing us.

    Forward comrades, to the people’s utopia!

    1. Toilet paper? /France

      1. Hey if only the people of France would have obyed it’s great leader without question and allowed a 75% tax on the evil rich, then France would be a paradise now!

      2. Who wipes?
        /King Julian

      3. Thought France had bidets.

    2. If it weren’t for the guvmint, we’d all be living in a Shadowrun style dystopia right now.

    3. Those evil “free market” corporations that the government helped to create in the first place? Yes, only the government can save us from government intervention!

      1. Corporations would still exist in a truly free market, they are a truly marvelous form of business-capital structure. They are not an arbitrary “creation of the state”, as many of you claim (in order to placate the irrationality of the leftoids?).

  12. It’s always possible for unfortunate people to fall into the cracks, so it is no blemish on the libertarian philosophy that it can’t offer an ironclad guarantee against such things.

    It is to those “non-libertarians” you speak of, who still probably see government as the best facilitator of a utopia, or at least, as close to one as possible. After all, they’ve been programmed their whole lives to believe that authority leads to order, peace and tranquility. So any failure of libertarian philosophy is confirmation for their ingrained teachings.

    1. The government is a jealous god.

      For example, just look at how it fines and arrests people for feeding the poor. Only god can be trusted to feed the poor. Never mind if a few of the poor starve while god figures out how to save them. We just can’t have people playing god. People cannot understand god. And indeed it is a folly and perhaps even a sin to try to understand god.

      Just start thinking of it this way, lowly mortals. Government is not people. Government is god. People are fallible. God is infallible.

      See how that makes all the difference?

      1. Don’t forget occupational licensing, zoning, and a myriad of other laws which forbid the poor and unskilled from helping themselves by cutting hair, cooking food, and driving taxis. The newly liberated might prefer continued charity as opposed to working for themselves, but it is government which makes self-help illegal and encourages that welfare dependency.

  13. Since national firms’ retail prices don’t have to reflect the full cost of production

    Yes, those ‘national firms’ just love to lose money. That’s how they got so big. It’s all loss leaders. They can just keep charging less than it costs them to produce …. forever. They’er national, and that’s dangerous.

    1. They make it up on volume, dumbass.

      /progbotard

      1. And they’re the ones writing it off.

    2. He’s claiming that their inputs and distribution are subsidized by the government, not that they are selling cost. It’s a variation on Red Lizzy’s you didn’t build that riff.

      He’s still wrong,but not as ridiculously so as you imply.

  14. OT: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_…..roken-bats

    I laughed.

  15. One thing to emphasize in regards to abrupt loss of welfare is that a huge percentage of welfare recipients are forbidden by government from helping themselves by cutting hair, running daycares, cleaning houses, cooking meals, driving taxis, and a myriad of occupational licensing and zoning laws. I would bet that 90% of the people on welfare would rather help themselves and would pick up the pieces pretty damned quicly if government welfare disappeared overnight. The outright bums would be shit out of luck, and too bad, so sad, while the truly incompetent, such as mentally ill, low IQ, fully disabled, and elderly, would be few enough that neighborhood and institutional charity would pick up the slack pretty well.

    Don’t forget that government spending all local, state, and federal levels soaks up $8T a year, close to half of GDP. All that inefficient tax redistribution would disappear. Perhaps the biggest market upset, aside from subsidies and other distortions, would be all the government bureaucrats and their private industry counterparts who would have to find real work without having much in the way of job skills. Again, too bad, so sad, learn something productive instead of being an obfuscating obstructive wart on society’s backside.

    1. There are several places where you have to engage a ‘professional’ to pump gas; why not oil?
      Are you competent to wash that car, sir? I think not; please take it to a licensed facility!

      1. In either Washington or Oregon (I never remember which state it was as I was driving along the border between the 2) I almost got a beating along with a threat to have the police called and be thrown in jail because I unknowingly tried to pump my own gas. It didn’t help that after I was verbally abused for about 30 minutes (he refused to pump my gas and refused to remove the pump from my tank) I laughed and said something about people being too stupid to pump their own gas should be barred from driving.

        1. Oregon. No such rule in Washington, because most people are smart enough to know how to work the gas pump here, unless they’re from Seattle.

          1. (5) The dangers described in subsection (3) of this section are heightened when the customer is a senior citizen or has a disability, especially if the customer uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches;
            (6) Attempts by other states to require the providing of aid to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail have failed, and therefore, senior citizens and persons with disabilities must pay the higher costs of full service;
            (7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids;
            (8) The hazard described in subsection (7) of this section is heightened when the customer is pregnant;
            (9) The exposure to Class 1 flammable liquids through dispensing should, in general, be limited to as few individuals as possible, such as gasoline station owners and their employees or other trained and certified dispensers;

            1. (10) The typical practice of charging significantly higher prices for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail:
              (a) Discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service;
              (b) Discriminates against customers who are elderly or have disabilities who are unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices; and
              (c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, endangering both the customer and other motorists and resulting in unnecessary and costly repairs;
              (11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations;
              (12) Self-service dispensing at retail in other states does not provide a sustained reduction in fuel prices charged to customers;
              (13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general;
              (14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people;

              1. (15) Self-service dispensing at retail presents a health hazard and unreasonable discomfort to persons with disabilities, elderly persons, small children and those susceptible to respiratory diseases;
                (16) The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, requires that equal access be provided to persons with disabilities at retail gasoline stations; and
                (17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation.

          2. 17 major points plus a few sub-points.

        2. New Jersey has a law against pumping your own gas. Fortunately, I was warned before I tried to do so, when visiting NJ once.

          1. Although, interestingly enough, the ban applies only to gasoline, not diesel

  16. the free-rider phenomenon exists; an individual can easily believe that enough others will help and that his or her contribution would be too small to make much difference anyway.

    That’s why WFMU’s slogan is that they’re the station that works in practice though not in theory.

  17. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

    1. See? Don’t need a license for that.

  18. all the government bureaucrats and their private industry counterparts who would have to find real work without having much in the way of job skills.

    Maybe some soft-hearted do-gooder will provide them with cheeze sammiches in a local park.

    1. And be jailed for it.

  19. Off-topic but insane: Nuggets of Wisdom from Mattress Girl. Link.

    1. I’m hopeful about the human race today, so I’ll guess very few people at Brown went to the talk and that those who had a lick of sense walked out very quickly.
      Just ’cause it’d be horrible to think mare than a few university students would swallow that malarkey without gagging.

  20. “US capitalism isn’t a free market.”

    No
    shit.

  21. he talks about investment in transportation/travel infrastructure, and he’s right for the mid 1800’s-early 1900’s situation, but he ignores that in a free market there would be a georgist land system of slowly expiring land rights with preference given to infrastructure, so buying up land for lines/roads wouldn’t be so expensive. To some extent this would have been true earlier, too, though back then a lot of the cost was just materials and labor

    The modern scene would have cities with gluts of (privately run) public transport, and constant building and rebuilding.
    The issue with the cost of goods would be sort of the same; the big changes would be in people’s spending habits via a non-nationalized, much more conservative banking system and a lack of welfare for people who are able to work, and georgist land-occupation stipends which would go directly to people instead of “taxes”, and a lack of barriers to work and business, and the inability to impose rich people’s idea of “nice” on the populace because of a lack of zoning and land use regulation

  22. My dear, the next five minutes can change your life!
    Give a chance to your good luck.
    Read this article, please!
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  23. Richman is an embarrassment. Anti-gummint is not pro-liberty. But if you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail. Anyone else believe there would be no national markets if not for the corporatists and the gummint united?

    . Since national firms’ retail prices don’t have to reflect the full cost of production, consumption is distorted and smaller firms are harmed

    Umm, that’s Marxism — the daffy notion that prices have anything at all to do with costs
    REAL free marketers have this thing we call the Law of Supply and Demand.
    Even without the Marxism, the implied corporatist/gummint conspiracy is worthy of a Birher,

    1. It’s not Marxism, it’s classic equilibrium economics. Of course you never reach eq., but averaging things over the long run, of course prices have something to do w costs! Sure, someone can be stuck w goods after a breakthrough has lowered their costs enormously in the market, and so have to sell below the cost s/he bought them at, but that’s an unusual case. So is the case where a hurricane wipes out your competition & you can make a killing selling your stocks at jacked-up prices. Those conditions don’t obtain over the long run.

      Sheldon nowhere said there wouldn’t be national, or world, markets absent the subsidies provided for their establishment, although it did seem at 1st he was complaining that they existed! He’s just saying that the business climate has been distorted in a way that seems to have favored the large, on avg., over the small.

      Of course there are countervailing forces too. Legal barriers to & tariffs on int’l trade have favored the smaller over the larger, particularly in small countries. Mostly because of the expense of enforcement, regulatory statutes, the regs themselves, & their enforcement often go lighter on small biz than large, such as when companies w fewer than X employees are exempt. If the cost of deciphering the regs themselves is large, that favors the large over the small on a per-size basis, but where the burden of the regs themselves work out on a per-size basis, the regulatory neglect of the little guy allows them to get away w more.

      1. It’s not Marxism,

        It’s Marxism, the opposite of the Law of Supply and Demand,

        it’s classic equilibrium economics.

        Which MEANS Supply and Demand!. Equilibrium is when prices achieve a balance (equilibrium) between supply and demand. Which has nothing at all to do with costs. (see below)

        http://www.investopedia.com/te…..ibrium.asp

        Of course you never reach eq.,

        Equilibrium is when prices are at a level to balance supply and demand which, again, has nothing to do with costs.

        but averaging things over the long run, of course prices have something to do w costs!

        In Marxism. In Market Economics. the principle is quite elementary. If the market price does not allow an adequate profit (after costs) …. the item disappears from the marketplace,

        Sheldon nowhere said there wouldn’t be national, or world, markets absent the subsidies provided for their establishment?

        He says national markets result from government intervention, AND this allows larger suppliers to sell at prices lower than smaller suppliers. He assumes — as do you — that national markets would not exist without government intervention ? else his entire “position” would be useless..

        Of course there are countervailing forces too

        Further demolishing Richman’s Marxist premise.

  24. Besides the deontological, why would citizens of Scandinavia– who enjoy a very high quality of life– agree to unshackle themselves from a government that provides them universal access to health care, cradle-to-grave social security, generous family leave policies, and free post-secondary education?

    “Mutual aid societies”

    I’m wondering how this would work in a aid society dedicated to combating global warming. Blow up oil rigs, target oil company executives, monkey-wrench gas pipelines. As I said, I’m not an anarchist, but I do have some sympathy…

    1. I wonder how fiscally sound those programs would be if they were spending much at all on defense. When the Big Red Bear comes knocking in a few years we’ll see how those nations full of welfare queens adapt to a wartime stance.

    2. Well, it would help to first realize that CAGW is a complete myth.

    3. Hi Amsoc

      A Danish poster on here refutes much of what you posted. And doesn’t California strive to do what you listed? How is that working out. And when Vermont looked into the cradle to grave “free” healthcare they realized it was too expensive. Maybe they do it the Veterans Administration way and not give care to people and lie about it.

    4. Free post-secondary education? So they enslave the professors?

    5. Maybe because with the state providing an equal but mediocre level of, well, everything, there is no incentive to better yourself. Why bother?

    6. american socialist|4.26.15 @ 2:04PM|#
      “[…]why would citizens of Scandinavia– who enjoy a very high quality of life– agree to unshackle themselves from a government that provides them universal access to health care, cradle-to-grave social security, generous family leave policies, and free post-secondary education?”

      Because they are, collectively, smarter than the shitstain posting under the handle american socialist.
      Next question?

      1. Next question?

        Do you realize how fucking backwards your “response” is to what he/she said?
        (laughing)

  25. until I saw the bank draft for $6859 , I didnt believe that…my… mom in-law woz actually bringing in money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there uncles cousin started doing this for less than 16 months and at present cleared the morgage on there cottage and bought a great new Jaguar XJ . learn the facts here now.. http://www.Work4Hour.Com

  26. Standard Oil and Rockefeller got rich by lowering the cost of oil so much that everyone could afford to buy it. It was called Standard Oil because it was the high quality standard and it became the standard fuel for lighting. The aggressive business tactics were also standard for the day and would have been done to Rockefeller if he hadn’t done the same to his competitors. He pioneered the use of pipelines because the railroads had a stranglehold on the transportation of oil and other goods that kept consumer prices artificially high. The use of pipelines broke that stranglehold.

    If you take the “trusts” and “robber-barons” as a whole, their contributions to modern society and industry are astronomically beneficial compared to any downside. What the progressive politicians did was replace the robber-barons influence with their own, starting the Progressive era, with decisions dominated by government and the stifling of free market capitalism and individual freedom.

  27. Distortion implies an ideal. With that one word you’re admitting that you blindly follow a quasi-religious ideology promising utopia, one that existed in the past and can in the future–except neither is true. Do these similarities to other bullshit faiths not concern you?

    Without the state, the worst people will form a new state immediately, and you will find that today’s hodgepodge democracies are closer to any utopia than brief anarchy will bring.

    1. Tony|4.26.15 @ 8:34PM|#
      “Distortion implies an ideal. With that one word you’re admitting that you blindly follow a quasi-religious ideology promising utopia,[…]’

      Not true, you lying piece of shit. Any functioning knowledge system can function absent outside (forced) disturbances. That systematic function may or may not be “ideal” to the observer.
      But then as a lefty ignoramus, that probably escaped your view.

      1. I’ve found something sadder than the insufferable computer nerd who thinks he knows everything about how the world should work: someone who feebly imitates him. You’re talking about meaningless nonsense. Do the actual lives of real human beings (besides your own, of course) even factor in to your political beliefs?

    2. I somewhat agree with you in one respect – that distortion implies imperfection, that the economy would be “better” if it were more free. But as a libertarian I don’t care about that. I care about personal freedom. That’s why I want a free market. Does that create a better economy? Maybe, maybe not. Reasonable people will disagree on that, because what is a better economy is a function of personal opinion as to what makes for a “good” economic system.

      1. There is nothing necessarily inconsistent or ignoble about holding a politics that values personal liberty above all else. It’s transparently the myopic attitude of a below-average teenager, but at least it doesn’t make outlandish promises.

        Surely though you can see that whether you like it or not, a politics that values personal liberty above all else is not something you can keep to yourself–it’s a society-wide imposition like any other political system. And not caring about outcomes is not the same as outcomes not happening.

        And finally, I argue that big-government liberalism, in its best forms, is more amenable to maximum individual liberty than the underlying policies of libertarianism. Redistributing some wealth downward and implementing social safety nets indisputably increases human liberty, as it does no real damage to the liberty of the wealthy while significantly increasing it for everyone else. But we can’t talk about such a calculus if we insist that any government program, no matter how beneficial or innocuous in the real world, nevertheless is in principle equivalent to the most brutally oppressive program you can think of, because government does it.

        1. i lost count of your straw men there.

  28. my Aunty Sophia just got a nearly new BMW X4 SUV just by some parttime working online with a lap-top
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  29. Commenters and Richman too seem to have missed the origin of ‘social welfare’. It was not some socialist plot to undermine liberty via the ballot box. On the contrary, it was ‘lets feed back some crumbs to those who don’t benefit from the rigged cronyist system so the peasants don’t get uppity and kill us’. It was all couched in the language of noblesse oblige and religious charity and such. The people who created it were the cronies and beneficiaries of the distortions – not the OBJECTS of the social welfare.

    That is precisely why the ONLY way to eliminate the social welfare system is to FIRST get rid of all the market distortions that have undermined competition and entrenched the winners. You can’t even talk about social welfare reform until that is actually done because it is only after it is done that people will actually see how a true free market works.

    It is a dead bang certainty that eliminating those distortions will sound a lot like populism or bashing-the-rich and will generate MASSIVE opposition from those beneficiaries. In fact, any ‘reform’ that doesn’t generate massive squealing from the pigs isn’t really a reform worth even discussing further. The pigs know exactly how their trough keeps getting filled. And while I look forward to living long enough to hear such talk, I won’t hold my breath waiting for ‘libertarians’ to get it

  30. I believe that we all understand the concept of freedom. Freedom is not a freedom to do whatever we want, but rather harmony and tools that help us to pursue our own good. In this sense, it is not convenient to live in a world of free market and predatory behavior. In the current situation, states are the last standing barrier between the full market control. They are not working efficiently, but are important so that we can still moderate what big companies do to us, to our environment and so on. State administrations fail on many levels, and are still being attacked in order to succumb to the “market” ideology. As a consequence, Canadian citizens are one of the most indebted people in the world. This is how it works. Go and buy your estate, get a new car, you need a new cell, etc. The best form of retaliation is to stop consuming in the way we do right now.

  31. uptil I looked at the paycheck which was of $6898 , I have faith …that…my father in law was actually erning money parttime from their computer. . there neighbor had bean doing this for less than nine months and at present cleard the loans on there apartment and got a great new Nissan GT-R:…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  32. Two nitpicks, Sheldon. By “U.S. Capitalism” I think you mean corporatism.

    And second, even capitalism (where by “private” I mean individual, by “ownership” I mean an exclusive legal right to use or control the use of the thing owned, and by “means of production” I mean land, labor and (especially, in this context) capital) isn’t the same thing as free markets or voluntary exchange.

  33. my roomate’s half-sister makes $71 /hr on the computer . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $17321 just working on the computer for a few hours
    …… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

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