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Free Minds & Free Markets

Complex Societies Need Simple Laws

We need to end the orgy of rule-making at once and embrace the simple rules that true liberals like America’s founders envisioned.

“If you have 10,000 regulations,” Winston Churchill said, “you destroy all respect for law.”

He was right. But Churchill never imagined a government that would add 10,000 year after year. That’s what we have in America. We have 160,000 pages of rules from the feds alone. States and localities have probably doubled that. We have so many rules that legal specialists can’t keep up. Criminal lawyers call the rules “incomprehensible.” They are. They are also “uncountable.” Congress has created so many criminal offenses that the American Bar Association says it would be futile to even attempt to estimate the total. 

 So what do the politicians and bureaucrats of the permanent government do? They pass more rules.

That’s not good. It paralyzes life.

Politicians sometimes say they understand the problem. They promise to “simplify.” But they rarely do. Mostly, they come up with new rules. It’s just natural. It’s how the public measures politicians. Schoolchildren on Washington tours ask, “What laws did you pass?” If they don’t pass new laws, the media whine about the “do-nothing Congress.”

This is also not good.

When so much is illegal, common sense dies. Out of fear of breaking rules, people stop innovating, trying, helping.

Think I exaggerate? Consider what happened in Britain, a country even more rule-bound than America. A man had an epileptic seizure and fell into a shallow pond. Rescue workers might have saved him, but they wouldn’t enter the 3-foot-deep pond. Why? Because “safety” rules passed after rescuers drowned in a river now prohibited “emergency workers” from entering water above their ankles. Only 30 minutes later, when rescue workers with “stage 2 training” arrived, did they enter the water, discover that the man was dead and carry him to the approved inflatable medical tent. Twenty other cops, firemen and “rescuers” stood next to the pond and watched.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, sometimes called the first libertarian thinker, said, “The more artificial taboos and restrictions there are in the world, the more the people are impoverished....The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be.” He complained that there were “laws and regulations more numerous than the hairs of an ox.” What would he have thought of our world?

Big-government advocates will say that as society grows more complex, laws must multiply to keep up. The opposite is true. It is precisely because society is unfathomably complex that laws must be kept simple. No legislature can possibly prescribe rules for the complex network of uncountable transactions and acts of cooperation that take place every day. Not only is the knowledge that would be required to make such a regulatory regime work unavailable to the planners, it doesn’t actually exist, because people don’t know what they will want or do until they confront alternatives in the real world. Any attempt to manage a modern society is more like a bull in a darkened china shop than a finely tuned machine. No wonder the schemes of politicians go awry.

F.A. Hayek wisely said, “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” Another Nobel laureate, James M. Buchanan, put it this way: “Economics is the art of putting parameters on our utopias.”

Barack Obama and his ilk in both parties don’t want parameters on their utopias. They think the world is subject to their manipulation. That idea was debunked years ago.

“With good men and strong governments everything was considered feasible,” the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote. But with the advent of economics, “it was learned that ... there is something operative which power and force are unable to alter and to which they must adjust themselves if they hope to achieve success, in precisely the same way as they must taken into account the laws of nature.”

I wish our politicians knew that. I wish they’d stop their presumptuous schemes.

We need to end the orgy of rule-making at once and embrace the simple rules that true liberals like America’s founders envisioned.

John Stossel (read his Reason archive) is the host of Stossel, which airs Thursdays on the FOX Business Network at 9 pm ET and is rebroadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9pm & midnight ET. Go here for more info.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Congress and the Executive have ceded so much to the regulatory agencies they've created, and they love it! None of the crippling bullshit that comes from those regulations can be pinned on any of the legislators. Legislators are disconnected with the world that has to deal with these burdens (except when collecting payment from one business for regulatorily smiting its rival), and bureaucrats exist wholly in that world and can't imagine anything else.

  • ||

    Why do you hate America?

  • ||

    I hate it when someone plays with the lock on my gambol....

  • ||

    You say that like it's a bad thing...

  • ||

    What is a Gambol Lockdown? I keep googling it, but all I see are vague references to it on reason.com comments being posted by a crazy person.

  • ||

    Wow! Googling "Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest" comes up 168 times. You're very repetitive!

  • ||

    Only 168 times? I'd figure there'd be 168 pages. White Idiot is a one trick pony, and he repeats that trick over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over...

  • ||

    Plausible delegability.

  • ||

    ooooohhhhh I like that one

  • ||

    Okay, now it's a "Word" of the Day.

  • ||

    Ceded? They've rushed to GIVE that power to these agencies.

  • ||

    We should just mandate that all citizens obtain a law degree. Problem solved.

  • ||

    How about a degree in history. Taught by the losers (or those that are still alive), if at all possible.

  • ||

    And ok trolls, I don't mean that literally. Obviously, requiring anyone to get a degree is a violation of rights.

  • ||

    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.
    -Thomas Sowell
  • ||

    mangetti nuts. priceless.

    hey guys, there's grass on everyone's lawn, full of nutrition, and it's just going to waste! get out there and start cropping people, freedom from the agriKULTure CITYSTaTE awaits!

  • ||

    Crop: verb (used with object)

    to cut off or remove the head or top of (a plant, grass, etc.).

  • ||

    That's exactly what the Bushmen rejected above.

    Why are you dragging us into this?

  • ||

    The Bushmen have the lowest IQ of any ethnic group in the world (~54).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....elligence_(book)

    White Indian thinks they're brilliant and we should all follow their lead.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, Thomas Sowell? What about air, huh? FACT PWNED

  • plusafdotcom||

    what ABOUT air???

  • ||

    Politicians sometimes say they understand the problem.

    They understand it perfectly fucking well. They're doing this shit on purpose.

    I know a lot of people really hate Ayn Rand (with a passion I find puzzling) but she put her finger on this problem: rigging the law so that everybody is a "criminal" gives the ruling class power, power they won't give up voluntarily.

  • ||

    Rand could never hang with Ten Bears.

  • ||

    Then, we are in agreement that Rand could not hang with Ten Bears or Little Crow or Cochise or Black Kettle or Red Cloud or Chief Jay Strongbow?

  • ||

    I've never heard of any of those bands.

  • ||

    She could probably hang with Two Dogs Fucking.

  • ||

    Clint Eastwood could, though.

  • ||

    Chuck Norris, baby.

  • ||

    So, White Indian, you're saying the land belonged to the Native Americans? That it was their PROPERTY?

  • ||

    Wow. That's stupid. Like nuclear powered stupid. Good luck with that.

  • ||

    "you like citySTATISM?"

    Nope. And everything in that link is still stupid. Like nuclear powered stupid. Good luck with that.

  • ||

    Really!? Jason Godesky said that!?! THE Jason Godesky!??! Well, that settles it then. I'm sold!

  • ||

    don't it suck real bad when a technologically inferior society meets up with a technologically superior one? sucks to be native

  • ||

    Uh, there's a difference between actual rights and natural rights. I don't know what Rand meant, since no context is given, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess she was talking about actual rights.

  • ||

    Actual rights are the freedoms that government actually recognizes -- the things you are physically allowed to do at a point in time and a particular place. Usually actual rights are more restricted than natural rights (e.g., the Native Americans had no actual property rights) but sometimes they are more expansive for a particular group than natural rights (e.g., white people had rights to property that they shouldn't have had a right to).

  • ||

    Natural rights, on the other hand, are the true set of freedoms that we have a right to whether or not any living person or any government at all recognizes them as such. Libertarians generally define natural rights as the right to be free from aggression from others, or the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A socialist, a fascist, a conservative, a (non-classical) liberal, etc. would each define natural rights differently. In the US, today, however, actual rights are the same regardless of your philosophy. Actual rights are what the laws on the books define them to be right now right here.

    I hope that clears things up. If Rand really didn't think Native Americans had natural rights, then she was wrong. I'm not a Rand-fan either way.

  • ||

    Hey dudes -

    STOP RESPONDING TO THE GRIEFER. I'm looking at you John.

    thx

  • ||

    I'm guilty of that as well. Sorry. I thought that engaging the gratuitous turd would work, but it didn't.

  • ||

    It's like working the heavy bag....Godesky? Add more sand!

  • ||

    Please Do Not Feed The Animals

  • ||

    Commenting on your feeble rants is hardly collectivist policing. My but you're delicate for a brave warrior.

  • ||

    How about a Twinkie?

  • ||

    Phat Injun,
    Please Do Not Feed The Animal

  • ||

    Sometimes you can't help it. Like scratching your anus and then sniffing your finger - you know you shouldn't do it, you know you'll regret it, but you do it anyway.

  • ||

    But TOP MEN! Stossel has interviewed hundreds of Top Men and his article is indicative of how special they really must be.

  • ||

    I've always thought that all the laws a society actually needs could be written on a 3X5 card.

    Like so:
    Do not murder.Do not steal. Do not assault. Do not commit fraud. Do not trespass. Do not vandalize. Do not rape.

  • T||

    Hmm. People like round numbers. Could you work up 3 more? And get them graven in stone?

  • ||

    Copyright infringement!

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    And you'll need to extinguish that bush immediately, sir.

  • plusafdotcom||

    LOL! Excellent!

  • ||

    Let's see where we've got holes in the 3x5card of life per the sleep-inducing paper weight some people call the bible and if it matters:

    -Honor thy father and mother...Probably a good idea if you like your parents. If they are assholes...fuck 'em. Their corpses rotting in the street will serve as lessons to others NOT TO BE ASSHOLES. In the end, this should be more of a recommendation derived from logic.
    -Do not commit adultery...Probably a good idea if you want to avoid being murdered/assaulted by the spouse or spouses jilted by your ugly bumping. In the end though, monitoring this at the state level would be impossible and sometimes, people just want to fuck new holes. Mark this as another recommendation. Go ahead and cheat, but don't be surprised when your wife takes half of your shit and/or buries a meat cleaver in your pelvis.

  • ||

    Continued (FUCK CHARACTER LIMITS)

    -Don't worship other gods. Fuck it
    -Don't worship idols. Fuck it
    - Honor the Sabbath. Unless we're talking about Black Sabbath, Fuck it.

  • ||

    Isn't the plural of spouse spice?

  • ||

    it is now.

  • ||

    The Ten Commandments were not government Law. They were religious rules to be voluntarily adopted. Deuteronomic Law, on the other hand, was government law.

  • ||

    really....got proof of this?

    Given I'm a Conservative Jew this is news to me

  • ||

    There's no proof. It's one of those neverdying memes that certain people have to cling to to make them feel better about themselves (you know, by being better than others).

  • ||

    The problem immediately becomes, what is defined as "fraud"? What different types of murder are there (i.e. accidentally hitting somebody w/ a car v. tying them up in your basement, cutting off a new digit every day and forcing them to eat the meat, and raping them repeatedly until they die from shock, or from the wire coat-hanger that you shove a little further into their vagina each day).

    Each of those scenerios generates a slew of laws to define the parameters, and on and on it goes.

  • ||

    isn't this what courts were designed for?

  • ||

    No, that's a common misconception. Courts were invented to find legal ways around the words, "no law".

  • ||

    Not to mention "people", "shall not be infringed", "shall not be violated", "speedy and public trial", "[right] to be informed", "[right] to be confronted", "shall not be construed to deny", "are reserved to", "people" again, "commerce", "rights and priveleges", etc.

  • ||

    "tying them up in your basement, cutting off a new digit every day and forcing them to eat the meat, and raping them repeatedly until they die from shock"

    There are those who say our interrogation techniques are "unconstitutional." Let me be clear, I will not allow people to jeopardize this nation's security for the sake of political gain.

  • ||

    I've always thought that all the laws a society actually needs could be written on a 3X5 card.

    Like so:
    Do not murder.Do not steal. Do not assault. Do not commit fraud. Do not trespass. Do not vandalize. Do not rape.

    Seconded.

  • ||

    "Occupy" would not like that set of rules.

  • ||

    Fraud is stealing, so you can strike that one. Rape is assault, so you can strike that one.

    How about "Don't infringe on someone else's right to exist. Don't take someone else's shit without their permission."

    Badabing, badaboom. Done.

  • ||

    How about just "leave me the fuck alone"

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Just get some 5 year old to make a card that says "Non-aggression principle" in macaroni, that should cover it

  • ||

    How about simply 'don't steal'?

    Murder would be to steal a life.
    Fraud would be to steal property.
    Assault would be to steal a persons well being.

  • ||

    That could be boiled down to "do not engage in aggression against others". If you think about it, that kind of sums it up and covers most, but certainly not all, interactions and circumstances.

  • ||

    Or theft. Theft of life, liberty or property.

  • ||

    Stossel's right; hope he isn't holding his breath.

  • ||

    It's a shame. Early China had some really great liberty-minded philosophers, like Lao Tsu and Yang Chu, but Authoritarianism (a la Confucius and Legalism) really won over China in a big way.

  • ||

    Empires have fallen for a variety of reasons throughout history. In China dynasties collapsed and huge amounts people died in the subsequent turmoil, simply because their bureaucracies became so big and so stifling they dragged the entire country down with them.

  • ||

    their bureaucracies became so big and so stifling they dragged the entire country down with them

    Isn't history little more than stories of government cancers killing their hosts?

  • ||

    there's some adventures tucked in there too....wait, no, I was thinking of mythology. never mind.

  • ||

    "A man had an epileptic seizure and fell into a shallow pond. Rescue workers might have saved him, but they wouldn’t enter the 3-foot-deep pond. Why? Because “safety” rules passed after rescuers drowned in a river now prohibited “emergency workers” from entering water above their ankles."

    Sort of like two cops blocking entry into a burning building as a little girl's relatives try to charge in and attempt a rescue.

    Limetree Island can sink into the fucking ocean. come to think of it, so can about a quarter of the states in this Union.

  • ||

    Start with New Jersey and end with the abomination that was once the capital district of a constitutional republic.

  • ||

    Dude, they weren't certified for that procedure.

  • ||

    Sort of like two cops blocking entry into a burning building as a little girl's relatives try to charge in and attempt a rescue.

    Isn't that negligent homicide on the part of the cops?

  • ||

    Not on Limetree Island.

    1) Block entry.

    2) Can't go in yourself, even as a cop.

    3) Little girl burns alive.

  • ||

    That's when you remove the cops and deal with it after the rescue. Seriously.

  • ||

    Isn't that negligent homicide on the part of the cops?

    I'm sure if a non-LEO did it, there would be charges preferred.

    But, there's no double standard here, nosireebob.

  • ||

    Dude, if it had been me, I'd shoot the cops in the legs and get my little girl the hell out of there.

  • ||

    Out here in the business world, we have people constantly tearing through our policies and procedures to make them simple and logical.

  • ||

    Hahahahahahah!

    ISO certification.

    sigh

  • ||

    Good luck with that. At a former employer, I looked at ISO certification requirements. No thanks. Basically requires a full-time dedicated engineer or analyst so we get a nice logo. No thanks.

  • ||

    Basically requires a full-time dedicated engineer or analyst so we get a nice logo.

    Why do you hate Jobs?

  • ||

    Why do you hate Jobs?

    He's dead!

  • ||

    True story:

    I was tasked with rewriting our HR Manual (don't ask).

    The rewritten manual went from 20-odd pages to three sentences:

    (1) Do what you're told.

    (2) Don't be an idiot.

    (3) Unless the CEO says otherwise.

    As far as I could tell, everything in the old manual boiled down to one of those three.

    The Bosses were Not Amused.

  • ||

    I guarantee none of them ever read the old manual once.

  • Suki||

    I knew you worked for Welch!

  • ||

    In writing that as the manual, were you not breaking all three rules?

    You did not do what you were told to do.

    You do not do what you were told to do with malice aforethought, which was idiotic.

    Writing an HR manual seriously is idiotic, though that was clearly what your CEO said to do.

  • ||

    "Complex Societies Need Simple Laws"

    Sorry John, but protecting people from themselves and their own bad decisions is a rather complex undertaking. Not to mention the complexity required to be efficient at plunder and graft.

  • ||

    Is John Stossel a Pakled?

  • ||

    Mostly, they come up with new rules. It’s just natural. It’s how the public measures politicians.

    And instead of repealing old, bad rules they instead choose to make brand new rules that counteract the old ones instead.

  • ||

    havent you ever worked a balance scale before? you have to add something to the lighter side to make it balanced.

    what? take stuff off the heavier side? that's nonsense.

  • matt||

    did that really happen? ankle deep water, sounds like a made up story posing as an anecdote... if its real i would like to know

  • ||

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-e.....e-17131333

    Voila, 20 seconds on Google to turn up this gem.

  • ||

    Why didn't the bystanders just wade in and save him? Why did they have to wait for firemen?

  • ||

    There's this nifty site called google.com where you can type in something like, I dunno, britain rule ankle deep water, and right at the top of the links you get this!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....rules.html

  • ||

    There may be more to it than what we're spouting. From the article:

    A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "Let us be clear, the decisions taken at the Walpole Lake incident had nothing to do with health and safety or the depth of the water.

    "On arrival at the scene, the officer and crews saw a body face down and submerged in the water, who we now know to be Mr Simon Burgess.

    "That person was unresponsive and showing no visible signs of life. Based on this assessment, they prepared for the arrival of one of the service's specialist water rescue unit to undertake a dignified retrieval of the individual from the water.

    "Our officers and staff clearly stated, that if they saw any signs of life and the individual could be saved, they would have gone in to the water and followed rescue procedures.
  • ||

    It was a Brit - so nothing of value was damaged.

  • ||

    I'm impressed that these "rescue" "workers" could tell he was already dead as a doorknob while standing several feet? yards? away.

    Sorry, but there is just no excuse whatsoever for standing on the shore, waiting for your pension to vest, until you know for an incontrovertible fact that he is dead.

  • ||

    e's just resting.

  • ||

    If he wasn't face down in the pond he'd be pushin up the daisies.

  • ||

    'E was pining for the fjords!

  • matt||

    he was unresponsive and showed no signs of life... that means they checked his pulse..

    sorry but stossel is hacking this one

  • ||

    They checked his pulse all the way from the edge of the pond?

  • ||

    They mind it with... their mind!

    Law and Order: Psychic Powers Unit, this fall on NBC. Dun-DUN!

  • ||

    They checked his pulse all the way from the edge of the pond?

    Laser Mic.

  • ||

    Matt, RTFA and don't be an idiot if you can help it.

  • ||

    I think after several minutes of watching a guy float face down in a pond, one can reasonably be certain he is dead. Unless the possibility exists that the victim was Arthur Curry?

  • ||

    I'm hoping you're not a lifeguard, MJ.

  • ||

    Feet? Yards? If you'd used the metric system he might still be alive...

  • ||

    Feet? Yards? If you'd used the metric system he might still be alive...

  • ||

    You can't be certain he's not dead if you don't actually go down to him and examine the body and check his vitals. At that point, you might as well get him on a stretcher and send him to the ER. And people think it's the libertarians who just let people die? Geez.

  • ||

    No way!!! When confronted by angry people asking WTF, they went all CYA with, "w/e he was already dead".

  • ||

    I'm not dead!

  • ||

    Oh, don't be such a baby!

  • ||

    I feel happy. I feel happy.
    [the Bobby glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the Floater with his a whack of his club]

  • ||

    3 Simple Rules for a Civil Society

    RULE 1

    No person may initiate force, threats of force, or fraud against any other person's self or property.

    RULE 2

    Force may be used in defense against those who violate Rule 1.

    RULE 3

    No exceptions shall exist for Rules 1 and 2.

  • Suki||

    The first property owner to shoot him wins.

  • ||

    Yea Suki! Stalin breathed air too!

    What do you breathe, huh?

    All A=C and all B=C therefore all A=B.

    I rest my case.

  • ||

    All A=C and all B=C therefore all A=B.

    logic pwned, fiberlibtardarian statists!

    It's just sooo easy.

    INTELLECTUAL CHECKMATE!!

  • ||

    lol!

  • ||

    Not genocidal enough, apperently.

  • ||

    My beef is with people who eat plants. There is nothing more peaceful than a plant, yet so many people eat them. I wish all animals would die. Then the world would be safe for the plants.

    Why do you support the non-agricultural consumption of plants? Bigot?

  • ||

    Nope, Stalin would have woken him up, told him that everything is cool, given him five rubles, then would have sent Vasili Blokhin after him to shoot him in the nape of the neck... preferably before he spent the five rubles.

  • ||

    What Godesky is saying is that you're all free to crash on his couch, if you don't mind getting Cheetos powder on your pajamas.

  • ||

    Hey, you weren't laying there at the time.

  • ||

    LOGIC PWNED

  • ||

    Plus, Godesky's fat ass takes up more room than everybody else's, giving him an unfair advantage.

  • ||

    Body by agriculture.

  • ||

    fibertarians aggress on white indian by not allowing him to pitch teepee and take dump anywhere he want. also, burger king is human right. white indian on warpath for free whoppers (with cheese).

  • ||

    Your repeated linking to stuff you've written in between thoughts about Hostess products isn't convincing me.

    Could you link to someone else with questionable critical thinking skills whom I can ignore?

  • ||

    Says the guy who reposts the same links and arguments in every thread.

  • ||

    For this reason, I probably wouldn't kick the guy off the lawn, unless he was interfering with my use of the property. Like, say I wanted to back my car up, but I would end up running over his head. I'd ask him to move.

    Does this story go somewhere next? Or am I supposed to be tricked into violating the Non-Aggression Principle at some point?

  • ||

    Just so he isn't rolling around in the flower bed or vegetable garden.

  • ||

    HAHA!

  • ||

    Did you even read my post? The first rule is no initiatory force. The sleeper is trespassing. He is the initiator. Any force used against him would be RETALIATORY!

  • ||

    Leftists think initiation and retaliation are the same thing. The dictionary is just a right-wing meme.

  • ||

    More like property rights are just a right-wing meme. The poor man has so little, and you have so much. His "force" is justified; yours is not.

    And don't complexify our feelgood with any silly talk about personal responsibility and societal incentives.

  • ||

    the sleeping guy is violating property rights...

    funny how "violating" and "violence" sound so much alike, must be a coincidence...

  • ||

    god you're dumb

    divine right != property rights

    if I work and pay for property through my blood, sweat, and tears (mainly tears) then I have a right to that property that I earned and I should be able to protect that property.

    A right to protect property is in no way analogous to claiming a right rule over people because you were born into a certain family.

    Property rights diffuses the power granted under divine right to make it accessible to everyone.

  • ||

    Never said he was initiating violence, said he is initiating FORCE. He is forcing his presence on the homeowner against their wishes.

  • ||

    Actually, I've gotta go with WI on this one. Simple trespassing on land is not force.

  • ||

    Suppose you were going to break ground today on a new homeless shelter on that corner of your property. Have you not been forced to delay until he leaves?

    force =/= violence

  • ||

    No. Not unless you ask him to leave and he refuses. If you don't want someone coming on to your land, build a fence.

  • ||

    If you don't want someone coming on to your land, build a fence.

    Fair enough -- I was assuming the refusal to leave.

  • ||

    Doing more than gently pushing him off your property is going beyond defense.Unless killing or injuring the aggressor is necessary to end the aggression (and in this case, it's not), you can't justify shooting him.

  • ||

    If the free market didn't fail to provide a job for everyone, provide a living wage, keep the air and and water pollution free, keep food safe, and lots of other stuff it fails to do, we wouldn't need the government to intervene.

  • ||

    Lame trolls are lame.

  • ||

    In other words, I can't argue the truth, so I'll call you a troll.

  • ||

    Find the free market and complain to it. Maybe it misplaced your living wage.

  • ||

    So we've had 7 decades of New Deal-style massive government intervention. Does everyone have a job? Does everyone have a "living wage?" Are the air and water pollution-free? Has even a year gone by with no one being poisoned by tainted food? No, but they've managed to lock 3 million people in prison, kill millions more, stifle innovation, abrogate constitutional protections for individuals, spend 15 trillion dollars more than they had, debase the currency to the point that the poor can't afford food or transportation, create a permanent class of people dependent upon the government, and destroy the country's reputation in the world. If the government didn't fail so spectacularly at everything it tried, we wouldn't need the free market.

  • ||

    The answer is clear.

    HIT IT HARDER!

  • ||

    Those aren't drawbacks, that's the plan.

  • ||

    A job is a right! And through gov't intervention, we have full employment! Just like the Soviet Union!

  • ||

    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

    *eyeroll*

  • ||

    I repeat my question, name a single country that managed to give a job to everyone, name just a single one.

  • ||

    The Mongol hoard?

  • ||

    Did I say government should provide a job for everyone? You should brush up on your reading comprehension.

  • ||

    Well, you said it was a right. Typically the government is responsible for protecting your rights. I supposed they could outsource the enforcement, but that would violate the rights of bureaucrats.

  • ||

    Did I say government should provide a job for everyone?

    No, you merely implied that it should provide a job to anyone displaced. That hair-splitting difference is yours to explain, though.

  • ||

    Well, if the free market didn't fail to deliver all of those things then the government wouldn't have to intervene and also fail to deliver all of those things...

  • ||

    Looks like you're assuming that everyone wants one.

  • ||

    Now you are talking my language, there is something really wrong to expect to work. It for more right to reward them for not working.

  • ||

    Are you having a stroke?

  • ||

    That wasn't me. Someone hijacked my name.

  • ||

    You asked for it.

  • ||

    A "safety net" is a reward for doing nothing. Whether it is a spoof or not, the position is the same.

  • ||

    That has got to be the dumbest quote I've ever seen.fuck you we are all now a little stupider for having read that.

  • ||

    Why don't you prove your BS and go walk off into the mountains?

  • ||

    So, you're saying you won't go wander the wilderness because of the hunting rights set up by THE EVIL AGRICULTURAL CITY-STATIST WHO TOOK THE LAND FROM THE NATIVES WITH THEIR TAKING COLLECTIVE RIGHT? You have a lot of respect for rights you don't recognize.

  • ||

    For this reason, I believe that Jason Godesky doesn't even exist. We are supposed to believe that he came to believe that the state of primitive man was the best state. Then, he came to the conclusion that, the best thing to do about this, is to create webpage about it and incessantly blog about it in cybercafes.

    This would be like me deciding that farming sucks, and then joining an Amish community so I could whine about it to them.

  • ||

    We wouldn't have to work except for stupid city-statists. We could just collect mana off of the ground, and play in the streams. The way that native Americans did. A total life of leisure.

  • ||

    Nazi Germany?

  • ||

    Kampuchea (Cambodia) under me.

  • ||

    I told you that pot is bad.

  • ||

    I told you that pot is bad.

  • ||

    Well there is one difference. Ayn Rand wrote some books and never actually killed anyone. Pol Pot exterminated several million people.

  • ||

    Actually, that's precisely what you're saying.

    If the free market didn't fail to provide a job for everyone...we wouldn't need the government to intervene.

    If a job isn't a right, then what does it matter if the free market provides one to everybody or not? And why would you need the gov't to step in?

  • ||

    Government intervention means safety nets like welfare.

  • ||

    Government intervention means safety hammocks like welfare, which ultimately multiply the bad behaviors they profess to mitigate.

    FIFY

  • ||

    Like the bad behavior of not being able to get a job because there are not enough of them for everyone?

  • ||

    Like the bad behavior of not being able to get a job because there are not enough of them for everyone?

    You know, instead of waiting for someone to hand you a job you could get off your ass and make your own. I know, I know, that would be like work and stuff.

  • ||

    How do people without money or collateral start a business?

  • ||

    How do people without money or collateral start a business?

    Do you need me to do your thinking for you too? How about this, I'll pay you $10 to follow me around all day wearing a jester suit.

  • ||

    How about this, I'll pay you $10 to follow me around all day wearing a jester suit.

    This offer is open to everyone BTW. That's $10/day cash guaranteed.

  • ||

    Ask that billionaire chick who started Spanx ten years ago with $5,000 to her name.

  • ||

    Since when did not having your own business make you a charity case?

  • ||

    Borrow a broom or shovel?

  • ||

    There are jobs - nobody wants to do them, though.

  • ||

    There's always a job. It's just that people don't want to work for the pay being offered.

  • ||

    Speaking as someone who was born into welfare and poverty, let me tell you that there are not "government safety nets". They should be more appropriately referred to as poverty nets or as we affectionately referred to them when I was a kid, "roach motels". Poor check in and never check out.

  • ||

    Welfare means that some people have a right to the property of others.

    However that conflicts with the notion of government protecting the right to private property.

    How can government protect the right to private property and at the same time give one person a claim to the property of others?

    It can't.

  • ||

    How would Rand have fared with killers like Bearcoat Miles and Yellow Hair chasing her fat ass up and down the Powder and the Rosebud?

  • ||

    Ayn Rand is not the god of libertarians.

  • ||

    You've had these questions answered before. I've seen it. Why do you keep repeatedly asking?

    A lack of creativity?

  • ||

    That is creativity.

  • ||

    Give it a break, guy. Everyone here already has it memorized. Whitey probably ain't gonna give it back.

  • ||

    The economy would grow if we would simply transfer wealth from the rich to the poor. The increase in consumer spending would increase aggregate demand, causing the economy to grow. This, in turn, generates new revenue. So, it pays for itself. The poor should not have to earn what they spend to live. It's a basic human right, and the reaped rewards in economic growth would allow it to pay for itself. If you do not understand this, then you're too stupid to understand Keynesian economics. Or you're just cruel.

  • ||

    Nice spoof.

  • ||

    Not sure it IS a spoof. All the markers are there: Wealth-envy, feigned concern for the poor, made-up "basic human right", arrogant liberal condescension...

  • ||

    You're right... but exactly the concentrated presence of all of the markers made me believe that it is a spoof. I mean Tony inadvertently spoofing his ilk. :)

  • ||

    Interesting theory.

  • ||

    Didn't we hear this "pays for itself" stuff about the Iraq invasion?

  • ||

    We also got "pay as you go", which was another load of bullshit.

  • ||

    Can you name a single country in the world where the government could provide a job for everyone, other than the USSR ? Check out some of the worst polluted places, they also have the biggest governments. As for your living wage, why should useless shits with no skills, unless you call a sociology degree a useful skill, be paid for doing nothing of value ?

  • ||

    Its not my fault you got a worthless sociology degree, its yours.

  • ||

    And when was the last time we had a truly free market? A time with no special tax breaks, subsidies, paying people to not farm, not work, etc. Please elighten me.

  • ||

    Never.

  • ||

    Black markets are the only free markets

  • ||

  • ||

    Government intervention in the free market is what keeps it from achieving your goals.

  • ||

    If the free market didn't fail to provide a job for everyone, provide a living wage,

    Even if one can concede the free market is responsible for providing those things, how does one deal with people, who through the decisions they make (having children young, failing to educate oneself, foolish managing their money), render themselves to a life of poverty even if the free market provides them ample opportunity otherwise?

  • ||

    ... how does one deal with people...

    This is where you can get creative! If people are having children young, you could provide contraception, start an adoption agency, teach sex education, adopt a baby yourself!

    If people aren't educating themselves you could start a school and teach them, you could form an apprentice program, you could arrange a scholarship, or you could sell them a student loan.

    If people are managing their money foolishly you could become a financial advisor, teach seminars on financial planning, or write a book on managing money.

    The beauty of this is that it doesn't require government action. Also, you can make your own career and some decent money in any of these pursuits.

    See how this works?

  • ||

    "If the free market didn't fail to provide a job for everyone"

    So, you aren't responsible for finding your own job?

    Change your rhetoric, you make it sound like you expect everything to be given to you.

    "Oh, reality isn't going to place a job right in my lap? I'm going to elect the "right" people to government, so government can try to correct reality."

  • ||

    I would like the government to employ me to play PS3 all day, please.

  • ||

    But in the meantime, my mom's looking for a job for me. Hey, why is that guy in Marine dress blues knocking on my door?

  • ||

    We've never actually had a truly free market. By the time the property, commercial, and working rights of women and non-whites were finally recognized as equal to those of white males, there were so many market regulations that even if everyone had equal rights, no one's rights were sufficient to call it a true free market.

  • ||

    I'm reminded of Frank Herbert's Bureau of Sabotage.

    Red tape no longer exists: laws are conceived of, passed, funded, and executed within hours, rather than months. The bureaucratic machinery becomes a juggernaut, rolling over human concerns and welfare with terrible speed, jerking the universe of sentients one way, then another, threatening to destroy everything in a fit of spastic reactions. In short, the speed of government goes beyond sentient control

    Leading to a reaction: BuSab began as a terrorist organization whose sole purpose was to frustrate the workings of government in order to give sentients a chance to reflect upon changes and deal with them. Having saved sentiency from its government.

  • ||

    Great Book. I like the Dosadi experiment even better. When a lawyer lost a case, he was put to death. Nice brake on the frivolous, no?

  • Suki||

    This begs for a DHMO comment.

  • ||

    I'm still waiting for my pony!

  • ||

    Must it be plush?

  • ||

    My real estate just doubled in value! I'm so glad the free market failure stopped!

  • ||

    Out of fear of breaking rules, people stop innovating, trying, helping.

    This is pretty much the main reason why anyone even thinking about starting a small business at this time is out of their mind IMO. Now's not the time to innovate or be creative, it's time to just survive. God that's a depressing thought. Sometime I really hate being so cynical.

  • ||

    You are absolutely correct so I suggest that the ultimate small business would be one that provides the means to circumvent stupid regulations.

  • ||

    ... the ultimate small business would be one that provides the means to circumvent stupid regulations.

    They are called law firms.

  • ||

    Or one on the black market. Pot is pretty lucrative right now.

  • ||

    A wise man once observed "ninety five percent of everything is crap". That certainly applies to government regulation.

  • ||

    Correction to my earlier post. It was Theodor Sturgeon that observed "ninety percent of everything is crap". He maintained that this applies to art, science, politics, and pretty much everything created by man. I suspect he was being optimistic when it comes to politics and politicians.

  • ||

    Seeing his name attached to a law is like orgasm for a politician.

  • ||

    Well at least or society has simpletons writing our laws.

  • ||

    So, based on Stossel's reasoning, Somalia must be a paradise ?

  • ||

    What is this "Somalia"? We've never heard of it.

  • ||

    Yeah, because Somalia has a small set of rules which are enforced over everyone equally.

  • ||

    Then there is all that religious tolerance they got going. Off course all tose uns just fucks it all up.

  • ||

    WTF:
    *all those guns*

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Is it fair that Stossel is on opposite Sidney Crosby's return to the NHL and I can't live blog the show?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stossel, making children cry since 1988.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Dana Perino telling it like it was when Bush went to Congressional Republicans on Social Security reform.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Dubya in his SOTU telling a gloating Congress that entitlements aren't going away.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha, Rostenkowski getting his ass handed to him by the geezer mob.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Charles getting the cold shoulder from Dana after that attack on Medicare Part D.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "I never got hired by a poor person."

    Because it's a nepotism with the poor. Don't even bother submitting an application.

  • ||

    Because they're not as smart or talented?

    People earn their money with hard work most of the time.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why should you pay 50% death tax? Because you didn't hire an estate planner.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Again with the bragging about his golf cart.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Art Laffer just called Barack Obama stupid. Louis CK is going to tweet about Art's vajayjay.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Art sets Stossel up for showing footage of John almost wrapping his free golf cart around a telephone pole.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "The U.S. pays the highest corporate tax rate."

    If the rest of the world jumped off a cliff, John, would you complain that the United States was jumping off a higher cliff?

  • ||

    Actually this does make sense dude.....

    Lol. If the cliff is low enough....

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Zero sum government/citizen game.

  • egoist||

    Right on John! But I wonder if the problem isn't deeper & much more serious: that all of these laws are a product of a concrete-bound (anti-conceptual) culture that has lost the ability to think?

  • ||

    Bravo, John.

    But let's not turn our ire on the men and women we sent to Washington. Let's not blame them for doing what we incentivized them to do.

    The blame lies on all of us.

    Since you shared some great quotes from some great economists, I'd like to add one more:

    “People have a great misconception in this way. They think the way they solve things is by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”

    -- Milton Friedman

  • ||

    This is one thing the Tea Party and Occupy should agree on. The reason there are so many laws is because it is a way to control and exploit the masses, and increases the opportunity for graft and corruption of those who pass the laws. Where the Tea Party and Occupy part ways is in the solution. Occupy apparently wants more laws and government (one would assume that they get to make these news laws so they get to be in charge) while the Tea Party wants more restrictions on the government’s ability to rule over us. I know which one I pick.

  • ||

    Nah, that would be way to simple!
    www.Anon-World.tk

  • ||

    Nah, that would be way to simple!
    www.Anon-World.tk

  • Big Mike||

    I agree entirely. The core, driving problem between US lawmakers and the citizens is that the lawmakers do, entirely, think of themselves as an entirely different group of individuals - "Who watches the watchmen?"

    To confound matters worse, the advent and creation of new laws doesn't curb how people behave... it simply "creates" new outlaws.

    We're slowly, inevitably, as a nation, veering towards a point of either total failure or total revolution *because* of how our country is being run. I can't wait.

  • meh||

    John was so much more interesting when he was with ABC. Now he just comes off sounding so damn whiney all the time.

  • ||

    Disagree he's the coolest guy on Fox news for sure, I love how he fucks with neocons.

    Also his specials that air 3 or 4 times a year are amazing.

  • ||

    Ron Paul sounds like a socialcon compared to this dude. There isn't a mainstream journalist that is more interesting.

  • jason||

    This is very good article you have given here, In today world its so complicated to understand what the law says, we have millions of pages that describe law and the other thing is there are so many kind of branches out there like immigration law, traffic law , criminal law which describe the complications of the legal systems.

  • jason||

    This is the demand of the every complex society and its a better for the society.

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