Should the term "capitalism" be abandoned?

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Bert

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Feb 4, 2012, 10:46:52 AM2/4/12
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Is the term "capitalism" so widely misunderstood that using it
simply causes more problems?

Sheldon Richman writes in "The Freeman"

My main beef with Phelps and Ammous's essay is their use of
capitalism to name the economic system that corporatism
corrupted. Like many others, they believe that word "used to
mean" the free market. To be sure, it was used that way
beginning in the mid-twentieth century. But there was an older
usage (of capitalist specifically), coined by free-market
liberals like Thomas Hodgskin who predated Marx, associating it
with government privileges for the capital-owning class. That
undertone has never left.

and

In sum, the system that most immediately threatens individual
liberty is corporatism (with its militarist component) and the
word capitalism is too closely associated with corporatism in
people's minds to be useful to advocates of the freed market.


http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/capitalism-corporatism-and-the-
freed-market/


--
be...@iphouse.com St. Paul, MN

jts

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Feb 4, 2012, 1:59:38 PM2/4/12
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Simply define 'capitalism' as it is defined in the Ayn Rand Lexicon online.

The conventional definition of 'capitalism' is very bad. It is 'private ownership of the means of production'. Very bad. By this definition, slavery is capitalism. Slavery is private ownership of the means of production, the means of production in this case being slaves.

The correct definition of 'capitalism' is:
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/capitalism.html

If anyone argues against capitalism as above defined, kick the shit out of him. What is he going to do? Is he going to protest that you are violating his rights?

Tomm Carr

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Feb 4, 2012, 5:32:05 PM2/4/12
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On 02/04/2012 11:59 AM, jts wrote:
> The conventional definition of 'capitalism' is very bad. It is 'private
> ownership of the means of production'. Very bad. By this definition,
> slavery is capitalism. Slavery is private ownership of the means of
> production, the means of production in this case being slaves.

Irrelevant. The definition is technically correct but omits details,
including the moral components.

Like a partial definition of /weapon/ could be: something used to kill
someone. There is no distinction between weapons used to commit murder
and weapons used to defend ourselves from murder. That is because there
is no significant difference. The same type of weapon, indeed the same
/weapon/, can be used to do both.

After correctly defining Capitalism, one may then add further
refinements to the definition such as "free market Capitalism," which
could be: Capitalism...

> ... based on the recognition of individual rights.

Which would exclude slavery. But we can't properly define free market
Capitalism if we don't properly define Capitalism. Just like the Left
can never define "fair taxation" until it finally defines "fair."
--
TommCatt
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod;
my shadow does that much better. -- Plutarch

Tomm Carr

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Feb 4, 2012, 5:35:42 PM2/4/12
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On 02/04/2012 08:46 AM, Bert wrote:
> Sheldon Richman writes in "The Freeman"
>
> My main beef with Phelps and Ammous's essay is their use of
> capitalism to name the economic system that corporatism
> corrupted. ...
>
> In sum, the system that most immediately threatens individual
> liberty is corporatism (with its militarist component) and the
> word capitalism is too closely associated with corporatism in
> people's minds to be useful to advocates of the freed market.

Does anyone have any idea what Richman means by "corporatism"?

Floating concepts like that provide no end of opportunities for
intellectual mischief.

--
TommCatt
Why do psychics have to ask you your name?

Jim Klein

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Feb 4, 2012, 9:19:30 PM2/4/12
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On 2/4/2012 5:35 PM, Tomm Carr wrote:

>> In sum, the system that most immediately threatens individual
>> liberty is corporatism (with its militarist component) and the
>> word capitalism is too closely associated with corporatism in
>> people's minds to be useful to advocates of the freed market.
>
> Does anyone have any idea what Richman means by "corporatism"?
>
> Floating concepts like that provide no end of opportunities for
> intellectual mischief.

I didn't read the essay, or even other posts in this thread, but
the paragraph rings alright with me. I'd appeal to at least two
things these days. First is the insanity of "corporate welfare,"
whereby particular companies get earmarked in for ridiculous
competitive advantages.

Then, there's the fact that the sinkhole of money generally ends up
in the accounts of corporations, of which the PTB are the beneficiaries,
often through myriad schemes. This is the way the world actually
works, and how the loot gets to where it's intended. Sure, there
are the public unions and all the various organizations and so on,
but the big money travels through corporations until it lands in
the sick-fuck hands of those running the show. Further, this happens
at all levels, from the federal to the tiniest communities.

Then lastly, though I doubt this was a factor in the essay, there's the
whole problem of shielded liability in the first place. There
may be a zillion "practical reasons" why this supposedly makes
sense, but in the end it's just a centuries-old scam that tries
to pretend something is going on except individual volition and
action. There's not, no matter how complex the organizations may be.

Capitalism OTOH is the recognition of precisely this fact, and is
why it reduces to morality and not just economics IMO. This would
be wholly opposed to the modern "mixed economy" that might fairly
be call "corporatism."


jk

Charles Bell

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Feb 5, 2012, 6:08:41 AM2/5/12
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On Feb 4, 9:19 pm, Jim Klein <rum...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> I didn't read the essay,

Wow! That's shocking.

>
> Then, there's the fact that the sinkhole of money generally ends up
> in the accounts of corporations, of which the PTB are the beneficiaries,
> often through myriad schemes.


On this matter, though, as you have found that there is more for any
living entity than life or death, why would "beneficiaries" or
"victims" be important to you or anyone also aware of the alternative
to life or death?

Charles Bell

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Feb 5, 2012, 7:19:29 AM2/5/12
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On Feb 4, 1:59 pm, jts <story.je...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Simply define 'capitalism' as it is defined in the Ayn Rand Lexicon online.
>
> The conventional definition of 'capitalism' is very bad. It is 'private ownership of the means of production'.

That is really the socialist definition of "capitalism" . The
conventional (tautological) one is: the system of the private
ownership of capital, and government cannot own capital but rather
confiscates it through taxation or expropriation, so that there is
actually no non-private (individual) ownership of capital except in
the form of co-ops or communes within capitalist system, and they can
only exist within a capitalist free-market of price allocation (per
von MIses) or they die out. The possible difficulty of language of
"capitalism" versus "corporatism" is that through corporations,
individuals do not own the capital, too, but rather corporations as
*as if* individuals (corpus = Latin: body) do.


> Very bad. By this definition, slavery is capitalism. Slavery is private ownership of
> the means of production, the means of production in this case being slaves.
>

Yes, that is the reason Marx liked that definition -- which is
incorrect. Moreover, left-liberal and socialists like the definition
because it masks the fact that they *are* socialists because they
claim: "Oh, but we are not for the public ownership of the means of
production (as in Communism).

Corporatism comes from the right (crony capitalist) and from the left
(socialist) as a political have-cake-and-eat-it-too in which prices
can be afixed in a free market of a sort but the number of business
entities are kept to a small number of amenable corporations directed
through regulation and direct law for social purposes. Obamacare is
perfect corporatist fascism in which prices are put on a baseline far
higher than it would be in a capitalist free-market -- to make the
healthcare industry (medicine and insurance companies) happy and their
government sponsers happy as to all the social, not economic, rules
they can thus apply. It is the mafia legalized.

And, I might add, that is why anarchist advocates of gangland utopia
like David Friedman do not object to Obamacare except in the
individual mandate, perhaps, or on the vague angle of "special
interests" -- that is: he is *not* against corporatism as from the
left (as a social utilitarian), but rather he is against it as
something from the right (as a greedy crony).

Judging from this:

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/01/who-is-least-bad-candidate.html

Friedman is still for Obama while possibly leaving himself deniabiity
of "I did not vote for him, even as the the lesser of the evils."

Or still, as always, not for anyone who will never legalize
recreational drugs and hoist the white flag to please the communists
and islamo-facists à la Rothbard and Chomsky and ever other anarchist-
libertarian.

> The correct definition of 'capitalism' is:
> Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights.
>
> http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/capitalism.html
>

That's Rand coming up a word to approximate an entire political
system, and she was mostly wrong in doing that {Politics in one word
[*]} . She defines a fine politcal framework and attaches a word in
English which comes close by means of defining all property in
individual ownership, and uses that word, but that word, far more than
the word "selfishness" for moral egoism, has too many various meanings
and furthermore excludes concepts like "democracy" (versus oligarchy
or anarchy) and "balance of power" (as in federalism) that ought to be
included in some fashion that Rand never does.

In re: Rand versus Milton Friedman

<<The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist
claim that it represents the best way to achieve "the common good." >>

[*] At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication
of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could
present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did
as follows:

Metaphysics Objective Reality
Epistemology Reason
Ethics Self-interest
Politics Capitalism

Charles Bell

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Feb 5, 2012, 7:37:06 AM2/5/12
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Quasi-Corporatism: America's Homegrown Fascism

Freeman
January 1, 2006 | Higgs, Robert

Full-fledged corporatism, as a system for organizing the formulation
and implementation of economic policies, requires the replacement of
political representation according to area of residence by political
representation according to position in the socioeconomic division of
labor. The citizen of a corporate state has a political identity not
as a resident of a particular geographical district but as a member of
a certain occupation, profession, or other economic community. He will
probably be distinguished according to whether he is an employer, an
employee, or self-employed.

One who looks for information about corporatism is frequently referred
to fascism. (In the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences,
for example, the entry for corporatism reads simply, "See Fascism.")
Indeed, the corporatist ideal achieved its fullest historical
expression in Italy under Mussolini's regime. There, workers and
employers were organized into syndicates based on local trades and
occupations. Local syndicates joined in national federations, which
were grouped into worker and employer confederations for broad
economic sectors, such as industry, agriculture, commerce, banking,
and insurance. In 1934 the government made peak associations part of
the apparatus of state, with one corporation for each of 22 economic
sectors. The corporations received authority to regulate economic
activities, to fix the prices of goods and services, and to mediate
labor disputes.

In practice the Italian corporate state operated not as a grand
compromise among economic interest groups but as a collection of
sectoral economic authorities organized and dominated by the
government in the service of the dictatorship's aims. Neither
capitalists nor laborers enjoyed autonomy or private rights defensible
against the fascist regime. (See Mario Einaudi, "Fascism,"
International
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences [New York: Macmillan and The Free
Press, 1968], pp. 334-41.) Other fascist regimes in Europe and Latin
America operated similarly. In light of this experience, one might
judge fascist corporatism to have been something of a fraud. The
appearance of rationalized popular participation in government failed
to mask the dictatorial character of the system.

Not surprisingly, after World War II, fascism became a dirty word and
full-fledged corporatism a discredited program. Nevertheless,
arrangements bearing some similarity to fascism's corporate state
developed in the democratic countries of western Europe, most notably
in Scandinavia, Austria, and the Netherlands, but also to some extent
in other countries. No one describes these arrangements as fascist;
most commonly they are called neocorporatist.

Neocorporatism (also known as liberal, social, or societal
corporatism, sometimes as tripartism) shares with fascist corporatism
the preference for representation according to membership in
functional economic groups rather than according to location. It
disavows, at least rhetorically, fascism's totalitarian aspects and
its suppression of individual civil and political rights.
Neocorporatists support the organization of economic interest groups
and their participation as prime movers in the formulation,
negotiation, adoption, and administration of economic policies backed
by the full power of the government.

Political scientists have concluded correctly that the United States
is not a corporate state-certainly not a corporate state comparable to
modern Sweden or Austria. American interest groups have been too
partial in their membership. Normally the government power they hope
to seize has itself been fragmented, divided at each level among
executive, legislative, and judicial branches and dispersed among the
national, state, and local levels in a federal constitutional system.
Residual allegiance to liberal ideology and its political norms and
practices, including limited government and territorial representation
in the legislature, has also impeded the development of corporatism.
The American economy is vast and complex. To bring it within the
effective control of a few hierarchical, noncompetitive peak
associations, as the fascists tried (or pretended) to do in interwar
Italy, is almost unthinkable. The closest peacetime experiment, under
the National Industrial Recovery Act during 1933-35, did not work and
was collapsing of its own weight when the Supreme Court put an end to
it.

Nevertheless, recent American history has brought forth a multitude of
little corporatisms, arrangements within subsectors, industries, or
other partial jurisdictions. They have drawn on both national and
state government powers. They operate effectively in the defense
sector, in many areas of agriculture; in many professional services,
such as medicine, dentistry, and hospital care; and in a variety of
other areas, such as fishery management and urban redevelopment. These
abundant "iron triangles" normally involve well-organized private-
interest groups; government regulatory, spending, or lending agencies;
and the congressional subcommittees charged with policy oversight or
appropriations. A political economy in which such arrangements
predominate, as they do in the United States, is commonly called
interest-group liberalism or neopluralism. (Elsewhere I have followed
Charlotte Twight in calling it participatory fascism.) But it might
just as well be called disaggregated neocorporatism or quasi-
corporatism.
Under crisis conditions, all the forces normally obstructing the
development of U.S. corporatism diminish. Since the early twentieth
century, in the national emergencies associated with -war, economic
depression, rapid and accelerating inflation, or large-scale labor
disturbances, the national government has responded by adopting
policies that consolidate power at the top and extend the scope of its
authority. With power more concentrated and more actively employed,
the incentive is greater for latent private-interest groups to
organize, increase their membership, suppress their internal disputes,
and demand a voice in policy-making.

Government Sponsorship

Far from resenting such a private coalescence of interests, the
government usually approves, encourages, and sometimes even sponsors
it. In a crisis, swift action is imperative, and the government needs
private interests with whom it can deal quickly while preserving the
legitimacy that comes from giving affected parties a role in policy-
making. When the government is imposing unusual restrictions or
requirements on the citizens, as it always does during major
emergencies, it needs to create the perception, if not the reality,
that these burdens have been accepted-better yet, proposed and chosen-
by those who bear them.

National emergencies create conditions in which government officials
and private special-interest groups have much to gain by striking
political bargains with one another. The government gains the
resources, expertise, and cooperation of the private parties, which
are usually essential for the success of its crisis policies. Private
special-interest groups gain the application of government authority
to enforce compliance with their cartel rules, which is essential to
preclude the free-riding that normally jeopardizes the success of
every arrangement for the provision of collective goods to special-
interest groups. Crisis promotes extended politicization of economic
life, which in turn encourages additional political organization and
bargaining.

In U.S. history, quasi-corporatism has risen and fallen over the
course of national emergencies, but each episode has left legacies,
accretions of corporatism embedded in the part-elitist, part-pluralist
structure of American government. By now these accretions, taking the
form of disaggregated neocorporatist arrangements scattered throughout
the economy, add up to a significant part of the political economy.*
[
Reference]
* The foregoing discussion is drawn from a much longer, fully
documented account in my book Against Leviathan: Government Power and
a Free Society (Oakland, Cal.: The Independent Institute, 2004), pp.
177-200.

[Author Affiliation]
Robert Higgs (rhi...@independent.org) is senior fellow at the
Independent Institute (www.independent.org), editor of The Independent
Review, and author of Resurgence of the Warfare State (Independent
Institute).

Higgs, Robert
Copyright Foundation for Economic Education, Incorporated Jan/Feb 2009

Tomm Carr

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Feb 5, 2012, 10:39:54 PM2/5/12
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On 02/05/2012 05:37 AM, Charles Bell wrote:
> On Feb 4, 5:35 pm, Tomm Carr<tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Does anyone have any idea what Richman means by "corporatism"?
>>
>> Floating concepts like that provide no end of opportunities for
>> intellectual mischief.
> Quasi-Corporatism: America's Homegrown Fascism
>
> Freeman
> January 1, 2006 | Higgs, Robert
> ....

Very good. Thank you.

The founding Fathers separated power and responsibilities in order to
frustrate the concentration of power needed by despots. I don't know if
they knew they were also thwarting the efforts of gaining power through
economic forces, but it works well there too.

One would think that the Left, who claim to be wary of corporate power,
would also be wary of concentration of power within government, since it
is precisely that concentration that is required to enable corporate power.

But intellectual consistency like that is asking for too much, methinks.

--
TommCatt
Idealist: One who upon observing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage concludes that it will also make better soup.

Bert

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Feb 6, 2012, 4:46:09 PM2/6/12
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In news:jgni1u$fa3$1...@vulture.killfile.org Tomm Carr <tomm...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> One would think that the Left, who claim to be wary of corporate
> power, would also be wary of concentration of power within government,
> since it is precisely that concentration that is required to enable
> corporate power.

They expect to be part of the ruling class, while they never dream
of being successful in any business enterprise.

RichD

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Feb 7, 2012, 12:55:59 AM2/7/12
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On Feb 4, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Sheldon Richman writes in "The Freeman"
> > My main beef with Phelps and Ammous's essay is their use of
> >  capitalism to name the economic system that corporatism
> >   corrupted. ...
>
> > In sum, the system that most immediately threatens
> > individual  liberty is corporatism (with its militarist component)
> > and the  word capitalism is too closely associated with
> > corporatism in  people's minds to be useful to advocates
> > of the freed market.
>
> Does anyone have any idea what Richman means by
> "corporatism"?

Corruption; gov't for sale to wealthy businesses.

Which is of course endemic today, in the Soviet
States of America. For instance, GE and its
chairman, Jeff Immelt, and his green energy
'public-private' partnership with Obamarx (straight
outa Atlas Shrugged!). I've heard this leech
called an entrepreneur and capitalist.

> Floating concepts like that provide no end of opportunities for
> intellectual mischief.

True.
But strict definitions are beyond the proles' capability -

--
Rich

RichD

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Feb 7, 2012, 12:56:56 AM2/7/12
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On Feb 4, 7:46 am, Bert <b...@iphouse.com> wrote:
> Is the term "capitalism" so widely misunderstood that using it
> simply causes more problems?

Yes.

Have you folowed the surreal accusations against Romney?

--
Rich

Tom S.

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Feb 8, 2012, 10:11:36 AM2/8/12
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"Bert" <be...@iphouse.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9FF1A069CE8...@88.198.244.100...
They find commerce to be "dirty", but they see statism as noble and moral.

Go figure. It's also a populist notion as well. The "hard working Americans"
as given platitudes by the right-wing media, is a myth. Your typical
American wants to consume like a capitalist, but wants only to work like a
socialist.

Tom S.

(filler)
(filler)
(filler)
(filler)

Charles Bell

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Feb 12, 2012, 6:37:21 PM2/12/12
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On Feb 5, 10:39 pm, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/05/2012 05:37 AM, Charles Bell wrote:
>
> > On Feb 4, 5:35 pm, Tomm Carr<tommc...@gmail.com>  wrote:
> >> Does anyone have any idea what Richman means by "corporatism"?
>
> >> Floating concepts like that provide no end of opportunities for
> >> intellectual mischief.
> > Quasi-Corporatism: America's Homegrown Fascism
>
> > Freeman
> > January 1, 2006 | Higgs, Robert
> > ....
>
> Very good. Thank you.
>
> The founding Fathers separated power and responsibilities in order to
> frustrate the concentration of power needed by despots. I don't know if
> they knew they were also thwarting the efforts of gaining power through
> economic forces, but it works well there too.
>

I revisited this topic recently and it was reinforced upon me that
although Locke was the guiding philosopher behind the DOI, it was
Montesquieu who guided the framing of the Constitution -- in his
balancing of powers theory, and his proposition for federalism: there
being something innately corrupting in a Republic which is too
expansive and populous for a central government.


http://www.constitution.org/cm/sol-02.htm

Book VIII

2. Of the Corruption of the Principles of Democracy.

The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of
equality is extinct, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of
extreme equality, and when each citizen would fain be upon a level
with those whom he has chosen to command him. Then the people,
incapable of bearing the very power they have delegated, want to
manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for
the magistrate, and to decide for the judges.

When this is the case, virtue can no longer subsist in the republic.
The people are desirous of exercising the functions of the
magistrates, who cease to be revered. The deliberations of the senate
are slighted; all respect is then laid aside for the senators, and
consequently for old age. If there is no more respect for old age,
there will be none presently for parents; deference to husbands will
be likewise thrown off, and submission to masters. This licence will
soon become general, and the trouble of command be as fatiguing as
that of obedience . . .


16. Distinctive Properties of a Republic.

It is natural for a republic to have only a small territory; otherwise
it cannot long subsist. In an extensive republic there are men of
large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts
too considerable to be placed in any single subject; he has interests
of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy and glorious,
by oppressing his fellow-citizens; and that he may raise himself to
grandeur on the ruins of his country.

In an extensive republic the public good is sacrificed to a thousand
private views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on
accidents. In a small one, the interest of the public is more obvious,
better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses
have less extent, and of course are less protected . . .

> One would think that the Left, who claim to be wary of corporate power,
> would also be wary of concentration of power within government, since it
> is precisely that concentration that is required to enable corporate power.
>

<< In an extensive republic there are men of large fortunes, and
consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too considerable to
be placed in any single subject; he has interests of his own; he soon
begins to think that he may be happy and glorious, by oppressing his
fellow-citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the
ruins of his country.>>


Consider this bit of common sense the left will not get:

http://www.constitution.org/cm/sol-02.htm

Book XIII

2. That it is bad Reasoning to say that the Greatness of Taxes is good
in its own Nature.

There have been instances in particular monarchies of petty states
exempt from taxes that have been as miserable as the circumjacent
places which groaned under the weight of exactions. The chief reason
of this is, that the petty state can hardly have any such thing as
industry, arts, or manufactures, because of its being subject to a
thousand restraints from the great state by which it is environed. The
great state is blessed with industry, manufactures, and arts, and
establishes laws by which those several advantages are procured. The
petty state becomes, therefore, necessarily poor, let it pay never so
few taxes.

And yet some have concluded from the poverty of those petty states
that in order to render the people industrious they should be loaded
with taxes. But it would be a juster inference, that they ought to pay
no taxes at all. None live here but wretches who retire from the
neighbouring parts to avoid working -- wretches who, disheartened by
labour, make their whole felicity consist in idleness.

The effect of wealth in a country is to inspire every heart with
ambition: that of poverty is to give birth to despair. The former is
excited by labour, the latter is soothed by indolence.

Nature is just to all mankind, and repays them for their industry: she
renders them industrious by annexing rewards in proportion to their
labour. But if an arbitrary prince should attempt to deprive the
people of nature's bounty, they would fall into a disrelish of
industry; and then indolence and inaction must be their only
happiness.

spar...@yahoo.ca

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Feb 15, 2012, 8:53:35 PM2/15/12
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> http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/capitalism-corporatism-a...
> freed-market/
>
> --
> b...@iphouse.com    St. Paul, MN

Like most political terms capitalism has a range of use (much like
liberalism can mean anything from a soft marxist to moderate
conservative with liberal views on social values. To both Russia and
America during the cold war capitalism meant what economists today
typically references as a mixed economy. To some capitalism still
means that. To others minimal government. If one takes Rand's
absolutist definition of capitalism, then no justification on earth
has ever been truly capitalist. One could even argue the US founding
fathers were socialists under that context (since they believed in
both regulation and taxation)

A bit of trivia. While the etymology of the term capitalism is much
older than when it was first popularized, it was actually popularized
by socialists! (who pitting themselves against the "capitalists")

I actually find if kind of interesting how both the moderate left and
right both take credit for our modern economies but using different
terms to describe it (one reason I can't take sides) My own feel for
capitalism is a ethical system dependent on voluntary transactions.
(rather than force which is what government largely represents)
Voluntary is the ideal most of the time. I just think in some
situations two entities may agree to something voluntarily but it
still may be unethical and/or adequately economically harmful enough
to warrant intervention. (e.g. fire safety codes)



spar...@yahoo.ca

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Feb 15, 2012, 9:29:13 PM2/15/12
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On Feb 15, 8:53 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:

" then no justification on earth..."

Pardon. "justification" should read "jurisdiction".

Tomm Carr

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Feb 16, 2012, 11:27:57 PM2/16/12
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On 02/15/2012 06:53 PM, spar...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> Like most political terms capitalism has a range of use (much like
> liberalism can mean anything from a soft marxist to moderate
> conservative with liberal views on social values.

The word Capitalism is a technical term that is fairly open ended. An
economic system where the productive means is privately owned can cover
a wide variety of actual economic systems. In a free society, ownership
implies control, but in other societies that does not hold. The Nazis
left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they just took
control.

Free-Market Capitalism narrows the definition down to not just ownership
but control in the hands of the private sector. It includes not just the
technical aspects of the economic system but the moral as well.

> ... My own feel for
> capitalism is a ethical system dependent on voluntary transactions.

Right. The "Free-Market" part descibes the type of transactions.

> Voluntary is the ideal most of the time. I just think in some
> situations two entities may agree to something voluntarily but it
> still may be unethical and/or adequately economically harmful enough
> to warrant intervention. (e.g. fire safety codes)

Fire safety codes? When you mentioned voluntary but unethical
transactions, the first thing that came to my mind was a man paying a
hit man to kill his wife. The man and the mobster may be willing
participants in the transaction -- the wife certainly is not.

Safety codes are regulations. These have nothing to do with the economic
systems -- one assumes that Socialist economies have safety regulations.

I don't think Capitalism should be abandoned. It carries important
details that are needed to accurately express the economic concept. I
just add Free-Market to include the moral aspects of the definition.

"An economic system in which the means of production are privately owned
and all transactions between buyers and sellers are voluntary." What
other three-word description carries all that detail?

--
TommCatt
The Lord's Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words,
there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government
regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 17, 2012, 2:55:21 AM2/17/12
to
On Feb 16, 11:27 pm, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
For the vast majority of issues I wholeheartedly support voluntary.
All I'm saying is that in some situations it does not suffice. While
someone can voluntary decide to not obey fire safety code albeit their
decision was voluntary it was still unethical (at least in situations
like say a crowded city). The associated risk to others is too great
to overlook. (sort of like waving a gun around).

> I don't think Capitalism should be abandoned. It carries important
> details that are needed to accurately express the economic concept. I
> just add Free-Market to include the moral aspects of the definition.

I'm not sure how to classify myself politically but I do believe in
private property. Their are economic efficiency reasons for it but I
also think without private property an individual would first need to
report to someone else to interact with the world. Private property is
a zone that is our little space in the world where we reign supreme.

Do you consider America a true capitalist country? Or do you
subscribe to a more Randian definition of no taxes, no regulations,
and purely police, courts, military?

Bert

unread,
Feb 18, 2012, 6:00:40 PM2/18/12
to
In news:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.org Tomm Carr <tomm...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
> just took control.

Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?

Tomm Carr

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 12:51:22 AM2/19/12
to
On 02/17/2012 12:55 AM, spar...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> For the vast majority of issues I wholeheartedly support voluntary.
> All I'm saying is that in some situations it does not suffice. While
> someone can voluntary decide to not obey fire safety code albeit their
> decision was voluntary it was still unethical (at least in situations
> like say a crowded city). The associated risk to others is too great
> to overlook. (sort of like waving a gun around).

You've subtly changed the context here. I was speaking of transactions
being voluntary and you are talking about actions being voluntary. A
voluntary transaction means both parties are acting voluntarily. In just
about any "transaction" between two parties where only one is acting
voluntarily, what you have is a crime. Or taxation.

So someone "voluntarily" endangering the life of other people who, one
assumes, do not agree to the endangerment, is not an example of any
economic activity at all.

--
TommCatt
Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Tomm Carr

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 1:03:49 AM2/19/12
to
On 02/18/2012 04:00 PM, Bert wrote:
> In news:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.org Tomm Carr<tomm...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
>> just took control.
>
> Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?

A technical distinction with little or no difference.

Like when the Oboma administration demanded that all employers,
including Catholic-owned organizations, had to provide medical insurance
that covered contraceptives and abortion. In response to a general
outrage, they "pulled back" the requirement: Catholic organizations
didn't have to provide (pay for) those previsions -- but the insurance
companies would have to provide them for free anyway.

A technical distinction with little or no difference.

So, aren't medical insurance companies privately owned? But aren't they
pretty much under total control of the government?
--
TommCatt
If aliens are smart enough to travel through space, why do they keep
abducting the dumbest people on earth?

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 7:00:04 AM2/19/12
to
On Feb 18, 6:00 pm, Bert <b...@iphouse.com> wrote:
> Innews:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.orgTomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
> > just took control.
>
> Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?
>

So you think for one second the fascist lackeys in the medical-care
and insurance industry corporations wrapped up in the packages of
Obamacare and Romneycare don't think they own Obama and Romney and the
suckers born every minute in America? What they *think* -- they think
like the socialist Potroast: there is no reality to government
coercion; it's only a matter of flexible wording -- is the issue on
the word on "capitalism" being in reality barely anything like Rand
would want it to mean, but a lot more like the socialist Potroast
would want it it to mean: free but controlled through coercion.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 7:48:32 AM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 1:03 am, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/18/2012 04:00 PM, Bert wrote:
>
> > Innews:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.orgTomm Carr<tommc...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
>
> >> The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
> >> just took control.
>
> > Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?
>
> A technical distinction with little or no difference.
>
> Like when the Oboma administration demanded that all employers,
> including Catholic-owned organizations, had to provide medical insurance
> that covered contraceptives and abortion. In response to a general
> outrage, they "pulled back" the requirement: Catholic organizations
> didn't have to provide (pay for) those previsions -- but the insurance
> companies would have to provide them for free anyway.
>
> A technical distinction with little or no difference.
>

Supposing that this travesty was anything other than political theatre
played 100% successfully against conservatives while the GOP
pathetically, impotently looked on?

Turn the question on the interference of the government into a
person's body in a limited way (abortion, contraception) into a
complete, universal way of every aspect of everyone's body under
socialized health care and what do conservatives complain about?

First Amendment protection.

Well, I was impressed with Santorum's response. He being the
Catholic, anti-abortion and all that, he still emphasized:

<<Be careful when you have government saying that they can give you
rights, that you have a right to health care, and government's going
to give you something, because once you are now dependant on
government, they, not only can they take that right away, they can
tell you how to exercise that right, and you can either like it or
not. And that's the problem. That's what the Catholic Bishops
Conference didn't get, that there's no free lunch here, folks. If
you're going to give people secular power, then they're going to use
it in a secular fashion. And that's why, you know, I hate to say it,
but you know, you had it coming. And it's time to wake up and realize
that government isn't the answer to the social ills. It's people of
faith, and it's families, and it's communities, and it's charities
that need to do this as it has in America so successfully for so
long.>>

Catholics, libertarians, gays, drug abusers . . . who supported
Obama . . .

You have it coming for you!

This has nothing to do with abortion or contraception or free-speech,
but rather a about nationalist-socialism of directed medical care.

As to Robert Tracinski's (Santorum Delenda Est) preceding down a
typical Objectivist political path (e.g., Peikoff for Kerry in '04):
when in doubt, depise the Christian and go with the religious-cult or
agnostic socialist . . . How's that Arab Spring working out for you,
Bob? No Christians need apply there, too.

Romney's response: "The Obama administration is forcing religious
institutions to choose between violating their conscience dropping
health care coverage for their employees . . . They are now using
Obamacare to impose a secular vision on Americans who believe that
they should not have their religious freedom taken away."

That's right: give the currently predictable "conservative" response,
and play into the left's political theatre deflecting attention away
from socialized health care in any shape manner or form is evil,
whether it is imposed by the federal government or the state of
Massachusetts.

And a woman keeping her knees tightly binding an aspirin between them
does work for contraception.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/in-defense-of-foster-friesss-aspirin-joke/2012/02/17/gIQA6K7XKR_blog.html

[a moderate, a liberal, and a conservative walk into a bar -- and the
bartender says, "Hello, Mitt."]

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 1:26:36 PM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 12:51 am, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/17/2012 12:55 AM, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > For the vast majority of issues I wholeheartedly support voluntary.
> > All I'm saying is that in some situations it does not suffice. While
> > someone can voluntary decide to not obey fire safety code albeit their
> > decision was voluntary it was still unethical (at least in situations
> > like say a crowded city). The associated risk to others is too great
> > to overlook. (sort of like waving a gun around).
>
> You've subtly changed the context here. I was speaking of transactions
> being voluntary and you are talking about actions being voluntary. A
> voluntary transaction means both parties are acting voluntarily. In just
> about any "transaction" between two parties where only one is acting
> voluntarily, what you have is a crime. Or taxation.
>
> So someone "voluntarily" endangering the life of other people who, one
> assumes, do not agree to the endangerment, is not an example of any
> economic activity at all.

I'm just using an example but it can still still apply for
transactions between two parties as well. Lets suppose someone wants
to buy a first floor unit in a 30 story condominium in the middle of a
crowded city and turn it into a gas station. The state has to
interfere to stop the transaction. (since hundreds of families aren't
going to move out because one person moved in and the risk is too
great to others). This to me is the nature of regulation. I don't like
regulation but when associated economic (or physical) risks to others
become too great, one has to support the regulation.

Having said that, this of course doesn't mean every regulation is
rational. I believe in environmental sustainability but there are some
that are self-righteously cultish about it. They confuse good-
intention with good action. A perfect example of this is how extreme
environmental regulations killed off new nuclear development a few
decades ago. Nuclear is a great source of energy that in all
likelihood will be part of humanity's future for the a long time
(until/if some other more advanced insights into physics arise) Its
not just a matter of can we build enough solar and wind to power our
refrigerators. Its also about things like power/weight ratios and
lofty dreams like interplanetary colonization, and not excluding
others ventures where power requirements are high simply because we
shunned developing nuclear further.

It's like some people have a neo-luddite atttiude and wish us all to
live in caves. I've noticed a disproportionate number of
environmentalists are also far leftists. Such sorts seem to manipulate
environmental issues to further political goals rather than the
environment per se.





spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 1:28:51 PM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 7:00 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 18, 6:00 pm, Bert <b...@iphouse.com> wrote:
>
> > Innews:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.orgTommCarr <tommc...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
>
> > > The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
> > > just took control.
>
> > Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?
>
> So you think for one second the fascist lackeys in the medical-care
> and insurance industry corporations wrapped up in the packages of
> Obamacare and Romneycare don't think they own Obama and Romney and the
> suckers born every minute in America?  What they *think* -- they think
> like the socialist Potroast: there is no reality to government
> coercion; it's only a matter of flexible wording -- is the issue on
> the word on "capitalism"  being in reality barely anything like Rand
> would want it to mean, but a lot more like the socialist Potroast
> would want it it to mean: free but controlled through coercion.

I am not a socialist. I've told this many times to you before so its
not like you don't know. The fact you need to depend to
misrepresenting my views only attests to your own fanaticism. Can't
you argue truthfully?

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 1:31:16 PM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 7:00 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 18, 6:00 pm, Bert <b...@iphouse.com> wrote:
>
> > Innews:jhkl0a$e4v$1...@vulture.killfile.orgTommCarr <tommc...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
>
> > > The Nazis left ownership in the hands of private individuals -- they
> > > just took control.
>
> > Who can claim ownership of a thing over which they have no control?
>
> So you think for one second the fascist lackeys in the medical-care
> and insurance industry corporations wrapped up in the packages of
> Obamacare and Romneycare don't think they own Obama and Romney and the
> suckers born every minute in America?  What they *think* -- they think
> like the socialist Potroast: there is no reality to government
> coercion; it's only a matter of flexible wording -- is the issue on
> the word on "capitalism"  being in reality barely anything like Rand
> would want it to mean, but a lot more like the socialist Potroast
> would want it it to mean: free but controlled through coercion.

Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
of your random choosing? You need to try listening to other people say
once and awhile rather than resorting to sophistry and demagoguery.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 2:46:02 PM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 7:00 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

" there is no reality to government coercion; it's only a matter of
flexible wording"

This is a perfect example of how you misrepresent the views of others
(or possibly delude yourself). I never claimed there is no such thing
as government coercion. Claiming I did is a lie. Why would you have to
resort to lying? Can't you argue on the merits of what you have to say
alone? Do you grasp that constantly lying makes you sound like a
SOPHIST rather than an Oist?

Your problem is you don't understand that just because you personally
claim some particular act as coercion it doesn't actually make it so.
The American court system itself (i.e. your own country) would
ridicule some of your views on what constitutes a particular act of
coercion. In so doing, you defacto are sometimes encouraging coercion
against others.

The reason why you have this fundamental comprehension problem is
because you stubbornly believe (to your own detriment) that you own
definitions and conceptualizations of terms are indisputably the best
out there. This not only prevents you from pressing forward into new
areas of thought but it completely locks you out of having civil
debates with those who have a different feel for terms. Instead you
rant "socialist" and "fascist" to those that disagree with you on some
point until those terms are diluted to mean nearly nothing at all. In
so doing, frankly YOU sometime sound like a fascist. You claim to be
against coercion but you are oh-so-quick to support wholesale
slaughtering other human beings. (unlike Klein, Mark, or Friedman) You
even claim to be pro-reason and support Rand, yet Rand certainly did
not support mixing state and religion as you seem to prefer.

If you already know all the answers why do you bother debating at all
Charles? Why are you here? Altruism to enlighten all us little folk?

Tomm Carr

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 5:00:23 PM2/19/12
to
On 02/19/2012 11:26 AM, spar...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> I'm just using an example but it can still still apply for
> transactions between two parties as well. Lets suppose someone wants
> to buy a first floor unit in a 30 story condominium in the middle of a
> crowded city and turn it into a gas station.

If you want to use a hypothetical situation to illustrate your point, it
has to, you know, adhere to a couple of simple rules. It must be 1)
reasonable and 2) relate to the point under discussion.

1) Reasonable. A hypothetical situation is a scenario that, while not
necessarily based on an actual event in its particulars, could very well
be a generalized summation of one or more actual events "with names
changed", so to speak, to protect the guilty -- or the innocent -- or
anyone involved at all.

Are there any actual incidents where someone has bought up the first
floor of a condominium and tried to convert into something like a gas
station? Even in Houston, Texas, where there are no zoning restrictions,
has anything similar occurred?

2) Related. Is this an example of a free-market (voluntary) transaction
gone bad? No, this is yet another attempt to substitute a non-voluntary
(or in this case fraudulent) transaction for a free-market transaction.

> The state has to
> interfere to stop the transaction.

Why? Even assuming that the seller of the property was informed of the
buyer's intent to open a gas station and found that no impediment to the
sale, why /must/ the state interfere to stop the transaction? Because
/you/ disapprove? Oh, wait, you give reasons...

> (since hundreds of families aren't
> going to move out because one person moved in and the risk is too
> great to others).

What??? The hundreds of families aren't going to move out? Why not?
Because they don't think the problem is worth the effort of moving?
Well, if so, then that is their decision to make, isn't it? But if the
risk is as great as you allude, then why wouldn't they move?

It would be precisely the risk of losing existing and potential
customers that would prevent the condominium owner from agreeing to such
a sale.

The reasons you give are not really all that coherent and certainly
don't answer the question of why the state "has to interfere."

> This to me is the nature of regulation.

Well, yes, you are correct here. The nature of regulation is this:
If people are given the freedom to make their own decisions, there is
the possibility, no matter how slight, they may do something with which
I or others like me disagree.

> I don't like
> regulation

Oh, I think you have shown quite the reverse.

> but when associated economic (or physical) risks to others
> become too great, one has to support the regulation.

Since you cannot convince many people of the importance of regulation
with cries of "This way lies great inconvenience for me," then you
resort to cries of "This way lies great danger to us all."

But once we dig through all the wild-assed hypotheticals and overblown
hyperbole, there is actually very little real danger there. And where
real danger does exist, existing laws already handle it quite efficiently.

There are two really key problems with regulation. One is "regulatory
capture," a heavily documented phenomenon but not one that fits into
this particular discussion. The other, for want of a better description,
might be called "regulatory creep." This is also heavily documented and
comes from the fact that the scope of the regulatory agency is open
ended -- and becomes more so with passage of time.

There are many reasons why that happens but a couple of very obvious
reasons are:

1) There are few realistic metrics to measure success of any government
agency. The two most commonly used metrics are amount of money spent and
number of regulations enacted. There is never a point where they say
"Enough. We have all the regulations necessary. Now all we have to do is
enforce them and everything will work as well as can be expected." They
sit around all day playing "what ifs," like you did above, and when they
hit on one that could justify a new regulation, it's high fives all
around and congratulations on a job well done.

2) Regulators like having power. And if power is good, more is better.
You may not relate to that. Maybe you have no desire to control other
people. Many of us don't. But those people exist and the most ambitious
of them become the heads of government regulatory agencies. This
mind-set was best expressed by Marthe Kent, then director of OSHA's
Safety Standards Program, in early 2000:

"I like having a very direct and very powerful impact on worker safety
and health. If you put out a reg, it matters. I think that's really
where the thrill comes from. And it is a thrill; it's a high... I love
it; I absolutely love it. I was born to regulate. I don't know why,
but that's very true. So as long as I'm regulating, I'm happy."

Oh yeah. These people need all the power over our lives we can give them.
--
TommCatt
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
without accepting it. -- Aristotle

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 2012, 6:19:46 PM2/19/12
to
On Feb 19, 5:00 pm, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/19/2012 11:26 AM, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
>
>
> > I'm just using an example but it can still still apply for
> > transactions between two parties as well. Lets suppose someone wants
> > to buy a first floor unit in a 30 story condominium in the middle of a
> > crowded city and turn it into a gas station.
>
> If you want to use a hypothetical situation to illustrate your point, it
> has to, you know, adhere to a couple of simple rules. It must be 1)
> reasonable and 2) relate to the point under discussion.
>
> 1) Reasonable. A hypothetical situation is a scenario that, while not
> necessarily based on an actual event in its particulars, could very well
> be a generalized summation of one or more actual events "with names
> changed", so to speak, to protect the guilty -- or the innocent -- or
> anyone involved at all.
>
> Are there any actual incidents where someone has bought up the first
> floor of a condominium and tried to convert into something like a gas
> station? Even in Houston, Texas, where there are no zoning restrictions,
> has anything similar occurred?

You make a good point about Houston. It's the exception but even an
exception is an example. Its valid criticism that my theoretical
example might not be be the best one (although. That said, I would
point out while it doesn't technically have zoning restrictions,
Houston still does have plenty of other city, state, and federal fire
regulations that don't actually invalidate the gest of my point about
associated risk (not to mention Houston has a publicly funded fire
department). Someone couldn't just buy property and do whatever they
want with it even in Houston. As far as a know there are no big cities
in the world that allow completely unregulated ownership of property.
(although feel free to point one out if you know of one)

> > This to me is the nature of regulation.
>
> Well, yes, you are correct here. The nature of regulation is this:
> If people are given the freedom to make their own decisions, there is
> the possibility, no matter how slight, they may do something with which
> I or others like me disagree.

That's not what I said. Sometimes regulation can be about trying to
control others but (at least for me) its about security. If person x
does me no harm, heck they can juggle C4 and nitro if they want. They
just can't do it near my home.

> > I don't like
> > regulation
>
> Oh, I think you have shown quite the reverse.

Putting more words in my mouth is unfair. If you want to debate some
point I'm kosher with that. You seem like a smart articulate fellow.
If you want substitute me with some stereotype and turn the discussion
into moralistic finger pointing like Charles constantly does than I'm
not going to continue further. (I enjoy occasionally chatting with you
so I'm hoping you don't)

I don't like regulation. Who wants to be told what to do by someone
else? However I can understand the sometimes need for it because some
people won't use common sense.

> There are two really key problems with regulation. One is "regulatory
> capture," a heavily documented phenomenon but not one that fits into
> this particular discussion. The other, for want of a better description,
> might be called "regulatory creep." This is also heavily documented and
> comes from the fact that the scope of the regulatory agency is open
> ended -- and becomes more so with passage of time.

We may have a different feel for how much regulation is necessary but
I agree regulations can get out of control. Some regulations are
harmful rather than helpful

> There are many reasons why that happens but a couple of very obvious
> reasons are:
>
> 1) There are few realistic metrics to measure success of any government
> agency. The two most commonly used metrics are amount of money spent and
> number of regulations enacted. There is never a point where they say
> "Enough. We have all the regulations necessary. Now all we have to do is
> enforce them and everything will work as well as can be expected." They
> sit around all day playing "what ifs," like you did above, and when they
> hit on one that could justify a new regulation, it's high fives all
> around and congratulations on a job well done.

That can indeed happen but then again some regulations do appear to
help situations. Back to fire safety codes. Not every fire safety code
in every jurisdiction in the world is necessarily worth keeping or
necessarily optimized but over all they do appear to save lives. To
completely remove them would likely lead to many premature deaths (at
least in crowded cities). Various electronics, materials, furniture,
children's toys, heating/cooling system, even the building you are in.
(assuming you live in a big city), etc.. considered fire safety.

With the case of electronics fire safety, it isn't only ad-hoc
subjective analysis. Many rules are formed based on known physics. For
instance, you don't want too many amps feeding some component on your
computer that will overheat and start a fire burning down your home.
Someone can't "voluntarily" sell you a faulty component that sets fire
to your house and be free of moral and legal culpability just because
they "promised" to you it would work. You paid for equipment that you
expected accounted for known physics not empty assurances (which would
amount to fraud)

We could avoid having some sort of fire safety review process for
electronic devices but the price of that would be more fires. Of
course if you can think of a purely free enterprise alternative that
also works, then the need for the regulation would disappear. (just in
case you think I'm arguing some particular regulation is some sort of
sacred cow)

> Oh yeah. These people need all the power over our lives we can give them.
> --
> TommCatt

I agree too much centralized power is a bad idea. Where we might
currently have a different feel for things is that I see both too much
power in government and too much accumulated corporate power as a bad
thing. I prefer meritocracy over aristocracy.

> It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

Good quote. Shows you have an open mind.

Tomm Carr

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 12:16:44 AM2/20/12
to
On 02/19/2012 04:19 PM, spar...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> That said, I would
> point out while it doesn't technically have zoning restrictions,
> Houston still does have plenty of other city, state, and federal fire
> regulations that don't actually invalidate the gest of my point about
> associated risk

I doubt even Houston has federal fire regulations. ;)

> Someone couldn't just buy property and do whatever they
> want with it even in Houston. As far as a know there are no big cities
> in the world that allow completely unregulated ownership of property.
> (although feel free to point one out if you know of one)

I think most of what you refer to is the law rather than regulation.

>> Well, yes, you are correct here. The nature of regulation is this:
>> If people are given the freedom to make their own decisions, there is
>> the possibility, no matter how slight, they may do something with which
>> I or others like me disagree.
>
> That's not what I said.

No, it's not. It's not what anybody says about regulation. They always
say that a few simple regulations are necessary for protecting the
public. But where are the examples of regulations that have started
simple and remained simple? And where are the examples of where
regulations have actually protected someone?

Oh sure. There are some. I guess. But there are AN AWFUL LOT OF
REGULATIONS!!! We should be elbow deep in examples of regulations
actually protecting someone.

Did regulations protect anyone from Madoff? The SEC (the regulatory
agency responsible for "protecting" investors) not only didn't notice
him on their own -- he was pointed out to them on /four separate
occasions/ and ignored every one.

Did the SEC loose any money over this? Did anyone get fired? Did anyone
even get called on the carpet?

Yeah. Right. So why does anyone expect any regulatory agency to do
anything at all meaningful?

> Sometimes regulation can be about trying to
> control others but (at least for me) its about security. If person x
> does me no harm, heck they can juggle C4 and nitro if they want. They
> just can't do it near my home.

No they can't. But it is the /law/ that stops them, not regulations. If
you see someone outside your home juggling some C4 and nitro, are you
going to call the police or some regulatory agency? And if you call
both, who is actually going to do something about it?

>>> I don't like
>>> regulation
>>
>> Oh, I think you have shown quite the reverse.
>
> Putting more words in my mouth is unfair.

No, I put words in your mouth a few paragraphs above. Not here. You've
made a defense of regulations and supplied nothing but vague,
insubstantial reasons why they are necessary. If you really don't like
regulations, why don't you, like me, demand more substantive reasons for
the existence of regulations and some real-world examples of how they
have been beneficial?

> We may have a different feel for how much regulation is necessary but
> I agree regulations can get out of control. Some regulations are
> harmful rather than helpful

Make two lists. Harmful and helpful. See just how quickly you run out of
anything to add to the "Helpful" side.

> Various electronics, materials, furniture,
> children's toys, heating/cooling system, even the building you are in.
> (assuming you live in a big city), etc.. considered fire safety.

Well, let's take, oh, toys for example. A few years ago, some toys were
pulled from the market for safety concerns. Overwhelmingly, these toys
were produced by Mattel or Fisher Price (a Mattel subsidiary) and
manufactured in China. In 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product
Safely Improvement Act. This required, among other restrictions, that
toys, clothing and jewelry for children would have to undergo extensive
(and expensive) third-party testing. There were no exceptions for small
toy makers or for toys that were being made in the same way and of the
same materials as they had for many years.

Just before the new regulations went into effect, Mattel was granted
approval to use their own, in-house testing facilities.

So, to sum up: There had been a rash of toys manufactured in China and
imported by Mattel that were found to be unsafe. So Congress enacts a
law requiring /all/ toys, domestic and imported, to go through
extensive, third-party safety testing...

...from which Mattel is exempt.

Yeah. I think that quite accurately sums it up.

If this was a exceptional example of the utter and complete regulatory
incompetence that it is, it would be in the news nightly with updates of
the Congressional hearings taking place.

But it was hardly even noticed. Because it's not really an exceptional
example. It's just more of the same.

We should feel more safe...why, exactly?

Want more examples? Sure, say when. They are not at all difficult to
find. Look as I may, though, I can't seem to uncover examples of
regulations that have, oh, /worked/.

I can find plenty of examples of /laws/ that have made us more safe (not
to say there weren't also plenty of examples that went the other way).
Just not regulations.

--
TommCatt
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In
practice, there is.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 4:06:23 AM2/20/12
to
On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> of your random choosing?

I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
distinctions in political labels.

> You need to try listening to other people say
> once and awhile rather than resorting to sophistry and demagoguery.

What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
such thing -- makes you a socialist (at least).


[*] "True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism." "They cut
their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within." -
Saul Alinksy, Rules for Radicals

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 4:16:56 AM2/20/12
to
On Feb 19, 2:46 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 19, 7:00 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> " there is no reality to government coercion; it's only a matter of
> flexible wording"
>
> This is a perfect example of how you misrepresent the views of others

No. That is clearly your stated view.


> (or possibly delude yourself). I never claimed there is no such thing
> as government coercion.

You claimed there is no such thing as government coercion, when there
is government coercion. For example, a law which coerces that an
employer must choose his employees by any criteria other than that of
his own desire is government coercion, and yet you say that it is not.

> The American court system itself (i.e. your own country) would
> ridicule some of your views on what constitutes a particular act of
> coercion. In so doing, you defacto are sometimes encouraging coercion
> against others.
>

There are some coercive particulars of the criminal-justice system
that I recognize as an unavoidable form of government coercion that
can be counted on one hand: jury dury, holding a material witness,
jailing a person in contempt of court, but these are "coercive"
nevertheless, and not something else. Other than that, reference to
"ridiculing some of my views" -- lacking any detail as to *what* might
be ridiculed in *what* is coercive -- is typical of your empty,
dissembling rhetoric.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 4:31:35 AM2/20/12
to
On Feb 20, 12:16 am, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/19/2012 04:19 PM, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > That said, I would
> > point out while it doesn't technically have zoning restrictions,
> > Houston still does have plenty of other city, state, and federal fire
> > regulations that don't actually invalidate the gest of my point about
> > associated risk
>
> I doubt even Houston has federal fire regulations. ;)

Fire safety isn't only about zoning and local building codes. Like
Canada, US federal fire safety related regulations exist in all sorts
of products too. As far as I know some sort of OSHA federally
recognized NRTL certification is still typically required to sell
certain kinds of electronics in the US (e.g. TVs) I'm not sure if all
jurisdictions actually enforce certification but I believe it's
legislated in most states thus companies that mass produce virtually
always look to NRTL certify their products. Whether some jurisdiction
didn't mandate the certification is a rather moot point point as they
received the benefit of the added check from elsewhere any how.


> > Someone couldn't just buy property and do whatever they
> > want with it even in Houston. As far as a know there are no big cities
> > in the world that allow completely unregulated ownership of property.
> > (although feel free to point one out if you know of one)
>
> I think most of what you refer to is the law rather than regulation.

What do you see as the distinction between law and regulation?

> >> Well, yes, you are correct here. The nature of regulation is this:
> >> If people are given the freedom to make their own decisions, there is
> >> the possibility, no matter how slight, they may do something with which
> >> I or others like me disagree.
>
> > That's not what I said.
>
> No, it's not. It's not what anybody says about regulation. They always
> say that a few simple regulations are necessary for protecting the
> public.
> But where are the examples of regulations that have started
> simple and remained simple? And where are the examples of where
> regulations have actually protected someone?

I've already agree that regulations can get out of hand. Don't blame
me for that!

> Oh sure. There are some. I guess. But there are AN AWFUL LOT OF
> REGULATIONS!!! We should be elbow deep in examples of regulations
> actually protecting someone.
>
> Did regulations protect anyone from Madoff? The SEC (the regulatory
> agency responsible for "protecting" investors) not only didn't notice
> him on their own -- he was pointed out to them on /four separate
> occasions/ and ignored every one.

Others had argued underfunding the SEC was the to blame. When someone
scams billions of dollars I have to lean towards inadequate oversight.
That said, somebody needs to figure out a way to help us from
government scams! A watcher for the watchers.

Canada just introduced a bill into parliament that would potentially
allow the federal government to monitor all our internet
communications and track us by telephone without a warrant. One
supporter of bill even argued that you are either with us or the child
pornographers. Not only is such a bill outrageous but the very fact
any MP would even seriously consider introducing such an absurd bill
should be grounds for expulsion from ever holding office again.

> Did the SEC loose any money over this? Did anyone get fired? Did anyone
> even get called on the carpet?
>
> Yeah. Right. So why does anyone expect any regulatory agency to do
> anything at all meaningful?
>
> > Sometimes regulation can be about trying to
> > control others but (at least for me) its about security. If person x
> > does me no harm, heck they can juggle C4 and nitro if they want. They
> > just can't do it near my home.
>
> No they can't. But it is the /law/ that stops them, not regulations. If
> you see someone outside your home juggling some C4 and nitro, are you
> going to call the police or some regulatory agency? And if you call
> both, who is actually going to do something about it?

Ok. Another poor example on my part. How about I think I got sick and
think it might be because I ate something with Salmonella. What's the
police going to do? They simply aren't qualified to deal with the
situation. They're experts in force not biology.

> >>> I don't like
> >>> regulation
>
> >> Oh, I think you have shown quite the reverse.
>
> > Putting more words in my mouth is unfair.
>
> No, I put words in your mouth a few paragraphs above. Not here. You've
> made a defense of regulations and supplied nothing but vague,
> insubstantial reasons why they are necessary.
If you really don't like
> regulations, why don't you, like me, demand more substantive reasons for
> the existence of regulations and some real-world examples of how they
> have been beneficial?

You should hear what posters on far left forums say about me. To some
of them I'm a right wing extremist for arguing for less deregulation
and taxation. As for the real world (i.e. during elections) I'm a
swing . I have some principles but they don't quite conform to any
ideology I'm familiar with and I'm always adjusting as I learn new
things. Hard to explain my views in a few short sentences with no
reference to point to. I've been influenced by both right and left
ideology but at the same time their are aspects of both I don't like
(perhaps because of my own ignorance)

Back to fire safety codes...

Fire safety related codes are a real world application. If you want a
precise example, the monitor in front of me must be CSA approved (or
recognized equivalent) to be sold in Canada like any other electronic
equipment. This is to help prevent my house from being burned down.
I'm fairly certain the same sort of thing happens in the US as well.
(including Houston :)
I agree many regulations are useless. Are you an absolutist about it
thought? I asked this before but I can't recall if you answered. Do
you support Rand's view of capitalism of no regulations, no taxes, and
just police, court and military? And if so, how would that minimalist
government be funded without taxation?

> But it was hardly even noticed. Because it's not really an exceptional
> example. It's just more of the same.
>
> We should feel more safe...why, exactly?

As a programmer surrounded by computer related equipment all day I
feel safer knowing that its been regulatory approved. It's not perfect
but having another set of eyes review equipment reduces chances of a
problem. There is a very real fire risks in my working environment.

Going back to my views, I am perfectly fine with a free enterprise
alternative to achieving the same ends in a non-regulatory manner
(provided it works and around the same cost).

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 3:11:35 PM2/20/12
to
On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > of your random choosing?
>
> I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> distinctions in political labels.

You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter). I live in Canada not Texas.
There is no stigma with supporting socialism up here. We currently
have socialist NDP as official opposition party. Someone being a
leftist in multicultural Canada is the norm not the exception. We have
four major left parties and only one right (that only wins between the
leftists keep splitting the vote). And even then right for Canada is a
relative thing. Few of our conservatives argue for dismantling
universal healthcare. I'm not a socialist anymore than I am an Oist.
Just because I am not x does not automatically make me y. Just
because I don't like some aspect of x or y doesn't mean I don't like
some aspects of x and y. Just because I like part of x or y belief
today doesn't mean I might not change my mind to belief z tomorrow.

Perhaps because you live in two party system you've come to see
things in terms of pure polarities but the world is much richer than
two schools of thought. You may think you have life all figured out
but I sure don't. One thing I do know though is the sort of
demagoguery you often resort to is the often the tool of tyrants.

> > You need to try listening to other people say
> > once and awhile rather than resorting to sophistry and demagoguery.
>
> What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
> such thing --  makes you a socialist (at least).

Another straw man. I believe the exact opposite. I already said I do
believe in objective coercion. I just don't necessarily believe in
subjective opinions by you (or anyone else) that some particular act
necessarily amounts to coercion. Life is more complicated than your
personal opinions/definitions of some concept (or mine).

Since I've already corrected you in the past on the gross
misrepresentation of my views, yet you keep repeating the same straw
man arguments, it encourages a conclusion you prefer to demonize those
you debate with rather than argue honestly with an open mind.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 3:35:08 PM2/20/12
to
On Feb 20, 4:16 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 19, 2:46 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Feb 19, 7:00 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > " there is no reality to government coercion; it's only a matter of
> > flexible wording"
>
> > This is a perfect example of how you misrepresent the views of others
>
> No. That is clearly your stated view.

Not true. Show me where.

> > (or possibly delude yourself). I never claimed there is no such thing
> > as government coercion.
>
> You claimed there is no such thing as government coercion, when there
> is government coercion.

Not true. Show me where.

 For example, a law which coerces that an
> employer must choose his employees by any criteria other than that of
> his own desire is government coercion, and yet you say that it is not.

IT IS YOU THAT CLAIMS IT AS COERCION. Others do not define it as
coercion. Your problem is you don't grasp your conceptualization of
terms like coercion aren't the only ones out there. Your whole
philosophical outlook hinges on your complete ownership of the term to
turn yourself into a "victim" thus morally justify all your actions
under the guise of "self-defense". However coercion isn't only about
your subjective theories on it. Its much more complicated than
moralistic one liners you subscribe to. This is why we have courts
rather than just immediately jail alleged criminals.

> > The American court system itself (i.e. your own country) would
> > ridicule some of your views on what constitutes a particular act of
> > coercion. In so doing, you defacto are sometimes encouraging coercion
> > against others.
>
> There are some coercive particulars of the criminal-justice system
> that I recognize as an unavoidable form of government coercion that
> can be counted on one hand: jury dury, holding a material witness,
> jailing a person in contempt of court, but these are "coercive"
> nevertheless, and not something else.

A good example how you fail to understand (or don't want to
understand) other conceptualizations exist. Force is not a synonym for
coercion else we would all just use the word force. Party x might
punch party y in the face unprovoked If party y uses force back it is
not typically referenced as an act of coercion. It's self-defense.
Party x is being coercive not party y. Trying to make it sound like
they are both equally coercive by using coercion as somehow a synonym
for force is moral relativism...a negation of ethics. I-wanted-the-
world-to-be-a-certain-way-and-I-didn't-get-it isn't a synonym for I-am-
a-victim-of-coercion.



Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 22, 2012, 7:14:16 PM2/22/12
to
On Feb 20, 3:11 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > > of your random choosing?
>
> > I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> > socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> > or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> > distinctions in political labels.
>
> You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
> claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter).

This year as well as 2008 Friedman has chosen Obama as the better of
all the choices.

>  I live in Canada not Texas.
> There is no stigma with supporting socialism up here.

Exactly so, so why do you lie?

> > What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
> > such thing --  makes you a socialist (at least).
>
> Another straw man. I believe the exact opposite.

You have stated entirely as I have charactrerized (see below)

>
> I already said I do
> believe in objective coercion.

No, you didn't, and no, you don't.

You claimed that government which forces an employer to hire an
employee according to any criteria other than entirely of his own
choosing is just fine -- that that is not (objective) coercion
(somehow).

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 22, 2012, 7:18:53 PM2/22/12
to
On Feb 20, 3:35 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 20, 4:16 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > You claimed there is no such thing as government coercion, when there
> > is government coercion.
>
> Not true. Show me where.
>
>  For example, a law which coerces that an
>
> > employer must choose his employees by any criteria other than that of
> > his own desire is government coercion, and yet you say that it is not.
>
> IT IS YOU THAT CLAIMS IT AS COERCION. Others do not define it as
> coercion.

The "others" being lying socialists just like you. Somehow, forcing
one to do as he otherwise would not do is not "coercion".

> However coercion isn't only about
> your subjective theories on it.

Somehow, forcing one to do as he otherwise would not do is a
"subjective theory".


x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 22, 2012, 9:33:16 PM2/22/12
to
On Feb 22, 7:14 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 20, 3:11 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > > > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > > > of your random choosing?
>
> > > I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> > > socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> > > or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> > > distinctions in political labels.
>
> > You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
> > claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter).
>
> This year as well as 2008 Friedman has chosen Obama as the better of
> all the choices.

During WW2 the allies aligned with Stalin. Did this make them
communist and Stalin supporters?

> >   I live in Canada not Texas.
> > There is no stigma with supporting socialism up here.
>
> Exactly so, so why do you lie?

You are the liar. I support a non-existent private healthcare option
in Canada as a well as public. I support all sorts of deregulation and
less taxation in my homeland. I argue all the time with actual
socialists you Neanderthal. They laughably call me a rightwing
extremists just like you laughable call me a socialist. Your nightly
rants against "the man" trying to get others to support your "team"
remind me very much of socialists actually. You are both spear
chucking collectivists. Slandering and demagoguery through hyperbole
is your argumentative technique.

> > > What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
> > > such thing --  makes you a socialist (at least).
>
> > Another straw man. I believe the exact opposite.
>
> You have stated entirely as I have charactrerized (see below)

Pure manipulator. What you have "characterized below" isn't me
claiming that there is no such thing as objective coercion. I've
already said I believe in objective coercion. You apparently can't
seem to grasp that your subjective opinions on the matter don;'t
necessary always qualify as objective.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 22, 2012, 9:50:00 PM2/22/12
to
On Feb 22, 7:18 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 20, 3:35 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Feb 20, 4:16 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > You claimed there is no such thing as government coercion, when there
> > > is government coercion.
>
> > Not true. Show me where.
>
> >  For example, a law which coerces that an
>
> > > employer must choose his employees by any criteria other than that of
> > > his own desire is government coercion, and yet you say that it is not.
>
> > IT IS YOU THAT CLAIMS IT AS COERCION. Others do not define it as
> > coercion.
>
> The "others" being lying socialists just like you.  Somehow, forcing
> one to do as he otherwise would not do is not "coercion".

A serial killer would not otherwise want to be put in jail. Are you
claiming serial killers are the victims of coercion when police insist
on putting them in jail?

And I an play the same slandering game too. Can you debate honestly or
should I start referencing you as Nazi for your views in support of
mass murdering a religious group?

> > However coercion isn't only about
> > your subjective theories on it.
>
> Somehow, forcing one to do as he otherwise would not do is a
> "subjective theory".

Your conceptualization is subjective. Their are plenty of other
conceptualizations of coercion out there. You just selectively chose
your own, apply it in your own ad-hoc manner, while ignoring all the
others conceptualizations. That is subjective not objective. You have
done nothing to "prove" how your are correct in your view. All you do
is assert it.

From my perspective to determine an act of coercion one first has to
determine who is the victim and who is the perp. This is not always so
easy as you attempt to make it.



Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 23, 2012, 6:36:25 AM2/23/12
to
On Feb 22, 9:33 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 22, 7:14 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 20, 3:11 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > > > > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > > > > of your random choosing?
>
> > > > I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> > > > socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> > > > or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> > > > distinctions in political labels.
>
> > > You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
> > > claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter).
>
> > This year as well as 2008 Friedman has chosen Obama as the better of
> > all the choices.
>
> During WW2 the allies aligned with Stalin. Did this make them
> communist and Stalin supporters?
>
I agree with the comparison of Obama and Friedman to Hitler and
Stalin, or rather two collectivists of different stripes and methods.


> > >   I live in Canada not Texas.
> > > There is no stigma with supporting socialism up here.
>
> > Exactly so, so why do you lie?
>
> You are the liar.   I support a non-existent private healthcare option
> in Canada as a well as public

Yes, that makes you a socialist. When welfare-state liberalism
transforms into government control of private capital, that is
socialism of a fascist kind. One can rightfully claim that the health
care industry has been controlled through state regulation of
insurance in a way that there has long been no free market in that
insurance industry, but when that regulatory control reaches a
national level and the coercion is such that giving up nationality is
the only way out, that is nationalist-socialist coercion. For
example, if there is no means by which one can operate in the
healhcare market as a provider (of insurance or of the medical
practice itself) so that abortion and contraception are not dispensed
to all on the mere demand under penalty of law, that is socialism. A
product forcibly produced and/or a particular product forcibly
consumed is socialism, whether the means is by government ownership of
the capital or government coercion of private capital.


> > > > What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
> > > > such thing --  makes you a socialist (at least).
>
> > > Another straw man. I believe the exact opposite.
>
> > You have stated entirely as I have charactrerized (see below)
>
> Pure manipulator. What you have "characterized below" isn't me
> claiming that there is no such thing as objective coercion

Yes, you claim that an employer being coerced into hiring practices
not of his choosing is *not* coercion while also refusing to explain
how that is, other than to say the the meaning of being forced into
doing something one would otherwise would not do is not coercion.

> I've
> already said I believe in objective coercion.

A concept which, in your opinion, cannot be singularly defined by a
word or phrase is not "objective." Being forced to do as one
otherwise would not do is not as you define "coercion" because you
have no objective definition of that concept in a word, or believe
there ought to be one or can be one.


>You apparently can't
> seem to grasp that your subjective opinions on the matter don;'t
> necessary always qualify as objective.
>

A concept which, in your opinion, cannot be singularly defined by a
word or phrase is not "objective." Being forced to do as one
otherwise would not do is not as you define "coercion" because you
have no objective definition of that concept in a word, or believe
there ought to be one or can be one.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 23, 2012, 6:55:20 AM2/23/12
to
On Feb 22, 9:50 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 22, 7:18 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 20, 3:35 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 20, 4:16 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > > You claimed there is no such thing as government coercion, when there
> > > > is government coercion.
>
> > > Not true. Show me where.
>
> > >  For example, a law which coerces that an
>
> > > > employer must choose his employees by any criteria other than that of
> > > > his own desire is government coercion, and yet you say that it is not.
>
> > > IT IS YOU THAT CLAIMS IT AS COERCION. Others do not define it as
> > > coercion.
>
> > The "others" being lying socialists just like you.  Somehow, forcing
> > one to do as he otherwise would not do is not "coercion".
>
> A serial killer would not otherwise want to be put in jail.

A killer has committed the coercion, not the government which acts to
retaliate or prevent. Coercion does not simply mean the use of force,
but rather the initiation of use of force to make another do as he
otherwise would not do. The distinction of "restraint" against
coercion and coercion itself is plain. Otherwise, self-defense is
"coercion" to force an attacker not continue to attack you.


> > > However coercion isn't only about
> > > your subjective theories on it.
>
> > Somehow, forcing one to do as he otherwise would not do is a
> > "subjective theory".
>
> Your conceptualization is subjective.

The concept of the initiation of force to make another do as he
otherwise would not do is not "subjective", or is it in your opinion?
The employer being coerced to hire against his desire is "subjective"
in his mind and not in the reality of penalties imposed. Is it your
claim that it is impossible in reality to be without provocation or
invitation to be forced to act as he otherwise would not do? That any
such force is imaginary?

> Their are plenty of other
> conceptualizations of coercion out there.

No there is not, there are only reasons given why coercion is
acceptable under certain circumstances. But that is not even your
apparent claim. You will not recognize the reality of being forced
without provocation or invitation to do as he otherwise would not do.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 23, 2012, 2:24:23 PM2/23/12
to
On Feb 23, 6:36 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 22, 9:33 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 22, 7:14 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 20, 3:11 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > > On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > > > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > > > > > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > > > > > of your random choosing?
>
> > > > > I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> > > > > socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> > > > > or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> > > > > distinctions in political labels.
>
> > > > You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
> > > > claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter).
>
> > > This year as well as 2008 Friedman has chosen Obama as the better of
> > > all the choices.
>
> > During WW2 the allies aligned with Stalin. Did this make them
> > communist and Stalin supporters?
>
> I agree with the comparison of Obama and Friedman to Hitler and
> Stalin, or rather two collectivists of different stripes and methods.

Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.

> > > >   I live in Canada not Texas.
> > > > There is no stigma with supporting socialism up here.
>
> > > Exactly so, so why do you lie?
>
> > You are the liar.   I support a non-existent private healthcare option
> > in Canada as a well as public
>
> Yes, that makes you a socialist.

No it doesn't. Socialists don't support private heathcare. I support
the freedom for people to choose the healthcare they want. I support
our universal healthcare system primarily because its way cheaper than
you healthcare. (with full coverage and no worries of bankrupcy). If
pure private healthcare worked better I would support that. Just
because someone doesn't support your views doesn't make them a
socialist. Others can label you a NAZI because you don't support their
views. Ergo are you a Nazi?

Unfortunately closed minded self-righteous fanatics can't understand
some human beings analyze situations to try an improve qualify of life
not destroy it.

> > > > > What you have to say on "coercion" -- that there is objectively no
> > > > > such thing --  makes you a socialist (at least).
>
> > > > Another straw man. I believe the exact opposite.
>
> > > You have stated entirely as I have charactrerized (see below)
>
> > Pure manipulator. What you have "characterized below" isn't me
> > claiming that there is no such thing as objective coercion
>
> Yes, you claim that an employer being coerced into hiring practices
> not of his choosing is *not* coercion while also refusing to explain
> how that is, other than to say the the meaning of being forced into
> doing something one would otherwise would not do is not coercion.

Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
coercion. Not a single American administration has ever operated under
your conceptualization of coercion. Not one. They all taxed. They all
regulated. They all spent on services. Ergo - Washington, Lincoln,
Reagan were actually socialists? You have bizarre views.

>
> > I've
> > already said I believe in objective coercion.
>
> A concept which, in your opinion, cannot be singularly defined by a
> word or phrase is not "objective."

That's not what I'm saying. Things can be objective but just because
someone "claims" (keyword) that their conceptualization of some
concept is accurate doesn't make it so. You can claim the moon is made
out of cheese. The moon is what it is but that doesn't mean you
actually have that knowledge. You clearly don't realize people
(including you) sometimes argue for coercive acts while claiming to be
against coercion.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 23, 2012, 6:55:55 PM2/23/12
to
On Feb 23, 2:24 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 23, 6:36 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 22, 9:33 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 22, 7:14 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 20, 3:11 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > > On Feb 20, 4:06 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > > > On Feb 19, 1:31 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > > > > Do you comprehend that just because someone doesn't always share your
> > > > > > > personal political views it doesn't automatically make them something
> > > > > > > of your random choosing?
>
> > > > > > I understand that in North America most socialists hide their
> > > > > > socialism, either deliberately as a necessary political precaution [*]
> > > > > > or simply because they are not very bright as to the necessary
> > > > > > distinctions in political labels.
>
> > > > > You just like resorting to straw man arguments (much like when you
> > > > > claimed Friedman is an Obama supporter).
>
> > > > This year as well as 2008 Friedman has chosen Obama as the better of
> > > > all the choices.
>
> > > During WW2 the allies aligned with Stalin. Did this make them
> > > communist and Stalin supporters?
>
> > I agree with the comparison of Obama and Friedman to Hitler and
> > Stalin, or rather two collectivists of different stripes and methods.
>
> Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
> Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.
>

First, you inappropriately brought up any such comparison, and second,
the only sensible thing I could make out of such a ludicrous
comparison is that, yes, both Obama and Friedman are collectivists,
and that "supporting" one collectivist over another must have some
signifcance other than their respective collectivism -- as in
"choosing" Hitler, a collectivist who murdered millions of people, or
"choosing" Stalin, a collectivist who murdered millions of people. As
made plainly clear by Friedman himself (
http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/01/who-is-least-bad-candidate.html
), Friedman has no particular brief against Obama, or never mentions a
single one, and after exlcuding Ron Paul because "including him makes
the choice of least bad candidate an uninteresting one," he concludes
that choosing Obama "could also mean trying to reduce government
expenditure and regulation" because Obama would turn to the right.
Yes, that's right! Choosing Obama as the least bad choice would mean
the reduction of government expenditure and regulation if elected.


> No it doesn't. Socialists don't support private heathcare. I support
> the freedom for people to choose the healthcare they want.

So long as it is government approved and controlled toward a social
purpose. Fascism is also socialism.

> > Yes, you claim that an employer being coerced into hiring practices
> > not of his choosing is *not* coercion while also refusing to explain
> > how that is, other than to say the the meaning of being forced into
> > doing something one would otherwise would not do is not coercion.
>
> Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
> coercion.

False. Cite which and how so?

>
>
> > > I've
> > > already said I believe in objective coercion.
>
> > A concept which, in your opinion, cannot be singularly defined by a
> > word or phrase is not "objective."
>
> That's not what I'm saying. Things can be objective but just because
> someone "claims" (keyword) that their conceptualization of some
> concept is accurate doesn't make it so.

You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning (though
never giving it) while also claiming that "coercion" means different
things to different people. How can something have objective meaning
and yet have no fixed meaning from person to person, and in any case
never one you can make yourself?

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 25, 2012, 5:10:51 AM2/25/12
to
On Feb 23, 6:55 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
> > Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.
>
> First, you inappropriately brought up any such comparison

You are the king of inappropriate comparisons. Everyone is a socialist
and nazi.

>, and second,
> the only sensible thing I could make out of such a ludicrous
> comparison is that, yes, both Obama and Friedman are collectivists,
> and that "supporting" one collectivist over another must have some
> signifcance other than their respective collectivism -

Every day for years on end your here arguing for collective support
for your sundry causes. Why so? Why aren't you out looking after your
self-interest? Charity work?

> So long as it is government approved and controlled toward a social
> purpose.  Fascism is also socialism.

Fascism has little to do with socialism other than the usage of the
name. In practice fascists saw socialists as a threat to them. They
sent socialists to concentration camps.

> > Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
> > coercion.
>
> False. Cite which and how so?

They taxed. They regulated.. They supported services. Do you support
these causes like the majority of US founding fathers did?

> > That's not what I'm saying. Things can be objective but just because
> > someone "claims" (keyword) that their conceptualization of some
> > concept is accurate doesn't make it so.
>
> You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning (though
> never giving it)  while also claiming that "coercion" means different
> things to different people.  How can something have objective meaning
> and yet have no fixed meaning from person to person, and in any case
> never one you can make yourself?

Different meaning and different analysis but not everyone's opinion
matches objective reality.

The key to determining a coercive act is initiation of force.. This
does not necessarily equate to physical force though. It can relate to
indirect harm to others. A theft didn't actually agree not to steal
someone else's property and might not even see the victim but it still
amounts to an act of coercion.

However, situations are sometimes complicated thus determining who is
initiated harm is not always easy. Different individuals sometimes
create different narratives as to who exactly is initiating harm.
Person x might claim a law is harmful to others. Person y claims not
having the law is harmful. Obviously they aren't both right. Only
determining the consequences can one assert who is the one arguing to
harm others not just a priori moralistic finger wagging. The
communists had plenty of principles but their principles were harmful.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 26, 2012, 7:07:59 PM2/26/12
to
On Feb 25, 5:10 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 23, 6:55 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
> > > Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.
>
> > First, you inappropriately brought up any such comparison
>
> You are the king of inappropriate comparisons. Everyone is a socialist
> and nazi.
>

Again, you brought up some analogy to Friedman choosing Obama to the
WWII allies choosing Stalin, and you turn that around to blame me for
an inappropriate comparison.

> > So long as it is government approved and controlled toward a social
> > purpose.  Fascism is also socialism.
>
> Fascism has little to do with socialism

Fascism is a variant of socialism. That is in every reference book
printed on political history.

> > > Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
> > > coercion.
>
> > False. Cite which and how so?
>
> They taxed. They regulated..

"Tax" and "regulation" is not coercion, unless the tax and the
regulation is coercive. That is: not for the purpose of collecting
money for proper government functions (not coercive) and enforcing
laws against coercion (e.g., proper regulation of commerce against
fraud and coercive practices).

(1) Laws must prevent the ruling elites (i.e., nobility or any
despotic assembly) from abusing the people; by that, laws should deny
them some powers, like (2) the power to tax, and all taxation on the
necessities of life should not be taxed, but a graduated scale of
taxation should be set for consumption above necessities, and no
capitation tax (a tax on the right to breath, as in Obamacare's 2.5%
tax-penalty on a person's income, should he fail to secure health
insurance).

Into the second and third generation of Americans did the problem of
national coercive taxation come into being by protective tarriffs
disproportionally paid by Southerners for redistribution mainly into
the North for "internal improvements."

And thus, did the Founding Fathers not only did not seek coercive
taxation, but when it crept into the national commerce, a Civil War
ensued.

Coercive taxation causes poverty, mal-distribution of wealth, war,
perpetuation of a permanent ruling elite, and this is what the
Founders took from Montesquieu and Adam Smith when they created the
U.S.

> > > That's not what I'm saying. Things can be objective but just because
> > > someone "claims" (keyword) that their conceptualization of some
> > > concept is accurate doesn't make it so.
>
> > You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning (though
> > never giving it)  while also claiming that "coercion" means different
> > things to different people.  How can something have objective meaning
> > and yet have no fixed meaning from person to person, and in any case
> > never one you can make yourself?
>
> Different meaning and different analysis but not everyone's opinion
> matches objective reality.
>

You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning
(though never giving it) while also claiming that "coercion" means
different things to different people. IF THERE IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY
AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE OF PERCEIVING IT, THEN YOU
SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU
CLAIM EXISTS.

> The key to determining a coercive act is initiation of force..

No, it is not. An initiation of force (like any force) is not always
coercive. An initiation of force is an initiation of force, and
coercive force is always initiated, but not every initiated force is
coercive.

> does not necessarily equate to physical force though. It can relate to
> indirect harm to others. A theft didn't actually agree not to steal
> someone else's property and might not even see the victim but it still
> amounts to an act of coercion.
>

A theft *is* physical force which is both initiated and coercive.
Definition is not given merely by a couple of examples. IF THERE IS
AN OBJECTIVE REALITY AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE OF
PERCEIVING IT, THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN
OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU CLAIM EXISTS.



> However, situations are sometimes complicated thus determining who is
> initiated harm is not always easy.

The meaning of initiation of force is self-evident, but IF THERE IS
AN OBJECTIVE REALITY AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE OF
PERCEIVING IT, THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN
OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU CLAIM EXISTS.



> Different individuals sometimes
> create different narratives as to who exactly is initiating harm.

IF THERE IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE
OF PERCEIVING IT, THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN
OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU CLAIM EXISTS.

Tomm Carr

unread,
Feb 26, 2012, 10:47:22 PM2/26/12
to
On 02/20/2012 02:31 AM, spar...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 20, 12:16 am, Tomm Carr<tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I doubt even Houston has federal fire regulations. ;)
>
> Fire safety isn't only about zoning and local building codes.

Maybe. But that was not the point under discussion.

>> I think most of what you refer to is the law rather than regulation.
>
> What do you see as the distinction between law and regulation?

Many. Among those are that the law defines unacceptable behavior and the
punishment that applies to it. Said punishment being, presumably, in
relation to the objective harm done by the action.

Regulation defines proscribed behavior and the punishment that applies
to failure to adhere to the behavior. Said punishment cannot be in
relation to any harm because no harm has been done (if harm had been
done, the violator would be charged with a crime, wouldn't he?) so it
is, pretty much by definition, arbitrary and capricious.

The law is reactive, regulation is proactive.

Laws are passive. All the laws against bank robbery, for example, effect
no one who engages in normal banking transactions. They take effect and
apply the effect only to the parties involved when an attempt is made to
rob a bank.

Regulations are active. They apply to and effect anyone who attempts to
engage in the regulated activity, whether or not they mean to do any
harm and whether or not they actually do any harm.

The law takes intent into account. Thus there are charges of murder and
manslaughter. Murder is for those who meant to kill their victim and
manslaughter is for those whose action resulted in death but that was
not their intent. This allows the law to recognize that we are each
responsible for our actions, no matter our intent.

Regulation ignores intent. It simply plays no role whatsoever.

Law protects the rights of free people. Regulation protects the powers
of the regulators.

> I've already agree that regulations can get out of hand. Don't blame
> me for that!

I blame you only for what you do: fail to follow your own words to the
next logical step.

>> Did regulations protect anyone from Madoff? The SEC (the regulatory
>> agency responsible for "protecting" investors) not only didn't notice
>> him on their own -- he was pointed out to them on /four separate
>> occasions/ and ignored every one.
>
> Others had argued underfunding the SEC was the to blame.

God, I hate passive sentences. "Others had argued..."

Really? No kidding? Has any other regulator proposed any other excuse?
What they are really saying is. "Yeah, we blew it. But tell you what,
give us more money and we /promise/ to do a better job.

Would you accept that from a restaurant? "Yes, we realize our food was
so bad it would choke a pig, but tell you what, we'll raise our prices
and you keep coming here anyway and we /promise/ the food will get better.

Yeah. Right.

> When someone
> scams billions of dollars I have to lean towards inadequate oversight.

Really? The SEC was warned on four different occasions of Madoff's scam
and ignored every single one. How is this an example of "inadequate
oversight"? It is an example of massive incompetence and/or massive
corruption. How would giving more money to a massively incompetent
and/or corrupt agency decrease the incompetence and/or corruption? How
could it not instead /increase/ the incompetence and/or corruption since
it was precisely that incompetence and/or corruption that lead to them
getting more money?

Do you still not see how nothing you advocate makes any sense at all?

> That said, somebody needs to figure out a way to help us from
> government scams! A watcher for the watchers.

That was the reason we have three branches of government (with the
Legislative branch further broken up to a bicameral institution). Each
watches the other two.

The "regulation" branch is a fourth branch of government, free of the
oversight of all three of the others. Well, in theory they are under the
oversight of Congress, who creates them, but this has rarely happened.
One of the attractive features of regulation is that it allows for the
enforcement of government policy without Congress having to take
responsibility for it. If they started exercising effect oversight, they
could no longer avoid that responsibility.

We might advocate the creation of an oversight agency for every
regulatory agency. For every SEC, for example, there would be an SEC
Oversight Commission. But all you've done is added yet another layer of
government which will also require oversight.

> Canada just introduced a bill into parliament that would potentially
> allow the federal government to monitor all our internet
> communications and track us by telephone without a warrant. One
> supporter of bill even argued that you are either with us or the child
> pornographers. Not only is such a bill outrageous but the very fact
> any MP would even seriously consider introducing such an absurd bill
> should be grounds for expulsion from ever holding office again.

Well, this again is an example of a bad law -- or potential law. I am
not overly knowledgeable of the Canadian federal government, but I
assume it has some check on improper laws. At the very least, court
challenges could weaken or even kill the law should it get all that way.

Regulatory agencies are, in effect if not intent, immune from legal
challenges. Recently, a Federal court held President Obama in contempt
of court and ordered him to lift his moratorium on off-shore drilling
permits. But the President does not directly control drilling permits.
Regulators do. So while he may obey the letter of the court ruling and
lift his moratorium, the effect has been negligible. New permits have
not been forthcoming and there is nothing the courts can do about it.

> How about I think I got sick and
> think it might be because I ate something with Salmonella. What's the
> police going to do? They simply aren't qualified to deal with the
> situation. They're experts in force not biology.

The police are not specifically qualified, but in such cases they call
on companies or government advisory agencies like CDC to advise them.
But if, say, a local lettuce farm was found to be the source and it
refused to take appropriate action, then it is the police who will step
in and shut down the farm and charge the farmer. He is, after all,
harming others by his actions and would be committing a crime.

Generally, however, this is not required. Whether local farmers or large
agribusinesses, they have almost without exception been cooperative and
taken whatever steps were necessary to contain the problem. Whether they
do so out of a sense of civic responsibility or fear of prosecution is
immaterial. Action is important, not motivation.

> If you really don't like
>> regulations, why don't you, like me, demand more substantive reasons for
>> the existence of regulations and some real-world examples of how they
>> have been beneficial?
>
> You should hear what posters on far left forums say about me.

I can well imagine. The Left tends to punish any deviation from
orthodoxy and are not at all interested in discussing any question or
concerns you may have. I would think you come here because you can
express disagreements and engage in discussions and coolly logical
examinations of your positions from which you may either reconfirm the
validity of your sound arguments or reexamine and strengthen your weak
arguments without being personally attacked.

Yes, I am aware of some well-known exemptions to that final clause.
Still, the general rule stands.

> Back to fire safety codes...
>
> Fire safety related codes are a real world application. If you want a
> precise example, the monitor in front of me must be CSA approved (or
> recognized equivalent) to be sold in Canada like any other electronic
> equipment. This is to help prevent my house from being burned down.
> I'm fairly certain the same sort of thing happens in the US as well.
> (including Houston :)

Yes, of course. But let's take a closer look.

Suppose I am shopping for a monitor and narrow my choice down to two
candidates. Different manufacturers but otherwise close enough to
identical to make little difference. Further examination shows a sticker
from a government safety agency on one but only a sticker from a
private, for-profit agency, such as Underwriter's Lab, on the other.

On which do I place more trust. Well, consider this. Suppose the
government agency makes a mistake and incorrectly certifies a monitor as
safe when it is not and a terrible tragedy ensues. The customer (or
their surviving family) can sue the manufacturer for damages. They
cannot sue the government agency because it bears no responsibility. The
manufacturer cannot offer the agency's approval in defense. The agency
will suffer absolutely no consequences for the error. In fact, citing
"underfunding," there is a good chance the agency can use this tragic
incident to increase its funding.

On the other hand, the private agency may well share responsibility. In
fact, it may offer to assume all responsibility for an erroneous rating.
In addition to the monetary losses, the private agency suffer loss of
trust and acceptance by the public. It will be more difficult to
convince manufacturers to allow it to perform the rating service.

The private company will investigate to see if human error or
malfeasance led to the faulty rating and punish the guilty parties with
up to termination.

The private ratings company stands to lose money if it issues a faulty
rating. The government agency stands to lose nothing if it issues a
faulty rating and may, in fact, gain increased funding.

So, all else being equal, which one should I place greater confidence in?

> I agree many regulations are useless. Are you an absolutist about it
> thought?

An absolutist? Li'l ol' me? Actually, no. I am prepared to admit that
there are places where government regulation cannot be performed better
and/or cheaper than any other solution. Just because I personally have
not thought of any doesn't mean one doesn't exist. That is why I have
asked for your help. Show me.

> Do
> you support Rand's view of capitalism of no regulations, no taxes, and
> just police, court and military? And if so, how would that minimalist
> government be funded without taxation?

So far, I support the no regulations part. As I said, I have yet to see
where private solutions or simple law cannot do what regulations purport
to do and do it easier, cheaper and with less corrosion of freedoms.

I differ with a "no taxation at all" stance. If government has proper
roles, then it must be funded. However, I recognize that there are more
opportunities to raise those funds with user fees, like charging
admission to national parks to cover the cost of the park. Can't raise
enough that way? Then the park (or whatever) doesn't serve a large
enough purpose to warrant it. Stop doing it.

But services like military, police and courts are not fundable through
user fees. Some taxation is required.

I do object to the level and method of current taxation, however. And a
graduated income tax? Please! If offered extremely large amounts of
money, I don't think I could come up with a method of taxation more
abusive, degrading, unfair and expensive to collect than that one.

> As a programmer surrounded by computer related equipment all day I
> feel safer knowing that its been regulatory approved.

Yes, but /why/ do you feel safer?

> It's not perfect

Perfect? It's not even /good/.

> but having another set of eyes review equipment reduces chances of a
> problem. There is a very real fire risks in my working environment.

I work in QA, so I know the value of "another set of eyes." But those
eyes have to be effective. It has to mean something else why bother?

> Going back to my views, I am perfectly fine with a free enterprise
> alternative to achieving the same ends in a non-regulatory manner
> (provided it works and around the same cost).

Well, I can guarantee that it works. However, competition being what it
is, I don't think any company would be able to charge so much as to make
the cost the same. So you have us there.

--
TommCatt
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere,
diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

Tim

unread,
Feb 27, 2012, 3:12:06 PM2/27/12
to


"Charles Bell" wrote in message
news:5cd6094d-f4de-4760...@w27g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...

>
> Fascism has little to do with socialism

Fascism is a variant of socialism. That is in every reference book
printed on political history.

--
As usual Charlie Brown misses the ball, completely. Why don't you cite just
one of all the books on political history to back up your claim, Charlie?
--

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spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 27, 2012, 4:04:50 PM2/27/12
to
On Feb 26, 7:07 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Feb 25, 5:10 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Feb 23, 6:55 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
> > > > Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.
>
> > > First, you inappropriately brought up any such comparison
>
> > You are the king of inappropriate comparisons. Everyone is a socialist
> > and nazi.
>
> Again, you brought up some analogy to Friedman choosing Obama to the
> WWII allies choosing Stalin,

And again, Friedman isn't an Obama supporter or socialists as you try
to insinuate. He's just supporting a cause that he sees as less
harmful given his available options.

> an inappropriate comparison.
>
> > > So long as it is government approved and controlled toward a social
> > > purpose.  Fascism is also socialism.
>
> > Fascism has little to do with socialism
>
> Fascism is a variant of socialism.  That is in every reference book
> printed on political history.

According to you practical everything is a variety of socialism.
Nearly every political scientist in existence disagrees with your
classifications though. This is why people use different words to
describe their political beliefs. And some of us don't even have a
party or philosopher that matches our views.
R
As for Nazism, it was primarily about extreme nationalism rather than
socialism. This is why Nazis sent the socialists to concentration
camps (and why Nazis did allow private ownership of property). Nazis
also believed in exterminating a religious group, stationing their
obscenely large military in sovereign nations around the world,
fighting alleged preventative wars, and constantly obsessed over their
alleged nationalist interests (which were not actually in their
interests). Remind you of anyone?


> > > > Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
> > > > coercion.
>
> > > False. Cite which and how so?
>
> > They taxed. They regulated..
>
> "Tax" and "regulation" is not coercion

In other words, taxation isn't necessary theft after all. Glad we
established that. I agree with you taxation can amount to coercion
when applied inappropriately as well. (see we can agree about things
too)

> unless the tax and the regulation is coercive.


And therein lays that problem. In practice who will decide which
regulations and services amount to coercion and which don't? Your
personal assertions? Or a government elected by the people of the
country itself?

>That is: not for the purpose of collecting
> money for proper government functions (not coercive) and enforcing
> laws against coercion (e.g., proper regulation of commerce against
> fraud and coercive practices).

The fact remains the US founding fathers both taxed and regulated far
beyond your definition of capitalism. According to your own
definitions of coercion and socialism the US founding fathers would
qualify as socialists. I don't think the US founding fathers were
socialists though. I think your categorizations of concepts is what is
flawed. You use socialism as basically a synonym for taxation/laws of
your ad-hoc choosing.

> (1) Laws must prevent the ruling elites (i.e., nobility or any
> despotic assembly) from abusing the people; by that,  laws should deny
> them some powers, like (2) the power to tax, and all taxation on  the
> necessities of life should not be taxed, but a graduated scale of
> taxation should be set for consumption above necessities, and no
> capitation tax (a tax on the right to breath, as in Obamacare's 2.5%
> tax-penalty on a person's income, should he fail to secure health
> insurance).

I don't know enough about Obama's healthcare bill to offer a pro or
con opinion on it. What I do know is that nations with universal
healthcare pay far less for healthcare per capita. Having said that, I
don't believe a full blown private healthcare system should be banned
like it essentially is in Canada. I see no good reason why doctors
shouldn't be allowed to cater to any patients that wanted to opt out
of public healthcare. (and a tax credit refunded to them). As far as I
can tell at the moment this would be the best of both worlds. Those
who could afford private or speedier service could pay for it And
those that couldn't would have the benefit of voluntary opt-in
egalitarian system to get basic no-frills healthcare. Win Win.


> Into the second and third generation of Americans did the problem of
> national coercive taxation come into being by protective tarriffs
> disproportionally paid by Southerners for redistribution mainly into
> the North for "internal improvements."

You have things exactly backwards and more wealth goes from North to
South. (not that geography should matter as you should be an American
first)
http://current.com/community/93670955_democratic-states-pay-for-government-programs-and-republican-states-use-them.htm

> And thus, did the Founding Fathers not only did not seek coercive
> taxation, but when it crept into the national commerce, a Civil War
> ensued.

Do you support a post office like "socialist" US founding fathers did?
Do you support Inheritance taxes like the "socialist"US founding
fathers did? Do you support progressive taxation as the "socialist" US
founding fathers did?

> Coercive taxation causes poverty, mal-distribution of wealth, war,
> perpetuation of a permanent ruling elite, and this is what the
> Founders took from Montesquieu and Adam Smith when they created the
> U.S.

I agree with many of the views of the US founding fathers and even
Adam Smith. I think you are the one that doesn't. I think you mistake
your values for their values.

> > > > That's not what I'm saying. Things can be objective but just because
> > > > someone "claims" (keyword) that their conceptualization of some
> > > > concept is accurate doesn't make it so.
>
> > > You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning (though
> > > never giving it)  while also claiming that "coercion" means different
> > > things to different people.  How can something have objective meaning
> > > and yet have no fixed meaning from person to person, and in any case
> > > never one you can make yourself?
>
> > Different meaning and different analysis but not everyone's opinion
> > matches objective reality.
>
>  You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning
> (though never giving it)  while also claiming that "coercion" means
> different things to different people. IF THERE IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY
> AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE OF PERCEIVING IT, THEN YOU
> SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU
> CLAIM EXISTS.

Gravity exists. Can you point me to the Higgs boson then? No? Why not
if you can define and conceptualize gravity?

Just because something exists, just because we understand some aspects
of something, doesn't always mean we can always understand every
aspect. As complexity increases the probability for error typically
increases.

>
> > The key to determining a coercive act is initiation of force..
>
> No, it is not.  An initiation of force (like any force) is not always
> coercive. An initiation of force is an initiation of force, and
> coercive force is always initiated, but not every initiated force is
> coercive.
>
> > does not necessarily equate to physical force though. It can relate to
> > indirect harm to others. A theft didn't actually agree not to steal
> > someone else's property and might not even see the victim but it still
> > amounts to an act of coercion.
>
>  A theft *is* physical force which is both initiated and coercive.

You are flip flopping between using the term "initiation of force" as
non-physical and physical. I am using it in a moral "initiate harm"
sense (that can be directly physical assault or in the form of
damages). A thief may not actually use force against the physical
body of an individual.(e.g. a thief could pocket money from a wallet
with id in it) but they are still initiating harm against that
individual.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Feb 27, 2012, 8:39:59 PM2/27/12
to
On Feb 26, 10:47 pm, Tomm Carr <tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 02/20/2012 02:31 AM, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Feb 20, 12:16 am, Tomm Carr<tommc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I doubt even Houston has federal fire regulations. ;)
>
> > Fire safety isn't only about zoning and local building codes.
>
> Maybe. But that was not the point under discussion.
>
> >> I think most of what you refer to is the law rather than regulation.
>
> > What do you see as the distinction between law and regulation?
>
> Many. Among those are that the law defines unacceptable behavior and the
> punishment that applies to it. Said punishment being, presumably, in
> relation to the objective harm done by the action.
>
> Regulation defines proscribed behavior and the punishment that applies
> to failure to adhere to the behavior.

Good concise description.

> Said punishment cannot be in
> relation to any harm because no harm has been done (if harm had been
> done, the violator would be charged with a crime, wouldn't he?) so it
> is, pretty much by definition, arbitrary and capricious.

Waving a firearm around in a city street usually doesn't seem to
result in harm either but the risks involved is a sort of harm itself
(thus making it criminal behavior). Similarly breaking a regulation
can sometimes amount to criminal activity. (assuming of course the
regulation makes sense and the issue is severe enough)

In practice, many regulations are the result of politicians, police
and judges simply not being technically knowledgeable enough to either
evaluate certain kinds of situations. For instance how is someone
supposed to know what kind of chemicals are considered toxic
pollutants from a legal standpoint without some regulatory guidance?
Aside from the common sense sense aspects to some regulations, I
would even argue that some regulation cab actually help insulate
businesses from from spurious lawsuits.

>Regulations are sill laws T
> The law is reactive, regulation is proactive.
>
> Laws are passive. All the laws against bank robbery, for example, effect
> no one who engages in normal banking transactions. They take effect and
> apply the effect only to the parties involved when an attempt is made to
> rob a bank.
> Regulations are active. They apply to and effect anyone who attempts to
> engage in the regulated activity, whether or not they mean to do any
> harm and whether or not they actually do any harm.
>
> The law takes intent into account. Thus there are charges of murder and
> manslaughter. Murder is for those who meant to kill their victim and
> manslaughter is for those whose action resulted in death but that was
> not their intent. This allows the law to recognize that we are each
> responsible for our actions, no matter our intent.
>
> Regulation ignores intent. It simply plays no role whatsoever.
>
> Law protects the rights of free people. Regulation protects the powers
> of the regulators.
>
> > I've already agree that regulations can get out of hand. Don't blame
> > me for that!
>
> I blame you only for what you do: fail to follow your own words to the
> next logical step.

Logical to what ends? The far left claims lack of regulations as
oppressive. Far right claims regulation is oppressive. My own feel
(perhaps flawed) is that both positions are extreme and based on
moralizing rather than evaluation of the facts. One would not be wise
to eat soup with a fork... or a steak with a spoon. If some regulation
can be demonstrated to improve quality of life within a jurisdiction
why then would be rational to argue against it? And if some regulation
can be demonstrated to harm quality of life why wouldn't we remove it?

> >> Did regulations protect anyone from Madoff? The SEC (the regulatory
> >> agency responsible for "protecting" investors) not only didn't notice
> >> him on their own -- he was pointed out to them on /four separate
> >> occasions/ and ignored every one.
>
> > Others had argued underfunding the SEC was the to blame.
>
> God, I hate passive sentences. "Others had argued..."
>
> Really? No kidding? Has any other regulator proposed any other excuse?
> What they are really saying is. "Yeah, we blew it. But tell you what,
> give us more money and we /promise/ to do a better job.

To err is human though. Aren't government employes allowed to make
mistakes just like people in private companies do? Using the logic
that mistakes by government is a reason to get rid of most government
services strikes me like the arguments of the far left that use
examples of corruption in free enterprise to push Marxism. Why can't
we just deal with every issues on a case-by-case basis rather than
deal in absolutes?

> Would you accept that from a restaurant? "Yes, we realize our food was
> so bad it would choke a pig, but tell you what, we'll raise our prices
> and you keep coming here anyway and we /promise/ the food will get better.
>
> Yeah. Right.

I agree government employees should be held more accountable.
Politicians and unions are clearly abusing their position of power to
do things like make it next to impossible to fire government employees
and boast their own wages. They also sometimes support crony types of
capitalism (i.e. capitalism based not on free enterprise but on trying
to manipulate laws into crushing competitors)

> > When someone
> > scams billions of dollars I have to lean towards inadequate oversight.
>
> Really? The SEC was warned on four different occasions of Madoff's scam
> and ignored every single one. How is this an example of "inadequate
> oversight"? It is an example of massive incompetence and/or massive
> corruption. How would giving more money to a massively incompetent
> and/or corrupt agency decrease the incompetence and/or corruption?

I also agree with you the SEC screwed up but inadequate oversight
doesn't necessary equate to more money or more regulation. I'm just
arguing they just need to figure better methods to catch thieves like
Madoff in the future. Criminals often escape detection but I don't
image you would argue we should completely get rid of police and
courts right? The government patrols streets against common criminals
so is it so unreasonable that is should patrol for white collar
thieves too?

> How
> could it not instead /increase/ the incompetence and/or corruption since
> it was precisely that incompetence and/or corruption that lead to them
> getting more money?
>
> Do you still not see how nothing you advocate makes any sense at all?

What have I advocated beyond enforcing practices that can be
demonstrated to work? I am not pro or against regulation. I am pro-
reason. If reason suggests the net result of some law or regulation is
beneficial, I'll argue for the regulation. If it shows its harmful
I'll argue against.

I'd appreciate it if you refrain from extreme statements like "
nothing you advocate makes any sense at all' . Hyperbole like that is
highly combative (see Charles). I don't mind debate over some point
but just ask yourself how you would feel if some else argued "nothing"
you advocate makes sense.

> That said, somebody needs to figure out a way to help us from
> > government scams! A watcher for the watchers.
>
> That was the reason we have three branches of government (with the
> Legislative branch further broken up to a bicameral institution). Each
> watches the other two.

They weren't perfect (e.g. still had slavery) but I'm a big fan of the
US founding fathers (way way ahead of their time). In developing the
US constitution they had the wisdom to extract good ideas from regions
around the world while at the same time injected their own good
ones.

> The "regulation" branch is a fourth branch of government, free of the
> oversight of all three of the others. Well, in theory they are under the
> oversight of Congress, who creates them, but this has rarely happened.
> One of the attractive features of regulation is that it allows for the
> enforcement of government policy without Congress having to take
> responsibility for it. If they started exercising effect oversight, they
> could no longer avoid that responsibility.
>
> We might advocate the creation of an oversight agency for every
> regulatory agency. For every SEC, for example, there would be an SEC
> Oversight Commission. But all you've done is added yet another layer of
> government which will also require oversight.
>
> > Canada just introduced a bill into parliament that would potentially
> > allow the federal government to monitor all our internet
> > communications and track us by telephone without a warrant. One
> > supporter of bill even argued that you are either with us or the child
> > pornographers. Not only is such a bill outrageous but the very fact
> > any MP would even seriously consider introducing such an absurd bill
> > should be  grounds for expulsion from ever holding office again.
>
> Well, this again is an example of a bad law -- or potential law. I am
> not overly knowledgeable of the Canadian federal government, but I
> assume it has some check on improper laws. At the very least, court
> challenges could weaken or even kill the law should it get all that way.

We don't have a congress (a similar parliament is as close as we get)
but theoretically our supreme court is somewhat a check like the US
supreme court but I'm not sure how the two stack up in practice. I've
never been comfortable with the idea of supreme court judges being
appointed by politicians to lifetime jobs (which dilutes the
distinction between legal branches thus diminishing their autonomy).
Were it up to me Judges should earn their way into the supreme court
and be held accountable for their jobs like everyone else. (not to
mention in Canada we still have colonial rule leftover of appointed
"senators" that get paid to basically do nothing)

> Regulatory agencies are, in effect if not intent, immune from legal
> challenges. Recently, a Federal court held President Obama in contempt
> of court and ordered him to lift his moratorium on off-shore drilling
> permits. But the President does not directly control drilling permits.
> Regulators do. So while he may obey the letter of the court ruling and
> lift his moratorium, the effect has been negligible. New permits have
> not been forthcoming and there is nothing the courts can do about it.

I have no idea why some think it make sense to prevent drilling. It
sort of reminds me of the nuclear scaremongering of the early 80s that
put a halt to new nuclear plants. While I lean towards global warming
trends being real, I'm not actually convinced it's a serious man made
threat either. I look at the current situation more as risk
management (based on the views of thousands of scientists) than
absolute certainty. We should try to make sure fossil fuels are
burned cleaner (to help mitigate risk. until/if we can confirm that
CO2 isn't the serious threat most scientists today claim it is) but at
the same time it would be ridiculous to cripple our economies by
prematurely shunning a cheap energy source

> > How about I think I got sick and
> > think it might be because I ate something with Salmonella.  What's the
> > police going to do? They simply aren't qualified to deal with the
> > situation. They're experts in force not biology.
>
> The police are not specifically qualified, but in such cases they call
> on companies or government advisory agencies like CDC to advise them.
> But if, say, a local lettuce farm was found to be the source and it
> refused to take appropriate action, then it is the police who will step
> in and shut down the farm and charge the farmer. He is, after all,
> harming others by his actions and would be committing a crime.

The CDC is not even close to being equipped to handle food poisoning
cases for a country of 300 million. This is why locals do the job
(working hand in hand with regulatory guidelines that are in part
established by research from organizations like the CDC, FDA, etc.) .
Out of curiosity though... does this mean you are actually OK with
government funding of the CDC?

> Generally, however, this is not required. Whether local farmers or large
> agribusinesses, they have almost without exception been cooperative and
> taken whatever steps were necessary to contain the problem. Whether they
> do so out of a sense of civic responsibility or fear of prosecution is
> immaterial. Action is important, not motivation.
>
> > If you really don't like
> >> regulations, why don't you, like me, demand more substantive reasons for
> >> the existence of regulations and some real-world examples of how they
> >> have been beneficial?
>
> > You should hear what posters on far left forums say about me.
>
> I can well imagine. The Left tends to punish any deviation from
> orthodoxy and are not at all interested in discussing any question or
> concerns you may have.

Indeed. Unfortunately I sometimes get the same impression from some of
the right too (not everyone).

> I would think you come here because you can express disagreements and engage in discussions and coolly logical examinations of your positions from which you may either reconfirm the validity of your sound arguments or reexamine and strengthen your weak arguments without being personally attacked.

I wouldn't call all the arguments on this forum logical (or any forum
for that matter) but that's the gest of why I debate. Not to preach
but to further my horizons by examining other views.

> Yes, I am aware of some well-known exemptions to that final clause.
> Still, the general rule stands.
>
> > Back to fire safety codes...
>
> > Fire safety related codes are a real world application. If you want a
> > precise example, the monitor in front of me must be CSA approved  (or
> > recognized equivalent) to be sold in Canada like any other electronic
> > equipment. This is to help prevent my house from being burned down.
> > I'm fairly certain the same sort of thing happens in the US as well.
> > (including Houston :)
>
> Yes, of course. But let's take a closer look.
>
> Suppose I am shopping for a monitor and narrow my choice down to two
> candidates. Different manufacturers but otherwise close enough to
> identical to make little difference.

For most consumers there is little way to know the differences (unless
its a product that's simply been rebranded) Electronics today are
very complex today. They aren't like buying a lumpy pillow or spoiled
fruits.

Further examination shows a sticker
> from a government safety agency on one but only a sticker from a
> private, for-profit agency, such as Underwriter's Lab, on the other.

As far as I know even today it can be for-profit companies that does
the checks (assuming the are officially recognized) but a check must
be made my someone (at least for some kinds of devices). While such
3rd party checks could certainly be ignored by any particular
justification, completely eliminating such regulations would almost
certainly resort in far more fires.

> On which do I place more trust. Well, consider this. Suppose the
> government agency makes a mistake and incorrectly certifies a monitor as
> safe when it is not and a terrible tragedy ensues. The customer (or
> their surviving family) can sue the manufacturer for damages. They
> cannot sue the government agency because it bears no responsibility.

Much like a private company, the government can not ensure some
product is absolutely safe. It is not responsible for someone else's
flawed product. In the instance of electronics, I'm not suggesting
every regulation is sensible but I do think it's reasonable that a
third party should review products for safety. (based on physics
premises which aren't subjective).

> The
> manufacturer cannot offer the agency's approval in defense. The agency
> will suffer absolutely no consequences for the error. In fact, citing
> "underfunding," there is a good chance the agency can use this tragic
> incident to increase its funding.

The argument over funding can be applied both ways. Mistakes can be
argued as a sign of underfunding or as a sign some institution
shouldn't exist. My own tact is simply analyze costs and situations
to see what should done on a case-by-case basis rather than making a
blanket statement that applies to every situation irregardless of the
facts.

> On the other hand, the private agency may well share responsibility. In
> fact, it may offer to assume all responsibility for an erroneous rating.
> In addition to the monetary losses, the private agency suffer loss of
> trust and acceptance by the public. It will be more difficult to
> convince manufacturers to allow it to perform the rating service.
>
> The private company will investigate to see if human error or
> malfeasance led to the faulty rating and punish the guilty parties with
> up to termination.
>
> The private ratings company stands to lose money if it issues a faulty
> rating. The government agency stands to lose nothing if it issues a
> faulty rating and may, in fact, gain increased funding.
>
> So, all else being equal, which one should I place greater confidence in?
>
> > I agree many regulations are useless. Are you an absolutist about it
> > thought?
>
> An absolutist? Li'l ol' me? Actually, no. I am prepared to admit that
> there are places where government regulation cannot be performed better
> and/or cheaper than any other solution. Just because I personally have
> not thought of any doesn't mean one doesn't exist. That is why I have
> asked for your help. Show me.

I have but you choose to reject the evidence. Fire and food safety
regulations are two areas that seem to have had a tremendous affect on
lifespans and protection of both public and private property in the
20th century. You can assert such regulations are harmful but in
practice the 19th century (which didn't have nearly as many fire and
sanitation related regulations) had far more premature deaths due to
these causes.

One could certainly argue this is a non-casual correlation but in my
experience those that argue it usually seem to be basing their
argument on blanket moralizing rather than statistical analysis of
facts. Laws aren't only about control. They can also be about simply
applying common sense to our behaviors.

> > Do
> > you support Rand's view of capitalism of no regulations, no taxes, and
> > just police, court and military? And if so, how would that minimalist
> > government be funded without taxation?
>
> So far, I support the no regulations part. As I said, I have yet to see
> where private solutions or simple law cannot do what regulations purport
> to do and do it easier, cheaper and with less corrosion of freedoms.
>
> I differ with a "no taxation at all" stance. If government has proper
> roles, then it must be funded. However, I recognize that there are more
> opportunities to raise those funds with user fees, like charging
> admission to national parks to cover the cost of the park.

Then you are not an Objectivist per se. Under Rand's conceptualization
of government there would be national parks. I don't think she would
even support the CDC either. Essentially everything would be sold off
as private property (other than facilities and employes related to
Rand's minimalist government related to protection of private
property)

I've asked this many times over the years but no Oist has yet been
able to answer the fundamental question as to how exactly would
military, police courts, etc.. be paid without the use of taxation?
Some have argued " lotteries" and voluntary contributions but the
revenue figures are nowhere near enough (not to mention it would still
have to compete with free enterprise lotteries and there is a logical
inconsistency why would someone would give up their wealth to someone
else voluntarily if Rand was against altruism)

> I do object to the level and method of current taxation,

I'm really not much different, I just have different threshold of
value I think I derive from government intervention in some
situations. For example, I wouldn't want the current US healthcare
system over the current Canadian one. While I wish we had a private
healthcare option too, our universal system does have its perks. Why
would i want to fork over more than twice the money for healthcare?
(for non-universal healthcare to boot). It doesn't make economic sense
to me.

Say what you want about government inefficiency but since our
government precisely regulates what doctors can bill it for
procedures, can buy drugs in bulk, and can forgo the mess of
bureaucracy created by have a zillion different insurance companies...
the bottom line is we pay a fraction the money on healthcare and
generally have better heath stats than the US.

Normally I don't support government intervention but there are special
cases where it does seem to help. Healthcare isn't like buying a TV
or sofa (where I would be appalled if our government set prices like
it does our healthcare). Once one becomes aware of a serious health
problem shopping around for better pricing become very difficult
(especially in an emergency). Many healthcare workers know that and
end up exploiting other people's misery. (effectively price gouging)

> however. And a
> graduated income tax? Please! If offered extremely large amounts of
> money, I don't think I could come up with a method of taxation more
> abusive, degrading, unfair and expensive to collect than that one.
>
> > As a programmer surrounded by computer related equipment all day I
> > feel safer knowing that its been regulatory approved.
>
> Yes, but /why/ do you feel safer?

Because review naturally adds an extra layer of protection. As a QA
guy you should appreciate that.

> > It's not perfect
>
> Perfect? It's not even /good/.
> > but having another set of eyes review equipment reduces chances of a
> > problem. There is a very real fire risks in my working environment.
>
> I work in QA, so I know the value of "another set of eyes." But those
> eyes have to be effective. It has to mean something else why bother?

You automatically always assume government is ineffective but is that
actually always true? You yourself previously argued a 3rd party
private company can do fire safety checks on equipment. So why is it
those checks are suddenly ineffective just because it was mandated by
the government? Its still the same person doing the checks.

> > Going back to my views, I am perfectly fine with a free enterprise
> > alternative to achieving the same ends in a non-regulatory manner
> > (provided it works and around the same cost).
>
> Well, I can guarantee that it works.

However, competition being what it
> is, I don't think any company would be able to charge so much as to make
> the cost the same. So you have us there.

Private industry is usually cheaper but that has to be also put into
the context that there is no large state in the world that is both
completely deregulated and untaxed.. Essentially Rand theorized a
system that has never been demonstrated to work. I would note
communists theorized a system too. The result was much different than
their predicted results. IMO this is why it pays to be cautious before
asserting something with confidence.A single test is a worth a
thousand theories.

Charles Bell

unread,
Feb 28, 2012, 6:02:56 AM2/28/12
to
On Feb 27, 4:04 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Feb 26, 7:07 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Feb 25, 5:10 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 23, 6:55 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > > Comparing someone that consciously murdered millions of people to
> > > > > Friedman and Obama is ridiculous. You are a dishonest slanderer.
>
> > > > First, you inappropriately brought up any such comparison
>
> > > You are the king of inappropriate comparisons. Everyone is a socialist
> > > and nazi.
>
> > Again, you brought up some analogy to Friedman choosing Obama to the
> > WWII allies choosing Stalin,
>
> And again, Friedman isn't an Obama supporter

Friedman supports Obama.

> or socialists as you try
> to insinuate. He's just supporting a cause that he sees as less
> harmful given his available options.
>

Friedman supports Obama.


> > > Fascism has little to do with socialism
>
> > Fascism is a variant of socialism.  That is in every reference book
> > printed on political history.
>
> According to you practical everything is a variety of socialism.

Fascism is a variant of socialism. That is in every reference book
printed on political history. I have cited from two of them in the
past.


> > > > > Even the US founding fathers disagreed with your conceptualization of
> > > > > coercion.
>
> > > > False. Cite which and how so?
>
> > > They taxed. They regulated..
>
> > "Tax" and "regulation" is not coercion
>
> In other words, taxation isn't necessary theft after all.

"Tax" and "regulation" is not coercion unless the tax and the
regulation is coercive.

> >That is: not for the purpose of collecting
> > money for proper government functions (not coercive) and enforcing
> > laws against coercion (e.g., proper regulation of commerce against
> > fraud and coercive practices).
>
> The fact remains the US founding fathers both taxed and regulated far
> beyond your definition of capitalism.

The fact is: "to regulate commerce among the states" was to avoid
conflicts among the states. The fact is: to tax was to collect money
for the purpose to run government. Neither of which is necessarily
coercive, and there are no words citable from the Founders which can
lead anyone to conclude that was ever the intention, and many that
lead one to the other conclusion.


> You have things exactly backwards

Before Lincoln took office, the South paid some 70% of national tax,
and during the 1860, it was proposed by the Republicans that
protective tarriffs on imported goods be increase another 40%.

> > > Different meaning and different analysis but not everyone's opinion
> > > matches objective reality.
>
> >  You claim simultaneously that "coercion" has objective meaning
> > (though never giving it)  while also claiming that "coercion" means
> > different things to different people. IF THERE IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY
> > AND YOU (YOU, PERSONALLY) ARE CAPABLE OF PERCEIVING IT,
> > THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTACH A DEFINITION TO AN
> > OBJECTIVE "COERCION" YOU CLAIM EXISTS.
>
> Gravity exists. Can you point me to the Higgs boson then? No? Why not
> if you can define and conceptualize gravity?
>

Q.E.D. You lie when you claim you believe there is an "objective
coercion" because you simultaneously claim you cannot conceptualize of
what it it or offer a definition on what it is nor offer any objective
evidence that it exists. No one ever has to "point to the Higgs
boson" to conceptualize on and offer a defintion of and to offer
evidence of "coercion."

> >  A theft *is* physical force which is both initiated and coercive.
>
> You are flip flopping between using the term "initiation of force" as
> non-physical and physical.

Q.E.D. You lie when you believe there is "initiation of force" when
you cannot even stick to a plainly obvious meaning of "initiation of
force" which is an initiation of force.

Tomm Carr

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Mar 1, 2012, 4:38:04 PM3/1/12