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Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die

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rogerthat View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 10 2014 at 10:46
For a change, throwing out something from a more leftist point of view (it is not necessarily apparent on a plain reading of the article but I base this statement on having read the writer's earlier articles).  I don't necessarily agree with everything he says here but all the same, it's a brilliantly written piece.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manofmystery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2014 at 21:52
We have economics correct too.  I fear you've probably fallen under the illusion that economics must be far more complex than it actually is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2014 at 17:11
The thread has been resurrected yet again!

No doubt, while I had to break up with my fling with libertarian economics...what they DO have right is foreign policy, the true third rail neither party or most politicians will touch. Even now, there may have been some cuts but no where near the drastic ones needed! 

Also besides the war on drugs, have to say the "militarization of the police force" libertarians would complain about that everyone scoffed at and said "bleh quit being paranoid loons" or "lol we need police to protect us k" has come to really grip America at the moment...
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manofmystery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2014 at 11:55
Guess we have to expect such when the nation's chief law enforcement officer has his own kill list. 
Speaking of which:
"U.S. Drones Kill 28 'Unknowns' for Every Intended Target"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2014 at 08:58
Much as the issue of taxation might be of interest on this thread, the most important thing for me is the fact that the US, the supposed "lad of the free" (yeah right) is a police state where police can get away with murder whenever they want. Police are militarized, and ready (and willing, apparently) to kill without consequences. 

Oh yes taxes yes bad yes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manofmystery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2014 at 17:00
Yeah, because murder doesn't cost the government any money
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2014 at 10:45
Evidently murder is more forgivable then selling individual cigarettes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manofmystery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2014 at 09:47
"If any man's money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists." - Lysander Spooner

Just thought I'd dust off this thread to revisit the murder of Eric Garner, seeing as the government soldier that killed him has avoided indictment.  Taxation was the reason Garner found himself being choked to death in the street by a government official.  There should never be any doubt that taxation is force.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2014 at 21:09
Well, on the subject of demand, the current crude oil price slide has the potential to improve cost conditions and give producers more elbow room to reduce prices and in this way spur demand.  This is what could and would have happened in the normal course a couple of years earlier anyway, if the G8 hadn't prevailed on emerging markets to put their economies on steroids to 'maintain' growth.  When there's a global slowdown in consumption, commodity prices start to fall and lower costs and the balance of power slowly begins to favour producers again (at the height of the boom, it's commodity suppliers who make a killing).  This is how the market adjusts but the various heads of state in their infinite wisdom have shown scant faith in it.   And by trying to pump up economies, they unwittingly helped commodity sellers keep their prices firm which was pretty bizarre. 

Edited by rogerthat - November 15 2014 at 21:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2014 at 15:52
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

@JJlehto

I don't think staying right out of the way in the face of fraud is either libertarian or even liberal, it's just crony capitalist.  Wink 

Well that's exactly it! I find it funny how today, both left and right seem to have agreed upon ignoring fraud, even trying to justify it!, when as pointed out, even the most libertarian of folk say that is ONE area of government necessaryLOL That was the classic line "rules, courts, fight fraud, make the foundation for a true free market" amazing what crony capitalism has done indeed...

Also the reinforcing cycle of exec pay! I sincerely don't care if people are making $20 million a year, but I do think the stock based pay has been negative: lots of reasons, one  being it pressures regulators and lawmakers to de regulate/not enforce regulations. 

Oh yeah, that rant was just because I always see liberal people, though they don't realize it, supporting trickle down-ish policies, and it makes me a bit crazy. Also I had a bit of a debate with someone about the need to lower taxes more, lower corporate taxes, the basic bullet points, so yeah I was angryLOL
That video by Nick Hanauer says it all in my opinion but yeah, I just don't see real life evidence at all supporting trickle down ideas. As stated before I'm all for just eliminating the corporate tax, but I still don't think that'll do much, until demand is boosted. As for wealthy people, I think it's just a silly idea. Like, how will they create jobs? Esp today...most super wealthy are finance, they don't make jobs or products (not good ones at least!) and I don't buy the consumption rationale either. I know Rob here often said how them going out and buying will help us all but again: 1- How will buying Ferraris, Yachts and Mansions trickle down to the Bronx, 2- even if they buy more "regular" or weekly items, there's only soooo much one can buyLOL This isn't a theory or philosophy of mine, just how much can a few thousand people really buy?

That's all fair, but that's kind of why I'm into the idea of more jobs, higher wages. As you say, if supply won't increase it means demand is not there, so why not boost demand? But NOT in "new Keynesian" ways...I think they're not super effective and would be inflationary before successful...I DO believe in NAIRU still, so it's not wise to try to prod from the outside, maybe demand could be boosted long term and sincerely, though I see that only happening through more gov. 
I count ZIRP and printing money as part of the New Keynes ideas btw, which I agree I don't see as very effective. This should be obviousLOL 



Edited by JJLehto - November 15 2014 at 16:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2014 at 21:47
Trickle down, as Bush sr himself put it, is just voodoo economics.  More to the point, a political sugarcoating of a market-based economic policy to get a buy-in from voters.  Since the days of Keynes, the long run has been dead so you can't tell voters that we must move to a free market economy for the sake of the long run.  Trickle down makes it sound like they might get a slice of the pie too and artificially conjures up an image of capitalism as a system with income redistribution (like socialism).  

By the by, I don't doubt that reducing the tax rate will in fact increase the incentive to invest by allowing for more capital formation.  But I doubt there's any empirical basis to derive the exact amount of trickle down at different income levels from a particular tax rate.

And if even neo liberal thought suggests that the govt should do something to jumpstart the private sector, then we are still in a demand-based trap, still stuck in Keynesian economics, one way or the other.  Supply should form the basis of demand.  If the producers do not want to produce more, then that means there isn't enough demand to warrant more supply.  The thing to do in such a situation is to wait, which of course is what Keynesians feel is the wrong thing to do.  But, really, the only feasible option is to wait till other conditions like say the interest rate have altered sufficiently to spur demand.  If even near zero interest rates don't spur demand, which we have seen in advanced economies recently, then the problem is very fundamental and printing more money will only temporarily paper over these problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2014 at 21:30
@JJlehto

I don't think staying right out of the way in the face of fraud is either libertarian or even liberal, it's just crony capitalist.  Wink  For any free market system to work effectively and for people in a democratic society to believe in it, legal rights cannot be compromised.  Not being illegally conned of money is a right I am entitled to, under any Contract Act of any number of national jurisdictions.   That right should be upheld, whether by private legal enforcement agencies (in a hypothetical fully libertarian society) or by the govt.  If people start saying that's anti-markets, then what we are involved in is just a race to the bottom, driving down market conditions to an unregulated, Wild West mess where none of the entities involved can trust each other to make good their word after a point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2014 at 14:44
The authors at that webzine I linked to, The Mitrailleuse, do seem to be unified by coming from a libertarian political background but all making some kind of attempt thinking outside the "homo economicus" mentality: that they do so in different directions, but with a uniformly high level of writing quality, is one of the reasons I find that site so interesting even if I disagree with most of that write.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2014 at 11:40
So guess my question, if any of the libertarians are even still around, is how they feel about fraud?
The "old" market view that fraud is something that must be dealt with to ensure we have actual free markets?
Or the new market view, that just leave it be and it'll all sort itself out?

If no one responds, we can keep talking liberal sh*t I guess LOL

Though I don't think this is even liberal, just fact: Trickle down ANYTHING doesn't work. It's not just conservatives and their ridiculous beliefs about trickle down stuff, many liberal economists and people basically believe it too. "Spur on job creation" "jump start the private sector" The old Keynesian pump priming. I'm all for boosting the private sector, but with direct demand....not these outside attempts to spur job creation. Many liberals do seem to believe we can prod from the outside and have em create jobs, or some at least say huge military spending is OK since it IS gov spending after all, and all gov spending is good for the economy. One guy I like even said Wubya's military spending was at least beneficial to all, even if it was skewed to the top. 

I disagree there, I don't see how it is. Sure, it caused a huge swell in Northern VA, but not much else. How will benefiting defense contractors and DC Lobbyists trickle down to the Bronx? It's insane. The rest of the spending is then being sent out of country, basically, often getting destroyed (including potential labor). More military R&D is fine and that can benefit us, but not more war. 
Other liberal economists have, until recently, basically supported bubbles saying it is all we have for growth, and at least good does come from it. Insane! These bubbles DO benefit only the top, increasingly, and hurt the rest. But ya know, it'll trickle down. These words may not be said by the left, but I've thought about their words and policies, and I think many also believe in trickle down. It's a shame, we need "bump up" economics. The Reagan days brainwashed us allLOL liberals at best accept we need a little bit more gov, progressive go farther but still seem to be in a "trickle down" mindset. Only fringe people dare go as far as post WWII policy....our golden age of high employment, high wage capitalism with strong gov backing


Edited by JJLehto - November 14 2014 at 11:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2014 at 11:18
From everyone's favorite Post-Keynesian blog! 
As I read/listen to them more and more btw, I realize a lot of their ideas are not as insane as they sound, and in fact need not be "liberal" depending how its sold. 

Buuuuuuuut that's for other times

I've posted this guy before, William K Black. He dealt with fraud in the 80s, very successfully, and discussed the role fraud plays in an overly financialized economy/lax regulation. This is a fascinating interview where he speaks about how 9/11 shifted our focus, Obama and co totally unwilling to prosecute, many regulators are afraid to touch big bankers and could even hurt their jobs, and that free markets can't say fraud will magically be wiped away, but should be accepted and dealt with, citing Rand, Hayek and Mises evenShocked


I understand as things are, these "systemically important institutions" can't just be allowed to fail, but Black brings an interesting view to the table, and makes me think "If the gov will bail you out and send trillions to prop you up, there should be the caveat: We have to investigate you" and if need be, take control/put others in charge to try and clean up the institution. He's spoken in other videos I mentioned of how the Fed must be a stronger regulator as well.  A wise man who I wish could get more press





Edited by JJLehto - November 14 2014 at 11:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2014 at 15:56
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

At moments I think there comes a time where extra technological advance is only benefitial to the elites and detrimental for the majority of the population. 
 
 
What.......you don't believe in the 'trickle down effect'...?
 
Wink
No. I believe the "trickle down effect" is actually the "trickle laterally to our other wealthy friends" effect. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2014 at 11:06
I think this is what that blog post's purported content is: The common thread has something to do with Western classical liberalism, as ostensibly represented by NATO in proclaimed ideals if not in practice, being descended from Athenian democracy which Plato opposed with his hierarchial communitarian utopia detailed in The Republic. His fable of Atlantis was then meant as a cautionary example of what happens to a decadent civilization.

Hence, the Anglo-American classical liberal model of parliamentary democracy and free market economy comes to represent Atlantis if viewed from the outside. The openly hierarchial and shamelessly elitist in structure, yet collectivist rather than individualist in ideology, vision that Plato proposed as an alternative we can then see at work as counter-reactions in the Jacobite monarchist uprisings, the Confederate States of America, the Axis Powers of WW2 and now again the peculiar type of conservatism that dominates Russian political discourse. The United States then become the decadent Atlantis that Vladimir Putin and his allies throughout Eurasia are reacting against, pushing their societies in similar directions as Plato and for that matter Aristotle promoted. Aleister Crowley then stands out as an example of that surfacing in the least likely places, as his own political beliefs on occasion tended towards a neo-aristocratic ideal of the Nietzschean variety... which might have ended up having an influence on the more eccentric corners of the Italian Fascist movement since Crowley did live in Italy for a long time while Fascism was gestating. (and the overall high strangeness of Eastern European nationalism means that ideas either originated in or popularized by Fascist Italy have bled into mainstream conservatism in Russia)

I get the impression The Mitrailleuse's writers are trying to describe the "Whig history" narrative of civilization being driven by a conflict between liberal democratic ideals vs. collectivist authoritarianism... but from a perspective more open towards the possibility that the other side might have valid points. A sort of political Turing test, you might call it. Notice that their blogroll on the right contains not just way more far-left websites but also representatives of the authoritarian right than you would expect from a libertarian blog.

Edited by Toaster Mantis - September 21 2014 at 11:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2014 at 10:17
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Does anyone here follow The Mitrailleuse? It's a new political group blog of a vaguely libertarian bent. I say "vaguely" because while most of the contributors come from such an ideological background, the common denominator seems to be a willingness to think very far outside that box often in openly communitarian directions and they're all very well-read... which results in some eye-openingly strange perspectives I very rarely agree with not even understand, but always find thought-provoking.

As an example: Take their analysis of the geopolitical split between NATO and Russia which incorporates perspectives on not just the Cold War but also the Greek myth of Atlantis, the Jacobite uprisings in 18th century Britain, the American Civil War and Aleister Crowley's possible influence on Italian Fascism into its analysis in a more or less coherent manner. It's almost Robert Anton Wilson-esque!
I don't often read esoteric political things but your link looked interesting so I took a look.
Pretty esoteric indeed.....not sure how these kinds of analyses relate to everyday life ....certainly not Realpolitik.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2014 at 10:12
Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

At moments I think there comes a time where extra technological advance is only benefitial to the elites and detrimental for the majority of the population. 
 
 
What.......you don't believe in the 'trickle down effect'...?
 
Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2014 at 08:06
Does anyone here follow The Mitrailleuse? It's a new political group blog of a vaguely libertarian bent. I say "vaguely" because while most of the contributors come from such an ideological background, the common denominator seems to be a willingness to think very far outside that box often in openly communitarian directions and they're all very well-read... which results in some eye-openingly strange perspectives I very rarely agree with not even understand, but always find thought-provoking.

As an example: Take their analysis of the geopolitical split between NATO and Russia which incorporates perspectives on not just the Cold War but also the Greek myth of Atlantis, the Jacobite uprisings in 18th century Britain, the American Civil War and Aleister Crowley's possible influence on Italian Fascism into its analysis in a more or less coherent manner. It's almost Robert Anton Wilson-esque!


Edited by Toaster Mantis - September 21 2014 at 08:09
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