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Libertarianism, Wiccans and the freeish market
(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:I'd put those who opposed the 1833 factory act as Libertarian. After all restricting ten year olds from working more than nine hours a day is goverment interference right?

If you'r against child labour then your for goverment regulation in at least some form right?

First off, let me stress that I don't think libertarianism is a magic fix-all that would work in all times and places. In the past, society has operated in ways that make it very obvious a hands-off approach would not work...not then. Conditions today are not what they were back then and are only improving. People are much more educated, more informed and generally better off than they used to be. People today would not tolerate many of the things that used to be commonplace, even without laws to back them up. I shudder to imagine to public outcry (and possible violent vigilantism) that would occur if a company abused children now the way 19th century factories did. Just look at what tends to happen to pedophiles in prison...even the other criminals don't just let that slide.

That said, I think when most people hear the phrase "child labor", they think of such abuses. Does anybody bat an eye at assigning their children household chores, or even mowing the lawn, provided of course, no harm comes to them? Is that child labor? And what about kids who want to do some work? Around here, kids must be 16 to hold an actual job, not just oddjobs for a neighbor. What if some 14 year old actually wants to be responsible and start saving up some money for a car or college, or buy his own video games, or pay for dates? What if his family is poor and he wants to help out? Shouldn't he be allowed to get a job, should someone be willing to hire him and he wants to have one?

Around here a 14 year old or 13 year old for that matter can get a (part time) job. A 12 year old can't but they can't be exploited. One can argue over exactly where the line should be drawn. Should companies be able to offer sweatshop labour.

As to conditions today improving. The free market hasn't lead to everyone buying sustaniable wood or fair trade products or putting ivory traders out of business. Why should it in the future?

On the gripping hand presumably it would've also let some banks go bankrupt and everone would have changed lenders or more would have entered the market,so I'm wiht you there.

(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:Better for whom? Why wouldn't a free market system cause unintened consquences?

Free markets don't have intentions, so it's all unintended, that's the point. Modern societies and economies are enormously complex and I have serious doubts anybody short of a real-life transapient could possibly hope to understand them completely and therefore make informed decisions that don't just blow up in their face. Setting policies, regulations and taxes in the hopes of forcing a fix in one place just creates another problem elsewhere, which demands another policy, regulation or tax to fix that, etc, etc and that's how you get legal codes so complex that large companies create entire legal and compliance departments just to keep up with it all. I hear people complain about Big vs Small Businesses, that government favors the Big. Well, guess who has access to more man-hours to tread all the rules and regs?
OK, so hear it's an argument for simpler regulation though that's not neccesary the same as none. Agree the market may have unexpected consquences though it does not have uninteded, I'm with you there. Presumably then your postion is unexpected consquences are OK, whatever they are because no one intedend them?

(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote: No one (reasonable) is saying that Free Markets are quick, easy and always clean. They're simply less cluttered.

Right their less cluttered, and a less clutterd market is better because?

(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:The minimum wage doesn't have to be provided by a business. Ration systems, goverment monthly income etc could also allow this.

Shifting it to government doesn't remove the financial problems, it simply changes where and how they appear. Money has to come from somewhere and with government, that somewhere is usually taxpayer wallets.

Not neccasarily there is also soverign wealth funds which can be funded from exports- income and investments rather than taxation. I don't think any country relys 100% on this, but with a valuable enough export and small enoguh goverment they might.
(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:Presumbaly then you'd be OK with a large number of immigrants entering the country(wouldn't want to interfere with the fre emovement of people in the market, would we?)

Freedom of Movement is important, yes. I've lately started pondering about Korea's DMZ in conjunction with this issue. Yeah, it keeps North Korea's military out of South Korea, but it does pretty much keep North Koreans stuck there, doesn't it? Might be more of them would get the hell out of dodge if they didn't have to worry about landmines.

Could be, though this mass exodus would have a big impact on South Korea.
(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:Your company could then hire them at $1 a day( don't want to interfere with their minimum wage) You'd be ok to take that pay or job with similar wage?)

Dude, think about this one for a minute. Connecticut Minimum Wage is $8.70/hr. My position start at $14.50/hr, and we get annual performance-based raises and a benefits package. Ask yourself, why are they paying me some 70% more, and some of my more senior co-workers, double what they're legally required to? Why does any job you care to mention that pays more than minimum wage do so?

The answer is because the jobs are worth more than that to them. They need to offer that much because that's what it takes to bring people in. Why do high-skilled jobs that require lots of training, like Doctors, pay a lot? Because that's what it takes to encourage people to go through all of that crap. Would you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and a decade in college and grad school if your reward was a job paying 30,000 US dollars a year? Hell no.

The only jobs that will pay so poorly are jobs that can be filled that cheaply. And really, any job worth so little money will probably just be given to a machine. Already some fast-food places in the US are started to look into tablet-based devices to replace cashiers, especially in places with high minimum wages. See again point of unintended consequences.

The jobs are only that much higher because of lack of competiton, due to green cards etc.

(07-09-2014, 10:05 AM)Ares Johnson Wrote:
kch49er Wrote:It's a nice idea, but of course this gets thorny. Define Harm. Is turning me down for a bank loan harming me? Different groups will come out on different sides of the equation.

Harm is too broad a term, too fuzzy. I go with Aggression as it's generally understood in The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP).

Wikipedia: Non-Aggression Principle"]...any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owners free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership[/quote Wrote:In other words, any action taken against you or your stuff without your permission is Aggression and is thus wrong. You can do whatever you want with yourself and your stuff, provided you don't break this rule.

So, according to this, your example of the refused bank loan is a very clear No. That lender has a right to use their money as they see fit, it is their property. They can choose to lend, or not lend, to whoever they wish. Given that they make money off interest, they will in all likelihood only refuse loans to those they don't believe will be good for it. Should they have shadier reasons for not doing so (maybe they're racist or something), surely some other lender will not and will give the you loan if you're good for it. Your rights are not violated if they turn you down, though.

On the flip side, should anyone compel a lender to make a loan they have not in some way consented to, their rights are violated.

The NAP also provides a means against things like pollution, seeing as pollution will somewhere, somehow, damage somebody's person or property. Granted this would not necessarily be neat or easy to figure out in some cases. However, given the increasingly widespread sentiments for being green, energy efficient and so on, it's not like companies don't have an incentive to clean up. Plus simple technological advance helps. Already industrialized countries are polluting less per capita, it's the poorer countries, with less efficient and advanced tech that are the biggest polluters now, and they'll improve with time as well.

(07-09-2014, 11:08 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: While I'm rather a fan of capitalism, I am very much not a fan of totally unregulated capitalism. A lot of the arguments I see in favor of TUC seem to be based on assumptions that no longer apply in the real world. Case in point:

a) If a business is providing a bad service or overpricing or treating its employees badly, the market will punish them.

This might work in a 'mom and pop' type business environment with virtually all businesses being owned by individuals or families or small groups. It seems to demonstrably go off the rails when you consider corporations such as Wal-Mart or Apple or various other large companies. For example, Wal-Mart has been documented as coming into an area and undercutting the prices of all the local businesses, thereby driving them out of business such that Wal-mart becomes the only local supplier of pretty much all domestic goods and the only employer. At which point it raises prices and can treat its employees pretty much any way it wants (and often does).

As I understand free-market theory, 'the consumer' will punish Wal-mart for this behavior in some fashion - but in practice this doesn't seem to happen in any significant fashion. While a few people (in areas that do offer a choice of multiple retailers) may refuse to shop there (I'm one of them), most only look at the low prices and 'great deals' and either don't think about the backstory at all or feel a temporary twinge about it and then go right back to shopping. Then of course there are those people (such as Wal-mart employees) who are paid so little that they have no choice but to buy from the cheapest or only local supplier (meaning Wal-mart in many cases) regardless of what they may think about the situation.

Unless we presume some sort of fairly massive program of universal consumer consciousness raising/social engineering such that a corporation will consistently pay a significant negative cost all over for its actions in one place - the theory of 'the market' punishing these sorts of bad actors doesn't seem to work.

b) Unregulated free markets will always produce the best products and services - I would point to the publications of the past, specifically the so-called 'muckrakers' who, around the turn of the century, wrote numerous exposes about the awful conditions in such places as meatpacking plants (Upton Sinclairs The Jungle being the prime example), including spoiled meat covered up with chemicals and rats crawling on the meat and leaving excrement behind. At the time the industry was very lightly regulated - if it was regulated at all. Why should we not take this as an example of how an unregulated industry is more likely to operate? Particularly when the modern food industry can ship to locations that are nowhere near them.

On a somewhat different note:

a) A single individual being able to bring even the biggest and most beneficial project to a halt due to lack of eminent domain laws or the like - Doesn't it seem more likely that in this situation the individual in question would end up having an 'accident' that either suddenly convinced them to move or killed them, making the problem go away? Back in the good old 'unregulated' days before labor unions, there were documented instances of companies hiring people to beat up people trying to unionize or otherwise get better labor conditions. So there is precedent for people behaving in this fashion. How would an unregulated free market (or Libertarian system) prevent this sort of thing?

b) I made mention on another thread about people seeing government as a cookie jar. The response seemed to immediately equate that behavior with welfare - actually I was talking about 'good hard working Americans', specifically the people in my neck of the woods. In this area the roads have been in bad shape for years and for years people have been trying to come up with a way to improve them. A common theme throughout this whole issue has been 'good hardworking Americans', many of whom are self-avowed free-market conservatives who hate government regulation - suggesting that local taxes should not be raised to pay for local roads and that instead Federal funds should be used to pay for it. So apparently they are fine with taxpayer dollars being spent by the government - as long as it benefits them.

c) Natural Monopolies - earlier I mentioned these and someone claimed these don't exist - Based on my college political economics class (my minor is political science), I beg to differ. Let us consider the example of roads:

Say a company builds a set of roads and charges tolls to use them. Building the roads required a massive initial expenditure and the first company pretty much took most of the best routes between many locations (perhaps even the only viable route in some cases). Now the company starts charging very expensive tolls.

In order for 'the market' to address this it would seem to require another massive company to come in and expend massive resources in order to build an entire new set of roads paralleling the existing roads so they can then charge lower tolls to compete with the first company. Except what are the odds that this will happen and in particular how are they to address those sections of road where no other viable route exists?

I suppose the other option is for everyone to move so they don't use those roads but it seems a bit extreme when I have to move my entire household just to get away from a toll. Assuming I can get away from them of course without also switching jobs and schools and much else.

Similar examples can be found when considering cable systems or power companies and power lines.

Why should I believe all this inconvenience is worth the supposed 'freedom' of letting big corporations do whatever they want?



I'm with Todd on this. He raises some good points, though nowdays power generation could presumably be provided by micro-generation so that can set a limit on how abusive the company can be. So I can see how technolgy can affect this. If flying cars are avalible at a certian price, road companies will price themselves out of the market. How it'd work now is beyoned me

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RE: Libertarnism, Wiccans and the freeish market - by kch49er - 07-09-2014, 08:10 PM

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