The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

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The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:26 pm

Apparently Willow's views on right wing libertarians come from what other people say about people like Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, etc, but he of course admits to being entirely oblivious to what they actually say and blankets them with a generic, strawman philosophy he can use as a convenient punching bag to discredit libertarianism while people like me who can actually make arguments have to back pedal and disassociate with people like them in spite of the fact that Friedman and Rand made excellent arguments for the free market and share many values that I do. He will also bring up nut bags like Kevin O'Leary who markets himself and his persona as a right-wing hard ass, step-on-as-many-grandmas-as-I-need-to-make-more-money to use the guilt by association tactic. This is because he is highly disingenuous about these issues and will use dishonest tactics to dismiss libertarianism rather than addressing their arguments as they are.





Stephen Davies will be my first example to show the libertarians that Willow would vastly prefer to keep hidden under guys like O'Leary.

What Davies does is identify core values of social democrats and conservatives and makes arguments for why libertarianism would facilitate an environment better than statism that would be advantageous to their values. From what I gather, he argues that statism will be counter-productive to the ends social-democrats and conservatives desire because using the state to further your own interests is making a pact with the devil. While the devil does have a lot of power and often does as you command of him, his interests are entirely his own and at your (the tax payer) expense. It is actually worse in my opinion because the devil will actually do as you tell him, but cleverly do it in a way such that it bites you in the ass. The state, however, has no such obligation to do what you want it to because it lacks the honor of the devil. Reading a little more into what Davies states, his arguments are predicated on the fact that there are a multitude of other interests that will usurp the power of the state that will inevitably do great harm to liberals and conservatives. Your dude may win an election, but he has not your interests of his slightest concern unless they increase his ability to use the coercive power of the state. This coercive power will, at best, be used in your interests sparingly and haphazardly because the interests of the state are scarcely tied to the interests of it's subjects and even to those who perpetuate it's power.This problem is amplified due to it's enormous ability to inflict the ultimate harm onto you.

Among the others to come will be Milton Friedman's son David Friedman who argues for a capitalist market with complete absence of the state, or as atheistkult likes to say, he's a freemarket fundamentalist. Interviews by Ayn Rand will thrown in as well. Even people who are not libertarians who advocate a free market like Thomas Sowell will be put in.
Last edited by Intercourseman72 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:39 pm

This post about libertarians and libertarianism will be more lacking of substance but will make up for it with entertainment value.



Penn and Teller have been perhaps the most entertaining libertarians since the times of classical liberal thinkers. This piece of comedy does not address the arguments statists will use to advocate state intervention in the market, but rather, points out the results of state intervention in a forceful, dramatic fashion. It is true that firms seek to reduce costs as much as possible and increase revenue as much as possible. What statists will argue is that businesses are indifferent to how this benefits the consumers and will use the cheapest materials regardless whether or not it will benefit the consumer. This is absolutely true when the firms suffer no consequences for harming their clientele. In order for businesses to make a profit in a free market in the long run, they need to gain the long term trust of their customers and satisfy them to a degree to which they will be paid voluntarily by their customers in exchange for the services they provide them. The customers must, therefore, value the goods of the business more than the money they give them, and if the business is able to stay afloat, this means that the business requires fewer resources from society and is able to provide its customers with an increase in value. All of this, of course, being in a free and competitive market.

When the state is involved with such an incentive structure, the businesses have the ability to usurp the state for its interests without regards for the interests of the consumers unlike how it would on a free market. Without government subsidization of corn, the cost incurred by businesses to use unhealthy ingredients in their products would be far greater and incentivize businesses to seek alternatives to satisfy consumer demand. This, however is not the point of this sketch because this sketch addresses a far more pertinent issue. This issue being the harm done by an entity with the power and authority to centrally plan behaviors and actions by millions if not billions of individual actors. By using the power of the state, special interest groups who attempt to influence the power of the state seek to advance their own interests with no regards to the interests of other parties because they do not suffer anywhere near the same degree of consequence they would on a market without the state protecting them. However, this is only the first step towards a far greater issue. This issue is that when we assume that the state must intervene in the market, then we must turn to it for problems we have that the market does not solve. However, just because the free market cannot solve problems we may have, that does not mean that turning to the state will be preferable. In fact, it will exacerbate the problems we have. Not only did we start out with a very harmful intervention in the market that will inevitably occur due to the fact that the state does not possess the interest to serve the consumers nearly as much as businesses do, but that it also lacks the information of the values and interests of individual actors. With this first step towards a discombobulated market, we then default to the state to solve the problems it created by intervening in the first place. Never have I witnessed a libertarian present this insanity we see in every department of the state with so much intensity and so viscerally.

The main reason comedy is such a successful form of entertainment is that you can understand a piece of comedy fundamentally and viscerally as opposed to understanding it intellectually and analytically. Penn and Teller are by far the greatest comedic libertarians out there.
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Re: The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:46 pm

If you don't mind, I will do a little posting on this, ICM. Just gotta get me some time :)
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Re: The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby willow » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:52 pm

Sorry to be brief, as you note, Ive never claimed to have exhaustive economics knowledge and thus usually defer to azmo since he has the most education in that respect on the board so far as I know. As such I also am left with the views and opinions of economics 'experts' ive heard speak, nearly all of which (with the exception mainly of the chicago school of economics) advocate regulated capitalism as the best method, however as Michael Heilbroner points out in his CBC massey lecture, the great economic theoriests of capitalism, marx, smith etc all viewed capitalism as unsustainable or fraught with faults and problems. My appologies if you dissagree with their views but Ive found very few that offer a serious view of Libertarianism and as such I am usually left with various definitions and descriptions as those found in my political science and economics text books which you have thus far dismissed as 'not libertarianism' or not your particular strand of libertarian thought.
I'm currently taking an intro macroeconomics class which should hopefully provide a better grounds on which to argue economics with you ICM, but until such I am left with my regular stance which is based on observation of the effects of economic policy on politics and history. Sadly I'm sure you would think, that has not been a history of libertarian economics. At the moment I cant see libertarianism as anything less then a paper ideology that will never see large scale implementation although I could be wrong. I did like that post you put up on libertarians all moving to one state, that had interesting implications.

I will watch the videos and respond properly in a lil while, homework beckons.
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Re: The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby willow » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:31 am

Okay...
First Video:
1. American Liberals and social democrats are far different, consider that Obama despite being an American Liberal is considered to the right of many Canadian and European conservative groups. This is just splitting hairs though.

2. Concentrated political power isnt the largest threat to liberty and freedom as the speaker suggests it is, even if one looks at historical examples. Government power and its ability to enforce change in an unwilling populace has lead to the enshrinement of civil and human rights over the past century, largely in the face of an unwilling majority which stands to lose partial sovereignty of cultural hegemony in society. Womens suffrage and abolitionism were both poltical goals not economic ones. Something that would not have occured in the political absense of a sole market.

One could also argue, although I'm not going to in this post, that market failure as much as government failure is resposibile for global suffering such as poverty, hunger and disease since there is very little profit to be made in humanitarianism.

Robert Heilbroner in his Massey lectures speaks at length about how market societies unlike traditional or command societies exist with a dual power structure that of both the market and politics which creates the possiblity for the success of democracy and civil and economic growth that was largely lacking for most of human history. He also notes that market advocate and critics alike from Adam Smith's pin factory in The Wealth of Nations to Karl Marx in Das Kapital note that the market needs to be regulated by the powers of the polity in order to check its more undesireable excesses. Smith himself noted when describing the market and its invisible hand that capitalism and manufactories had a dehumanizing effect on the masses of the working class, leading to their, for lack of a better word, gradually increasing supidity.

Smith also notes that while both workers and owners need each other to function the need is not equal in that there is a delay of necessity on behalf of the owner who can withstand for sometime the lack of an employee, however workers must remain employed to survive, thus making their need far more immediate.

3. An unrestrained market is not the best way to aleviate poverty. In the absense of statistics I will apeal to contemporary history and again Smith as represented in Heilbroners lecture. Compair if you will the standard of living between Canadian, European and American cities and decide which you consider to be the highest. Then compare the rates of poverty, illness, and crime and you will find that those nations which have government led social programs to alleviate poverty fare considerably better than those without (compairison of things like healthcare is difficult given the lack of nations without national government healthcare). weak enough argument I know but hey.

Smith claimed again in The Wealth of Nations that the government or polity had among its duties to provide for larger programs that it was either not in the interest of capital due to lack of profit or would serve the larger good. The idea being that in doing so the government stands to gain more than a single individual in improving the overall conditions in which the market functions. Such services as roads and large scale infrastructure.

The speaker claims that a free market is the best means by which to ensure and protect the rights of sexual, religious and ethnic minorities however doesnt provide any reason why it should other then that "markets lead to pluralism". Heilbroner argues that it is the interaction between polity and markets that enables that pluralism and gven the absense of either, it would dissapear.

The speaker posits that the dispairity in wealth does not matter so long as the basic standard of living goes up. This however ignores the indirect implications like the centralization of power in the hands of the economically powerful. Since the market reduces everything to a monitary value, money becomes representative of everything and is thus namely 'power'. It does not matter if there is large government or small government or no government, since wealth and capital is power and as the speaker notes 'power corrupts' it must be checked. The only entity with the power in which to do so with any effect is poltical sphere not the economic sphere, as those with wealth we have already established control massive amounts of economic power. This ability to do so has been reduced, according to some theorists in both International Relations and Economics, with the emergence of trans national corperations which exist outside the authority of any single nation and operate in the absense of any form of international regulation or control. This has begun what most anti-globalizationists and anti-capitalists refer to as the 'Race to the Bottom' as the power of the market unrestrained by politics begins the process of driving down working conditions globally. This theory is probably best articulated by Naoi Klein in her book 'No Logo' published in 2000. Thus the 'free market' arguably has the opposite effect the speaker is claiming.

I know that the speaker claims, and I'm sure you will to ICM, that the disparity in power comes from the ability of wealth and capital to purchase political action. This can be checked by the political sphere through regulation, for instnace tight regulation of lobbyists etc. It is also however true that some political systems resist this corruption better than others, the Americans not being noted for their lack of government corruption, ranking something like 15th-20th on the global corruption index.

I wont argue with his claim that current welfare regulations here trap people in poverty but I think he and I would disagree as to the cause of that failure. It is generally those advocates of 'free markets' which oppose welfare and employment standards reform the hardest in society, often expending vast amounts of capital to sway popular opinion against them. In Canada at least one can point to the Conservative party and its killing of numerous social reform policies suggested by the Liberal party like a national early child care program, which while costing the government considerably but not unreasonably, would have aleviated the conditions which keep many single parents on welfare, or allowed two parent households to improve their conditions further by increasing from a single to two incomes. This was considered by the Harper government to be an unneccissary and expensive expansion of government.


With reguards to the Penn and Teller vid, I don't want to get into corn, that could be a thread in itself given the way that the US subsidizes its industry through direct subsidies, farmer subsidies, trade protectionism, intentional destabilization of foreign markets, its ethanol content regulations and foreign aid. But that is at the behest of American corn farmers who would be forced out of the market due to the high cost of agricultural production in North America. The question the US government is left with is subsidize and cave to the lobby group or sacrifice a huge portion of its national agricultural and food production as its exported overseas where production costs are lower. This would also result in a largescale price increase in the cost of food globally as American corn production stopped, both increasing the wealth of corn producers internationally, thus alleviating some poverty, but also causing food riots internationally and increasing pressures on families doestically. The decrease in food consumption in the first world due to increased prices would have positive health benifits such as lower obesity, diabeties and cardiac issues.

I will rant some more in a bit, I have considerable reading to do atm.

http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/interactive/ - Corruption perception index
http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/massey-archives/1992/11/ - Heilbroner lectures
http://www.amazon.com/No-Logo-Anniversa ... 086&sr=8-1 - Nologo

*I've never been opposed to markets, my problem is that I find the market to be corrupting and see regulation and government oversight as the mechanism for attempting to control that corruption. So far the past 10-20 years has proven the Canadian model of regulated Capitalism to be one of the most effective, and as such we have risen to the fore as global economic leaders. I also see governments as being in the position of providing for 'the good' in society, and in good governments it remains in their interest to do so, while in the market the sole purpose is the acquisition of capital to be reinvested to increase capital.

**as for milton friedmen I have listened to him speak for himself in numerous interviews and lectures and I disagree with what he has to say, it saddens me that his is the dominant view of economics globally at the moment among the powerful and has been for 20-30 years. Much of the occupy movement and anti-globalization movements are in response to economic principles enacted with his views in mind. As for Rynd I have more important books to read than atlas shrugged and her other tripe so yes I do rely on what book reviewers and critics have to say, especially when they do so with the benifit of decades of hindsight.

/// i like kevin o'leary, hes the fat capitalist pig the commies used to scare their children with.
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Re: The Freemarket Advocates that Willow Will Never Mention or Bring Up

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:48 pm

Thinking of doing my response as an article to the blog - just to the first video at first. I am generating a script of the video itself. Just in the first minute, the man has committed more logic fallacies than should be necessary .... or even possible. But I digress ... expect my post sometime in the near future. :)
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