[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]

Reviews and Pix from your concerts and shows you couldn't... - ptooey - Feb 17, 2020 - 5:09pm
 
how do you feel right now? - GeneP59 - Feb 17, 2020 - 4:08pm
 
Trump - Red_Dragon - Feb 17, 2020 - 4:03pm
 
Democratic Party - Red_Dragon - Feb 17, 2020 - 3:57pm
 
Bug Reports & Feature Requests - blackjellybean - Feb 17, 2020 - 2:14pm
 
Museum Of Bad Album Covers - RabbitEars - Feb 17, 2020 - 2:11pm
 
RP 20th anniversary, Feb 2020 - miamizsun - Feb 17, 2020 - 1:02pm
 
What Makes You Sad? - westslope - Feb 17, 2020 - 11:56am
 
Show us your NEW _______________!!!! - sunybuny - Feb 17, 2020 - 11:45am
 
Radio Paradise Comments - sunybuny - Feb 17, 2020 - 11:41am
 
260,000 Posts in one thread? - oldviolin - Feb 17, 2020 - 10:56am
 
Things You Thought Today - Steely_D - Feb 17, 2020 - 9:54am
 
Family Ties - miamizsun - Feb 17, 2020 - 8:03am
 
Counting with Pictures - Proclivities - Feb 17, 2020 - 6:52am
 
Climate Change - Ohmsen - Feb 17, 2020 - 3:14am
 
Live Music - R_P - Feb 16, 2020 - 10:35pm
 
Google Home - jarro - Feb 16, 2020 - 1:00pm
 
What are you listening to now? - SeriousLee - Feb 16, 2020 - 7:39am
 
Back to the 90's - R_P - Feb 15, 2020 - 7:34pm
 
Maps • Google • GeoGuessr - Ohmsen - Feb 15, 2020 - 5:03pm
 
March Of The Locusts - R_P - Feb 15, 2020 - 3:31pm
 
Today in History - Ohmsen - Feb 15, 2020 - 2:39pm
 
Health Care - R_P - Feb 15, 2020 - 2:29pm
 
Gotta Get Your Drink On - Ohmsen - Feb 15, 2020 - 2:28pm
 
(Big) Media Watch - R_P - Feb 15, 2020 - 12:12pm
 
hAPPY aNNIVERSARY bUZZ and jRZYTMATA - Coaxial - Feb 14, 2020 - 6:28pm
 
Valentine 's - You wouldn't see today... - Antigone - Feb 14, 2020 - 4:05pm
 
Name My Band - buddy - Feb 14, 2020 - 12:41pm
 
Canada - R_P - Feb 14, 2020 - 12:37pm
 
Amazon Products (May Contain Spam) - ScottFromWyoming - Feb 14, 2020 - 12:00pm
 
Best Song Comments. - ScottFromWyoming - Feb 14, 2020 - 8:42am
 
A motivational quote - Proclivities - Feb 14, 2020 - 7:52am
 
Derplahoma Questions and Points of Interest - buddy - Feb 14, 2020 - 7:16am
 
Preferred media player? - haresfur - Feb 13, 2020 - 10:32pm
 
Growing Humanity... - black321 - Feb 13, 2020 - 6:39pm
 
ok, am i crazy? - pilgrim - Feb 13, 2020 - 4:56pm
 
Baseball, anyone? - Red_Dragon - Feb 13, 2020 - 3:25pm
 
The Obituary Page - oldviolin - Feb 13, 2020 - 3:24pm
 
Trump Lies - R_P - Feb 13, 2020 - 2:16pm
 
The House I Want (Today) - miamizsun - Feb 13, 2020 - 1:55pm
 
Bill and Rebecca, Thank You - BillG - Feb 13, 2020 - 1:17pm
 
kurtster's quiet vinyl - kurtster - Feb 13, 2020 - 11:27am
 
Is there any DOG news out there? - Antigone - Feb 13, 2020 - 11:13am
 
Bernie Sanders - R_P - Feb 13, 2020 - 10:45am
 
Business as Usual - R_P - Feb 12, 2020 - 10:37pm
 
Bryston BDP Pi - jbuhl - Feb 12, 2020 - 4:26pm
 
Films you're excited about. - miamizsun - Feb 12, 2020 - 2:28pm
 
Australia Burns - haresfur - Feb 12, 2020 - 1:20pm
 
Immigration - steeler - Feb 12, 2020 - 9:36am
 
FLAC Streaming - icculus - Feb 12, 2020 - 7:35am
 
songs that ROCK! - sirdroseph - Feb 12, 2020 - 6:13am
 
Tech & Science - miamizsun - Feb 12, 2020 - 5:20am
 
New Music - miamizsun - Feb 12, 2020 - 5:16am
 
What Makes You Laugh? - miamizsun - Feb 12, 2020 - 4:59am
 
Strips, cartoons, illustrations - R_P - Feb 11, 2020 - 8:28pm
 
YouTube: Music-Videos - oppositelock - Feb 11, 2020 - 6:07pm
 
Those lovable acronym guys & gals - R_P - Feb 11, 2020 - 5:43pm
 
WTF??!! - Steely_D - Feb 11, 2020 - 5:12pm
 
Other Medical Stuff - haresfur - Feb 11, 2020 - 4:05pm
 
2020 Elections - miamizsun - Feb 11, 2020 - 1:12pm
 
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes (and Taxes) - rgio - Feb 11, 2020 - 11:16am
 
Corrections - ScottFromWyoming - Feb 11, 2020 - 8:40am
 
~ Have a good joke you can post? ~ - Steely_D - Feb 10, 2020 - 10:40pm
 
Republican Party - Steely_D - Feb 10, 2020 - 10:36pm
 
All Dogs Go To Heaven - Dog Pix - Antigone - Feb 10, 2020 - 3:59pm
 
Are you ready for some football? - miamizsun - Feb 10, 2020 - 3:58pm
 
Cell Phone Hell - miamizsun - Feb 10, 2020 - 3:51pm
 
Who Would You Like To See As President? - miamizsun - Feb 10, 2020 - 3:12pm
 
Photos you have taken of other people - ScottFromWyoming - Feb 10, 2020 - 1:19pm
 
Poetry Forum - ScottN - Feb 10, 2020 - 6:51am
 
Words that should be put on the substitutes bench for a year - sirdroseph - Feb 10, 2020 - 5:52am
 
What Are You Going To Do Today? - SeriousLee - Feb 9, 2020 - 1:27pm
 
The Grateful Dead - buddy - Feb 9, 2020 - 12:25pm
 
What makes you smile? - miamizsun - Feb 9, 2020 - 11:16am
 
Impeachment Time: - miamizsun - Feb 9, 2020 - 11:15am
 
Index » Internet/Computer » The Web » Economix Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 191, 192, 193  Next
Post to this Topic
R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Feb 6, 2020 - 2:35pm

 R_P wrote:
 westslope wrote:
=> drug-addled Americans are dying from 'legally available drugs'.

=>  the same factors driving white middle-aged Americans to die earlier could be symptoms of the underlying problems that have driven so many Americans to vote for and continue to support Donald J. Trump.
"We need to think hard about controlling the prescriptions of opioid painkillers. The Federal Drug Administration recently approved Oxycontin for kids," Deaton said. "While some kids are in awful, terminal pain, and can clearly benefit from it, the scope for abuse is there, especially if pharmaceutical companies misbehave, as they have done in the past. But if what is happening is an epidemic of despair, that people on the bottom of the economic heap are being increasingly left out as inequality expands, then what we are seeing is just one more terrible consequence of slow growth and growing inequality."

Good news, it's all better now! So let's worsen it.

Trump Claims Credit for Life Expectancy Rise, Introduces Medicaid Cutback

Life expectancy in Mississippi (the worst) is probably still the same as in Bangladesh.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 2, 2020 - 9:07pm

westslope wrote:
Two blog posts on libertarianism.

What libertarianism has become and will become — State Capacity Libertarianism

by Tyler Cowen January 1, 2020

(Adjective) Libertarianism - John H. Cochrane  

Two comments.   Anthropogenic climate change and still deadly air quality are both prime examples of social dilemmas where essentially individual incentives lead to poor social outcomes.  Some social dilemmas can be addressed via privatization and others cannot.  Self-styled libertarians do not tend to fair well in this area.  

Both Tyler Cowen and John Cochrane can occasionally exhibit 'us versus them' type thinking in their policy analysis.    Listen guys, if you believe that racial, ethnic or other sectarian exceptions should be made to a rule of strong economic property rights, then please, come out and say so.  

Otherwise, it is sad to think that libertarian and pro-market pundits are supporting a US military budget that would make Neo-Marxists in the Baran and Sweezy tradition proud.  

Peace and good fortune in 2020.

Tyler Cowan is an excellent economist and normally fairly careful with terms, so I was a bit dismayed by his convolving Capitol-L Libertarianism (within the movement denoting members of the Libertarian political party) with the broader libertarian movement. They aren't equivalent, tho this may just be sloppy editing. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was expecting the LP to come up with a solution to global warming (ok, a fair question, sort of) or the broader philosophical movement to do so. It seems like the latter, but that's not what political philosophies are for.

Political philosophies can, at best, create a moral and political framework where people solve problems. Even political parties can't address problems at every microscopic level. Does Elizabeth Warren ("I have a plan for everything!") or Bernie Sanders ("Whatever you want, it'll be free!") have a plan to jump start your car or take your cat to the vet?

(OK, Bernie might promise you free health car for your cat. Maybe that includes housecalls. Whatever, once famine sets in you'll have to eat the cat anyway.)

What's Marxism's solution to global warming? How about Stoicism? Optimism?

Embedded in the demand that a political philosophy solve an ecological problem is the assumption that the only way to solve such a problem is with government action. Let's pose another problem to put this in context: hunger. How will libertarianism produce enough food to feed humanity? What does the libertarian Ministry of Food do?

Well, nothing. The libertarian solution to food production is to stay out of the way of people who grow food, process it, and deliver it to the hungry. Every government intervention into that process makes it worse at alleviating hunger (i.e. fewer people can afford food).  The more authority government has over the process the harder it is to feed yourself.

These are not identical problems; in the case of climate change the problem to solve is caused by the externalities of solutions to other problems. That still doesn't make government action the only (or even best, or even an effective) solution. China has an authoritarian government with all the power any fan of government intervention could dream of. Here's a graph of world greenhouse emissions. Note China's contribution.

Note also the US contribution: it's declining. Without enforcing treaties, without banning things. Mostly because we replaced a lot of coal with natural gas, which was made cheaper by fracking. Did government have anything to do with this? Yes, by not succumbing to the moral panic over fracking, by not reacting to one leaking offshore drilling rig by shutting down all the non-leaking offshore drilling rigs. Government contributed to solving this problem by not intervening.

Make the problem visible, sure. Do basic research into the science that might one day solve the problem. But even these tasks aren't something uniquely suited to government: the current executive branch of the US government denies that there is such a thing as anthropomorphic climate change, refuses to publish research on it, and has as a stated policy to revive the coal industry. People still know about the problem and are trying to solve it-and they are.

Climate change is just one example of the kind of problem Cowan is talking about, but it's an illustrative example and I don't have time tonight to address each one. It's taken me the better part of a month to reply to this post! Sorry about that.
R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Feb 2, 2020 - 10:00am

In the video, Dokoupil asks passers-by to divvy a pie sliced into ten pieces onto plates for quintiles of the U.S. based on income, top 20%, next 20%, etc. Even the most cynical participant didn't come close to the real amount—nine pieces for the top 20% of Americans and the bill for the lowest 20%.

R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 24, 2020 - 10:49am

 westslope wrote:
=> drug-addled Americans are dying from 'legally available drugs'.

=>  the same factors driving white middle-aged Americans to die earlier could be symptoms of the underlying problems that have driven so many Americans to vote for and continue to support Donald J. Trump.
"We need to think hard about controlling the prescriptions of opioid painkillers. The Federal Drug Administration recently approved Oxycontin for kids," Deaton said. "While some kids are in awful, terminal pain, and can clearly benefit from it, the scope for abuse is there, especially if pharmaceutical companies misbehave, as they have done in the past. But if what is happening is an epidemic of despair, that people on the bottom of the economic heap are being increasingly left out as inequality expands, then what we are seeing is just one more terrible consequence of slow growth and growing inequality."

westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jan 24, 2020 - 8:51am

The takeaways from Stiglitz piece, US longevity studies and ensuing discussion?

=> US health outcomes are awful.  

=>  drug-addled Americans are dying from 'legally available drugs'.

=>  the same factors driving white middle-aged Americans to die earlier could be symptoms of the underlying problems that have driven so many Americans to vote for and continue to support Donald J. Trump.


The USA and the rest of the rich, developed world have gone through/are still going through the upset caused by the massive economic impact of modern information technology (IT). 

The USA has responded well in the past to various waves of significant economic innovation in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Why are so many Americans experiencing so much difficulty adapting to the current impact of IT?





R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 2:21pm

 black321 wrote:
 R_P wrote:
 black321 wrote:
How can you blame the drop in life expectancy on trumps first two years?

You can't. And he doesn't. Coverage is but one possible aspect (or contribution to the continued decline), another is the one mentioned right after: "deaths of despair".  Compared to a 1999 data point...

Though I'm sure the latter are all but gone by now in Trump's Greater America!


He did, indicating it wasnt a surprise due to  the higher uninsured rate.  Which might have a modest impact on life expectancy...but arguably not a primary cause for a long-term trend. 
 
He did. He didn't. From that same sentence (before noting no surprise):

"...in 2017, midlife mortality reached its highest rate since World War II."

Trump was just Prez then. Mortality rates have been increasing since 1998 for white middle-aged Americans (only).
black321

black321 Avatar

Location: A sunset in the desert
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 1:53pm



 R_P wrote:
 black321 wrote:
How can you blame the drop in life expectancy on trumps first two years?

You can't. And he doesn't. Coverage is but one possible aspect (or contribution to the continued decline), another is the one mentioned right after: "deaths of despair".  Compared to a 1999 data point...

Though I'm sure the latter are all but gone by now in Trump's Greater America!

 

He did, indicating it wasnt a surprise due to  the higher uninsured rate.  Which might have a modest impact on life expectancy...but arguably not a primary cause for a long-term trend. 
R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 1:32pm

 black321 wrote:
How can you blame the drop in life expectancy on trumps first two years?

You can't. And he doesn't. Coverage is but one possible aspect (or contribution to the continued decline), another is the one mentioned right after: "deaths of despair".  Compared to a 1999 data point...

Though I'm sure the latter are all but gone by now in Trump's Greater America!
black321

black321 Avatar

Location: A sunset in the desert
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 1:20pm



 R_P wrote:
 
While it had much truth to it, it wasnt a completely honest article. How can you blame the drop in life expectancy on trumps first two years? the uninsured rate is higher, but still lower than it was pre-obama.  

It's not fair to compare job gains under Trump with Obama, given the rate would normally slow after the ramp up following the recession. 

The biggest issue is the irresponsible tax cut and slash and burn effort to deregulate. And i think most, but not all, did get a tax cut...though it was skewed heavily to the rich.

R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 1:07pm

 westslope wrote:
 R_P wrote:
 
The problem with Joseph Stiglitz is that he uses too many words.    The people he should reach will likely quit after the third paragraph. 

"Too many notes, Mozart!"

Nothing can be done for people who limit themselves to 3 or 4 word slogans...
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jan 23, 2020 - 12:49pm



 R_P wrote:
 
The problem with Joseph Stiglitz is that he uses too many words.    The people he should reach will likely quit after the third paragraph.  

R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 19, 2020 - 12:25pm

Stiglitz: The Truth About the Trump Economy
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jan 2, 2020 - 11:46am

Two blog posts on libertarianism.

What libertarianism has become and will become — State Capacity Libertarianism

by Tyler Cowen January 1, 2020

(Adjective) Libertarianism - John H. Cochrane  



Two comments.   Anthropogenic climate change and still deadly air quality are both prime examples of social dilemmas where essentially individual incentives lead to poor social outcomes.  Some social dilemmas can be addressed via privatization and others cannot.  Self-styled libertarians do not tend to fair well in this area.  

Both Tyler Cowen and John Cochrane can occasionally exhibit 'us versus them' type thinking in their policy analysis.    Listen guys, if you believe that racial, ethnic or other sectarian exceptions should be made to a rule of strong economic property rights, then please, come out and say so.  

Otherwise, it is sad to think that libertarian and pro-market pundits are supporting a US military budget that would make Neo-Marxists in the Baran and Sweezy tradition proud.  

Peace and good fortune in 2020.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Dec 28, 2019 - 12:51pm

Why Trump tariffs haven’t revitalized American steelmakers


Critics note that President George W. Bush also sought to protect the steel industry by imposing tariffs in 2002. Rebuked by the WTO, Bush withdrew the tariffs the next year. While Bush’s tariffs were in place, the industry actually lost 14,000 jobs.

Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 22, 2019 - 11:29pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
If it were not already apparent, Lazy8 has presented very cogent arguments about why the state has no legitimacy to levy taxes. He is one of the most erudite proponents of a liberalist viewpoint or neo-liberal or whatever else you want to call it. I don't really care about the label, and I am quite happy to defer that to Lazy8 as to what he wants to call it. The broad approach is that the state not only has no legitimacy to coerce individuals into funding public programs, it is also unparalleled  in its ineptitude in carrying public projects out.

So I am writing to defend the bog-standard modern state as it exists in practically every western and most other countries since the fall of the Soviet Union. A state that levies taxation, monopolizes the use of force (coercion) and takes responsibilty for social welfare defense and national interests in return. I am not some neo-Marxist. I am not championing command economies. I am not some leftist hippy on a white guilt trip. I am about as middle of the road as you can imagine and probably as dull. Sorry to disappoint you.

The reason why I bother writing  so much on these topics is that to some extent, Lazy8 is right. There is a real paucity of arguments out there in favor of the modern state. And I mean really valid arguments. It is often just taken as a given, as the default model because, well, it works. So I am largely writing to fathom why I am in favor of the state and on what foundation that favor lies. And for this Lazy8 is the best sounding board I have come across.

He has two main arguments:
1. the state has no legitimacy on principle. No individual and hence no collective of individuals has a right to coerce another individual into doing something he doesn't want to do, like pay tax. The only exception to this rule is when the individual, in doing whatever it is he wants to do, violates the rights of others (i.e. you can't just go round shooting people, not even tax collectors).
2. public programs are woefully poor performers in rendering the social programs that they think they have a mandate to perform. They lead to entrenched interests, nepotism, bribery, even monopolies in Lazy8's view, the list goes on.

My counter-arguments:
re 1. The legitimacy of the state is based on two pillars. 1) It serves the common good by maximising social cohesion, providing a legislative and judicial framework for a free market to function ("well-oiled machine") and 2) it is chosen by some democractic process and subject to checks and balances.

If it fails on either of these counts, it lacks legitimacy.

The minimum set of rights on which his whole argument is founded is as arbitrary as a wider set of rights and not necessarily better. This is anyway no independent measure, no meta level, for choosing between ethical axioms. His set strives for logical consistency - or better - as little internal inconsistency as possible. I strive for something completely waffly, an equitable society. Whether logical consistency is preferable to waffly "fairness" is up to you.

re 2. I am pretty confident the data support me. I am a big fan of the Scandinavian model. I have lived in both California and in Germany (which also pursues pretty much the Scandinavian model). I know which I prefer. As for NZ, that deserves an entire article on its own. Basically the results on mixed.

And on that note, I am out of here..  no, really, I am going bush for two weeks and won't have much if any internet connection.  have a nice Xmas!


Um...shucks, but I think I need to clarify my actual positions before dealing with a counter argument.

I'm not an anarchist. The adjective you're groping for is libertarian, tho classical liberal would do in a pinch. Neoliberal has become an all-purpose pejorative and been applied to so many disparate ideologies as to be meaningless. Bill Clinton is a neoliberal? Then I'm not a neoliberal.

The discussion so far hasn't touched on taxes, it's been about the exercise of government power in general and primarily centered on law, regulation, and interventions in the economy—so you're arguing with a point I haven't actually made. Your inference of my position isn't far from the mark, but it lacks nuance and I'll make my own points thankyouverymuch.

I haven't argued that taxation is illegitimate, but that's a reasonable corollary from what I have argued. I will argue that taxation is not a priori legitimate because its form and level is always arbitrary. But if we are to have a state (we are) to do anything it must have revenue. Need is not justification;  building a boiler doesn't entitle you to coal.

There are examples of states that fund themselves without taxation, at least on citizens. Saudi Arabia is a prominent example—it has a 20% flat tax on the income of foreigners, but citizens pay no tax and state revenue is largely derived from sales of state-owned oil. Countries with heavy state ownership of industry sometimes claim to operate tax-free off the revenue of those enterprises (North Korea being a prominent example). Lots of countries have tried to supplement leaky tax systems with currency inflation, tho the consensus (except among chartalist economists) is that this is as direct a road to disaster as there is.

Libertarian/minarchist theoreticians have been historically lax when proposing how to fund the state. One philosophically consistent proposal I've seen is a fee for the registration and enforcement of contracts. Enforcement of private contracts is generally thought of (among non-libertarian theorists) as a primary function of a state—one so basic it doesn't need justification. Such a fee ends up looking an awful lot like a sales tax to them.

I'd be happy to roll around in the weeds like this but it is a digression from the ongoing discussion.

States have legitimate functions, as we've discussed before. Per your two points above:

1. The above needs to be amended with outside of the protection of rights. Arresting, prosecuting, and punishing murderers (for instance) is a legitimate function of the state. For the murderers this is not voluntary. Hold your usual reaction about this being a religious view—I'll deal with that below.
2. Not an ironclad principle, but the incentives in place do not favor efficiency or efficacy of state programs. And how you can see a state agency as anything but a monopoly—of precisely the type you claim to want government to protect us from—is a mystery to me. A monopoly that 50.00001% of voters approve of is still a monopoly.

Democracy purports to convey legitimacy, and this is true to a point. I agree that it's necessary but  not sufficient, but not that the common good is the missing piece. The common good is subjective. Streets cleansed of Muslims met that definition for the duly elected Slobodon Milosevic and his supporters; that didn't make the ethnic cleansing of the Balkans morally legitimate. Or do you disagree—that it was legitimate? Because if you want to claim it doesn't pass your test then you need some definition of the common good that the majority of the commoners whose good you purport to represent would reject.

To head off a semantic fight we can separate two issues: the legitimacy of the state itself and that of its actions. A legitimate state can perpetrate acts that are morally illegitimate. The legitimate government of the United States tolerated slavery for far too long. Israel has elections every other afternoon but it has committed acts as morally repugnant—as illegitimate—as those of Serbia. We can console the Palestinians being marched out of Israel (or the Rohingya being driven out of Myanmar) that the state that drove them out was completely legitimate.

Unless you have an objective standard for the common good the moral structure you want to hang civilization on is nothing but glorified mob rule. You haven't suggested one. Without one it's about power and nothing more.

Allow me to suggest an alternate moral structure: that humans have rights inherent to their humanity, irrespective of who governs them and how. They still get to argue about the definition of the common good but now minorities have a stake in it.

Democracy without constraints that protect minorities isn't morally superior to despotism, and isn't any more attractive as a level of social evolution. The rope around your neck hangs you just as well if put there by a king or a parliament. We define those constraints by rights. Unless you have a better concept—let's hear it.

In the latter part of your argument you seem to accept this notion, but want it to be infinitely flexible as a medium to justify interventionist government. But the effectiveness of rights as constraints on the actions of power is diluted when the concept is diluted. Interventions of the type you prefer should be justified on their own terms, not just for practical reasons but to maintain the primary function.

And with that I'm off to bed. By the time you read this I hope you've had a refreshing couple of weeks to ponder things and relax. Merriest of christmases to you!
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Dec 21, 2019 - 12:11pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit:  10^3 thanks.  

1.  Lazy8 is an erudite proponent of his own take on freemarket libertarianism.

2.   Liberal economists have a lot to say about taxes and their incidence, especially how they impact incentives.  They tend to favour consumption taxes.   They have been in favour of so-called 'green taxes' long before the public ever woke up to the notion.  This is not about loving or hating taxes but recognizing as soon folks of all persuasions want governments to provide service x or y, that taxes are absolutely necessary.

In defence of Lazy8, clearly some tax and transfer programs are not well thought out.  I like libertarians because I believe their critique can make the modern nation state better.  

3.  You and I both agree on the importance of the modern nation state.   It is a necessary beast.   For the most part, the evolution of the modern nation state has been positive.  Many small, stable population western nations sport better socio-economic outcomes than the USA, for example, because of differences in policy and perhaps because of a healthier social contract due to different historical paths and demographic composition.

4.  I am also a big fan of the Nordic social democracies (spending 5 summers in Norway while growing up made a lasting impression).   It is important to emphasize (and I believe Lazy8 is in agreement) that the Nordic social democracies do well because they do freemarket capitalism so well.  North American liberal economists might be hesitant to directly import policy from northern Europe but they do recognize the positive outcomes.  That hesitancy comes from a recognition that social cohesion in North America is not as strong as it appears to be in many Nordic social democracies.

Note that the fact that American voters often ignore their own policy experts is one of the factors that leads those of us on the outside to talk about 'American exceptionalism'.  

Happy Solstice!  
NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 20, 2019 - 5:06pm



 westslope wrote:


 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I'd like it if you read my texts below.
 
Sorry.  I have already read enough.   

Once again.  You refuse to define Neo-Liberalism.  Your choice.     Apparently, given your usage, 'Neo-Liberalism' is a derogatory synonym for democratic capitalism as it is currently practiced in rich western countries.

Fine.  Let's leave it at that.

Now tell me, what do you want in its place?   I am pushing the soap box over to you.    If you have a better vision, now is the time to share it.

 

You may have read them but it doesn't look like you understood much.
If it were not already apparent, Lazy8 has presented very cogent arguments about why the state has no legitimacy to levy taxes. He is one of the most erudite proponents of a liberalist viewpoint or neo-liberal or whatever else you want to call it. I don't really care about the label, and I am quite happy to defer that to Lazy8 as to what he wants to call it. The broad approach is that the state not only has no legitimacy to coerce individuals into funding public programs, it is also unparalleled  in its ineptitude in carrying public projects out.

So I am writing to defend the bog-standard modern state as it exists in practically every western and most other countries since the fall of the Soviet Union. A state that levies taxation, monopolizes the use of force (coercion) and takes responsibilty for social welfare defense and national interests in return. I am not some neo-Marxist. I am not championing command economies. I am not some leftist hippy on a white guilt trip. I am about as middle of the road as you can imagine and probably as dull. Sorry to disappoint you.

The reason why I bother writing  so much on these topics is that to some extent, Lazy8 is right. There is a real paucity of arguments out there in favor of the modern state. And I mean really valid arguments. It is often just taken as a given, as the default model because, well, it works. So I am largely writing to fathom why I am in favor of the state and on what foundation that favor lies. And for this Lazy8 is the best sounding board I have come across.

He has two main arguments:
1. the state has no legitimacy on principle. No individual and hence no collective of individuals has a right to coerce another individual into doing something he doesn't want to do, like pay tax. The only exception to this rule is when the individual, in doing whatever it is he wants to do, violates the rights of others (i.e. you can't just go round shooting people, not even tax collectors).
2. public programs are woefully poor performers in rendering the social programs that they think they have a mandate to perform. They lead to entrenched interests, nepotism, bribery, even monopolies in Lazy8's view, the list goes on.

My counter-arguments:
re 1. The legitimacy of the state is based on two pillars. 1) It serves the common good by maximising social cohesion, providing a legislative and judicial framework for a free market to function ("well-oiled machine") and 2) it is chosen by some democractic process and subject to checks and balances.

If it fails on either of these counts, it lacks legitimacy.

The minimum set of rights on which his whole argument is founded is as arbitrary as a wider set of rights and not necessarily better. This is anyway no independent measure, no meta level, for choosing between ethical axioms. His set strives for logical consistency - or better - as little internal inconsistency as possible. I strive for something completely waffly, an equitable society. Whether logical consistency is preferable to waffly "fairness" is up to you.

re 2. I am pretty confident the data support me. I am a big fan of the Scandinavian model. I have lived in both California and in Germany (which also pursues pretty much the Scandinavian model). I know which I prefer. As for NZ, that deserves an entire article on its own. Basically the results on mixed.

And on that note, I am out of here..  no, really, I am going bush for two weeks and won't have much if any internet connection.  have a nice Xmas!




westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Dec 20, 2019 - 12:23pm



 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I'd like it if you read my texts below.
 
Sorry.  I have already read enough.   

Once again.  You refuse to define Neo-Liberalism.  Your choice.     Apparently, given your usage, 'Neo-Liberalism' is a derogatory synonym for democratic capitalism as it is currently practiced in rich western countries.

Fine.  Let's leave it at that.

Now tell me, what do you want in its place?   I am pushing the soap box over to you.    If you have a better vision, now is the time to share it.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 19, 2019 - 6:23pm

 westslope wrote:
 
Huh?    Frankly I am not at all sure what a neo-liberal approach is.   I understand that school vouchers are referred to as neo-liberal.  Does that mean that tradeable quota fisheries are neo-liberal?  Would critiques rather see open access fisheries?   Poor aboriginal folks have been hurt very badly by open access fisheries.  

Lots of folks on the 'left' have no idea how they have helped screw over American natives and Canadian First Nations.  

  I have reasonably understanding of what Classical Liberal means.   I know what Neo-Classical and New-Classical approaches are in modern bourgeois freemarket economics but that is not how lay critics of freemarket capitalism use the term neo-liberal.

Frankly, I wonder if you despise modern New Zealand.   New Zealand undertook a series of reforms in the late 1980s that ultimately inspired a lot of other rich western countries and for the most part received high praises from liberal economists and similar policy pundits.  Contrast that to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada where generous federal subsidies have deployed to destroy natural wealth and create high structural unemployment rates.  A lot of Newfoundlanders sound like you just do.  

In my experience, envy-driven politics more often than not ends up in a bad place where the poor and the working poor suffer more.  Dependency theory — popular with Neo-Marxists — could be one of the most toxic ideas to evolve in the late 20th century.

Here's my challenge NoEnz:   if you don't like Neo-liberalism (whatever that is), then what do you like? 

 
I'd like it if you read my texts below.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Dec 19, 2019 - 5:58pm



 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:


 westslope wrote:


 
LOL!  I love the anger.   You sound like a very righteous, virtuous person.   

What is the neo-liberal approach and how does it differ from the 'liberal' approach?   

BTW, how are the testosterone-charged pale-faced sheep ranchers doing in New Zealand these days?  

So are you a Neo-Marxist?   If so, the track record has not been good.   In fact, it has been universally bad.  Unless lower material standards of living, poor quality public services and poverty are what you seek.  

I believe that Neo-Marxist leftists in Canada — many of whom pull down over $100,000/year — are simply targeting the maintenance of authentic tourist experiences for their children in poor developing countries.
 

I know I often might appear to be one brick short of a load, but hopefully I don't come across as that stupid. As for the righteousness, I most definitely fall short of what Lazy8 does for the community IIRC. I am under no illusions about my lack of qualifications for sainthood.
 
Huh?    Frankly I am not at all sure what a neo-liberal approach is.   I understand that school vouchers are referred to as neo-liberal.  Does that mean that tradeable quota fisheries are neo-liberal?  Would critiques rather see open access fisheries?   Poor aboriginal folks have been hurt very badly by open access fisheries.  

Lots of folks on the 'left' have no idea how they have helped screw over American natives and Canadian First Nations.  

  I have reasonably understanding of what Classical Liberal means.   I know what Neo-Classical and New-Classical approaches are in modern bourgeois freemarket economics but that is not how lay critics of freemarket capitalism use the term neo-liberal.

Frankly, I wonder if you despise modern New Zealand.   New Zealand undertook a series of reforms in the late 1980s that ultimately inspired a lot of other rich western countries and for the most part received high praises from liberal economists and similar policy pundits.  Contrast that to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada where generous federal subsidies have deployed to destroy natural wealth and create high structural unemployment rates.  A lot of Newfoundlanders sound like you just do.  

In my experience, envy-driven politics more often than not ends up in a bad place where the poor and the working poor suffer more.  Dependency theory — popular with Neo-Marxists — could be one of the most toxic ideas to evolve in the late 20th century.

Here's my challenge NoEnz:   if you don't like Neo-liberalism (whatever that is), then what do you like? 

Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 191, 192, 193  Next