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  1. #1
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    free market, media etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, now Estonia are prosperous countries where the government basically restricts itself to restraining fraud and coercion, not controlling prices. Australia and NZ also became far more prosperous when their economies were significantly deregulated in the last quarter century.
    None of these countries have an unregulated markets. The government in these countries does not just restrict itself to preventing fraud and coercion. Think safety regulations, think health regulations etc. They may not restrict trade in the protectionist sense but they definately regulate what can and cannot be sold in the market place to at least some degree. I definately can't go and buy small arms in a Hong Kong shopping mall.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Already tried that: think of the failed centrally planned economy of the USSR.
    We are talking about the necessity of governement regulation in a market economy, it has nothing to do with the centrally planned model, which I agree turned out to be a failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    According to its founders, America was NOT meant to be a democracy. This is pretty clear in their writings. They did not want a tyranny of the majority, nor did they want short-term waves of public opinion to influence the long-term good. Unfortunately, that is happening anyway as the government has expanded.
    So bascially irrelevant!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    The free market works well in providing most things we need. Indeed, it's where we have shortages and poor quality, you can be sure that government price controls are behind it. This applies to the current water shortage in Australia, Jimmy Carter's petrol lines, California's electricity shortages, and waiting lists for hospitals.
    It is not always about price controls the governement also regulates the standard of goods to be sold on the market. Imagine a pharmacutical industry with no regulation



    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    This allegedly "knee jerk" is to allow people to make their own decisions.
    Sorry Jono but you have a limited right to make your own decisions, and rightly so. If you want to act as a complete individual then go live on a deserted island somewhere.


    [QUOTE=Jono]Certainly in capitalism there must be "creative destruction" of businesses that fail to serve the consumer.[QUOTE=Jono]

    Has nothing to do with the fact that economic transactions need to be regulated. Off topic again.


    [QUOTE=Jono]No.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono

    This is because you don't understand economics. Why do you think the US government intervened when China tried to buy up Unical. Find me an economist who thinks that it was in the US economic interest to let that transaction go through.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Government regulation is almost always the problem, not the solution.
    A matter of opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Pretty much. Maybe a safety net with a negative taxation for low income earners. Very few things can be provided better by government than a free market.

    E.g. Friedman pointed out that regulatory bodies, by the nature of their incentives, inevitably cause more harm than good. E.g. e.g. think of the incentives for a bureaucrat in the drug approval department (in America, the FDA). If he approves a drug and a number of people suffer bad effects, he will be vilified or worse. But if he withholds approval, he will not be vilified by the people who die but might have been saved by the drug. Hence the results are more people dying with the regulatory body in place. This is born out by the naive reports about how after 10 years of scrutiny, the FDA has approved a drug that will save 10,000 lives per year. No one stops to think of the 100,000 lives that were lost because of their tardy approval over the previous 10 years.
    Think of the un-regulated alternative. A drug company develops a weight loss, short term it works fantastically with the potentional to make the company billions of dollars. the possibly un-tested drug (considering your zero regulation approach) in the long term causes kidney disease. Drug comapnies have already been known to farm out drugs with negative side effects (resulting a numerous deaths) to less regulated countries to make a quick profit.


    Perhaps you should read decent economists like Milton Friedman or Thomas Sowell,
    I am not talking about planned economies but interventionism. You should read other decent ecomonists like John Maynard Keynes or more recently Paul Krugman so you can understand the counter arguement.
    Last edited by TheJoker; 22-01-2008 at 06:27 PM.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    None of these countries have an unregulated markets. The government in these countries does not just restrict itself to preventing fraud and coercion. Think safety regulations, think health regulations etc.
    In many cases, the private sector is way ahead.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    They may not restrict trade in the protectionist sense but they definately regulate what can and cannot be sold in the market place to at least some degree. I definately can't go and buy small arms in a Hong Kong shopping mall.
    Regulation of weapons is a different issue, since they can definitely hurt people. But laws against guns mean that only the lawless will have guns, as Jefferson pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    So bascially irrelevant!
    Nope, FDR expanded government in defiance of the Constitution, and prolonged the Great Depression, as many economists argue.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    It is not always about price controls the governement also regulates the standard of goods to be sold on the market. Imagine a pharmacutical industry with no regulation
    The free market punishes those with poor products. As I've said, the incentives of regulatory bureaucrats mean that they are quite likely to cause more harm than good by withholding approval of good drugs. E.g. many lives were lost because the drug regulators forbade American pharmaceutical companies from advertising the beneficial blood-thinning properties of aspirin for years.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I am not talking about planned economies but interventionism.
    Intervention is a step on the 'road to serfdom' of planned economies. Regulation begets regulation. Many times, the government steps in to solve problems that government created in the first place! Economist Dr Walter Williams points out that the current sub-prime crisis was created by a government decree, and the current government bailout will generate more problems:

    As with most economic problems, we find the hand of government. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, whose provisions were strengthened during the Clinton administration, is a federal law that mandates lenders to offer credit throughout their entire market and discourages them from restricting their credit services to high-income markets, a practice known as redlining. In other words, the Community Reinvestment Act encourages banks and thrifts to make loans to riskier customers.



    The Bush bailout, as well as Federal Reserve Bank cuts in interest rates, is a wealth transfer from creditworthy people and taxpayers to those who made ill-advised credit decisions, and that includes banks as well as borrowers. According to Temple University professor of economics William Dunkelberg, 96 percent of all mortgages are being paid on time. Thirty percent of American homeowners have no mortgage. Delinquency rates were higher in the 1980s than they are today. Only 2 to 3 percent of all mortgages are in foreclosure. The government bailout helps a few people at a huge cost to the rest of the economy.

    Government policy got us into the subprime mess and government's measure to fix the mess is going to create more mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    You should read other decent ecomonists like John Maynard Keynes or more recently Paul Krugman so you can understand the counter arguement.
    Keynes' policies proved to be a failure, prolonging the Depression and leading to Carter's stagflation. So the market model of people like Friedman gained ascendancy with Thatcher, Reagan, Keating and Douglas (NZ), and more recently in Estonia, resulting in huge economic growth.

    Enron-adviser Krugman becomes corrupted by his writing for the Stalin-whitewashing New York Times, and pretend that his leftist Bush-hating politics are the result of sound economics. The Economist, 13 Nov 2003, wrote:

    A glance through his past columns reveals a growing tendency to attribute all the world's ills to George Bush…Even his economics is sometimes stretched…Overall, the effect is to give lay readers the illusion that Mr Krugman's perfectly respectable personal political beliefs can somehow be derived empirically from economic theory.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 22-01-2008 at 07:37 PM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Free economies are wealthies and healthiest

    A Freer World is a Better World
    By John Stossel

    For years, Gwartney and Robert Lawson of Capital University have compiled an index showing the solid relationship between economic freedom and economic growth. The latest index, covering 2005, was recently published by the Economic Freedom Network, which comprises more than 70 policy institutes worldwide, from Albania to Zambia.

    The story the index tells couldn't be clearer: Economic freedom produces high living standards.

    ...

    What is economic freedom exactly? As the report puts it, "individuals have economic freedom when they are free to use, exchange, or give their property as long as their actions do not violate the identical rights of others."

    The researchers ranked countries according to five criteria: size of government, security of property, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and level of regulation.

    The top five freest countries in 2005 were Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States. That's a slight slip for the United States, which in 2004 came in third. We've never placed higher than second (in 2000).

    The next five are the United Kingdom, Canada, Estonia, Ireland and Australia. The bottom five are Republic of the Congo, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

    It's hard to miss the point: The freest countries are far more pleasant places in which to live. Countries with little or no economic freedom make life hellish for all but the politicians or dictators in charge (and even for some of them).

    ...

    Gwartney's data show that it's better to be poor in a more-free country than in a less-free country. In the freest countries, the poorest 10 percent earn on average more than $7,300 a year versus $905 in the least free countries. And, of course, in a free society, people often move out of the poorest groups.

    Finally, the study also finds a strong correlation between economic freedom and environmental quality.

    It is beyond dispute. Economic freedom leads to good things, while government coercion leads to poverty and oppression.

    It's stunning that some people still find the free market controversial.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  4. #4
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    It is beyond dispute. Economic freedom leads to good things, while government coercion leads to poverty and oppression.

    It's stunning that some people still find the free market controversial.
    Intersting data, not sure how valid the methodology is it did not seem to be cited in many scholarly articles.

    Regardless, just wondering whether the economic stability resulted in the economic freedom rather than vice versa. Any test cases to prove otherwise i.e. a country that went from a position of poor economic stability to economic success just by adopting a fundamentalist free market approach.

    My understanding and i could be wrong was that the IMF tried to implement systems with a great deal of economic freedoms in thrid world countries and it failed. Anyhow like to see an example of an economic turnaround that can be majorly attributed to a fundalmentalist free market approach.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Intersting data, not sure how valid the methodology is it did not seem to be cited in many scholarly articles.
    They explained their methods. And the results are hardly incredible: the most oppressive countries have no private property rights for ordinary people.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Regardless, just wondering whether the economic stability resulted in the economic freedom rather than vice versa.
    How can there be economy stability if people are not free to buy and sell freely? The USSR had no economic freedom, so there were repeated shortages and surpluses. The Great Depression was so prolongued, unlike previous recessions and unlike the 1987 crash in Reagan's time, precisely because the government decided it had to 'do something'. But its constant interference in the marketplace meant that businesses were far less willing to operate in case the rules changed again. Jim Powell pointed this out in his book FDR's Folly.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Any test cases to prove otherwise i.e. a country that went from a position of poor economic stability to economic success just by adopting a fundamentalist free market approach.
    Estonia, as I've explained in my post How Estonia became an economic powerhouse.

    So why don't you try to find a prosperous economy that has loads of government controls?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    My understanding and i could be wrong was that the IMF tried to implement systems with a great deal of economic freedoms in thrid world countries and it failed. Anyhow like to see an example of an economic turnaround that can be majorly attributed to a fundalmentalist free market approach.
    I answered that in my post How private property rights benefit even those without property, by pointing to Hernando de Soto's book The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.. Without private property rights, capitalism is bound to fail.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  6. #6
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Estonia, as I've explained in my post How Estonia became an economic powerhouse.
    Estonia don't have the "totally" unregulated market you are calling for! See the rest of my post below to explain where I think you have gone wrong in your thinking (i.e. to extreme)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    So why don't you try to find a prosperous economy that has loads of government controls?
    I am not avocating loads of government controls, I am stating that the extremist free market approach you suggest (i.e. the government has "no" regulatory role and provides no serivces except a defense force and criminal justice system) does not exist because it's ludacris hyperbole extolled by neoliberal idiots.

    All the countries at the top of your list have government regulation and public welfare and health programs. You have yet to show me a country that adopts the fundamental free market approach that you are calling for.

    Just like the extremist marxism / communism approaches the opposite extreme market approach would fail. Your lists proves my point regulated market economies (like Australia) are doing fine. The trick is to get the balance right. Not to be extreme in either direction.

    BTW I can see this discussion is going nowhere. Your mind is set in your extremist approach, and I am set in my moderate approach, as far as free markets are concerned.
    Last edited by TheJoker; 23-01-2008 at 09:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
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    I HAVE TO SAY THE FREE MARKET CAUSES ME MORE PROBLEMS THAN ANY OTHER WITH RESPECT TO MY LIBERTARIAN PHILOSOPHY.

    It seems that free market capitalism has the potential to adversly effect greater concerns of liberty.

    What is the answer ?

    That government assiduously focus on their primary and sole occupation, which is to protect from violence,theft and fraud. Which would include a reining in of corporate monopoly power where it comprimises human liberty as set out in some new consitutional governmental job profile.
    I would also advocate that the personal in this government be paid an amount consistent with the job they have to do, FOR the people. They are employed to perform as per this constitution, and are rewarded justly (ie. millions per year,as are heads of corps etc)

    The answer is smaller govt , but more directed and focused govt on the very matters govts should atend to. ie. those which effect the well being and liberty of the vast majority, not the peripheral,interfering,and big money interests.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    Which would include a reining in of corporate monopoly power where it comprimises human liberty as set out in some new consitutional governmental job profile.
    In what ways does it compromise human liberty?

  9. #9
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    In what ways does it compromise human liberty?
    CORPORATE MEDIA alligned with interests of other major corps ,whose mutual interests are not consistent with the libertarian principle that the people have the right to a thoroughly informing media ,without the inherent bias of big money owned media. A new people's media with access to prime time airways is required. A media directed under a new constitutional directive ensuring a truly informative service by,from,and for the people. Rather than from,by and for big money and major corp interests.( this would be part of this new constitution i referred to above)
    Last edited by Axiom; 23-01-2008 at 09:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    CORPORATE MEDIA alligned with interests of other major corps ,whose mutual interests are not consistent with the libertarian principle that the people have the right to a thoroughly informing media
    That's not a libertarian principle at all.

    A libertarian principle is that what kind of media exists is determined by people's choice to run or not run media outlets. Whether those media outlets then succeed is determined by people's choice to buy them, or in the case of commercial free-to-air media, by people's choice to buy products advertised on them.

    What a libertarian would say is that if a thoroughly informing media is extremely successful then the government has to keep its hands off it. But if only three people want to watch the thoroughly informing media and the rest all prefer to watch pathetic garbage like this, and on that basis nobody decides to make "thoroughly informing media" and it collapses, then there's nothing you can do about it; that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    You seem to be arguing for intervention in the marketplace ("Some new people's media with access to prime time airways") to preserve media standards, which whatever the pros and cons of such a position is not a libertarian view.

  11. #11
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    That's not a libertarian principle at all.

    A libertarian principle is that what kind of media exists is determined by people's choice to run or not run media outlets. Whether those media outlets then succeed is determined by people's choice to buy them, or in the case of commercial free-to-air media, by people's choice to buy products advertised on them.

    What a libertarian would say is that if a thoroughly informing media is extremely successful then the government has to keep its hands off it. But if only three people want to watch the thoroughly informing media and the rest all prefer to watch pathetic garbage like this, and on that basis nobody decides to make "thoroughly informing media" and it collapses, then there's nothing you can do about it; that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    You seem to be arguing for intervention in the marketplace ("Some new people's media with access to prime time airways") to preserve media standards, which whatever the pros and cons of such a position is not a libertarian view.
    now you see why this libertarian has problems with the total free trade model !

    The problem with media is that the very product itself is able to promote itself!
    ie. they can actually dictate to the reader/listener what is desirable for them.
    This is the crux of this issue. To what degrees is media content driven by the market place,and to what extent does media content drive the market place ?
    My view is that humans are very vulnerable to brainwashing, be it via ,parents,culture or media.
    This is the problem, and because i believe in the tenet that govt should only protect from violence theft and fraud, they need to protect people from the fraud of media manipulation !

  12. #12
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    now you see why this libertarian has problems with the total free trade model !

    The problem with media is that the very product itself is able to promote itself!
    ie. they can actually dictate to the reader/listener what is desirable for them.
    This is the crux of this issue. To what degrees is media content driven by the market place,and to what extent does media content drive the market place ?
    My view is that humans are very vulnerable to brainwashing, be it via ,parents,culture or media.
    This is the problem, and because i believe in the tenet that govt should only protect from violence theft and fraud, they need to protect people from the fraud of media manipulation !
    My suggestion is to take a moderate approach. You know the old saying that "it's possible to have too much of a good thing" well I think that applies to freedoms. We need a balance between controls and freedoms, finding the right balance is the tricky part.

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    The problem with media is that the very product itself is able to promote itself!
    ie. they can actually dictate to the reader/listener what is desirable for them.
    So? The reader/listener doesn't have to agree with them.

    In any case, is this any different to, say, a car promoting itself through its stylish appearance? What about people who buy fashion that doubles as advertising (and are, mindbogglingly enough, willing to pay extra for it!)

    This is the crux of this issue. To what degrees is media content driven by the market place,and to what extent does media content drive the market place ?
    In libertarian theory, the marketplace is just the sum total of the free decisions of all the consumers in it. Media content only drives those decisions if they want it to.

    This is the problem, and because i believe in the tenet that govt should only protect from violence theft and fraud, they need to protect people from the fraud of media manipulation !
    You put that rather well actually. Many libertarians support restrictions on clearly false advertising.

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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I am not avocating loads of government controls, I am stating that the extremist free market approach you suggest (i.e. the government has "no" regulatory role and provides no serivces except a defense force and criminal justice system) does not exist because it's ludacris [sic] hyperbole extolled by neoliberal idiots.
    Note that I have followed none other than Friedman in advocating welfare via negative taxation. This is mainly because decades of government bureaucratic control of welfare killed off many of the charitable organizations that previously coped with that, and also helped people into work where possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    All the countries at the top of your list have government regulation and public welfare and health programs. You have yet to show me a country that adopts the fundamental free market approach that you are calling for.
    Its notable that the most prosperous countries have cut back sharply on welfare, and the Frogs are going to do the same. There was also much deregution in the free countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Just like the extremist marxism / communism approaches the opposite extreme market approach would fail. Your lists proves my point regulated market economies (like Australia) are doing fine. The trick is to get the balance right. Not to be extreme in either direction.
    Australia isn't too bad, thanx largely to economic reforms in the direction of the free market, but could be better. The LDP's tax plan would be better than the current system of bracket creep, tax avoidance schemes, and such a complicated tax code that most people use accountants to fill their tax returns. But in the area that first started this thread, we are not doing fine, because sick people are suffering and dying because "ludacris" busybodies won't let them buy a kidney from a willing seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    BTW I can see this discussion is going nowhere. Your mind is set in your extremist approach, and I am set in my moderate approach, as far as free markets are concerned.
    "Moderation" is a self-congratulatory slogan not an argument. And there is nothing moderate about interfering in other people's freedom.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    In libertarian theory, the marketplace is just the sum total of the free decisions of all the consumers in it. Media content only drives those decisions if they want it to.
    And the answer to media manipulation is alternative media. That's a huge problem with the McCain–Feingold "incumbent protection" act; it restricts what alternative media can say about sitting politicians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    You put that rather well actually. Many libertarians support restrictions on clearly false advertising.
    That would come under the government's mandate to restrain fraud.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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