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  1. #16
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    "Moderation" is a self-congratulatory slogan not an argument. And there is nothing moderate about interfering in other people's freedom.
    You must agree that marxism is a policy of extreme economic controls, then your neoliberalism must be a policy of extreme economic freedoms. Therefore something in between (such the status quo) must be moderate at least in some sense of the word.

    You have yet to provide any evidence that a neoliberal state would not fail. there is no precident for the levels of economic freedoms you are suggesting.

    Also if you look at the UN Human Development Index the top two countries are not in your top ten (Iceland and Norway) and Hong Kong comes in at 21.

    Our standard of living in Australia (#3 on the HDI list) is better than Hong Kong despite having less economic freedoms. And being that I have actual experience of both countries I can tell you that the average standard of living is better here in Australia (not that its bad in Hong Kong).

  2. #17
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    He who wants to educate himself must evade artificial theories supported by few instances ... ; ...the weakness of uncritically taking over variations discovered by others; ... the incapacity for admitting mistakes; in brief, everything that leads to a standstill or to anarchy.


    A modification of quote by Emanuel Lasker taken from Jono2's sig. I think it illustrates my point nicely.

    The artificial theories being various utopia states (communism and libertarianism), neither of which has ever truly been realised.

    Neoliberals uncritically following Friedman's ideas. As communists did with Marx. Of course Friedman could never be wrong he has won a Nobel Prize (well so has Stiglitz and he seems to have different opinion).

    And of course the obvious communism (standstill) and libertarianism (anarchy) analogy
    Last edited by TheJoker; 24-01-2008 at 12:18 AM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    The artificial theories being various utopia states (communism and libertarianism), neither of which has ever truly been realised.
    Libertarianism doesn't assume utopia, but that humans are limited and self-interested, so works with that to produce the most efficient distribution of scarce resources with alternative uses.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Neoliberals uncritically following Friedman's ideas. As communists did with Marx. Of course Friedman could never be wrong he has won a Nobel Prize (well so has Stiglitz and he seems to have different opinion).
    Not like that at all. But the countries that followed Friedman's ideas to some extent have prospered. Note that he wrote Free to Choose when Carter was President and there were long lines around the block waiting for petrol because of the price controls. Reagan's first act as President was to apply Friedman's advice to remove the price controls, and there haven't been long petrol queues since, and the price is lower as well.

    Those that went down Marx's line have screwed up their economies. Under Communism, Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe, and Zimbabwe, the breadbasket of lower Africa, became famine zones. And even in relatively free countries, the things that are most wrong are those that government still controls, e.g. water, health, mass transit, airport security, public schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    And of course the obvious communism (standstill) and libertarianism (anarchy) analogy
    For the analogy to work, you would have to prove that more libertarian ideas, when applied, have made a country more oppressive. It is easy to show how move towards communistic government controls has done so.
    “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. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    You must agree that marxism is a policy of extreme economic controls, then your neoliberalism must be a policy of extreme economic freedoms.
    If wanting more freedoms to do anything that doesn't harm another is "extreme", so be it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    You have yet to provide any evidence that a neoliberal state would not fail. there is no precident for the levels of economic freedoms you are suggesting.
    There is ample precedent that more economic freedom leads to more prosperity. So the evidence is in favour of getting the government further out of our lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Also if you look at the UN Human Development Index the top two countries are not in your top ten (Iceland and Norway) and Hong Kong comes in at 21.
    Anything by the UN is automatically suspect, since that is a thugocracy that tends to support more government (and internationalist) controls.
    “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.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    In what ways does it compromise human liberty?
    When large business (or call it corporate monopoly) becomes successful, it tries to curb competition by either using violent measures, or, where it is not feasible, lobby the government for the regulations preserving their dominant position.
    Another case where human nature makes pure libertarian society fragile.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    When large business (or call it corporate monopoly) becomes successful, it tries to curb competition by either using violent measures, or, where it is not feasible, lobby the government for the regulations preserving their dominant position.
    Another case where human nature makes pure libertarian society fragile.
    I don't support the extremes of Libertarianism that Jono does, but you have contradicted yourself here: the Libertarians would disallow such government regulation.

    I think it is simpler. Corporate monopolies are possible, even likely in a completely unregulated environment with no government services. They do not require government regulation in order to survive. It is a simple consequence of the higher cost and lower reward of the second mover in an infrastructure heavy business such as power distribution and wired telecommunications.
    Last edited by pax; 24-01-2008 at 01:51 PM.

  7. #22
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    If wanting more freedoms to do anything that doesn't harm another is "extreme", so be it.
    How do you know that the expansions of freedoms to what you suggest won't cause any harm, as there is no precedant any country ever adopting such a policy. THe outcome is unkown.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    There is ample precedent that more economic freedom leads to more prosperity. So the evidence is in favour of getting the government further out of our lives.
    You infer that beacuase countries with relatively high rates of economic freedom have better standard of living, that this phenomenem can be extrapilated to mean that total economic freedom will result in the highest standard of living. But this is faulty logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Anything by the UN is automatically suspect, since that is a thugocracy that tends to support more government (and internationalist) controls.
    Well provide me with a better standard of living index then. I believe the UN HDI is the unversially accepted measure in the absence of anything more substantial.

    Typically you dimiss data that doesn't agree with your arguement at a whim.

    I would almost guarantee that Hong Kong wont top the list of any valid study on the standard of living.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    I don't support the extremes of Libertarianism that Jono does, but you have contradicted yourself here: the Libertarians would disallow such government regulation.
    Ideal libertarian society - yes. But even libertarian society needs a government to prevent violence. Government consists of people who want power over others, thus eventually sliding away from ideal model.

    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    I think it is simpler. Corporate monopolies are possible, even likely in a completely unregulated environment with no government services. They do not require government regulation in order to survive. It is a simple consequence of the higher cost and lower reward of the second mover in an infrastructure heavy business such as power distribution and wired telecommunications.
    Rubbish. To be sustainable monopoly has to either:
    1. Violently stamp out competition (like Don Corleone oil importing company)
    2. Use violence from the government (in form of patent, license or some other regulation.
    3. Sustainable provide good quality service at a reasonable price.

    It is obvious it will resort to 3.) only if the first two options are unattainable.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Rubbish. To be sustainable monopoly has to either:
    1. Violently stamp out competition (like Don Corleone oil importing company)
    2. Use violence from the government (in form of patent, license or some other regulation.
    3. Sustainable provide good quality service at a reasonable price.

    It is obvious it will resort to 3.) only if the first two options are unattainable.
    Or:

    4. It is too expensive for competition to enter the market.

    This can be true no matter how high the monopoly sets it's prices. The competitor gets a much lower return on it's massive infrastructure investment than the first mover, so it may be simply not economic for another player to enter. This is very simple economics.

  10. #25
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Libertarianism doesn't assume utopia, but that humans are limited and self-interested, so works with that to produce the most efficient distribution of scarce resources with alternative uses.
    But it won't result in the most efficeint distribution of resources. It is commonly acknowledged that a market based system does not fairly distribute the rewardsof the system. Even Greenspan a free market supporter admits that this is a problem in his latest book. Bascially the concerntration of wealth is an inherant feature of a free market system.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Not like that at all. But the countries that followed Friedman's ideas to some extent have prospered.
    Don't deny that Friedman's ideas on Monetary policy have been of benefit. But I think he wants to take the free market concept to the extreme, and I don't think the evidence supports this approach.

    Are you really that unhappy with the current system to risk extending economic freedoms to unprecedented levels with possible unfavourable results.

    Once you turnover such control to the free market and business how do reign it back if and when things go wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Even in relatively free countries, the things that are most wrong are those that government still controls, e.g. water, health, mass transit, airport security, public schools.
    The reason te governement still controls these areas is because private industry is not interested taking them over without servere reductions in services to make them profitable.

    Imagine what would happen to Australia's literacy rate if we closed all the public schools. Do you think it fair to say to a child because you were born to parents who dont have a well paid job and cannot afford to send you to a private school you are not entitled to an education (or at least a reasonable quality one)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    For the analogy to work, you would have to prove that more libertarian ideas, when applied, have made a country more oppressive. It is easy to show how move towards communistic government controls has done so.
    Ok give me some time I'll compile some stats for you.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    Or:

    4. It is too expensive for competition to enter the market.

    This can be true no matter how high the monopoly sets it's prices. The competitor gets a much lower return on it's massive infrastructure investment than the first mover, so it may be simply not economic for another player to enter. This is very simple economics.
    Any evidence to support such an outrageous claim?

    BTW, Infrastructure example is often sited when someone is trying to argue that free market will lead to a monopoly. If you cannot provide other examples, I have to assume that it does not lead to monopoly in other cases.

    Now back to hypothetical infrastructure monopolist.
    First of all, the alleged monopolist built the infrastructure, thus making a massive investment in the first place. What stops would be competitor to enter the market as well.
    Second, area relying on infrastructure is very unlikely to produce a monopolist (unless, of course, it was caused by the government in the first place).
    Third, Optus entered the market and built it's own network (that required a huge outlay) as soon as industry was open to competition. Unlike Telstra, Optus did not rely on government support.

    You have to find better and more specific example to prove your point.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    But it won't result in the most efficeint distribution of resources. It is commonly acknowledged that a market based system does not fairly distribute the rewardsof the system.
    Meaningless, because "fair" is not defined. But in a market-based system, the best way to acquire great wealth is to give other people what they want at prices they can afford.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Even Greenspan a free market supporter admits that this is a problem in his latest book. Bascially the concerntration of wealth is an inherant feature of a free market system.
    Not a problem in a free market system, because no voluntary buy-sell transaction would occur unless both sides thought they were benefiting. So the total amount of wealth is also increased.

    The alternative is concentration of power required to enforce notions of 'fairness'.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Don't deny that Friedman's ideas on Monetary policy have been of benefit. But I think he wants to take the free market concept to the extreme, and I don't think the evidence supports this approach.
    Friedman's ideas have worked when tried, and he gives good reason to expect that others will.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Are you really that unhappy with the current system to risk extending economic freedoms to unprecedented levels with possible unfavourable results.
    I am unhappy with high taxes, water shortage, people dying on hospital waiting lists, people graduating from schools unable to read and write.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Once you turnover such control to the free market and business how do reign it back if and when things go wrong.
    The 'free market' doesn't hand control to business. It's more likely that inefficient businesses will prosper under government patronage since they no longer need to worry so much about serving the customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    The reason te governement still controls these areas is because private industry is not interested taking them over without servere reductions in services to make them profitable.
    More likely, they would increase overall service, because to be profitable you have to serve more customers. Unprofitable services generally mean that people don't want them enough.

    Privatization of water has been tried and succeeded, as I've cited before. Private schools are often better than public ones. Private airport security has also worked well.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Imagine what would happen to Australia's literacy rate if we closed all the public schools.
    Couldn't get much worse. But if the government gave a tax rebate for school tuition, then only the schools that perform would attract students. Competition will result in better education, just as it results in better supermarkets and everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Do you think it fair to say to a child because you were born to parents who dont have a well paid job and cannot afford to send you to a private school you are not entitled to an education (or at least a reasonable quality one)?
    More likely, do you think it's fair to a child that he is stuck in a poor quality school because that's where he is zoned, and because his parents' taxes pay mainly for public schools.

    Imagine if his family had to go to the supermarket they were zoned for. Do you think there would be good variety, quality and value, if the supermarket were guaranteed customers by government decree? No, it's only competition that forces them to lift their game.
    “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.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Imagine what would happen to Australia's literacy rate if we closed all the public schools. Do you think it fair to say to a child because you were born to parents who dont have a well paid job and cannot afford to send you to a private school you are not entitled to an education (or at least a reasonable quality one)?
    I think if government gives money it spends on public school directly to parents, overall standard of schools (including public) will improve significantly. Private schools will become much more affordable then now as well.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    When large business (or call it corporate monopoly) becomes successful, it tries to curb competition by either using violent measures,
    Which is where the government does have a role: preventing coercion like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    or, where it is not feasible, lobby the government for the regulations preserving their dominant position.
    In a libertarian economy, the government would not be regulating in the first place, so this lobbying would be futile. Actually you've raised a very important point that it's government intervention that spawns corrupt monopolies. Friedman pointed out that regulatory bodies always end up acting in the interest of the established businesses, not in the interest of competition, and thus not in the interest of consumers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Another case where human nature makes pure libertarian society fragile.
    That sounds more like anarchy than libertarianism.
    “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.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    I think if government gives money it spends on public school directly to parents, overall standard of schools (including public) will improve significantly. Private schools will become much more affordable then now as well.
    And it would be cheaper as well, because there would be no need for such an expensive and expansive educratic bureaucracy.
    “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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