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  1. #61
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Why is it "ironic"? It would be ironic if I had previously criticised him.
    Its "ironic" that you claim your views are represented by the majority of economists but only ever seem to quote the same 2 or 3.

  2. #62
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Capitalism is most humane, and reduces power of politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Every single developed country has a regulated market enconomy.
    And most developed countries have moved away from over-regulation, high taxes and massive welfare bureaucracies.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Not a single unregulated market economy is the world! I think that it because the majority of economists agree that there needs to be some market regulation.
    How about, because politicians are running the show, and don't want to remove too much of their power? A deregulated economy (and a flat tax) would sharply reduce their power to reward cronies and punish opponents. Sowell points out in Real political reform:

    The media constantly depict campaign contributions as bribes that get business, in particular, special treatment from elected officials. They dogmatically refuse even to consider the possibility that these contributions are tributes exacted by politicians, armed with the power of government, which can make life miserable for any business that refuses to pay up.

    Even after revelations of [Pax's hero who finished in the bottom fifth of his uni class two years in a row] Vice President Al Gore's phone calls from the White House, telling — not asking — big business leaders how much he expected them to contribute to political campaigns, the liberal media still blindly insists that we are talking about bribes, not tribute.

    The fact that businesses — including Enron — usually contribute heavily to both parties still does not get through to most of the media that they are paying protection money more often than they are likely to get special favors. Any look at the trend of ever more detailed government regulation of business over the years might also suggest that business as a whole is losing ground while it pays protection money to avoid losing still more ground.

    See also Friedman's article Is Capitalism Humane? (1978)


    The essential notion of a capitalist society (which I’ll come back to) is voluntary cooperation, voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force. If the government is the master, if society is to be run from the center, people ultimately have to be ordered what to do.

    Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions.

    I go back to the essence of capitalism and its relevance to the question of humanity. The essence of a capitalist system in its pure form is that it is a system of cooperation without compulsion, of voluntary exchange, of free enterprise.

    I hasten to add that no actual system conforms fully to that notion. In the actual world we are always dealing with approximations, with more or less. In the actual world we always have impediments to voluntary exchange.

    But the essential character of a capitalist system is that it relies on voluntary exchange, on your agreeing with me that you will sell something to me if I will pay you a certain amount for it. The essential notion is that both parties to the exchange must benefit. That was the great vision of Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations: that individuals each separately pursuing his own self-interest could promote the social interest through exchange between people on the basis of mutual benefit.

    When you hear people objecting to the market or to capitalism and you examine their objections, you will find that most of those objections are objections to freedom itself. What most people are objecting to is that the market gives people what the people want instead of what the person talking thinks the people ought to want. That is true whether you are talking of the objections of a Galbraith to the market, whether you are talking of the objections of a Nader to the market, whether you are talking of the objections of a Marx or an Engels or a Lenin to the market.

    In a market society, in a society in which people are free to do their own thing, in which people make voluntary deals, it’s hard to do good. You’ve got to persuade people, and there’s nothing in this world that is harder. But the important thing is that in that kind of society it’s also hard to do harm.

    It’s true that if you had concentrated power in the hands of an angel he might be able to do a lot of good, as he viewed it, but one man’s good is another man’s bad. The great virtue of a market capitalist society is that, by preventing a concentration of power, it prevents people from doing the kind of harm which concentrated power can do.

    So I conclude that capitalism per se is not humane or inhumane; socialism is not humane or inhumane. But capitalism tends to give much freer rein to the more humane values of human beings. It tends to develop an atmosphere which is more favorable to the development on the one hand of a higher moral climate of responsibility and on the other greater achievements in every realm of human activity.
    “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. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Its "ironic" that you claim your views are represented by the majority of economists but only ever seem to quote the same 2 or 3.
    That's not a correct use of the word. I cite Sowell and Friedman not because they are alone but because I find them clearest in their explanations.
    “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. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Even after revelations of [Pax's hero who finished in the bottom fifth of his uni class two years in a row] Vice President Al Gore's
    Don't let the truth get in your way. Al Gore is not my hero..

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I don't think striving for total economic freedom in fundamentalist free market appraoch is going to deliver the outcomes for society that at least I am looking (e.g. a high standard of living for all). I'll be sticking with the regulated market approach. I can only hope this explosion in libertarianism is just a passing fad. Anyway they won't get my vote.
    BTW, Friedman was no libertarian fundamentalist like say Ayn Rand. He supported school vouchers, and welfare via negative taxation for low income earners. He criticized the usual welfare systems as paying people not to work and punishing them for getting a job, so they produce poor people. But he said it was the only government program he knew that actually paid more to lower income people; all others are either a complete waste and help no-one but the bureaucrats, or else they help the middle and upper middle classes at the expense of the very rich and very poor, which he called Director's Law (after his brother in law Aaron Director).
    “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. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    That's not a correct use of the word. I cite Sowell and Friedman not because they are alone but because I find them clearest in their explanations.
    Actually it is correct use of the word

    Ironic: characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is;

    It is expected that you would quote a wide range of sources considering you claim you veiws to represent the majority of economists, but in actual fact you only ever quote 2 or 3. That is indeed ironic.

    Where's Gunner when you need him

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    And most developed countries have moved away from over-regulation, high taxes and massive welfare bureaucracies.
    But not to unregulated markets. A balanced approach to regulation is exactly what I support. Thanks for further supporting my arguement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    How about, because politicians are running the show
    Rubbish de-regulation and privatisation are a great way to maintian politcal office, as it reduces the incumbents responsibilities to the public. When all services are privatised there is little reason for the population to complain to the government for not doing there job and hence there is less liklihood that the politicians will be removed from office. Rember politicains are not interested in maintianing the Public Service they are interested in maintaining votes.

  8. #68
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    Anyway as I said earlier it doesn't look like an unregulated market approach is going to adopted by any country any time soon. And Jono you don't look likley to be swayed from your erroneous position. So I'll leave it at that.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    But not to unregulated markets. A balanced approach to regulation is exactly what I support. Thanks for further supporting my arguement.
    But your idea of "balance" is massive government controls, so that we don't even own our own organs.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Rubbish de-regulation and privatisation are a great way to maintian politcal office, as it reduces the incumbents responsibilities to the public.
    Rubbish yourself. If the government isn't controlling the economy, there would be no reason for businessment to bribe politicians (or more likely, pay tribute to them). And if the government has "fewer responsibilities to the public", there is less incentive for politicians to push policies that will win them votes in the short term but stuff up the economy in the long term.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    When all services are privatised there is little reason for the population to complain to the government for not doing there job
    No, instead they can vote with their feet! So there is far more likelihood that private services will meet their needs than government monopolies that are paid regardless of how crappy they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    and hence there is less liklihood that the politicians will be removed from office.
    More likely, they can be removed for the right reasons, not because they fail to deliver goodies to various lobby groups. And the less control they have, the less damage they can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Rember politicains are not interested in maintianing the Public Service they are interested in maintaining votes.
    But they are interested in maintaining a public service if it gets them votes. It also increases their control.
    “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.

  10. #70
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    Schooling Education

    "Schools have not necessarily much to do with education... they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school." – Winston Churchill


    "Historically, much of the motivation for public schooling has been to stifle variety and institute social control." – Jack Hugh

    "I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom" - Sigrid Undset (Nobel Prize winner)

    The modern mass schooling we see today ,started in prussia in the early 1700s. They were the first to realise the benefits to the state of a more homogenised pliable public through mass schooling.

    John Taylor Gatto has it right IMO http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/

    Take the history of american schooling tour here !http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/historytour/history2.htm

    watch/listen to him here http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...n+taylor+gatto

    This also from Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, former Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education and author of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, who blew the whistle in the 80's on the agenda to use the education system as a tool for dumbing down the masses and creating a socialist control freak society.
    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/images/dumb.gif
    Last edited by Axiom; 25-01-2008 at 03:25 PM.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Actually it is correct use of the word

    Ironic: characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is;
    And in Pax's original statement, somehow it was ironic that I cited Sowell again with approval, although there is nothing incongruous about me citing him.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    It is expected that you would quote a wide range of sources considering you claim you veiws to represent the majority of economists, but in actual fact you only ever quote 2 or 3. That is indeed ironic.
    The quote in question by Sowell had references to sources showing that a majority of economists opposed minimum wage laws, even those who might be expected to support them because of their leftist support for the 'war on poverty'.
    “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.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    But your idea of "balance" is massive government controls, so that we don't even own our own organs.
    Massive relative to what, if you call the current state of governement regulations massive then "yes".


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    And if the government has "fewer responsibilities to the public", there is less incentive for politicians to push policies that will win them votes in the short term but stuff up the economy in the long term.
    How so the policies will always aim to win votes within the term. To ensure re-election


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    No, instead they can vote with their feet! So there is far more likelihood that private services will meet their needs than government monopolies that are paid regardless of how crappy they are.
    Now you can vote with your ballot. look at health systems in the OECD countries, The US is one of the only developed countries in the OECD that doesn't have a universal health care system, and they spend more per capita on health than any OECD country and we all know that increased cost has nothing to with better services. The countries with the lowest cost and best service are all publicly administered. Check out the stats for yourself at the OECD website.

    I do support productivity and service incentives for public serice organisations (i.e. wage increases based on productivity and service levels not years service etc). I do support the introduction of third party administered KPIs so that the public can better judge the performance of government.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    But they are interested in maintaining a public service if it gets them votes.
    Of course thats because it means the citizens want a public service. That the whole point of a democracy; majority rule.
    Last edited by TheJoker; 25-01-2008 at 01:38 PM.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Massive relative to what, if you call the current state of governement regulations massive then "yes".
    Yes, a tax code alone that's longer than the Sydney telephone book, and so complex that most people use accountants to fill it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    How so the policies will always aim to win votes within the term. To ensure re-election
    Yes, even if their economic policies kill the golden goose, although its death throes are not obvious until long after the politician is gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Now you can vote with your ballot. look at health systems in the OECD countries, The US is one of the only developed countries in the OECD that doesn't have a universal health care system, and they spend more per capita on health than any OECD country and we all know that increased cost has nothing to with better services. The countries with the lowest cost and best service are all publicly administered. Check out the stats for yourself at the OECD website.
    US is expensive because it is not privatised. There is an enormous amount of government interference. This blows out costs precisely because the users are not paying directly, as Sowell explains in No "Health Insurance". But still, they are better off than the socialized systems of Canada and Britain with their huge waiting lists. Canadians frequently cross the border to the US for treatment—see Canada's health-care system is to die for by John Stossel.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I do support productivity and service incentives for public serice organisations (i.e. wage increases based on productivity and service levels not years service etc).
    But by their very nature, it is unlikely to happen. The incentives for bureaucrats are very different from those in the private sector. Actually, the whole point is that the private sector is really the true public service, because they have to serve the public if they want to stay in business.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Of course thats because it means the citizens want a public service. That the whole point of a democracy; majority rule.
    Precisely why the American founders explicitly rejected democracy to found a republic; they didn't want unrestricted tyranny of the majority. If you take a cent from me that I don't want to give, then it's stealing. It is no less stealing if you can get a majority of your friends to support this confiscation. And as Freidman pointed out, most expenditure ends up helping the middle class at the expense of the very poor and very rich.
    “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.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Canadians frequently cross the border to the US for treatment
    As US citizens frequently go to Cuba for treatment

    Did you look at those stats or did you blindly follow Sowell's opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Yes, even if their policies kill the golden goose, although its death throes are not obvious until long after the politician is gone.
    And therein lies the problem of a democracy, politicians will almost always focus on the short term and re-election, but since there isn't a better alternative we just have to live with that fact. Nothing is perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    But by their very nature, it is unlikely to happen. The incentives for bureaucrats are very different from those in the private sector. Actually, the whole point is that the private sector is really the true public service, because they have to serve the public if they want to stay in business.
    Why is it unlikely? There is no reason such a system couldn't be implemented, particulary satisfaction of service incentives.

    Business does not need to focus on their service level if they are a monopoly or a cartel. The level of cartelling in a regulated market, suggests that in an unregulated market the practice would sky rocket. As would monopolising of resources etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Precisely why the American founders explicitly rejected democracy to found a republic; they didn't want unrestricted tyranny of the majority.
    I thoguht you found policies that benefit minorities at the expense of the majority as politically correct garbage. So shouldn't it following that the majority (middle class) have every right to impose policies that favour them over the minoirty rich and poor?

    Anyway you keep going around telling everyone that democracy is the tyranny of the majority. Sounds remarkably similar to the communist excuse for central planning, that the majority are not fit to rule. Interesting how extremism always comes down to the extremists believing that they are the annoited few who know what is best for the masses.
    Last edited by TheJoker; 25-01-2008 at 02:26 PM.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    As US citizens frequently go to Cuba for treatment
    Rely on reality not Mike Moore's crockumentaries. Moore visited only Cuba's elite institutions, available to party members and foreign dignitaries, not those available to the masses. Stossel demolished Moore on his adulation of the Cuban Communist system so he tried to change the subject to Britain and Canada, and even then Stossel showed that Canadians come to the US for urgent treatment (unless they are dogs or cats, which can get treatment immediately because veterinary services are not socialised).

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Did you look at those stats or did you blindly follow Sowell's opinion?
    The former, unlike uninformed lefties who blindly follow Enron adviser Krugman or the Labor/Dem talking points. Sowell is a top scholar, like Friedman his teacher and later colleague. Sometimes I've not agreed, and at other times I've re-thought or partially rethought my own ideas as a result, e.g. Prohibition and Drugs by Milton Friedman, Newsweek, 1 May 1972.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    And therein lies the problem of a democracy, politicians will almost always focus on the short term and re-election, but since there isn't a better alternative we just have to live with that fact. Nothing is perfect.
    A better knowledge of economics among the public would help.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Why is it unlikely? There is no reason such a system couldn't be implemented, particulary satisfaction of service incentives.
    There is already such a system: it's called the private sector!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Business does not need to focus on their service level if they are a monopoly or a cartel.
    The only way they can be cartels or monopolies is if the government bans competition.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    The level of cartelling in a regulated market, suggests that in an unregulated market the practice would sky rocket. As would monopolising of resources etc.
    Nope, in an unregulated market, competitors can enter and break up the cartels.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I thoguht you found policies that benefit minorities at the expense of the majority as politically correct garbage.
    You are talking of affirmative action, which indeed is PC garbage, because it helps on the basis of race or gender and not need.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    So shouldn't it following that the majority (middle class) have every right to impose policies that favour them over the minoirty rich and poor?
    No. The majority middle class have no right to steal.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Anyway you keep going around telling everyone that democracy is the tyranny of the majority. Sounds remarkably similar to the communist excuse for central planning, that the majority are not fit to rule.
    Nothing like it. The American Republic was founded to as government of the people by the people, but checks and balances on raw majority passions. Similarly, Australia doesn't have raw democracy otherwise we would have proportional representation. Communism is rule by the elite anointed with no say from the people and no checks and balances.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Interesting how extremism always comes down to the extremists believing that they are the annoited few who know what is best for the masses.
    Nope, I support the free market precisely because it is the antithesis of rule by the anointed few. You're the anointed one who supports restricting freedom of what we can do with our own organs and how much we can be paid.
    “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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