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TheJoker
22-01-2008, 06:23 PM
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.



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.


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!



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:eek:




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.



Certainly in capitalism there must be "creative destruction" of businesses that fail to serve the consumer.


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


[QUOTE=Jono]No. [QUOTE=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=Jono]Government regulation is almost always the problem, not the solution.
A matter of opinion.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
22-01-2008, 07:21 PM
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.


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.


So bascially irrelevant!
Nope, FDR expanded government in defiance of the Constitution, and prolonged the Great Depression, as many economists argue (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100903.asp).


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:eek:
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.


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 (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2008/01/23/subprime_bailout)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.


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 (http://www.ncsj.org/AuxPages/121001Estonia.shtml), resulting in huge economic growth.

Enron-adviser Krugman becomes corrupted by his writing for the Stalin-whitewashing New York Times (http://www.nationalreview.com/contributors/stuttaford051501.shtml), 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.

Capablanca-Fan
23-01-2008, 03:58 PM
A Freer World is a Better World (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2008/01/23/a_freer_world_is_a_better_world?page=2)
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.

TheJoker
23-01-2008, 04:52 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
23-01-2008, 07:16 PM
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.


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 (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3327).


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 (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=164907&postcount=130).

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


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 (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=174009&postcount=429), 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.

TheJoker
23-01-2008, 09:06 PM
Estonia, as I've explained in my post How Estonia became an economic powerhouse (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=164907&postcount=130).

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)


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.

Axiom
23-01-2008, 09:44 PM
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.

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2008, 09:48 PM
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?

Axiom
23-01-2008, 09:54 PM
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)

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2008, 10:05 PM
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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gRQBKFw4L8), 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.

Axiom
23-01-2008, 10:26 PM
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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gRQBKFw4L8), 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 !

TheJoker
23-01-2008, 10:40 PM
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.

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2008, 10:40 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
23-01-2008, 10:47 PM
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.


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.


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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
23-01-2008, 11:09 PM
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.


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.

TheJoker
23-01-2008, 11:54 PM
"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).

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 12:16 AM
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

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 12:31 PM
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.


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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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.


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.


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.

Igor_Goldenberg
24-01-2008, 01:20 PM
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.

pax
24-01-2008, 01:28 PM
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.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 01:53 PM
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.



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.


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.

Igor_Goldenberg
24-01-2008, 02:07 PM
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.



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.

pax
24-01-2008, 02:14 PM
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.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 02:47 PM
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.



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.


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)?



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.

Igor_Goldenberg
24-01-2008, 05:18 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 05:23 PM
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.


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'.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Igor_Goldenberg
24-01-2008, 05:27 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 05:30 PM
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.


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.


Another case where human nature makes pure libertarian society fragile.
That sounds more like anarchy than libertarianism.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 05:31 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 06:23 PM
A Libertarian Solution to Evolution Education Controversy: No More Public Schools (http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/a-libertarian-s.html)
By Brandon Keim
January 23, 2008


‘the key source of the school wars we and others have experienced has always been compulsion: forcing people to either send their children to or pay for schooling that violates their convictions. When there is no compulsion, conflict is relatively insignificant. Consider other marketplaces, such as the one for religion. Do Protestants picket outside synagogues saying, “No, Jesus wasn’t just some guy, he was God!!!!” Nope. Despite the fact that people often feel very strongly about their religious views, it’s live and let live, because there is no compulsion in the religious marketplace.

‘Liberals, ironically, think that a liberal education system based on parental choice would be socially divisive. They have it exactly backwards: it is the compelled conformity of a single officially-established school system that is socially divisive. Individual freedom in other areas of American life, especially religion, is the reason we have had such a comparatively stable and peaceful society. If we got rid of the one significant remaining area of cultural and ideological compulsion, the official school monopoly, the current red vs. blue animosity would lessen substantially (though of course there are reasons why it wouldn’t go away entirely).’

Aaron Guthrie
24-01-2008, 06:25 PM
I think you should make a new account called "JonoNewsbot" so I won't bother to click on new posts made by it. :P

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 07:17 PM
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.


What makes you think that the private sector can deliver better value for money. I agree many private schools deliver better education but they have a much larger expenditure. I'd like to see some stats that show that they deliver better outcomes with equal expenditure per capita (student).

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 07:24 PM
A Libertarian Solution to Evolution Education Controversy: No More Public Schools (http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/a-libertarian-s.html)
By Brandon Keim
January 23, 2008


‘the key source of the school wars we and others have experienced has always been compulsion: forcing people to either send their children to or pay for schooling that violates their convictions. When there is no compulsion, conflict is relatively insignificant. Consider other marketplaces, such as the one for religion. Do Protestants picket outside synagogues saying, “No, Jesus wasn’t just some guy, he was God!!!!” Nope. Despite the fact that people often feel very strongly about their religious views, it’s live and let live, because there is no compulsion in the religious marketplace.

‘Liberals, ironically, think that a liberal education system based on parental choice would be socially divisive. They have it exactly backwards: it is the compelled conformity of a single officially-established school system that is socially divisive. Individual freedom in other areas of American life, especially religion, is the reason we have had such a comparatively stable and peaceful society. If we got rid of the one significant remaining area of cultural and ideological compulsion, the official school monopoly, the current red vs. blue animosity would lessen substantially (though of course there are reasons why it wouldn’t go away entirely).’

Just quickly Jono want to point out that I have no problem with private schools operating in tandem with public schools.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 07:28 PM
Just quickly Jono want to point out that I have no problem with private schools operating in tandem with public schools.
But I have a problem with parents paying for their own kids' education as well as being forced to pay for other kids' education, while parents of those other kids don't reciprocate.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 07:45 PM
What makes you think that the private sector can deliver better value for money.
Let me list all the things that the private sector does better: food, drink, computers, cars, appliances, houses, gardens, clothes, communications, entertainment ...

And if you list the things that are wrong in this country, it's almost inevitable that government is behind it, e.g. water shortage, roads that are always congested, money-losing public transport, crappy subsidised modern "art", Centrelink, airport Gestapo who allow test bombs through but are great at confiscating water bottles, petrol shortages in Carter's America, electricity shortages in Gray Davis's California.

So should we run our schools like the first list where there is high quality product at good prices and with good service; or the second list that's rife with waste, inefficiency and crappy service?


I agree many private schools deliver better education but they have a much larger expenditure.
Actually, they often have lower expenditure since they don't have to spend on the educracy. But if the government paid parents (or even better, gave them tax rebates) instead of under-performing schools, more schools would deliver better education—they would have to if they wanted to attract students.


I'd like to see some stats that show that they deliver better outcomes with equal expenditure per capita (student).
Sowell has argued with reason that vouchers would be cheaper than the cost per student at state schools.

It's also notable that many Leftists who oppose vouchers send their own kids to the best private schools that money can buy, the hypocrites. So once again, leftist policies actually hurt the poor and middle class, while the very wealthy can get around them.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 07:47 PM
Not a problem in a free market system..

Interesting thn I wonder why Alan Greenspan would say that it is a problem? Then again I am sure you know better Jono:rolleyes:



I am unhappy with high taxes, water shortage, people dying on hospital waiting lists, people graduating from schools unable to read and write.

Firstly Australia has one of highest literacy (and numeracy) rates in the world. So I am not sure what you are talking about there, maybe its an arguement you picked up frm the US who are quite away behind Australia.



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.

How are you going to serve rural areas that don't have the customer base to be profitable. Or should we abandon agriculture and all live in the city?


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.

I will show that privatisation providing better service to the end user is often a fallacy. While it can often deliver efficiencies rarely does this deliver savings to the consumer as more often than not it negated by the need to deliver continual increases profits to the shareholders. But I demonstrate more when I put together the stats I promised



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.

We have competition at the moment both between private schools themselves and between private and public schools. I would like to evidence the private schools are delivering better outcomes based on the same expenditure per capita.



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.

Agree with you zoning could be removed no problem with that. But how do you select which students can attend the school assuming your demand is greater than supply?

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 07:59 PM
But I have a problem with parents paying for their own kids' education as well as being forced to pay for other kids' education, while parents of those other kids don't reciprocate.

In fact I think you will find that great deal of government funding goes to private schools.

Rather have that situation than see one where a child might not be able to afford to go to school at all.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Interesting thn I wonder why Alan Greenspan would say that it is a problem? Then again I am sure you know better Jono:rolleyes:
OK, then define 'fair'. I think it's fair that people keep more of what they earn, especially the large earnings possible when they can give many people what they want.


Firstly Australia has one of highest literacy (and numeracy) rates in the world. So I am not sure what you are talking about there, maybe its an arguement you picked up frm the US who are quite away behind Australia.
Actually, even here the uni lecturers are complaining of the poor English of students.


How are you going to serve rural areas that don't have the customer base to be profitable.
What you mean is forcing people in the city to fund people in the country, even though many country people are wealthier than many city folk.


Or should we abandon agriculture and all live in the city?
Actually, that's basically what we have done. Far more efficient farming and agriculture has made it possible that a far lower percentage of our workforce is needed to grow our food. This in turn has provided a workforce for new booming industries.


I will show that privatisation providing better service to the end user is often a fallacy.
Often? Rarely, more like it. And you would replace it with government that often provides crappy service, simply because a government bureaucrat has no incentive to deliver good service. But a private company must give good service or go out of business.

Certainly private companies are not perfect, because humans are not perfect. But it is folly to use imperfections in the private sector to justify government control, where gross imperfections are endemic and should be expected given the perverse incentives.


While it can often deliver efficiencies rarely does this deliver savings to the consumer as more often than not it negated by the need to deliver continual increases profits to the shareholders.
And why is this a bad thing? Not all shareholders are filthy rich. Most of them are not wealthy but hold shares indirectly through super funds. So increased profits help support retirees.

But the only way to deliver these increased profits is to sell more to consumers, which means they must persuade consumers to buy. And they do that by increasing quality and reducing price.


We have competition at the moment both between private schools themselves and between private and public schools.
Not fair competition, because parents are force to pay for public schools even if they send their own kids to private schools.


Agree with you zoning could be removed no problem with that. But how do you select which students can attend the school assuming your demand is greater than supply?
If there is demand, there is an incentive to supply.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Let me list all the things that the private sector does better: food, drink, computers, cars, appliances, houses, gardens, clothes, communications, entertainment ...

And if you list the things that are wrong in this country, it's almost inevitable that government is behind it, e.g. water shortage, roads that are always congested, money-losing public transport, crappy subsidised modern "art", Centrelink, airport Gestapo who allow test bombs through but are great at confiscating water bottles, petrol shortages in Carter's America, electricity shortages in Gray Davis's California.

So should we run our schools like the first list where there is high quality product at good prices and with good service; or the second list that's rife with waste, inefficiency and crappy service?


Actually, they often have lower expenditure since they don't have to spend on the educracy. But if the government paid parents (or even better, gave them tax rebates) instead of under-performing schools, more schools would deliver better education—they would have to if they wanted to attract students.


Sowell has argued with reason that vouchers would be cheaper than the cost per student at state schools.

It's also notable that many Leftists who oppose vouchers send their own kids to the best private schools that money can buy, the hypocrites. So once again, leftist policies actually hurt the poor and middle class, while the very wealthy can get around them.

Show me some stats and from Australia not the US we all know that there school system is up the sh*t.

Have a look at which countries top with world in education statistics and then tell me if they are predominately public or private schooling systems.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 09:33 PM
Economic Freedom Ratings for OECD countries based on Jono's list

1. Switzerland
2. USA
3. UK
4. Canada
5. Ireland
6. Australia


OECD Stats
GDP per Hour worked
You would expect that the countries with the most economic freedoms (free from all that gov interference will be the most efficient)

1. Luxembourg
2. Norway
3. Belgium
4. Ireland
5. Netherlands
6. France
7. United States
8. Germany
9. Sweden
10. Denmark
11. Australia
12. Austria
13. Finland
14. Canada
15. United Kingdom
16. Switzerland
17. Spain
18. Italy
19. Iceland
20. Japan
21. New Zealand

So with Switzerland the most "economically free" country in the world in 16th we could say that efficiency of business is not related directly to economic freedom.

Real Hourly minimum wages

1. Luxembourg
2. France
3. Netherlands
4. Ireland
5. Belgium
6. Australia
7. United Kingdom
8. Japan
9. New Zealand
10. Canada
11. United States

Switzerland didn't have any stats available in this cat. but the USA our No.2 on the economic freedom index is in 11th suggesting that economic freedoms alone will not increase minimum wage.

Minimum wage as a percentage of median wage
1. Australia
2. Luxembourg
3. Netherlands
4. Belgium
5. New Zealand
6. Slovak Republic
7. United Kingdom
8. Turkey
9. Canada
10. Poland
11. Ireland
12. Czech Republic
13. United States

The US at the bottom of the table, could possibily indicate that Greenspan's concern that a free market approach causes concerntration of wealth and widens the gap between the rich and the poor, is valid.


But what about that all important unemployment rate (lowest first)
1. Iceland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Korea
5. Mexico
6. Switzerland
7. Japan
8. Netherlands
9. New Zealand
10. Luxembourg
11. United States
12. Australia
13. Sweden
14. Austria
15. United Kingdom
16. Canada

Again the countries with the highest economic freedom don't top the list.


A good judge of the standard of living is the hours worked. Where the standard of living is good people, work less and enjoy the benefits more.

Average Hours worked per person in total employment (lowest first)

1. Netherlands
2. Norway
3. Germany
4. France
5. Belgium
6. Denmark
7. Sweden
8. Luxembourg
9. Ireland
10. Austria
11. United Kingdom
12. Australia
13. Finland
14. Canada
15. Slovak Republic
16. Portugal
17. Spain
18. Japan
19. New Zealand
20. Italy
21. United States

Wow the USA the second most economically free country in the OECD and they have longer working hours than almost anyone else! Maybe the cost of living there is pretty high?

Well I could show plenty more stats but check them out yourself at the OECD database. It is a great resource to cut through all the hyerbole you hear the media and politician's.

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.

Adamski
24-01-2008, 09:52 PM
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)?
Another option, which my wife and I pursued, is home-schooling. I think this is a very valid option, especially for those who cannot afford private schools.
Was interested in your adaptation of my sig quote - but as Jono said I don't think your analogies hold up.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Another option, which my wife and pursued, is home-schooling. I think this is a very valid option, especially for those who cannot afford private schools.
Was interested in your adaptation of my sig quote - but as Jono said I don't think your analogies hold up.

It's such a fantastic quote just had to try and squeeze it in ;)

Home schooling is can be an option for those who have the skills and time to invest in it

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 10:12 PM
So with Switzerland the most "economically free" country in the world in 16th we could say that efficiency of business is not related directly to economic freedom.
Who says that hours worked mean most efficient? Efficiency usually means output per man hour, so without the output, we can't know the efficiency.


Switzerland didn't have any stats available in this cat. but the USA our No.2 on the economic freedom index is in 11th suggesting that economic freedoms alone will not increase minimum wage.
So? The minimum wage is actually zero. Busybodies can legislate that an employee is verboten to pay below a certain amount, but can't legislate to force an employer to employ someone whose productivity is worth less. So teenagers are denied a valuable stepping stone to higher wages with the experience such a job would have given them (punctuality, appearance, following instructions, customer service).

Interesting that even under your own assumptions, the economically free are all fairly high up in the minimum wage stakes.


The US at the bottom of the table, could possibily indicate that Greenspan's concern that a free market approach causes concerntration of wealth and widens the gap between the rich and the poor, is valid.
Who cares about the gap? Leftists would whinge if a genie magically doubled everyone's real wealth, because that would double the gap between rich and poor!


Again the countries with the highest economic freedom don't top the list.
The freedom is in several categories. Note that the ones with the highest minimum wages didn't top this list, which is not surprising to anyone with basic economic knowledge of supply and demand: price floors lead to surpluses, and a surplus of labor = unemployment.


Wow the USA the second most economically free country in the OECD and they have longer working hours than almost anyone else! Maybe the cost of living there is pretty high?
You've gotta be kidding. Most things are more expensive here than there. And the "hours per week" means little; France for example can't sustain it and the new President plans to change it. And some of the other countries high up in this list have similarly feather-bedded employment practices which is why they are not near the top of your unemployment list. I.e. if an employer must cover so many benefits and can't easily dismiss a useless employee, he will be more reluctant to hire more.


I don't think striving for total economic freedom in fundamentalist free market
Translation: I have the right to stop free people buying and selling if I think I know what's good for them better than they do.


appraoch is going to deliver the outcomes for society that at least I am looking (e.g. a high standard of living for all).
In practice, your lefty ideas lead to low standard of living for all but the well connected.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 10:16 PM
Another option, which my wife and I pursued, is home-schooling. I think this is a very valid option, especially for those who cannot afford private schools.
Definitely. The proposed vouchers (or better, tax rebates) should be allowed to cover homeschool expenses too.

It's interesting that in Brisbane's last Sunday Mail, the educracy was whinging that parents aren't doing enough to teach their kids proper social skills, since the teachers should only have to teach their subject not teach them social skills. So how come the same educrats also denounce home-schooling on the grounds that kids won't be properly socialized?

Previously, the teachers unions were whinging that parents aren't doing enough to contribute towards their kids' learning in reading and maths. Once again, they would also denounce homeschooling because parents aren't qualified teachers.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 10:18 PM
Who says that hours worked mean most efficient? Efficiency usually means output per man hour, so without the output, we can't know the efficiency.

It GDP per man hour. Read the post more carefully.

Adamski
24-01-2008, 10:21 PM
Is it still true that home-schooling is much more difficult to do in QLD than in NSW or NZ? In the group of home-schooling parents we participated in in NSW, some had come from QLD where they had not been able to home-school. Too many hoops to overcome. Its also for some reason easier to get authorised to home-school in NZ than in NSW...we had to show intended curriculum, convince a govt person we were competent etc. here.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 10:22 PM
Show me some stats and from Australia not the US we all know that there school system is up the sh*t.

Have a look at which countries top with world in education statistics and then tell me if they are predominately public or private schooling systems.
The US system is up the proverbial fecal watercourse precisely because of the strong teachers union monopoly. Yet more and more money is thrown at them, which is typical of government-run things: failure is rewarded. Yet American kids do worse than kids from other countries with far less money. John Stossel points out (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-1_11_06_JS.html):


This should come as no surprise since public education in the USA is a government monopoly. If you don't like your public school? Tough. If the school is terrible? Tough. Your taxes fund that school regardless of whether it's good or bad.

Government monopolies routinely fail their customers.

Kaat Vandensavel runs a Belgian government school, but in Belgium, school funding follows students, even to private schools. So Vandensavel has to work hard to impress the parents. "If we don't offer them what they want for their child, they won't come to our school." That pressure makes a world of difference, she says. It forces Belgian schools to innovate in order to appeal to parents and students. Vandensavel's school offers extra sports programs and classes in hairdressing, car mechanics, cooking, and furniture building. She told us, "We have to work hard day after day. Otherwise you just [go] out of business."

"That's normal in Western Europe," Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby told me. "If schools don't perform well, a parent would never be trapped in that school in the same way you could be trapped in the U.S."

Vandensavel adds, "America seems like a medieval country …
a Communist country on the educational level, because there's no freedom of choice — not for parents, not for pupils."



Accountability is why universities and private schools perform better. Every day they are held accountable by parents and students, and if they fail the kids, school administrators lose their jobs. Public school officials almost never lose jobs.

Government schools are accountable only to their fellow politicians, and that kind of accountability is virtually no accountability.

The public schools are cheating the children.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 11:05 PM
The minimum wage is actually zero.
So what happens when there is a labour surplus, employers with the market advantage can pay wages below the poverty standards. I think I prefer a safety net.


Interesting that even under your own assumptions, the economically free are all fairly high up in the minimum wage stakes.

There my assumptions there based on OECD stats.


Who cares about the gap? Leftists would whinge if a genie magically doubled everyone's real wealth, because that would double the gap between rich and poor!

I was talking about the gap as percentag eof total wealth in which case if doubled everybodies wealth the percentage gap would remain the same.:doh:



And the "hours per week" means little

Maybe to those who dont work might think that. as for the rest of us it is pretty important not to have to work such long hours.




In practice, your lefty ideas lead to low standard of living for all but the well connected.

my ideas aren't lefty they are mainstream i am arguing for maintaining the status quo albeit with minor changes.

Anyway I'll leave it at that!

Adamski
24-01-2008, 11:21 PM
Maybe to those who dont work might think that. as for the rest of us it is pretty important.
Hours per week is not a great measure. It gets inflated by workaholics (in many countries) who work too many hours and neglect family and often their own well-being. I worked at one company where 16 hour days were the norm - I resigned, it was too much.

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2008, 11:38 PM
Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics:
What's Wrong with Our Schools? (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/friedman/friedmans/writings/1979.jsp)
From Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, 1979/1980.


Indeed, we believe that the penalty that is now imposed on parents who do not send their children to public schools violates the spirit of the First Amendment, whatever lawyers and judges may decide about the letter. Public schools teach religion, too not a formal, theistic religion, but a set of values and beliefs that constitute a religion in all but name. The present arrangements abridge the religious freedom of parents who do not accept the religion taught by the public schools yet are forced to pay to have their children indoctrinated with it, and to pay still more to have their children escape indoctrination.

TheJoker
24-01-2008, 11:44 PM
Hours per week is not a great measure. It gets inflated by workaholics (in many countries) who work too many hours and neglect family and often their own well-being. I worked at one company where 16 hour days were the norm - I resigned, it was too much.

Jono2, I probably wasn't clear in my post. What I meant was for those of use that work hard, we dont want to have to work long hours.

I felt that the countries that work less hours per week have a better standard of living for the reasons you mention above.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 12:06 AM
So what happens when there is a labour surplus, employers with the market advantage can pay wages below the poverty standards.
No, employers won't pay above what an employer's productivity is worth. So all they do is price people out of jobs. And historically they have been used nefariously. Thomas Sowell, a black economist, writes (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-11_15_05_TS.html):


Let us go back a few generations in the United States. We need not speculate about racial discrimination because it was openly spelled out in laws in the Southern states, where most blacks lived, and was not unknown in the North.

Yet in the late 1940s, the unemployment rate among young black men was not only far lower than it is today but was not very different from unemployment rates among young whites the same ages. Every census from 1890 through 1930 showed labor force participation rates for blacks to be as high as, or higher than, labor force participation rates among whites.

Why are things so different today in the United States — and so different among Muslim young men in France? That is where economics comes in.

People who are less in demand — whether because of inexperience, lower skills, or race — are just as employable at lower pay rates as people who are in high demand are at higher pay rates. That is why blacks were just as able to find jobs as whites were, prior to the decade of the 1930s and why a serious gap in unemployment between black teenagers and white teenagers opened up only after 1950.

Prior to the decade of the 1930s, the wages of inexperienced and unskilled labor were determined by supply and demand. There was no federal minimum wage law and labor unions did not usually organize inexperienced and unskilled workers. That is why such workers were able to find jobs, just like everyone else, even when these were black workers in an era of open discrimination.

The first federal minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, was passed in part explicitly to prevent black construction workers from "taking jobs" from white construction workers by working for lower wages. It was not meant to protect black workers from "exploitation" but to protect white workers from competition.

And most people on minimum wages are supporting a family and about half are part-time. Also, the vast majority don't stay there. A Cato Institute (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell110503.asp)study sowed that their pay increases an average of 30 percent in just their first year of employment. So these starting jobs are valuable for the experience, which minimum wage laws deny to many people.


I think I prefer a safety net.
There is nothing safe about a poverty trap. Sowell writes elsewhere (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell080101.asp):


The minimum wage law is very cleverly misnamed. The real minimum wage is zero — and that is what many inexperienced and low-skilled people receive as a result of legislation that makes it illegal to pay them what they are currently worth to an employer.

Most economists have long recognized that minimum wage laws increase unemployment among the least skilled, least experienced, and minority workers. With a little experience, these workers are likely to be worth more. But they cannot move up the ladder if they can't get on the ladder.

That is the real tragedy of the real minimum wage — zero. It is not just the money that these young people miss. It is the experience that can turn out to be far more valuable to them than the first paychecks they take home.

This is especially tragic in the Third World, where multinational corporations may be pressured into setting wages well above what the local labor market conditions would justify. This pressure often comes from self-righteous people back home who mount shrill demonstrations in the mistaken belief that they are helping poor people overseas.

Half a century ago, Professor Peter Bauer of the London School of Economics pointed out that "a striking feature of many under-developed countries is that money wages are maintained at high levels" while "large numbers are seeking but unable to find work."

These people can least afford to get the minimum wage of zero, just so that their would-be saviors can feel noble, or so that labor unions in Europe or America can price them out of a job, in order to protect their own members' jobs.


I was talking about the gap as percentag eof total wealth in which case if doubled everybodies wealth the percentage gap would remain the same.:doh:
:doh: Even then, by your lefty standard, there would be no improvement because the gap hasn't closed.


Maybe to those who dont work might think that. as for the rest of us it is pretty important not to have to work such long hours.
Those who work long hours are often in high-powered jobs.


my ideas aren't lefty they are mainstream i am arguing for maintaining the status quo albeit with minor changes.
It is very out of kilter with the majority of economists.

pax
25-01-2008, 12:42 AM
It is very out of kilter with the majority of economists.

You mean the three economists who agree with your extreme rightwing completely unregulated free market?

pax
25-01-2008, 12:51 AM
The minimum wage law is very cleverly misnamed. The real minimum wage is zero — and that is what many inexperienced and low-skilled people receive as a result of legislation that makes it illegal to pay them what they are currently worth to an employer.

The trouble is that employers of the low-waged have an economic interest in paying low skilled employees as little as possible, and don't necessarily care what they are worth as long as it is more than they have to pay. The result in a completely unregulated job market and an environment of economic downturn is an underclass of people who are paid far, far less than they are worth.

Australia has a pretty strong minimum wage, and this does not seem to have prevented us from having unemployment at pretty near to minimum levels.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 01:07 AM
The trouble is that employers of the low-waged have an economic interest in paying low skilled employees as little as possible,
Well, employees have an economic interest in earning as much as possible for their work, customers have an economic interest in paying as little for items, sellers have an economic interest in getting the best price for them ... Do you have anything more than an economic truism?


and don't necessarily care what they are worth as long as it is more than they have to pay.
First, same applies to the other groups above. Second, employers don't want to lose money by paying someone more than what his productivity justifies. But if the minimum wage is $8/hr, I fail to see why a teenager is worse off being employed at $7.50 with on-the-job training than being unemployed.


The result in a completely unregulated job market and an environment of economic downturn is an underclass of people who are paid far, far less than they are worth.
What does it mean, "less than they are worth". If an employer pays much less than the employee's productivity is worth, another employer might offer more. As Friedman pointed out long ago, competition between multiple employers are the best protection workers have. Unions on the other hand are great for their own members, those that can join, but at the cost of other workers.


Australia has a pretty strong minimum wage, and this does not seem to have prevented us from having unemployment at pretty near to minimum levels.
Howards IR reforms had something to do with that. And the LDP/Friedman negative taxation idea would help even more in getting rid of Centrelink bullying of the unemployed as well as getting rid of the poverty trap where an unemployed person might be worse off taking a job.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 01:11 AM
You mean the three economists who agree with your extreme rightwing completely unregulated free market?
If allowing people freedom of buying or selling is "extreme rightwing", then I'm all for it! But it's many more than three who oppose minimum wage laws. Sowell writes in Minimum Wage Escalation (http://www.amatecon.com/etext/mwe/mwe.html):


Because of inflation, minimum wage levels have been periodically reviewed, and therefore the general issues and growing evidence on the actual effects of the Fair Labor Standards Act have also been reviewed. What an automatic escalation provision means is that we stop looking at the evidence. And we would stop at a time when a growing body of research by independent economists around the country is documenting the negative effects of the minimum wage law—and particularly its devastating impact on job opportunities for minority teenagers.1
Minimum wage laws have been aptly described as “anathema to economists.”2 Even though 88 percent of academic economists supported the “war on poverty,” 61 percent of those same economists opposed the minimum wage law.3 In short, this is not opposition based on philosophy or political leanings, but on economic analysis and on the mounting factual evidence that the law increases unemployment among the very people intended to be benefited. Moreover, economic research has also revealed a disturbing correlation between teenage unemployment rates and teenage crime rates.4 In view of this, this seems like a particularly inappropriate time to stop looking at the evidence by putting in an escalator clause that will give the law a life of its own, independent of its effects on people.

pax
25-01-2008, 10:10 AM
If allowing people freedom of buying or selling is "extreme rightwing", then I'm all for it! But it's many more than three who oppose minimum wage laws. Sowell writes in Minimum Wage Escalation (http://www.amatecon.com/etext/mwe/mwe.html):

It's ironic that you again resort to quoting Sowell.

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 10:12 AM
It is very out of kilter with the majority of economists.

Every single developed country has a regulated market enconomy. 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.

Anyway I can see I am :wall: so I think we will just have to agree to disagree. And I can take comfort in the fact that your totally unregulated market approach doesn't look likely to be adopted by any country anytime soon. :owned:

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 11:12 AM
It's ironic that you again resort to quoting Sowell.
Why is it "ironic"? :confused: It would be ironic if I had previously criticised him.

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 11:20 AM
Why is it "ironic"? :confused: 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.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 11:45 AM
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.


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 (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell022502.asp):


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? (http://www.freetochoose.net/article_2b.html) (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.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 11:46 AM
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.

pax
25-01-2008, 11:50 AM
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..

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 11:55 AM
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).

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 12:31 PM
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 ;)

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 12:41 PM
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.



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.

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 12:45 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 01:08 PM
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Axiom
25-01-2008, 01:10 PM
"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?search_query=john+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

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 01:12 PM
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.


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'.

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 01:34 PM
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".



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



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.




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.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2008, 01:49 PM
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.


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.


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" (http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/27703.html). 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 (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=John+Stossel%3A+Canada's+hea lth-care+system+is+to+die+for&articleId=c3108c8d-43c4-436b-9af1-b9acf4875aef)by John Stossel.


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.


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.

TheJoker
25-01-2008, 02:21 PM
Canadians frequently cross the border to the US for treatment

As US citizens frequently go to Cuba for treatment:eek:

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


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.


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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2008, 03:12 PM
As US citizens frequently go to Cuba for treatment:eek:
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 (http://www.publiuspundit.com/2007/09/exposing_michael_moores_lies_a.php). Stossel demolished Moore on his adulation of the Cuban Communist system so he tried to change the subject to Britain and Canada (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/cuba_has_better_health_care_th.html), and even then Stossel showed that Canadians come to the US for urgent treatment (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/socialized_medicine_is_broken.html) (unless they are dogs or cats, which can get treatment immediately because veterinary services are not socialised).


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 (http://www.druglibrary.org/special/friedman/prohibition_and_drugs.htm) by Milton Friedman, Newsweek, 1 May 1972.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2008, 03:54 PM
http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf

The problems
Broadly speaking, there are two pressing problems in Australian public policy today: our tax system and our welfare system.
Our income tax system is complex, arbitrary, inefficient, wasteful—and the level of taxation is simply too high. Our top marginal tax rate is higher than the rate in communist (sic) China, our income tax burden is one of the highest in the developed world8 and Australians are currently suffering from the highest level of tax in our history. An estimated 80,000 people are employed to avoid or enforce taxes,9 and those taxes result in about $30 billion of lost efficiency every year.10

The current system of welfare payments is complex, expensive, inefficient and ineffective. If we distributed the current federal welfare budget directly to the poorest 25% of Australians, each family of four would receive $72,000 per year.11 And welfare spending continues to increase quickly. In three years, we will reach $100 billion federal spending on welfare ($80,000 for each of our poorest 25% of families). And yet, despite this massive level of expenditure, poverty remains and is even entrenched. One reason is that our current approach to poverty prevents people from getting jobs, and then fails to reward people who do work.

The idea: 30/30
In brief, the idea of Reform 30/30 includes a tax-free threshold of $30,000 and a flat income tax of 30%, with no deductions. In addition, the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) would be reduced to 30% and the Medicare levy would be abolished.12 All welfare payments would be replaced by a sliding scale of payments made only to people with an income below $30,000.13

This welfare system, called a Negative Income Tax (NIT), would pay the recipient 30% of the difference between his or her income and the tax-free threshold ($30,000). Rates of welfare payments are outlined in Box 1. As the NIT is paid to low-income earners, it would also replace the minimum wage.

...

The key point to note here is that by increasing the tax-free threshold to $30,000 and only
providing welfare to people with incomes below $30,000, there is no overlap between taxpayers
and welfare recipients. Not only does this remove the problem of overlapping work disincentives,
but also it removes the pointless churning of money from taxpayers to bureaucrats back to the
same taxpayers. The size of this pointless churning has been estimated as high as $85 billion.

...

In static terms, the biggest winners are workers—especially low-income individuals. Those on
half minimum wage see their disposable income increase by 21% while those on the minimum
wage see their disposable income increase by 31%.

Note that the current system has people on half minimum wage both paying tax ($962) and
receiving welfare ($3,512) while the Reform 30/30 option has no such churning. In the current
system, people moving from no income to half-minimum wage see their welfare payment decrease
by 57% while they also pay an average of 8% income tax, giving them an EMTR of 65%. People
currently on half minimum face an EMTR of 49%, those on the minimum wage face an EMTR
of 30% and those on an average wage face an EMTR of 45%. Under Reform 30/30 they all face
a constant EMTR of 30%.

Average and above-average wage earners also benefit by 14% and 19% respectively. Note that
the income tax paid by a worker on an average income almost halves from nearly $11,000 to
$5,700.

In contrast, the unemployed see their disposable income reduced by 11%.

...

Another important benefit from Reform 30/30 is the simplicity of the system. Currently we have myriad programmes, tax law that runs to about 10,000 pages, various tax rates and tax offsets and tax deductions and tax minimisation schemes, as well as a broad range of welfare payments and welfare supplements and withdrawal rates and top up payments and penalties, and so on.

Thousands of administrators are given the task of removing tax from workers, so that the same money can be paid back to the same workers. Taxpayers struggle with tax returns and wealthy Australians find tax loop-holes. By having a flat tax at the same level as company tax, and removing all tax expenditures (that is, removing all tax offsets and deductions except those necessary to retain the integrity of the income tax system), there would be no need for tax returns for the majority of taxpayers.

Compliance cost is removed. The dreaded ‘Tax Pack’ would become a thing of the past for most Australians, saving considerable time, money and headaches.

One problem of the current system is the churning of welfare—where the same person both pays income tax and receives welfare. Under the above proposal, this would be abolished. Reform 30/30 integrates the income tax and the welfare system because welfare is only paid to people with incomes below $30,000 and income tax is only charged to people with incomes over $30,000. An individual with an income of $30,000 would neither pay tax nor receive welfare. Administration costs would be reduced. The dreaded ‘Tax Pack’ would become a thing of the past for most Australians, saving considerable time, money and headaches.

This is far better than the previous system of just paying people not to work, and the current Centrelink bullying of the unemployed to get a job even if he is penalized financially for working.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2008, 04:41 PM
Reform 30/30: Rebuilding Australia’s Tax and Welfare Systems (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf)


Both the Five Economists’ Plan and the 30/30 NIT directly confront the fact that the minimum wage causes unemployment and recognise that the minimum wage is a uniquely bad instrument for helping poor workers.
The minimum wage does not target poor households. Dawkins cites evidence that only 10% of minimum wage earners are from families in the bottom 10% of disposable incomes, and 25% of minimum wage earners come from families in the top 30% of disposable incomes. There is also some evidence that minimum wages are offset against lower quality of work (fewer fringe benefits, less on-the-job training). Further, if minimum wages affect industries that supply basic goods and services (such as food) then they will negatively affect low-income consumers.

More importantly, the minimum wage results in unemployment and unemployment is the main cause of poverty in Australia. In the labour market, people’s wages will approximate their level of marginal productivity. If the minimum wage is set above a person’s level of marginal productivity, then they will not be employed. For example, if I bring $7/hour of value to a business, but the business is forced to pay me $8/hour, it will simply not employ me or it will make a loss. In economic jargon, this is referred to as ‘setting the wage rate higher than the market-clearing wage rate so that labour supply exceeds labour demand’. In common language, we just say ‘unemployment’.

The consequences overwhelmingly fall on young, low-skilled and inexperienced workers. In groups with a high level of reliance on the minimum wage (youth, Aborigines, rural workers, lowskilled workers) their level of unemployment is higher than average. Lewis shows how minimum wage legislation changes the nature of employment opportunities in a way that negatively impacts on the low-skilled and less educated. Not surprisingly then, the data show that unemployed people (especially the long-term unemployed) tend to have fewer skills and less education.

Dawkins shows that the effect of freezing nominal wage increases over four years could lead to a 1–1.5% reduction in the unemployment rate and he notes that this would specifically help unskilled workers and the long-term unemployed. This theme of wage changes especially impacting on low skilled workers is re-enforced by the international work done by Hamermesh. Borland summarises the data on labour demand elasticities for Australian youth and finds evidence that wage changes have a big potential impact on youth employment. There is an ongoing debate about the exact size of the relationship between wage rates and employment. One recent Australia estimate by Lewis and MacDonald suggests a wage elasticity of labour demand of –0.9 (for hours worked) and –0.8 (for employment). That is, if average wages were increased by 10% then employment would decrease by 8%. Some economists have suggested a lower estimate of around –0.4. Either estimate is plausible and consistent with previous studies both in Australia and internationally.

Put simply, the minimum wage is bad policy and should be scrapped. It is a bad way to help poor people, while it is a very good way of creating unemployment— the primary cause of poverty.

How much employment would Reform 30/30 create? The original Five Economists’ Plan suggested an increase of 2.5–3% (250,000–300,000). Dawkins later estimated an effect of 2–2.5% (200,000–250,000), though he added that it could be higher.

Borland has estimated a 2.1–7.2% (210,000–720,000) increase in employment from the Five Economists’ Plan. Richardson30 suggests 169,000 after ten years and Dixon and Rimmer31 estimated 2% (200,000) after five years and 4% (400,000) after ten years.

Lewis cites recent evidence that shows that relatively slower wage growth for low income earners over the last ten years in Australia has coincided with a relatively higher rate of jobs growth, and he extrapolates from that to conclude that if the minimum wage had been kept constant in nominal terms over the last ten years, there would now be 650,000 more jobs. This is consistent with the estimates of the more moderate Five Economists’ Plan.

As discussed above, recent Australian estimates of the total wage elasticity of labour demand range from –0.4 to –0.8. Consequently, if real wage growth were slowed by 10% over the coming years then there would be 400,000–800,000 more jobs. It should be noted that the above elasticity measures the relationship between average wages (not the minimum wage) and employment.

Andrew Leigh recently looked at the Australian minimum wage elasticity for labour demand by comparing WA minimum wage changes with the rest of Australia. In six natural experiments, he found an elasticity of -0.03, -0.25, 0.01, –0.41, –0.22 and –0.2. In aggregate, Leigh determined the minimum wage elasticity of labour demand to be –0.15 (that is, a 10% increase in the minimum wage would lead to a 1.5% decrease in employment). It is also interesting to note that the biggest effect is on young people, with 15–24 year olds suffering an elasticity of –0.49. Leigh’s results are lower than previous Productivity Commission estimates and are on the low-end of international estimates and ACCI gives reasons for believing the Australia-wide minimum wage elasticity may be higher.

The impact of Reform 30/30 is more radical than the Dawkins option in abolishing the minimum wage, and so the employment benefits would be bigger. However, as the minimum wage is lowered, the marginal benefits from further reductions are smaller as fewer people are on the minimum wage. A rough estimate of 400,000–600,000 (with a midpoint of 500,000) new jobs leading to a 2–3% reduction in the unemployment rate seems reasonable. If the minimum wage had been kept constant in nominal terms over the last ten years, there would now be 650,000 more jobs.

...

while our current system is generous in financial terms, it is burdensome in terms of compliance and requirements on the job-seeker. When determining the real benefits of welfare to the recipient, it is appropriate to calculate the net benefit after removing costs of compliance. By some interpretations, the government has pursued a policy of decreasing the net benefit of welfare by increasing compliance costs (work for the dole, dole diary, and so on). In contrast, Reform 30/30 removes the compliance costs for welfare recipients. Consequently, the net benefit to the welfare recipient may not actually decrease, while the cost to the taxpayer certainly will.

TheJoker
26-01-2008, 07:44 PM
Just a quick question. Under the LDP system what will be the annual income of retired person (with no super), or someone who is medically not fit for employment (e.g. bed ridden and terminally ill).

Secondly without medicare what do you estimate the annual health insurance premium to be for such people. Will they even be insurable since they will surely not be profitable customers.

How much to you expect health insurance premiums will rise for the rest of us when they need to cover all medical procedures. What do you expect the gap to be between the insurance company benefit and actual cost of medical treatment. For example my current health insurance pays $35 of my physio bill, The standard charge for a physio visit I estimate to between $45-$65, a gap of a little less than 50%. A percentage figure would be nice.

To cut it short do you imagine that a retired person with no super annuation, or a single mother of 3 who is medically unfit for employment to be able to afford health care in the private market place, on top of paying for accomodation, food and other basic essential and also school fees (no public schools I am assuming) and medical insurance for there children?

Can you please show me a feasibility study for the above-mentioned scheme to show that:

1. A current pensioner with no super will be able live on the income generated by negative taxation. Pay for rent, pay for food, pay for private health insurance (if they are even insurable), and full price for transport.

2. That a single mother of 3 who currently has a terminal illness and is medically unfit for work, will be able to pay for health insurance for herself (again if it is even availalble) and her children, pay for education costs in the private system (what are current median private school fees?) child care when needed, and other essential living cost like rent, food transport etc.

3. Tht the tax system will generate enough funds to maintain the government services still left in place.

Don't get me wrong I am in favour of tax reform, and reform to welfare to ensure the money is directed more efficiently to those in need. Just not in favour of abolishing a public healthcare system, or a public education system etc.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2008, 11:08 PM
The proposals above concerned taxation and welfare. There is no doubt that the vast majority will be much better off, and it's also likely that many more jobs would be generated. It was not the concern to address every possible situation, but even the "hard cases" are hardly doing so well under the current system.

But the paper had an appendix dealing with those sorts of cases anyway. E.g. raise the tax-free threshold by a certain amount per child:


If the tax-free threshold was raised by $6,000 per child this would cost an additional $7.2 billion in higher welfare payments and lost tax revenue. If the tax-free threshold were raised by $10,000 per child, this would cost an additional $12 billion. This second option is identical to
the Maley suggestion of a $3,000 non-means tested child subsidy. For comparison, the current approach of Family Tax Benefit (A and B), Child Care Benefit and Maternity Allowance cost about $13.2 billion per year.

With a child TFT supplement of $6,000, a couple with two children would now have a combined TFT of $72,000 ($30,000 + $30,000 + $6,000 + $6,000). An unemployed couple with two children would receive $21,600 through the NIT.

Such a policy would not impact on the incentives or consequences of the basic reform plan except to increase its budgetary cost. One important point to note is that such a policy does not differentiate between working parents and stay-at-home parents and so does not discriminate for or against any particular lifestyle choice.

The unemployed single mother with three kids would presumably receive 30%x($30,000 + 3x$6,000) = $14,400, and also not be harrassed by Centrelink bureaucrats. The most important thing, once again, is that the marginal tax rates on any employment she gets is always 30%, not close to 100% as now. So even employment at minimum wage would leave her 17% better off than under the current system.

As for disabilities or age, they could be things tacked onto this basic reform, as the paper says:


Another important issue for welfare is the protection of people who are particularly disadvantaged such as the disabled, and policies for retirement income. This paper does not aim to deal with these complex issues and Reform 30/30 is consistent with various approaches to disability and
retirement policies.

Both disability payments and the aged pension could be paid as TFT supplements (as suggested for parents of children). However, there are potentially better alternatives.

With disability services there is an argument for decentralising responsibility to the State level and civil society. The needs of the disabled vary considerably and it makes little sense to bundle in the seriously disabled with those who are suffering in the recent epidemic of convenient bad backs
and depression. These issues are best addressed at a more personal level.

With regards to the aged pension, there is an argument that the compulsory superannuation system removes the need for any additional welfare payments beyond the NIT. One approach would be to introduce a TFT supplement for current aged pension recipients and phase this out as
the generation of compulsory superannuation savers reach retirement. Civil society would be more than strong enough to offer any additional help that would be necessary.

Using current disability pension and aged pension payments, the cost of additional disability and aged welfare supplements is likely to be about $10–15 billion.

The paper also points out that charitable giving is likely to increase when the government claws back less in taxes:


Davidson calculates a correlation between the top marginal tax rate in different countries and their rate of charitable giving of –0.23 (that is, the higher the tax rate, the lower the level of charitable donations). As Reform 30/30 decreases the top marginal tax rate by 18.5 percentage points, it should encourage more charitable giving. Also, there is ample evidence that rich people give more to charity, so as Reform 30/30 leads to a larger and stronger economy it will also lead to more philanthropy.

There are benefits from achieving welfare goals through civil society, including a more personal treatment of the poor and the virtues of voluntary redistribution (based on moral choices) compared with a compulsory system (that may foster resentment).

The paper also addresses the revenue question, and points out that many savings will be made in getting rid of masses of the welfare and taxation bureaucracy, there will be none of this crass churning where people both pay taxes and receive welfare, and half a million likely new jobs:


One potential criticism of Reform 30/30 is that it is not affordable. However, rough estimates
indicate that it would more than pay for itself. The below estimates suggest a $15 billion per year
improvement in the budget bottom line (excluding any potential benefits from higher economic
growth).

Even if the reforms did cost the budget, the benefits of this plan more than justify eating into
the surplus or removing a range of poor current spending policies.
There are eight ways that this reform impacts on the budget:

1) Tax cut of about $40 billion per year
2) Replace all welfare with an NIT, which saves about $15 billion per year
3) Additional spending on children, aged & disabled of about $25 billion per year
4) Abolish tax expenditures of about $30 billion per year
5) Higher tax from a bigger economy of about $25 billion per year
6) Administrative savings of about $5 billion per year
7) Decreased tax avoidance and evasion of about $5 billion per year
8) Potential future benefits of higher economic growth

TheJoker
27-01-2008, 12:02 AM
The unemployed single mother with three kids would presumably receive 30%x($30,000 + 3x$6,000) = $14,400

Since this is the only specific answer to my questions. It is obvious that a proper feasibility study of such a system has not been performed. Please post on this thread when the policy has had a proper feasbility study (preferably by a thrid party expert such as Access Economics).

$14,400 equates to $276 per week.

My own "very rough" estimitates on minimum cost of living expenses:

Food: $150 (Roughly $7/day per person) might just be enough.
Other Houselhold Items: $30 (cleaning agents, Toilet paper etc)
Health Insurance $50
School Fees:$290 ($5,000p.a. per child assuming no public schools)
Transport: $15 (assuming limited bus travel)

Total costs $535 per week leaving a shortfall of approx $260 per week. Now some of my figures may be out a little but I doubt you can find a $260 saving in there anywhere. It appears to me that $14,400 p.a. with no other welfare support is not enough for a single mother with 3 children who is unemployed to survive in a privatised system.

But I will wait for a proper feasibility study to be done before I make any judgement.

Also I notice you continually that X people will be Y% better off under the proposed scheme. But these figures don't seem to take into account the increased cost of health insurance and private school education.

Anyhow if I were you I'd be carefully espousing such under developed policies until they have been verified as feasible by a third party expert, otherwise you might just end up with some serious egg on your face.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 12:25 AM
Since this is the only specific answer to my questions. It is obvious that a proper feasibility study of such a system has not been performed.
Crap. A feasibility study has been perfectly well explained.


$14,400 equates to $276 per week.

My own "very rough" estimitates on minimum cost of living expenses:

Food: $150 (Roughly $7/day per person) might just be enough.
Other Houselhold Items: $30 (cleaning agents, Toilet paper etc)
Health Insurance $50

Even that would be cheaper than the current socialized system with all its problems, and the bloating of bureaucracy, which as Director's Law points out benefits the middle class more than the poor you profess to care aboue. Even though you're changing the subject, the LPD does have a health policy (http://www.ldp.org.au/federal/policies/health.html):


Injecting competition into health care will assist the disadvantaged. In general, free market provision of goods and services leads to lower prices and higher quality. A free market is also a more humane system. Instead of the government forcing Australians to comply with a variety of rules and regulations — after which many are still placed on long waiting lists for surgery — consumers would have the power to choose. While consumers would bear much of the costs of health care, this burden would be far outweighed by the benefits. The freedom to choose would force private providers to reduce waiting times, improve service and become more responsive to the needs of their patients in order to avoid losing out to their competitors. Feedback and accountability would be almost immediate.

The two groups of consumers who are likely to feel most threatened by these changes are those who have long-term illnesses and the very poor.

Those in the first group will be able to take advantage of new insurance products that either insure against the prospect of developing such an illness or against the costs of developing complications of that illness (rewarding, for example, those who follow preventive instructions).

Furthermore, while we would all like to assist the poor, we do not wish to encourage over-consumption of scarce health resources by providing blanket subsidies. The poor should be asked to first appeal to the generosity of their local communities. The activities of charitable individuals and organisations have historically been greater where the government’s overbearing presence has been reduced. The LDP believes government should intervene only on a case-by-case basis, where other avenues have been exhausted.


School Fees:$290 ($5,000p.a. per child assuming no public schools)
What about if there were a tax rebate of say $5000 for any tuition that she can use any way she chooses, whether homeschooled, public or private schooled? The LDP's education policy is vouchers (http://www.ldp.org.au/federal/policies/schools.html):


Moreover, the cost to governments is not equitably shared. Based on figures compiled by the Productivity Commission, the average recurrent cost to state and federal governments of educating a student in a government school is $10,003 a year. The equivalent figure for a non-government school is $5,995. This indicates poor use of taxpayer funds. Despite their higher level of government support and lower cost to parents, government schools are being deserted in droves.

So make that a $6,000 voucher. It will actually save the government money, compared to what public schools cost now, and give parents choice.


Transport: $15 (assuming limited bus travel)

Total costs $535 per week leaving a shortfall of approx $260 per week. Now some of my figures may be out a little but I doubt you can find a $260 saving in there anywhere. It appears to me that $14,400 p.a. with no other welfare support is not enough for a single mother with 3 children who is unemployed to survive in a privatised system.
There is. You just didn't do the right calculations. And as pointed out, she has far more chance of improving her lot, since any money she earns won't result in benefits being clawed back savagely.


But I will wait for a proper feasibility study to be done before I make any judgement.
Why not do a feasibility study on the current system, as if you were trying to design it from scratch. You can't tell me that you would give it a clean bill of health, even for people not even among your hard cases. You know, with the huge marginal tax rates, the bullying by Centrelink ...


Also I notice you continually that X people will be Y% better off under the proposed scheme.
The problem with this is, what?


But these figures don't seem to take into account the increased cost of health insurance and private school education.
This wasn't even talking about these things. You persist in bringing up extraneous things to the main point: combining welfare and taxation so no person has both, and that the marginal rate on earning more money is always 30% not far more as presently. So let me help you further:


You don't take into account the phases of the moon on people's earning capacity.
You've ignored the different fluoride concentrations and their effects on people's health
You didn't answer how this system would cope with a girl with two heads.



Anyhow if I were you I'd be carefully espousing such under developed policies until they have been verified as feasible by a third party expert, otherwise you might just end up with some serious egg on your face.
Translation: I can't even be bothered to read the fully referenced paper with justifiable estimates of the costs and benefits.

Axiom
27-01-2008, 02:10 AM
Orwell rolls in his grave
Attention KB,GD,Jono !

3SV_mvc4zKw&feature=related

igzUtGMF9Uw

you see ? this is what ive been banging on about all these years !
do you now see the basis for this information war ?

TheJoker
27-01-2008, 03:54 AM
Crap. A feasibility study has been perfectly well explained.
If that's what you think then fine! But I feel a feasibilitiy study that fails to take into account the cost of removing the medicare system on private health insurance premiums doesn't seem to be complete to me. Also if it hasn't been reviewed by an independant third perty expert it does hold much water (but then again you are not one for peer review).




What about if there were a tax rebate of say $5000 for any tuition that she can use any way she chooses, whether homeschooled, public or private schooled?

I don't think homeschooling should be an option unless the parent has some sort of education qualification. I can see people "Home Schooling" there kids and spending the $5,000 on a plasma TV.



Moreover, the cost to governments is not equitably shared. Based on figures compiled by the Productivity Commission, the average recurrent cost to state and federal governments of educating a student in a government school is $10,003 a year. The equivalent figure for a non-government school is $5,995. This indicates poor use of taxpayer funds. Despite their higher level of government support and lower cost to parents, government schools are being deserted in droves.

And yet won't find a reputable private school charging less than $10,000, and most a lot more. Even with the private school welfare that is being dished out wish I am assuming would stop under the new system; meaning that private school fees would likely increase above there current levels.


So make that a $6,000 voucher. It will actually save the government money, compared to what public schools cost now, and give parents choice.

Yeah a choice of next to nothing, considering the number of private schools out there that charge fees of $6000 dollars or less.

Wouldn't it be just as worthwhile to try to increase the productivity of the governement schools.



There is. You just didn't do the right calculations.

Well Jono I would like to see you try to care for three children on $280 a week. And you right I did screw up the calculations I forgot to include rent which will be a minimum of $250 per week in Sydney. So there is no way anyboy who is unemployed could ever survive on this system..... But wait don't tell me another voucher right:rolleyes:



Why not do a feasibility study on the current system

Is that a joke? If the current system is in place and operational then itis obviously feasable. While I think everbody agree there could be some improvements, not many are calling for the radical changes that you are.


This wasn't even talking about these things. You persist in bringing up extraneous things to the main point

Ah yes those pesky details. Since you are talking about removing the public health system and the public schooling system (and I assume the current government funding to private schools) that will have an impact on the cost of private health insurance and school fees. Which is relevant if you want to assess the cost benefit to the tax payer.

It is simple maths really. I save X dollars on tax paid, but I pay Y dollars more on health insurance and Z dollars more on school fees. Therefore my total saving is X-(Y+Z).

And to that I need to assess the risk that at some point I might be unemployed (as a large number of people are throught there working career); at which point I wont earn enough money to pay my ret or put food on the table, provide healthcare for my family or send my kids to school.

The system may well benefit most of us who have investments and an above average income, for those that dont look out!!!

We will end up like other countries without sufficient welfare, with thousand of homeless people on the street (just go to any major US city to see what I mean).

So I will reiterate myself until those "pesky" details have been reviewed by an independant third party I would be loath to say that you have a feasible plan.

Not to say that you couldn't come up with one. And you are probably on te right track with a flat tax rate (as we dont want to loose our skilled executives to others countries that offer a better tax rate) I mean it is a global market after all, and our governement is in direct competition to offer tax rates and services comparable with else where in the world.

You might consider that you can vote with your feet Jono, how's the weather in Estonia at the moment (sorry but i doubt HK would have you they have pretty strict immigration controls).

TheJoker
27-01-2008, 04:07 AM
Exactly what percentage of the vote did the LDP receive in the last election?

I hear flight centre has some good deals to Estonia around this time of year, perhaps you can get a discount if you do a group booking for the whole LDP, you might have better luck over there!

pax
27-01-2008, 09:39 AM
The voucher system will not make private schools any more affordable, and will simply make currently public school unaffordable for many. In Jono's above example, the voucher is $6000, and replaces current governement funding of $6000 per private school student and $10000 per public school student. Clearly, private fees will simply rise by $6000 and we will be back where we started. Any currently public schools that wish to maintain current levels of funding in a voucher system will need to charge fees in excess of $10000 so parents at these schools will still be $4000 out of pocket per child. The plasma TV option is looking more and more attractive.

Kevin Bonham
27-01-2008, 11:23 AM
Exactly what percentage of the vote did the LDP receive in the last election?

The LDP was a serious flop in this election, partly because the whole concept of libertarianism is so obscure in Australia meaning that they were little understood, but primarily because they allowed themselves to become a media joke by doing very silly things like preselecting Tanya Milat (who didn't seem to have a clue why she was standing - had she been an articulate and effective candidate it would have been quite different), focusing on issues of what might be called petty liberty (like wearing seatbelts), and getting in a tangle on silly stuff like incest laws.

They scored a whopping 0.13% in the Senate (where they competed in every state and territory) and 0.14% in the House of Reps (where they competed only in a few dozen marginal seats but attracted a greater share of the vote in each simply because there were fewer parties on each House of Reps paper).

I find the abject failure of such a party (so far) in Australia interesting compared to the considerable success (now waning) of the Act New Zealand party, but the latter had far more high-profile support when it was founded.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 11:57 AM
The voucher system will not make private schools any more affordable, and will simply make currently public school unaffordable for many.
Why? What you really mean is that you don't want to give poorer parents the choice of which school to send their kids, so they are stuck in their nearest low-quality public school.


In Jono's above example, the voucher is $6000, and replaces current governement funding of $6000 per private school student and $10000 per public school student. Clearly, private fees will simply rise by $6000 and we will be back where we started.
Why? If there is genuine competition, it's likely that price reductions would follow.


Any currently public schools that wish to maintain current levels of funding in a voucher system will need to charge fees in excess of $10000 so parents at these schools will still be $4000 out of pocket per child. The plasma TV option is looking more and more attractive.
Or rather, they can be run more efficiently, and improve their quality so parents are more likely to send their kids there. There is something wrong with a system that costs so much per child yet doesn't produce commensurate results. And it's precisely because of lack of competition, so they are guaranteed customers regardless.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 12:04 PM
The LDP was a serious flop in this election, partly because the whole concept of libertarianism is so obscure in Australia meaning that they were little understood,
Which is a shame; it means that the major parties continue with the current hugely complex tax system that even taxes welfare recipients, maintains a poverty trap but bullies people into work that pays little more than the dole.


but primarily because they allowed themselves to become a media joke by doing very silly things like preselecting Tanya Milat (who didn't seem to have a clue why she was standing — had she been an articulate and effective candidate it would have been quite different),
Yeah, it was bad for Labor to select a couple of bints, including a sports wife who was clueless about what Labor stood for, but far worse for an obscure party.


focusing on issues of what might be called petty liberty (like wearing seatbelts), and getting in a tangle on silly stuff like incest laws.
Or else, these were the only things the Leftmedia focused on. Mind you, Thomas Sowell also said that the supported libertarian philosophy but not necessarily libertarian fetishes.


They scored a whopping 0.13% in the Senate (where they competed in every state and territory) and 0.14% in the House of Reps (where they competed only in a few dozen marginal seats but attracted a greater share of the vote in each simply because there were fewer parties on each House of Reps paper).

I find the abject failure of such a party (so far) in Australia interesting compared to the considerable success (now waning) of the Act New Zealand party, but the latter had far more high-profile support when it was founded.
Yes, with high-profile people who had been Labour cabinet ministers, Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble.

It would probably be better if the articulate LDP members do a Ron Paul, and try to be selected as Liberal Party members. Paul was just as abject a failure when he stood for the Libertarian Party, but he has raised the libertarians profile considerably as a Republican.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 12:28 PM
If that's what you think then fine! But I feel a feasibilitiy study that fails to take into account the cost of removing the medicare system on private health insurance premiums doesn't seem to be complete to me. Also if it hasn't been reviewed by an independant third perty expert it does hold much water (but then again you are not one for peer review).
Good grief, boy: this paper concentrated on tax and welfare, not every jot and tittle of every other issue under the sun. And once more, you refuse to hold the current crappy system to the same standards. The proposed system would probably let fewer people fall through the cracks than the current system would.


I don't think homeschooling should be an option unless the parent has some sort of education qualification.
Who need them? The education colleges teach so many mickey mouse courses that the brightest students are repelled. And the school classroom is geared towards the average student, while homeschooling can go at the pace optimized for the individual child.


I can see people "Home Schooling" there kids and spending the $5,000 on a plasma TV.
I can and DO see people on welfare drinking and smoking their money away.


Yeah a choice of next to nothing, considering the number of private schools out there that charge fees of $6000 dollars or less.
Fine, make the government voucher (or better still, tax rebate, so there is no "churning") so it matches the true cost. But much of the public school cost is due to the huge educracy that is not even in classrooms.


Wouldn't it be just as worthwhile to try to increase the productivity of the governement schools.
This can be done only with competition. As long as they have guaranteed customers, it's a futile thought.


Well Jono I would like to see you try to care for three children on $280 a week. And you right I did screw up the calculations I forgot to include rent which will be a minimum of $250 per week in Sydney. So there is no way anyboy who is unemployed could ever survive on this system..... But wait don't tell me another voucher right:rolleyes:
Then don't live in Sydney. I sure can't afford to. And the $6000 per child TFT was only one idea; make it $10,000 and this single mother would receive $18,000.

And the current system is more likely to let such a woman fall through the cracks, or bully her into taking a job that will make her financially worse off than on the benefit. The LDP system may be hard on a totally unemployed single mother, but far better for her even if she takes part-time work.


Is that a joke? If the current system is in place and operational then itis obviously feasable. While I think everbody agree there could be some improvements, not many are calling for the radical changes that you are.
How is it feasible when we always hear of people falling through the cracks? And if you were designing it from scratch, you would be rightly lambasted for designing a system where people were financially penalized for getting a job, or for wasting so much time and money on compliance.


Ah yes those pesky details. Since you are talking about removing the public health system and the public schooling system (and I assume the current government funding to private schools) that will have an impact on the cost of private health insurance and school fees. Which is relevant if you want to assess the cost benefit to the tax payer.
One major benefit is that parents won't have to pay twice for their kids' schooling; once as private school fees, and again as taxes to support public schools they don't use.


The system may well benefit most of us who have investments and an above average income, for those that dont look out!!!
No, it will benefit even people on the current minimum wage, who would be 31% better off!! In fact, even someone employed half-time at the minimum wage rate would be 21% better off. Someone on the average wage would be 14% better. You lefties would reject a system that makes 90% better off by 20% if it makes 10% worse off by 10%.


We will end up like other countries without sufficient welfare, with thousand of homeless people on the street (just go to any major US city to see what I mean).
Nope, even there, many of them are homeless because they choose to be. There already is welfare, but they choose not to take it. And they are far more likely to be helped by the increased private charities than by bloated impersonal government bureaucracies.


So I will reiterate myself until those "pesky" details have been reviewed by an independant third party I would be loath to say that you have a feasible plan.
This paper was published by the Centre for Independent Studies.


Not to say that you couldn't come up with one. And you are probably on te right track with a flat tax rate (as we dont want to loose our skilled executives to others countries that offer a better tax rate) I mean it is a global market after all, and our governement is in direct competition to offer tax rates and services comparable with else where in the world.
Yeah.


You might consider that you can vote with your feet Jono,
Or else exercise my democratic right (remember that) to criticise the crappy current system and defend a far better system.


how's the weather in Estonia at the moment (sorry but i doubt HK would have you they have pretty strict immigration controls).
Most countries do. So it is crass for lefties to attack Australia for what is a worldwide "problem". Denmark has become much stricter because radical Muslims have got in to such an extent. Police "no go" areas are one result of too liberal an immigration policy.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 03:58 PM
Free to Choose (http://www.city-journal.org/html/6_4_oh_to_be.html)
Theodore Dalrymple
(A British doctor who worked in prisons, slums and with the homeless)


... Last week, a middle-aged man was brought to my hospital in a desperate condition. He had discharged himself from a mental hospital against medical advice three weeks before; arriving home, he had found the prospect of life with his wife no more inviting than that of life in the wards of an asylum. He had taken himself to the center of the city, where he camped out in the open in a small public garden next to a luxury hotel. There he stayed, eating nothing and drinking little, until he was eventually found unconscious and so dehydrated that the blood had thickened and clotted in one of his legs, which was gangrenous and therefore had to be amputated.

What story could better illustrate the supposedly callous indifference and cruel individualism of our society than that of a man left nearly to die in the middle of the city, next to a hotel with rooms at $200 a night, in the full gaze not only of the guests but of thousands of his fellow citizens, all for the lack of a little water?

But other interpretations of the story are possible. Perhaps the thousands of passersby who saw the unfortunate man as he declined slowly toward the verge of death were so accustomed to the idea that the state would (and should) step in that they felt no personal duty to do something on the man’s behalf. One does not, after all, pay half one’s income in taxes in order to assume individual responsibility for the welfare of one’s neighbors. One’s taxes are supposed to ensure not only oneself, but everyone else, against neglect. Just as no one is guilty when everyone is, no one is responsible when everyone is.

...

Yet as is so often the case with social problems, the precise nature and location of the alleged injustice, inequity, and indifference to suffering become unclear when things are looked at close up rather than through the lens of generalizations, either ethical ("no one in an affluent society should be homeless") or statistical ("homelessness rises in times of unemployment").

In the first place, it is far from evident that our society in the abstract is indifferent to homelessness. Indeed, homelessness is the source of employment for not negligible numbers of the middle classes. The poor, wrote a sixteenth-century German bishop, are a gold mine; and so, it turns out, are the homeless.

For example, in one hostel for the homeless that I visited, located in a rather grand but disused and deconsecrated Victorian church, I discovered that there were 91 residents and 41 staff members, only a handful of whom had any direct contact with the objects of their ministrations.

The homeless slept in dormitories in which there was no privacy whatever. There was a rank smell that every doctor recognizes (but never records in the medical notes) as the smell of homelessness. And then, passing along a corridor and through a door with a combination lock to prevent untoward intrusions, one suddenly entered another world: the sanitized, air-conditioned (and airtight) world of the bureaucracy of compassion.

The number of offices, all computerized, was astonishing. The staff, dressed in smart casual clothes, were absorbed in their tasks, earnestly peering into their computer screens, printing documents, and rushing off for urgent consultations with one another. The amount of activity was impressive, the sense of purpose evident; it took some effort to recall the residents I had encountered as I entered the hostel, scattered in what had been the churchyard, who were swaying if upright and snoring if horizontal, surrounded by empty cans and plastic bottles of 9 percent alcohol cider (which permits the highest alcohol-to-dollar ratio available in England at the moment). Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and the hostel administrators made pie charts while the residents drank themselves into oblivion.

...

A 55-year-old man who had spent half a lifetime traveling from hostel to hostel round the country was admitted to my ward suffering from delirium tremens. His condition then was indeed pitiable; he was terrified of the small animals that he saw crawling from the bedclothes and the walls, his tremor was so profound that he could not stand, for him to hold a cup or cutlery was out of the question, and looking at his bed one might have supposed that a prolonged and serious earthquake was taking place. He was incontinent of urine and had to have a catheter inserted; sweat poured from him as rain drips from the foliage of a rain forest. It took a week of baths to clear him of the smell of homelessness and a week of tranquilizers to calm him. Surely, you would have thought, any way of life was preferable to the way of life that led to this.

Once restored to health, however, he was by no means the pitiful creature he had been only shortly before. On the contrary: he was a man of intelligence, wit, and charm. There was a roguish twinkle in his eye. Nor had he emerged from the kind of family background commonly (but erroneously) supposed to necessitate a dismal future without prospects: his sister was a senior nurse, and his brother was a director of a large public company. He himself had done well at school but had insisted upon leaving at the earliest opportunity, running away to sea. After an early marriage, the birth of a son, and the irksome assumption of a mortgage, he longed for the restoration of his premarital freedom and rediscovered the joys of irresponsibility: he deserted his wife and child and worked no more but rather spent his days drinking.

Before long, he had descended the housing scale from apartment to rented room to hostel bed. But he regretted nothing: he said his life had been fuller of incident, interest, and amusement than if he had kept to the narrow path of virtue that leads straight to a pension. I asked him when he was fully recovered to write a short article describing an incident from his past, and he chose his first night ever at a hostel. It was raining hard, and a line of bums waited outside the Salvation Army for admittance. A fight broke out, and one man pulled another by the hair. There was a ripping sound, and the assailant was left holding his victim’s scalp.

Far from so appalling him that he resolved at once to reform, my patient was intrigued. His temperament was that of a sensation seeker; he hated boredom, routine, and being ruled by others. He joined the large fraternity of wanderers who live on the margins of the law, ride trains without tickets, taunt the burghers of small towns with their outrageous behavior, infuriate magistrates by confronting them with their own impotence, and frequently wake a couple of hundred miles from where they started out in the evening, without any recollection of how they got there. In short, the life of the chronic homeless is one of ups as well as downs.

Of course, the longer it is lived, the harder it is to give up, not only because of habit, but because it grows progressively more difficult for the person who lives it to reinsert himself into normal society. A 55-year-old man might have some difficulty explaining to a prospective employer what he had been doing for the last 27 years. With age, however, the physical hardships of the existence grow more difficult to sustain, and my patient said to me that he thought that unless he gave up the wandering, he might not have very long to live. I agreed with him.

I found him a hostel for alcoholics who had dried out and who had undertaken not to drink again. At first, he did very well: he kept his appointments with me and was neatly turned out. He even appeared happy and contented. He was surprisingly well-read, and we had pleasant literary conversations together.

After about three months of this stable existence, my patient confessed that he was growing restless again. Yes, he was happy, and yes, he felt physically well—much better, in fact, than he had felt in years. But something was missing from his life. It was the excitement: the chases down the street by policemen, the appearances in the magistrates’ courts, the sheer warmth and companionship of the barroom. He even missed that important question with which he used to wake each morning: Where am I? Waking in the same place each day was not nearly as much fun.

And sure enough, he missed his next appointment, and I never saw him again.

This is not by any means an isolated case: far from it. People like this patient are the most numerous category among the hostel dwellers. At least two of them are admitted to my ward each week. ...

pax
27-01-2008, 04:55 PM
Why? What you really mean is that you don't want to give poorer parents the choice of which school to send their kids, so they are stuck in their nearest low-quality public school.

Parents *have* a choice now. Under your voucher proposal, the top private schools will not be any more affordable, so what's the point? All you are doing is taking money away from currently public schools, forcing those schools to either slash costs or raise fees.



Why? If there is genuine competition, it's likely that price reductions would follow.
Sure there will be price reductions, because in an unregulated education system there will undoubtedly be cheapish mega-schools (i.e glorified childcare) springing up with 200 kids in a class. What a way to go...


Or rather, they can be run more efficiently, and improve their quality so parents are more likely to send their kids there. There is something wrong with a system that costs so much per child yet doesn't produce commensurate results. And it's precisely because of lack of competition, so they are guaranteed customers regardless.

Australia has demonstrably one of the best education systems in the world. It would be ridiculous to destroy it for some idealistic libertarian fantasy.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 05:44 PM
Parents *have* a choice now.
No they don't. They have to fund public schools even if they educate their own kids via homeschooling or private schools.


Under your voucher proposal, the top private schools will not be any more affordable, so what's the point?
Yes they will, because government money will go to parents directly, and they will not have to pay for schools they don't use.


All you are doing is taking money away from currently public schools, forcing those schools to either slash costs or raise fees.
Or attract more students by improving services. But the education bureaucrats and teachers' unions don't want their monopoly destroyed by competition.


Sure there will be price reductions, because in an unregulated education system there will undoubtedly be cheapish mega-schools (i.e glorified childcare) springing up with 200 kids in a class. What a way to go...
Yeah, right just like an unregulated supermarket system delivers such terrible household items, unregulated computer shops providing faster and better computers, unregulated water providers .... oh wait, water is run socialistically just like the schools, hence the shortages.


Australia has demonstrably one of the best education systems in the world. It would be ridiculous to destroy it for some idealistic libertarian fantasy.
So why do many parents even now vote with their feet to educate their kids privately, and these are by no means all wealthy families?

No, the current choice-denying system is the preserve of a socialistic fantasy that has never worked anywhere.

pax
27-01-2008, 07:26 PM
No they don't. They have to fund public schools even if they educate their own kids via homeschooling or private schools.
Yes, and 99% of people think that a well funded education system is actually a good thing.



Yes they will, because government money will go to parents directly, and they will not have to pay for schools they don't use.

But under your own example, the voucher is the equal to current funding of private schools, and drastically less than the funding for government schools. So you are proposing to take billions of dollars away from the education system. Way to go.


Yeah, right just like an unregulated supermarket system delivers such terrible household items, unregulated computer shops providing faster and better computers, unregulated water providers .... oh wait, water is run socialistically just like the schools, hence the shortages.
Excellent examples. There are two principal markets for computers: expensive and powerful (a low volume market), and cheap and crap (a high volume market). Supermarket shelves are also replete with two levels of product - cheap and poor quality (high volume) and expensive premium products (low volume). Your deregulated education system is highly likely to have a similar dichotomy. Cheap in-bulk education for those who can afford little more than the voucher, and expensive high quality education for those that can afford it.



So why do many parents even now vote with their feet to educate their kids privately, and these are by no means all wealthy families?
Because, even in our current system, parents have *choice*. Not every government school is fantastic, but most are perfectly decent, and some are outstanding.


No, the current choice-denying system is the preserve of a socialistic fantasy that has never worked anywhere.
Oh sure, and your anti-government libertarian fantasy has a brilliant track record in reality. Oh, no, wait it doesn't because educators everywhere know what a disaster it would be.

Axiom
27-01-2008, 07:58 PM
Oh sure, and your anti-government libertarian fantasy has a brilliant track record in reality. Oh, no, wait it doesn't because educators everywhere know what a disaster it would be.
pax, you really have to read john taylor gatto's writings

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 08:19 PM
Yes, and 99% of people think that a well funded education system is actually a good thing.
Any proof? It's also notable how many of the great geniuses of the past were not educated in public schools. In our own time, we have the Polgar sisters and Nakamura as examples of fine products of homeschooling. And if you were right, how come far more than 1% choose private schooling?


But under your own example, the voucher is the equal to current funding of private schools, and drastically less than the funding for government schools. So you are proposing to take billions of dollars away from the education system. Way to go.
I'm proposing to save lots of taxpayer money. And the American experience in particular shows that merely throwing money at government schools hasn't helped at all. It's not more money they need, but competition, if they are to serve the interest of the students. You whinge about the money lost to the bureaucracy, whereas I care more about what's best for the students.


Excellent examples. There are two principal markets for computers: expensive and powerful (a low volume market), and cheap and crap (a high volume market).
Even the cheap and crappy ones are miles better than what you'd get if government supplied them.


Supermarket shelves are also replete with two levels of product — cheap and poor quality (high volume) and expensive premium products (low volume).
Once again; even the allegedly poor quality here is far better than the quality in the government-controlled shops I saw in the USSR. Oh, they also had special shops that took only foreign currency for foreign dignitaries and party functionaries, but the ordinary people had no chance.


Your deregulated education system is highly likely to have a similar dichotomy. Cheap in-bulk education for those who can afford little more than the voucher, and expensive high quality education for those that can afford it.
Since I've seen what happens when supermarkets really are government run, I'd pick the "low" quality here over government supermarkets any day. And of course, if we aren't happy with the poor quality in one supermarket, you can go to another one. But if you're stuck in a badly performing public school and can't afford private school fees, then tough.

If there is a dichotomy in the private sector between excellent and not as good, there is a far greater one now between crappy government and excellent private schools.


Because, even in our current system, parents have *choice*.
Oh right, and if there were government gorceries paid by money coerced from taxpayers as well as private ones, consumers would have a "choice" too, eh?


Not every government school is fantastic, but most are perfectly decent, and some are outstanding.
But you would leave people in the not-so-good schools, since preserving the teachers union monopoly means more to you than what's best for students.


Oh sure, and your anti-government libertarian fantasy has a brilliant track record in reality. Oh, no, wait it doesn't because educators everywhere know what a disaster it would be.
Ah yes, they wouldn't have any conflict of interest, would they? Never mind the the educrat monopoly is particularly bad in Yankeeland. And educators also "know" how great their latest fads are, like look-and-guess reading and "new maths".

It's also notable that voucher systems already have produced far better education than when government funds the schools rather than the parents.

pax
27-01-2008, 09:59 PM
Any proof? It's also notable how many of the great geniuses of the past were not educated in public schools. In our own time, we have the Polgar sisters and Nakamura as examples of fine products of homeschooling. And if you were right, how come far more than 1% choose private schooling?
What do you want, a list of Nobel Prizewinner to come out of Government Schools?

The proof that people support public education is that there is zero political will to broach privatisation, because the politicians know it would be political suicide.



I'm proposing to save lots of taxpayer money.
By taking it away from the schools that need it most. Way to go, razor boy.

You whinge about the money lost to the bureaucracy, whereas I care more about what's best for the students.
Don't pull the "I care more about the students than you" card. It's bullshit, and it will get you nowhere.



If there is a dichotomy in the private sector between excellent and not as good, there is a far greater one now between crappy government and excellent private schools.
This is just garbage. There are plenty of excellent government schools, and thousands of perfectly respectable. I went to a pretty ordinary government school, and it didn't stop me from getting a scholarship to Cambridge. In fact, I did a lot better when I moved from a private school where I was very unhappy in year seven to a public school in year eight when we moved interstate.


But you would leave people in the not-so-good schools, since preserving the teachers union monopoly means more to you than what's best for students.
I couldn't care two figs for the teachers union. I am happy that Australia has a strong private sector education system, but I am also happy that we have public education that is among the best in the world. Australia consistently ranks highly in the PISA education rankings.



It's also notable that voucher systems already have produced far better education than when government funds the schools rather than the parents.[/quote]
I still haven't seen any evidence of this. You vaguely mention Belgium (parroting Stossel), but I haven't seen any evidence that Belgium has any better a system than Australia.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 10:36 PM
The proof that people support public education is that there is zero political will to broach privatisation, because the politicians know it would be political suicide.
More likely, afraid of the demagogery of the teachers' unions. Have they even tried a system whereby parents were paid instead of the schools?


By taking it away from the schools that need it most. Way to go, razor boy.

Don't pull the "I care more about the students than you" card. It's bullshit, and it will get you nowhere.
It is consistent with your silly claims that "schools" need more money. No! Schools should be a means to an end: the education of the kids. If the schools are not providing that to the parents' satisfaction, they should not receive money anyway.


I couldn't care two figs for the teachers union. I am happy that Australia has a strong private sector education system, but I am also happy that we have public education that is among the best in the world.
So why do they need a system where parents have to fund them regardless of whether they would send their kids there? If they are so good, they would not need to have funding coerced from taxpayers, because parents would willingly choose them. But the reason your ilk would deny genuine choice to parents is that many of them would choose not to send their kids to the state system.

pax
27-01-2008, 11:34 PM
So why do they need a system where parents have to fund them regardless of whether they would send their kids there? If they are so good, they would not need to have funding coerced from taxpayers, because parents would willingly choose them. But the reason your ilk would deny genuine choice to parents is that many of them would choose not to send their kids to the state system.

That's a load of rubbish. There is already a choice for parents, and many choose the state system (or cannot afford more expensive private schools). Your proposal will not make the best private schools any cheaper for parents.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2008, 11:47 PM
That's a load of rubbish. There is already a choice for parents, and many choose the state system (or cannot afford more expensive private schools). Your proposal will not make the best private schools any cheaper for parents.
How on earth is there a "choice" when parents are forced to fund the state school system. Sounds Orwellian.

The best private schools may be more affordable when the government puts them on a level playing field, so parents don't have to pay twice, in effect, for their kids' education by sending them there.

pax
28-01-2008, 12:14 AM
How on earth is there a "choice" when parents are forced to fund the state school system. Sounds Orwellian.
Yeah people are forced to pay for the military, the police, for prisons... It all sounds Orwellian when you make ridiculous analogies. And it doesn't hold water unless you are proposing to abolish taxation altogether. But the fact is that you are happy to for the Government to confiscate money, just as long as they spend it the way you see fit.



The best private schools may be more affordable when the government puts them on a level playing field, so parents don't have to pay twice, in effect, for their kids' education by sending them there.

You take a survey, and ask who is in favour of the complete privatization of education. If any more than 5% are in favour I will eat my hat.

Capablanca-Fan
28-01-2008, 03:16 AM
Yeah people are forced to pay for the military, the police, for prisons... It all sounds Orwellian when you make ridiculous analogies. And it doesn't hold water unless you are proposing to abolish taxation altogether.
Not at all. The proper role of the government includes defence and law/order. It should not force people to pay for public schools they don't use. All this does is protect poorly performing schools by insulating them from competition.


But the fact is that you are happy to for the Government to confiscate money, just as long as they spend it the way you see fit.
Not at all. Don't distort libertarianism by a wilful confusion with crony capitalism.


You take a survey, and ask who is in favour of the complete privatization of education. If any more than 5% are in favour I will eat my hat.
Try a survey of the >>5% of those who send their kids to private schools and ask whether they should be paying twice for their kids' education.

pax
28-01-2008, 09:04 AM
Not at all. The proper role of the government includes defence and law/order.
Fortunately, you are not the arbiter of what the proper role of government should be. The vast majority see health and education as core roles of government. You may not like it, but that's tough for you.


Try a survey of the >>5% of those who send their kids to private schools and ask whether they should be paying twice for their kids' education.
I think the results may well surprise you.

Capablanca-Fan
28-01-2008, 01:41 PM
Fortunately, you are not the arbiter of what the proper role of government should be. The vast majority see health and education as core roles of government. You may not like it, but that's tough for you.

I think the results may well surprise you.
It's notable that your same basic argument went on when NZ deregulated, desubsidized, privatized, removed tariff barriers to free trade, lowered taxes, abolished compulsory unionism ... The world would come to an end without all this government help. But NZ became quite prosperous as a result.

And Gorbachev asked Thatcher how she managed to feed her people. She replied that she didn't need to; prices took care of that.

People should realise that the same thing that worked for these other things can work, and has worked, for health, welfare and education. For one thing, the money spent on bureaucracy can be cut (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf):


The current system of welfare payments is complex, expensive, inefficient and ineffective. If we distributed the current federal welfare budget directly to the poorest 25% of Australians, each family of four would receive $72,000 per year. And welfare spending continues to increase quickly. In three years, we will reach $100 billion federal spending on welfare ($80,000 for each of our poorest 25% of families). And yet, despite this massive level of expenditure, poverty remains and is even entrenched. One reason is that our current approach to poverty prevents people from getting jobs, and then fails to reward people who do work.

TheJoker
28-01-2008, 09:15 PM
Here is the 2007 OECD report on education. It really is an interesting read.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/36/5/39290975.pdf75.pdf

Some interesting information shows that on average 90% off all pre-tertiary education is publicly funded.

It also has the average efficiency differences between public and private schools.

Output efficiency
(Indicates scope for boosting outputs given the current levels of inputs)

Public schools 77.7%
Government-dependent private schools 80.5%
Independent private schools 79.9%

Public funds >50% 78.0%
Public Funds <50% 80.3%

Small schools 77.0%
Large schools 79.4%


Input Efficiency
(Indicates scope for scaling back without reducing the level of outputs)


Public schools 68.9%
Government-dependent private schools 71.5%
Independent private schools 68.4%

Public funds >50% 69.3%
Public Funds <50% 69.3%

Small schools 66.9%
Large schools 71.2%

----------

Capablanca-Fan
31-01-2008, 05:07 PM
Arosar pointed me on Shoutbox to the following excellent article:

Why Capitalism is Good for the Soul:
Capitalism provides the conditions for creating worthwhile lives (http://www.cis.org.au/Policy/summer%2007-08/saunders_summer07.html)
Peter Saunders
Centre for Independent Studies, Summer 2007/8

TheJoker
31-01-2008, 11:32 PM
Arosar pointed me on Shoutbox to the following excellent article:

Why Capitalism is Good for the Soul:
Capitalism provides the conditions for creating worthwhile lives (http://www.cis.org.au/Policy/summer%2007-08/saunders_summer07.html)
Peter Saunders
Centre for Independent Studies, Summer 2007/8

Sounds like a sore loser to me! lost a debate, so he had to write a prescriptive article, on the subject knowing full well it wouldnt be subject to any proper criticism.

I see on the otherhand Jono you seem to be unable to account for the OECD stats showing a minimal difference in the efficiency of public and private schools (2%) on output efficiency, whilst public schools are actually ahead on input efficiency. After all your hyperbole.

Or that in the last OECD survey (2003) Australia ranked 4th in reading behind Finland, Korea and Canada. And 4th in Science behind Finland, Japan and Korea.

When both socres are averaged Austalia ranked 3rd behind Finland and Korea (ahead of Japan, New Zeeland, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Swtizerland, France, Poland, Germany, Iceland, US, Hungary, Norway, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Slovak Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Greece, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil).

:rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
31-01-2008, 11:49 PM
Sounds like a sore loser to me! lost a debate, so he had to write a prescriptive article, on the subject knowing full well it wouldnt be subject to any proper criticism.
Who says he lost a debate? Socialism has failed time and time again, while the free market has been responsible for the rise in prosperity of so many countries.


I see on the otherhand Jono you seem to be unable to account for the OECD stats showing a minimal difference in the efficiency of public and private schools (2%) on output efficiency, whilst public schools are actually ahead on input efficiency. After all your hyperbole.
If the public schools are that great, then they shouldn't need coercion for funding, because parents would flock to them anyway. That alone makes your interpretation of the stats most dubious.

Basil
31-01-2008, 11:56 PM
Socialism has failed time and time again, while the free market has been responsible for the rise in prosperity of so many countries.
Just taking this opportunity to note that socialism has never actually ... you know ... worked!

Pauses for effect.

Not that that will stop countless 1,000's of lamos falling in love with the idea on a daily basis :wall:

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 01:00 AM
Just taking this opportunity to note that socialism has never actually ... you know ... worked!

Pauses for effect.

Not that that will stop countless 1,000's of lamos falling in love with the idea on a daily basis :wall:

Gunner I think Jono is trying to mislead the debate, nobody here is arguing for socialism. What we are arguing is that the status quo (or minor improvements on that) vs fundamentalist libertarian free market approach that Jono favours.

Jono seems to be losing the arguement so he is trying to shift the debate to socialism. So for the record I am against socialism, communism, marxism, leninism, maoism etc. Now Jono can you prove that the current system is not delivering the outcomes that the "majority" (not your minoirty libertarian group) wants.

Or that the policies you propose (a totally unregulated market approach to everything) have any hard evidence (real world cases) of being successful.

So far you have produced nothing except hyerbole, and prescriptive articles by neoliberal advocates. Not one piece of evidence based research, not a single case study, not even a solitary statistic.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 01:23 AM
Who says he lost a debate?

He did in the first paragraph of the article he stated he lost the debate at M.Uni. :doh: Did you actually read the article?



If the public schools are that great, then they shouldn't need coercion for funding, because parents would flock to them anyway. That alone makes your interpretation of the stats most dubious.

It is not my interpretation of the stats it is the OECD in their education report I posted the link before, but you probably did bother to read it:rolleyes:

And the world population is choosing public schools that is why the OECD report also shows that 90% of pre-tertiary education is conducted in public schools.

Now you will say they are forced too, and I'll say bollocks, if they didn't want public education they would elect a libertarian government. What was the percentage of the vote the LDP got at the last election again 0.13% in the Senate and 0.14% in House of Reps. Doesn't seem like many people are flocking to abolish the public schools, healthcare and welfare systems.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 09:11 AM
He did in the first paragraph of the article he stated he lost the debate at M.Uni. :doh: Did you actually read the article?
Of course. The vote in such a typical leftist stronghold as a uni was only marginally in favour of the anti-capitalist nonsense that you lap up. Leftism just doesn't work, which is why it survives only in places like academia and the media where ideas don't have to work to survive.


And the world population is choosing public schools that is why the OECD report also shows that 90% of pre-tertiary education is conducted in public schools.
Choosing? No choice if the government taxes you to pay for the public schools even if you use private ones.


Now you will say they are forced too, and I'll say bollocks, if they didn't want public education they would elect a libertarian government.
Not necessarily. There are many factors involved in choosing a government. Also, while many people claim to want to reduce government spending, they don't want spending reduced on themselves.


What was the percentage of the vote the LDP got at the last election again 0.13% in the Senate and 0.14% in House of Reps. Doesn't seem like many people are flocking to abolish the public schools, healthcare and welfare systems.
As KB pointed out, they ran a shocking campaign. Many in that party give the impression of caring more about certain libertarian fetishes than libertarian philosophies. Last election was not one for minor parties anyway. The LDP should do a Ron Paul and join a major party, and stick to tax and welfare reform.

It's quite another thing to say that people really are happy with the public schools. Many parents choose private education despite being taxed for the public schools. And are people really happy with the poverty trap of the welfare bureaucracy?

Numbers don't mean that much either. Friedman wrote intensively when both parties in America were quite socialistic and loved big government, as were the UK, Oz and NZ. But Reagan won two elections in a landslide partly on implementing free market reforms, and Thatcher in the UK was a very successful PM doing the same thing. The same free market reforms were instituted by the Labo(u)r governments in Oz and NZ. And their successors have kept many of them, rather than move back to the socialism you love.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 09:23 AM
Gunner I think Jono is trying to mislead the debate, nobody here is arguing for socialism. What we are arguing is that the status quo (or minor improvements on that) vs fundamentalist libertarian free market approach that Jono favours.
The deviations you like are in the direction of socialism. Yet your argument really amounts to, "the market is not perfect, so government could do it better", which is unproven (I would say disproven).


Jono seems to be losing the arguement so he is trying to shift the debate to socialism.
In your dreams. I am pointing out that you are supporting remnants of socialism.


So for the record I am against socialism, communism, marxism, leninism, maoism etc.
That's something.


Now Jono can you prove that the current system is not delivering the outcomes that the "majority" (not your minoirty libertarian group) wants.
Do people really "want" a welfare system that clearly is NOT delivering. How is it "delivering" when people are not rewarded for transition from welfare to work, so all Centrelink does is give them the stick since there is no carrot. Do people really want a tax system so complex that they need an accountant to fill out their returns?


Or that the policies you propose (a totally unregulated market approach to everything) have any hard evidence (real world cases) of being successful.
Of course they do. They have worked in many of the other areas where lefties said they wouldn't. When Klinton finally signed the GOP welfare reform, plenty said that it would increase the number of homeless etc. In fact, it drove many people off the system into work. Before Reagan removed price caps on petrol, Teddy Kennedy had said shortages were here to stay and proposed a rationing system "that would demand fair sacrifice for all Americans". When Reagan said that the last chapter of Societ Communism was already being written, he was ridiculed by the Anointed. In NZ, there were bleats that farming would collapse without the subsidies, but now farming is thriving there. And unemployment would skyrocket if protective tariffs were removed, yet it is now lower because new industries thrived under free trade.

And consider how many things now that still don't work well, and you can be sure that government intervention is there: water, health, welfare and taxation.


So far you have produced nothing except hyerbole, and prescriptive articles by neoliberal advocates. Not one piece of evidence based research, not a single case study, not even a solitary statistic.
What do you want? The proposals were accompanied by cost estimates, as well as proof of the current massive waste of the current tax and welfare systems, and demonstrations about how nearly all workers would be far better off under the LDP tax/welfare 30/30 plan.

pax
01-02-2008, 10:20 AM
Gunner I think Jono is trying to mislead the debate, nobody here is arguing for socialism. What we are arguing is that the status quo (or minor improvements on that) vs fundamentalist libertarian free market approach that Jono favours.
This is Jono's standard strawman. If you favour any government regulation or services, you are a closet communist.

Kevin Bonham
01-02-2008, 11:07 AM
The LDP should do a Ron Paul and join a major party, and stick to tax and welfare reform.

Australia has much tighter party discipline than the US. It would be very difficult for a radical libertarian to make headway in the Liberal Party (despite its supposed practice of free voting on issues) and impossible in the ALP.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 11:23 AM
This is Jono's standard strawman. If you favour any government regulation or services, you are a closet communist.
More like travelling down the road to serfdom as Hayek put it.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 11:24 AM
Australia has much tighter party discipline than the US. It would be very difficult for a radical libertarian to make headway in the Liberal Party (despite its supposed practice of free voting on issues) and impossible in the ALP.
Haven't noticed. The Libs can't even agree about the response to Labor's "sorry" nonsense.

Kevin Bonham
01-02-2008, 11:39 AM
Haven't noticed. The Libs can't even agree about the response to Labor's "sorry" nonsense.

That is because they are currently a disorganised rabble following an election defeat. Once they do agree on a response, woe betide anyone who disagrees with it, unless it is Malcolm Turnbull who has the right to say and do what he likes because Nelson is understandably reluctant to stand up to him for the time being.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 11:48 AM
Haven't noticed. The Libs can't even agree about the response to Labor's "sorry" nonsense.
Another topic shifter:rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 12:19 PM
Another topic shifter:rolleyes:
No, just questioning whether Lib discipline is as strong as KB makes out, in reply to my suggestion that the LDPs might have a better chance of getting their ideas out if they were part of one of the major parties.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 12:21 PM
The deviations you like are in the direction of socialism. Yet your argument really amounts to, "the market is not perfect, so government could do it better", which is unproven (I would say disproven).

No I am saying that the market needs to be regulated!!! And I am saying certain services should be provided by the government such as education, health and welfare. I have no problem with private systems running in tandem with these services.

And since every market economy in the world is regulated, and most governements of developed countries provide the services I mentioned; I would say my position has widespread support. And is totally proven as being feasible and providing a high standard of living for all.



In your dreams. I am pointing out that you are supporting remnants of socialism.

Australia was never a socialist country so how can you call the features of our system remnants of socialism :doh:


Do people really "want" a welfare system that clearly is NOT delivering. How is it "delivering" when people are not rewarded for transition from welfare to work, so all Centrelink does is give them the stick since there is no carrot. Do people really want a tax system so complex that they need an accountant to fill out their returns?

Firstly it depends on you perspective here I see a welfare system as delivering when it helps people who are in genuine need who would otherwise be forced in poverty/homelessness etc. I accept that there will be people who take advantage of the system and we need to try to reduce that. But I am happy to have those bludgers if it helps one genuine person get back on their feet.

I am for tax reform, in terms of a simplified system. That does not mean the new system needs to abolish public education, health and welfare.



They have worked in many of the other areas where lefties said they wouldn't. When Klinton finally signed the GOP welfare reform, plenty said that it would increase the number of homeless etc. In fact, it drove many people off the system into work.

Some statistics or research confirming that the number of homeless was reduced. And the specific allegations that were made against the policy might be handy. Otherwise it is just another unsubstantiated statement. The kind that you are all too fond of making.


Before Reagan removed price caps on petrol, Teddy Kennedy had said shortages were here to stay and proposed a rationing system "that would demand fair sacrifice for all Americans". In NZ, there were bleats that farming would collapse without the subsidies, but now farming is thriving there. And unemployment would skyrocket if protective tariffs were removed, yet it is now lower because new industries thrived under free trade.

You are too quick to make the jump between these minor market reforms and the extreme radical approach you suggest.


And consider how many things now that still don't work well, and you can be sure that government intervention is there: water, health, welfare and taxation.

Who says they don't work? Again need some evidence that the an unregulated approach to these services will perform better.



What do you want? The proposals were accompanied by cost estimates, as well as proof of the current massive waste of the current tax and welfare systems, and demonstrations about how nearly all workers would be far better off under the LDP tax/welfare 30/30 plan.

These are all theoretical models, I want research, I want cases studies. I want proof of the theories.

For example:

Country X has totally abolished public education and the research indicates that the cost of education is less with better educational outcomes and minimal social impact and evidenced by the following statistics.

Country Y uses negative taxation and it has been shown to provide adquete support for those in need and reduce poverty as evidenced by the following statistics.

Country Z has a abolished a public healthcare, and it has been shown to have the following benefits as evidenced by the statistics.

Or you need to clearly say that these are theoretical models and further research is required to assess their practicability, however you feel that the following indicators point to their potential success or failure.

I thought having a PhD you would know how to mount a correct arguement.

If you can show a case or multiple cases of where these theories have been successful, I open to changing my opinion. Heck I've been wrong or misinformed about many things in the past. But I need more than rhetoric to be convinced.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 12:55 PM
No I am saying that the market needs to be regulated!!!
Then it's not really much of a market at all. The moribund socialist economies of Europe, the stagflation of the Carter years, are some of the things that happen when the government sticks its nose where it doesn't belong, instead of sticking to protecting us from fraud and coercion.

Where is the evidence that government regulation makes things better for consumers?

Oh here's a recent beauty that's worthy of Hypocrite of the New Year Award: Government bureaucrat Graham Samuel of the ACCC is whinging that petrol price "gouging" by petrol stations is hurting consumers. Yet petrol companies make only a few cents per litre profit for actually working to supply the stuff to the consumer; the government gouges 38c/l simply because it can. Even the iniquitous double taxation of GST on the excise means that the States also gouge about as much as the suppliers make in profit. Yeah, the government bureaucrats cry a river about the 'greed' of Big Oil, but never about the far worse greed of Big Government.


And I am saying certain services should be provided by the government such as education, health and welfare. I have no problem with private systems running in tandem with these services.
Where is your evidence that government is any better with these then it is in supplying water, or keeping petrol prices low by law, or any of the other things it used to do? You also haven't explained why our welfare system is so great, with the huge bureaucracy and poverty traps.


And since every market economy in the world is regulated, and most governements of developed countries provide the services I mentioned; I would say my position has widespread support. And is totally proven as being feasible and providing a high standard of living for all.
Politicians kid the people that there is such a thing as a free lunch.


Australia was never a socialist country so how can you call the features of our system remnants of socialism :doh:
It had many of the characteristics of socialism, such as lack of free trade and high taxes. New Zealand even had price and wage controls as well as petrol rationing under Muldoon.


Firstly it depends on you perspective here I see a welfare system as delivering when it helps people who are in genuine need who would otherwise be forced in poverty/homelessness etc.
And that would be solved by the LDP policy which is to provide a genuine safety net, not a poverty trap.


I accept that there will be people who take advantage of the system and we need to try to reduce that. But I am happy to have those bludgers if it helps one genuine person get back on their feet.
The problem is, enough bludgers breed resentment, so rules are introduced that tend to punish those most in need of real welfare. And a system that doesn't financially reward work hinders people from getting back on their feet. The LDP system would not only save millions by dispensing with much Centrelink bureaucracy, but would also make sure that welfare recipients keep 70% of any money they earn.


I am for tax reform, in terms of a simplified system.
So what about the 30/30 system that simplifies both taxation and welfare together?


That does not mean the new system needs to abolish public education, health and welfare.
It doesn't need to, but we would be better off if it did. People spend their own money on themselves and their family more efficiently than a government bureaucrat can spend it on someone else.


Some statistics or research confirming that the number of homeless was reduced.
I've also covered the homeless, and how the current system is not helping them.


And the specific allegations that were made against the policy might be handy. Otherwise it is just another unsubstantiated statement. The kind that you are all too fond of making.
Pot, meet kettle.


You are too quick to make the jump between these minor market reforms and the extreme radical approach you suggest.
Minor market reforms that merely tinker around the edges of the bloated ATO and welfare bureaucracies miss the point. you are too quick to make the jump from 'the market is not perfect' to 'the government must step in'.


Who says they don't work?
I do, when a welfare recipient can't work without losing 90% of the earned income, when loss of benefits is taken into account. I do also when so much money and time is spend on compliance with the bloated taxation laws. Similar, health is not working, and socialized medicine in Britain and Canada results in long waiting lists.


Again need some evidence that the an unregulated approach to these services will perform better.
Already provided.


These are all theoretical models, I want research, I want cases studies. I want proof of the theories.
You've been given both. But you put your hands in your ears and pretend not to hear. But by your "reasoning", Reagan should never have put Friedman's ideas into practice because they were untried in practice, even though Friedman amply justified them in theory.

You have also been given practical examples of gross defects of the current system.


For example:

Country X has totally abolished public education and the research indicates that the cost of education is less with better educational outcomes and minimal social impact and evidenced by the following statistics.
Easy: American education resulted in much higher standards before the growth of the massive educracy and teacher union monopoly.


Country Y uses negative taxation and it has been shown to provide adquete support for those in need and reduce poverty as evidenced by the following statistics.
So we can never try a new system, even though the old one is bloated and inefficient and leaves people in poverty traps, and even though there are many sound economic arguments that negative taxation would work better to provide incentives to work and also lower unemployment?


Country Z has a abolished a public healthcare, and it has been shown to have the following benefits as evidenced by the statistics.
Again, look at the movement between countries: patients move from socialized Canada to semi-socialized America for tests and operations.


I thought having a PhD you would know how to mount a correct arguement.
A lot better than you.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Where is the evidence that government regulation makes things better for consumers?

Where is your evidence that government is any better with these then it is in supplying water, or keeping petrol prices low by law, or any of the other things it used to do? You also haven't explained why our welfare system is so great

Do not need to you are the one who is saying you have a better system and that the current system is flawed. I just want you to prove that your system is demonstratably better. I need not prove the current system is better than your proposed system, and that in fact would be impossible since your system is nothing more than a theory.



It had many of the characteristics of socialism, such as lack of free trade and high taxes. New Zealand even had price and wage controls as well as petrol rationing under Muldoon.

Nothing to do with socialism these were features of almost all major economies of the time.



And that would be solved by the LDP policy which is to provide a genuine safety net, not a poverty trap.

Again unsubstaniated. The figures you gave were insufficient to sustain any unemployed person.



So what about the 30/30 system that simplifies both taxation and welfare together?

My cursory look at the system appears to have a number of flaws, for example I am not convinced the income given to the unemployed person will be sufficient to live on when all other welfare systems (health, education, rent assistance) are removed.


It doesn't need to, but we would be better off if it did. People spend their own money on themselves and their family more efficiently than a government bureaucrat can spend it on someone else.

Bollocks, just look at the gambling industry in Australia. There are plenty of people who have no idea how to spend their money. Why do you think Noel Pearson is calling for welfare reform in Aboriginal communities, because they waste their disposable income on alcohol and drugs etc. What do you do with these people when they waste the tiny sum of money LDP is proposing on gambling or alcohol or whatever.


I've also covered the homeless, and how the current system is not helping them.

I beleive the governement is in the process of addressing this. I can't imagine the free market would give a damn.



I do, when a welfare recipient can't work without losing 90% of the earned income, when loss of benefits is taken into account.

Or in real terms they are 10% better off.


Similar, health is not working, and socialized medicine in Britain and Canada results in long waiting lists.

Give me a comparison of waiting lists and different public/private health care ratios and show me that more private heallth care equals less waiting lists, and I'll agree that shorter waiting lists is a benefit of privatised systems.




You've been given both. But you put your hands in your ears and pretend not to hear. But by your "reasoning", Reagan should never have put Friedman's ideas into practice because they were untried in practice, even though Friedman amply justified them in theory.

Agreed you need to test theories, just don't want to use Australia as a libertarian guinea pig. Many believed the marxist theory to be amply justified and that was a total failure.


You have also been given practical examples of gross defects of the current system.

Like the poor performnace public schools in Australia; despite the OECD showing minor efficiency differences between public and private education. And despite Australia being ranked third by the OECD in terms of education outcomes.



Easy: American education resulted in much higher standards before the growth of the massive educracy and teacher union monopoly.

Was US system private when it had better standards. Also show me the stats that substantiate your claim. That is the education outcomes, ratio of public to private education funding for each period.



So we can never try a new system, even though the old one is bloated and inefficient and leaves people in poverty traps, and even though there are many sound economic arguments that negative taxation would work better to provide incentives to work and also lower unemployment?.

We can but it is a major risk. The system could easily fall flat of expectations. You need to ask are Australians really that disatisfied with current system to risk such a radical change. And the answer for the time being is NO.



Again, look at the movement between countries: patients move from socialized Canada to semi-socialized America for tests and operations.
Look at what movement you haven't produced any stats detailing any movement, for all i know the situation could be exactly the reverse.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 03:34 PM
Again, look at the movement between countries: patients move from socialized Canada to semi-socialized America for tests and operations.

Here are some stats for you to ponder.

OECD Stats 2004

Total expenditure on health, % GDP
Aus 9.5
Can 9.8
UK 8.1
US 15.2

US spends more of their GDP on Health than any of the other nations.

Total expenditure on health, Per capita US$ PPP
Aus 3128
Can 3161
UK 2560
US 6037

In dollar terms US spends almost twice as much per captia than the other countries.

Public expenditure on health, % total expenditure on health Aus 67.5
Can 70.2
UK 86.3
US 44.7

Less than half of the US spending on health comes from the public system. Considering they spend twice as much per capita this indicates that the private health system is less efficient.

Life expectancy at birth, Total population (in years) Aus 80.6
Can 80.2
UK 78.9
US 77.8

US have the lowest life expectancy indicating the worst level of healthcare.

http://stats.oecd.org/wbos/default.aspx?DatasetCode=HEALTH Check out a full list of stats for yourself

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 04:33 PM
Less than half of the US spending on health comes from the public system. Considering they spend twice as much per capita this indicates that the private health system is less efficient.
The problems come with the absurd combination of public and private that they have there. Now THAT is inefficient. Stossel writes in Health Insurance Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: Mandating Medical Coverage May Sound Good, but You've Got to Read the Fine Print (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PrescriptionForChange/Story?id=2574980&page=4):


Why on earth would we want mandated insurance from employers?! Do our employers pay for our food, clothing or shelter? If they did, why would that be good? Having my health care tied to my boss invites him to snoop into my private health issues, and if I change jobs I lose coverage. Employer paid health insurance isn't free. It just means we get insurance instead of higher salaries. Companies only provide it because of a World War II-era tax break that never went away.

Anyway, insurance is a terrible way to pay for things. It burdens us with paperwork, invites cheating and, worst of all, creates a moral hazard that distorts incentives. It raises costs by insulating consumers from medicine's real prices.

Suppose you had grocery insurance. With your employer paying 80 percent of the bill, you would fill the cart with lobster and filet mignon. Everything would cost more because supermarkets would stop running sales. Why should they, when their customers barely care about the price?

Suppose everyone had transportation insurance. The roads would be crowded with Mercedes. Why buy a Chevy if your employer pays?

People have gotten so used to having "other" people pay for most of our health care that we routinely ask for insurance with low or no deductibles. This is another bad idea.

Suppose car insurance worked that way. Every time you got a little dent or the paint faded, or every time you buy gas or change the oil, you'd fill out endless forms and wait for reimbursement from your insurance company. Gas prices would quickly rise because service stations would know that you no longer care about the price. You'd become more wasteful: jackrabbit starts, speeding, wasting gas. Who cares? You are only paying 20 percent or less of the bill.

Insurance invites waste. That's a reason health care costs so much, and is often so consumer-unfriendly. In the few areas where there are free markets in health care — such as cosmetic medicine and Lasik eye surgery — customer service is great, and prices continue to drop.

...

For-profit medicine has given us vaccines and antibiotics that have extended our lives by decades. I want more! More pills to ease pain, more metal joints to keep me playing sports, more treatments for cancer and cures for heart disease. Socialized medicine slows heath care innovation to a crawl.

Capitalism isn't perfect. It allows inequalities, many of which seem unfair. And capitalism's uncertainties create anxiety. But universal care " creates its own anxieties and inequalities. Perfect isn't one of the choices. Foolish pursuit of free care is the enemy of good care.

Yet still, people come from your socialist paradise Canada to the US for treatment.


US have the lowest life expectancy indicating the worst level of healthcare.
No it doesn't. There are other things that reduce life. As Stossel points out in Canada's health-care system is to die for (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=John+Stossel%3A+Canada's+hea lth-care+system+is+to+die+for&articleId=c3108c8d-43c4-436b-9af1-b9acf4875aef):


But Canadians' longer lives are unrelated to heath care. Canadians are less likely to get into accidents or be murdered. Take those factors into account, not to mention obesity, and Americans live longer.

Most Canadians like their free health care, but Canadian doctors tell us the system is cracking. More than a million Canadians cannot find a regular family doctor. One town holds a lottery. Once a week the town clerk gets a box out of the closet. Everyone who wants to have a family doctor puts his or her name in it. The clerk pulls out one slip to determine the winner. Others in town have to wait.

pax
01-02-2008, 04:40 PM
Most Canadians like their free health care, but Canadian doctors tell us the system is cracking. More than a million Canadians cannot find a regular family doctor. One town holds a lottery. Once a week the town clerk gets a box out of the closet. Everyone who wants to have a family doctor puts his or her name in it. The clerk pulls out one slip to determine the winner. Others in town have to wait.
Why do you keep bleating about Canada and the UK? Is it because Australia's public health system actually works rather well, and you have difficulty using it to argue your case?

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 04:54 PM
Do not need to you are the one who is saying you have a better system and that the current system is flawed. I just want you to prove that your system is demonstratably better. I need not prove the current system is better than your proposed system, and that in fact would be impossible since your system is nothing more than a theory.
Your demand is crass. You will only accept that the system is better if it has been tried in practice, but you're not prepared to try something that has been tried before. Under your 'reasoning', we'd never try new things. Fortunately reagan didn't apply that reasoning before he implimented many of the free market ideas of Freidman and others.

Meanwhile, I have given reasons why the new system would work much better than the current, and you're unable to address them. So you're a stick-in-the-mud, never wanting to get rid of a grossly flawed system.


Nothing to do with socialism these were features of almost all major economies of the time.
Just shows that modern politians still mislead the public that a free lunch is possible.


Again unsubstaniated. The figures you gave were insufficient to sustain any unemployed person.
Nonsense. Your tastes are just too expensive. But these figures show that it would be worthwhile to seek even half-time employment at the minimum wage rate, thus climb out of the poverty trap. You'd have them stuck there, by keeping a system that means that any income earned is cancelled out by loss of benefit.


Bollocks, just look at the gambling industry in Australia.
Sure, some people like that, and state governments encourage their growth. But as Reagan said after saying that Congress spends money like drunken sailors, this was unfair to the sailors who were spending only their own money.


There are plenty of people who have no idea how to spend their money.
Right, so you Anointed must spend money for them, including the majority who don't gamble their money away.


Why do you think Noel Pearson is calling for welfare reform in Aboriginal communities, because they waste their disposable income on alcohol and drugs etc.
And one reason they do is that they didn't earn the money. That was my point: the one who knows best how to spend the money is the one who earned it. Why should we throw money at people who drink it away?


What do you do with these people when they waste the tiny sum of money LDP is proposing on gambling or alcohol or whatever.
Better that they waste tiny sums than the bigger sums you're proposing to lavish on them.


I beleive the governement is in the process of addressing this. I can't imagine the free market would give a damn.
The free market doesn't have to. As Adam Smith pointed out, the good for society comes without any intention on the part of the participants.

As far as the homeless are concerned, I already pointed out that a huge government bureaucracy pimps off them. Private charities would do much better, and as the paper said, they are likely to spring up when people have more to give because the government confiscates less.


Or in real terms they are 10% better off.
While under LDP, they would be 70% better off. Which is more likely to induce them to work for a low wage—and gain valuable work experience that is likely to lead to higher-paid work?


Agreed you need to test theories, just don't want to use Australia as a libertarian guinea pig. Many believed the marxist theory to be amply justified and that was a total failure.
And many still think it is wonderful, mainly in the universities and news rooms.

But there is a huge difference: Marxism requires coercion, libertarians requires coercion to be removed.


Was US system private when it had better standards. Also show me the stats that substantiate your claim. That is the education outcomes, ratio of public to private education funding for each period.
Just compare what first-year highschool kids knew 50 years ago with what first-year uni students know now. Yet there was no Federal dep't of education or huge teachers unions.


Look at what movement you haven't produced any stats detailing any movement, for all i know the situation could be exactly the reverse.
I didn't need to produce stats, I produced evidence (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=John+Stossel%3A+Canada's+hea lth-care+system+is+to+die+for&articleId=c3108c8d-43c4-436b-9af1-b9acf4875aef).

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 05:07 PM
Why do you keep bleating about Canada and the UK? Is it because Australia's public health system actually works rather well, and you have difficulty using it to argue your case?
Why not? Your fellow Lefty, The Joke, thinks those countries are great? And if ours works so well, why the scandals in QLD Health, e.g. poor treatment, growth of bureaucrats faster than doctors or nurses, firing whistleblowers who report widespread sexual abuse of aboriginal children?

pax
01-02-2008, 05:10 PM
Just compare what first-year highschool kids knew 50 years ago with what first-year uni students know now. Yet there was no Federal dep't of education or huge teachers unions.
Yet there was a large government school sector...

(but I think this whole "standards have slipped" line is a bit of a myth)

pax
01-02-2008, 05:40 PM
Why not? Your fellow Lefty, The Joke, thinks those countries are great? And if ours works so well, why the scandals in QLD Health, e.g. poor treatment, growth of bureaucrats faster than doctors or nurses, firing whistleblowers who report widespread sexual abuse of aboriginal children?
If a couple of isolated scandals are the best you can come up with, then it's no wonder you resort to pointing at other countries.

Most Australians are quite happy not to be living in a country where heart attack patients are greeted at the door to the hospital by an administer asking "and how we be paying for today's medical treatment? All major credit cards accepted!"

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 06:34 PM
You will only accept that the system is better if it has been tried in practice, but you're not prepared to try something that has been tried before. Under your 'reasoning', we'd never try new things.

No not never try new things. It's called risk assessment. Here the risk is ruining Australia's world class healthcare and public education system. I am afraid that without any evidence that the theory works in practice, it simply isn't worth the risk. If our healthcare and public education systems were in dire straits then it might be worth a shot. But it is not and there is no convincing arguement to implement such riky changes.


Meanwhile, I have given reasons why the new system would work much better than the current, and you're unable to address them.

Address what the few US magazine articles you've posted. :lol:



Nonsense. Your tastes are just too expensive.

IIRC an unemployed person will earn 9,000p.a.; or $173 per week
Rent $150 (based on a studio apartment Western Sydney) if you're lucky!!!
$23 left for health insurance, transport, food, etc:rolleyes:

Now you are going to say well don't live in Sydney, well who the hell is going to pay to relocate these people elsewhere?



Sure, some people like that, and state governments encourage their growth.

Well i can tell you for a fact that the government is limiting the number of pokies in NSW (whereas in your freemarket approach there would be thousand of unregulated machines everywhere).

You still haven't said what you will do to adress those that waste there money, I mean will you leave them homeless on the streets? What will you do for their kids?



Right, so you Anointed must spend money for them, including the majority who don't gamble their money away.

Yes those elected by the people will set up a safety net, to help reduce further social problems. As the article you linked showed most US ctizens want universal coverage, despite expecting that it may not give them the service they could get in the private system (i.e. they are happy to suffer a reduction in service to prop up those less fortunate). So it is really you who are telling people tey shouldn't have universal coverage eve though that is what they want.



And one reason they do is that they didn't earn the money. That was my point: the one who knows best how to spend the money is the one who earned it.

Actually you know nothing about the demographics of problem gamblers, a lot are young professionals, small business owners and retirees.

The main point is you don't have a solution!!!! That is glaring:eek:



The free market doesn't have to. As Adam Smith pointed out, the good for society comes without any intention on the part of the participants.

As far as the homeless are concerned,... Private charities would do much better, and as the paper said, they are likely to spring up when people have more to give because the government confiscates less.

Who is going to regulate the charities?



While under LDP, they would be 70% better off. Which is more likely to induce them to work for a low wage—and gain valuable work experience that is likely to lead to higher-paid work?

Except they would homeless be before they could ever find a job, on $173 a week. What if they physically cant work for a period of time how then are they supposed to live on $173 a week, with no services or concessions?





But there is a huge difference: Marxism requires coercion, libertarians requires coercion to be removed.

Maybe but it is the same in that it is an untried ideological economic system. (Risky Business)



Just compare what first-year highschool kids knew 50 years ago with what first-year uni students know now. Yet there was no Federal dep't of education or huge teachers unions.

Where can I compare such data. What data did you compare to come up with that assumption? Or are you just guessing?



I didn't need to produce stats, I produced evidence (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=John+Stossel%3A+Canada's+hea lth-care+system+is+to+die+for&articleId=c3108c8d-43c4-436b-9af1-b9acf4875aef).

A magazine article is not evidence (are you sure you actually went to uni?).

What do you think holds more value a magazine article that cites no sources, or OECD statistics (it is a bit of a no-brainer Jono):wall:

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 06:44 PM
Why not? Your fellow Lefty, The Joke, thinks those countries are great? And if ours works so well, why the scandals in QLD Health, e.g. poor treatment, growth of bureaucrats faster than doctors or nurses, firing whistleblowers who report widespread sexual abuse of aboriginal children?

Just for the record Jono you brought up UK and Canada, I mentioned nothing about them since I knew very little. After you brought them up I did a little research (is that a taboo word for you) and posted some stats.

TheJoker
01-02-2008, 06:50 PM
Since you seem in desparate need of some help, I suggest you check out South Korea's education system and health system, I believe both have significant private investment and reduced public expenditure and seem to be doing quite well

I'd research it myself but then I'd be argueing with myself and that would be no fun now would it:lol:

Anyway I am off air for today so it should give you a bit time;)

pax
01-02-2008, 07:07 PM
I didn't need to produce stats, I produced evidence (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=John+Stossel%3A+Canada's+hea lth-care+system+is+to+die+for&articleId=c3108c8d-43c4-436b-9af1-b9acf4875aef).
A 500 word opinion piece containing a few anecdotes is hardly evidence.

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 07:10 PM
Yet there was a large government school sector...
Much more localized though, with more parental involvement, instead of an overarching Washington educracy. Not ideal but better than the current situation.


(but I think this whole "standards have slipped" line is a bit of a myth)
Really? Uni lecturers are complaining about the poor writing style. Secondary school kids need a calculator to work out 7x9. There is a lack of historical and geographical knowledge. Thomas Sowell wrote:


"A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like 'arraigned,' 'curried' and 'exculpate' meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation."

But by golly, our kids now know how evil the white man has been, and how to join protest marches!

Capablanca-Fan
01-02-2008, 07:12 PM
A 500 word opinion piece containing a few anecdotes is hardly evidence.So do you have any evidence to refute the cases Stossel adduced of Canadians crossing the border for medical care rather than die on the waiting list for their "elective" surgery (i.e. they can elect whether to live or die)?

pax
01-02-2008, 07:38 PM
So do you have any evidence to refute the cases Stossel adduced of Canadians crossing the border for medical care rather than die on the waiting list for their "elective" surgery (i.e. they can elect whether to live or die)?
Do you have any evidence that the (two) examples Stossel cites are indicative of an underlying problem rather than isolated cases? I could cite tragic examples from any health system in the world, public or private and it would prove nothing. For that matter do you have any evidence that the cases are genuine, and not manufactured by people with a political axe to grind? That's the trouble with anecdotal (non)evidence - there's no way of backing it up.

pax
01-02-2008, 07:47 PM
One of Stossel's examples (the mother of quadruplets) was flown to Montana at (paid for by the state government) due to the need for four adjacent 'level 3' intensive care neonatal beds. I don't know of any health system anywhere that could guarantee four neonatal beds at any given point in time at a particular place. So this is not evidence of anything.
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2007/11/25/news/local/news05.txt

pax
01-02-2008, 07:53 PM
As for the other example, it seems that Shirley Healey's (non elective despite Stossel's assertion) operation was cancelled twice due to emergency cases that took precedence. This is the procedure in any hospital in the world. She was offered another date, but refused because they could not guarantee that there would not be another cancellation.

pax
01-02-2008, 11:26 PM
Oh, and by the way, the "Canadian doctor" David Gratzer quoted by Stossel is actually a fellow at the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, and a campaign advisor to Rudy Giuliani. Hardly a neutral observer of the Canadian medical system!

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 02:56 AM
Oh, and by the way, the "Canadian doctor" David Gratzer quoted by Stossel is actually a fellow at the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, and a campaign advisor to Rudy Giuliani. Hardly a neutral observer of the Canadian medical system!
So, was he mistaken in any demonstrable way?

Giuliani is not the most conservative Republican around.

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 03:04 AM
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2007/11/25/news/local/news05.txt
Yet that article, Canadian health care: ‘Free' program facing strains, while overall quite favorable towards socialized medicine, notes a number of problems:


Yet while the Canadian health-care system is popular with its citizens, it's not without its problems and challenges.

For starters, it faces a nationwide shortage of physicians, nurses and other health care workers, brought on by health budget cuts in the 1990s and other factors.

Here in Calgary, a booming city of 1 million people, the shortage is particularly severe.

As many as 20 percent of the city's population has no regular family doctor; health officials say 300 additional physicians are needed to serve the city.

The Calgary Health Region also is scrambling to build hospitals and other facilities to keep pace with its growing population.

The “wait list” also is a staple of the Canadian system, as citizens sometimes must wait long periods for non-critical surgeries or other procedures. The average wait in Alberta for a knee replacement that's not considered an emergency is 14 weeks; a non-emergency MRI test is 11 weeks.

“Our trauma care, our stroke care, our cardiac care are at a level that is probably world class,” says Dr. Rob Abernethy, the medical director for emergency services in the Calgary region. “It's the care that needs to be done but can wait, (that) can wait at a cost, and the cost is usually pain and suffering for patients.”

And, finally, Canadians openly fret about how the taxpayer-funded system can be sustained and still provide the same level of care to all, in the face of rising health care costs and an aging population.

“My major concern is, can the citizens of this province continue to afford the health care that we are enjoying now?” says Sandy Larson, the mayor of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. “How do we continue to pay for the escalating cost of health care the way they are? Where do the dollars come from?”

...

Canadian system's big flaw: Dreaded ‘wait list'

CALGARY, Alberta - If you're a Canadian citizen and you need cataract surgery, a new knee or hip, or an MRI and it's not deemed an emergency, be prepared to wait.

“In the U.S., you have a sore hip, you see your orthopedic surgeon and he suggests you get a new hip, and you have a real good health insurance plan, you say, ‘Tomorrow or next week?' ” says Dr. Rob Abernethy, director of emergency care for the Calgary Health Region.

“We might say, ‘Next year? A year and a half from now?' ”

For this system, which provides publicly funded health care to all citizens, the “wait list” is the Achilles heel - the whipping boy that attracts the most criticism, both from within and outside the system.

Wait lists are the system's means of rationing care not needed to cure an acute disease, treat an injury or save someone's life.

Wait lists also led to a 2005 Canadian Supreme Court decision that could influence the future of the country's publicly funded health system, recharging a lively debate over how to attack wait times.

“When you're not in critical care, how long are you disabled until you finally get the treatment you need?” says Dr. Darryl LaBuick, a family doctor and president of the Alberta Medical Association. “That's where our system is hurting. That's going to get worse as our population ages.”

...

The length of wait for a nonemergency surgery or treatment in Canada varies greatly, depending on the procedure, the province, where you live and the “urgency” of your health situation. It could be a week; it could be a year or longer.

Alberta Health and Wellness, the government ministry that manages health care in the province, lists nearly 50 procedures on its “wait list registry,” which is available on the Internet and lists wait times at individual hospitals and regions. http://www.ahw.gov.ab.ca/waitlist/CategoryOverview.jsp

The latest data say the average wait for a hip replacement in Alberta is about three months, although 28 percent of the 523 patients whose hips were replaced in the three months before Sept. 30 waited anywhere from four to 12 months. A few waited even longer.

The average wait for cataract surgery is 10 weeks; for a knee replacement, 14 weeks; an MRI test, nine weeks; a CT scan, 1.4 weeks.

pax
02-02-2008, 09:45 AM
So, was he mistaken in any demonstrable way?
Well Stossel quotes him as if he is a working doctor on the ground in Canada, which he clearly isn't.


Giuliani is not the most conservative Republican around.
He is when it comes to healthcare.

pax
02-02-2008, 09:52 AM
So do you admit that Stossel's opinion piece does not constitute evidence of anything?

After all, if I cited Michael Moore's 'Sicko' as evidence that the health system in Canada and Britain is great, you would quite rightly laugh me out of town (even though it is considerably better researched than Stossel's piece).

TheJoker
02-02-2008, 03:02 PM
Alberta Health and Wellness, the government ministry that manages health care in the province, lists nearly 50 procedures on its “wait list registry,” which is available on the Internet and lists wait times at individual hospitals and regions. http://www.ahw.gov.ab.ca/waitlist/CategoryOverview.jsp

The latest data say the average wait for a hip replacement in Alberta is about three months, although 28 percent of the 523 patients whose hips were replaced in the three months before Sept. 30 waited anywhere from four to 12 months. A few waited even longer.

The average wait for cataract surgery is 10 weeks; for a knee replacement, 14 weeks; an MRI test, nine weeks; a CT scan, 1.4 weeks.[/INDENT]

Well done Jono!!! Citing some real evidence:clap: Although the stats viewed in isolation (i.e. without anything to compare them with) don't really add any support to your assumption:
That the socialised system in Canada produces longer waiting periods than the semi-socialised system in the US.

Now if you would please provide a comparision of data with a US state with similar demographics. Or the median US waiting periods for the same procedures.

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 06:48 PM
After all, if I cited Michael Moore's 'Sicko' as evidence that the health system in Canada and Britain is great, you would quite rightly laugh me out of town (even though it is considerably better researched than Stossel's piece).
You have to be joking. Stossel caught Moore out big time in his dishonest praise for Cuba (http://www.publiuspundit.com/2007/09/exposing_michael_moores_lies_a.php), so Moore had to change the subject to Canada. Then Stossel pointed out that Canada's socialized health system has its major problems (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/socialized_medicine_is_broken.html), supported by your link!

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 06:56 PM
Do you have any evidence that the (two) examples Stossel cites are indicative of an underlying problem rather than isolated cases? I could cite tragic examples from any health system in the world, public or private and it would prove nothing. For that matter do you have any evidence that the cases are genuine, and not manufactured by people with a political axe to grind? That's the trouble with anecdotal (non)evidence - there's no way of backing it up.
How ironic: it's usually the supporters of big government who can provide anecdotes of how well the policies are benefiting some people. It's much harder to show how the policies are harming others. E.g. there might be some high profile cases of government help for an operation, but the lower profile cases on long waiting lists are not so glamorous.

Same with tariffs on say, steel, as the Yanx have. It's easy enough to point to many jobs in steel that have been saved. But it's not so easy to point to job losses in industries that use steel and have to pay higher prices, or higher costs of products. Politicians can instead blame these consequences on corporate greed rather than higher costs to these steel-users caused by government. They are an easy target — just like Government hatchet man Graham Samuel blaming petrol station greed for high prices at the pump rather than government greed for excise tax.

Friedman long ago pointed out why free market is not popular with voters:


Gains from government action are quick and obvious; the greater costs are long-term and much less obvious.
The special interest group gains are concentrated, so there is greater incentive to lobby for them. The greater costs to the consumer are diffused among many individuals and businesses, so they are less likely to complain.

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 07:15 PM
No not never try new things. It's called risk assessment. Here the risk is ruining Australia's world class healthcare and public education system.
Good grief, haven't you been reading the papers? They have often talked about the hospital problems. In today's Courier Mail, there was an article about a lady who died painfully of breast cancer because of faulty diagnosis in the state system. And the front page article was on the QLD state schools "Failing on all fronts"; one in five 10yos fail to reach even minimum standard on reading, for example.


I am afraid that without any evidence that the theory works in practice, it simply isn't worth the risk.
There are many reasons to believe that it would be much better than the current coercive monopolies.


Address what the few US magazine articles you've posted. :lol:
The paper on the 30/30 taxation system was Australian.


You still haven't said what you will do to adress those that waste there money, I mean will you leave them homeless on the streets? What will you do for their kids?
What would you do? Throw more money at the problem? There are already laws about neglecting one's kids, which happens even with (and perhaps because of) our welfare system.


Actually you know nothing about the demographics of problem gamblers, a lot are young professionals, small business owners and retirees.
The problem was, government encouraged the growth of gambling machines because they became addicted to the taxes generated. So they allowed fraudulent advertising that would never be allowed elsewhere (e.g. on the probability of winning).


The main point is you don't have a solution!!!! That is glaring:eek:
Not at all. It's only the Anointed who seek solutions; people with a realistic vision of imperfect humanity realise that there are no solutions, only trade-offs.


Who is going to regulate the charities??
Hopefully no one! That way the donors can give to the most efficient. 'All that is needed is the current laws against fraud.

Why are you so regulation-happy? What makes you think that government, with its track-record of bloated inefficiency and throwing good money after bad, would benefit the community by regulating charities?


Except they would homeless be before they could ever find a job, on $173 a week. What if they physically cant work for a period of time how then are they supposed to live on $173 a week, with no services or concessions?
How about sharing accommodation in a less expensive area? People have been migrating for centuries, often much further and with less money, so stop being such a wuss.

OK then, how much is the dole worth? But is it really so great when you have to jump through whatever hoops the centrelink bureaucrats invent for you, or you lose the benefit? And when getting an initial job might mean that you lose almost as much in benefits and travel costs as you gain from working?

The 30/30 system is supposed to help people into paid employment while supporting them in the mean-time. This doesn't mean keeping them in luxury, but enough to get by with some reasonable concessions.

Note that the Labor Government's next budget will mostly be cutting back on spending, which is a good thing. A bloated welfare bureaucracy is not sustainable as the proportion of workers to beneficiaries keeps decreasing.

The US had to radically scale back. They had there own Jokers saying that the sky would fall on beneficiaries, but by "magic", many of them found permanent work and bettered their lives.

TheJoker
02-02-2008, 09:24 PM
The problem was, government encouraged the growth of gambling machines because they became addicted to the taxes generated. So they allowed fraudulent advertising that would never be allowed elsewhere (e.g. on the probability of winning).

What fraudulent advertising was there on the probability of winning. What do you know about the probability of winning on gaming machines, I expect very little, to absolutely nothing!

And how exactly did the governments ecourage the growth of gambling, they may not have actively discouraged it, but encouraged how?



Hopefully no one! That way the donors can give to the most efficient. 'All that is needed is the current laws against fraud.

So who is going to idnetify such fraud? That is what the regualtors do they monitor the activities to enusre there is no fraud. Unless of course you will a police task force, in which case will thousand of police to identify fraud and


Why are you so regulation-happy? What makes you think the community by regulating charities?

Because I know for a fact that the NSW government catches out many fraudlent charities every year.

Capablanca-Fan
02-02-2008, 09:44 PM
What fraudulent advertising was there on the probability of winning.
Exaggeration of the chance of winning. Or technically true but misleading "you've gotta be in to win", whereas if people invested that money in their superannuation, they really would have a superb chance of winning in the long run.


What do you know about the probability of winning on gaming machines, I expect very little, to absolutely nothing!
What a moronic accusation from a nobody. Why do you think I don't gamble? Gambling is a tax on those who can't understand simple probability.


And how exactly did the governments ecourage the growth of gambling, they may not have actively discouraged it, but encouraged how?
Kennett was palsy with the gambling barons, so pokies and casinos proliferated under his watch. This is not free market but crony capitalism.

And they have special exemptions. If any other business accepted payment for a product from money that was embezzled from the buyer's workplace, they would at least have to return the money, and at worst be guilty of receiving stolen property. But casinos who win stolen money don't have to pay it back.


So who is going to idnetify such fraud?
That is the job of the government. But it should not regulate more than that.


Because I know for a fact that the NSW government catches out many fraudlent charities every year.
Good, so we don't need excessive regulation. The government is far less able than donors to catch out charities that spend much more on keeping themselves going than on the people they are ostensibly supposed to help.

TheJoker
02-02-2008, 10:20 PM
Exaggeration of the chance of winning. Or technically true but misleading "you've gotta be in to win", whereas if people invested that money in their superannuation, they really would have a superb chance of winning in the long run.

What exaggeration of the chance of winning? I haven't seen any exaggeration anywhere. And "You've gotta be in to win" is in no way misleading and has nothing to with the probability of winning.



What a moronic accusation from a nobody. Why do you think I don't gamble? Gambling is a tax on those who can't understand simple probability.

How can you claim an exaggeration of the chances of winning if you have no idea what they are!

If you give an actual example of the so-called fradulent advertising then I will tell you whether it is indeed fraudulent or not.



Kennett was palsy with the gambling barons, so pokies and casinos proliferated under his watch. This is not free market but crony capitalism.

And they have special exemptions. If any other business accepted payment for a product from money that was embezzled from the buyer's workplace, they would at least have to return the money, and at worst be guilty of receiving stolen property. But casinos who win stolen money don't have to pay it back.

In an unregulated market it is more than likely pokie proliferation would be higher. In fact in NSW numbers are being reduced (through regulations) despite an increased demand in the marketplace.

I am not aware of any such "special exemptions"; at least they at do not exist in any of the NSW Gambling legislation that I am aware of.



That is the job of the government. But it should not regulate more than that.



The government is far less able than donors to catch out charities that spend much more on keeping themselves going than on the people they are ostensibly supposed to help.

I dont think so, most donors never follow up on what happens to their money. The only information they would have available to them is what the charity tells them. They dont have the necessary power to investigate.

pax
02-02-2008, 11:02 PM
Then Stossel pointed out that Canada's socialized health system has its major problems (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/socialized_medicine_is_broken.html), supported by your link!
And his entire case consists of two people who flew to the US for treatment (under what circumstances he leaves entirely unclear), and two doctors - one of whom is employed as a conservative strategist in the US, and the other is Canada's leading proponent of privatised medicine! It's just ludicrous that you can think this constitutes evidence for your case!

TheJoker
02-02-2008, 11:37 PM
http://www.amsa.org/studytours/WaitingTimes_primer.pdf

This paper tends to agree with Jono that Canada has longer waiting lists for elective surgery (non-emergecy) than the US. It rejects the theory that a large number of Canadians travel to the US specifically for health care.

Another study in New England Medical Journal showed that despite the extra waiting times both sets of patients had similiar quality rating in terms of overall care.

It is unclear if this phenomenom has anything to do with the type of system used. It may well be a result of under-funding.

OECD Stats

Total expenditure on health, Per capita US$ PPP
Can $3,161
US $6,037

US system costs amost double per capita. Hence you should expect double the quality in terms of health care (or significantly higher figures if private care is more efficient) any wonder they have shorter waiting lists on elective proceedures.

Public expenditure on health, % total expenditure on health
Can 70.2% ($2,219 per capita)
US 44.7% ($2,698 per capita)

The US system also has a slightly higher public expenditure per capita. SHowing that while the added private investment (extra cost to consumers) reduced waiting times on elective procedures (compared to Canada) it did nothing to reduce the burden on the public purse.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 01:31 AM
What exaggeration of the chance of winning? I haven't seen any exaggeration anywhere. And "You've gotta be in to win" is in no way misleading and has nothing to with the probability of winning.
Come on, any number of technically correct statements can be misleading.


How can you claim an exaggeration of the chances of winning if you have no idea what they are!
Who says I have no idea?


If you give an actual example of the so-called fradulent advertising then I will tell you whether it is indeed fraudulent or not.
I think that pokie machines should publish the odds of winning prominently, in the interest of full disclosure demanded of many other products.


In an unregulated market it is more than likely pokie proliferation would be higher. In fact in NSW numbers are being reduced (through regulations) despite an increased demand in the marketplace.
They see the problems that were first caused by governments looking for new sources of revenue. So do you want more or fewer pokies?


I am not aware of any such "special exemptions"; at least they at do not exist in any of the NSW Gambling legislation that I am aware of.
So why do we hear of people with huge gambling problems who steal from their business to feed their habit, but never any hint that the casinos pay back the stolen money?


I dont think so, most donors never follow up on what happens to their money. The only information they would have available to them is what the charity tells them. They dont have the necessary power to investigate.
They still have more chance of voting with their feet if the charity is inefficient. But government charities are naturally inefficient since they basically use force not persuasion to get money.

It's even worse with foreign "aid", which really means money from poor people in rich countries goes to rich despots in poor countries to fund palaces, weapons and useless showcase industries. And even if it gets to the people it is supposed to reach, it can kill local industries who can't sell what foreigners are giving away (see The Failures and Fallacies of Foreign Aid (http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=560)).

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 01:41 AM
http://www.amsa.org/studytours/WaitingTimes_primer.pdf

This paper tends to agree with Jono that Canada has longer waiting lists for elective surgery (non-emergecy) than the US.
It's really simple economics: if anything is underpriced, there is more demand and less supply. So a shortage results, and quality deteriorates. In the case of health, this is manifested in waiting lists.

Also, the politicians who promote "free" care confuse prices and costs. In a free market, prices are what pay for costs. But even when patients can have "free" treatment, the costs must be paid for somehow. And in reality, government has no resources to pay for them apart from what it confiscates from its people.


The US system also has a slightly higher public expenditure per capita. Showing that while the added private investment (extra cost to consumers) reduced waiting times on elective procedures (compared to Canada) it did nothing to reduce the burden on the public purse.
Of course, since there is still too much government involvement. E.g. tax breaks for employer-provided insurance, which means that there is a third party paying, so no incentive to either doctor or patient to reduce costs.

pax
03-02-2008, 09:49 AM
It's really simple economics: if anything is underpriced, there is more demand and less supply. So a shortage results, and quality deteriorates. In the case of health, this is manifested in waiting lists.
Congratulations, you have passed primary school economics. I'm sure that when the price of a heart bypass comes down, everyone will want one - maybe even two!

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 10:56 AM
Congratulations, you have passed primary school economics.
Many politicians have not passed ECON 101, and even many of those who have hope that their voters haven't. They know that if they rob Peter to pay Paul, they will get Paul's votes. Especially if the Pauls shout lobby more, and the costs to the Peters are diffused, hidden and long-term. And lefties like you are also ignoring basic economics in your faith in Big Government.


I'm sure that when the price of a heart bypass comes down, everyone will want one — maybe even two!
No, if there is only so much medical care to go round because it is determined by Big Government rather than the free market, there will be less available for heart bypasses if too many people seek "free" treatment for every scratch or sniffle. Imagine if government also paid for all car insurance, and people got every little scratch and dent fixed—with only so much money to go around, there would be long waiting lists for all sorts of car repairs.

pax
03-02-2008, 11:54 AM
No, if there is only so much medical care to go round because it is determined by Big Government rather than the free market, there will be less available for heart bypasses if too many people seek "free" treatment for every scratch or sniffle. Imagine if government also paid for all car insurance, and people got every little scratch and dent fixed—with only so much money to go around, there would be long waiting lists for all sorts of car repairs.
Look around you, Jono. You live in a country where treatment for life-threatening conditions is universal and immediate. Nobody misses out on a bypass because too many people seek treatment for every "scratch and sniffle".

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 12:23 PM
Come on, any number of technically correct statements can be misleading.

Yes they can be but "You gotta be in to win" isn't one of those.



Who says I have no idea?.

I say you have no idea, because I know for a fact you don't have access to necessary data about the probability of winning at least on gaming machines. You may know the odds of Lotto, Powerball, Keno etc. which are all widely availble to the public, but gaming machines is a different story.



I think that pokie machines should publish the odds of winning prominently, in the interest of full disclosure demanded of many other products.

By odds of winning, I'd like to know exactly what information you are referring; the odds of winning each individual prize on the pay table; or the overall theoretical return percentage?



They see the problems that were first caused by governments looking for new sources of revenue. So do you want more or fewer pokies?

Actually the governements saw a huge unregulated illegal market in poker machines, with huge potential for fraudulent activities, that is why they introduced the regulatory environment, the taxes were initially designed to cover the cost of the regulatory process.

I would prefer fewer pokies but the market demand is for more that is why we need to regulate the industry. Also what do you think would happen to the return percentages, probabilities of winning, hoe games represent the chances of winning etc, if there was no regulation of the industry?


So why do we hear of people with huge gambling problems who steal from their business to feed their habit, but never any hint that the casinos pay back the stolen money?

I've never heard of David Jones having to payback money if someone steals money then spends it at their store, then David Jones being charged with possesion of stolen property.

Unless you can point out the specific exemptions in the legislation I'll just have to assume you have no idea what you are talking about.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 12:44 PM
It's really simple economics: if anything is underpriced, there is more demand and less supply. So a shortage results, and quality deteriorates. In the case of health, this is manifested in waiting lists.

Also, the politicians who promote "free" care confuse prices and costs. In a free market, prices are what pay for costs. But even when patients can have "free" treatment, the costs must be paid for somehow. And in reality, government has no resources to pay for them apart from what it confiscates from its people..

I don't think there is a antone out there who doesn't understand that there taxes pay for public healthcare.

Actually real demand for medical procedures has nothing to do with supply or pricing, it has to with the health of patients. Off course if you price it through the roof you artifically reduce demand by forcing some peoplecontinue suffer with a medical condition because they can't afford treatment.

Is that what you want to see a reduced demand for Hip Replacements because half of the people that need them simply can't afford it?



Of course, since there is still too much government involvement. E.g. tax breaks for employer-provided insurance, which means that there is a third party paying, so no incentive to either doctor or patient to reduce costs.

Well the truth of the matter is the US semi-socialised system costs twice as much per capita than the Canadian system.

Unless you have a better system as an example, we can say that apart from reduced waiting lists on elective procedures there are few benefits to the consumer despite double the cost.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 01:28 PM
Yes they can be but "You gotta be in to win" isn't one of those.
Why not? And you tacitly admit misleading advertizing, so you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.


I say you have no idea, because I know for a fact you don't have access to necessary data about the probability of winning at least on gaming machines. You may know the odds of Lotto, Powerball, Keno etc. which are all widely availble to the public, but gaming machines is a different story.
Who needs exact odds to know that it's a loser's game. One probability fallacy is akin to scoring 10 heads in a row means that the next coin toss is more likely to be a tail.

Why do you think that the only real winners are the casino shareholders?


Actually the governements saw a huge unregulated illegal market in poker machines, with huge potential for fraudulent activities, that is why they introduced the regulatory environment, the taxes were initially designed to cover the cost of the regulatory process.
Come on, the states are addicted to pokie revenue.


I would prefer fewer pokies but the market demand is for more that is why we need to regulate the industry.
Here, the market demand was promoted by governments greedy for more revenue.


I've never heard of David Jones having to payback money if someone steals money then spends it at their store, then David Jones being charged with possesion of stolen property.
You think they wouldn't have to pay it back to the company the money was stolen from? Just think of the important of checking the title of a car or house you want to buy, to make sure that the seller really owns it.


Unless you can point out the specific exemptions in the legislation I'll just have to assume you have no idea what you are talking about.
I've long assumed that you're an upstart lefty who hasn't learned that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 01:39 PM
I don't think there is a antone out there who doesn't understand that there taxes pay for public healthcare.
You think so? Do they also understand that when governent decides total funding and healthcare is "free", there is bound to be rationing in the form of waiting lists? Do they understand that the bureaucracy absorbs a lot of the costs that are ostensibly for medical care? Whenever government controls welfare, health or education, the costs blows out. E.g. "If we distributed the current federal welfare budget directly to the poorest 25% of Australians, each family of four would receive $72,000 per year (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf)." But lefty bureaucracy-lovers want to keep bureaucrats employed and their professed concern for the poor is just a smokescreen.


Actually real demand for medical procedures has nothing to do with supply or pricing, it has to with the health of patients.
Why do lefties think that health and education are exceptions to the law of supply and demand?


Is that what you want to see a reduced demand for Hip Replacements because half of the people that need them simply can't afford it?
I would rather see them get the operations they need rather than being stuck on a waiting list for ages.


Well the truth of the matter is the US semi-socialised system costs twice as much per capita than the Canadian system.
Yeah, so better to go private completely than this futile attempt to mix and match. All the same, the semi-socialized system can overcome the waiting list problem endemic to Canada.


Unless you have a better system as an example, we can say that apart from reduced waiting lists on elective procedures there are few benefits to the consumer despite double the cost.
The double cost wouldn't exist if the government got its fat beak out of it.

One again, TheJoke demands that we must not try something before it's tested in practice, which is an impossible demand. Yet he refuses to deal with the very real problems of the current system.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 02:05 PM
Stop holding back top students: curriculum chief (http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/stop-holding-back-top-students-curriculum-chief/2008/01/31/1201714153287.html)


Professor McGaw, a former director of education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, yesterday drew on recent figures showing that Australian students had slipped in maths and reading.


"It's perfectly true to say that we should be worrying about kids who don't get the basic skills. But if we talk as though that's the only problem, I think we begin to lose focus on the development of really high-level reading skills — they're the skills on which further learning depends."
But the state mass-production educracy is geared to the mean, so slower kids are left behind while brighter kids are bored crapless. He at least is recognizing that brighter kids should not be treated as the enemy, or just given extra "busy work", as per the article title.

The following ideas are very sensible:



Phonics (the method of teaching children to read and pronounce words by associating letters with the sounds they represent) should be prescribed in a national curriculum for students in the early years of school.
While English, mathematics, the sciences and history would be the first subjects reviewed, the curriculum board would also examine how teaching of foreign languages could be improved in schools.


Much better than the crass look-and-guess whole language approach that's the current educratic fad. And having a German kid at our chess club who speaks excellent English shows up how poor our own language teaching is; few of our highschool German students would be able to speak German as well as he speaks English.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 02:47 PM
Why not? And you tacitly admit misleading advertizing, so you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.

There has been misleading advertising in the past on gaming machines, but it was in fact the government who regulated to stop this. Fir example the advertisng of prizes or features on gaming machines that had such a low probability of occurance that most gaming machines would go the whole product cycle without ever paying such a prize or exhibiting such a feature.

You claim that the governement intentionally let pokie operators use misleadig advertising, I am saying you are wrong the governement did no such thing. In fact the governement in NSW has introduced huge restrictions on the advertising of pokies, it hardly indicates something they would do if they encouraging an increase in the industry.



Who needs exact odds to know that it's a loser's game.

You speicically claimed fraudlent advertising regarding the odds of winning. To make such a claim you would first need to know the odds. So do you know the odds or don't you?

As far as pokies being a loser's game, well long term over all the players and millions of dollars turnover yes.

However for the short cycle for each individual player they can definately come out a winner. Whilst there will be more losers than winners, there will still be plenty of winners.



One probability fallacy is akin to scoring 10 heads in a row means that the next coin toss is more likely to be a tail.

I think very few people fail to realise that probability of a tail is 1/2 regardless of the previous results. Also I am not sure why you have brought this up, what are you trying to demonstrate?




Come on, the states are addicted to pokie revenue.

I don't deny that now the states have such revenue it would be hard to reduce that. But I disagree that they actively encouraged the proliferation of poker machines beyond the normal market demand.

Actually most states are now capping the number of pokies at current levels (despite market demand for increases) so as to maintain the current revenue, without further increasing the social probelms associated with pokies.



Here, the market demand was promoted by governments greedy for more revenue.

This is incorrect statement the market demand was promoted by greedy bussiness looking for bigger profits. Show me one governement policy that encouraged the proliferation of pokies above the natural market demand (i.e. tax breaks etc).

It is interesting how you can blaim the government for everything:rolleyes:



You think they wouldn't have to pay it back to the company the money was stolen from? Just think of the important of checking the title of a car or house you want to buy, to make sure that the seller really owns it.

We are talking about cash here were there is no way to check proof of ownership, as yes I think David Jones would not be liable to pay the money back in such an example as there is no negligence on their part or the casinos for that matter.

With a car or house the buyer would be negligent if they didn't check proof of ownership.

But I am happy for you to prove me wrong and cite a case where a retail business has had return stolen cash when they had no wy of knowing it was stolen.



I've long assumed that you're an upstart lefty who hasn't learned that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I've become quite used to your usual slanderous comments when a question is to hard for you to answer. So I'll simply ask it again, show me the exemptions in the legislation that allow for casinos not to payback stolen cash were all other businesses are required to so. Look forward to answer this time (or probably just another piece of slander:rolleyes: )

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 02:56 PM
Why do think that health and education are exceptions to the law of supply and demand?

Because illness, disease and injury are not a product or service. So regardless of the level of supply of healthcare or the prices the real demand (i.e. people who require treatment) will also be the same. If you can't understand that simple fact then there is no point explaining further.



All the same, the semi-socialized system can overcome the waiting list problem endemic to Canada.

The other way might be to inject the same amount of funding into the public system (i.e. double the overall funding to match the US levels).




The double cost wouldn't exist if the government got its fat beak out of it.

Prove it. Another unsubstantiated statement by Jono


One again, TheJoke demands that we must not try something before it's tested in practice, which is an impossible demand. Yet he refuses to deal with the very real problems of the current system.

You showing problems with the Canadian system and I have suggested that a funding increase may be able to deal with the wating list problem, however further research would be need to see if a funding increase would indeed combat the system.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 03:07 PM
Stop holding back top students: curriculum chief (http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/stop-holding-back-top-students-curriculum-chief/2008/01/31/1201714153287.html)


Professor McGaw, a former director of education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, yesterday drew on recent figures showing that Australian students had slipped in maths and reading.


"It's perfectly true to say that we should be worrying about kids who don't get the basic skills. But if we talk as though that's the only problem, I think we begin to lose focus on the development of really high-level reading skills — they're the skills on which further learning depends."
But the state mass-production educracy is geared to the mean, so slower kids are left behind while brighter kids are bored crapless. He at least is recognizing that brighter kids should not be treated as the enemy, or just given extra "busy work", as per the article title.

The following ideas are very sensible:



Phonics (the method of teaching children to read and pronounce words by associating letters with the sounds they represent) should be prescribed in a national curriculum for students in the early years of school.
While English, mathematics, the sciences and history would be the first subjects reviewed, the curriculum board would also examine how teaching of foreign languages could be improved in schools.


Much better than the crass look-and-guess whole language approach that's the current educratic fad. And having a German kid at our chess club who speaks excellent English shows up how poor our own language teaching is; few of our highschool German students would be able to speak German as well as he speaks English.

This has nothing to do with the public / private schooling debate. I see nothing that suggests a private school system would perform better in the article

I bet we are still in the top echleon, you can expect that from time to time we will need to address problems in the curriculum. Great to see the new government is onto it, perhaps the previous government let the reigns slip a bit, probably why they weren't re-elected.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 03:12 PM
Because illness, disease and injury are not a product or service.
But medical treatment is. It has costs, and it is a scarce resource that has alternative uses, so economic considerations are most relevant. You're fooled by the leftist propaganda that allowing patients to have "free" treatment means that the costs are not paid for.


So regardless of the level of supply of healthcare or the prices the real demand (i.e. people who require treatment) will also be the same.
But do they require doctors to see every sniffle, cough or scratch?


If you can't understand that simple fact then there is no point explaining further.
If you tried to explain in the first place it would be an improvement for you.


The other way might be to inject the same amount of funding into the public system (i.e. double the overall funding to match the US levels).
Right, pour more money into the bottomless pit. That's the problem with governments providing anything: failures are rewarded, in effect, with more money.


Prove it. Another unsubstantiated statement by Jono
Rubbish. I've shown how the government promotion of third-party payments leads to blowout of costs, since neither patient nor doctor have an incentive to lower costs. This is backed up by the decreasing costs and improving quality of LASIK and cosmetic surgery that are covered neither by insurance nor government.


You showing problems with the Canadian system and I have suggested that a funding increase may be able to deal with the wating list problem, however further research would be need to see if a funding increase would indeed combat the system.
You may as well believe in the tooth fairy, since you evidently believe that governments can generate funds from nothing.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 03:42 PM
But do they require doctors to see every sniffle, cough or scratch?

I agree that there may be a slight increase in costs due some users excessively accessing the system. And agree a user pays system would reduce this. However with a private system I don't like the thought of demand for procedures skyrocketing costs so that they are unaffordable to some, I would rather see equitable waiting lists (difference in ideology here I guess) I'd rather see everyone get treated in turn rather than those that can afford it "jump the queue" and some not be able to afford the necessary treatment at all.



If you tried to explain in the first place it would be an improvement for you.

Don't blame your cognitive disabilities on me



Right, pour more money into the bottomless pit. That's the problem with governments providing anything: failures are rewarded, in effect, with more money.

Well despite your cries, you've failed to prove that the private sector is better at delivering the healthcare outcomes society wants. It's easy to fault the current system (all system have there faults) but you offer nothing more than an ideology that a private system will truly be any better. I mean there are lots of countries offering the systems in tandem, but you have show no comparsion between the two (costs, levels of service etc).



Rubbish. I've shown how the government promotion of third-party payments leads to blowout of costs, since neither patient nor doctor have an incentive to lower costs. This is backed up by the decreasing costs and improving quality of LASIK and cosmetic surgery that are covered neither by insurance nor government.

Sorry must of missed that evidence could you please post again.



You may as well believe in the tooth fairy, since you evidently believe that governments can generate funds from nothing.

No they generate them from taxes, if Canandians are so worried about waiting lists then increase taxes so that extra funding for the system is available provided the research indicates the extra funding will reduce the waiting lists. Hell they could have 30% increase in cost and still not be paying as much as the US citizens.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 03:44 PM
Anyhow this arguement is going in circles. I think I will just have to agree to disagree and rest easy in the fact that with 0.14% of the vote we don't look like having a libertarian governement in either of our lifetimes.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 04:00 PM
There has been misleading advertising in the past on gaming machines, but it was in fact the government who regulated to stop this. Fir example the advertisng of prizes or features on gaming machines that had such a low probability of occurance that most gaming machines would go the whole product cycle without ever paying such a prize or exhibiting such a feature.

You claim that the governement intentionally let pokie operators use misleadig advertising, I am saying you are wrong the governement did no such thing. In fact the governement in NSW has introduced huge restrictions on the advertising of pokies, it hardly indicates something they would do if they encouraging an increase in the industry.
Rather, this is a tacit admission that the advertizing was misleading. So the rest of your demands are just arguing for the sake of it.


You speicically claimed fraudlent advertising regarding the odds of winning. To make such a claim you would first need to know the odds. So do you know the odds or don't you?
What crap. I also know that height is useful in basketball without knowing exact heights of pros.


I think very few people fail to realise that probability of a tail is 1/2 regardless of the previous results. Also I am not sure why you have brought this up, what are you trying to demonstrate?
Obviously, people think that a history of failed pulls on the one arm means that they must be due for a win this time.


I don't deny that now the states have such revenue it would be hard to reduce that. But I disagree that they actively encouraged the proliferation of poker machines beyond the normal market demand.
For you, big government can do no wrong. But there really was little demand for pokies before governments got behind the industries. Yet on the opening day of the temporary Crown Casino in Melbourne, Kennett even told them that they had a duty to "enthuse" customers and "persuade them to part with their money and leave them feeling like they had enjoyed the experience." And he wrote especially to them to congratulate them on the good work they had done for the State. He never wrote in such a way to productive businesses.

And States also gave gambling industries special privileges, e.g. allowing them to bypass local council approval, and allowing Crown to put its logo on Melbourne's street signs in defiance of the Road Safety Traffic Regulations, and to have 52 bright blue signs around Melbourne, again in defiance of the same regulations.


Actually most states are now capping the number of pokies at current levels (despite market demand for increases) so as to maintain the current revenue, without further increasing the social probelms associated with pokies.
That's all too common: government action to solve problems that government caused in the first place.


It is interesting how you can blaim the government for everything:rolleyes:
With amply justification. So often it is the problem not the solution as you faithful believe.


With a car or house the buyer would be negligent if they didn't check proof of ownership.
No more than any business that accepted stolen money.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 04:02 PM
Anyhow this arguement is going in circles. I think I will just have to agree to disagree and rest easy in the fact that with 0.14% of the vote we don't look like having a libertarian governement in either of our lifetimes.
You think policies that the majority wants are what we have? Do you think a majority supports tax bracket creep for example? Is there majority support for such ridiculous nanny state water and speed restrictions? Whenever there is growth of bureaucracy, policies are enacted that the bureaucracy wants.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 04:05 PM
You think policies that the majority wants are what we have? Do you think a majority supports tax bracket creep for example? Is there majority support for such ridiculous nanny state water and speed restrictions? Whenever there is growth of bureaucracy, policies are enacted that the bureaucracy wants.

Well they sure aint voting for your alternative!!!

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 04:20 PM
Rather, this is a tacit admission that the advertizing was misleading. So the rest of your demands are just arguing for the sake of it.

No I can catergorically say that the advertising you referenced was in no way misleasding in my opinion.


Obviously, people think that a history of failed pulls on the one arm means that they must be due for a win this time.

Do they I dont think they do. Typical of Jono to assume that he is in some way smater than the rest of the population, and he can see what they can't.

Also shows you detachment from the current situation, there hasn't been any arms on pokies for decades.



For you, big government can do no wrong. But there really was little demand for pokies before governments got behind the industries.

Bollocks, there was a massive underground gambling scene in Sydney and elsewhere, get your facts rights. You know nothing of history of Pokies in Australia.

In my professional opinion if government regulation was removed (i.e. free market) approach there would be a massive proliferation of poker machines, there would be no integrity in terms of the way the machines operate.

So since you no knowledge of the industry I am not going to proceed to argue with you on this matter.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 05:00 PM
No they I dont think they do. Typical of Jono to assume that he is in some way smater than the rest of the population, and he can see what they can't.
Yet I am the one in favour of giving more control to the people of their own lives, while the Joke wants the government to control them.


Also shows you detachment from the current situation, there hasn't been any arms on pokies for decades.
It was metonymic. Similarly, people of a previous generation sometimes say "pull the chain" although most loos have had buttons these days.


Bollocks, there was a massive underground gambling scene in Sydney and elsewhere, get your facts rights. You know nothing of history of Pokies in Australia.
OK, where were the lobbies for introduction of pokies? Where is your refutation of the evidence for Kennett's collusion with the gambling industry, encouraging them to take people's money for the good of the state?


In my professional opinion if government regulation was removed (i.e. free market) approach there would be a massive proliferation of poker machines, there would be no integrity in terms of the way the machines operate.
Do you really expect decent regulation when the government has such a vested interest in gambling revenue?


So since you no knowledge of the industry I am not going to proceed to argue with you on this matter.
What do you know about what I know? Most of the threads you participate in show an abundance of arrogance and minimal knowledge.

And back to welfare, you have not shown that the current dole makes people better off than the LDP proposal. It certainly makes it harder for people to come off welfare.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2008, 05:01 PM
Well they sure aint voting for your alternative!!!
But plenty have frustration with tweedle-dum v tweedle-dee. People vote on a wide range of issues, which is why some very unpopular and unjust measures remain, although evidently you don't think bracket creep and poverty traps are unjust.

Aaron Guthrie
03-02-2008, 05:23 PM
I say you have no idea, because I know for a fact you don't have access to necessary data about the probability of winning at least on gaming machines. You may know the odds of Lotto, Powerball, Keno etc. which are all widely availble to the public, but gaming machines is a different story. I thought they actually printed the return on the machine. And from memory it was about 83%.

TheJoker
03-02-2008, 07:35 PM
I thought they actually printed the return on the machine. And from memory it was about 83%.

That is return percentage and differs from probability of winning. The minimum requirement for retuen percentage varies depending on which state you are in. Some places (ACT from memory) do require the machine to have a sign on it indicating the return percentage. In NSW the minimum return is 85%, but most game software has numerous configurable set return percentage usually spanning the range 85% to 97%.

Aaron Guthrie
03-02-2008, 10:38 PM
That is return percentage and differs from probability of winning.Indeed so. Also if there was more than one possible value of winning, it wouldn't be possible to figure out such (on quick reflection).

Capablanca-Fan
05-02-2008, 02:07 AM
“I’m sure everyone feels sorry for the individual who has fallen by the wayside or who can’t keep up in our competitive society, but my own compassion goes beyond that to the millions of unsung men and women who get up every morning, send the kids to school, go to work, try and keep up the payments on their house, pay exorbitant taxes to make possible compassion for the less fortunate, and as a result have to sacrifice many of their own desires and dreams and hopes. Government owes them something better than always finding a new way to make them share the fruit of their toils with others.”—Ronald Reagan

“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better. There are too many examples of government interventions that made things worse, the Great Depression of the 1930s being the most tragic. Those on the left love to believe that the stock market crash of 1929 showed the failure of the free market and that the New Deal interventions in the 1930s saved the day. But the stock market crash of 1987 was just as big and Ronald Reagan resisted loud calls for him to intervene. The result was not another Great Depression but the beginning of a decades-long period of prosperity. Before Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt came along, there was no expectation that the federal government would intervene when the stock market crashed or when there was a downturn in the economy. Previous stock market crashes and previous downturns in the economy worked themselves out faster and less painfully than the Great Depression of the 1930s, just as the 1987 crisis did. The track record of government intervention is far less impressive than its rhetoric.”—Thomas Sowell

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Thomas Sowell's column Economics, Anyone? (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/02/06/economics,_anyone?page=2) briefly mentions the topic matter of his new book Economic Facts and Fallacies:

Facts:


The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.
The average income of the elderly is several times their earnings, and their wealth is far higher than among younger people.
Just as blacks are turned down for mortgage loans more often than whites, so whites are turned down more often than Asian Americans. (What does that do to racism as an all-purpose explanation?)


Fallacies:


Government programs are needed to create "affordable housing." (Actually, government intervention is what has made housing so unaffordable in places where even hovels are expensive.)
Employer discrimination is the main reason for differences in income between women and men. (Tons of evidence point in other directions.)
College tuition is going up so fast because of rising costs. (Only if you call voluntary increases in spending "rising costs.")
Foreign aid helps poor countries become more prosperous. (Only if you don't look at the evidence.)
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. (It all depends on whether you are talking about flesh and blood human beings or statistical brackets.)

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2008, 06:36 PM
Actual studies, as opposed to studies from would-be world governments trying to make the case for more government, show that welfarism makes poverty.

Sweden: Poorer Than You Think (http://mises.org/story/955)
By William L. Anderson
9 May 2002


One of the enduring myths of the "Third Way" welfare state is that a nation as a whole can have a high standard of living—even if no one really has to work—as long as government transfers massive amounts of wealth from those who are well off to those who are less well off. For the past four decades, we have been inundated with news stories, books, and public commentary, all of which have exhorted us to be like Sweden.

The Swedes, we have been told, enjoy free medical care, generous welfare benefits, time off from work, and subsidies for just about everything. When one counters that Swedes pay enormously high taxes, the standard reply is, "That is true, but look at what they receive for their payments."

According to a recent study, however, the cat is out of the bag. Relative to household in the United States, Swedish family income is considerably less. In fact, the study concludes, average income in Sweden is less than average income for black Americans, which comprise the lowest-income socioeconomic group in this country.

The research came from the Swedish Institute of Trade, which, according to Reuters, "compared official U.S. and Swedish statistics on household income as well as gross domestic product, private consumption and retail spending per capita between 1980 and 1999."

The study used "fixed prices and purchasing power parity adjusted data," and found that "the median household income in Sweden at the end of the 1990s was the equivalent of $26,800, compared with a median of $39,400 for U.S. households." Furthermore, the study points out that Swedish productivity has fallen rapidly relative to per capital productivity in the USA.



However, the study alerts us to something that is much more important, and that is that the European welfare states are not making their citizens wealthier. Over time, the cracks in these relatively wealthy nations are growing larger, and if the disease is not arrested, much of Europe will tumble off into real poverty in the not-so-distant future. Europeans—and, most likely, Americans—seem destined to learn the hard way that large, seemingly intractable welfare systems have their way of destroying the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.



Advocates of welfarism concentrate only upon distribution while vilifying production. Such a state of affairs cannot go on forever as governments are forced to cannibalize their own capital structure over time in order to make the system to continue to work.

The premises of the welfare state are as follows: (1) free markets, if not regulated by the state, lead to continuing inequality, as wealth becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, while more and more people become poorer; (2) the only way to combat this problem is for the state to take a large portion of earnings from the wealthy and distribute it among others; and (3) such distribution actually enables the economy to grow, since growing concentration means that fewer people will have the ability to consume the products that are created within a private-market system.



As Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard have pointed out, in a private-market society, individuals cannot gain wealth unless they produce goods that are demanded by large numbers of people. For example, it was Henry Ford who became rich producing cars, not the producers of early luxury automobiles that were accessible only to the wealthiest people in American society. Ford developed a method in which he could create cars that most people could afford, yet keep his costs low enough to where he could still make a profit. The most successful producers in our economy have been those people who make goods accessible to people across all socioeconomic levels.

Wal-Mart, which is another example, became the largest corporation in this country—and one of the most successful—by creating a retail system that would enable large numbers of people to conveniently do their shopping. In fact, Wal-Mart began its route to success by building discount stores in rural areas and small towns that were shunned by larger department stores and enterprises like the now-bankrupt Kmart.

Therefore, it seems that if producers are becoming wealthier, it can only occur if consumers are purchasing on a large scale what the the producers are producing. The first statement justifying the welfare state does not have a good causal mechanism, for it does not explain how this transfer of wealth from poor to rich takes place, especially since it makes the implicit assumption that the voluntary purchase of goods is actually a wealth transfer. Such a statement turns the age-old theory of exchange—that economic exchanges create mutual beneficiaries—upon its head.

If anything, wealth transfers inhibit economic growth, not increase it. For one, it violently penalizes entrepreneurs for being successful. By accusing those who create wealth of actually being the ones who destroy wealth, welfarists do violence to language itself. If enough people are punished for creating wealth, less wealth will be created in the future. The more government impedes the creation and distribution of wealth, the less that will be created, which means that those people who are on the margins—that is, those who are less productive—are the first to be hurt. Thus, the welfare state actually makes the poor worse off in the long run.

This notion that the welfare state actually "helps" an economy is also bogus. As I stated earlier, consumption of goods must first take place before producers can reap the rewards from creating them. Furthermore, welfare regimes that attack business enterprises by confiscating their profits also impede future capital formation.



Like other medical care, dentistry in Germany is run on socialist principles. That means that individuals do not pay directly for dental (or medical) care, which is provided by the state. My friends, who were vacationing in Germany, visited a number of dental offices and found that the facilities looked like dentist offices in the United States four decades ago. In other words, the German dentists are still depending upon old capital.

One of the worst aspects of socialism, economically speaking, is that it has the perverse tendency to turn new capital from an asset—as is the case in a free-market economy—into a liability. German dentists have no incentive to purchase more modern equipment, since it is expensive and patients have nowhere else to go. In fact, wherever socialist medicine has been practiced for a long time, one can readily see deterioration of capital stock.

For many years, Sweden, like its European counterparts, has been eating its capital stock instead of replenishing it. Some high-profile Swedish companies like Volvo have been able to remain well capitalized, but even those companies are now finding it more attractive to locate in other nations, where their profits are not so readily confiscated.



Unfortunately, many Europeans (like our Canadian neighbors) believe that a vast welfare apparatus makes them morally superior to nations that do not have the same scope of benefits. (While one can point out that the United States has a huge welfare bureaucracy itself, it does not offer the same "generous," long-term benefits of the European states.) While they prattle on about their moral superiority and their egalitarianism, however, something else is happening. They are slowly becoming poorer and poorer, and the welfare state cannot save them. It can only accelerate their downward slide.

It's also notable that the amount of charitable giving by American individuals alone could easily finance the whole domestic economy of Sweden (from Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism (http://www.amazon.com/Who-Really-Cares-Compassionate-Conservatism/dp/0465008216) by Arthur Brooks)

pax
07-02-2008, 08:42 PM
Here's a tip Jono: post a brief summary or quote from articles you think are relevant, accompanied by a link. We know you can cut-and-paste.

pax
07-02-2008, 09:00 PM
Anderson's argument about Sweden is completely bogus. While it is true that the mean income in America is considerably higher, this is primarily due to the fact that there are more very wealthy people in the US. Mean income is a dreadful way to measure standard of living. Median incomes (the income of the average person) are much more comparable between the two, and this despite the fact that Swedes work shorter hours and have more leisure time than Americans. What is indisputably true, is that a much larger proportion of Americans live below the poverty line, just about wherever you choose to put that line.

pax
07-02-2008, 09:19 PM
Here is the 2001 OECD Economic Survey of Sweden:
http://www.oecd.org/document/59/0,3343,en_33873108_33873822_1917307_1_1_1_1,00.htm l

"Altogether, Sweden is well placed to maintain admirable economic outcomes and to achieve an even higher standard of living as long as it continues pursuing sound macroeconomic policies and satisfactorily addresses its remaining structural weaknesses."

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2008, 10:21 PM
Anderson's argument about Sweden is completely bogus. While it is true that the mean income in America is considerably higher, this is primarily due to the fact that there are more very wealthy people in the US.
No, the article pointed out that even the lower income groups in the states have a higher real income than the mean in Sweden. And why do you think there are more very wealthy people in the US? Perhaps because Sweden kills the golden goose, so Björn Borg and Ulf Andersson leave the country to avoid their confiscatory taxes.


Mean income is a dreadful way to measure standard of living. Median incomes (the income of the average person) are much more comparable between the two, and this despite the fact that Swedes work shorter hours and have more leisure time than Americans.
And your proof? More self-serving studies by organizations who love big government as much as you do?


What is indisputably true, is that a much larger proportion of Americans live below the poverty line, just about wherever you choose to put that line.
The official poverty line in America still allows people to have a house, car, DVD player, colour TV ... Dinesh D'Souza talks about one of his fellow Indians who was very interested to come to the US to see something he thought impossible: a poor person who was fat.

pax
07-02-2008, 10:35 PM
And your proof? More self-serving studies by organizations who love big government as much as you do?
Did you fail statistics?

Tell me which group has the greater standard of living:

Group A containing Kerry Packer and 9 street cleaners, or group B containing 10 doctors?

pax
07-02-2008, 10:42 PM
The official poverty line in America still allows people to have a house, car, DVD player, colour TV ...
If by "house" you mean "run-down rented flat" (or possibly "huge mortgage that they cannot pay resulting in foreclosure and eviction"), and by "car" you mean "clapped out bomb", and if you add "no medical cover and a huge credit card debt".


Dinesh D'Souza talks about one of his fellow Indians who was very interested to come to the US to see something he thought impossible: a poor person who was fat.
So you have said, time and time again ad-nauseam. An anecdote which proves exactly zero. And in case you have forgotten, we are comparing Sweden with the US here. Save your irrelevant factoids.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2008, 11:07 PM
If by "house" you mean "run-down rented flat" (or possibly "huge mortgage that they cannot pay resulting in foreclosure and eviction"), and by "car" you mean "clapped out bomb",
Even if you were right, this is much more than most people in the world have ever had through most stages of history. That's what Theodore Dalrymple points out in his book Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass (http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMartinUnderclass1103.html): the poor in the West today have material possessions that would be the envy of a medieval duke.


and if you add "no medical cover and a huge credit card debt".
Oh, so who is responsible for that? Many of the people in America who are uninsured can well afford to be, but they choose not to be. And credit card debt? What about the old way of not buying a depreciating asset until you can afford it?


So you have said, time and time again ad-nauseam. An anecdote which proves exactly zero.
It proves that what we call "poor" is not what most people who have ever lived and who live today call "poor". Throughout history, the poor have never had enough to eat. So the idea of a fat poor person is anomalous from any viewpoint apart from the modern West.


And in case you have forgotten, we are comparing Sweden with the US here. Save your irrelevant factoids.
And you blissfully ignored the problems documented in Sweden.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Did you fail statistics?

Tell me which group has the greater standard of living:

Group A containing Kerry Packer and 9 street cleaners, or group B containing 10 doctors?
But lefties act as if Group A with Kerry Packer and other people earning 15k, 20k, 25k, 30k, 35k, 40k, 45k, 60k; is worse than Group B of people all earning between 15k and 30 k with a mean of 24k, because the inequality is far greater in the former.

pax
07-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Even if you were right, this is much more than most people in the world have ever had through most stages of history. That's what Theodore Dalrymple points out in his book Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass (http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMartinUnderclass1103.html): the poor in the West today have material possessions that would be the envy of a medieval duke.
You are completely unable to stick to the point, you know that?

pax
07-02-2008, 11:14 PM
But lefties act as if Group A with Kerry Packer and other people earning 15k, 20k, 25k, 30k, 35k, 40k, 45k, 60k; is worse than Group B of people all earning between 15k and 30 k with a mean of 24k, because the inequality is far greater in the former.

Forget about what you think lefties think. Stick to the point. In the case with wide disparities between rich and poor, mean income is a very poor measure of standard of living. The Anderson article was a completely bogus analysis of standard of living.

Capablanca-Fan
08-02-2008, 12:41 AM
Forget about what you think lefties think. Stick to the point. In the case with wide disparities between rich and poor, mean income is a very poor measure of standard of living.
It's better than what you have in terms of concrete data. But to the Anointed who just love the paternalistic welfare state and confiscatory taxes, data mean nothing.


The Anderson article was a completely bogus analysis of standard of living.
Sez you.

Capablanca-Fan
08-02-2008, 12:42 AM
You are completely unable to stick to the point, you know that?
Oh, did you make one?

Capablanca-Fan
11-02-2008, 02:00 PM
Lefties think that charity and compassion means government coercing money from taxpayers and giving to the ones they think are needy. This includes "foreign aid", which really means government coercion of money from poor taxpayers to give to rich despots in poor countries. Thus America, although by no means a free market economy but freer than Europe and Canada, is often denounced as "stingy". But by how much of Americans are often denounced as stingy givers of foreign aid, by people who measure a nation’s goodness only by what a government does not by what its people do voluntarily. But Rory Leishman points out the truth (http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/who_really_cares/):


Arthur C. Brooks, a professor of public administration at the University of Syracuse, has examined this issue in his book, Who Really Cares?: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism. With regard to foreign aid, he points out that in 2002, the $10 billion which the United States contributed to official development assistance was augmented by $13 billion in other forms of government aid and an enormous $50 billion in private charity for less developed countries. Altogether in 2002, the people of the United States donated about $200 per person—0.5 per cent of their national income—to international aid....

In a series of annual reports over the past several years on generosity in Canada and the United States, the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute has consistently found that Americans donate much more money to charity than do Canadians. Specifically, in the latest of these reports, the authors state: “In 2005, Americans gave 1.77 percent of their aggregate personal income to charity, resulting in a total of US$182 billion in donations. This rate of giving is more than double that of Canadians...”

The people of the United States are also far more generous than Europeans. Citing the best available data, Brooks relates: “Even accounting for differences in standard of living, average Americans gave more than twice as high a percentage of their incomes to charity as the Dutch, almost three times as much as the French, more than five times as much as the Germans, and more than 10 times as much as the Italians.”

Capablanca-Fan
14-02-2008, 06:07 PM
Who Is "Fascist"? (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/02/14/who_is_fascist)
14 Feb 08

[NB: "liberal" is the American word for Lefty]


Because the word "fascist" is often thrown around loosely these days, as a general term of abuse, it is good that "Liberal Fascism" begins by discussing the real Fascism, introduced into Italy after the First World War by Benito Mussolini.

The Fascists were completely against individualism in general and especially against individualism in a free market economy. Their agenda included minimum wage laws, government restrictions on profit-making, progressive taxation of capital, and "rigidly secular" schools.

Unlike the Communists, the Fascists did not seek government ownership of the means of production. They just wanted the government to call the shots as to how businesses would be run.

They were for "industrial policy," long before liberals coined that phrase in the United States.

Indeed, the whole Fascist economic agenda bears a remarkable resemblance to what liberals would later advocate.

Moreover, during the 1920s "progressives" in the United States and Britain recognized the kinship of their ideas with those of Mussolini, who was widely lionized by the left.

...

Fascism, initially recognized as a kindred ideology of the left, has since come down to us defined as being on "the right" — indeed, as representing the farthest right, supposedly further extensions of conservatism.

If by conservatism you mean belief in free markets, limited government, and traditional morality, including religious influences, then these are all things that the Fascists opposed just as much as the left does today.

The left may say that they are not racists or anti-semites, like Hitler, but neither was Mussolini or Franco. Hitler, incidentally, got some of his racist ideology from the writings of American "progressives" in the eugenics movement.

pax
14-02-2008, 11:49 PM
The left may say that they are not racists or anti-semites, like Hitler, but neither was Mussolini or Franco. Hitler, incidentally, got some of his racist ideology from the writings of American "progressives" in the eugenics movement.
Well that says just about all you need to know about Sowell right there..

Capablanca-Fan
14-02-2008, 11:57 PM
Well that says just about all you need to know about Sowell right there..
Why? It doesn't tell you that he is the author of many books, was a student then a colleague of Milton Friedman, that he is black, in his 78th year ... And what Sowell claimed was also argued by Edwin Black in his book War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (Four Walls Eight Windows, New York/London, 2003). America had a widespread eugenics program before WW2, including laws against so-called mixed-race marriages in 27 states, human breeding programs, forced sterilization of over 60,000 US citizens and even euthanasia. Black argues that the American program influenced the Nazis.

Kevin Bonham
15-02-2008, 12:09 AM
Sowell's piece makes the correct point that calling capitalists "fascist", as is still fairly commonly done although I don't see it as often as I used to, is stupid given that fascists and many modern "leftists" had more in common with each other economically than either do with the capos.

However he overstresses the similarities. In some contexts fascism would give particular businesses not only a free run but also a helping hand to smash the unions - provided it believed the state was in some way advantaged. Thus fascism was really economically neither strongly left nor right but all over the place in a mess of statist pragmatism and ideology. One could just as easily link the economic policies of fascism to those of John Howard as to those of "the left".

Sowell also ignores relevant differences. The nature of economic system was not the be-all and end-all of fascism but just a part of an overall ethos that was nationalistic, militaristic (often expansively), totalitarian, anti-rationalist and cultural supremacist. I believe I've made this point here somewhere before.

pax
15-02-2008, 12:13 AM
It tells you that he is so rabidly anti-left, that he is willing to resort to a completely ludicrous argument to associate all liberals with Mussolini, Franco and Hitler. That's when he's not calling them Communists. Oh, and lets throw in a hint of an association with racism and antisemitism just for good measure.

Igor_Goldenberg
15-02-2008, 11:25 AM
It tells you that he is so rabidly anti-left, that he is willing to resort to a completely ludicrous argument to associate all liberals with Mussolini, Franco and Hitler. That's when he's not calling them Communists. Oh, and lets throw in a hint of an association with racism and antisemitism just for good measure.
When you cannot argue against the substance of the statement, you smear the one who makes this statement.
When Jono quotes Sowell, he does it because Sowell express it in a very good way. I agree with most of what Sowell says, but I do not have the same intellectual ability to express it as clearly as he does. In this case I would quote him.
Saying that argument is ludicrous is easy. What about proving it?

BTW, would you like to substantiate in any way your critique of the post 195?

Capablanca-Fan
15-02-2008, 11:29 AM
It tells you that he is so rabidly anti-left, that he is willing to resort to a completely ludicrous argument to associate all liberals with Mussolini, Franco and Hitler.
Hardly ludicous as Jonah Goldberg shows in his new book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (http://www.conservativebookclub.com/products/BookPage.asp?prod_cd=C7192), documenting the affinity between the fascists and the American "progressives", which is what Sowell was reviewing:


How fascism, Nazism, Progressivism, and modern liberalism are all alike in principle, in that all believe that government should be allowed to do whatever it likes, so long as it is for "good reasons"
How, before World War II and the Holocaust, fascism was considered a progressive social movement both in the U.S. and Europe — but was redefined afterwards as "right wing"
How the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term "National Socialism") who loathed the free market, believed in free health care, opposed inherited wealth, spent vast sums on public education, purged Christianity from public policy, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life
How the Nazis declared war on smoking; supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control; and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities — where campus speech codes were all the rage
Adolph Hitler, Man of the Left: how his views and policies regarding capitalism, class warfare, environmentalism, gun control, euthanasia and even smoking are remarkably close to those of modern liberals
How Woodrow Wilson and the other founding fathers of American liberalism were far crueler jingoists and warmongers than modern conservatives have ever been
How Wilson's crackdown on civil liberties in the name of national security far exceeds anything even attempted by Joe McCarthy, much less George W. Bush
How Mussolini and Hitler both thought — quite rightly — that they were doing things along the same lines as FDR
How, in the 1930s, FDR's New Deal was praised for its similarity to Italian Fascism — "the cleanest, neatest, most efficiently operating piece of social machinery," said an influential member of FDR's team
How, just like modern liberals, Mussolini promised a "Third Way" that "went beyond tired categories of left and right" in order to "get things done"
Mussolini's and Hitler's not-so-secret admirers: how many prominent progressives — from W.E.B. Dubois in the U.S. to George Bernard Shaw in England — publicly praised German Nazism and Italian Fascism
Liberal fascism and the cult of the state: how progressivism shared with fascism a conviction that, in a truly modern society, the state must take the place of religion
How American Progressives, like Hitler's Nazis, were convinced that the state could, through planning and pressure, create a pure race, a society of new men
How Nazis, fascists and American progressives — including Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger — all shared a belief in racial engineering through eugenics, and the alleged "need" for abortion and euthanasia it implied
How it was largely Christian conservatives who stood against the progressive enthusiasm for racist eugenics
The fascist underpinnings of progressive education
The 1960s: fascism takes to the streets — how the New Left used the means and methods of Hitler's brownshirts and the fascist squadristi to further their agenda
How the modern heirs of the fascist tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood


Only a rabidly anti–free-market pro-left would dismiss this historical fact so arrogantly.


That's when he's not calling them Communists. Oh, and lets throw in a hint of an association with racism and antisemitism just for good measure.
That was usually the Left who called Hitler "right" so they could smear free market conservative non-racists as equally "right" so tar them with the same racist and antisemite brush.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 12:08 PM
Sowell said 'If by conservatism you mean belief in free markets, limited government, and traditional morality, including religious influences.'

That's not how I would define conservatism, which to me means to preserve the status quo or to adopt a slow pace of reforms, and not to adopt radical changes.

I think the term 'conservatism' has been hijacked by these radical reformist like Sowell who argue for free market prinicples above all else. This is not a conservative approach but a fundamentalist approach.

I would prefer to term the approach described above by by Sowell as a form of 'Right-Libertarianism'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism

As for Facism it is a mixture of both right wing and left wing ideologies, and its bias in either direction depends upon its implementation.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Just to redirect everyones attention, this thread is supposed to be evaluating the pro and cons of a fundamentalist free market and minarchism.

Capablanca-Fan
15-02-2008, 12:50 PM
Sowell said 'If by conservatism you mean belief in free markets, limited government, and traditional morality, including religious influences.'

That's not how I would define conservatism, which to me means to preserve the status quo or to adopt a slow pace of reforms, and not to adopt radical changes.
That is a reasonable literal definition, but it doesn't fit the current usage. Certainly, those who wanted to maintain tariff barriers, compulsory unionism, immense government regulation, high taxes were "conservative" by the literal meaning. Now in America, supporters of those ideas are usually called "liberals", although the Australian Liberal Party is closer to what "liberal" originally meant.


I think the term 'conservatism' has been hijacked by these radical reformist like Sowell who argue for free market prinicples above all else. This is not a conservative approach but a fundamentalist approach.
Sowell has himself pointed out that the term "conservative" is not a good literal description for what many "conservatives" believe. E.g. he pointed out that his mentor Milton Friedman advocated many new things such as school vouchers and negative taxation, and abolition of many ancient government bureaucracies, i.e. a change of the status quo.

You have hijacked the word "fundamentalist" as well ...


I would prefer to term the approach described above by by Sowell as a form of 'Right-Libertarianism'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism
Which the article says is "more commonly called Libertarian conservatism". Sowell is an economic libertarian, supporter of a strong national defense, and social conservative for the same basic philosophical reasons he spells out briefly in From Marxism to the Market (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1331) and in details in his book The Vision of the Anointed (http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?articleID=484&issueID=37).


"Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history." -- P. 112

"In their haste to be wiser and nobler than others, the anointed have misconceived two basic issues. They seem to assume (1) that they have more knowledge than the average member of the benighted and (2) that this is the relevant comparison. The real comparison, however, is not between the knowledge possessed by the average member of the educated elite versus the average member of the general public, but rather the total direct knowledge brought to bear though social processes (the competition of the marketplace, social sorting, etc.), involving millions of people, versus the secondhand knowledge of generalities possessed by a smaller elite group." -- P. 114

"For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before." -- P. 118


As for Facism it is a mixture of both right wing and left wing ideologies, and its bias in either direction depends upon its implementation.
How is it connected to the free market?

Igor_Goldenberg
15-02-2008, 01:02 PM
Terms "conservative" and "liberal" that are widely used in US have been divorced from their original meaning long time ago. Those terms mean completely different things outside of US. I try to avoid using them, as they just create confusion.

That might also explain the origin of the term "libertarian", which wasn't required until the term "liberal" was hijacked and/or lost it's original meaning.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 01:15 PM
How is it connected to the free market?

There is more to right wing politics than free markets.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 01:34 PM
You have hijacked the word "fundamentalist" as well ...

Well not me in particular; I believe Stiglitz used the term "market fundamentalists" in his acceptance speech for the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, and I am sure it had been used well prior to that. But yes the term has been hijacked from its original religious origins. But it's not really that far removed from the original meaning; we are still talking about regarding a particular set of principles (religious or economic) as being authoritative.

I couldn't think how else to describe people with a dedicated approach the adoption of free market principles above all else.

Igor_Goldenberg
15-02-2008, 03:50 PM
There is more to right wing politics than free markets.
Correct. However, left and right wing politics are defined by the differences of the major parties of the day, not philosophical principals.
I acknowledge that there is more to left wing politics than just restricting free market.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 05:00 PM
Correct. However, left and right wing politics are defined by the differences of the major parties of the day, not philosophical principals.
I acknowledge that there is more to left wing politics than just restricting free market.

Agreed.

What is your opinion on of the LDP party policies Jono presented i.e 30/30 taxation?

Are you in favour of the minarchism advocated by Jono?

Capablanca-Fan
15-02-2008, 05:11 PM
There is more to right wing politics than free markets.
What did you have in mind? Some things that are smeared by lefties as 'right wing' (a swear word for them that absolves them from having to think) may not be that.

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 08:31 PM
Princeton deifnes "right wing" as:

those who support political or social or economic conservatism; those who believe that things are better left unchanged

and left wing as:

those who support varying degrees of social or political or economic change designed to promote the public welfare

Technically that makes you a dead set lefty Jono; how ironic :lol:

TheJoker
15-02-2008, 08:31 PM
On reflection I think we would be better off not using such broad terms as left and right wing. Better to use more specific terms.

Kevin Bonham
15-02-2008, 09:34 PM
That's not how I would define conservatism, which to me means to preserve the status quo or to adopt a slow pace of reforms, and not to adopt radical changes.

Quite correct. In Australia John Hewson was a radical free-marketeer who was not a conservative, while John Howard (by the time he became PM) was a non-free-marketeer who was so reactionary that it would be an insult to conservatives to dub him one of those.

True conservatism is uncommon and frequently misunderstood.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 02:16 AM
On reflection I think we would be better off not using such broad terms as left and right wing. Better to use more specific terms.
I think you're right.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-02-2008, 05:56 PM
Agreed.

What is your opinion on of the LDP party policies Jono presented i.e 30/30 taxation?

Are you in favour of the minarchism advocated by Jono?
I am on record on this forum supporting in general libertarian philosophy.
30/30 tax policy is definitely a step forward I support.

Kevin Bonham
16-02-2008, 06:54 PM
A full-on minarchist would give the thumbs-down to the LDP's negative taxation and insist that it was just another form of mixed-economy welfare.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 07:22 PM
A full-on minarchist would give the thumbs-down to the LDP's negative taxation and insist that it was just another form of mixed-economy welfare.
In that case Friedman and Hayek were not full-on minarchists. BTW, what do you think about this?

Kevin Bonham
16-02-2008, 07:29 PM
BTW, what do you think about this?

About what specifically? The 30/30 thing?

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 07:30 PM
About what specifically? The 30/30 thing?
Yes; or at least as a comparison with the current dole/centrelink system.

Kevin Bonham
16-02-2008, 07:49 PM
Yes; or at least as a comparison with the current dole/centrelink system.

In principle it is immensely better than the current offensive mess because a person with no income gets an income without having to jump through stupid hoops, while at the same time unnecessary middle-class welfare is gone.

Something like that is not far from my own views, which I have sometimes jokingly called "welfare libertarianism" :D . My view is that although nearly all restrictions on free trade between individuals are unnecessary and should be abolished, a safe minimum position should be available more or less unconditionally as a result of:

(i) the arbitrariness of an individual's childhood financial and educational circumstances
(ii) the fact that a person can fail in professional life through bad "luck" and not just on merit and
(iii) the connection between merit and reward in a capitalist system being dubious in some cases anyway.

I am not convinced about the amount though. I think their negative rate for the very low income earners should be increased, as it stands it is too harsh. $9,000 pa (about $172 pw) for a single person with no other income is barely liveable; they'll be hard pressed paying for even a room and food in a big Australian city out of that. The equivalent current Newstart payment is $214.90 pw (although that is, absurdly, taxable so the recipient would lose a few percent of it).

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 09:00 PM
In principle it is immensely better than the current offensive mess because a person with no income gets an income without having to jump through stupid hoops, while at the same time unnecessary middle-class welfare is gone.
I was trying to tell TheJoker just that.


Something like that is not far from my own views, which I have sometimes jokingly called "welfare libertarianism" :D . My view is that although nearly all restrictions on free trade between individuals are unnecessary and should be abolished,
Indeed.


a safe minimum position should be available more or less unconditionally as a result of:
Yeah, most free-marketeers support something like this, but not the current poverty trap that puts beneficiaries at the mercy of the Centrelink tyrants.


(i) the arbitrariness of an individual's childhood financial and educational circumstances
(ii) the fact that a person can fail in professional life through bad "luck" and not just on merit and
(iii) the connection between merit and reward in a capitalist system being dubious in some cases anyway.
But then who can decide this?


I am not convinced about the amount though.
That's fair enough. The details might be negotiable.


I think their negative rate for the very low income earners should be increased, as it stands it is too harsh. $9,000 pa (about $172 pw) for a single person with no other income is barely liveable; they'll be hard pressed paying for even a room and food in a big Australian city out of that. The equivalent current Newstart payment is $214.90 pw (although that is, absurdly, taxable so the recipient would lose a few percent of it).
How much exactly? And wouldn't it be a reasonable tradeoff to avoid the centrelink hoops (which also cost money in transport). But the main benefit is that even a half-time minimum wage job would be much better financially than with the current system of losing about as much in benefits, so there is a real incentive to return to the workforce.

There needs to be a little harshness to nudge people into the workforce rather than be too comfortable on welfare, although it seems no harsher than the current system, which is likely to become harsher anyway. But the 30/30 really doesn't hinge on that stick but rather majors on the carrot, i.e. keeping 70% of earned income instead of say only 10% nett.

It would save loads of money in the Centrelink and Taxation bureaucracies too, as well as the loads of wasted time and money for Australian taxpayers on compliance, and the absurd churning where people both pay taxes and receive benefits.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-02-2008, 09:05 PM
Currently a person on the welfare might lose up to 90% of extra money earned. If it is not an incentive to avoid tax/welfare eduction, then I don't know what is. A lot of people working for "cash in hand" do it to avoid losing lion share of their earnings.

This incentive is drastically reduced with 30/30 system.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 09:09 PM
Currently a person on the welfare might lose up to 90% of extra money earned. If it is not an incentive to avoid tax/welfare eduction, then I don't know what is. A lot of people working for "cash in hand" do it to avoid losing lion share of their earnings.

This incentive is drastically reduced with 30/30 system.
Again, lefties like TheJoker just refused to see this. The 30/30 system is actually a far more compassionate one, to use the Left's favorite misused word.

Kevin Bonham
16-02-2008, 09:23 PM
Indeed.

Of course, I only support getting rid of most of the other restrictions on the condition that a secure, reasonable and unconditional safety net (whether it is through negative taxation or not) is introduced.


But then who can decide this?

My position is that no-one can decide whether these things apply to a given individual or not and that is why everyone should have access to a safe unconditional income - it won't cost the earth to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, especially if you liberalise a zillion other restraints on business at the same time.

Igor is absolutely right about the disincentives to work if you are already on welfare, whereas under a system like the 30/30 proposal you keep most of the gain from any work you get (and this applies irrespective of income level).

Something that is also a major issue with current Centrelink arrangements is the way they assume that partners share income and therefore slug the partner on benefits if the partner not on benefits receives money.

This is a really serious issue if the partner not on benefits has an irregular income, unless they want to become a Centrelink recipient too.

By the way, in my comparison of Centrelink income to 30/30 income, I suggested that the Centrelink recipient would lose some in tax. Actually, I think that's wrong; they would be covered by the low-income rebate so would not really lose anything.

I'm not sure exactly where I'd put the cutoff. Probably with all the other anti-trade laws rescinded many goods would become cheaper, so something like $12Kpa would be quite survivable in the short term.

I did note before that any positive things I say about something like 30/30 are only in-principle; I depend on those with economic expertise to point out any unforseen (-)ve consequences that might need to be avoided.

pax
16-02-2008, 09:52 PM
Again, lefties like TheJoker just refused to see this. The 30/30 system is actually a far more compassionate one, to use the Left's favorite misused word.
How exactly is it more compassionate to slash the incomes of people currently on aged or disability pensions?

Igor_Goldenberg
16-02-2008, 10:00 PM
How exactly is it more compassionate to slash the incomes of people currently on aged or disability pensions?

Is it more compassionate to tax at 90% EMTR?
Threshold can be risen to the current pension level easily.

pax
16-02-2008, 10:17 PM
Is it more compassionate to tax at 90% EMTR?
I don't think 90% is accurate. Do you have any sources or figures to back this up? In any case, the EMTR for pensioners probably is of far less relevance than the actual amount of their benefit.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 11:02 PM
My position is that no-one can decide whether these things apply to a given individual or not and that is why everyone should have access to a safe unconditional income - it won't cost the earth to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, especially if you liberalise a zillion other restraints on business at the same time.
Yeah. It's bound to save money for the government lots of money not having to fund the Centrelink Gestapo.


Igor is absolutely right about the disincentives to work if you are already on welfare, whereas under a system like the 30/30 proposal you keep most of the gain from any work you get (and this applies irrespective of income level).
This alone is enough reason to prefer it.


By the way, in my comparison of Centrelink income to 30/30 income, I suggested that the Centrelink recipient would lose some in tax. Actually, I think that's wrong; they would be covered by the low-income rebate so would not really lose anything.
True. So the only thing would be the avoidance of the Centrelink hoops.


I'm not sure exactly where I'd put the cutoff. Probably with all the other anti-trade laws rescinded many goods would become cheaper, so something like $12Kpa would be quite survivable in the short term.
Yeah, and the half a million extra jobs likely to result would mean it's likely to be short term.


I did note before that any positive things I say about something like 30/30 are only in-principle; I depend on those with economic expertise to point out any unforseen (-)ve consequences that might need to be avoided.
What about http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf ? There are more likely to be unforeseen +ve consequences.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 11:09 PM
I don't think 90% is accurate. Do you have any sources or figures to back this up?
Yes (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf), when all the benefits lost when someone takes a job, this is about right.


In Australia, the EMTR is highest on low-income families because of the quick withdrawal of welfare payments when people start to earn income combined with income tax. For example, the Parenting Payment (Single) is withdrawn at a rate of 40% once one has an income over $4,411 per year. The Newstart allowance is withdrawn at 50% or 70%. The Family Tax Benefit (A) is withdrawn at 20% once one has an income over $31,755. In addition, 17% tax (soon to be 15%) is paid on incomes earned over $6,000 and 30% tax on the income over $21,600. Also, the Medicare levy is phased in at $0.20 in the dollar for incomes between $26,834–29,010. Other welfare benefits are also removed as incomes increase, such as the low-income tax rebate and housing assistance.

The combination of these impacts can result in a low-income earner suffering from EMTRs approaching 100%. Almost one million people face EMTRs of 60% or more. The consequence of this is a significant incentive not to work, and the fact that this leads to a cycle of poverty is referred to as the poverty trap.


In any case, the EMTR for pensioners probably is of far less relevance than the actual amount of their benefit.
We are mainly talking about younger unemployed. If you're worried about old-age pensioners, and think that the coming tax cuts will be inflationary, then they could be diverted to top up superannuation accounts instead. People my age and younger would be foolish to trust in government pensions when we reach retirement age.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2008, 11:12 PM
Is it more compassionate to tax at 90% EMTR?
Threshold can be risen to the current pension level easily.
And is it uncompassionate that people on half-time jobs with a minimum wage rage would be 21% better off, people on the minimum wage 31% better, and people on the average wage 14%?

pax
17-02-2008, 01:52 AM
Yes (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf), when all the benefits lost when someone takes a job, this is about right.

[INDENT]In Australia, the EMTR is highest on low-income families because of the quick withdrawal of welfare payments when people start to earn income combined with income tax. For example, the Parenting Payment (Single) is withdrawn at a rate of 40% once one has an income over $4,411 per year. The Newstart allowance is withdrawn at 50% or 70%. The Family Tax Benefit (A) is withdrawn at 20% once one has an income over $31,755. In addition, 17% tax (soon to be 15%) is paid on incomes earned over $6,000 and 30% tax on the income over $21,600. Also, the Medicare levy is phased in at $0.20 in the dollar for incomes between $26,834–29,010. Other welfare benefits are also removed as incomes increase, such as the low-income tax rebate and housing assistance.

Pretty sure that's wrong. Between the tax-free threshold in the low income tax offset (equivalent tax-free threshold of about $14k for low incomes), you don't get anywhere near 90%EMTR. It's high, but not that high.

Igor_Goldenberg
17-02-2008, 01:20 PM
Pretty sure that's wrong. Between the tax-free threshold in the low income tax offset (equivalent tax-free threshold of about $14k for low incomes), you don't get anywhere near 90%EMTR. It's high, but not that high.
Sure? Prove it!

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 01:25 PM
Pretty sure that's wrong. Between the tax-free threshold in the low income tax offset (equivalent tax-free threshold of about $14k for low incomes), you don't get anywhere near 90%EMTR. It's high, but not that high.
That paper argues that some are that high, and far too many are at 60% which is still way too high. What is compassionate about that? And again, what is uncompassionate about the lowest income earners being 20 or 30% better off?

pax
17-02-2008, 02:22 PM
Sure? Prove it!
The proof is that the link does not include the low income tax offset.

pax
17-02-2008, 02:24 PM
That paper argues that some are that high, and far too many are at 60% which is still way too high. What is compassionate about that? And again, what is uncompassionate about the lowest income earners being 20 or 30% better off?
They are not 20-30% better off. I can improve the marginal rates for the poor instantly by cutting their benefits in half, but that doesn't make them "better off". Sure, it improves the incentive to work, but don't dishonestly try to claim they are actually materially better off.

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 03:41 PM
They are not 20-30% better off.
What's better for the poor: keeping 70 of what you earn, or <40%?


I can improve the marginal rates for the poor instantly by cutting their benefits in half, but that doesn't make them "better off".
Yes you can, and this has happened in both NZ and Australia. But this is inevitable with the current system you love as there are financial pressures on government spending. It is a very poor solution because it is just a stick with no extra carrots. And under this system, if the benefits are raised, there is less incentive to find work.

The 30/30 system would reward people for work, unlike the crude step of reducing benefits and increasing Centrelink hoops. The cited article points all this out:


Punishing the poor?
As noted above, the unemployed are the losers in the static analysis as their welfare payments are cut from over $10,000 to $9,000 per year. Some will argue that it is inequitable to cut welfare payments. However, such an argument ignores the total impact on poor people and ignores the dynamic consequences of this policy. Indeed, the most important consequence from this policy is a reduction in unemployment and poverty. This highlights the problem in ignoring the dynamic element of reform.

The current system is generous to the degree that it offers the third-highest level of net transfers to poor people in the world (exceeded only by Norway and Finland), but this generosity is undermined by the fact that our current system also offers some of the highest EMTRs in the world which ensure that our poor stay poor. In contrast, while Reform 30/30 continues to ensure that nobody need live in absolute poverty, it removes the poverty trap and allows the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Further, while our current system is generous in financial terms, it is burdensome in terms of compliance and requirements on the job-seeker. When determining the real benefits of welfare to the recipient, it is appropriate to calculate the net benefit after removing costs of compliance. By some interpretations, the government has pursued a policy of decreasing the net benefit of welfare by increasing compliance costs (work for the dole, dole diary, and so on). In contrast, Reform 30/30 removes the compliance costs for welfare recipients. Consequently, the net benefit to the welfare recipient may not actually decrease, while the cost to the taxpayer certainly will.

Sure, it improves the incentive to work, but don't dishonestly try to claim they are actually materially better off.
But 30/30 leaves almost every worker better off than the current system.

Do you really like the current system:


If we distributed the current federal welfare budget directly to the poorest 25% of Australians, each family of four would receive $72,000 per year.

pax
17-02-2008, 05:05 PM
Do you really like the current system:


If we distributed the current federal welfare budget directly to the poorest 25% of Australians, each family of four would receive $72,000 per year.
But 30/30 does not do this either - what's your point?

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 05:14 PM
But 30/30 does not do this either - what's your point?
The point is: the current system is crap. The 30/30 system improves it in many ways at immensely less cost.

pax
17-02-2008, 09:16 PM
The point is: the current system is crap. The 30/30 system improves it in many ways at immensely less cost.
The idea has some nice properties. But it needs a proper analysis and debate before it could be realistically considered. A vague-on-the-details paper is a starting point, but not really enough to make a reasonable assessment.

Was there any actual thought put into the choice of the numbers 30/30?
I mean, why not 40/40 or 20/20, or 30/40?

What would the impact be on government revenue? It looks to me that 30/30 could reduce revenue by tens of billions or more.

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 09:31 PM
The idea has some nice properties. But it needs a proper analysis and debate before it could be realistically considered. A vague-on-the-details paper is a starting point, but not really enough to make a reasonable assessment.
That paper (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf)makes a very good case.

But what about an objective analysis of the current system? Can you honestly tell me that such a crappy system would ever be approved from scratch? Any first-year economics student would laugh at a system that gives a benefit then taxes it, or penalizes the unemployed by 60-90% marginal tax for taking emplyment, or is so complex that most people need acountants to help them with their taxes.


Was there any actual thought put into the choice of the numbers 30/30?
I mean, why not 40/40 or 20/20, or 30/40?
I'm open to suggestions, as long as the lowest income earners are not penalized by high effective marginal rates, and tax returns were far simpler. IIRC Friedman had different ideas. BTW, you would surely not like 20/20 since that would mean much harsher welfare for unemployed, and 40/40 is a very high tax rate. If you're concerned about the revenue of 30/30, then it would be more of a concern with 30/40.


What would the impact be on government revenue? It looks to me that 30/30 could reduce revenue by tens of billions or more.
According to the paper, it's likely to increase revenue greatly: removal of vast chunks of the taxation and welfare bureaucracies, a likely half a million new jobs with people on the dole actually rewarded for working, less tax avoidance ...

pax
17-02-2008, 09:40 PM
According to the paper, it's likely to increase revenue greatly: removal of vast chunks of the taxation and welfare bureaucracies, a likely half a million new jobs with people on the dole actually rewarded for working, less tax avoidance ...
There are no numbers so it's all hand waving. Unless somebody does a proper economic study, we have really no idea what the impact will be.

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 10:48 PM
There are no numbers so it's all hand waving. Unless somebody does a proper economic study, we have really no idea what the impact will be.
What nonsense. There are plenty of numbers in there. And you certainly can't justify the status quo with numbers.

TheJoker
17-02-2008, 11:03 PM
Just for the record I did not totally discount negative taxation as a means of distributing some forms of welfare. I what I specifaclly objected to was the abolishment of the public healthcare and education system.

As far as replacing centrelink and dole payments negative taxation probably has a lot of merit.

What I pointed out with the 30/30 policy in particular was that the numbers don't stack up (the benefit is not enough to live on) and adjusting the benefit amounts means you need to reassess the financial viability of the whole system.

TheJoker
17-02-2008, 11:13 PM
while at the same time unnecessary middle-class welfare is gone.

Yes agree middle class welfare is a huge waste. Bascially collect the money in tax, use heaps of public resources processing the funds to return it as welfare benefits.


although nearly all restrictions on free trade between individuals are unnecessary and should be abolished

I think you underestimate how people behave in competetive environment. Without any safeguards monopolising of resources and price fixing cartels would be rampant and prices of certain resources and goods would sky rocket.

Just look at the Amcor / Vishy price fixing scandal (cardboard boxes).


a safe minimum position should be available more or less unconditionally as a result of:

(i) the arbitrariness of an individual's childhood financial and educational circumstances
(ii) the fact that a person can fail in professional life through bad "luck" and not just on merit and
(iii) the connection between merit and reward in a capitalist system being dubious in some cases anyway.

I am not convinced about the amount though. I think their negative rate for the very low income earners should be increased, as it stands it is too harsh. $9,000 pa (about $172 pw) for a single person with no other income is barely liveable; they'll be hard pressed paying for even a room and food in a big Australian city out of that. The equivalent current Newstart payment is $214.90 pw (although that is, absurdly, taxable so the recipient would lose a few percent of it).

Agree with all of that.

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 11:25 PM
Just for the record I did not totally discount negative taxation as a means of distributing some forms of welfare. I what I specifaclly objected to was the abolishment of the public healthcare and education system.
The 30/30 was a replacement of the taxation and welfare systems, not a replacement for public health and education.


As far as replacing centrelink and dole payments negative taxation probably has a lot of merit.
Yeah.


What I pointed out with the 30/30 policy in particular was that the numbers don't stack up
The numbers don't stack up NOW! How is it stacking up to have a marginal tax rate of 60–90% for the poorest that the left claim to care about? How does it stack up for the government to pay some people money then take money from the same people? Bureaucratic nonsense that would do Sir Humphrey Appleby proud!


(the benefit is not enough to live on) and adjusting the benefit amounts means you need to reassess the financial viability of the whole system.
The benefit would be enough to be a safety net, especially if more than one beneficiary lives in a place and doesn't choose the most expensive city in Australia to live in. But the main thing is that people would be not have to go through hoops to get the benefit, and would be rewarded for working, unlike the current poverty trap.

Capablanca-Fan
17-02-2008, 11:32 PM
Yes agree middle class welfare is a huge waste. Bascially collect the money in tax, use heaps of public resources processing the funds to return it as welfare benefits.
Yeah. Note that this is a perfect case of Director's Law.


I think you underestimate how people behave in competetive environment. Without any safeguards monopolising of resources and price fixing cartels would be rampant and prices of certain resources and goods would sky rocket.
The only monopolizing happens when government enforces it, or has so much regulation that barriers to entry are impossible. It's interesting that many regulatory bodies end up being staffed by those established in the industries. If the government got its fat beak out of the way, any business pricing prices too highly would be undercut by new businesses entering.

And really, you lovers of big government have a nerve. E.g. the ACCC whinges about petrol prices being too high and hurting customers. Yet the government excise is responsible for 10 times as much of the high price, the hypocrites.


Just look at the Amcor / Vishy price fixing scandal (cardboard boxes).
Oh, right, compare the worst of the private sector with an idealized government control. Compare the worst of the private sector with the average government bureaucracy and it's a different matter.

pax
18-02-2008, 12:02 AM
What nonsense. There are plenty of numbers in there. And you certainly can't justify the status quo with numbers.
The status quo exists. We know it's impact, it can be measured. The budget is in surlplus. The system may not be efficient, but we know it works. There is a lot of work to do before 30/30 could become a realistic proposition.

TheJoker
18-02-2008, 12:13 AM
The only monopolizing happens when government enforces it, or has so much regulation that barriers to entry are impossible.

This is incorrect, what about the monopolizing of resources. Imagine if BHP merges wih Rio Tinto, and then buys up the remaining players in the iron ore industry. Tell me what that will do to the price of iron ore and steel; when a single company controls 90% of the available resources.


It's interesting that many regulatory bodies end up being staffed by those established in the industries. If the government got its fat beak out of the way, any business pricing prices too highly would be undercut by new businesses entering.

Or the new business entering is bought up or squeezed out.


And really, you lovers of big government have a nerve. E.g. the ACCC whinges about petrol prices being too high and hurting customers. Yet the government excise is responsible for 10 times as much of the high price, the hypocrites.

Actually I think the ACCC is concerned that when oil price falls we dont see that reflected at the petrol pump but as soon as the oil price rises we see a reflection at the price at the pump. It has nothing to do with the excise or the overall price. In an "ideal" market the competitors would automatically reduce their prices when oil prices fell so as to try to undercut their opponents. In the real world they have an unwritten agreement not to do so and as such all have much larger profit margins.

As for new competition entering the market, well that is just about impossible in the oil markets, considering the vast amounts of capital needed to do so, and the limited oil resources available. In recent times the only major new entrant into the market has been the Chinese governement.

Jono you really should study what actually happens in the market place, rather than what theoretically happens.

Cooperation to maximise profits margins is often a better business strategy than competition which reduces profits margins.

This is why cartelling is such a rampant practice.

Capablanca-Fan
18-02-2008, 12:34 AM
The status quo exists. We know it's impact, it can be measured. The budget is in surlplus. The system may not be efficient, but we know it works.
If you call 60-90% marginal tax rates on low income earners, billions of dollars wasted in compliance with the complex tax code, Applebyesque bureaucracies giving then taking money from the same people, Centrelink Gestapo-like persecutions, far higher tax rates on most people, "working", then I guess so.


There is a lot of work to do before 30/30 could become a realistic proposition.
That paper has done so. It points out many advantages over the crappy system you claim "works". You just spout off against it from the sidelines.

Kevin Bonham
18-02-2008, 12:42 AM
I think you underestimate how people behave in competetive environment. Without any safeguards monopolising of resources and price fixing cartels would be rampant and prices of certain resources and goods would sky rocket.

I only said "nearly all" restrictions seemed unnecessary (this, of course, allows me to say that I didn't mean that one against any example I find remotely compelling!)

I'll consider a case for regulation to prevent monopolies and/or collusion in the case of any more or less "essential" item where the entry costs to the market are such that effective competition with a monopoly is unlikely to keep prices down.

If the odd luxury good becomes monopolised and expensive, I don't care; people will just lose interest in it and buy something else.

Capablanca-Fan
18-02-2008, 12:46 AM
This is incorrect, what about the monopolizing of resources. Imagine if BHP merges wih Rio Tinto, and then buys up the remaining players in the iron ore industry. Tell me what that will do to the price of iron ore and steel; when a single company controls 90% of the available resources.
If the history of Rockefeller's Oil and Alcoa's aluminium, the price is likely to go down.


Or the new business entering is bought up or squeezed out.
Then a still newer business can enter. The older one won't be able to compete so well if it keeps on buying out newer ones. There is a cost to this process.


Actually I think the ACCC is concerned that when oil price falls we dont see that reflected at the petrol pump but as soon as the oil price rises we see a reflection at the price at the pump. It has nothing to do with the excise or the overall price.
The ACCC commissar was whinging about the high prices hurting consumers. But he doesn't address the major cause of this high price, the government's greedy excise tax gouging.


In an "ideal" market the competitors would automatically reduce their prices when oil prices fell so as to try to undercut their opponents. In the real world they have an unwritten agreement not to do so and as such all have much larger profit margins.
Right, so if the prices are the same, it's collusion. If they charge too low, it's predatory pricing. And too high, it's gouging. Anything can be made a crime if you want.


As for new competition entering the market, well that is just about impossible in the oil markets, considering the vast amounts of capital needed to do so, and the limited oil resources available.
There are plenty of oil companies around. And people have been predicting for a century that "known reserves" would soon run out.


Jono you really should study what actually happens in the market place, rather than what theoretically happens.
Joke, you should study what happens when governments control markets than what your socialist idealism, or Enron adviser Krugman, claims should happens. E.g. any economist would tell you that price caps generate shortages, yet our local governments still insist on price caps for water then plead with us to conserve or bully us if we don't conserve enough.


Cooperation to maximise profits margins is often a better business strategy than competition which reduces profits margins.
All that needs is one of them to break the agreement to undercut and they do well.


This is why cartelling is such a rampant practice.
Cartels are often protected by government that your worship. For example OPEC, as well as Die Deutsche Bromkonvention supported by the German government. And Herbert Dow's defeat of this cartel shows why predatory pricing is a fantasy in the real world (http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=31).