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Capablanca-Fan
05-05-2008, 11:29 PM
The reason why our Governments should fund chess (and it is overdue) is not on the basis of it being a "sport", but on the basis that it is a competitive activity of great significance, in terms of the high application of human intellect required to carry it out, and the greatness of the number of people, in Australia and in other countries, who play it and/or are otherwise involved in it.
Why should the government fund chess at all, or any other sport? The government has no money apart from what it confiscates from taxpayers by force. And this is a zero-sum game: given that there is only so much that the government is willing to confiscate, anything given to one sport is automatically money that another sport doesn't have. But naturally, since chessplayers' dollars are being confiscated, it's only natural that they will want some of them back in their own sport.

Rincewind
05-05-2008, 11:36 PM
Why should the government fund chess at all, or any other sport? The government has no money apart from what it confiscates from taxpayers by force. And this is a zero-sum game: given that there is only so much that the government is willing to confiscate, anything given to one sport is automatically money that another sport doesn't have. But naturally, since chessplayers' dollars are being confiscated, it's only natural that they will want some of them back in their own sport.

I think you are just being silly and unhelpful.

Capablanca-Fan
06-05-2008, 10:08 AM
I think you are just being silly and unhelpful.
I just think you're being being more unhelpful, as an advocate for forcibly confiscating money from some Australians to give to other Australians who happen to have lobby groups with the ear of politicians or bureaucrats.

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2008, 11:25 PM
In my view, in the hypothetical ideal system governments would not fund sport to any degree beyond school level; it would be left entirely to private enterprise. It is quite lucrative enough without our help and if taxpayers interested in it had more money to spend on it rather than it being taxed from them, it would only be more so.

However we don't live in that society; we live in one in which our tax $$$ are taken from us to fund sport, and that is extremely unlikely to change. So while we might express half-hearted disagreement with the practice, should we refuse to accept that funding for ourselves, we only end up subsidising the sports liked by others while not receiving any funding for ourselves. (Of course we may like some of these sports as well).

Therefore, while sport continues to be government-funded, I believe that chess should actively attempt to gain a piece of that pie. If sports funding was abolished, chess would probably benefit from chessplayers no longer having to spend a portion of their tax bill funding more popular sports. (The same applies for a follower of any other sport that is a realtively little-played sport at formal competitive level.)

[Note: see parent thread for why I have put this in non-chess; it may be moved to a chess section depending on the direction of the discussion.]

Rincewind
06-05-2008, 11:35 PM
As it should. Thanks, Kevin.

Jono can blather in here as much as he likes.

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2008, 11:41 PM
Jono can blather in here as much as he likes.

I'll probably join him. It will turn into yet another conversation about the fundamental subject of the internet, Libertarianism. :lol:

Axiom
06-05-2008, 11:48 PM
the fundamental subject of the internet, Libertarianism. :lol:
Interesting that , that should be so. :hmm:

Rincewind
06-05-2008, 11:49 PM
Libertarianism. :lol:

I thought the Libertines were pretty good. I hear Pete Doherty is out of jail so there is hope for a reformation I guess. :rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
06-05-2008, 11:58 PM
In my view, in the hypothetical ideal system governments would not fund sport to any degree beyond school level; it would be left entirely to private enterprise. It is quite lucrative enough without our help and if taxpayers interested in it had more money to spend on it rather than it being taxed from them, it would only be more so.

However we don't live in that society; we live in one in which our tax $$$ are taken from us to fund sport, and that is extremely unlikely to change. So while we might express half-hearted disagreement with the practice, should we refuse to accept that funding for ourselves, we only end up subsidising the sports liked by others while not receiving any funding for ourselves. (Of course we may like some of these sports as well).

Therefore, while sport continues to be government-funded, I believe that chess should actively attempt to gain a piece of that pie. If sports funding was abolished, chess would probably benefit from chessplayers no longer having to spend a portion of their tax bill funding more popular sports. (The same applies for a follower of any other sport that is a realtively little-played sport at formal competitive level.)
I agree with all the above.

CameronD
07-05-2008, 12:01 AM
Considering all the problems within society and now the government wanting to raise taxes for maternity leave.

How about decreasing sports/arts from funding. The government would save millions and fix things that really matter plus maternity instead of slogging taxes by another 0.5%.

By the 2007 budget, the federal government spent 2,979 Million dollare on sport and recreation. Which is 1.26% of national expenses and an expected surplus of 10.6 Billion dollars.

eclectic
07-05-2008, 12:09 AM
why not reduce defence spending by getting our noses out of matters which are none of our business?

CameronD
07-05-2008, 12:11 AM
Going through the Queensland budget now...

- 41 million for tributes for Qld 150th separation from NSW
- 13.5 million for tennis centre at Tennyson
- Total sporting infrastructure of 40 million this year.

Recreation and culture was 4% of budget.

The Queensland government in 2001 spent 280 Million to redevelop Lang park

CameronD
07-05-2008, 12:19 AM
I'm not saying all these expenses shouldn't happen, but the amounts spent on sport/recreation is to much when compared to primary problems that dont get the funding required.

Garvinator
07-05-2008, 12:29 AM
Going through the Queensland budget now...

- 41 million for tributes for Qld 150th separation from NSW
- 13.5 million for tennis centre at Tennyson
- Total sporting infrastructure of 40 million this year.

Recreation and culture was 4% of budget.

The Queensland government in 2001 spent 280 Million to redevelop Lang park
In the figures above and other such figures, I do not think that the 'government' is just blindly giving taxpayers money away for nothing. My opinion is that they are doing it because they are 'certain' that the government will get more money back than they invested in the first place.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 12:41 AM
The difficulty with selling the argument that governments should not fund sport is that Australians are sooooo addicted to national sporting success (esp cricket and Olympics) on the grounds that it is one of remarkably few things that distinguishes us as a nation. So it's a very difficult argument to make here.

I had a lot of experience with making it in the Voluntary Student Unionism debates, when I argued that to require university students to fund university sports clubs was unnecessary; after all, you don't need to play sport to get a degree so why should those who want a uni degree without sport pay to indulge those who want to be in uni sports clubs? (A part of my annoyance was that at our uni you needed 15 members to get funding and chess was rarely able to get near that number.)

Now there is a lot of discussion from the student unions (what is left of them) about uni sports clubs being pushed to the wall by VSU. This would suggest to me that those sports-loving students who have saved some money through the abolition of compulsory student union fees are choosing to spend the saved money mainly on things other than uni sports clubs.

Trent Parker
07-05-2008, 01:54 AM
- 41 million for tributes for Qld 150th separation from NSW


What the hell is this? lol

CameronD
07-05-2008, 02:15 AM
What the hell is this? lol

Word for word from page 83 of the budget.

$41 million in 2007-08 for projects to mark the 150th anniversary of
Queensland's separation as a colony from New South Wales by creating lasting tributes that reflect history, people, places, and future.

other references
http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/OFT/oftweb.nsf/Web+Pages/7C5930D2A5DCCA334A2573FE002E2EFD?OpenDocument

I'd prefer the money to be spent on Education or Health etc

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 10:27 AM
I'm not saying all these expenses shouldn't happen, but the amounts spent on sport/recreation is to much when compared to primary problems that dont get the funding required.
What could not be better funded by private industry, apart from law and defence?

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 10:32 AM
The difficulty with selling the argument that governments should not fund sport is that Australians are sooooo addicted to national sporting success (esp cricket and Olympics) on the grounds that it is one of remarkably few things that distinguishes us as a nation. So it's a very difficult argument to make here.
Unfortunately. But then why not make a low-interest loan to sports people, repayable only if their income reaches so many million?

Of course, too many Australians act as if the Government has some sort of fund fairy that should solve everything by throwing money at it. However, the funds come from money taken from Australians by force.


Now there is a lot of discussion from the student unions (what is left of them) about uni sports clubs being pushed to the wall by VSU.
Do most unis have VSU now?


This would suggest to me that those sports-loving students who have saved some money through the abolition of compulsory student union fees are choosing to spend the saved money mainly on things other than uni sports clubs.
Indeed, and they should have that choice.

CameronD
07-05-2008, 10:37 AM
Mandatory Unionism is outlawed by the howard government for Universities. Good thing to as the money was spent on anti-government demonstration/ trouble-making and supporting the labor party and other fringe groups disportionately.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2008, 11:37 AM
Mandatory Unionism is outlawed by the howard government for Universities. Good thing to as the money was spent on anti-government demonstration/ trouble-making and supporting the labor party and other fringe groups disportionately.
Would you support Mandatory Unionism for Universities if money were spent differently?

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 11:47 AM
Would you support Mandatory Unionism for Universities if money were spent differently?
Can't answer for Cameron, but for me it's the ‘Mandatory’ that I oppose. With voluntary unionism, the union would have to work to please me enough that I should pay their fee. It's the ‘Mandatory’ that removes the accountability, leading to the results Cameron mentioned, which are thus a symptom.

Zwischenzug
07-05-2008, 12:15 PM
Can't answer for Cameron, but for me it's the ‘Mandatory’ that I oppose. With voluntary unionism, the union would have to work to please me enough that I should pay their fee. It's the ‘Mandatory’ that removes the accountability, leading to the results Cameron mentioned, which are thus a symptom.
But under this scheme, there would be no incentives for the union to operate at all. I'm starting to miss some of the clubs at uni, clubs that are long gone now.

I suppose the counter argument is that students shouldn't have to pay for clubs that they aren't involved in. Under such a scheme, clubs can charge high membership fees (but the high fees in itself would discourage students in the first place, causing the club to struggle and die out).

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 12:30 PM
But under this scheme, there would be no incentives for the union to operate at all.
Yes there would be: an incentive to please the student population. And if they are incapable of pleasing the students, then they shouldn't be operating at all.


I'm starting to miss some of the clubs at uni, clubs that are long gone now.
If you want then, then pay for them with your own money—don't forcibly grab money from other students.


I suppose the counter argument is that students shouldn't have to pay for clubs that they aren't involved in. Under such a scheme, clubs can charge high membership fees (but the high fees in itself would discourage students in the first place, causing the club to struggle and die out).
Which means that the club doesn't deserve to exist. But students who really want the club can pay for it, since they are not forced to fund clubs they don't use.

Desmond
07-05-2008, 12:46 PM
I can only wish I didn't have to pay those fees as a student. It was just over $200 per semester which was a big chunk of money to me at that time. I didn't really use any of the activities that they provided, so it was just a waste of money to me. But it was compulsory; you couldn't enroll without paying it.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 01:49 PM
Do most unis have VSU now?

It's nationwide. Until the last term of the Howard Government it existed in Vic and WA (though the Vic form was a very bastardised one IIRC). The current government have said they will not revert to compulsionism but will investigate alternative funding methods.

The National Union of Students have called for a HECS-style loan fee to replace it, which just shows what a hypocritical body the NUS is given how loudly it opposes HECS-style loans except when one of them might ensure its survival.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 02:09 PM
I can only wish I didn't have to pay those fees as a student. It was just over $200 per semester which was a big chunk of money to me at that time. I didn't really use any of the activities that they provided, so it was just a waste of money to me. But it was compulsory; you couldn't enroll without paying it.

Personally I think the extra-curricula activities help to to develop more well rounded students in terms of life experiences.

My personal experience in the workplace is those students who have reasonable grades and have participated in extra-curricula activities tend to outperform those students with no extra-curricula activity experiences. Basically the standard academic courses alone do not develop the social/political skills necessary to perform in the workplace.

Japan has a system where it is complusory to participate in at least one extra-curricula activity, because they see it as an essential part of the students education.

So in my opinion universities should be able to charge compulsory fees for extra-curricula activities if they think it will help to develop graduates that will be more successful in the workforce.

If a student doesn't want a service that includes extra-curricula activities in the fee structure then find a university that offers a service that doesn't include the cost in the fee structure.

Desmond
07-05-2008, 02:21 PM
Personally I think the extra-curricula activities help to to develop more well rounded students in terms of life experiences. Yet it was still charged to mature aged students.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 02:33 PM
What could not be better funded by private industry, apart from law and defence?

Many things, private industry is profit driven. So if a program is not profitable it is unlikely to attract private investors. For example education of children, lets say the total cost of educating a student (direct costs and overheads) is $6,000 p.a. To open the school a capital investment of $5 million dollars is needed. For investors to even consider investing the school the return on investment would need to at least 10% (otherwise just stick the money in the bank). So lets say to be profitable the school needs to charge fees of $6,600 p.a. Many parents would not be able to afford this especially those with more than 1 child. So those children would be denied an education service because it is not profitable to educate them.

There countless examples of unprofitable services that require public funding to operate. If unregulated private industry were tasked with providing all the services to society many things would be scraped. Like affordable healthcare for seniors, education for low income families. All these are available now because the government forces these services to be pooled with other profitable services or uses a public funding system.

Just examine what Jack Welch did with GE to see what would happen if we allowed private industry to fund everything.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 02:34 PM
Personally I think the extra-curricula activities help to to develop more well rounded students in terms of life experiences.

Doubtless true, but some of us had no trouble finding our own extra-curricular activities without others having to pay for them, while others, it seems, needed to be spoon-fed.


So in my opinion universities should be able to charge compulsory fees for extra-curricula activities if they think it will help to develop graduates that will be more successful in the workforce.

The university's business is to educate the student in their chosen field of study. If the student wants to give themselves an advantage in the workplace by pursuing extra-curricular activities there is no reason they cannot do so in their own time and with their own money ... as I did (although not for that reason).


If a student doesn't want a service that includes extra-curricula activities in the fee structure then find a university that offers a service that doesn't include the cost in the fee structure.

And prior to VSU, good luck finding one. University administrations were deliriously happy with imposing compulsionism on their students for two reasons: Firstly, it meant that students picked up the tab for a lot of activities there would otherwise be pressure on the universities to fund. Secondly, it was so much easier for them to only have to deal with a single body of officially representative "student opinion" (even if it wasn't really representative at all) than spontaneous uprisings of it by groups of unclear status.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 02:43 PM
Yet it was still charged to mature aged students.

Then find another university. Unversities do not need to cater to minority groups unless it is profitable to do so. Basically if your a captive market (i.e. you don't have any viable alternatives to find a better service) and a minority (in that you don't represent a significant impact on the bottom line) you are stuck with what they're offering.

However I can understand why to government stepped in with VSU to make Uni education more affordable. Being that Uni education is quickly becoming essential in the workplace and no longer a luxury so to speak. I guess it is a trade-off between quality and affordability.

Jono were do you stand on allowing uni's to charge complusory union fees if they so wish. Being that they are a private indusrty and all. Should the government have stepped in and made such fees illegal?

Basil
07-05-2008, 02:52 PM
Then find another university.
But when an employer says "no pay rises", is your answer for the employee to "find another job"? I appreciate that the corollary isn't exact, but does it matter?

Thrown-in for nuisance value. I don't have the time (these days) fro political debates. But there's always tomorrow ;)

Desmond
07-05-2008, 02:57 PM
Then find another university.What? then or now? Then they all had the student union fees, and I think $200 was probably amoungst the smallest fees. Besides, students do not always get their first prefence, so they just have to like it or lump it.


Unversities do not need to cater to minority groups unless it is profitable to do so. Mature aged students are hardly a small minority. The minority is the kids who took advantage of the individual services that everyone paid for.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 02:58 PM
Then find another university. Unversities do not need to cater to minority groups unless it is profitable to do so. Basically if your a captive market (i.e. you don't have any viable alternatives to find a better service) and a minority (in that you don't represent a significant impact on the bottom line) you are stuck with what they're offering.

At least until the law is changed. :D

I'm a bit surprised that you're running what seems (to me at least) to almost be a market-choice style argument here - given your arguments on other threads. Universities are not actually in a position of having to effectively compete for students' money for two reasons: firstly they are heavily government-subsidised, and secondly many students aren't paying anything near the whole cost of their education upfront. If neither of these things were true then unis would be under massive pressure to offer students the cheapest packages and would ditch the tangential tack-ons in a hurry.


However I can understand why to government stepped in with VSU to make Uni education more affordable.

Actually the Howard government didn't really care less about affordability and its real purpose in introducing VSU was primarily to undermine the use of student unions as funding and propaganda bodies for the left. Despite this, there were many strong arguments against compulsionism in the form in which it existed.


Jono were do you stand on allowing uni's to charge complusory union fees if they so wish. Being that they are a private indusrty and all. Should the government have stepped in and made such fees illegal?

I'm not Jono but I'll have a bite on this one too. The government should allow a uni to charge compulsory union fees, but any uni doing so should be ineligible for government funding.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2008, 02:59 PM
So lets say to be profitable the school needs to charge fees of $6,600 p.a. Many parents would not be able to afford this especially those with more than 1 child. So those children would be denied an education service because it is not profitable to educate them.


Yet now those parents pay more in additional taxes to fund education anyway. If you are indeed concerned about people not being able to afford education, give the money the government spends directly to the parents.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 02:59 PM
The university's business is to educate the student in their chosen field of study.

And if they see that offering sports as part of that education is beneficial they they are quite within their rights to offer that activity funded by the course fees.


If the student wants to give themselves an advantage in the workplace by pursuing extra-curricular activities there is no reason they cannot do so in their own time and with their own money ... as I did (although not for that reason).

And also if a university feels they are offering a better service by packaging those activities along with the academic content then that is business decision for them is it not?




And prior to VSU, good luck finding one. University administrations were deliriously happy with imposing compulsionism on their students for two reasons: Firstly, it meant that students picked up the tab for a lot of activities there would otherwise be pressure on the universities to fund.

By the university would have to fund themselves do you mean the tax payers would have to fund? I assumed the majority of funding came from these two sources. Of the two I think it would be fairer for the students to fund the activities rather than the tax payers. Why would the universities fell pressured to fund the services? Because students want these services? And prefer the convenience of them being packaged into one single cost?


Secondly, it was so much easier for them to only have to deal with a single body of officially representative "student opinion" (even if it wasn't really representative at all) than spontaneous uprisings of it by groups of unclear status.

Sounds like a sensible way to do business to me. If the union gets to far out of step with the students I am sure they would rebel, being student and all ;)

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 03:06 PM
Yet now those parents pay more in additional taxes to fund education anyway. If you are indeed concerned about people not being able to afford education, give the money the government spends directly to the parents.

So you are still in favour of publicly funding the education (i.e. through rebates) or do want to reduce tax, and have education privately funded?

If it is the latter then what about those families who's reduction in tax wouldn't be sufficient to cover the cost of education? Like I said certain services need some level of public funding (whether it is in the form of government run services or welfare rebates).

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 03:14 PM
And if they see that offering sports as part of that education is beneficial they they are quite within their rights to offer that activity funded by the course fees.

Not while they have their snout in the trough of government funding. If they are taking public money they should be fair to all students individually, and this includes not placing irrelevant compulsory fee imposts on those students who do not benefit from paying that part of those fees.


And also if a university feels they are offering a better service by packaging those activities along with the academic content then that is business decision for them is it not?

Again, not while they are accepting government money. Accepting government money should place constraints on what business decisions a body can reasonably take.


By the university would have to fund themselves do you mean the tax payers would have to fund? I assumed the majority of funding came from these two sources. Of the two I think it would be fairer for the students to fund the activities rather than the tax payers. Why would the universities fell pressured to fund the services? Because students want these services? And prefer the convenience of them being packaged into one single cost?

What I mean is that a university that wants to impose unreasonable conditions on its students (such as the use of compulsory union fees to fund stuff like sport, religion and politics) should be required to exist entirely on whatever course fees students are willing to pay it, with no taxpayer funding whatsoever. Apart from business universities, I suspect few institutions would survive on that basis, but I'd support them being permitted to try.


Sounds like a sensible way to do business to me. If the union gets to far out of step with the students I am sure they would rebel, being student and all ;)

Students don't do that anymore; they're too busy and way past caring. When a union gets too far out of step with students, they generally just grumble, ignore the $200 they have wasted on it and see it as just another pointless impost on their road to a degree.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 03:16 PM
Universities are not actually in a position of having to effectively compete for students' money for two reasons: firstly they are heavily government-subsidised, and secondly many students aren't paying anything near the whole cost of their education upfront. If neither of these things were true then unis would be under massive pressure to offer students the cheapest packages and would ditch the tangential tack-ons in a hurry...

The government should allow a uni to charge compulsory union fees, but any uni doing so should be ineligible for government funding.


Hadn't thought of it like that. I like your solution.


Actually the Howard government didn't really care less about affordability and its real purpose in introducing VSU was primarily to undermine the use of student unions as funding and propaganda bodies for the left. Despite this, there were many strong arguments against compulsionism in the form in which it existed.

I was aware of this but I was trying to think of ethical reasons to support VSU; i.e. it makes Uni more affordable and hence more accessable.

I have a problem with any sort of laws intorduced by government to silence dissent.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2008, 03:23 PM
So you are still in favour of publicly funding the education (i.e. through rebates) or do want to reduce tax, and have education privately funded?

If it is the latter then what about those families who's reduction in tax wouldn't be sufficient to cover the cost of education? Like I said certain services need some level of public funding (whether it is in the form of government run services or welfare rebates).

There are two types of income redistribution - direct and indirect.
Direct means that money are taken from Peter to pay Paul. I do not like this redistribution, but I understand that it transition from current status cannot be done overnight and will take decades even if there is a general consensus to end welfare state.

Indirect means that money are taken from Peter and given to company XYZ for the services XYZ must provide to Peter. This sort of redistribution is much worse then the first one and can be (and must be!) abolished overnight. Let Peter decide what to do with his own money. He knows better what services he needs and what to pay for them.

Education as it is funded currently combined both of them (added benefit to the government - it is less visible that way). If money are given directly to parents, the indirect component is removed.

Now back to the question. Ideally I'd like to see no public funding. However, I understand that it is not feasible, as it indeed would be unfair to many people (it's like changing rules during the game, which is a cheating).
However, I see no reason why government run services cannot be replaced by direct payments to people.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 03:29 PM
Missed this bit the first time:


Why would the universities fell pressured to fund the services? Because students want these services?

Certainly some students want the services (especially if they can get them more cheaply than they need to be), but a lot of the desire for sporting success at university level also comes from staff and other connections.


I have a problem with any sort of laws intorduced by government to silence dissent.

This can be argued both ways. Dissent is not silenced as such by VSU, but it does reduce the resources available for expressing it. However, those resources were taken from others (the students forced to fund them) so there is a case that it was not legitimately-funded dissent in the first place.

Secondly, many student unions are elected primarily as a series of single-member portfolios with relatively little proportional representation. This means that the views of minorities within the active student movement are already "silenced" by being not represented (and those minorities pay for the representation of a view they don't agree with, when they could be using that money to promote their own view!) Student unions vary in their willingness to publicly admit to internal dissent and allow it to be expressed.


i.e. it makes Uni more affordable and hence more accessable.

Many anti-compulsion campaigners who were not Liberals supported a change in the laws for that reason. I do see the eventual introduction of VSU as being partly a case of the right things being done for the wrong reasons, but that happens pretty often in politics.

I am open to the idea of students being compelled to fund some parts of what was in the old services fees, like student services and advocacy to the university, if there is no other way to do it. But I find it difficult to believe that ways can be found to defer a student's entire HECS bill, but not to scrape up an extra $50-$100 per student to cover services.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 03:31 PM
But when an employer says "no pay rises", is your answer for the employee to "find another job"? I appreciate that the corollary isn't exact, but does it matter?

Thrown-in for nuisance value. I don't have the time (these days) fro political debates. But there's always tomorrow ;)

Yeah that is fine. As long as employee have the right to unionise so as to be able to collectively "negotiate" a pay rise.;)

Also I support a minimum standard for employee benefits (at least while our economy is in a position to support such benefits).

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 03:49 PM
This can be argued both ways. Dissent is not silenced as such by VSU, but it does reduce the resources available for expressing it. However, those resources were taken from others (the students forced to fund them) so there is a case that it was not legitimately-funded dissent in the first place.

Funding in politics is always a tricky business. It is a bit hypocritical of the Howard government to make a stand on this though considering the amount of tax payer funds it was using in its political campaign disguised as public information.


Secondly, many student unions are elected primarily as a series of single-member portfolios with relatively little proportional representation. This means that the views of minorities within the active student movement are already "silenced" by being not represented (and those minorities pay for the representation of a view they don't agree with, when they could be using that money to promote their own view!) Student unions vary in their willingness to publicly admit to internal dissent and allow it to be expressed.

That's representative democracy for you. You pay for the elected body regardless of whether they represent your views or not. Also minorities are always a tricky situation, either they are discriminated against or they exert an influence disproportionate to their size.

I've enjoyed your comments VSU they have been very informative.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 04:04 PM
It is a bit hypocritical of the Howard government to make a stand on this though considering the amount of tax payer funds it was using in its political campaign disguised as public information.

Absolutely. The Howard government was often happy about having its own snout in the trough but was not so happy about troughs it had difficulty getting access to.


That's representative democracy for you. You pay for the elected body regardless of whether they represent your views or not. Also minorities are always a tricky situation, either they are discriminated against or they exert an influence disproportionate to their size.

But the Federal government, the state parliaments of every state except Qld (upper house in all cases except Tas in which case it is the lower house), and a great many local councils have forms of proportional rep under which minorities can be represented fairly. If they exert a disproportionate influence relative to their size (which they sometimes do), that is only because the major parties let them by being willing to bring down each others' governments, which is rarely a problem at student level.

Admittedly it is hard to have PR at student level since you need people to be elected to do specific things, but the other solution is for student unions to realise they need to speak for their minorities as well as their majorities, even if eventually they need to indicate a policy preference one way or another. It's not like they can simply sweep internal dissent under the carpet and assume it won't get publicly expressed - as I proved once when I single-handedly upstaged a student rally at which the organisers only allowed the "majority" position to be expressed and refused to permit open mic at the end.


I've enjoyed your comments VSU they have been very informative.

Thanks; I am something of a veteran on that issue (my main motive for getting involved being the plethora of extremist Christian societies funded by compulsory fees on my campus), although it no longer affects me personally in any way.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 04:19 PM
Absolutely. The Howard government was often happy about having its own snout in the trough but was not so happy about troughs it had difficulty getting access to.
Then the answer is to limit the size of government. As it was, the ABC, funded by dollars coerced from the public by force, was usually pushing a leftist, anti-Howard line. One of his biggest omissions was failing to privatise this lot. So it's only natural that he wanted to counter the ABC and Union propaganda.

Now of course, Laba has this big summit full of pre-selected attendees designed to push Laba policy and claim it has the support of Australia.


I am something of a veteran on that issue (my main motive for getting involved being the plethora of extremist Christian societies funded by compulsory fees on my campus), although it no longer affects me personally in any way.
Isn't that the problem with compulsion in general? If all students are forced to cough up fees to support groups they have no interest in, or even oppose, then it's only natural that they will want some value for money. But under VSU, the Hobart Uni Misotheists Collective won't have to fund the Students for Christ, and vice versa.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 04:22 PM
Yeah that is fine. As long as employee have the right to unionise so as to be able to collectively "negotiate" a pay rise.;)
Sure. Freedom of association works both ways. Freedom to strike is also fine. What was not fine was the force exerted by union members, often augmented by government, that prevented other workers from taking their place.


Also I support a minimum standard for employee benefits (at least while our economy is in a position to support such benefits).
Fine, but you can't legislate that an employer must hire someone whose productivity is worth less than the wage plus benefits.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 04:25 PM
However I can understand why to government stepped in with VSU to make Uni education more affordable.
But the union fee was not part of the university per se, but for the Students Union. The problem was that the university provided force behind the union's demand.


Jono were do you stand on allowing uni's to charge complusory union fees if they so wish. Being that they are a private indusrty and all.
Sure, if they are genuinely private. But since they are largely funded by government, they are not private. Also, the government inhibits competition with entry barriers.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2008, 04:41 PM
Isn't that the problem with compulsion in general? If all students are forced to cough up fees to support groups they have no interest in, or even oppose, then it's only natural that they will want some value for money. But under VSU, the Hobart Uni Misotheists Collective won't have to fund the Students for Christ, and vice versa.

The "Hobart Uni Misotheists Collective" wouldn't have even been allowed to exist. The union had a strange policy against funding groups that were oriented towards a "negative" aim (of the "students against ..." type). Even "Students for Atheism" might not have been accepted, although the "Human Life Protection Society" (an anti-abortion anti-euthanasia group) had no problems. "Students for Satan" (actually an atheist group) was also fine although the Christian societies voted against affiliating it.

CameronD
07-05-2008, 05:01 PM
Would you support Mandatory Unionism for Universities if money were spent differently?

if the union just concentrated ...

1. Representing students when required
2. Giving students emergency support
3. Giving students advice/counselling

I would be content and not be concerned about mandatory unionism.



The problem is that unions are run by politicans in training. Mostly art students with the young liberal v young labor parties with extreme policies and beliefs.

Below is a list of what UQ Union performs

http://www.uqu.uq.edu.au/



Please note that the union is separate from the university and I would guess that the university would be scared of the unions.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 05:47 PM
The "Hobart Uni Misotheists Collective" wouldn't have even been allowed to exist. The union had a strange policy against funding groups that were oriented towards a "negative" aim (of the "students against ..." type). Even "Students for Atheism" might not have been accepted, although the "Human Life Protection Society" (an anti-abortion anti-euthanasia group) had no problems.
That's illogical. It's so easy to turn an "against" into a "for".



"Students for Satan" (actually an atheist group) was also fine although the Christian societies voted against affiliating it.
Again, a problem for compulsion in funding: it's a zero-sum game. US university unions have tried to deregister Christian groups too (http://www.thefire.org/index.php/topic/5).

Aaron Guthrie
07-05-2008, 05:51 PM
I was quite concerned at how weak the campaign against scrapping VSU was. This is a lobby group that is lobbying for it's own survival, so it should be giving us its best stuff at that point!

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 06:29 PM
There are two types of income redistribution - direct and indirect.
Direct means that money are taken from Peter to pay Paul. I do not like this redistribution, but I understand that it transition from current status cannot be done overnight and will take decades even if there is a general consensus to end welfare state.

Indirect means that money are taken from Peter and given to company XYZ for the services XYZ must provide to Peter. This sort of redistribution is much worse then the first one and can be (and must be!) abolished overnight. Let Peter decide what to do with his own money. He knows better what services he needs and what to pay for them.

Education as it is funded currently combined both of them (added benefit to the government - it is less visible that way). If money are given directly to parents, the indirect component is removed.

Now back to the question. Ideally I'd like to see no public funding. However, I understand that it is not feasible, as it indeed would be unfair to many people (it's like changing rules during the game, which is a cheating).
However, I see no reason why government run services cannot be replaced by direct payments to people.

Fair enough. It would be interesting to see what would happen to cost of education in a private profit driven model using rebates. A difference in quality of education between top tier and bottom tier as far a price went. Does anyone know how well state schools perform against their private (substaintially government funded) counterparts in the same suburbs.


Also what do you think of the concept that government organisations can deliver cheaper services becauses they are non-profit.

TheJoker
07-05-2008, 06:49 PM
Fine, but you can't legislate that an employer must hire someone whose productivity is worth less than the wage plus benefits.

No you can't but in those cases you've got a poor business model begin with. Have a look at the majority of companies and tell me what the ratio of wages is to the bottom line. You'll probably be surprised at how small the percentage is.

Secondly this is never the case as you take wages and benefits into account when costing a product or service. You might not be able to match the market price again in which case you have a poor business model.

I agree if such minimum standards result in significant levels of unemployment then they need adjustment.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 07:08 PM
No you can't but in those cases you've got a poor business model begin with.
Then that poor business will fold, and workers go elsewhere. There is no need for the government to interfere.

Secondly this is never the case as you take wages and benefits into account when costing a product or service. You might not be able to match the market price again in which case you have a poor business model.


I agree if such minimum standards result in significant levels of unemployment then they need adjustment.
It's logical: price floors have created surpluses for centuries. And it stops unskilled teens from picking up elementary work habits. Once they are in a low-paying job, they usually don't stay there as they acquire more productivity, as Walter Williams argues (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams113005.asp):


The primary beneficiaries of so-called McJobs are people who enter the workforce with modest or absent work skills in areas such as: being able to show up for work on time, operating a machine, counting change, greeting customers with decorum and courtesy, cooperating with fellow workers and accepting orders from supervisors. Very often the people who need these job skills, which some of us might trivialize, are youngsters who grew up in dysfunctional homes and attended rotten schools. It's a bottom rung on the economic ladder that provides them an opportunity to move up. For many, the financial component of a low-pay, low-skill job is not nearly as important as what they learn on the job that can make them more valuable workers in the future.



According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sixty-three percent of minimum wage workers receive raises within one year of employment, and only 15 percent still earn the minimum wage after three years. Moreover, only three percent of all hourly workers and two percent of wage and salary earners earn minimum wages. Most minimum wage earners are young — 53 percent are between the ages of 16 and 24.

Furthermore, only 5.3 percent of minimum wage earners are from households below the official poverty line; 40 percent of minimum wage earners live in households with incomes of $60,000 and higher, and over 82 percent of minimum wage earners do not have dependents.


then they need adjustment.
There is a mechanism already in place that would adjust, if it were allowed to: the market.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2008, 07:40 PM
Also what do you think of the concept that government organisations can deliver cheaper services becauses they are non-profit.
Practice shown time after time for that not to be the case. Main reason is that they are not for profit. As a result they do not have to try to improve their services or slash the cost.

Capablanca-Fan
07-05-2008, 09:27 PM
Fair enough. It would be interesting to see what would happen to cost of education in a private profit driven model using rebates.
Private schools have to do well to attract students. State schools have a captive audience, and would be expected to do as badly as the state groceries in the USSR, and for the same reason.

Even if the government must fund education, it doesn't mean it has to provide it. If it funded parents, then schools would compete to attract kids, just as our grocery chains have to perform to attract customers.

TheJoker
08-05-2008, 11:26 AM
Private schools have to do well to attract students. State schools have a captive audience.

Even if the government must fund education, it doesn't mean it has to provide it. If it funded parents, then schools would compete to attract kids

What's the current cost per student p.a. in current private (substaintially government funded) schools who have to compete not only for students with other private but also against non-profit government schools that have the appearance of being free to parents (although they are paying with thier tax dollars). Remove that government competition as the price will surely rise. Unless they can develop some significant economies of scale.

If I remeber correctly the OECD report on education showed that private schools spend more per student p.a. than a public schools. As I understand it this difference was offset by slighty better outcomes in the private schools.

How would you solve the problem of having a extremely tiered system. With parents who can't afford the expensive schools being offered significantly worse education for their children than middle/high income families?

The difference is likley to be like dinning at McDonalds or a Michelain star restaurant. To me that's not a "Fair Go" for kids from low income families.

TheJoker
08-05-2008, 11:40 AM
Practice shown time after time for that not to be the case. Main reason is that they are not for profit. As a result they do not have to try to improve their services or slash the cost.

This is a poor argument as KPIs can improve service levels and budgets can slash costs.

Secondly in OECD countries the cost per capita in health and education systems favours the public sector significantly. The USA is good example of the failure of private system in both of these areas. They have significantly higher spending in private education per capita, yet have some of the worst education outcomes.

You say practice has shown time and time again but you don't give any examples. I don't mean USSR which is a ridculous comparison!!! We are not talking about all services being state run we are talking about those services that might not be profitable (i.e. seniors health care) or where it is important that the whole of society has equal access and quality (like education).

Capablanca-Fan
08-05-2008, 12:00 PM
What's the current cost per student p.a. in current private (substaintially government funded) schools who have to compete not only for students with other private but also against non-profit government schools that have the appearance of being free to parents (although they are paying with thier tax dollars). Remove that government competition as the price will surely rise.
In America, the cost per student is lower in the private schools. Walter Williams argues in Educational Vouchers (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1765):


… opponents of vouchers and school choice … will no doubt shift their focus to: "We must save public schools instead of draining money away for school choice." That, too, is bogus.

Try a little math. Take Washington, D.C., which spends over $10,000 per student for education whose student achievement would be dead last if Mississippi chose to secede from the Union. Suppose Washington gave each parent even a $5,000 voucher — that wouldn't mean less money available per student. To the contrary, holding total education expenditures constant, it'd mean more money per student remaining in public schools.


Unless they can develop some significant economies of scale.
But the government schools develop a significant diseconomy of scale. In America, where the schools are even more unionized, much of the money goes to the bloated educracy rather than the classroom.


If I remeber correctly the OECD report on education showed that private schools spend more per student p.a. than a public schools.
The OECD is a corrupt leftist governmental cartel that whinges about other countries that have lower taxes, calling it "harmful tax competition" that draws good people away from confiscatory regimes and thus money away from their welfare states. See Walter Williams' articles The Pope Sanctions the OECD Thugs (http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/the-pope-sanctions-the-oecd-thugs.html)and International thuggery (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams122700.asp)


How would you solve the problem of having a extremely tiered system. With parents who can't afford the expensive schools being offered significantly worse education for their children than middle/high income families?
But the point is, vouchers would help poor families much more than rich ones to get their kids into better schools. Rich people don't need them, but it would make a huge difference to low income earners currently stuck in failing public schools.

Strong supporting evidence comes from the fact that American public school teachers send their own kids to private schools in a much higher proportion to other Americans.


The difference is likley to be like dinning at McDonalds or a Michelain star restaurant. To me that's not a "Fair Go" for kids from low income families.
If the government really wanted to fund food, then again it would be better to fund the consumers rather than the producers. Once more, it would enable poor families to go to the star restaurants. If we funded the food outlets, we can be sure that quality would deteriorate.

Capablanca-Fan
08-05-2008, 12:11 PM
Secondly in OECD countries the cost per capita in health and education systems favours the public sector significantly. The USA is good example of the failure of private system in both of these areas.
No it's not. The problems with the USA system are due to government interference. The government subsidizes insurance through employers, whereas if people paid for their own insurance and saved it for major expenses, then patients and doctors would be more cost-conscious. Walter Williams points out in Health Care: Government vs. Private (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4999)


Our health care system is hampered by government intervention, and the solution is not more government intervention but less.

The tax treatment of health insurance, where premiums are deducted from employees' pre-tax income, explains why so many of us rely on our employers to select and pay for health insurance. Since there is a third-party payer, we have little incentive to shop around and wisely use health services.

There are "guaranteed issue" laws that require insurance companies to sell health insurance to any person seeking it. So why not wait until you're sick before purchasing insurance? Guaranteed issue laws make about as much sense as if you left your house uninsured until you had a fire, and then purchased insurance to cover the damage. Guaranteed issue laws raise insurance premiums for all. Then there are government price controls, such as the reimbursement schemes for Medicaid. As a result, an increasing number of doctors are unwilling to treat Medicaid patients.

Before we buy into single-payer health care systems like Canada's and the United Kingdom's, we might want to do a bit of research. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute annually publishes "Waiting Your Turn." Its 2006 edition gives waiting times, by treatments, from a person's referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist. The shortest waiting time was for oncology (4.9 weeks). The longest waiting time was for orthopedic surgery (40.3 weeks), followed by plastic surgery (35.4 weeks) and neurosurgery (31.7 weeks).

As reported in the June 28 National Center for Policy Analysis' "Daily Policy Digest," Britain's Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients waits more than a year for surgery. France's failed health care system resulted in the deaths of 13,000 people, mostly of dehydration, during the heat spell of 2003. Hospitals stopped answering the phones, and ambulance attendants told people to fend for themselves.

Another article points out that the USA system is hardly free market (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5104):


Private health insurance is an expensive mess at the moment because we do not have anything approaching a free market in insurance. In that context, contending over claims with an insurance company can be painful. That situation will not be improved if everyone is required to buy private insurance from firms that know that they have to do so.

You cannot buy fire insurance for your home after it catches fire. You cannot buy automobile insurance to pay for your car repairs after the accident occurs. That is not due to greed and the profit motive, but to reality and common sense, and it is not a reason to abolish fire and auto insurance companies. Health insurance coverage for major illness or injuries is seldom available after they have occurred and are being treated. That is a serious problem for many people without insurance, but not a reason to outlaw private insurance.

Inexpensive insurance is impossible for individuals to find in most states--because it is forbidden by law. State regulators do not allow for basic or catastrophic insurance but pile on coverage requirements, which drives up the cost of premiums. State regulators do not allow competition from insurance companies in other states, which drives up the cost of insurance. States and the U.S. government require individuals who struggle to buy their own insurance to pay income and payroll taxes on the funds they use to buy insurance, which further drives up the cost of insurance.

Those who admire the supposed efficiency of government insurance do not count the administrative costs of paying taxes for individuals and businesses, the administrative cost of the IRS and its 100,000+ employees to collect those taxes, the cost on providers of contending with 130,000 pages of Medicare regulations, or the cost of fraud and the lack of cost control. The need to make a profit to stay in business requires insurance companies to restrain costs and weed out fraud.

It is not true, though it is often said, that most industrialized countries have eliminated private insurance. Some have, like Canada, although even there laws prohibiting private insurance have been declared unconstitutional by the Canadian Supreme Court. But most countries with a large government role in medical care have still found it necessary to use private insurance companies to administer care. Examples include Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Private insurance is still permitted in the United Kingdom, and more than 6,000,000 people there (including more than one third of the physicians) choose to buy insurance rather than rely exclusively on the National Health Service.


They have significantly higher spending in private education per capita, yet have some of the worst education outcomes.
Come off it. The US education system is dominated by the teachers unions in cahoots with the Democrats and gutless RINOs.


You say practice has shown time and time again but you don't give any examples. I don't mean USSR which is a ridculous comparison!!! We are not talking about all services being state run we are talking about those services that might not be profitable (i.e. seniors health care) or where it is important that the whole of society has equal access and quality (like education).
It is hardly a ridiculous comparison. The USSR shows what state run "services" are like. Yet you want our health and education systems to remain Sovietized. I prefer that they were run like private businesses, which must please customers to survive.

Igor_Goldenberg
08-05-2008, 01:30 PM
What's the current cost per student p.a. in current private (substaintially government funded) schools who have to compete not only for students with other private but also against non-profit government schools that have the appearance of being free to parents (although they are paying with thier tax dollars). Remove that government competition as the price will surely rise. Unless they can develop some significant economies of scale.


At the moment private school receive less funding from the government then state schools. As a result they can only compete for high to middle-high income families children.

Indeed, if government gives 8000pa per student to public schools and 5000pa to private school, competition for the low to low-middle income students is almost impossible.

Price tag for most independent schools is quite hefty. I am not sure what is the story with catholic schools which, I heard, more reasonably priced. Myybe someone with more information can tell what the story is.

TheJoker
10-05-2008, 01:54 AM
At the moment private school receive less funding from the government then state schools. As a result they can only compete for high to middle-high income families children.

Indeed, if government gives 8000pa per student to public schools and 5000pa to private school, competition for the low to low-middle income students is almost impossible.

Price tag for most independent schools is quite hefty. I am not sure what is the story with catholic schools which, I heard, more reasonably priced. Myybe someone with more information can tell what the story is.


From the Sydney Moring Herald (27/1/2008):
- Average fee for Catholic schools: $5099

- Average voluntary contributions for NSW public primary schools: $37

- Average voluntary contributions for NSW public secondary schools: $80

- Extra costs (uniforms, textbooks, extracurricular activities and school trips) for private schools: $2300

- Extra costs for Catholic schools: $1600

- Extra costs for public schools: $1200

- Average fee for independent schools: $14,201

Also according to SMH (23/5/2007):

"Today, the budget shows public schools getting 31 per cent of the money while the private schools get 69 per cent. But public schools still have two-thirds of the enrolments"

TheJoker
10-05-2008, 02:12 AM
No it's not. The problems with the USA system are due to government interference. The government subsidizes insurance through employers, whereas if people paid for their own insurance and saved it for major expenses, then patients and doctors would be more cost-conscious. Walter Williams points out...

I prefer that they were run like private businesses, which must please customers to survive.

Jono how abut address the issue of non-profitable customers like senior citizens healthcare. Anyone who has half a business brain knows that you don't offer non-profitable services unless you are forced to do so by legislation.

If the OECD figures were so out of whack as you suggest then why are they held in such high respect in the business community? Your libertarian propagnda does hold up to scrutiny. I have argued the health care system with you previously in another thread you failed to come up with any statistics for a reputable source (not an opinio piece) that substainated any of your claims that a private healthcare is cheaper than public healthcare (OECD stats indicate the exact opposite) or that the quality of service is significantly improved. Same goes for education.

According to SMH private school fees cost on average $5000 per student p.a. more than public school fees and private schools recieve more government funding (69% of total funding to private and 31% to public) despite 66% of student being enrolled in the public system.

Considering the "disconomies of scale" of the "educracy" you would think the private schools should be paying th e students to attend considering the receive the bulf of the funding despite having less enrollements. :doh:

I like to hear your assessment of the Australian situation (not the USA system). Obviously there is going to be a massive quality difference between public and private (I find it hard to a call them that when they recieve more government funding that the public schools) considering the massive difference is cost per student.

Capablanca-Fan
10-05-2008, 02:23 AM
Jono how abut address the issue of non-profitable customers like senior citizens healthcare. Anyone who has half a business brain knows that you don't offer non-profitable services unless you are forced to do so by legislation.
Typical lefty in your love of force. And legislation merely disguises the costs, which by definition must exist if the service is non-profitable.


If the OECD figures were so out of whack as you suggest then why are they held in such high respect in the business community?
Why do you ask such leading questions? The fact remains is that they are a cartel that love high taxes.


Your libertarian propagnda does hold up to scrutiny. I have argued the health care system with you previously in another thread you failed to come up with any statistics for a reputable source (not an opinio piece) that substainated any of your claims that a private healthcare is cheaper than public healthcare (OECD stats indicate the exact opposite) or that the quality of service is significantly improved. Same goes for education.
I've shown that all your beloved examples of socialized medicine have bad rationing problems, and many people from Canada move to the American system you hate so much, because at least they can be treated instead of dying.


According to SMH private school cost on average $5000 per student p.a. more than public schools, despite receiving only $300 less in funding according to Igor. How exactly do you explain the $4,700 increase in costs?
Your claims are different from the American experience where the proposed vouchers are much less than the spending per child in the government school system. It's likely that the costs of private schools could come down if more people are enabled to attend thanx to vouchers. And what is the real cost per child in the examples you gave, as opposed to the amount parents are charged directly? This is the relevant comparison.

I have given links to show that much educational spending goes to the educracy, and earlier I had pointed out that in QLD health, the number of bureaucrats is increasing much faster than the number of actual medical staff. The diseconomy of scale is very real in both.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-05-2008, 07:09 PM
According to SMH private school fees cost on average $5000 per student p.a. more than public school fees and private schools recieve more government funding (69% of total funding to private and 31% to public) despite 66% of student being enrolled in the public system.


Is it just the federal government or state and federal government?
Public school are mostly funded from the state budget, private schools - from the federal. I doubt total funding of private schools is higher on average (or even close to) public schools.

Also, as far as I know, private schools are not funded evenly, some receive much more then the others.

TheJoker
10-05-2008, 09:57 PM
Why do you ask such leading questions? The fact remains is that they are a cartel that love high taxes.
Fact my arse!!!


I've shown that all your beloved examples of socialized medicine have bad rationing problems, and many people from Canada move to the American system you hate so much, because at least they can be treated instead of dying.

You've done nothing except provide some scarce ancedotal evidence in order to mislead people about the facts. Those on waiting lists in Canada are only waiting for elective procedures. And the number of people from Canada treated in the US is minimal, and the number that travel o the US specifically for medical treatment is minute. You can refer to our previous discussion for the academic research.



Your claims are different from the American experience where the proposed vouchers are much less than the spending per child in the government school system. It's likely that the costs of private schools could come down if more people are enabled to attend thanx to vouchers. And what is the real cost per child in the examples you gave, as opposed to the amount parents are charged directly? This is the relevant comparison.

Wht method would you use to calculate such a real cost. Of course any method other Activity Based Costing is likely to produce an innaccurate result. Governement tend not to use ABC since is a very time consuming process. So trying to allocate the cost of government as an overhead to students is nigh impossible.

How would you suggest calculating a real cost?


I have given links to show that much educational spending goes to the educracy, and earlier I had pointed out that in QLD health, the number of bureaucrats is increasing much faster than the number of actual medical staff. The diseconomy of scale is very real in both.

Actually the number of staff providing indirect labour is increasing in business worldwide not just the public sector. It is now estimated that only 2% of costs are based on direct labour. Indirect now account for an average of 90% of the cost of business worldwide. Does not indicate a diseconomy of scale at all. :rolleyes:

Secondly again according to SMH more education spending goes to propping up private schools that already charge exorbadant fees!!!

TheJoker
10-05-2008, 10:11 PM
Is it just the federal government or state and federal government?
Public school are mostly funded from the state budget, private schools - from the federal. I doubt total funding of private schools is higher on average (or even close to) public schools.

Also, as far as I know, private schools are not funded evenly, some receive much more then the others.

To be honest I am not sure whether this refers to total funding or just federal funding. Perhaps you might be able to source such stats? However I do know the OECD stats show that the efficiency of funds employed to outcomes achieved favours the private schools by 2% (a significant but not substaintial margin). I personally suspect the better outcomes is likley due to the demographics of the student population rather than the efficiency of the business model.

I would agree that a rebate system could work if it could be shown that the cost of private education was on par or significantly less than public education. And if you could ensure that the rebate amount would be sufficient to allow private schools to deliver a quality education whilst making a profit at level that would encourage capital investment. Also I would be concerned that investors might be willing to compromise quality for profits where they have a captive market.

Just haven't seen any figures to prove that any of this.

TheJoker
10-05-2008, 11:35 PM
According to the ABC program Difference of Opinion

Total Public Funding (state and federal) per student

Private Schools $6,000p.a.

Public Schools $10,500p.a.

So if you add the costs paid by the parents roughly $6,000p.a.

Cost per Student per annum

Private - $12,000

Public - $10,500

I don't know what the difference in results is. I expect the private schools have better results, but whether this is due to the extra funding employed or the student demographics is not clear.

I also think the reason more children are moving to private education is to try and obtain an advantage in the workforce. If you have ever done business in Sydney you will understand the importance of having attended a "brand" name school like "St. Joseph's" or "Newington". Being that the universities are open to anyone unlike the US where you can pay to go to Ivy league schools.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-05-2008, 11:45 PM
According to the ABC program Difference of Opinion

Total Public Funding (state and federal) per student

Private Schools $6,000p.a.

Public Schools $10,500p.a.

So if you add the costs paid by the parents roughly $6,000p.a.

Cost per Student per annum

Private - $12,000

Public - $10,500

I don't know what the difference in results is. I expect the private schools have better results, but whether this is due to the extra funding employed or the student demographics is not clear.

Thanks for the stats. I am not sure what you mean by demographics. I think the main reason for better results in private schools is that students come from families that put more emphasis on education.

Difference in funding of 4500 means that private schools only compete at the high end, making private education very difficult for middle class and almost impossible for low-income.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-05-2008, 11:48 PM
I would agree that a rebate system could work if it could be shown that the cost of private education was on par or significantly less than public education. And if you could ensure that the rebate amount would be sufficient to allow private schools to deliver a quality education whilst making a profit at level that would encourage capital investment. Also I would be concerned that investors might be willing to compromise quality for profits where they have a captive market.

Just haven't seen any figures to prove that any of this.

No doubt many private schools under that model will be far from ideal. But we need to compare them with existing public schools (and believe me, many of them are shocking).

Capablanca-Fan
10-05-2008, 11:48 PM
Also I would be concerned that investors might be willing to compromise quality for profits where they have a captive market.
You're talking about a captive market, you who support the captive market in the current government school system?! Shouldn't be surprising, from one who professes opposition to predatory pricing and cartels, ignoring that the government (and government-backed unions) were the biggest offenders.

CameronD
10-05-2008, 11:51 PM
i dont want tolive in a world like America.

I'm happy to continue to pay my taxes for every person has the chance to go through quality education and go tertiary training through government support if required. I dont want a sysem where it is strongly restricted to the wealth of your parents.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-05-2008, 11:54 PM
i dont want tolive in a world like America.

I'm happy to continue to pay my taxes for every person has the chance to go through quality education and go tertiary training through government support if required. I dont want a sysem where it is strongly restricted to the wealth of your parents.
As a matter of fact, quality education now is restricted to wealthy. Low income families have no choice but to send their kids into public school. They cannot even choose a school (without moving to a different suburb).

Capablanca-Fan
10-05-2008, 11:57 PM
i dont want to live in a world like America.
You clearly know little of this. America has Pell Grants for students from poor families. But I wouldn't want to live in America either: far too bloated government, and too many all-powerful bureaucratic agencies who can destroy people's lives.


I'm happy to continue to pay my taxes
What you really mean is, you're happy to continue to confiscate my earnings at gunpoint to spend on other people. Well, if you did that yourself, it would be considered criminal, but apparently not if you can persuade a majority in Parliament.


for every person has the chance to go through quality education and go tertiary training through government support if required.
I.e. low income earners must subsidise people who will earn far more?


I dont want a sysem where it is strongly restricted to the wealth of your parents.
A school voucher system would solve that.

CameronD
11-05-2008, 12:08 AM
People dont choose their parents and the situation they are born into. Thats why I believe in high minumin standards and opportunities for all people based on merit through to tertiary completion.

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 01:26 AM
People dont choose their parents and the situation they are born into.
And vouchers would ameliorate that, benefiting poor people more. At present, poor families are stuck with the government school of their area. And because they have a captive market, there is no incentive to improve. If the government funded parents, then schools would have to improve to gain students.


Thats why I believe in high minumin standards and opportunities for all people based on merit through to tertiary completion.
Think about the things we use that have high standard: are they supplied by government or by competition in the market? How good do you think food, computers, cars, entertainment would be if it was supplied by government? Why do so many public school teachers send their own kids to private schools?

Walter Williams writes in Common Sense vs. Experts (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams090398.html):


LET'S PAUSE A MOMENT to consider a simple query: Name one thing that has improved since "experts" took over.

How about public education? Until the 1960s, we didn't have hoards of school administrators, consultants and educational research spending. However, in those days, kids who graduated from high school had a much higher achievement level than today. There's one estimate that a 1947 high school diploma was equivalent to today's college degree.

TheJoker
11-05-2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the stats. I am not sure what you mean by demographics. I think the main reason for better results in private schools is that students come from families that put more emphasis on education.

Difference in funding of 4500 means that private schools only compete at the high end, making private education very difficult for middle class and almost impossible for low-income.

That's exactly what I mean by demographics, I doubt private schools could maintain their 2% greater efficiency margin (costs:results) if they had to cater for students where education was not a priority as the public schools do. When people talk about better quality of education delivered by private schools in terms of academic results they often fail to consider this factor.

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 01:18 PM
That's exactly what I mean by demographics, I doubt private schools could maintain their 2% greater efficiency margin (costs:results) if they had to cater for students where education was not a priority as the public schools do.
Where did you get that idea? In public schools, there is usually regression to the mean. Slower kids are promoted before they have mastered their previous classes, and bright kids are bored out of their minds and become disruptive or are enslaved with "busy work".

TheJoker
11-05-2008, 01:31 PM
Think about the things we use that have high standard: are they supplied by government or by competition in the market? ... computers, cars, entertainment would be if it was supplied by government?

No-one denies that a market economy provides higher standars of goods but only to those that can afford them. Some people believe children should have equal access to education, not based of what their parents can afford.


Why do so many public school teachers send their own kids to private schools?

It is to do with the importance of having gone to a "brand" name school when it comes to operating in the business world. If you've done business in Sydney you will understand what I mean. What high school you went to is more important than your performance at uni. It is often a covert form of class discrimination.


There's one estimate that a 1947 high school diploma was equivalent to today's college degree.

Who's estimate based on what evidence! There is probably a reason why there is only one such estimate ;). Alot of theory taught in university toady wasn't even around in 1947.:rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 01:41 PM
No-one denies that a market economy provides higher standars of goods but only to those that can afford them.
No, you are totally wrong here. The beauty of a market economy is that it has enabled most people to have goods that previously only the rich could afford. E.g. thanks to Henry Ford, most people can afford their own cars, so have autonomous transport. Previously, the rich could afford their own carriage drivers, but poorer people could not. The market economy also enabled running water, which is a huge difference to poorer people, but rich people could hire running servants.

Walter Williams documents (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams102898.asp):


In 1995, 41 percent of all "poor" households owned their own homes. The average size of that home was three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, a garage and a porch or patio. Three-quarters of a million "poor" owned homes worth over $150,000; some of those homes sported Jacuzzis and pools. The average "poor" American has one-third more living space than the average Japanese, 25 percent more than the average Frenchman, 40 percent more than the average Greek and four times more than the average Russian.

Seventy percent of "poor" households own a car; 27 percent own two or more cars. Ninety-seven percent have a color television; nearly half own two or more televisions. Two-thirds of "poor" households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning. America's "poor" people aren't hungry, either. In fact, "poor" people are more likely to be overweight than higher-income people. The average consumption of proteins, vitamins and minerals is virtually the same for poor as middle-income children, and in most cases above government recommended minimums.


Some people believe children should have equal access to education, not based of what their parents can afford.
I do too, hence my support of school vouchers. Once again, they would have far more effect on poor families, who would thus have a better chance of getting into a decent school. They make little difference to rich people, who can afford decent schools anywa. This is why we see the disgusting spectacle of rich leftists opposing vouchers while sending their own kids to the best private schools money can buy — including public school teachers themselves!


It is to do with the importance of having gone to a "brand" name school when it comes to operating in the business world.
Brand names are more likely to matter for non-profits, like the civil service (cf. Yes Minister). There is a cost to discrimination, and this is less likely to be affordable in the free market. See Walter Williams again (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams082498.html).


Who's estimate based on what evidence! There is probably a reason why there is only one such estimate ;). Alot of theory taught in university toady wasn't even around in 1947.:rolleyes:
More likely, today's graduates would struggle on a high school exam from the 1940s. Modern universities often have to have remedial reading and mathematics courses. Yet far more money has been poured into the black hole of the government educracy.

TheJoker
11-05-2008, 01:56 PM
Where did you get that idea? In public schools, there is usually regression to the mean. Slower kids are promoted before they have mastered their previous classes, and bright kids are bored out of their minds and become disruptive or are enslaved with "busy work".

It is well known that schools (public or private) that schools are in higher income areas get better results. We are talking standardised tests here not number of graduations.

Are you seriously trying to deny this???

Since more public schools service low-income areas than private schools. It is obvious that overall private schools will have a higher standard of result due to their location. :wall:

What you are trying to claim in that private schools are significantly more efficient in term of result:costs basis. The stats show that efficiency margin to be 2%, I think that this is likely due to the fact they are located in areas of society where a premium is placed o education hence the better results.

I believe the full privatisation education would lead to rising costs. From the stats available the cost per student is much higher in private schools already, I just don't see any reason why there would be a reduction?

And the thought that people only choose a product based on quality is utter rubbish. Just look an the price of some brand name clothes compared to an identical quality unbranded item. You would based on quality:price ratio the branded should be less popular not more!!!! There is a lot more to consumerism than price and quality.

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 02:02 PM
It is well known that schools (public or private) that schools are in higher income areas get better results.
Yes of course. But you oppose school vouchers that would enable poorer families to attend such schools.

And if public schools were so great, then they should have nothing to fear from competition enabled by vouchers. You evidently think they would lose in fair competition, and I agree!


I believe the full privatisation education would lead to rising costs.
Rising costs? Already costs are through the roof because of the associated bureaucracies. Yet educational outcomes are lower. Far too many people still can't read, write or add up. See also Walter Williams' column, More money, better education? (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams020599.asp), showing that raising teachers' salaries and reducing average class size hasn't helped.


Just look an the price of some brand name clothes compared to an identical quality unbranded item. You would based on quality:price ratio the branded should be less popular not more!!!! There is a lot more to consumerism than price and quality.
I agree, and often buy no-brand items myself. But that should be my choice. You would deny choice to poor people in their schooling.

TheJoker
11-05-2008, 02:35 PM
No, you are totally wrong here. The beauty of a market economy is that it has enabled most people to have goods that previously only the rich could afford. E.g. thanks to Henry Ford, most people can afford their own cars, so have autonomous transport. Previously, the rich could afford their own carriage drivers, but poorer people could not. The market economy also enabled running water, which is a huge difference to poorer people, but rich people could hire running servants.

Yes a market economy fuels innovation no doubt, but at any given point in time only the richest people can afford the highest quality products. It is true that as we progress those products becom more affordable and filter down to low-income earners. Although the number of people who do not have cars still far exceeds those that do!




Walter Williams documents (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams102898.asp):

In 1995, 41 percent of all "poor" households owned their own homes. The average size of that home was three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, a garage and a porch or patio. Three-quarters of a million "poor" owned homes worth over $150,000; some of those homes sported Jacuzzis and pools.

This is typical BS. Their debt is likley to exceed their equity in most cases they do not own any of this stuff and if they were a businessthey would be declared insolvent.



I do too, hence my support of school vouchers. Once again, they would have far more effect on poor families, who would thus have a better chance of getting into a decent school. They make little difference to rich people, who can afford decent schools anywa. This is why we see the disgusting spectacle of rich leftists opposing vouchers while sending their own kids to the best private schools money can buy — [I]including public school teachers themselves!

Perhaps they believe that the vouchers would make low-income children worse off! A point you are not even willing to consider:rolleyes:

I would be happy to go to voucher system if I thought it would deliver education mre efficiently (higher standards at lower costs) but in opinion based on the figures this is unlikley.

Secondly how would you ever get the support of all those rich families when you tell them there will no longer be any public funding (vouchers) for their children. Don't foget the previous government established middle-class and high-class welfare to such an extent that it will almost impossible to remove.

Imagine telling Kings College it will lose 3 million in funding. You will have an uproar on your hands!


More likely, today's graduates would struggle on a high school exam from the 1940s. Modern universities often have to have remedial reading and mathematics courses. Yet far more money has been poured into the black hole of the government educracy.

Firstly this may apply in the US, which is interesting considering US has the highest ratio of private to public education spendng in the OECD.

Secondly such a statemwnt without any data to back it up in nothing more than personal opinion.

Igor_Goldenberg
11-05-2008, 02:46 PM
This is typical BS. Their debt is likley to exceed their equity in most cases they do not own any of this stuff and if they were a businessthey would be declared insolvent.

Let's put it this way. The decision to buy certain consumer goods (including the home) might've been unwise. However, banks would never lend them money if they did not believe those "poor people" cannot repay.
In overwhelming majority of the cases debts are essentially repaid.
As far as debt exceeding equity - anything to back it up?



Secondly how would you ever get the support of all those rich families when you tell them there will no longer be any public funding (vouchers) for their children. Don't foget the previous government established middle-class and high-class welfare to such an extent that it will almost impossible to remove.


Middle class welfare is financed by the taxes middle class pay. Ridiculous situation indeed. But I think vouchers should be given to every parent.

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Yes a market economy fuels innovation no doubt, but at any given point in time only the richest people can afford the highest quality products.
Of course. But this is the typical envy-mongering of lefties. Their view can be summed up in Churchill's quip: they hate inequality of wealth and prefer equalization of poverty. Lefties think that unless something is available to all, it should be available to none.


It is true that as we progress those products becom more affordable and filter down to low-income earners.
And that's the main point! You would stop this? It is the poor people who benefit most.


Although the number of people who do not have cars still far exceeds those that do!
Not in the places where the market is allowed to operate.


This is typical BS. Their debt is likley to exceed their equity in most cases they do not own any of this stuff and if they were a businessthey would be declared insolvent.
Come off it. Even in the subprime crisis, only about 2% of mortgages face foreclosure. And this problem was started by Congress, forcing banks to lend to borrowers who would otherwise be considered credit risks.

Fact remains that even the "poor" in America are wealthier than nearly all people imprisoned in centrally planned economies.


Perhaps they believe that the vouchers would make low-income children worse off! A point you are not even willing to consider:rolleyes:
How so? Typical lefty, pretending to care about the poor, but supporting policies that give them less chance of getting out of poverty (including by education). But leftist politicians need victims for votes.


I would be happy to go to voucher system if I thought it would deliver education mre efficiently (higher standards at lower costs) but in opinion based on the figures this is unlikley.
Figures in America show that they would cost much less than the money spent per child in the state system with its bloated educracy. And you still haven't dealt with the basic economics: competition encourages providers to strive for quality to attract customers; with a captive market, there is no incentive to improve.


Secondly how would you ever get the support of all those rich families when you tell them there will no longer be any public funding (vouchers) for their children. Don't foget the previous government established middle-class and high-class welfare to such an extent that it will almost impossible to remove.
Abbott defended this as an alternative to the poverty trap resulting if benefits were cut off too sharply, resulting in a high effective marginal tax rate. The LDP's negative taxation scheme is far superior, eliminating both the poverty trap and bloated welfare budget, and the tax/welfare churning Igor noted above.


Imagine telling Kings College it will lose 3 million in funding. You will have an uproar on your hands!
Do they get that much? If so, it would still be much less than the lower-performing government schools. But if the government funded parents, Kings would have nothing to worry about if it were a good school that could attract students.


Firstly this may apply in the US, which is interesting considering US has the highest ratio of private to public education spendng in the OECD.
In the US, the public schools receive huge amounts of spending, while the private schools get negligible amounts. And here we see Joker supporting that high-tax government cartel OECD which tries to bull countries into raising taxes to avoid tax competition.


Secondly such a statemwnt without any data to back it up in nothing more than personal opinion.
It happens to be true. Why else would there be a paper Remedial Reading for University Students (http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED461093&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED461093):


The university curriculum leans heavily upon reading for a major way of learning in almost all academic disciplines, and problems with reading will hinder student achievement in the university. What should be done on the remedial level of instruction in reading so that the university student may proceed in working on degree requirements? First, the remedial reading instructor needs to determine where the student is presently in reading achievement. Once the remedial reading designate has determined a selected baseline as to where the student is in reading, he or she may ascertain the kinds of assistance necessary for the student to make more optimal and continuous progress in reading achievement. The student may reveal a necessity for word recognition skills. And beyond word identification, the student may have demonstrated a need for assistance in comprehending ideas. Diagnosis and remediation in university student reading should make for better readers. There are selected learning principles taken from educational psychology that the designated remedial reading instructor should aspire toward in working with students: there needs to be active engagement in learning by the student; the instructor must help the student accept reasons for becoming a better reader; the instructor's learning objectives need to be understood by the student; quality sequence must be in the offing in teaching university students to read at an acceptable level of achievement; and students need to appraise the self in achievement.

TheJoker
11-05-2008, 08:40 PM
Of course. But this is the typical envy-mongering of lefties. Their view can be summed up in Churchill's quip: they hate inequality of wealth and prefer equalization of poverty.

Hisotry shows when you don't address distribution of wealth problems it inevitably leads to conflict.

Secondly if the market economy distributed the rewards more evenly there wouldn't be such a problem (i.e. a more equal distribution of profits between workers and investors).


Not in the places where the market is allowed to operate.

Yes even in places where the market is allowed to operate!



Come off it. Even in the subprime crisis, only about 2% of mortgages face foreclosure. And this problem was started by Congress, forcing banks to lend to borrowers who would otherwise be considered credit risks.

Try 15% at present expected to double to 30%. Even those that are not being foreclosed on still do not have assets to cover their liabilities, that is insolvent. They have a negative equity, that is why the lenders prefer to have them to continue to pay anything, rather than realise the lose on loan. Hoping that the equity in th house will rise no fall.

And again it was the securitisation of loans that was the main cause the sub-prime crisis but we have been over this a million times and you still can't understand.



Fact remains that even the "poor" in America are wealthier

Again alot have zero wealth. All their assets a fininaced by debt and level of debt is greater than the value of the assets this is not wealth!



How so?

There is plenty of information out suggesting why public education should remain I suggest you read it!


Figures in America show that they would cost much less than the money spent per child in the state system with its bloated educracy. And you still haven't dealt with the basic economics: competition encourages providers to strive for quality to attract customers; with a captive market, there is no incentive to improve.

That is BS you can put measures in place to improve performance for non-profits they are called budgets and KPIs. Their is absolutely no need to have a profit focus to drive efficiency. Profit in a market system is more about driving private investment.

It's all about management and having an engaged public who are aware of how their tax dollars are being invested. The problem is the community looks at spending (i.e. Governments always promise to spend more on education rather than less) rather than efficiency.

The competition is already their with private schools, perhaps a funing system based on the income of the students enrolled would be better (i.e. those schools with more low inome students receive more funding).




Do they get that much? If so, it would still be much less than the lower-performing government schools.

Are you sure about that?



In the US, the public schools receive huge amounts of spending, while the private schools get negligible amounts.

You can't deny the fact that the US spends more per capita on private education than any other country in the OECD and still has terrible education outcomes.

IIRC our education outcomes are generally considered second behind finland.



It happens to be true. Why else would there be a paper

International Students that have english as a second language? Those rich kids who paid their way into Harvard.

Perhaps George W. Bush should sign up for a remedial reading course. If he can graduate from the world's most prestigous private school Harvard with honours, it is obvious that deficiencies in literacy are not limited to the public system. It also indicates that being literate may not be as important as you think, when the "leader of the free world" has trouble stringing together a few coherant sentences. :lol:

Basil
11-05-2008, 08:47 PM
Secondly if the market economy distributed the rewards more evenly there wouldn't be such a problem (i.e. a more equal distribution of profits between workers and investors).
I confess to just jumping in. I haven't read the thread let alone your entire post, but your statement is the very essence of of the problem noted by Jono. When you say "equal distribution", do you mean even as in 'one for you one for me, two for you two for me' etc; or do you mean equitable distribution?

I hope you mean equitable (which has nothing to do with the 'one for you one for me' idea) and if so, what examples of "not equal distribution between profits and investors" can you show? I'd even settle for a hypothetical at this stage.

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2008, 09:20 PM
Hisotry shows when you don't address distribution of wealth problems it inevitably leads to conflict.
Yes, because demagogues whip up envy to steal wealth from one class to give to another, by convincing poor people that they are poor because rich people are rich (or that poor countries are poor because rich countries are rich).


Secondly if the market economy distributed the rewards more evenly there wouldn't be such a problem (i.e. a more equal distribution of profits between workers and investors).
Therein lies the problem: most wealth is not distributed at all! Most is held by those who earned it. This applies to countries as a whole as well as to individuals within it. Lefties prattle on as if there was some wealth distribution fairy that is not distributing fairly.

But the reason someone like Tiger Woods is wealthy is that millions of people pay good money to see him play. Prattling on about "unequal distribution" is really saying that some Anointed class has the right to second-guess such free decisions.


Yes even in places where the market is allowed to operate!
Strange, most of the world's basketcases refuse to allow it.


And again it was the securitisation of loans that was the main cause the sub-prime crisis but we have been over this a million times and you still can't understand.
I've documented a million times how Congress instituted the Community Reinvestment Act that pressured lenders into making unsafe loans. And some borrowers contributed to their own misfortune by overstating their income, in the hope that they would profit from the boom.


There is plenty of information out suggesting why public education should remain I suggest you read it!
Why don't you provide this. I am more interested in kids getting good education, not "saving the public schools" which should be merely a means to this not an end in itself as teachers unions want.


That is BS you can put measures in place to improve performance for non-profits they are called budgets and KPIs. Their is absolutely no need to have a profit focus to drive efficiency.
Yet all the best things we have are produced thanks to the profit motive, and tend to give the highest satisfaction. The beauty of the free market is: to succeed, you have to please other people by giving them what they want. Therefore, many of the richest are precisely those who have invented ways of supplying goods to millions of customers at lower prices that they can afford.

Also, in a free market economy, both parties to a trade are obtaining something they want more, so it's a positive sum game. But leftist redistribution is at best zero sum: taking from some people and "redistributing" to others. Actually it's negative sum, because taxes fund the redistributors. E.g. simply giving every poor person enough money to raise him above the official poverty level would cost a fraction of the amount spent on the bloated welfare bureaucracy.


It's all about management and having an engaged public who are aware of how their tax dollars are being invested. The problem is the community looks at spending (i.e. Governments always promise to spend more on education rather than less) rather than efficiency.
In the market, companies are punished for inefficency. Governments are not always punished, because they can hide it, mislead, demagogue, or survive because the opposition is crap.


Perhaps George W. Bush should sign up for a remedial reading course. If he can graduate from the world's most prestigous private school Harvard with honours, it is obvious that deficiencies in literacy are not limited to the public system. It also indicates that being literate may not be as important as you think, when the "leader of the free world" has trouble stringing together a few coherant sentences. :lol:
He had better grades than both alGore and John "I married two rich heiresses" Kerry.

Many profs are concerned about the poor reading standards — in their native languages — of school leavers.

eclectic
12-05-2008, 12:53 AM
if you could distribute wealth evenly you would find that ten years later those who were rich before would be rich again and likewise for the poor

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 10:33 AM
Let's put it this way. The decision to buy certain consumer goods (including the home) might've been unwise. However, banks would never lend them money if they did not believe those "poor people" cannot repay.
In overwhelming majority of the cases debts are essentially repaid.
As far as debt exceeding equity - anything to back it up?

Yes the losses being relised on sub-prime foreclosures. If the equity in the home exceeded the debt then there wouldn't be any loss on the foreclosure.



Middle class welfare is financed by the taxes middle class pay. Ridiculous situation indeed. But I think vouchers should be given to every parent.

Why not means test the vouchers, reduce the amount of tax collected and the administration costs. Seems pointless and costly to collect tax from someone only to return it in the form of a voucher. It would make more sense only to give the vouchers to low-income parents.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2008, 11:02 AM
Why not means test the vouchers, reduce the amount of tax collected and the administration costs. Seems pointless and costly to collect tax from someone only to return it in the form of a voucher.
Coming from someone who supports the current tax/welfare system, you live up to your name Joker!


It would make more sense only to give the vouchers to low-income parents.
But means-testing bureaucracy might cost more. However, as long as low-income earners are not trapped in failing government schools, OK.

A better way than means testing for school vouchers (or the baby bonus) is raising the tax-free threshold for every child, as per the LDP's taxation policy (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf), which gets rid of the grossly wasteful tax-welfare churning that Joker now thinks is a bad idea.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 11:57 AM
Why not means test the vouchers, reduce the amount of tax collected and the administration costs. Seems pointless and costly to collect tax from someone only to return it in the form of a voucher. It would make more sense only to give the vouchers to low-income parents.
If you reduce tax on high income earner's (I haven't met a tax reduction I would oppose), it will benefit people with children as well as people without children.
However, only parents have to meet education cost.

Welfare redistributes income from high earner to low earner.
School voucher would redistribute income to parents with school children from everyone else - as current government run education system does.

Therefore it would still fund it (which I do not necessarily oppose) without running it (which I do oppose).

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 12:13 PM
I confess to just jumping in. I haven't read the thread let alone your entire post, but your statement is the very essence of of the problem noted by Jono. When you say "equal distribution", do you mean even as in 'one for you one for me, two for you two for me' etc; or do you mean equitable distribution?

I hope you mean equitable (which has nothing to do with the 'one for you one for me' idea) and if so, what examples of "not equal distribution between profits and investors" can you show? I'd even settle for a hypothetical at this stage.

Sorry I meant equitable. It is a case of how much of profit generated should be returned to the workers and how much to the investors.

For example in Australia Woolworths roughly 80% of profits go to employees and 20% to shareholders. This gives the sharholders a 30% return on their investment.

Whereas in India HDFC Bank the split is 40% to employees and 60% to investors. Giving investors a 360% return on investment.

Its easy to see which is more equitalbe. IIRC the trend is moving towards th later as the market globalises and investors seek higher profit margins.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 12:16 PM
If you reduce tax on high income earner's (I haven't met a tax reduction I would oppose), it will benefit people with children as well as people without children.
However, only parents have to meet education cost.

Welfare redistributes income from high earner to low earner.
School voucher would redistribute income to parents with school children from everyone else - as current government run education system does.

Therefore it would still fund it (which I do not necessarily oppose) without running it (which I do oppose).

Fair enough but I would still be in favour of means test.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2008, 12:21 PM
Sorry I meant equitable. It is a case of how much of profit generated should be returned to the workers and how much to the investors.
If there were no profits to be made, then businesses wouldn't be started at all. Most new businesses fold within five years. Yet while they are operating, the employees have to be paid right away; profits, if they come at all, come later.


For example in Australia Woolworths roughly 80% of profits go to employees and 20% to shareholders. This gives the sharholders a 30% return on their investment.

Whereas in India HDFC Bank the split is 40% to employees and 60% to investors. Giving investors a 360% return on investment.

Its easy to see which is more equitalbe. IIRC the trend is moving towards th later as the market globalises and investors seek higher profit margins.
Why is that a problem? The biggest shareholders in Australia are not a select group of extremely wealthy individuals, but superannuation funds which exist to fund the retirements of normal working people. Therefore, when companies make very large profits it ultimately benefits everyone.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 12:25 PM
For example in Australia Woolworths roughly 80% of profits go to employees and 20% to shareholders. This gives the sharholders a 30% return on their investment.

I think 30% on equity is more accurate. It is about correct.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 12:37 PM
Coming from someone who supports the current tax/welfare system, you live up to your name Joker!.

Actually I have said numerous times I think tax reform is needed. I have said that our higher rates for top income earners causes them to leave the system entirely. Stop misrepresenting my veiwpoints!



But means-testing bureaucracy might cost more. However, as long as low-income earners are not trapped in failing government schools, OK..

Possibly I would only be in favour of that approach if it were cost effective.

How do you prepose to make sure private schools have an open entry policy. Obviously certain type of student require more resources to achieve a certain standard of academic results. Currenlty private schools tend not to accept enrollments from such students.


A better way than means testing for school vouchers (or the baby bonus) is raising the tax-free threshold for every child, as per the LDP's taxation policy (http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf), which gets rid of the grossly wasteful tax-welfare churning that Joker now thinks is a bad idea.

Always thought tax-welfare churning is inefficient. Primarily tax should be collected to pay for government run services. However some tax does need to be collected for welfare purposes (i.e. unemployment benefits).

Your system has a flaw as it assumes parents will act responsibly with the extra disposable income. But practice shows that a certain percentage of parents will not spend the extra income on education but rather blow it on drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. Then your are left with children that will require public funding anyway. Again it is matter of seeing whether the cost funding those children outweighs the cost of having a voucher system.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 01:03 PM
If there were no profits to be made, then businesses wouldn't be started at all. Most new businesses fold within five years. Yet while they are operating, the employees have to be paid right away; profits, if they come at all, come later.

It is true that owner's generally assume most of the risk. However models where employee share some of the risk tends to increase productivity (i.e. sales commisions etc). However it is often a problem of how to operationally gear employee benefits that are not directly related sales (i.e. admin staff).



Why is that a problem? The biggest shareholders in Australia are not a select group of extremely wealthy individuals, but superannuation funds which exist to fund the retirements of normal working people. Therefore, when companies make very large profits it ultimately benefits everyone.

Because Australians are the wealthy individuals!!! Compared to vast majority of the world's population. The poor are not shareholders. I agree that moving companies to regions where labour is cheaper it helps elevate those people out of poverty. But business sometimes needs to be more ethical in what is does. It's all about balance.

African diamond mining is a prime example of the profits from resources flowing primarily to a select few. And I know that you will point out that this is the result of corrupt governments. But corrupt governments often function in exactly the same way as private enterprise (i.e. their primary focus is self interest).

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 01:53 PM
Your system has a flaw as it assumes parents will act responsibly with the extra disposable income. But practice shows that a certain percentage of parents will not spend the extra income on education but rather blow it on drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. Then your are left with children that will require public funding anyway. Again it is matter of seeing whether the cost funding those children outweighs the cost of having a voucher system.

Parent care about the welfare of their own children much more then some bureaucrat. Even if you take into account all irresponsible parents, overall they still care more their children then the government.

Children that have drug consuming, gambling and alcohol abusing parents (which are a very small minority) do suffer under any system. However, it should not be used as an excuse to force everyone else.

Besides, school vouchers cannot be used for gambling or to buy drugs and/or alcohol.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 01:54 PM
Because Australians are the wealthy individuals!!!
Another way around. Australians are the wealthy individuals because they were allowed to operate in a relatively free market.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 02:08 PM
Parent care about the welfare of their own children much more then some bureaucrat. Even if you take into account all irresponsible parents, overall they still care more their children then the government.

Children that have drug consuming, gambling and alcohol abusing parents (which are a very small minority) do suffer under any system. However, it should not be used as an excuse to force everyone else.

Besides, school vouchers cannot be used for gambling or to buy drugs and/or alcohol.

The reply was about abandoning school vouchers for a reduction in the tax free theshold.

As for parents caring for their children more than any government, there are a large number of communities in Australia where parents consistently neglect their children and if it wasn't for government intervention these children would receive no education.

My point was that if the reduction tax wasn't in the form of a voucher it may well be mispent. In which case the government would end up having to fit the bill for these kids education anyway. Additionally once a parent realises that if they don't pay for their childs education the state will fit the bill, then they are likely to take advantage of that. Unless you want to deny some children access to education because of the actions of their parents?

So if you were to consider lowering the tax free threshold for each child you would need to factor in the cost educating children who parents mispent the extra income. Question is which is going to be larger the cost of the administeing the voucher system or the cost of that minority group of children. Note that the cost of the voucher system is far more predicatble.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 02:21 PM
Another way around. Australians are the wealthy individuals because they were allowed to operate in a relatively free market.

Not so, almost all of today's major economies implemented numerous forms of protectionism in order gain scale. And we still have many such as tariff's and immigration restrictions.

That's the problem with the free market idealists they don't want a really free market. Otherwise we'd open our borders and let the cheap foriegn labour flood in. Personally I rather not be working for $1 an hour. I bet that is not in the LDP policy?

The problem is that private enterprise only seek please themselves and their customers and that does not always benefit the population as a whole this is why some form of democratic control is necessary.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 02:38 PM
Additionally once a parent realises that if they don't pay for their childs education the state will fit the bill, then they are likely to take advantage of that.

Very good argument against unemployment benefit.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 02:47 PM
That's the problem with the free market idealists they don't want a really free market. Otherwise we'd open our borders and let the cheap foriegn labour flood in. Personally I rather not be working for $1 an hour. I bet that is not in the LDP policy?


In the society with private property and no income redistribution open immigration is not a problem at all.



The problem is that private enterprise only seek please themselves and their customers and that does not always benefit the population as a whole this is why some form of democratic control is necessary.

Let's spell it out. Democratic control means control by the rest of population. For example, if I call a plumber to fix the leaking tap (and reduce water usage as well!), my neighbor around the corner (as well as his Aunt living in Sydney) need to control the process to make sure it benefit all 20 millions Australian people.

Free transaction between two parties is supposed to benefit both parties and it does not affect everyone else.

For example, how do I know whether transaction I participate in benefits you or not? Should I abstain from it if it does not benefit you (say, simple because you are not related in any way to that transaction).

My view is that everyone should be responsible for their deeds. The best way to ensure it is to let reap the rewards of the right deed and suffer the consequences of the bad one.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2008, 03:48 PM
Not so, almost all of today's major economies implemented numerous forms of protectionism in order gain scale.
And the institution of huge tariffs followed by retaliation was largely responsible for the prolonged Great Depression. Many economists of the day, and of our day, argue this. But in the last quarter century or so, expansion of free trade has greatly increased the prosperity of US, UK, Australia and NZ. Hardly surprising, because free trade puts comparative advantage to best use. (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams051403.asp)


And we still have many such as tariff's
I oppose all tariffs, including retaliatory ones (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams082703.asp). Trade restrictions are evil, even if called "fair trade (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams020404.asp)". They provide more wealth for the few — politically favoured businesses — but higher costs for the many — consumers and other businesses that must pay higher prices. Anything else you want to say?


and immigration restrictions.
Immigration restrictions concern national security, and a nation has a right to guard its borders. But I have no problem with legal immigrants who come here and are willing to work.


That's the problem with the free market idealists they don't want a really free market. Otherwise we'd open our borders and let the cheap foriegn labour flood in. Personally I rather not be working for $1 an hour. I bet that is not in the LDP policy?
Why would wages rise if illegal immigrants were allowed to work for peanuts? Thomas Sowell writes in Guests or gate crashers? (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032806.asp):


Most of the arguments for not enforcing our immigration laws are exercises in frivolous rhetoric and slippery sophistry, rather than serious arguments that will stand up under scrutiny.

How often have we heard that illegal immigrants "take jobs that Americans will not do"? What is missing in this argument is what is crucial in any economic argument: price.

Americans will not take many jobs at their current pay levels — and those pay levels will not rise so long as poverty-stricken immigrants are willing to take those jobs.

If Mexican journalists were flooding into the United States and taking jobs as reporters and editors at half the pay being earned by American reporters and editors, maybe people in the media would understand why the argument about "taking jobs that Americans don't want" is such nonsense.

Another variation on the same theme is that we "need" the millions of illegal aliens already in the United States. "Need" is another word that blithely ignores prices.

If jet planes were on sale for a thousand dollars each, I would probably "need" a couple of them — an extra one to fly when the first one needed repair or maintenance. But since these planes cost millions of dollars, I don't even "need" one.

There is no fixed amount of "need," independently of prices, whether with planes or workers.


The problem is that private enterprise only seek please themselves and their customers
Which is far better than government bureaucrats who do NOT have to please their "clients" or whatever the buzz word is these days, and never have to suffer financial loss for mistakes.


and that does not always benefit the population as a whole
As Adam Smith said:


He (the businessman) generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. .. . He intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain.

... He is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. ... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. ... It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.


this is why some form of democratic control is necessary.
This is still tyranny of the majority. Walter Williams points out in Majority rule equals tyranny (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams112200.asp):


Despite public consensus, there's nothing inherently just or fair about majority rule. In fact, one of the primary dangers of majority rule is that it confers an aura of legitimacy and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical. Ask yourself what day-to-day decisions would you like to be decided by majority rule? What about where you live, for whom you work, what kind of car you drive, what clothing you wear, what woman you marry?

You say: "Williams, those decisions are nobody else's business but mine. What's more, those are issues that don't belong in the political arena anyway!" You're right. Plus, we'd all agree that it would be nothing short of tyranny if where you could live and whom you could marry was decided by majority rule.

What if the decision whether to enslave a group of people were made through a popular vote instead of a dictatorship? Wouldn't you say that it was tyranny nonetheless? Instead of enslave, we could easily substitute the words rape, murder, rob and torture, and reach the same conclusion. Those examples are extreme and unlikely in the United States, but the principle is just as applicable on questions like: Should a popular vote decide how much of my weekly salary is set aside for retirement, or how much is set aside for housing, clothing, food and entertainment? If a popular vote decided these questions, there's still tyranny, but of a lesser degree.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 04:02 PM
In the society with private property and no income redistribution open immigration is not a problem at all.

Why not, what would stop the relatively high living standards in Australia being reduced



Free transaction between two parties is supposed to benefit both parties and it does not affect everyone else.

For example, how do I know whether transaction I participate in benefits you or not? Should I abstain from it if it does not benefit you (say, simple because you are not related in any way to that transaction).

My view is that everyone should be responsible for their deeds. The best way to ensure it is to let reap the rewards of the right deed and suffer the consequences of the bad one.

Typical simplistic undestanding. Society decides what decisions you can and can't make freely based on whether they expect that decision to have a wider impact.

Let me give you another simplistic counter example. I make a deal with my customers to supply them with plastic bottles and build a factory next door to your house. The factory is emitting toxic chemicals, but i claim it to be at a safe level and have funded a research studies that shows this to be the case. Your are not in position to fund any counter study. As a result of my factory your house price declines in value by 50%, you no longer have the equity to pay your mortage, you seriously want to move fearing your health is being damaged. What are you going to do?

All you have a reactive options not proactive options. I shouldn't have been allowed to build the factory in the first place. And now the burden of proof is on you to show that my free market transaction is harming you.

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 04:26 PM
I oppose all tariffs

That's nice, but now that some economies have developed scale, they are in a position to use that as an advantage of other economies ensuring wealth flows from th smaller economy to the larger.

For example if China could produce all Aust. food requirements at half the price of local growers due to the protection of their economy, All the profit from food sales would flow out of Australia to China.


Immigration restrictions concern national security, and a nation has a right to guard its borders. But I have no problem with legal immigrants who come here and are willing to work.

So anyone who can pass a security check should be allowed in. Is that LDP policy. No concern about over supply of labour, undercutting wages.



Why would wages rise if illegal immigrants were allowed to work for peanuts?

That's the difference they are illegal therefore cant apply for the bone-fide jobs. It would be a different story if you let everyone in legally. If you think letting as many workers from india, china and indonesia and having a free labour market would not reduce wages then you've got rocks in your head. Its your favourite economics 101 supply and demand (over supply causes prices to fall).



Which is far better than government bureaucrats who do NOT have to please their "clients".

They do it is called elections. Of course it a far from perfect system but it has been shown to the best by test. If another model was so superior it would have risen to the top long ago. Definately far from perfect but better than any other model put forward so far.


As Adam Smith said:


By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.


And he also frequently does not! Time and time again individuals have pursued their own ineterst at the expense of others.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 04:43 PM
Why not, what would stop the relatively high living standards in Australia being reduced

Do not think so. They need to provide something of value (such as labour) to make a living. That way more wealth is created If they can do my job better or for less money, tough! I'll move to something else.
The point is, the number of jobs is not a constant.



Let me give you another simplistic counter example. I make a deal with my customers to supply them with plastic bottles and build a factory next door to your house. The factory is emitting toxic chemicals, but i claim it to be at a safe level and have funded a research studies that shows this to be the case. Your are not in position to fund any counter study. As a result of my factory your house price declines in value by 50%, you no longer have the equity to pay your mortage, you seriously want to move fearing your health is being damaged. What are you going to do?

All you have a reactive options not proactive options. I shouldn't have been allowed to build the factory in the first place. And now the burden of proof is on you to show that my free market transaction is harming you.

Good and valid example. Air is one of a very resources that has to stay communal. As such, an exception can be made. Overwhelming majority of resources can be separated.

In the place I live there are a lot of houses around. To build a factory you'd need to buy those houses and land in the first place. Buying land elsewhere is cheaper. The land is usually sold with conditions that would make building factory difficult in the first place.

In short - the situation is rare and unlikely. Given that air is a communal resource, a rare case when regulation can be imposed.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2008, 04:55 PM
That's nice, but now that some economies have developed scale, they are in a position to use that as an advantage of other economies ensuring wealth flows from th smaller economy to the larger.
Wealth flows only if people are free to buy, and see an advantage in doing so.


For example if China could produce all Aust. food requirements at half the price of local growers due to the protection of their economy, All the profit from food sales would flow out of Australia to China.
Australian consumers would benefit more, and thus have money to spend on other businesses. If the Chinese government wants to punish its own taxpayers so we can have cheap food, let them! Why should we punish our consumers as well, just because they do?

Milton Friedman dealt with such protectionist arguments three decades ago in his book Free to Choose. The article The Case for Free Trade (http://www.geocities.com/ecocorner/intelarea/mf2.html) was adapted from this:


A fourth argument, one that was made by Alexander Hamilton and continues to be repeated down to the present, is that free trade would be fine if all other countries practiced free trade but that, so long as they do not, the United States cannot afford to. This argument has no validity whatsoever, either in principle or in practice. Other countries that impose restrictions on international trade do hurt us. But they also hurt themselves. Aside from the three cases just considered, if we impose restrictions in turn, we simply add to the harm to ourselves and also harm them as well. Competition in masochism and sadism is hardly a prescription for sensible international economic policy! Far from leading to a reduction in restrictions by other countries, this kind of retaliatory action simply leads to further restrictions.


So anyone who can pass a security check should be allowed in. Is that LDP policy. No concern about over supply of labour, undercutting wages.
I can't speak for LDP policy since I am not a member. But in principle, I don't see the problem with "undercutting labor" any more than "undercutting prices" in general.


That's the difference they are illegal therefore cant apply for the bone-fide jobs. It would be a different story if you let everyone in legally. If you think letting as many workers from india, china and indonesia and having a free labour market would not reduce wages then you've got rocks in your head. Its your favourite economics 101 supply and demand (over supply causes prices to fall).
Which would also mean that prices for the goods they produce would fall.


They do it is called elections.
No, bureaucrats are not elected. In any case, elections are a categorical solution and a broad brush approach: even bad politicians may not be thrown out because the alternative may be worse. Bad bureaucrats are even more insulated from public feedback. And they have totally different incentives, because the bureaucrat's power and prestige depends on the size of his department and how many people are under his supervision. Thomas Sowell discusses this in depth in his book Knowledge and Decisions, praised by Hayek and Friedman.

Massive increases in bureaucratic agencies are less than a century old. And they are some of the worst tyrants, because they have few checks and balances. They combine the legislative, executive and judicial branches in one outfit, something that at least the American founders tried to avoid. The huge expansion of the number of laws is largely due to the bureaucratic agencies. And without the checks and balances, they can steal property from people, e.g environmental restrictions on draining swamps by redesignating them 'wetlands'; and break up families on the mere accusation of child abuse even after the alleged perpetrator has been acquitted in a court of law.

But as Sowell says, leftists distrust decentralized decision making procedures that are very responsive to public feedback.


And he also frequently does not! Time and time again individuals have pursued their own ineterst at the expense of others.
The market is frequently the best civilising influence on people, since they have to be polite and serve people with goods they want if they want to survive. But how often is there good service in a government bureaucracy?

TheJoker
12-05-2008, 10:01 PM
Do not think so. They need to provide something of value (such as labour) to make a living. That way more wealth is created If they can do my job better or for less money, tough! I'll move to something else.
The point is, the number of jobs is not a constant. .

Yes but there could and would be an over supply of labour. We all know what happens when supply exceeds demand prices fall.




Good and valid example. Air is one of a very resources that has to stay communal. As such, an exception can be made. Overwhelming majority of resources can be separated.
What if the facory was making noise? Is noise a communal resource?


The land is usually sold with conditions that would make building factory difficult in the first place.

Who do you think makes those conditions governments.


In short - the situation is rare and unlikely.
I bet when you sit down and think about there are a lot of those "rare and unlikley" situations.

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 10:55 PM
I bet when you sit down and think about there are a lot of those "rare and unlikley" situations.
I thought about it indeed and came to conclusion that there are very few

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2008, 11:00 PM
Yes but there could and would be an over supply of labour. We all know what happens when supply exceeds demand prices fall.


It might or might not. Supply of labour is easily absorbed. The price of labour might fall in some areas, but the price of goods and services would fall as well. Over two centuries (especially until 1930s) countries like Australia and US had a huge influx of immigrants, which also helped them to become rich.

As a matter of interest, if government did not pump money into economy, prices and income would steadily fall and interest would be close to zero. But that's beside the point.

MichaelBaron
13-05-2008, 02:19 PM
[QUOTE=TheJoker]That's nice, but now that some economies have developed scale, they are in a position to use that as an advantage of other economies ensuring wealth flows from th smaller economy to the larger.QUOTE]

This is a typical way of thinking (unfortunately) for many Australians. A number of people naively belive that economic protectionims can can be instrumental in improving our countries economy.

However in reality:

1) In the long term - australia needs industries that are strong and competitive rather than weak and subsidised. By imposing trade tariffs - we are simply subsidising goods and services produced..from our own pocket

2) If some other country (e.g. China or India) are able to produce a particular commodity at a cheaper price - this should be accepted as a competitive advantage. Rather than closing our doors to their goods, what we need to do is either a) focus on becoming more competitive within these respective industry or b) focus on developing other industries where we can become successful worldwide suppliers and therefore compensate ourselves for the industries where we are lagging behind

3) In any case WTO has already decided to abolish tariffs from the year 2020 onwards - that means that there will be no choice but to become competitive

4) If some other country has a lot of competitive advantages over australia (e.g. price and quality of labour) they deserve to have a better life than us! The only key to survive the ongoing globalisation is to work harder and smarter!

Igor_Goldenberg
13-05-2008, 02:35 PM
Let me give you another simplistic counter example. I make a deal with my customers to supply them with plastic bottles and build a factory next door to your house. The factory is emitting toxic chemicals, but i claim it to be at a safe level and have funded a research studies that shows this to be the case. Your are not in position to fund any counter study. As a result of my factory your house price declines in value by 50%, you no longer have the equity to pay your mortage, you seriously want to move fearing your health is being damaged. What are you going to do?

I thought a bit more about this counter example.
First of all, the aunt in Brisbane does not have to be involved. Only neighborhood is affected, not the whole country.
Building factory next to a residential house infringes on the property rights. Given that resource like air is communal it makes slightly harder to define property right. But certainly not impossible.
In the above example the research study funded by you will not stand in the court and the jury is likely to decide in my favour.

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 03:28 PM
1) In the long term - australia needs industries that are strong and competitive rather than weak and subsidised. By imposing trade tariffs - we are simply subsidising goods and services produced..from our own pocket

2) If some other country (e.g. China or India) are able to produce a particular commodity at a cheaper price - this should be accepted as a competitive advantage. Rather than closing our doors to their goods, what we need to do is either a) focus on becoming more competitive within these respective industry or b) focus on developing other industries where we can become successful worldwide suppliers and therefore compensate ourselves for the industries where we are lagging behind!

I am not advocating protectionism as a long term solution. But I don't deny that in the past it has been instrumental as a short-term tool to develop scale in industries, so that they can be competitive globally by virtue of their economies of scale.

And for those countries with neither the infrastructure nor the resources to have any siginificant competitive advantage, how do you develop them? Do you think the cost savings from imported products will generate enough revenue to fund other industries?




3) In any case WTO has already decided to abolish tariffs from the year 2020 onwards - that means that there will be no choice but to become competitive


Will that include subsidies? If not then it will be nothing more than a symbolic act. I believe it when I see it. Can you really imagine the US removing all its tarrifs and subsidies it would be akin to commiting political suicide. We all know their over exuberant lifestyle is not sustainable without protections.

It is interesting that no one ever talks about immigration as form of economic protectionism. Surely it is to the disadvantage of our businesses not to able to take advantage of cheap labour. I mean think of the savings in costs if we moved the chinese labour force to the countries consuming the products. :hmm:

MichaelBaron
13-05-2008, 03:38 PM
It is interesting that no one ever talks about immigration as form of economic protectionism. Surely it is to the disadvantage of our businesses not to able to take advantage of cheap labour. I mean think of the savings in costs if we moved the chinese labour force to the countries consuming the products. :hmm:

Immigration is indeed a form of economic development (actually most economics textbooks talk about it so its something most people talk about rather than no-one).

However: once chinese labourers come to australia, are they going to work for the same kind of money they are getting paid in china or are they going to be able to obtain "market value" for their efforts?:lol:

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 04:13 PM
I thought a bit more about this counter example.
First of all, the aunt in Brisbane does not have to be involved. Only neighborhood is affected, not the whole country.
Building factory next to a residential house infringes on the property rights. Given that resource like air is communal it makes slightly harder to define property right. But certainly not impossible.
In the above example the research study funded by you will not stand in the court and the jury is likely to decide in my favour.

You seem to resist the right of the community to have government to ensure you conform to social norms. Yet you also argue that their are certain individual rights that should be respected:confused: This confuses me as things such as the right to property ownership are all forms of social norms. How do you go about defining individual rights without relying on social norms.

You also seem to think that as an individual you should be able to decide the level to which you have to comply with such norms. If that were the case society would breakdown.

In a civilised society it is the community that defines an individuals rights. Libertairians seems to want to redefine those rights according to their own opinion no matter how different that is from the opinion of society.

Forget the case study consider the broader issue of an individual catergorically defining what the role of government is. It's like an individual trying to dictate what is socially acceptable.

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 04:31 PM
Immigration is indeed a form of economic development (actually most economics textbooks talk about it so its something most people talk about rather than no-one).

However: once chinese labourers come to australia, are they going to work for the same kind of money they are getting paid in china or are they going to be able to obtain "market value" for their efforts?:lol:

By no-one I meant the are no resounding calls by the free trade lobby or organisations such as the WTO to remove migration restrictions. I understand that the theory discusses it, so why isn't it an agenda issue with the lobby groups?

I think its is hard to say what would happen, obviously the move would need to be beneficial for the chinese workers, and the extra labour costs compared to china would need to be able to be absorbed by the frieght savings. China might also need to rise wages to stop an outflow of labour. There are some many intangibles.

Aaron Guthrie
13-05-2008, 04:39 PM
How do you go about defining individual rights without relying on social norms.How do you go about defining social norms without relying on the individuals in the society. That is to say, without people in the society deciding what they think is moral, where do the social norms come from? And it doesn't seem correct to simply say that what the individuals think are moral is just what the society tells them so. If so, you wouldn't get change in norms.
You also seem to think that as an individual you should be able to decide the level to which you have to comply with such norms. If that were the case society would breakdown.Unless Igor is constantly breaking laws, how do you deduce that his method of disagreeing with laws would lead to a breakdown in society?
Forget the case study consider the broader issue of an individual catergorically defining what the role of government is. It's like an individual trying to dictate what is socially acceptable.So you are running a social relativist line on social norms, are you also running one on morality?

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 05:38 PM
How do you go about defining social norms without relying on the individuals in the society. That is to say, without people in the society deciding what they think is moral, where do the social norms come from? And it doesn't seem correct to simply say that what the individuals think are moral is just what the society tells them so. If so, you wouldn't get change in norms.

Express your individuals opinions, try to convince others of their legitimacy, exert your individual influence on the group, but in the end you need to decide whether you will accept the authority of the group and to what degree. It is a type of negotiation process I guess. The group also decides at what level it will tolerate divergence.


Unless Igor is constantly breaking laws, how do you deduce that his method of disagreeing with laws would lead to a breakdown in society?

Not him personally because obviously accepts (maybe not voluntarily) the communities right to authority beyond his individual beliefs.

But if he were to act on his personal beliefs and refuse to accept and group authority over his economic transactions, and everbody else did the same there would be chaos. The level on community intervention over the individuals freedoms has evolved over a long period, it is likley that a radical reduction in that would result in chaos.


So you are running a social relativist line on social norms, are you also running one on morality?

How an individual develops their thinking patterns is far to complex for me to fathom.

Aaron Guthrie
13-05-2008, 05:50 PM
But if he were to act on his personal beliefs and refuse to accept and group authority over his economic transactions, and everbody else did the same there would be chaos.If everyone did the same it would be a social norm.
The level on community intervention over the individuals freedoms has evolved over a long period, it is likley that a radical reduction in that would result in chaos.So the argument here is that this social normal (control over transactions) is needed to prevent chaos (presumably appealing to the higher social normal of no chaos).

Capablanca-Fan
13-05-2008, 07:23 PM
Express your individuals opinions, try to convince others of their legitimacy, exert your individual influence on the group, but in the end you need to decide whether you will accept the authority of the group and to what degree. It is a type of negotiation process I guess. The group also decides at what level it will tolerate divergence.
This is the problem with pure democracy, which the American founders rejected. They preferred Locke's idea that everyone owns himself and his property. Thus everyone has a right to use his abilities and property as he wishes, as long as the property rights of others are not infringed. The tyranny of the majority restricts that.

To illustrate: the makers of computers owned certain machines to make computers, and typewriter manufacturers likewise owned typewriter-making machines. Both of them are entitled to use their machinery to make the best products they can and try to sell them. Sure, if the computer manufacturers can persuade other people to buy computers instead of typewriters, they are harming the typewriters, but they are not violating their property rights. An arson attack on the typewriter factory would be a violation.

The computer manufactors of course did cause the typewriter manufacturers to go out of business. But the "villain" of the piece is actually the choices of huge numbers of consumers. Anyone who thought it was "unjust" would be arrogantly trying to second-guess computer choice and violating their property rights.

And if the typewriter manufacturer tried to protect his business by blowing up the computer factory, it would be considered a criminal act. And if he sent thugs to extort payments from computer buyers, to raise the price so it was no longer competitive, that would also be criminal—a violation of the buyers' property rights. But under a democracy that spits on private property rights, this typewriter maker commit exactly the same violation by lobbying a majority in parliament to enact a tariff on computer buyers. Why is an act by a government moral when it would be criminal by an individual?


But if he were to act on his personal beliefs and refuse to accept and group authority over his economic transactions, and everbody else did the same there would be chaos.
If people's property rights were respected, and if people didn't arrogantly think that they had a right to other people's property, there would be no problem.

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 09:01 PM
If everyone did the same it would be a social norm. So the argument here is that this social normal (control over transactions) is needed to prevent chaos (presumably appealing to the higher social normal of no chaos).

Yes. But its based on my assumption that the removal of control over transactions would result in chaos. I could well be wrong, perhaps people would consider the impact on other individuals when making a transactions (i.e. not act on self interest alone). Also I expect that the people would organise is various ways to institute group control anyhow (albeit under a different banner than government). Perhaps game theory might offer a better explaination as to why groups seek to control the behaviours of inidividuals within the group, and whether that is optimal behaviour?

TheJoker
13-05-2008, 09:24 PM
This is the problem with pure democracy, which the American founders rejected. They preferred Locke's idea that everyone owns himself and his property. Thus everyone has a right to use his abilities and property as he wishes, as long as the property rights of others are not infringed. The tyranny of the majority restricts that.

But why define property right as universal rights? What happens when you're property rights infringe upon my right to life? Or any other of the other so called universal human rights (of which I believe the UN define 30)? Do property right come first?

To illustrate: You "own" the local wter supply. You set a price for water just below what it would cost to obtain it from another nearby source. 90% of the towns residents can afford to pay for the water. However 10% cannot and will surely die if you do not provide them with cheaper water. Are they within their rights to take your water?

Is this unjust?




If people's property rights were respected, and if people didn't arrogantly think that they had a right to other people's property, there would be no problem.

What about when one person property rights are in conflict with the rights of another individual. How do you define who has legitimate property rights for natural resources? Obviously at some point someone arbitarily claimed rights to those resources.

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 01:12 AM
But why define property right as universal rights? What happens when you're property rights infringe upon my right to life?
They don't. Your life is your property, the most important property of all. One can use one's property in any way one wishes, as long as it doesn't violate another person's property rights.


Or any other of the other so called universal human rights (of which I believe the UN define 30)? Do property right come first?
Yes, with the proviso above. I don't recognize any definition by the corrupt thugocracy called the UN.


To illustrate: You "own" the local wter supply. You set a price for water just below what it would cost to obtain it from another nearby source. 90% of the towns residents can afford to pay for the water. However 10% cannot and will surely die if you do not provide them with cheaper water. Are they within their rights to take your water?
No. What about the 90% of townpeople? Why is it only the water owner who is deprived of property rights? He did not cause the thirst, but provides a means for alleviating it. What about charity? Could not the 10% work for the owner in return for the water? What next, that poor people should be allowed to steal from supermarkets? Proverbs 30:6-7:


People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.


What about when one person property rights are in conflict with the rights of another individual.
Then the "rights" are ill-defined.


How do you define who has legitimate property rights for natural resources? Obviously at some point someone arbitarily claimed rights to those resources.
There are proper frameworks for that as well.

Aaron Guthrie
14-05-2008, 05:26 AM
Yes. But its based on my assumption that the removal of control over transactions would result in chaos.OK well I don't have much interest in debating the specific ramifications of removing controls.
Perhaps game theory might offer a better explaination as to why groups seek to control the behaviours of inidividuals within the group, and whether that is optimal behaviour?Prisoners dilema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma#Strategy_for_the_classical_pris oner.27s_dilemma) is probably the typical way to start here. It is pretty easy to turn that into other things, e.g. global warming problem. For any individual it is best not to cut emissions, but then no-one cuts.

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 10:18 AM
Yes, with the proviso above. I don't recognize any definition by the corrupt thugocracy called the UN.

Do you recognise any rights outside of property rights?



No. What about the 90% of townpeople? Why is it only the water owner who is deprived of property rights? He did not cause the thirst, but provides a means for alleviating it. What about charity? Could not the 10% work for the owner in return for the water? What next, that poor people should be allowed to steal from supermarkets?.

No. That's why the community has decided that everyone is to pay taxes and use welfare to support those who are in financial difficulty. Based on that the "welfare of all" is seen (by the community) as at least an equally important right as the right to property. That is why where necessary you will be deprived of your property rights to assist others. You don't have to agree with this situation and you can try to change it, but basically it is fact of modern society.

How do you account for the fact that the most progressive economies in the world all operate under this assumption. Surely it has some merit!



Then the "rights" are ill-defined.

is that because you believe there are no other rights outside of property rights? Or that you believe it is not possible for "well defined" right to be in conflict with property rights.



There are proper frameworks for that as well.

Really do you think that most of the property in the world wasn't obtained by force at some point or another.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 10:31 AM
Do you recognise any rights outside of property rights?


The Libertarian philosophy in its simplicity:
Human being have two obligations:
1. Not to initiate force (or threat of force) against an individual
2. Not to initiate force (or threat of force) against someone else's property

Everything else can be derived from that.

The short answer to the question:
Right not to be coerced by force.

MichaelBaron
14-05-2008, 10:54 AM
Do you recognise any rights outside of property rights?


Really do you think that most of the property in the world wasn't obtained by force at some point or another.

I do not see any way we can re-write history. Therefore, i do not see how something can be done now about historic events such as nobles taking land from the peasants in the 11th century in England etc. However, in the last 20-30 years - we can be pretty confident that majority (not all) of the property transfers in the democratic countries are legitimate and in accordance with the laws.

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 04:55 PM
That's why the community has decided that everyone is to pay taxes and use welfare to support those who are in financial difficulty.
Yet in our current system, it keeps them in poverty, and even encourages certain unwise or unhealthy behaviour by rewarding it with welfare benefits. And the bureaucracies to administer these cost far more than it it would cost simply to give every poor person enough to lift them out of poverty.


Based on that the "welfare of all" is seen (by the community) as at least an equally important right as the right to property. That is why where necessary you will be deprived of your property rights to assist others. You don't have to agree with this situation and you can try to change it, but basically it is fact of modern society.
This merely restates the fact that modern democracies can be tyranny of the majority. And it's even worse: sometimes it can even produce tyranny of the majority because of the common phenomenon of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs I've explained before.


How do you account for the fact that the most progressive economies in the world all operate under this assumption. Surely it has some merit!
Yet the best economies have boomed as they have moved towards the free market, even if they haven't got there yet. The UK, USA, NZ and Au all prospered with free market reforms (the last two under Laba governments, to their credit). Even China and India have lifted a lot of regulation from their economies and have improved drastically. Before that, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan prospered with quite free markets, although they had very little natural resources. Conversely, Africa and the USSR had huge potential riches in their natural resources, but their highly controlled economies kept the people in poverty.


Really do you think that most of the property in the world wasn't obtained by force at some point or another.
Not so. Most of the vast increase in wealth in the western world was generated by free enterprise, and has little to do with any force exerted hundreds of years ago.

And nothing is more futile than revisiting historic national grievances. Should Great Britain receive reparations from France for 1066, or from Italy for the Roman invasion and occupation for centuries?

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 05:04 PM
I do not see any way we can re-write history. Therefore, i do not see how something can be done now about historic events such as nobles taking land from the peasants in the 11th century in England etc. However, in the last 20-30 years - we can be pretty confident that majority (not all) of the property transfers in the democratic countries are legitimate and in accordance with the laws.

That's true I would respect their rights to own that property except in extreme cases (such as the survival of others is soley dependant on that property and are being denied access and the property is otherwise not being used resourcefully). E.g. Someone has a cure for AIDS but refuses to make it available.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 05:11 PM
E.g. Someone has a cure for AIDS but refuses to make it available.
Why would they do so?

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 05:28 PM
Yet in our current system, it keeps them in poverty, and even encourages certain unwise or unhealthy behaviour by rewarding it with welfare benefits. And the bureaucracies to administer these cost far more than it it would cost simply to give every poor person enough to lift them out of poverty.

Perhaps too many people would refuse to give up their property in order to help the more unfortunate, or would have no idea how to go about that. You cannot have welfare/charity without an organisation to administer its distribution that is common sense. That system is always going to cost. And the public seems to have a problem with charitable organisation operating on a "for profit" basis. So non-profits are inevitable. People also want to know that there is a high level of control over what happens with that money, hence the need for bureaucracies (public or private).



This merely restates the fact that modern democracies can be tyranny of the majority. And it's even worse: sometimes it can even produce tyranny of the majority because of the common phenomenon of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs I've explained before.

I wouldn't call it tyranny. But I don't disagree that the system is far from perfect. But we have yet to see anything perform any better in reality.



Yet the best economies have boomed as they have moved towards the free market, even if they haven't got there yet. The UK, USA, NZ and Au all prospered with free market reforms (the last two under Laba governments, to their credit). Even China and India have lifted a lot of regulation from their economies and have improved drastically. Before that, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan prospered with quite free markets, although they had very little natural resources. Conversely, Africa and the USSR had huge potential riches in their natural resources, but their highly controlled economies kept the people in poverty.

Yes but reducing regulation in not akin to removing it all together, it likely to be represented by some sort of bell curve. At some point to little regulation will likely have a negative effect.



And nothing is more futile than revisiting historic national grievances. Should Great Britain receive reparations from France for 1066, or from Italy for the Roman invasion and occupation for centuries?

I am not suggesting such, I am implying that the "right to property is the fundamental right" is wrong in my opinion.

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 05:42 PM
Why would they do so?

Because allowing more people to contract the virus makes a cure more valuable. Since releasing a cure to the market will inevitably kill of most of the demand. What's a few million people dying, when you can make a few billion dollars more.

Under Jono's arguement the owner of the cure did not create AIDS, the people would have died anyway if there was no cure, so there is no obligation for him to give access to the cure. In the mean time the global health bill runs into the trillions. But for his individual benefit he is best holding onto the cure until the spread of AIDS reaches its peak.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 05:50 PM
Because allowing more people to contract the virus makes a cure more valuable. Since releasing a cure to the market will inevitably kill of most of the demand. What's a few million people dying, when you can make a few billion dollars more.

Under Jono's arguement the owner of the cure did not create AIDS, the people would have died anyway if there was no cure, so there is no obligation for him to give access to the cure. In the mean time the global health bill runs into the trillions. But for his individual benefit he is best holding onto the cure until the spread of AIDS reaches its peak.

That's right, there is no obligation to give cure. But there was no obligation to create cure in the first place. If you cannot benefit from the cure, the incentive to invest time, money and efforts in development are greatly reduced.

Besides, by waiting to release the cure the hypothetical owner risks not benefiting at all. If he created cure for AIDS, chances are someone else will as well.

So far those consideration did not stop anyone form releasing any vaccines or other treatments.

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 06:24 PM
That's right, there is no obligation to give cure. But there was no obligation to create cure in the first place. If you cannot benefit from the cure, the incentive to invest time, money and efforts in development are greatly reduced.

Besides, by waiting to release the cure the hypothetical owner risks not benefiting at all. If he created cure for AIDS, chances are someone else will as well.

So far those consideration did not stop anyone form releasing any vaccines or other treatments.

So in such a situation would you still respect his property rights. Or would you support the community appropriating the cure for what they believe is a fair price.

Anyway I done with this argument. In my opinion it is clear that restrictions need to be placed on individuals so that they act in a manner that benefits society or at least does not have a negative impact. Where to draw that line between individual freedoms and communal controls is debatable. The effect on society of allowing total economic freedom is at present a hypothetical argument. Your argument has failed to convince me of the case for total economic freedom and mine failed to convince you of the case against. I guess we will just have to leave it at that. Also by not arguing the case with you I deny you the platform to express your views. Which is beneficial to my point of view (maintaining the status quo of a regulated market). :owned:

Capablanca-Fan
15-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Because allowing more people to contract the virus makes a cure more valuable. Since releasing a cure to the market will inevitably kill of most of the demand. What's a few million people dying, when you can make a few billion dollars more.
When has that ever happened? The cure maker can't get rich unless he sells his vaccine. The free market is the best incentive to release the cure. The inventor of the polio vaccine became very rich, and

If you want the real villain, it's excessive regulation and frivolous lawsuits. How many vaccines or cures would have been marketed were it not for these making it uneconomic.

I've pointed out before that the incentives of FDA bureaucrats lead them to block life-saving drugs for years. I.e., if someone dies because of a drug, even one that saved thousands, there is a huge congressional hearing. But if thousands die that might have been saved if a drug had been released, then there is no problem

That's why the FDA bureaucrats even get away with bragging about releasing a drug that will save 10,000 lives a year. The Leftmedia and Congress never haul them over the coals for allowing 100,000 patients to die in the previous decade while they held up releasing the drug.

And a frivolous lawsuit can cripple a drug company. It needs only a few of these to ruin a company, even if the drug saved millions. Nothing is ever 100% safe. In America, there is no "loser pays" principle that exists elsewhere in the Western world. The resultant asymmetric litigation means that there is negligible risk for the possibility of a massive payout, so companies are basically extorted to pay out of course. And if they resist, the litigants can keep court hopping until they find a sympathetic judge (of the sort that B. Hussein Obama likes) or gullible jury (of the type that his friend John Edwards was so good at manipulating). So now the companies have to pay huge insurance premiums to protect against this, and of course these are additional costs to be borne.

Government price controls are yet another problem. Countries with price controls on drugs are not the ones developing new drugs; they get them from American companies not so restricted by price controls.

Considering that it costs about $800 million to develop a new drug, there had better be a good payoff at the end to make it worthwhile. Leftist demagogery about "obscene profits" is an excellent way to prevent new lifesaving drugs. Of course "obscene profits", like "fair price", are economically meaningless words, but make for great demagogery.


Under Jono's arguement the owner of the cure did not create AIDS, the people would have died anyway if there was no cure, so there is no obligation for him to give access to the cure.
Why would he spend millions developing a cure, if he knew that a Joker-like government could confiscate it?


In the mean time the global health bill runs into the trillions. But for his individual benefit he is best holding onto the cure until the spread of AIDS reaches its peak.
Hardly likely. He has costs to make up, and as Igor says, someone else might invent a cure and sell it before him.

Igor_Goldenberg
15-05-2008, 05:38 PM
In a nutshell, business is much more likely to release cure for AIDS then a government.

Basil
15-05-2008, 06:20 PM
In a nutshell, business is much more likely to release cure for AIDS then a government.
This concept is closely aligned with the arguments put forward in the selling kidneys thread. I wonder if there is a legal opportunity to grab inward looking lefties by the scruff of the neck and thrash them severely into a a brick wall until either:
a) they grasp this idea, or
b) stop inserting themselves into politics so they can obfuscate the issue

Bloody hell, they're a pain. The very worst part is that they believe they're actually fighting the good fight.

On second thoughts, is there an additive I can add to the vat so that the brains don't try and operate external to it :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall:

Igor_Goldenberg
15-05-2008, 08:57 PM
A communist, fascist and a Jew on uninhabited island catch a gold fish, which offers one wish each.
Fascist: "I want to rid the world of all communists
Communist: "I want to rid the world of all fascists"
Jew: "And a cup of coffee please"


This concept is closely aligned with the arguments put forward in the selling kidneys thread. I wonder if there is a legal opportunity to grab inward looking lefties by the scruff of the neck and thrash them severely into a a brick wall until either:
a) they grasp this idea, or
b) stop inserting themselves into politics so they can obfuscate the issue


I'll have a cup of coffee :D :D :D :D :D

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 11:45 AM
My example might not have been the best illustration. But the point I'm trying to get at is there is more to a functioning society than property rights.

In my opinion it is far to simplistic to think that a free market is some sort of universal solution to all problems of integrating the diverse individuals and groups within a society.

I am not very good at articulating the problems with a free-market system. To get a better understanding of the issues I suggest you read the work of Joseph Stiglitz, a nobel prize winner in economics who has had a vast amount of practical experience in trying to develop economies through a free-market approach during his time in charge of the IMF. "Making Globalization Work" or "Globalization and its Discontents" are the two titles I would recommend (Jono here is your cue to start slandering Stiglitz and the IMF without actually having read his work ;) ).

Gunner you seem to want to brand me a lefty. Which I find surprising considering I am an advocate of Governemnt reforms and progressive deregulation. My viewpoint is that abolishment of Government and an unregulated market are both unsustainable ideas. I find it hard to believe this qualifies me as a lefty! Perhaps you would like to enlighten me on what your definition of a lefty is. I would have considered my self a conservative (in the true sense of term) as a I favour a approach of progressive incremental change to find out what works best in practice. Rather than radical change based on forms of idealism.

I don't deny that radical change can work, in the business world the reform of GE by Jack Welch stands out as an example as does the reform of Semco by Ricardo Semler. But the research of private organisations suggests that radical reform fails more often that it suceeds, incremental reforms are often more successful particulary in the long term.

Idealistic theories like a totally economic freedom or communism are often flawed because there are far to many intangibles to be humanly comprehendable. Practical systems tend to develop over time as a response to their contingencies. I have no problem with using an ideal to guide to an incremental strategy, but you also need to be able to recognise deficiences in an ideal and adapt accordingly.

I would be quite happy to be proven wrong in terms of a unregulated market producing the best outcomes for society, if that model were eventually to materialise. What I object to is people on this forum implying that a free market appraoch is some sort of universal truth totally deviod of deficiency and above criticism.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 11:59 AM
Gunner you seem to want to brand me a lefty. Which I find surprising considering I am an advocate of Governemnt reforms and progressive deregulation. My viewpoint is that abolishment of Government and an unregulated market are both unsustainable ideas. I find it hard to believe this qualifies me as a lefty! Perhaps you would like to enlighten me on what your definition of a lefty is. I would have considered my self a conservative (in the true sense of term) as a I favour a approach of progressive incremental change to find out what works best in practice. Rather than radical change based on forms of idealism.


It was more a light-hearted joke (as well as my reply). Please do not take an offence, discussing with you is interesting, and I cannot even accuse you of a rude behaviour!:D :D
I appreciate you cautious approach to changes, even though I think our economy and society in whole will benefit from faster deregulation and reduction of government interference. So far, however, it is increasing (and has been for quite a while).
What might brand you a lefty is the opposition to unregulated free market in theory. For example, you were trying to show that unregulated market might create some undesirable outcome, despite the fact that current level of regulation makes things worse.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 12:11 PM
In my opinion it is far to simplistic to think that a free market is some sort of universal solution to all problems of integrating the diverse individuals and groups within a society.


There is no universal solution to all problems of the humankind. Communism was promoted as such, but it hasn't been proved yet;)
As far as integrating the diverse individuals and groups within a society - it is difficult because they are diverse. The best solution is to let them be themselves, but make sure that they bear responsibility for their action and do not prevent others from doing the same.

There is no ideal system. The best system is the one that maximises benefits to almost all members of society, thus benefiting society as a whole.

From utilitarian point of view, unhindered market system increases the utility for everyone.

Imagine, for example, the real (not inflationary) income of the low income earner grow by 50%, middle income earner by 75%, high income earner by 100%. It makes everyone better of. However, many on left will be unhappy as it increases inequality in absolute, as well as in relative term.
If you start meddle to reduce the gap, the result will be:
poor better of by 30%, middle class by 20%, rich by 10%.
Which one is better?

BTW, practice shows that so called poor usually benefit more in relative term, and move higher up in the ladder as well.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 01:08 PM
It was more a light-hearted joke (as well as my reply). Please do not take an offence.

None taken. If I had the wit to reply humourously I would have!:lol:


I appreciate you cautious approach to changes, even though I think our economy and society in whole will benefit from faster deregulation and reduction of government interference. So far, however, it is increasing (and has been for quite a while).

Any research to show that regulation in Australia is increasing, I would have thought the opposite.


What might brand you a lefty is the opposition to unregulated free market in theory. For example, you were trying to show that unregulated market might create some undesirable outcome, despite the fact that current level of regulation makes things worse.

1. Are Australian's worse of now than at any time in the past? What's the eveidence of that?

2. How can you be so sure that a totally unregulated market wont result in worse outcomes than the current system or partial deregulation of the current system. You seem to make these statements as if they are facts rather than hypothesis.

3. Using evidence that partial deregulation has shown to beneficial and extrapolating that total deregualtion will be the most beneficial could well be wrong. In my opinion the realtionship is unlikely to be linear but rather some sort of curve.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 01:22 PM
Imagine, for example, the real (not inflationary) income of the low income earner grow by 50%, middle income earner by 75%, high income earner by 100%. It makes everyone better of. However, many on left will be unhappy as it increases inequality in absolute, as well as in relative term.
If you start meddle to reduce the gap, the result will be:
poor better of by 30%, middle class by 20%, rich by 10%.
Which one is better?

Well if the inequality leads to conflict as it inevitably does then it is hard to say. If system will inevitably cause the majoirty to rise up and violently take the assets of the wealthy few then you are probably in a vicious cycle.

You need to consider sustainability and human nature in your model. The best system may not be the one that delivers the most benefits to all short-term but inevitably leads to conflict an destruction. It may well be the system that maintains a more equal distribution of wealth and is therefore sustainable. As is often the case rapid short-term progress leads to poor long-term outcomes. But restricited the economic progress you develop a more sustainable model.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 02:10 PM
Well if the inequality leads to conflict as it inevitably does then it is hard to say. If system will inevitably cause the majoirty to rise up and violently take the assets of the wealthy few then you are probably in a vicious cycle.


It would be more correct that it leads to demagoguery playing envy politics and fooling people into thinking that making rich poorer will make poor richer.
Current situation is a result of such demagoguery.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 02:27 PM
1. Are Australian's worse of now than at any time in the past? What's the eveidence of that?

Of course not. The so called poor today are much better then most of the rich were 50 years ago. But excessive government interfering makes then worse then they would be.
Government does not create wealth. It's role is to prevent wealth from being destroyed (thus army, police, judiciary). Personally (as well as majority of libertarian, AFAIK) I do not even mind modest redistribution to prevent starvation and real poverty.
But shifting huge (about 35% of GDP) amount of money does not create wealth. It diminishes it through bureaucratic overheads, economic distortion and reduced incentive.
If you tax rich (or anybody to that extent), you push the price of their labour up, which is inevitably passed on to the consumer. Thus taxing rich makes everyone poorer, not just the rich.



2. How can you be so sure that a totally unregulated market wont result in worse outcomes than the current system or partial deregulation of the current system. You seem to make these statements as if they are facts rather than hypothesis.


Very small regulation on the fringes might avoid some anomalies. Anything more pushes market down. Any large economy is a very complicated mechanism. The probability of government making a right decision is lower then market making a right decision. As a result, government intervention more often (and, as a result, on average) has a negative effect.
The human nature adds to it, as bureaucracy gets entrenched over time and more worried about keeping their bums in the chair. Individuals or companies in the market have more vested interest.



3. Using evidence that partial deregulation has shown to beneficial and extrapolating that total deregualtion will be the most beneficial could well be wrong. In my opinion the realtionship is unlikely to be linear but rather some sort of curve.

It might be a curve. Do you really think it peaks at the 35% taxation level?
Laffer curve peaks at the top government revenue level. Everybody knows it exists, but nobody knows where is it. I wouldn't be surprised if it peaks at around that level. However, top government revenue is a priority for the politicians and bureaucrats, not to mere mortals that create wealth.

IMHO, top GDP is reached when government intake is well below 10%. If peak is not around 0%, then it might be around 1-2%. After all, with judiciary and police we'll have a complete chaos and no protection of contract, thus making long-term investment impossible and loosing a lot of wealth. With military we run a risk of having our wealth confiscated by some militant neighbour (close or distant).

Kevin Bonham
16-05-2008, 02:27 PM
Interesting student union case involving a religious group's anti-abortion (albeit not explicitly so) propaganda, currently going on at UQ:

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=7175

Now that student union membership is voluntary, I don't see why the Catholic students group in question cannot simply try starting its own student union if it doesn't like the policies of the main one.

Most likely the group wants both to be affiliated to the voluntary union in order to use its facilities, and to say what it likes at the same time.

At the same time if (and given that we are dealing with a media report here, I do say "if" rather than taking it for granted) the best the union president can come up with to justify his decision is a reference to a 15-year old student union referendum then he badly needs to lift his game. (The turnout in student referendums is typically abysmal and students tend to rubber-stamp any referendum question put to them unless they do not understand it.)

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 02:32 PM
Now that student union membership is voluntary, I don't see why the Catholic students group in question cannot simply try starting its own student union if it doesn't like the policies of the main one.


Indeed, what is the reason for them staying affiliated?

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 02:58 PM
It would be more correct that it leads to demagoguery playing envy politics and fooling people into thinking that making rich poorer will make poor richer.
Current situation is a result of such demagoguery.

Didn't say the current system was a solution, but it does reduce the frequency of the cycle by slowing the growth of wealth.

The problem is compounded by what is called asymmetries of infomration. Generally speking, those with more resources have access to better information and therefore can achieve greater market returns.

Even Alan Greenspan recognises inequality in the distribution of rewards as a problem in his biography.

You have to acknowledge the fact that some people start out with a competitive advantage in the market due to their family's wealth. Do you think you would have achieved your current state of wealth if you were born into a poverty stricken family in Central Africa?

It is hard to convince people to endure such inequalities in wealth for their long-term benefit. It is much easier to convince them to take forceable action that will result in their immediate benefit.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 03:13 PM
Do you think you would have achieved your current state of wealth if you were born into a poverty stricken family in Central Africa?

First of all, you do not know my current state of wealth:D
Second, I was not born in Central Africa indeed. I was born in middle class family in USSR. However, poor in Australia were much better of then middle class in USSR. I came to Australia at the age of 24 with next to zero knowledge of English and no money or any other assets at all. I always felt that wind is flowing my way, yet objectively speaking overwhelming majority of the same age Australians had a better start then me.
I know someone who came into Australia at a tender age of 65 with even worse English then me. Didn't deter him from getting a job and being happy.
That's why I do not buy stories of unfortunate circumstances. It might apply to few people, but not to hundreds of thousand.

Kevin Bonham
16-05-2008, 03:21 PM
Indeed, what is the reason for them staying affiliated?

Probably to get funding from the union. Student unions often fund those societies that affiliate to them. However maybe someone here is at UQ and knows more about this?

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 03:37 PM
Of course not. The so called poor today are much better then most of the rich were 50 years ago. But excessive government interfering makes then worse then they would be.

1. Prove that current regulation is excessive. Show me a country with far less regulation and a better standard of living.




Personally (as well as majority of libertarian, AFAIK) I do not even mind modest redistribution to prevent starvation and real poverty.But shifting huge (about 35% of GDP) amount of money does not create wealth. It diminishes it through bureaucratic overheads, economic distortion and reduced incentive.
If you tax rich (or anybody to that extent), you push the price of their labour up, which is inevitably passed on to the consumer. Thus taxing rich makes everyone poorer, not just the rich.

Very small regulation on the fringes might avoid some anomalies. Anything more pushes market down. Any large economy is a very complicated mechanism. The probability of government making a right decision is lower then market making a right decision. As a result, government intervention more often (and, as a result, on average) has a negative effect.
The human nature adds to it, as bureaucracy gets entrenched over time and more worried about keeping their bums in the chair. Individuals or companies in the market have more vested interest.

It might be a curve. Do you really think it peaks at the 35% taxation level?
Laffer curve peaks at the top government revenue level. Everybody knows it exists, but nobody knows where is it. I wouldn't be surprised if it peaks at around that level. However, top government revenue is a priority for the politicians and bureaucrats, not to mere mortals that create wealth.

IMHO, top GDP is reached when government intake is well below 10%. If peak is not around 0%, then it might be around 1-2%. After all, with judiciary and police we'll have a complete chaos and no protection of contract, thus making long-term investment impossible and loosing a lot of wealth. With military we run a risk of having our wealth confiscated by some militant neighbour (close or distant).

As I said theoretically your model might work when considering only the numbers. But considering the large amount of intangibles it may well fail. You mentioned demogogy, removal of Government wont stop the use of demagoguery (politics is not confined to governments) to discrinimate against the wealthy.

Capablanca-Fan
16-05-2008, 03:37 PM
There is no ideal system. The best system is the one that maximises benefits to almost all members of society, thus benefiting society as a whole.
The trouble with lefties is that they compare a real world example of a relatively free market and compare it with a utopian planned economy that has never existed in the real world.

They also point to some problems in a free market as evidence that the government should regulate, but never to the greater problems in government-run systems as evidence that the government should get out of the way and let the market run it.

There are also glaring double standards: lefties whinge about predatory pricing and alleged monopolies in the free market, and aim at companies like Microsoft. Yet they never object to the grossly inefficient monopolies of the public education system, water supply and US postal "service". Yet Microsoft has never forced anyone to buy their products. They certainly don't force people to pay for their product through taxes even if they are using Linux or Mac.


From utilitarian point of view, unhindered market system increases the utility for everyone.

Imagine, for example, the real (not inflationary) income of the low income earner grow by 50%, middle income earner by 75%, high income earner by 100%. It makes everyone better of. However, many on left will be unhappy as it increases inequality in absolute, as well as in relative term.
If you start meddle to reduce the gap, the result will be:
poor better of by 30%, middle class by 20%, rich by 10%.
Which one is better?
According to Lefties like Pax, evidently the latter. The LDP's tax reform would provide the highest proportionate improvement to minimum wage earners, but Pax doesn't like it because the rich also get richer.


BTW, practice shows that so called poor usually benefit more in relative term, and move higher up in the ladder as well.
That's why the LDP's proposal is so good: it rewards minimum wage earners the most in percentage terms, encouraging the unemployed to take jobs that will be the first step on the ladder.

Kevin Bonham
16-05-2008, 03:40 PM
The trouble with lefties is that they compare a real world example of a relatively free market and compare it with a utopian planned economy that has never existed in the real world.

Libertarians can be prone to doing this as well except that their comparison is to a utopian unplanned economy that has never existed in the real world.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 03:41 PM
There are also glaring double standards: lefties whinge about predatory pricing and alleged monopolies in the free market, and aim at companies like Microsoft. Yet they never object to the grossly inefficient monopolies of the public education system, water supply and US postal "service". Yet Microsoft has never forced anyone to buy their products. They certainly don't force people to pay for their product through taxes even if they are using Linux or Mac.

Jono why the US postal service reference is this a quote from an American writer?

MichaelBaron
16-05-2008, 05:01 PM
If a person works hard and as a result - he is rich, why should his taxes pay for somebody who is poor not because of distability or circumstance but because he is a lazy idiot? :hmm:

I feel that the tax systems that are in place in Russia and HK (flat tax rates for everyone) are the fair ones.!

Capablanca-Fan
16-05-2008, 05:06 PM
Jono why the US postal service reference is this a quote from an American writer?
No, my own words, but using information from America. If it was a quote from an American writer, it would not have said "US postal service" but just "postal service".

Capablanca-Fan
16-05-2008, 05:08 PM
Libertarians can be prone to doing this as well except that their comparison is to a utopian unplanned economy that has never existed in the real world.
Not the ones I read: they all agree that utopia is an impossibility, and that the free market cannot be perfect with imperfect human beings.

Capablanca-Fan
16-05-2008, 05:09 PM
If a person works hard and as a result - he is rich, why should his taxes pay for somebody who is poor not because of distability or circumstance but because he is a lazy idiot? :hmm:
It even rewards undesirable behaviour.


I feel that the tax systems that are in place in Russia and HK (flat tax rates for everyone) are the fair ones.!
Estonia has also thrived with flat tax and free trade (http://www.heritage.org/Research/WorldwideFreedom/bg2060.cfm).

Capablanca-Fan
16-05-2008, 06:13 PM
Do you think you would have achieved your current state of wealth if you were born into a poverty stricken family in Central Africa?
Then why is poverty rife in central Africa? Precisely because there is no free market backed by the rule of law. Don't forget that the UK and America were once poor.

Unfortunately, since independence, many African countries adopted socialist policies that crippled their countries, but Western leftists praised these corrupt despots.


It is hard to convince people to endure such inequalities in wealth for their long-term benefit. It is much easier to convince them to take forceable action that will result in their immediate benefit.
Of course it's easier, but it's still evil. It's also counterproductive to kill the golden goose, as in Zimbabwe. In reality, the poor are not poor because the rich are rich.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 07:14 PM
First of all, you do not know my current state of wealth:D
Second, I was not born in Central Africa indeed. I was born in middle class family in USSR. However, poor in Australia were much better of then middle class in USSR. I came to Australia at the age of 24 with next to zero knowledge of English and no money or any other assets at all. I always felt that wind is flowing my way, yet objectively speaking overwhelming majority of the same age Australians had a better start then me.
I know someone who came into Australia at a tender age of 65 with even worse English then me. Didn't deter him from getting a job and being happy.
That's why I do not buy stories of unfortunate circumstances. It might apply to few people, but not to hundreds of thousand.

Few hundred thousand!!!!:lol:

3 billion people survive on less than $2 per day.
1 billion dont know how to read or write
1 billion dont have access to clean drinking water (llet alone running water)
2.5 billion dont have access to sanitation systems
1.4 million children die per year from lack of access to clean water.
2.2 million die because of lack of immunisation


You are wealthy enough to have access a computer and the internet, thats better than billions of the world's population.

I hope you can see the vast difference and realise just how priviledged your upbringing was. I hope you are also starting to buy those stories of unfortunate circumstances.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 07:33 PM
In reality, the poor are not poor because the rich are rich.

No-one is saying such. What I am saying is that for it is very hard for these people to lift themselves out of poverty. And it is common knowledge that a market system allows the rich to increase their welath at a faster rate than the poor due to asymmetries of information and diffrence in ability to make capital investments.

Poor are at a competitive disadvantage. However I don't believe anyone has found a solution to this problem. Unfortunately we are not all born equal. And the gap in wealth between rich and poor inevitably causes conflict.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 07:41 PM
Of course it's easier, but it's still evil. It's also counterproductive.

It may not be counterproductive for the individual or the group if they can maintain access to the acquired resources. It way well benefit those individuals tremendously. As you are aware people often act in self interest.

Desmond
16-05-2008, 07:42 PM
If a person works hard and as a result - he is rich, why should his taxes pay for somebody who is poor not because of distability or circumstance but because he is a lazy idiot? :hmm:
Rich people do not necessarily work harder than poor people.

Also, how are you suggesting to legislate to differentiate between those who are poor because of "circumstance" and those who are poor because of laziness and/or idiocy?

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 07:49 PM
If a person works hard and as a result - he is rich, why should his taxes pay for somebody who is poor not because of distability or circumstance but because he is a lazy idiot? :hmm:

I feel that the tax systems that are in place in Russia and HK (flat tax rates for everyone) are the fair ones.!

I have also said I favour a flat system. Because higher tax rates for the rich often causes them to leave the system altogther. Most high to middle income earners now operate in a global labour market if the tax rate in Oz is not competitive with another country they may move to that system.

You shouldn't have too. But it is a cost of doing business short of like bad and doubtful debts, every system has its weaknesses that some people will exploit.

Igor_Goldenberg
16-05-2008, 09:19 PM
Few hundred thousand!!!!:lol:

3 billion people survive on less than $2 per day.
1 billion dont know how to read or write
1 billion dont have access to clean drinking water (llet alone running water)
2.5 billion dont have access to sanitation systems
1.4 million children die per year from lack of access to clean water.
2.2 million die because of lack of immunisation

Few hundred thousands applied to Australia (where we live and most of our taxes spent).



[QUOTE=TheJoker]You are wealthy enough to have access a computer and the internet, thats better than billions of the world's population.

Did I ever complain about my current circumstances? Or even my circumstances at any point in time?


I hope you can see the vast difference and realise just how priviledged your upbringing was. I hope you are also starting to buy those stories of unfortunate circumstances.
Please explain how privileged my upbringing was? USSR was not particular known for good living standards in 70-s and 80-s. Are you saying Australians of the same age had more difficult upbringing or fewer opportunities?

MichaelBaron
16-05-2008, 11:10 PM
Rich people do not necessarily work harder than poor people.

Also, how are you suggesting to legislate to differentiate between those who are poor because of "circumstance" and those who are poor because of laziness and/or idiocy?


Ok, your point taken - they do not always work harder - they some times work smarter. Or their parents worked smarter and left them the money :)


to me "curcumstance" is somethining like physical or mental disability, or house lost in fire etc.

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 11:12 PM
Few hundred thousands applied to Australia (where we live and most of our taxes spent).

Did I ever complain about my current circumstances? Or even my circumstances at any point in time?


Please explain how privileged my upbringing was? USSR was not particular known for good living standards in 70-s and 80-s. Are you saying Australians of the same age had more difficult upbringing or fewer opportunities?

I didn't realise you were comparing standards to Australia. I did mention Central Africa in my initial post, so assumed your reply was in reference to that. Personally I feel extremely fortunate to be living in Australia. I've been to North America, Europe and Asia and I still prefer Australia as a place to live.

Capablanca-Fan
17-05-2008, 02:26 AM
Personally I feel extremely fortunate to be living in Australia. I've been to North America, Europe and Asia and I still prefer Australia as a place to live.
I agree.

Capablanca-Fan
17-05-2008, 02:34 AM
No-one is saying such. What I am saying is that for it is very hard for these people to lift themselves out of poverty.
But it must be possible. All rich countries were once poor. Many rich people started off poor.

It's the free market that made this possible, and this requires the government to protect property rights. In fact, property rights are vital even for those yet to acquire property.


No-one is saying such. What I am saying is that for it is And it is common knowledge that a market system allows the rich to increase their welath at a faster rate than the poor due to asymmetries of information and diffrence in ability to make capital investments.
Yet all the goods produced by a market economy has made far more difference to the poor. They now have goods that only the rich could have decades ago, if they were available at all. As George Reisman points out in Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, p. 344, (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1998):


“[e]conomic competition is not a process by which the success of the biologically fit bring about the extermination of the biologically weak. On the contrary, it is the process by which the success of better products and more efficient methods of production promotes the survival and well-being of all. It is a process in which the success of the more able raises the productivity and improves the standard of living of the less able.”


No-one is saying such. What I am saying is that for it is Poor are at a competitive disadvantage. However I don't believe anyone has found a solution to this problem. Unfortunately we are not all born equal. And the gap in wealth between rich and poor inevitably causes conflict.
No, it's the demagogery that exploits this gap which causes conflict.

Capablanca-Fan
17-05-2008, 02:38 AM
Rich people do not necessarily work harder than poor people.
No, but in a market economy, they have usually pleased more people, who demonstrate their pleasure by freely paying them. Lefties would try to second-guess these free choices.


Also, how are you suggesting to legislate to differentiate between those who are poor because of "circumstance" and those who are poor because of laziness and/or idiocy?
Hence the LDP idea of a genuine safety net with negative taxation, but which doesn't result in a poverty trap.

Desmond
18-05-2008, 08:22 AM
No, but in a market economy, they have usually pleased more people, who demonstrate their pleasure by freely paying them. Lefties would try to second-guess these free choices.That may be true in some cases but it is really irrelevant to what MB said.


Hence the LDP idea of a genuine safety net with negative taxation, but which doesn't result in a poverty trap.Again, not really relevant since the "lazy idiot" will get this just the same as someone with unfortunate "circumstances".

Igor_Goldenberg
18-05-2008, 12:27 PM
3 billion people survive on less than $2 per day.
1 billion dont know how to read or write
1 billion dont have access to clean drinking water (llet alone running water)
2.5 billion dont have access to sanitation systems
1.4 million children die per year from lack of access to clean water.
2.2 million die because of lack of immunisation


How many of them live in Australia?

Capablanca-Fan
18-05-2008, 01:07 PM
How many of them live in Australia?
Or, how many of them live in countries which protect property rights and allow the market to operate?

Capablanca-Fan
18-05-2008, 01:17 PM
That may be true in some cases but it is really irrelevant to what MB said.
It is still an important point. Most of the rich people in free market have found ways to please vast numbers of people by providing goods they want at a price they can afford. But in centrally planned or even "mixed" economies, a common way to wealth is alliance with government for patronage or restricting competition.


Again, not really relevant since the "lazy idiot" will get this just the same as someone with unfortunate "circumstances".
True. And without Centrelink bullying that treats all beneficiaries like lazy idiots. But with a good incentive to take even an introductory minimum wage job since the benefits won't be clawed back sharply.

A lumbering government bureaucracy is always going to have a hard time differentiating people who are in unfortunate circumstances from lazy idiots. But a local charity can do this: it is closer to the people, so can tell if someone needs a helping hand or a kick in the pants. But a government bureaucracy tends to treat people the same; if leftist, treat all as if they were in unfortunate circumstances (e.g. abolishing work for dole); if rightist, treat them all as if they were lazy idiots (hence Centrelink bullying). The solution: get the government out of it!

The LDP scheme does that to some extent: it still supports the lazy idiots, but makes it easier for those in unfortunate circumstances to return to work.

TheJoker
18-05-2008, 10:58 PM
But it must be possible. All rich countries were once poor. Many rich people started off poor.

It's the free market that made this possible, and this requires the government to protect property rights. In fact, property rights are vital even for those yet to acquire property.

Different eras (can't really compare directly just like chess) environment has changed significantly. All adopted a regulated market approach with various forms of protectionism. The globalised economy of today is vastly different from what we have seen in the past. Better to look at economies that have suceeded in the last few decades.



Yet all the goods produced by a market economy has made far more difference to the poor..

No one is denying that. I favour a market economy (just see need for some regulation


No, it's the demagogery that exploits this gap which causes conflict.

So how do you propose to eliminate demagogery and hence conflict?

Capablanca-Fan
20-05-2008, 06:22 PM
“Supply and demand will never replace ‘need’ and ‘greed’ in political discussions of economic issues. ... One of the many ironies of politics is that those politicians who do the most to reduce supply often express the greatest outrage about high prices. So long as the voters buy it, the politicians will keep selling it. Make a list of those politicians who do the most to prevent our drilling for our own oil. Then make a list of those politicians who express the most outrage about the high price of gasoline. Don’t be surprised if you see the same names on both lists. Make a list of those politicians who most loudly lament the lack of ‘affordable housing.’ Then make a list of those politicians who have most consistently promoted restrictions on the building of housing, under the banner of ‘open space’ laws, ‘farmland protection’ policies, preventing ‘urban sprawl,’ and other politically soothing phrases. Again, do not be surprised at seeing the same folks on both lists... So long as voters prefer heroes and villains to supply and demand, this game will continue to be played.” —Thomas Sowell