Re: Property [was Re: The Education Function]

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 17:38:09 -0500

Webb_S wrote:

> wrote:
> > The question is not "which system is perfect", but "which system works".
> > This is the contention on the table: by overwhelming evidence as well as
> > theory, market freedom works (best), and no alternative works (nearly as
> > well).
> Market freedom is the most effective means for achieving libertarian goals.
> It is not necessarily the best means for achieving other goals, such as
> communalism or equality. These alternative goals are equally valid, though
> perhaps unpalatable or even abhorrent to a libertarian.
> A laissez-faire approach to economics does not necessarily translate well to
> other societies with different views of freedom, personal responsibility,
> society, etc. In Russia and many SE Asian countries, for example, global
> capitalism looks rather like a dismal failure at the moment.

Of course, it was not capitalism they were practicing, just state directed mercantilism, with a far greater disregard for individual liberties. In other words, the crooks in charge before just wanted a license to pillage the system one more time. This time they not only snookered their own people but investors from around the world....

> >> If you really cared about people you wouldn't advocate forcing them, at
> >> gunpoint, to comply with your idea of "help".
> A bit of an exaggeration, eh? I live in DC and work for the government.
> Trust me, most government activities have nothing to do with force. Oh
> sure, at some abstract level the State could suddenly decide to ditch our
> constitutional rights and blow us away for non-conformance, but in the vast
> majority of transactions this possibility is so remote as to be negligible.

Really? You mean I can just stop paying my taxes and nothing will happen to me? Really? I can go shoot a spruce grouse if I feel like it and nobody is gonna do anything to me? If you answer in the negative, then it has to do with force. Everything the government does is due to regulation. Regulation is a law written by a bureaucrat who never gave me or my representative a voice in writing it. Regulation without representation is definitely force. Enforcing regulation ignorant of my opposition is also definitely force. Just because you use nice words and use tons of paperwork to bury me does not mean its not force. "The pen is mightier than the sword." You wield the ultimate weapon, sir.

> Now, if you want to talk rampant coercion in modern America, my exhibit A
> would be the control businesses have over their employees. To the average
> American, the government is some remote entity with which one interacts on
> April 15 and election day. One's boss, on the other hand, can very quickly
> and easily make one's life miserable if one fails to carry out his or her
> wishes.

An employee is not required to work there, nor are they required to do the work. They can very easily change employers, and while employed cannot be coerced into paying for something they don't want, unless you are a union employee, in which case, too bad. I work as a contract consultant. I choose my employers more than they choose me. And before you think I'm some kind of highly educated professional, I never finished my bachelors degree, I just know a lot about computer applications, publishing, graphic design, database conversion, and website development, as well as a number of other things.

> To Samael you wrote:
> > I'm going to be blunt: please study economics starting at the beginning.
> > I'm afraid you've missed something important.
> Without getting into Samael's understanding of economics, even a beginning
> economist recognizes the important distinction between positive and
> normative economics. It's one thing, for example, to state
that some market
> outcome is Pareto optimal, but another thing entirely to say we should
> restructure our political and social systems to achieve said outcome.

Especially when the restructuring would undo 60 years of bureaucrats building the welfare state up, eh? There's a lot of emotional and ideological investment in the status quo. Hopefully the loss of face come jan1 of next year will help things along.

> Samael, Joe E. Dees, and others presumably don't disagree with the
> underlying economic theory, but do disagree as to how this theory should be
> brought to bear to solve social/political/economic problems.
> While I don't necessarily agree with everything either Samael or Joe is
> saying, we must recognize that there are two sides to this story. Sure,
> governments do bad things, but so do businesses. Personally, I'm
much more
> concerned about what my next (private sector) employer might do to me, or
> try to make me do, than I am about the guvmint.

Yes guvmint employees have it pretty cushy, thanks to the union, but how about non-union employees?