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January 28, 2010 – Comments (25) | RELATED TICKERS: DE , VO , ISH

For any and all who demand an example ("model") of a small-government country that has thrived (and for some reason don't like the U.S., post-war West Germany, or pre-unification Hong Kong), I would like for you to walk a mile in my shoes. Why don't you try to come up with a model (i.e. a specific example) of a heavily regulated industry where regulators weren't ensnared by lobbyists to favor a few rich, well-connected cronies at the expense of both their competitors and their customers. I'll even be more fair than you were with my small-government models, by actually providing substantial disputation instead of dismissing your models out of hand.

Any takers?

25 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 28, 2010 at 3:09 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

It's kind of a loaded question.  Small governments don't stay small, because governments by their very nature are force, coercion, theft, etc..

Government is the only service that gets rewarded whether or not it provides a service that people want. (In the real world of private citizens, we call that stealing.)  So naturally, the government must expand.  And it always does, until it gets so big that it implodes from within. 

Government is cancer.  Because you have a little cancer, that doesn't make it good.   Your cancer will spread and spread until the host is consumed.  That is what a government does.

The closest example to a free market we have seen in our lifetime is the Internet.  

California and the Not-So-Wild West in the 1800's was a great example of limited or private government.  No crime, respect for property rights, melting pot, etc.  Great story.

America's Revolution established the first truly limited government of consent (perhaps) with the Articles of Confederation.  But then the Continental Congress printed paper money and that opened the door to the Constitution and Statism.

What else...

David in Qatar

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#2) On January 28, 2010 at 3:51 AM, APJ4RealHoldings (36.07) wrote:

agreed with whereaminow above

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#3) On January 28, 2010 at 6:56 AM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

I guess I have to take that as a "no, still no small Gov't success story" and certainly no example of your all gov't banished utopia's.

You guys argued national healthcare was a nanny state so you disqualified HongKong and W Germany, not me. And Qatar, I might add.

Dave's assertion that the Not-So-Wild-West respected property rights might be disputed by the Sioux and the Mexicans. And the idea the Wild West gets renamed "Not-So-Wild in order to assert there is no crime sure seems a stretch.

I cannot stop and read your last post tight now and how you decided my asking for a model was unfair, except in the difficulty you had in answering it. Anyone who wants to, can read it and see why I believe I the no Gov't model has been tried and failed.

Why don't you try to come up with a model (i.e. a specific example) of a heavily regulated industry where regulators weren't ensnared by lobbyists to favor a few rich, well-connected cronies at the expense of both their competitors and their customers.

Let's investigate this question. In it we have two three groups. 1)ensnared Gov't regulators, who you want to eliminate. 2) lobbyists who do the work to ensnare them. 3) favored, rich, well connected cronies.

As an unfavored, unrich, unconnected, uncronie I have more influence over the Gov't regulator through his elected boss then I do over the other two segments of your corrupted trio. Seems to me, they are the last ones I want to eliminate. Regardless of hearing since Reagan that I should banish Gov't regulators, in the hope that the corrupt private individuals would also dissappear.

It doesn't feel like that has been a successful approach.

So let's turn your question around. Find me a Gov't regulator that is not a response to a private companys (plural) damaging the property of individuals or stealing.

Nice use of tickers, I'm very flattered.

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#4) On January 28, 2010 at 7:22 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

devoish,

Dayton University research showed that there were more bank robberies in Dayton in one year (15), than there were in the entire frontier period.  Research found six, possibly eight real (not imagined) bank robberies in the entire history.  Now, perhaps there were a few more.  However, the historical record is clear.  

Buffalo Bill Cody used to tell people that he was injured in fights with Indians 137 times. Later, he admitted that it was.... one time.  It sells dime novels.  I feel quite positive that if you ask the Indians and Mexicans who they would prefer to live with..... Government or Private Free People, I know they'd chose the latter.  

Indians were wiped out by the government (Custer, Jackson, Grant, etc..)  

The American - Mexican War

Chasing Poncho Villa through Mexico

I have to ask... have you ever read a history book past elementary school?

Really, at least read the Leftish leaning People's History of the United States so you can become a thoughtful liberal.

"Find me a Gov't regulator that is not a response to a private companys (plural) damaging the property of individuals or stealing. "

Easy. Railroad, road, and canal building and subsidies in the 1800's.  

All put into place without popular support.  All corrupt. All unnecessary.  There was a myth back then (still is - on both sides of the aisle) that there was a "free rider" problem where the private sector could not fulfill certain projects.  The history shows otherwise.  There were tons of roads, canals, and railroad projects all across America.  Everywhere a state or the federal government stepped in, it was a total disaster.

See How Capitalism Saved America or 33 Questions About History You're Not Supposed to Ask for a detailed history of the Free Rider myth and how it became the basis of early corporate welfare.  

Here's another one: 

Central Banking and Fiat Money. I did a 7 part series on this one.  Check out The Ethics of Money Production or  Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles.

David in Qatar

(ps, I know devoish won't read any of those books, but I suggest them for people who come across this blog and are looking for more informatin.  They're great books.  Even Zinn's People's History.)

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#5) On January 28, 2010 at 7:39 AM, ralphmachio (28.47) wrote:

Sure- if the votes get tallied at all.  But, considering that there is no proof of that, and the voting machines are made by a company who represents the powers that be, It might be delusional to assume your vote has any potency at all.  

Furthermore, the two choices are so similar, it would get you nowhere, even if it wasn't rigged.

The average time spent in the human body, compared with the improvement rate of society with all this 'voting' liquidating our freedoms, boils down to never getting what you want.  It is always 2 steps forward three steps back.  

Perhaps it is like every other aspect of humanity.  Some are weak, some are strong.  Some are leaders, some were born to follow.  Some have imagination, some can only deal with the facts as they are presented (some cannot even deal with that), some wait around for the government to tell them it's ok to cross the street, some don't even consider it. 

The conditions that cause crime are economic and social.  The government only decides how to deal with crime after it occurs.

 The chief job (and what is in the self interest) of our government is to make sure that the corporations that screw us today are the same corporations that will be screwing us tomorrow.  That's fascism, the government and the corporations are one and the same.  

The end. 

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#6) On January 28, 2010 at 7:47 AM, ralphmachio (28.47) wrote:

I agree with the above statement pertaining to "A Peoples History of the United States", by howard Zinn.  It is my opinion that if you haven't read this book, you are missing out on half of American history.  I'll have to check out those others- thanks.

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#7) On January 28, 2010 at 4:06 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

@ralphmachio: I agree with you about the current state of the country and the government, and I am torn between the pessimism that it is the natural state of things and the hope that we can achieve increases in freedom for ourselves and future generations.

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#8) On January 28, 2010 at 4:29 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

@devoish: The lack of real-life examples of uncorrupted government regulators proves that in real life, government regulators don't live up to your claims for their greatness. If you can't provide one real-life example of regulation that has worked, let's call regulation a failure. Regulation has been tried and failed.

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#9) On January 28, 2010 at 10:59 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

Flea,

Please repost where I claimed Gov't regulators achieved "greatness"? I do claim that some regulators have integrity, even though they sometimes make mistakes. I also claim that some regulators have been bought out or manipulated by private interests.

I still do not agree that eliminating all the regulators, good and bad, and leaving the corrupting private interests in charge is a good idea.

I promise you, more Americans gave money to environmental organisations than to tea baggers.

Some regulation is a success however. Eliminating or weakening those regulations has lead to may failures.

For example, regulating healthcare in the early 1900's was a resounding success. Life expectancys doubled when hospitals were required to meet cleanliness standards and Doctors were required to go to medical school. Prior to regulations Americans were being sold cures that did not work by charlatans who left in the night.

EPA regulations concerning water pollution and acid rain have restored many lakes and streams to better health. Lake Erie (the big one in NY) was dead when I was a young man. The weakening and underfunding of the EPA has allowed pollution to become a growing problem again.

All I ever said, and continue to say, is that having Democratic Gov't is better than not having Gov't.

But, let's examine some points so far.

From David:

It's kind of a loaded question.  Small governments don't stay small, because governments by their very nature are force, coercion, theft, etc.

So be warned, if you achieve your dismantling of America you will at some point have a small and growing Gov't. The nice thing about Democracy, has been the ability to change that Gov't without property destruction and bloodshed. You might not get that. You might get a country of warring factions that murder people and destroy property. They exist. "No Gov't Utopia" does not.

To expect Gov't to be easy was never promised. It takes time to be involved, and courage to have integrity.

I don't like the gov't I have right now. But I like it much better than the futility you are promoting.

Take your Libertarian friends, go somewhere, buy some land. Come back in 200 years and let me know how it went wrong.

But don't expect to take me down with you.

Good luck.

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#10) On January 28, 2010 at 11:31 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

Take your Libertarian friends, go somewhere, buy some land. Come back in 200 years and let me know how it went wrong.

Am I right to infer from this that you would support our right to secede? Or are you suggesting that I buy some land in New London, CT?

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#11) On January 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

Am I right to infer from this that you would support our right to secede?

Better would be to say I support your right to leave.

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#12) On January 29, 2010 at 1:52 PM, starbucks4ever (97.98) wrote:

"Why don't you try to come up with a model (i.e. a specific example) of a heavily regulated industry where regulators weren't ensnared by lobbyists to favor a few rich, well-connected cronies at the expense of both their competitors and their customers."

Highways, airports, bridges, fundamental research, space program, nuclear power plants, sewage systems... 

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#13) On January 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

devoish- The reason I want your support for "secession" is because every acre of land on the globe is claimed by enemies of my philosophy, even though other people paid for it. Society settles and cultivates land, government claims it through force and implied force.

Would you support our right to peaceably secede and perform our scientific experiment? According to Wikipedia, "The U.S. Census Bureau lists 3,140 counties or county-equivalent administrative units in total." If you have a better count, I'm open to it and not willing to argue about this point. I would just like to say that for libertarians to buy all the land in one county of the U.S. and peaceably secede would leave a vast multitude of similar counties in the control of the U.S. government. If we are willing to pay for the title of the land, and our secession is peaceful, and we ask nothing in return from the U.S. government, there is no rational reason to use violence to stop us from seceding, is there?

Would you support or oppose the use of violence against our county if we seceded from the union?

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#14) On January 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

No. I don't think I want to legitimize a terrorist organisation bent upon destroying my way of life.

I tell you what though, sell your US assets for whatever they are worth, and go buy yourself some land from one of the other 199 Countrys in the world. Talk to France, they let some land go cheap once.

You might consider buying land in Tovalu. Since you Libertarians are the smart guys who have figured out AGW is a sinister plot to control you and is not really happening. The population of Tovalu is being evacuated in anticipation of AGW raising the sea level and submerging the Island. You could buy this island nation dirt cheap, knowing AGW is not happening, and build a Libertarian Utopia upon the back of Gov't corruption. I mean this AGW lie has these poor suckers leaving their land for nothing. Pick it up cheap.

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#15) On January 29, 2010 at 8:19 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I know better than to talk to crazy people.

As soon as you say Libertarian and utopia, I know you haven't understood a word written to you in the entire year we've been talking.

http://mises.org/daily/2616#5

Murray Rothbard on Myths of Libertarianism

Myth #5: Libertarians are utopians who believe that all people are good, and that therefore state control is not necessary.

Conservatives tend to add that since human nature is either partially or wholly evil, strong state regulation is therefore necessary for society.

This is a very common belief about libertarians, yet it is difficult to know the source of this misconception. Rousseau, the locus classicus of the idea that man is good but is corrupted by his institutions, was scarcely a libertarian. Apart from the romantic writings of a few anarcho-communists, whom I would not consider libertarians in any case, I know of no libertarian or classical liberal writers who have held this view.

On the contrary, most libertarian writers hold that man is a mixture of good and evil and therefore that it is important for social institutions to encourage the good and discourage the bad. The state is the only social institution which is able to extract its income and wealth by coercion; all others must obtain revenue either by selling a product or service to customers or by receiving voluntary gifts. And the state is the only institution which can use the revenue from this organized theft to presume to control and regulate people's lives and property. Hence, the institution of the state establishes a socially legitimatized and sanctified channel for bad people to do bad things, to commit regularized theft and to wield dictatorial power.

Statism therefore encourages the bad, or at least the criminal elements of human nature. As Frank H. Knight trenchantly put it: "The probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tenderhearted person would get the job of whipping master in a slave plantation."[10]

A free society, by not establishing such a legitimated channel for theft and tyranny, discourages the criminal tendencies of human nature and encourages the peaceful and the voluntary. Liberty and the free market discourage aggression and compulsion, and encourage the harmony and mutual benefit of voluntary interpersonal exchanges, economic, social, and cultural.

"Most libertarian writers hold that man is a mixture of good and evil and therefore that it is important for social institutions to encourage the good and discourage the bad."

Since a system of liberty would encourage the voluntary and discourage the criminal, and would remove the only legitimated channel for crime and aggression, we could expect that a free society would indeed suffer less from violent crime and aggression than we do now, though there is no warrant for assuming that they would disappear completely. That is not utopianism, but a common-sense implication of the change in what is considered socially legitimate, and in the reward-and-penalty structure in society.

We can approach our thesis from another angle. If all men were good and none had criminal tendencies, then there would indeed be no need for a state, as conservatives concede. But if on the other hand all men were evil, then the case for the state is just as shaky, since why should anyone assume that those men who form the government and obtain all the guns and the power to coerce others, should be magically exempt from the badness of all the other persons outside the government?

Tom Paine, a classical libertarian often considered to be naively optimistic about human nature, rebutted the conservative evil-human-nature argument for a strong state as follows: "If all human nature be corrupt, it is needless to strengthen the corruption by establishing a succession of kings, who be they ever so base, are still to be obeyed…" Paine added that "NO man since the fall hath ever been equal to the trust of being given power over all."[11]

And as the libertarian F.A. Harper once wrote:

Still using the same principle that political rulership should be employed to the extent of the evil in man, we would then have a society in which complete political rulership of all the affairs of everybody would be called for…. One man would rule all. But who would serve as the dictator? However he were to be selected and affixed to the political throne, he would surely be a totally evil person, since all men are evil. And this society would then be ruled by a totally evil dictator possessed of total political power. And how, in the name of logic, could anything short of total evil be its consequence? How could it be better than having no political rulership at all in that society?[12]

Finally, since, as we have seen, men are actually a mixture of good and evil, a regime of liberty serves to encourage the good and discourage the bad, at least in the sense that the voluntary and mutually beneficial are good and the criminal is bad. In no theory of human nature, then, whether it be goodness, badness, or a mixture of the two, can statism be justified.

In the course of denying the notion that he is a conservative, the classical liberal F.A. Hayek pointed out: "The main merit of individualism [which Adam Smith and his contemporaries advocated] is that it is a system under which bad men can do least harm. It is a social system which does not depend for its functioning on our finding good men for running it, or on all men becoming better than they now are, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity…"[13]


It is important to note what differentiates libertarians from utopians in the pejorative sense. Libertarianism does not set out to remold human nature. One of socialism's major goals is to create, which in practice means by totalitarian methods, a New Socialist Man, an individual whose major goal will be to work diligently and altruistically for the collective.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy which says: Given any existent human nature, liberty is the only moral and the most effective political system.

Obviously, libertarianism — as well as any other social system — will work better the more individuals are peaceful and the less they are criminal or aggressive. And libertarians, along with most other people, would like to attain a world where more individuals are "good" and fewer are criminals. But this is not the doctrine of libertarianism per se, which says that whatever the mix of man's nature may be at any given time, liberty is best.

 

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#16) On January 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

Myth #5: Libertarians are utopians who believe that all people are good, and that therefore state control is not necessary.

Conservatives tend to add that since human nature is either partially or wholly evil, strong state regulation is therefore necessary for society.

This is a very common belief about libertarians, yet it is difficult to know the source of this misconception.

I hope this helps answer the question.

A free society, by not establishing such a legitimated channel for theft and tyranny, discourages the criminal tendencies of human nature and encourages the peaceful and the voluntary. Liberty and the free market discourage aggression and compulsion, and encourage the harmony and mutual benefit of voluntary interpersonal exchanges, economic, social, and cultural

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#17) On February 01, 2010 at 1:58 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

No one said anything about terrorism or destroying anyone else's way of life, except that you want to use military force to stop me and those like me from living our way of life. You are advocating aggressive force against peaceful people, much like when your ancestors attacked and dispossessed the American Indians, killing many of them in the process. The moral bankruptcy of your position is now indisputable amongst those of us who value life and diversity.

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#18) On February 01, 2010 at 2:15 PM, jddubya (< 20) wrote:

LOL... and the Hynotoad posts were banned...

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#19) On February 01, 2010 at 2:26 PM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

One of socialism's major goals is to create, which in practice means by totalitarian methods, a New Socialist Man, an individual whose major goal will be to work diligently and altruistically for the collective.

 

This very aptly describes public school education.  Although I will add:  without questioning authority or information given.  

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#20) On February 01, 2010 at 9:06 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

The moral bankruptcy of your position is now indisputable amongst those of us who value life and diversity.

Does this mean no dessert for me?

Flea, you cannot make "libertarianism" happen in your own house, much less your neighborhood, county, State or the whole damn USA.

Somebody always gets stuck with the dishes, until there is an argument and a system - of governing whose turn it is to do the dishes. Or walk the dog, get the wood, clean the bathroom, use the hamper, gas the car, buy the milk, etc. etc. etc.

It's a democracy. A set of rules agreed upon and followed by all members of the house, taking the ones they like with the ones they don't.

And sometimes it's a Kingdom, and what I say goes.

But it is never Libertarian. No such thing exists.

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#21) On February 01, 2010 at 9:09 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

The moral bankruptcy of your position is now indisputable amongst those of us who value life and diversity.

Does this mean no dessert for me?

Flea, you cannot make "libertarianism" happen in your own house, much less your neighborhood, county, State or the whole damn USA.

Somebody always gets stuck with the dishes, until there is an argument and a system - of governing whose turn it is to do the dishes. Or walk the dog, get the wood, clean the bathroom, use the hamper, gas the car, buy the milk, etc. etc. etc.

It's a democracy. A set of rules agreed upon and followed by all members of the house, taking the ones they like with the ones they don't.

And sometimes it's a Kingdom, and what I say goes.

But it is never Libertarian. No such thing exists.

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#22) On February 02, 2010 at 2:19 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

So nice, you say it twice? jk, I know those things fluke out sometimes.

Anyway, you haven't addressed why you arbitrarily labeled me a terrorist and advocated using the threat of violence to prevent me and those like me from living our peaceful way of life.

And a set of rules agreed upon by all the members is an example of libertarianism, or Voluntarianism. A set of rules agreed upon by 51% of members and brutally imposed on the other 49% is what is known as Democracy. You are arguing my point for me.

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#23) On February 02, 2010 at 9:01 PM, devoish (96.39) wrote:

So nice, you say it twice? jk, I know those things fluke out sometimes.

I'm glad you could laugh, but you are going down anyway. I used terrorist because you want to destroy democracy.

And a set of rules agreed upon by all the members is an example of libertarianism, or Voluntarianism.

And my point that it is a fantasy and has been replaced everywhere in the world because it failed is because everybody doesn't agree on everything.

Or to put it another way - "you guys want Chinese tonight"?

"sure" - "not again" - "who cares" - "pizza"

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#24) On February 02, 2010 at 9:32 PM, truthisntstupid (94.31) wrote:

I agree regulation is a pain in the butt.  My job as a restaurant cook would be so much better if I didn't have to put up with that damn health inspector.   Let's do away with him first - ok?

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#25) On February 03, 2010 at 3:50 PM, FleaBagger (28.07) wrote:

@devoish: Free people can get whatever food they want. One can get Chinese, one can get burgers, and two others can split a pizza that they both agreed on. In a Democracy, if >50% want Chinese, the other 49% have to eat Chinese, even if they're allergic to it and they die. That's Democracy.

@truthisntstupid: What restaurant do you work at?

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