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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Paper for my English class
    #3246735 - 10/12/04 12:09 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Improving Health Care

Millions of Americans do not have health insurance. This fact is repeated ad nauseam by establishment politicians trying to get elected. Health care costs are unaffordably high, so something must be done about it. Many demand that the government become more involved in health care to solve this crisis and make it available to everyone. This, however, would be a grave mistake. What people fail to realize is that government intervention is the source of the problem in the first place. It enforces excessive regulations on companies which drive up the costs of manufacturing and distributing medicine. This higher cost is then passed on to the consumer. Even by virtue of the fact that certain drugs require a prescription, the government forces people to schedule appointments with a doctor before they can even purchase the medicine, adding to their costs by prohibiting them from self-medicating. The problem is further compounded by the prohibition of certain natural remedies such as cannabis, while pharmaceutical monopolies are protected with subsidies.

The proper solution, then, is to dramatically reduce the government?s involvement in medicine and leave it in the hands of the free market. Just about anything the government can do, the free market can accomplish more efficiently and for lower costs. This is because in a free market, companies have to compete with one another. The company that can provide the best product for the cheapest price will inevitably beat out its less efficient competitors. An example of this is the computer industry, where free market competition has made computers far more affordable, powerful, and user-friendly than they were just a few years ago. Meanwhile, the cost of health care has skyrocketed since the 60s, when the government started getting involved in it(Browne, ?Free-market predators vs. well-meaning reformers?). Contrary to popular belief, monopolies can only exist as a result of preferential treatment from the government. Enron, for example, was heavily subsidized and supported by the government in return for its generous campaign contributions to both the Democrats and Republicans(Paul). If pharmaceutical companies had to compete in a free market instead of being similarly subsidized, they would have to compete with one another on even ground, and the ones that offered the best medicine for the most affordable price would be overwhelmingly preferred by consumers, and thus have the edge in the marketplace. Meanwhile, by reforming the drug scheduling system to eliminate prohibition and the need for prescriptions, the middle man would be taken out, and people would no longer be forced to spend large sums of money on a visit to the doctor, while also allowing people to grow their own medicinal plants, such as cannabis or opium poppies, without government harassment.

Furthermore, by eliminating regulations on insurance companies dictating which procedures should or shouldn?t be covered, people can buy policies custom-tailored fit to their own individual needs, rather than some government-mandated one-size-fits-all policy. Since each individual is different, and may have make distinctive lifestyle choices, there may be certain types of coverage which are unnecessary for one individual but vital for another. By surrendering this choice to the government, no one gets the coverage best suited for them individually. This forces every taxpayer to pay for coverage they don?t need while often lacking sufficient coverage in more necessary areas. Although cynics insist that people generally don?t know what they need, this begs the question of what makes the government, comprised of these same people, more qualified to make such a decision for everyone.

In addition to these free market reforms, income taxes should not only be reduced, but eliminated entirely, and the IRS abolished, so as to allow people to keep their income and spend it on whatever expenses they consider important to them, including health care costs if they so choose. While this probably sounds outlandish, it may also come as a shock to some that there were no federal income taxes prior to 1913, so it is certainly feasible to maintain a government without this source of income.(?Is it really possible to have no federal income tax??). A small, efficient government, bound by the limitations specified in the Constitution, could easily maintain itself using the Constitutionally allowed tariffs and excise taxes upon which it previously relied.

Obviously many of these ideas are very controversial. Certain opponents might claim that by deregulating the market, there is less of a guarantee that the products produced by pharmaceutical companies will be safe. However, a company putting out a hazardous product on the free market would likely entail financial suicide, especially without government subsidies. Therefore, they would be exceedingly unlikely to do such a thing. Moreover, FDA screening has a tendency to cause more harm than it prevents, frequently delaying promising medications from hitting the market for several years in order to protect itself from lawsuits, even if the lives that could be saved far outweigh any potential risks(Browne, ?Top 10 misconceptions about government?).

Some say that legalizing all drugs and making them available without a prescription would cause rampant drug addiction and crime, yet this is already a current reality under drug prohibition. To believe that a law is the only thing keeping millions of people from using heroin is to make two assumptions: that people are naturally inclined to use heroin and that outlawing it prevents them from gaining access to it, both of which are blatantly false. At one time, all drugs were legal, and despite the fact that addiction existed then as it does now, there were far fewer deaths caused by drugs(Browne, ?What if all drugs were legal??). What?s more, when alcohol prohibition was repealed in 1933, the crime rate actually dropped by almost 50% over the course of that decade, in spite of the economic hardships of the time, therefore debunking the myth that prohibition reduces crime(Browne, ?Ignorance Is Dangerous?). There is no foreseeable reason why repealing drug prohibition would not also have a similar effect. Some critics might still contend that by not requiring a prescription, people are left without the expertise of a doctor, despite the fact that pharmacists also have extensive training and expertise, and thus could assist a customer in choosing the right medication for them. This could also create competition between doctors and pharmacists similar to what existed before drug prohibition, thus further driving down costs to the consumer.

Many charge that by eliminating income taxes and not universalizing health insurance, a vital social safety net would be eliminated, and some would be too poor to afford health care, even at the reduced costs that would come with deregulation. However, private charities already provide a social safety net for such people, and with people having all their income available for them to spend, charitable donations would surely rise, particularly in response to the government?s withdrawal from social welfare. Though some contend that charitable donations would still be inadequate for helping the needy, one must remember that most of these people living on welfare would become more motivated to find work, and that primarily just those who are unable to work would rely on charitable contributions.

The most common alternative proposal is essentially the opposite of this plan. Statist politicians insist that they be given more control over health care, not less. They maintain that by using tax dollars to create their own nationalized health insurance, they would be able to make affordable health care available to everyone. They often point to universal health care systems in places such as Canada as supposed success stories, while often ignoring the realities of such systems. A recent poll of Canadians showed a sharp drop in their approval for the current system, often citing a need for more doctors and nurses, as better emergency care and shorter waiting times(CBC). Most claimed the government wasn?t doing enough, but the problem is that without a competitive market, health care providers have little incentive or ability to improve the quality of their service on their own. All they can do is ask for more funding from the government, which comes indirectly from the Canadian taxpayers, who already pay on average about 47 percent of their family income for the country?s socialist programs(Rohrich). This, combined with subsidized pharmaceuticals hides the true cost of their health care, so the government can maintain popular support from people who might otherwise be outraged at how much they?re really paying. With a free market and no income tax, people could decide for themselves what kind of coverage would best suit them.

A major problem is that when money is funneled through the government, there are always large portions of it wasted on bureaucracy. The more hands the money has to pass through, the more people have to be paid, and the less there is left of it for its intended use. Consequently, the government has to heavily tax the population to provide the same level of health care that can be provided at much cheaper costs through direct payment. This is yet another reason why government is inefficient.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are proposing such a solution because their pockets are filled with the campaign contributions of corporations looking for more handouts, and because admitting that government is the problem would undermine their authority and reduce their power. Only the Libertarian Party, America?s third largest political party, is pushing for such sweeping reforms. They should be supported with the votes of everyone who cares about real health care reform, rather than the empty promises of tax-funded utopias espoused by establishment politicians. Only the Libertarian Party fully supports individual rights and self-determination in all areas of life, including, but not limited to healthcare and drugs. A vote for a Libertarian is a vote for personal freedom. While it?s unlikely that a Libertarian will be elected president anytime soon, a sizable turnout in the polls could give them the exposure they need to make sure their message is heard.

With any decision in life, there are essentially two choices. One may make the decision for themselves, or they can let someone else, such as a politician, make that decision for them. Most people trust themselves to make their own decisions, and rightfully so, because they know what is best for themselves far better than some public servant they?ve never met. People are capable of deciding for themselves what health care plan works best for them, and should be encouraged to do so. By prohibiting the government from making these decisions for others, health care costs can be driven down, and the quality of life for everyone can go up.



Works Cited

Browne, Harry. ?Free-market predators vs. well-meaning reformers.? WorldNetDaily. 15 Aug. 2001. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=24068>.

Browne, Harry. ?Ignorance Is Dangerous.? Harry Browne. 17 Jan. 2002. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/Ignorance.htm>.

Browne, Harry. ?Top 10 misconceptions about government.? WorldNetDaily. 26 Jun. 2001. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=23379>.

Browne, Harry. ?What if all drugs were legal? (gasp!).? WorldNetDaily. 7 Jun. 2001. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=23146>.

CBC News Online Staff. ?Canadians disillusioned with health-care system: survey.? CBC News. 16 Aug. 2004. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/08/16/healthcare040816.html>.

?Is it really possible to have no federal income tax?? Downsize DC. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.downsizedc.com/_issues/3_possible.shtml>.

Paul, Ron. ?Enron: Under-Regulated or Over-Subsidized?? LewRockwell.com. 30 Jan. 2002. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/paul12.html>.

Rohrich, Klaus. ?Redistributing Wealth.? Canada Free Press. 23 Feb. 2004. 12 Oct. 2004. <http://www.torontofreepress.com/2004/klaus022304.htm>.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


Edited by silversoul7 (10/12/04 12:15 PM)


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: silversoul7]
    #3246833 - 10/12/04 12:48 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

A lot of good points and it's well written. However, it still fails to address the main issue I have with the libertarian agenda. How can you possibly have the same amount of control, transparency and accountability if all of the public services are privatized and run by corporations? Their only concern is their bottom line. I think we need only to look towards examples like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing or even further back the East India Company, to see the natural conclusion of un-checked corporate policy.

I have raised this same issue in at least 2 or 3 other libertarian themed threads lately and it's always been ignored. I hope one of you staunch libertarians will voice some rebuttal or counter-point this time around.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3246854 - 10/12/04 12:53 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
A lot of good points and it's well written. However, it still fails to address the main issue I have with the libertarian agenda. How can you possibly have the same amount of control, transparency and accountability if all of the public services are privatized and run by corporations? Their only concern is their bottom line. I think we need only to look towards examples like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing or even further back the East India Company, to see the natural conclusion of un-checked corporate policy.



Why does everyone assume that this boogeyman known as "corporations" would run everything in a libertarian society? Libertarian fiscal policy would be highly conducive to the creation of small businesses, among whom people could choose the most effective, cheap, and reliable one for their needs. It's called competition and freedom of choice.

Also note that every example you just gave is an example of a government-sponsored monopoly--definitely not the product of leaving the economy to its own devices.

Quote:

I have raised this same issue in at least 2 or 3 other libertarian themed threads lately and it's always been ignored. I hope one of you staunch libertarians will voice some rebuttal or counter-point this time around.



I've given the same rebuttal to you before. I don't know why you missed it.


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: silversoul7]
    #3246899 - 10/12/04 01:08 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
A lot of good points and it's well written. However, it still fails to address the main issue I have with the libertarian agenda. How can you possibly have the same amount of control, transparency and accountability if all of the public services are privatized and run by corporations? Their only concern is their bottom line. I think we need only to look towards examples like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing or even further back the East India Company, to see the natural conclusion of un-checked corporate policy.



Why does everyone assume that this boogeyman known as "corporations" would run everything in a libertarian society? Libertarian fiscal policy would be highly conducive to the creation of small businesses. Also note that every example you just gave is an example of a government-sponsored monopoly--definitely not the product of leaving the economy to its own devices.

Quote:

I have raised this same issue in at least 2 or 3 other libertarian themed threads lately and it's always been ignored. I hope one of you staunch libertarians will voice some rebuttal or counter-point this time around.



I've given the same rebuttal to you before. I don't know why you missed it.




No idea why I've missed it, I honestly don't think you've directly replied. Anyway, on to the discussion.

So you think that in a libertarian society we will all be served by mom and pop stores? What about who maintains the roads? The internet, phone and cable systems? What about ecological issues? Water and power? Transportation? Manufacturing? Farming? Those are all things that require serious resources, manpower and coordination to run properly and effectively.

I'm not talking about where you get your dry cleaning done or worrying about what's going on behind the scenes at Flo's Diner. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference. For a country like the U.S., with 300 million people and a huge geograhical footprint, there will have to be some big companies in order to meet the needs of society. You say that it'll be fine because they're not "government sponsored"? So instead of getting corporate welfare to out-source jobs or instead of basically paying off their pocket politicians to loosen laws governing their business.. they'll have no restrictions, no over-sight, no accountability, nothing. I don't see how that is going to encourage an atmosphere of peace love and happiness. It will be the same greedy fucks willing to do whatever it takes to beat the competition and boost their bottom line.

So again I ask you, how is completely un-regulated business expected to serve society better than government, where at least you have some control, transparency and accountability. I know I keep hammering at those three things, but that's what it boils down to in my opinion.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3247176 - 10/12/04 02:21 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
So you think that in a libertarian society we will all be served by mom and pop stores? What about who maintains the roads? The internet, phone and cable systems? What about ecological issues? Water and power? Transportation? Manufacturing? Farming? Those are all things that require serious resources, manpower and coordination to run properly and effectively.



There will be mom and pop stores and there will be corporations, and none of them will be able to buy influence in the government because there will be barely anything left to buy.

As far as roads, when the question arises about building one in a particular populated area, I think the people from that area can go to City Hall to vote on where to put it, and they can also pitch in the money for paying the private contractors, who already do road work for the government--this would be similar except that it would be at the discretion of the community(so long as it didn't violate property rights) with their own voluntary contributions, not the government claiming to act on behalf of the community. I know a lot of people question how reliable voluntary contributions are, but if it's populated area, I'm sure the people living there would be more than happy to pay for maintenance. Now, highways would be a little more complex of an issue. I think interstate highways might fall under the "interstate commerce" clause in the Constitution, and thus would fall under the direction of the federal government, though it could simply plan out the highways, and work with state governments in building and maintaining them. The states could get the money to do this from traffic fines and the like.

As for ecological issues, libertarians would hold the biggest polluter in the country--the government--equally accountable for its pollution as any other entity, and would stop issuing EPA permits to pollute. Polluter fines are well within the realm of libertarianism, since polluting the air everyone breathes or the water everyone drinks or the soil everyone's food grows in would constitute initiation of force, and thus retaliatory force would be justified. National Parks would be turned over to private organizations, preferably environmental ones like the Sierra Club, which would most likely take better care of them than the government. Oil subsidies(along with all other subsidies) would be repealed, thus giving businesses the incentive needed to research, develop, and make a quick transition to alternative fuels such as biodiesel.

Water and power are already semi-privatized. Libertarians would just make the privatization complete. This would stimulate increased competition in the market, thus promoting the cheapest, cleanest, and most efficient power companies as the industry standard which others would follow in order to stay competitive. These utilities would be paid for pretty much how we pay for them now: by paying our electric and plumming bills.

For "transportation," I'm guessing you're referring to public transportation, right? Surely private companies could set up bus services. Trains and subways would be a little trickier, since those require construction work on large pieces of land, but I think that once again, this could be a matter best resolved by local residents at City Hall, and paid for by voluntary donations. These services would make a profit by charging people for tickets and passes, just like they do now.

Manufacturing has always been an area for the private sector, so I'm not sure why you even brought it up. Anyway, libertarian policies would lead to more job creation and competition, so manufacturing jobs would be competing for better products as well as better employees. With no minimum wage laws, there would be low-wage work for those willing to take it(such as teenagers and migrant workers), as well as higher-paying jobs for those with the skills and/or dedication necessary to perform them. For those who wanted to unionize to demand better wages or working conditions, that would be perfectly acceptable, as long as they don't get violent or demand some sort of government interference on their behalf(unless it's to secure their rights to life, liberty, and property).

Farming, like oil, would no longer be subsidized. While to some, this may sound harsh, one should understand that farm subsidies usually benefit big agribusiness at the expense of small farmers. Repealing these subsidies, therefore, would allow small farms to flourish once again, creating more competition on the market, and thus cheaper prices and better products.

I hope I answered those questions thoroughly enough.

Quote:

I'm not talking about where you get your dry cleaning done or worrying about what's going on behind the scenes at Flo's Diner. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference. For a country like the U.S., with 300 million people and a huge geograhical footprint, there will have to be some big companies in order to meet the needs of society. You say that it'll be fine because they're not "government sponsored"? So instead of getting corporate welfare to out-source jobs or instead of basically paying off their pocket politicians to loosen laws governing their business.. they'll have no restrictions, no over-sight, no accountability, nothing. I don't see how that is going to encourage an atmosphere of peace love and happiness. It will be the same greedy fucks willing to do whatever it takes to beat the competition and boost their bottom line.



I didn't say there would be no restrictions or oversight. As I said earlier, polluter fines would be applied universally, no matter who the polluter is. There wouldn't be any laws dictating job hours, minimum wage, hiring practices, etc., but as I said, workers could unionize to work to achieve a set of terms they could live with. Unlike the Industrial Revolution, police would not be used by the government as thugs to bust up unions. They would be required to respond with necessary force to any initiation of force by any individual or individuals against another individual or individuals, no matter who they happen to be. Also, I notice a lot of you liberals talk about money being the bottom line for big business. My question is: so what? In a libertarian society, anything constituting an initiation of force would be met with whatever counter-force is necessary, and any action which is not an initiation of force would be legal. If a corporation is dumping waste into a river or busting up a union, that is initiation of force, and will be dealt with accordingly. We don't need 2,000 pages of regulations to be able to recognize, stop, and prosecute an initiation of force against peaceful individuals. As long as businesses, big and small, abide by these easy-to-live-by rules, they shouldn't present too much of a problem, regardless of whether or not their driving motive is the almighty dollar.

Quote:

So again I ask you, how is completely un-regulated business expected to serve society better than government, where at least you have some control, transparency and accountability. I know I keep hammering at those three things, but that's what it boils down to in my opinion.



As I've pointed out, businesses would not be completely unregulated. They would be regulated only to the extent necessary to secure the natural rights of all individuals.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: silversoul7]
    #3247259 - 10/12/04 02:45 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

All your points are reasoned and I appreciate the time you put into them. However, one of the first lines is where I got hung up..

Quote:

silversoul7:
..and none of them will be able to buy influence in the government...





I agree that the businesses will no longer be able to buy influence. At the same time however they won't need to buy any influence, they will already have it all. Say that for whatever reason, Interstate Highway Corp (or whatever) refuses you service. Even though you're willing to pay the montly rate or whatever, they just decide to arbitrarily deny you the right to use their roads. Whom do you petition? Whom could even make a difference?

But honestly that's just a small symptom of the problem I see with an almost fully privatized system. As it stands now, you can tune in to C-SPAN and watch your elected officals do their job. You can write to your representatives, you can vote for a huge variety of public positions and those that you can't are appointed by the people you did elect. There is no such direct control in the private sector. Sure you could organize a boycott, but I think Wal-Mart is a good example of how ineffective that is. People will want the cheap goods no matter what. You could try to form a union, but they would likely be ineffectual since the corporation could just fire the whole lot of you and find cheaper replacements in the form of people desperate for a job, even if it's for a buck an hour.

As for the continued idea that private business will always be better than government, that's just not true. Have you thought about getting a flu shot this season? Whoops, you probably can't because a private company botched their safety controls and had contaminated vaccines. And who made sure they didn't just dispense their vaccine anyway? That's right, the (UK) government. Or lets take a look at health care and pharmecuticals. Right now you have the giant companies basically writing their own policies via the Bush administration. And guess what, none of them benefit the consumer or the patient. That is the ultimate expression of services provided with profit as the brass ring.

I still feel that libertarianism is a nice dream, but it only works on paper. Or perhaps in 5,000 years when man has evolved into a more compassionate, socially mindful and responsible creature. Until then a little bit of common sense and realism are in order.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3247927 - 10/12/04 06:19 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
I agree that the businesses will no longer be able to buy influence. At the same time however they won't need to buy any influence, they will already have it all. Say that for whatever reason, Interstate Highway Corp (or whatever) refuses you service. Even though you're willing to pay the montly rate or whatever, they just decide to arbitrarily deny you the right to use their roads. Whom do you petition? Whom could even make a difference?



As I said, I might want the government to have some influence in at least the planning of highways, and state governments could pay for maintenance with money from traffic fines. Of course, there could also be privately owned stretches of highway. We have them now, in fact. They're called toll roads. However, like any private enterprise, as long as the road is open to the general public, it is bound by the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution. Therefore, such companies could not arbitrarily deny access to paying customers.

Quote:

But honestly that's just a small symptom of the problem I see with an almost fully privatized system. As it stands now, you can tune in to C-SPAN and watch your elected officals do their job. You can write to your representatives, you can vote for a huge variety of public positions and those that you can't are appointed by the people you did elect. There is no such direct control in the private sector. Sure you could organize a boycott, but I think Wal-Mart is a good example of how ineffective that is. People will want the cheap goods no matter what. You could try to form a union, but they would likely be ineffectual since the corporation could just fire the whole lot of you and find cheaper replacements in the form of people desperate for a job, even if it's for a buck an hour.



Well, the U.S. government's role is to secure the rights of the citizens within its borders. We can hold Wal-Mart accountable for any human rights violations within the U.S., but it's really hard to prosecute companies for what they do in other countries. If you've got an answer as to what we should do about their labor practices abroad, I'm all ears. Now, here at home, it's a bit easier. One of my best friends used to work at Wal-Mart, and he hated it there. But ya know what he did? He quit. That's right, if you don't like your job, you can seek employment elsewhere, especially under a free-market economy with plenty of competition.

Furthermore, I reject your premise that we don't have control over the private sector. A free market is probably more democratic than national elections in this country. Think of each competing business as a candidate, and you vote with your dollar. Now, unlike national elections, this isn't a winner-take-all enterprise. It's a bit more like proportional representation. The company that more people like gets more business and reaps more profit, but its competitors don't necessarily go home empty-handed, as long as there are a sufficient number of people who buy from them. Company B might not do as well as company A, so to adapt, they can either become more like Company A or try to appeal to a different demographic. In any case, the choice of the people still comes out ahead. You may not like that choice any more than you might like the outcome of a presidential election, but the people will have spoken regardless. At least in this case, you can still buy from a different company so that you personally aren't financially supporting a business whose practices you disagree with.

As for firing union workers, I'm sorry, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. It's no more just than having the government intervene on behalf of either the union or the company and giving them an unfair advantage. Some jobs just don't go well with unions, and sometimes unions just aren't strong enough. Tough. If someone else is willing to work for a dollar an hour, I guess they just wanted it more. The union could decide hold a protest outside the store and tell people about their unfair business practices. That's bound to scare away at least a fairly sizable number of potential customers and just might be the incentive the company needs to negotiate with the strikers.

Quote:

As for the continued idea that private business will always be better than government, that's just not true. Have you thought about getting a flu shot this season? Whoops, you probably can't because a private company botched their safety controls and had contaminated vaccines. And who made sure they didn't just dispense their vaccine anyway? That's right, the (UK) government. Or lets take a look at health care and pharmecuticals. Right now you have the giant companies basically writing their own policies via the Bush administration. And guess what, none of them benefit the consumer or the patient. That is the ultimate expression of services provided with profit as the brass ring.



I'm unaware of the situation to which you're referring, but in any case, I was not saying that private business is always more efficient than government, but rather that the free market is more efficient. Some company uses contaminated vaccines? Their funeral. I can just imagine all the lawsuits from that one. Meanwhile, a competitor that didn't fuck up like them can step up to the plate and take their place. It's called competition, and that's why the free market is always more efficient than the government. As for the pharmaceutical companies you mention, remember that this is a heavily subsidized industry which is totally in bed with the government. And what do you mean by "writing their own policies"? If you mean that they're basically legislating kickbacks for themselves, then that's just one more reason why we need a separation of government and economy. In a truly free market, they would have to compete with numerous other drug companies, and have no government-sanctioned market advantage. Thus, they would have to put out competitive products at competitive prices in order to have any kind of market advantage. Consumers don't like being fucked over, and in a truly free market, they wouldn't have to put up with it.

Quote:

I still feel that libertarianism is a nice dream, but it only works on paper. Or perhaps in 5,000 years when man has evolved into a more compassionate, socially mindful and responsible creature. Until then a little bit of common sense and realism are in order.



I have often heard people say such things about libertarianism assuming that people are inherently good. This is not the case. We have a Constitution that defines the functions of government which could not concievably be handled within reason by a non-government entity. The Constitution limits the size and scope of government only to these functions and none other, precisely because people are not inherently good, and therefore cannot be trusted with unlimited governing power. If people can't govern their own lives, then how the hell can you expect someone to govern the lives of others? We libertarians prefer to err on the side of self-government, so that if someone can't run their own life, at least they're not in a position where they can try to run the lives of others. That way, it's only one life that gets ruined, instead of thousands. Of course, we also recognize that people have a compassionate side as well. While we don't expect businesses to operate on anything other than a profit basis, the existence of charity organizations and the generosity with which Americans in particular donate to them is evidence of mankind's compassionate side. Or, if you want to be cynical, you could say that people donate to these charities to feel better about themselves and/or appear compassionate to others. In either case, the existence of such organizations is proof that people can and do take care of one another voluntarily, so government does not need to enforce "compassion" towards others.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3248043 - 10/12/04 06:50 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
A lot of good points and it's well written. However, it still fails to address the main issue I have with the libertarian agenda. How can you possibly have the same amount of control, transparency and accountability if all of the public services are privatized and run by corporations? Their only concern is their bottom line. I think we need only to look towards examples like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing or even further back the East India Company, to see the natural conclusion of un-checked corporate policy.




A company producing a product to sell isnn't a "public service". It's their job to do so. If Company Y is making medicines that aren't effective and are very costly, where Company X is making extremely effective, safe mediciens for low cost, people will choose company X.

Quote:


I have raised this same issue in at least 2 or 3 other libertarian themed threads lately and it's always been ignored. I hope one of you staunch libertarians will voice some rebuttal or counter-point this time around.



The goal of companies isn't to look out for the welfare of people, it's to make money. Of course, their is a fair balance there. The workplace must be a safe place to work, the product produced should be safe to take, or at least include warning labels and eduational material about it. A company shouldn't say "I wonder how we can make this really cheap, so we can give it all away and go broke in a few days!".


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: silversoul7]
    #3248116 - 10/12/04 07:04 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I suppose it does just boil down to me being too cynical about the nature of man. Yet I have little cause to be swayed otherwise. I understand your arguments for why it can work, I just don't believe the nature of most people, or rather the nature of people who would capitalize on it, is inherently good enough for it to work.

Quote:

As I said, I might want the government to have some influence in at least the planning of highways, and state governments could pay for maintenance with money from traffic fines. Of course, there could also be privately owned stretches of highway. We have them now, in fact. They're called toll roads. However, like any private enterprise, as long as the road is open to the general public, it is bound by the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution. Therefore, such companies could not arbitrarily deny access to paying customers.




Yeah and in practice, most any restraunt I walk into reserves the right to deny me service for no reason. Anyway, I'm assuming you're referring to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Section 1 when you cite the Equal Protection Clause?

Quote:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.




This refers to government (the State) programs and has nothing to do with private business. Not to mention, isn't FORCING a private company to do business with someone against the Libertarian philosophy?

Quote:

Furthermore, I reject your premise that we don't have control over the private sector. A free market is probably more democratic than national elections in this country. Think of each competing business as a candidate, and you vote with your dollar. Now, unlike national elections, this isn't a winner-take-all enterprise. It's a bit more like proportional representation. The company that more people like gets more business and reaps more profit, but its competitors don't necessarily go home empty-handed, as long as there are a sufficient number of people who buy from them. Company B might not do as well as company A, so to adapt, they can either become more like Company A or try to appeal to a different demographic. In any case, the choice of the people still comes out ahead. You may not like that choice any more than you might like the outcome of a presidential election, but the people will have spoken regardless. At least in this case, you can still buy from a different company so that you personally aren't financially supporting a business whose practices you disagree with.




That is a sound theory, but in practice it might not always work. Again I point to accountability and transparency. If the corporations in your Libertarian fantasy are anything like they are today or have been in the past, there will be coverups of scandal, creative accounting and all kinds of related shenanigans. What then can the single individual do against that? I agree that our current system leaves much to be desired, but there is at least some oversight and check on the greed of corporate practices. I think it is much better to fight for change in such a way that we solve the problems of the current system, rather than just throw it all up in the air and let everyone fend for themselves. I just don't see much hope or compassion in that idea.

As for charities, I think you should consider one thing. If there were no tax breaks for donations to charities, do you think as many wealthy people and businesses would donate as much as they do? Honestly?

Quote:

As for firing union workers, I'm sorry, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. It's no more just than having the government intervene on behalf of either the union or the company and giving them an unfair advantage. Some jobs just don't go well with unions, and sometimes unions just aren't strong enough. Tough. If someone else is willing to work for a dollar an hour, I guess they just wanted it more. The union could decide hold a protest outside the store and tell people about their unfair business practices. That's bound to scare away at least a fairly sizable number of potential customers and just might be the incentive the company needs to negotiate with the strikers.




The burden on the shoulders of the individual is to strive to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority. Just because the majority can do something (fire a whole union) doesn't make it right. Consider if you were fired from your job so they could hire someone at half the salary; do you think you would be able to turn around and get another, equal paying job any time soon? What if that company fired you too, again for someone who would work for half as much? Would you then lower your accustomed lifestyle to meet the greed of unchecked corporate decision making?

And I leave you with a quote:

"I am convinced that the majority of people would be generous from selfish motives, if they had the opportunity." - Charles Dudley Warner


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: retread]
    #3248213 - 10/12/04 07:19 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

retread said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
A lot of good points and it's well written. However, it still fails to address the main issue I have with the libertarian agenda. How can you possibly have the same amount of control, transparency and accountability if all of the public services are privatized and run by corporations? Their only concern is their bottom line. I think we need only to look towards examples like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing or even further back the East India Company, to see the natural conclusion of un-checked corporate policy.




A company producing a product to sell isnn't a "public service". It's their job to do so. If Company Y is making medicines that aren't effective and are very costly, where Company X is making extremely effective, safe mediciens for low cost, people will choose company X.





It's not really that simple. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of their deplorable business practices, exploiting cheap 3rd world labor, refusing benefits and decent pay for their workers and their increasingly near monopolistic effect on local neighborhoods. However they have really good prices because of those aforementioned practices and lots of people just don't care, they'd rather have the cheaper toilet paper than worry about what it's costing else where, back along the line. I guess I'm just not wired that way.

Quote:

retread said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
I have raised this same issue in at least 2 or 3 other libertarian themed threads lately and it's always been ignored. I hope one of you staunch libertarians will voice some rebuttal or counter-point this time around.



The goal of companies isn't to look out for the welfare of people, it's to make money. Of course, their is a fair balance there. The workplace must be a safe place to work, the product produced should be safe to take, or at least include warning labels and eduational material about it. A company shouldn't say "I wonder how we can make this really cheap, so we can give it all away and go broke in a few days!".




Thank you for so simply illustrating my main point about why the ultimate goal of a Libertarian agenda is just a pipe dream. With such a motivating factor as money, in other words survival, how can a civil service providing company be impartial or expected to do what's right? And who's going to enforce, inspect and monitor the labeling of products? The same business that makes it? Yeah no problems there.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3249139 - 10/12/04 10:34 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
I suppose it does just boil down to me being too cynical about the nature of man. Yet I have little cause to be swayed otherwise. I understand your arguments for why it can work, I just don't believe the nature of most people, or rather the nature of people who would capitalize on it, is inherently good enough for it to work.



That's the thing, though. It's based on the fact that people, or at least significant portions of the population, are selfish by nature. We recognize that government is force, and as such, it will attract some of the worst elements of society, specifically power-hungry megalomaniacs who want to use this force to push their agenda onto others. By limiting the government to specific, narrowly defined functions, the Constitution prohibits such people from using their power in such a manner. The vast majority of governing is left to the individual. Only those powers which cannot concievably be handled by a non-government entity are granted to the state and divided among the three branches thereof, so as to keep a balance of power and prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. This is all based on an attitude of distrust towards others, particularly those who seek power, and the fact that self-government is the least dangerous to others, if not also the most beneficial to oneself.

Meanwhile, we must also recognize that if we let the power of government spread into other areas of life, it will attract other power-hungry individuals from such areas. Expanding government power into the economy will attract business owners looking to secure a monopoly in the market. Spreading it into matters of religion will attract moralists looking to force their values on others. Thus, it is essential to keep the state's power confined strictly to the essential functions of government, which mostly means protecting people against the initiation of force. The only time when it may intervene in the affairs of business, religion, or any other aspect of life, is when it is stopping the initiation of force by one individual or entity against another. Again, this is all based not on a belief that humans are inherently good, but rather on the knowledge that they are not.

So what of businesses? Obviously, a business owner can be just as greedy or power-hungry as a politician, so how do we prevent them from gaining too much power? The answer is simple: competition. As long as there are other businesses with which to compete, no one business will become too powerful. However, if the government steps outside of its Constitutional bounds and interferes in free market exchanges, it can be used by opportunistic business owners as a weapon(remember that government=force) to eliminate their competition and gain exclusive control over a certain market. Without force, this would not be possible. Thus, it is essential to keep the instrument of force, aka the government, out of the market, so that it may not be wielded by power-hungry business owners. Once again, this is all based on the knowledge that people are not inherently good.

Because many people are selfish and power-hungry, any form of power must be kept in check. This is why the founding fathers included a number of checks and balances in the Constitution, and it is also why competition among businesses is essential for a healthy market.

Quote:

Quote:

As I said, I might want the government to have some influence in at least the planning of highways, and state governments could pay for maintenance with money from traffic fines. Of course, there could also be privately owned stretches of highway. We have them now, in fact. They're called toll roads. However, like any private enterprise, as long as the road is open to the general public, it is bound by the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution. Therefore, such companies could not arbitrarily deny access to paying customers.




Yeah and in practice, most any restraunt I walk into reserves the right to deny me service for no reason. Anyway, I'm assuming you're referring to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Section 1 when you cite the Equal Protection Clause?

Quote:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.




This refers to government (the State) programs and has nothing to do with private business. Not to mention, isn't FORCING a private company to do business with someone against the Libertarian philosophy?



My mistake. However, I must point out that while some restaurants may reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, putting up such as sign is an explicit statement that such a business is not open to the general public, but rather only those whom they choose to serve. If a privately owned building opens its doors to the general public, it must do so consistently. I don't know if you happen to remember about a year or so ago when a man wearing a shirt that said something like "Peace on Earth" was ordered by a mall security guard to take it off, but if I remember correctly, the court ruled in his favor on the grounds that since the mall was open to the general public, it was considered to be a public place, even though it was privately owned. Similarly, if a toll road is open to the general public(and I imagine that would be one of the conditions for connecting it to state or interstate highways), then it may not arbitrarily discriminate like that. But I don't know that much about toll roads, so I could be wrong about this. I've never heard of any toll booth doing something like that, so I imagine that ownership of a toll road must be conditional based on certain agreements with the government.

Quote:

That is a sound theory, but in practice it might not always work. Again I point to accountability and transparency. If the corporations in your Libertarian fantasy are anything like they are today or have been in the past, there will be coverups of scandal, creative accounting and all kinds of related shenanigans. What then can the single individual do against that? I agree that our current system leaves much to be desired, but there is at least some oversight and check on the greed of corporate practices. I think it is much better to fight for change in such a way that we solve the problems of the current system, rather than just throw it all up in the air and let everyone fend for themselves. I just don't see much hope or compassion in that idea.



Fraud is a type of force, and thus it falls within the realm of government oversight. It is when the government starts interfering with voluntary transactions(committing fraud means you trick someone into taking part in a transaction under false pretenses, and thus it is not truly voluntary) that it oversteps its bounds. As long as it is protecting people from initiation of force, it is serving its legitimate purpose.

Quote:

As for charities, I think you should consider one thing. If there were no tax breaks for donations to charities, do you think as many wealthy people and businesses would donate as much as they do? Honestly?



I've given this question a lot of thought in the past, and honestly, I think most would donate at least as much as they do now, probably more. Even some of the sleazier corporate CEOs like to at least give the outward appearance of generosity and philanthropy. But let's say they didn't. What about liberals? You know, the ones claiming to be compassionate because they support the welfare state. This would be their chance to prove how compassionate they really are, by digging deep when no one's forcing them to do so. Then there are also charity events, like auctions, canned food drives, concerts, etc., in which people give to charity simply by paying the entrance fee. Hell, I've been to raves where a portion of the proceeds went to charity. Also remember that charity wouldn't have to be able to support everyone currently on welfare--only those who are unable to work and have no friends or family who can support them.

Quote:

The burden on the shoulders of the individual is to strive to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority. Just because the majority can do something (fire a whole union) doesn't make it right. Consider if you were fired from your job so they could hire someone at half the salary; do you think you would be able to turn around and get another, equal paying job any time soon? What if that company fired you too, again for someone who would work for half as much? Would you then lower your accustomed lifestyle to meet the greed of unchecked corporate decision making?



You have a right to seek employment, but you do not have a right to keep your job no matter what. It may not seem right to you for a company to fire a whole union and pay people who will work for half the money, but you have no special entitlement to that job. The owner of the company gets to decide what their hiring practices are, what salary they pay, what benefits or severance packages are included, etc., and as an employee you can either agree to those conditions or seek employment elsewhere. This is an important reason why a competitive job market is crucial. It gives workers more options, so that if they get fired or decide to seek better employment elsewhere, they won't have too much trouble finding a new job. Also, by keeping the government out of voluntary market transactions, entrepreneurism becomes a more feasible option for a greater number of people.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


Edited by silversoul7 (10/12/04 10:44 PM)


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: silversoul7]
    #3250008 - 10/13/04 01:01 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

You seem to be saying that it ALL comes down to the free market. That there has to be a thriving, competitive economy? I just don't see how you (general you) can in anyway gaurantee that. What happens when one company becomes a monopoly and just does whatever they want? Is it okay then, under the Libertarian banner, to FORCE them to break up or to some how subsidize another start-up company? And again, wouldn't FORCING companies to provide service to all (paying) citizens be against that same philosophy?

Anyway, I guess another thing that I don't like about the libertarian ideal is that is so vaguely defined. As other threads on the board here lately have indicated, the natural conclusion of the libertarian philosophy is anarchy. I think any rational person would agree that anarchy is not a viable solution. So then that leaves any one who purports to be a libertarian has already compromised the core of their beliefs by tacking on controls (read: force) on certain aspects of society as they see fit. Now granted, I suppose that does allow some flexibility on issues, it just seems to lack any real focus or concrete goals as a whole, functioning party.

Also, you spoke of the evil greedy bastard types in politics and also in business. I think we both realize that those types of people will be with us regardless of how our society is shaped. Where I differ however is the definition of their roles and what limits they have within them. A supervisor over at the the Department of Transportation might some how sideline some off-books profits for himself in some fashion, but likely it will get caught and the guy will be fired. Or lets say they were an elected official, their political opponents and the media would be keeping tabs, looking for that kind of dirt. End result, they would be fired or at least not likely to be re-elected.

Now lets apply that to a supervisor at some corporate entity in the libertarian ideal society. But instead of side-lining for profits, they're say, covering up toxic waste dumping or cooking the accounting books. Corporate security would be designed to keep the competitors out and that would also filter out most media oversight. So maybe the supervisor's boss finds out. It would be easy and not beyond the range of possibility that they would do one of two things: (1) quietly reprimand the employee and stop the shenanigans (2) demand a cut of the profits. Why? Because the hard ball, profit driven corporate world, especially one with so little external accountability, would attract the kind of people who would react that way.

Meanwhile us poor suckers (consumers/shareholders) would be none the wiser that this company was fucking us over one way or another. I just think that on any appreciable time-line, a libertarian society would devolve into a nightmare of corporate abuse of society's interests. Plus on top of that, if there isn't that vital, thriving economy; what then? It would seem that more force would have to be applied (but by who?) in order to "fix" it.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3250021 - 10/13/04 01:04 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
What happens when one company becomes a monopoly and just does whatever they want?



Please give an example of any company that has become a monopoly and maintained that monopoly without the support of the government.

Why is there (seemingly) no fear of government monopoly in various enterprises? If the government has a monopoly, can't it just do whatever it wants?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: Evolving]
    #3250053 - 10/13/04 01:11 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
What happens when one company becomes a monopoly and just does whatever they want?



Please give an example of any company that has become a monopoly and maintained that monopoly without the support of the government.

Why is there (seemingly) no fear of government monopoly in various enterprises? If the government has a monopoly, can't it just do whatever it wants?




I fear a governmental monopoly (say on national healthcare*) far less than private big business. Again it comes down to accountability and transparency. Actually that's one of the many reasons I am so opposed to the current administration. They refuse to admit mistakes and are very secretive about everything they do. I think that's a very dangerous behavior for government, or in it's place, corporate civic service providers.

Also, I would like to reiterate that I don't think the current system is perfect or even that what we do have is being applied fairly. Again however, I would rather fight to change it to how I feel it should be, rather than give it all up to the corporations.

*For the record I think the catastrophic health care plan Kerry is supporting is a more reasonable, flexible and generally appropriate means of national healthcare.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3250071 - 10/13/04 01:16 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
Anyway, I guess another thing that I don't like about the libertarian ideal is that is so vaguely defined. As other threads on the board here lately have indicated, the natural conclusion of the libertarian philosophy is anarchy. I think any rational person would agree that anarchy is not a viable solution.



Anarchy is not disorder, anarchy is the absence of a state. There have been anarchist societies that have lasted longer than the United States has existed. That your experience and the historical record you have been exposed to (probably by state run educational institutions) is mainly limited to tales of state dominated societies does not give conclusive evidence that an anarchist society has not or will not work. Anarchist societies can conceivably take many forms, no doubt including forms that you and I have not imagined.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: Evolving]
    #3250092 - 10/13/04 01:22 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
Anyway, I guess another thing that I don't like about the libertarian ideal is that is so vaguely defined. As other threads on the board here lately have indicated, the natural conclusion of the libertarian philosophy is anarchy. I think any rational person would agree that anarchy is not a viable solution.



Anarchy is not disorder, anarchy is the absence of a state. There have been anarchist societies that have lasted longer than the United States has existed. That your experience and the historical record you have been exposed to (probably by state run educational institutions) is mainly limited to tales of state dominated societies does not give conclusive evidence that an anarchist society has not or will not work. Anarchist societies can conceivably take many forms, no doubt including forms that you and I have not imagined.




Please enlighten us as to when and where these anarchist societies existed. I trust you understand that today's world is just a tad more complex, connected and dynamic than even 200 years ago, let alone 2000 or more. And that as such, anarchy is no longer a real solution for today's problems, which was my original point.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3250095 - 10/13/04 01:22 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
I fear a governmental monopoly (say on national healthcare*) far less than private big business.



WHY? Are you unfamiliar with the history of the twentieth century? How many millions died at the hands of state run enterprise? How many have died at the hands of non-state associated enterprises?

Quote:

Again it comes down to accountability and transparency. Actually that's one of the many reasons I am so opposed to the current administration.



Again, if the government has a monopoly, can't it just do whatever it wants?

Quote:

I would rather fight to change it to how I feel it should be, rather than give it all up to the corporations.



Why do you think that everything would be given all up to corporations? Do you realize that corporations are state sanctioned entities that shield individuals from responsibility for their actions?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: Evolving]
    #3250113 - 10/13/04 01:31 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:
I fear a governmental monopoly (say on national healthcare*) far less than private big business.



WHY? Are you unfamiliar with the history of the twentieth century? How many millions died at the hands of state run enterprise? How many have died at the hands of non-state associated enterprises?




No I am not unfamiliar, but we are talking about society as it is today and as it will likely progress (further) in the future. If you think modern first world governments, generally speaking, are as bad as they were 100, 150, 200 years ago then you need to crawl out of whatever rock you're under.

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

unbeliever said: Again it comes down to accountability and transparency. Actually that's one of the many reasons I am so opposed to the current administration.




Again, if the government has a monopoly, can't it just do whatever it wants?



That's the point, if the government has a monopoly and is doing a bad job, you can vote differently and people can accomplish change. Not so with private businesses beyond cash voting which has questionable impact. Besides which, I am not encouraging a fascist, authoritarian government. Neither extreme in my opinion is healthy for society.

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

unbeliever said:I would rather fight to change it to how I feel it should be, rather than give it all up to the corporations.



Why do you think that everything would be given all up to corporations? Do you realize that corporations are state sanctioned entities that shield individuals from responsibility for their actions?




The absence of government programs would create a need for someone to fulfil certain civic services. Transportation, education, environmental regulation, and etc. The only entities capable of handling that load are big business. Period.

And no, it does not absolve people of their responsiblity. At least not ideally, Ken Lay's ultimate fate is still pending I believe. We'll see how that works out.


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Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3250137 - 10/13/04 01:37 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
Please enlighten us as to when and where these anarchist societies existed.



Wherever there was no state. Check out the Native American societies. Though some did have states, other were stateless and functioned quite well until diseases brought by the Europeans decimated their numbers. The remainder of the people were brought under dominion (arguably) by technology and numbers not by political organization.

Quote:

I trust you understand that today's world is just a tad more complex,



It is different and you have been inculcated to believe that a state is necessary. An honest examination would reveal that most functions in everyday life are accomplished without the coercion of the state. In many places private enterprise has already taken up the slack where governments are incapable of fulfilling the most rudimentary duties which we give as excuses for their existence. Why do you think in the last several decades there has been such a dramatic increase in homeowner's associations and private security firms? Indeed, life goes on in spite of the state, not because of it.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: Paper for my English class [Re: unbeliever]
    #3250160 - 10/13/04 01:43 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
No I am not unfamiliar, but we are talking about society as it is today and as it will likely progress (further) in the future.



Hello!!! How long ago did the Soviet Union fall? How long ago was the Third Reich? How long ago did Communist China exist? How many millions more will die at the hands of governments until people wake up to the fact that government is the greatest problem that humans have faced in their history? A simple tally of the numbers of people who have died at the hands of government in the last century would give any reasonable man pause when looking to government as the solution to ameliorating human misery.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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