I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
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16-11-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
You do understand that Hong Kong is a city not a country, right? It did not have to provide for its own defense and, as I recall, has and still has, a social welfare status which would make republibertarianeo-conazi cocksuckers like the Koch brothers choke.

Try again. You are off by a couple of centuries.

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16-11-2013, 08:19 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 04:59 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ANYTHING that is based on small, autonomous units is infinitely scalable. Yes, libertarianism is infinitely scalable because we oppose having one central authority. We favor the Federalist system outlined in the constitution, the one Switzerland followed, where each local authority makes their own decisions. This system is scalable whether it's done in one place, or worldwide. What's NOT scalable is the “modern liberal” approach of centralized control. There, as the entity in question gets bigger and bigger, there are more and more layers of bureaucracy, accountability becomes impossible, and it becomes less and less efficient. This is why Obama spent $300 million to launch healthcare.gov, and it doesn't work to even let you browse a list of plans, whereas http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/ was written by 3 San Francisco coders in a couple days for “a couple thousand dollars”, and it does the same thing, and is fast and works 100% of the time.

The line I bolded--this assertion cannot be true. I believe this to not be true from my own experiences in life, and your assertion I think runs afoul of the fallacy of composition.
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16-11-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
Boy, you're sure throwing some softballs here....

(16-11-2013 07:16 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  You do understand that Hong Kong is a city not a country, right?

During the period in question, Hong Kong was officially a "British Crown Colony", like Canada, India, etc. So you're going to tell me Canada and India weren't countries either???? Considering it had its own government, with its own democratic system, everybody categorizes it as a "country". Go to the CIA World Factbook, where it says "pick a country". There is entry "Hong Kong". Ooops.

(16-11-2013 07:16 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  It did not have to provide for its own defense and, as I recall, has and still has, a social welfare status which would make republibertarianeo-conazi cocksuckers like the Koch brothers choke.

Well now you're trapped. Hong Kong government spending during the period in question was 12% of gdp. True, they didn't have to pay for their own defense. But in most "normal" countries, like Sweden, Germany, etc., government spending on military is around 1%, as it is in Japan. So, to make it apples-to-apples to other Asian , let's add back the 1% to Hong Kong's expenditures and call it 13% of gdp. Now, with that 13% of gdp, you're saying Hong Kong was able to provide a welfare program so generous that even Americans would choke. The US government, however, spends nearly 40% of gdp, and liberals are arguing that's still too low.

So, explain to me again why liberals argue the US government should spend MORE on welfare, when Hong Kong, according to you, proves it's possible to have a generous welfare state for 1/3 as much as the US spends now? Since each of the 50 US states has an average population roughly the same as Hong Kong, why not make them autonomous governments, each following the Hong Kong model, so they can provide generous social welfare for a fraction of what it costs to do everything under one giant Federal government?

Lastly, read up on the history of Hong Kong, and the policy put in place by John James Cowperthwaite. It's libertarian to the core, and, the world's most famous libertarian at the time, Milton Friedman, praised Hong Kong for being a pure experiment in laissez-faire free market capitalism, and predicted it would be the meteoric success that it was.

This last post wreaks of desperation. You tell me libertarians refuse to give an example where the system was tried, I show you Hong Kong, and your argument is that Hong Kong, yes, Hong Kong, the country with 0% income tax on capital gains, 0% income tax on foreign earnings, and only 10% total tax on domestic salaries, is a social welfare state. Er, ok. I never thought I'd say this: Can we please have a social welfare state here in the US too? Please, please...
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16-11-2013, 08:27 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 08:19 PM)BryanS Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:59 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ANYTHING that is based on small, autonomous units is infinitely scalable.

The line I bolded--this assertion cannot be true. I believe this to not be true from my own experiences in life, and your assertion I think runs afoul of the fallacy of composition.

Please explain. Let's talk about something that is administered at the most local autonomous level possible, the family, like say 'the kids breakfast selection'. What you're saying is that this isn't scalable? One family can pick breakfast for their own kids. But if you had 100 million families (like we do in the US), all picking their own breakfast, the system would collapse under bureaucratic weight???? Why? The very definition of "autonomous" means that the decisions are made internally. So, if you put people into groups of 100, and say that each group is entirely autonomous and makes their own decisions independent of the other groups, why isn't it scalable? If there is one group of 100 people, and it takes 1 person to organize that group (ie 1% of the group), then why if there are millions of groups of 100 people, each self-organizing, would it take more than 1%?
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16-11-2013, 09:05 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 08:27 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 08:19 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The line I bolded--this assertion cannot be true. I believe this to not be true from my own experiences in life, and your assertion I think runs afoul of the fallacy of composition.

Please explain. Let's talk about something that is administered at the most local autonomous level possible, the family, like say 'the kids breakfast selection'. What you're saying is that this isn't scalable? One family can pick breakfast for their own kids. But if you had 100 million families (like we do in the US), all picking their own breakfast, the system would collapse under bureaucratic weight???? Why? The very definition of "autonomous" means that the decisions are made internally. So, if you put people into groups of 100, and say that each group is entirely autonomous and makes their own decisions independent of the other groups, why isn't it scalable? If there is one group of 100 people, and it takes 1 person to organize that group (ie 1% of the group), then why if there are millions of groups of 100 people, each self-organizing, would it take more than 1%?



The assertion was that ANYTHING that was based on autonomous units was scalable.

First treating the more formal logical fallacy. One cannot impute characteristics of the individual parts as characteristics of the whole.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

Now let's talk about some real life examples. I've started a company from scratch. My management style was that which gave basic goals and guidelines, but allowed each member of the team to more or less operate autonomously. Decisions that affected the whole group were made as a group. However as this company grew, I was no longer able to do this. Could you imagine a large corporation trying to manage this way? I had to start putting in more structure into the organization at around a dozen people. Without it, we would have fallen apart by the time the company was a few dozen people large. What I went through is a pretty common evolution in startup companies that grow beyond the initial startup phase. Without structure as it grew, the company lost focus and would go in too many conflicting directions.

Another topic for example--what about environmental laws. While there is debate about the right response to global warming, there is little to no debate that sulfur and nitrogen in combustion waste caused acid rain, smog, and air quality concerns. Individuals and businesses independently burned fuels for their own purposes without seeing the effect on the whole. But the efforts to control these pollutants has been a great success, and would have never happened without government action.

What about monopolies? It is recognized that in a free market, competition is the driving force to keeping costs down and economic growth. Microsoft is an example of a company that became a monopoly by and large legally. The only legal issues they ran into was that the business practices by a company that would be just fine in a competitive market would no longer be ok once you became a monopoly. It took government intervention to curtail Microsoft's anti-competitive behaviors once it became a monopoly. All Microsoft was doing was acting in its own self interests.

So in short answer to your question, "why is it not scalable to rely upon individuals all making their own independent decisions", it is simply the case that autonomous units making decisions entirely for themselves may not factor in the effects of their actions on others. These autonomous units may not recognize that in aggregate their decisions made in their own self interest may together produce a harmful result.
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16-11-2013, 09:20 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
@Minimalist,

PS. Don't let my last reply to you suggest I dispute your assertion that Hong Kong does a better job of providing a safety net than the US. I actually DO agree with you, and therefore propose the US follows the plan. Hong Kong was part of an enormous empire, bigger than the US. But they made these autonomous jurisdictions under their own self-rule, and let libertarians, like Cowpotherwait go all out with as close to a free-market system as he could get. And, if the US did the same thing with the US States, I agree we could provide better welfare, a stronger safety net, and do it without taxation that is but a small fraction of what we currently pay.

The part I'm confused about, is why liberals think the best approach is to go the other way, with more centralized control and a bigger government, when Hong Kong proves you can do a better job with small, local government.
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16-11-2013, 09:35 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 09:05 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The assertion was that ANYTHING that was based on autonomous units was scalable.

First treating the more formal logical fallacy. One cannot impute characteristics of the individual parts as characteristics of the whole.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

Bryan, I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. Read the example on Wikipedia of the fragment of metal and the hammer. I'm not saying that when you assemble the fragments it remains unbreakable. What I'm saying is that you leave the fragments separate and DO NOT try to assemble them together, then they all can be unbreakable.

RE: Your company... First, lots of big companies are divided into autonomous smaller entities. But even in your example, while you may have divided them into teams, they were not autonomous. They were sharing one common revenue source and set of resources.

So your COMPANY was an autonomous entity, but the teams within the company were NOT. Therefore, what I'm saying is that you can have thousands of other companies, all autonomous like yours, and the system doesn't break down. If you need 10% of your company to be management, whether you live in a country with 100 companies, or 100 million companies, you can still run your company the same way with 10% management.

Similarly, with Hong Kong, it was part of an enormous empire, and were it administered centrally in Britain, would have been hugely inefficient. But because it was autonomous and locally administered, it WAS able to run efficiently, even though it was part of a much bigger whole.

Now you mention environmental issues. Here we're in total agreement. The issue is what to do about it. To be sure, one approach is to eliminate the states and have one giant federal government with one set of laws. But, I believe a much more efficient approach, is to deal with it using property rights. If, within one State they pollute something that is entirely contained within that state, then let the local State authorities deal with it. But if it pollutes the air or water in a neighboring State, then the victim State can go to Federal court and sue the polluting State for damages and the cost of cleanup. Frankly I think we would have a lot LESS pollution with this system.

Regarding monopolies, I agree with you, but again, if you look at the history of monopolies, they were almost created with special government privilege. So centralized control proved to CREATE, not PREVENT monopolies. Read about the causes on the wikipedia 'monopolies' page.
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16-11-2013, 10:05 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 04:24 PM)NL Atheist Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:19 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  [Image: river.jpg]

You've got the wrong idea of anarchy. I do not mean anarchy in a punk rock kind of form with riots and stuff, I mean anarchy as in a society without an authoritarian state. This misconception happens all too often.

Cuyahoga River didn't burn because of arson, silly.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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16-11-2013, 10:07 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 09:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 09:05 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The assertion was that ANYTHING that was based on autonomous units was scalable.

First treating the more formal logical fallacy. One cannot impute characteristics of the individual parts as characteristics of the whole.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

Bryan, I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. Read the example on Wikipedia of the fragment of metal and the hammer. I'm not saying that when you assemble the fragments it remains unbreakable. What I'm saying is that you leave the fragments separate and DO NOT try to assemble them together, then they all can be unbreakable.

RE: Your company... First, lots of big companies are divided into autonomous smaller entities. But even in your example, while you may have divided them into teams, they were not autonomous. They were sharing one common revenue source and set of resources.

You're being a little loose with what you define as an autonomous unit. This autonomous entity is rendered meaningless if you can define it to be as big as every individual. A libertarian I think would typically define that minimal autonomous unit as the individual, not a larger collective such as a family or a company. One could define such an autonomous unit however one wishes--individuals, families, clans, companies, clubs or associations, towns, etc-- but I don't think larger groups of people work as a starting point when making a case for libertarianism.
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16-11-2013, 10:38 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(16-11-2013 09:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Bryan, I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. Read the example on Wikipedia of the fragment of metal and the hammer. I'm not saying that when you assemble the fragments it remains unbreakable. What I'm saying is that you leave the fragments separate and DO NOT try to assemble them together, then they all can be unbreakable.

I think it would also be helpful to explain more about what you mean by scalable then. When I think of something being called scalable, I think of it functioning similarly when you have more quantity. Using the environment example again, one company (if you call the company the autonomous unit) may not do any damage by polluting, but many companies independently making the same decision may. And this is not limited to the environment? Many parties individually decided to lend in the subprime mortgage market and created systemic risk to the whole economy.

And a further point about your definition of autonomous unit--one may use a different sized unit depending on the analysis you are doing--calling my company one autonomous unit could perhaps make sense with regards to its external interactions in the overall economy, but that perspective makes no sense when analyzing the internal operations of the company.
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