I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
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17-11-2013, 10:17 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(17-11-2013 10:00 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ...
There'd be 50 competing welfare systems, each one trying new angles and approaches to stay ahead of the neighbors. Instead, we have one single monolithic centralized system in Washington that never changes and never adapts.
...

Although I'm not particularly interested in the US system (too parochial Smile ) the above echoes my opinion i.e. that systems need to evolve (Darwin FTW (and I do not mean 'survival of the fittest')).

Good governance (as I teach it) is a continual improvement mechanism that balances:
Benefits Realisation
Risk Optimisation
Resource Optimisation

From the HK link we see that Benefits Realisation has in the past taken precedent but the balance is shifting to a more even consideration of all three.

The Swiss and us Singaporeans could be described as slightly more orientated towards Risk Optimisation.

From the outside, I observe US Republicans as being biased towards Benefits Realisation and Democrats towards Resource Optimisation.

An imbalance towards extreme Resource Optimisation gets you a USSR.

IMHO.

Having said that, I have created a mini-communism model at home where all property is shared.

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23-11-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
This has been a good thread to read. Thanks for sharing your ideas everyone and keeping it civil. This is how we solve problems.

I am a registered libertarian. I was unaffiliated politically for many years, mainly due to my disgust of the controlling parties, and therefore my distrust of any particular political party. I decided a few years back that the ideals of the libertarian party, specifically the pledge "I do hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving social, economic, or political goals." was something that was core to my values.

Again, I appreciate the discussion.
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23-11-2013, 07:28 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(23-11-2013 12:20 PM)LostCyborg Wrote:  This has been a good thread to read. Thanks for sharing your ideas everyone and keeping it civil. This is how we solve problems.

I am a registered libertarian. I was unaffiliated politically for many years, mainly due to my disgust of the controlling parties, and therefore my distrust of any particular political party. I decided a few years back that the ideals of the libertarian party, specifically the pledge "I do hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving social, economic, or political goals." was something that was core to my values.

Again, I appreciate the discussion.

Awesome man, I'm glad my semi-rant sparked some good discussion and also brought you some good reading

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23-11-2013, 10:02 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(23-11-2013 12:20 PM)LostCyborg Wrote:  I decided a few years back that the ideals of the libertarian party, specifically the pledge "I do hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving social, economic, or political goals." was something that was core to my values.

@NL Atheist, most political labels (liberal, conservative, left, right, etc.) define what social, economic or political goals you have. Liberals, for example, will say that "equality" is a major goal. I think much of the dislike of libertarianism is simply a misunderstanding because everyone falsely assumes that the "libertarian" label defines goals just like all the other political labels. But that's not the case. If you read the libertarian pledge, it says nothing about the goals of libertarians--it only says that whatever the goals may be, you pledge not to use violence to achieve it. In other words, no matter what you want to accomplish, it cannot be done at the expense of "liberty", or the right to exercise free will. Thus, while non-libertarian labels define goals, libertarianism defines HOW to achieve those goals. Thus, imo, everybody who does not like violence should see libertarianism as ideal, if it's achievable.

An example on the liberal's favorite subject: equality. I feel that I value equality just as much as today's “liberals”. But if I can find a way to achieve that goal without using violence, what's wrong with that? Shouldn't the liberal keep an open-mind and concede that if my non-violent approach is just as effective at reaching that goal as his violent one, we should go with the non-violent libertarian way? What possible reason is there to choose the violent approach if it's not any more effective?

My frustration is that most liberals I debate are so closed-minded that we never get to debating the merits of the non-violent approach because they simply cannot bring themselves to admit that the only issue we disagree on is if violence is necessary. They don't want to admit that they're on the side of violence. So they'll play word games and pretend like the concepts of violence and force are too vague. Or they'll just dismiss you as being heartless, telling themselves that if you're not willing to redistribute wealth at gunpoint, then you MUST not care about equality. So we never get to debate the actual issue because we cannot get past square 1, namely to define what we're debating.

See libertarians have to do a lot more research on the causes of inequality. The natural, instinctive solution is always to use violence. That's the one sure-fire way to make people do what you think they ought to. You want equality, take money from the rich at gunpoint through taxes, give it to the poor. If you're non-libertarian and accept violence as a solution, you'll stop right there. No need to dig deeper. But libertarians really need to thoroughly research the issue and try to identify the underlying causes because finding a non-violent alternative is much more complex, and requires more sophisticated methods, like applying to politics and economics the concept of axioms, which scientists rely on to grasp extremely complex subjects like relativity. Sadly, as is so often the case, this research reveals that the violent solution embraced by liberals is actually WORSENING the problem—not improving it. But there is no productive debate when the libertarian tells the liberal “look, you're causing inequality” and the liberal refuses to listen and insists that the libertarian just doesn't value equality. For example, the evidence is overwhelming that one of the major causes of inequality is the loose monetary policy, fiat currency and legal tender laws so favored by liberals. And libertarians have been warning about this for decades and presented models and published research proving this point, and were able to accurately predict decades in advance the effects. But I've yet to see a liberal ever respond to this criticism. They don't dispute the libertarians assertions—they simply don't acknowledge them.

So now that we've explained what libertarianism is, do you still say you dislike libertarians, given that the only defining difference is that libertarians reject violence? And do agree that while a liberal may question the efficacy of non-violent solutions and may play devil's advocate, he should be willing to listen with an open-mind and address the issues that libertarians raise? And do you agree that if liberals cannot find holes in the libertarian non-violent solutions, they should be willing to consider adopting them?

I encourage you to google around to see how liberal's rebut libertarians claims that liberals are causing the inequality they claim to want to eradicate. I think you'll see that the simple answer is they don't. I've posted on the subject in this forum many times, and countless libertarians have written about it, and I've yet to see a liberal respond to the issue. So how can they be so sure that non-violent solutions are ineffective when they're not willing to even listen when libertarians present them?

If you doubt this, I'd be happy to start a new thread explaining once again the causes of inequality, and you can see for yourself how liberals respond (or rather don't respond).
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24-11-2013, 10:31 AM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
Again, speaking as an impartial observer, I wonder if it's the use of the term 'violence' that gets your liberal combatants upset.

No one likes to think of themselves as violent and therefore may not equate e.g. taxation, with violence.

'Coercion' might be a more productive term i.e. less inflammatory.

So, gimme an example of the non-violent method...
E.g. I don't know much about the details of Obamacare, (meaning that on the surface it seems like a step in the direction of the generally awesome UK NHS kinda thing) other than it's about compulsory health insurance (as I read here http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ock-bottom ) and so I guess it comes under your heading of violence/coercion... so what would a libertarian propose as an alternative?

Cheers

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24-11-2013, 11:14 AM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(24-11-2013 10:31 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Again, speaking as an impartial observer, I wonder if it's the use of the term 'violence' that gets your liberal combatants upset.

No one likes to think of themselves as violent and therefore may not equate e.g. taxation, with violence.

'Coercion' might be a more productive term i.e. less inflammatory.

You're right. Liberals always balk when I call it violence, and I always say "Well what happens, then, if I refuse to go along with your rule and resist all your attempts to force compliance?", and after going round-and-round for a while, they're forced to concede that I'll ultimately be tased, shot, handcuffed, etc. And then I ask "So if I did that to you because you did something I don't like, would you call it 'violence'?"

Although perhaps inflammatory and unproductive, the reason I think it's appropriate to use 'violence' is because it IS an accurate statement, and it highlights the lack of reciprocity in the liberals' positions because they DO correctly label it 'violence' when it's being done to them, and only balk at the term when they're the ones doing it to others.

(24-11-2013 10:31 AM)DLJ Wrote:  so what would a libertarian propose as an alternative [to Obamacare]?

There are 2 separate problems liberals want to address with Obamacare, but in both cases, all you need to do is eliminate the violence and things would work better:

1) how to reduce the overall costs. IMO, all the violence is CAUSING the high costs. For example, right now drug companies can charge Americans 10x more for the same medicine than they charge other nationalities because the US gave in to the drug lobbies and arrests people at gunpoint if they try to import medicine. I'd do the opposite and encourage people to import their medicine until the prices Americans paid fell to the same level as other countries. I'd also eliminate the FDA. It costs billions of dollars to get a drug through FDA approval, and can take more than 10 years. This drives up costs enormously. And, if anyone suggests the FDA's goal is to 'save' us, read the true story behind the new movie Dallas Buyers Club, exposing how the FDA was a tool of the drug companies to block people who had only months to live from importing the medicine they needed to live, or read the last 2 paragraphs in my post #151 showing the revolving door policy with big pharma and the FDA and how they use the FDA to drive up costs even if they know it's killing people. I'd also radically reform, or even abolish, the patent system. It's absurd that right now a drug company can patent a plant, and then charge whatever they want for it. And, I'd try to undo the damage caused when the government imposed wage and price controls and forced people to hand their medical care to health insurance companies chosen by their employer. Instead, insurance should be just that: insurance against large, unplanned expenses. For routine care, doctors should have to compete vigorously and only get patients by providing the best care at the best price.

2) how to care for poor people who can't afford it. I addressed this in post #4 on page 1 of this thread, and if you read liberals' responses, they never dispute that charity did a better job of caring for poor people, they simply object to the very idea of the rich voluntarily taking care of the poor without threats of violence, and argue that the use of violence is better, that all doctor's should be forced at gunpoint to provide free care to the poor, even if it is less effective and leaves poor people with inadequate medical care and bankrupt. See JAH's reply in post #25 as an example how liberals don't object to the charitable system on empirical grounds that it didn't do a better job--they simply object because it's a voluntary system and they think poor people shouldn't have to say "please", implying that it makes them unequal. I find this astonishing because I've got no problem saying "please" when all I want is someone to pass the salt. I don't see how it establishes a "power" relationship. Certainly if I was asking a surgeon to toil laboriously on me for 4 hours to save my life and I couldn't afford to compensate him, having to say "please" and "thank you" should, imo, be a non-issue.
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24-11-2013, 01:18 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
Food for thought. Thanks.

Regarding part 2, it makes me think of 19th century England and 'charitable' poor houses, homes for fallen women etc. Consider

Regarding part 1, pre-NHS, private doctors were the most resistant to the post-war socialists plans for public health care. They saw their profits disappearing. There was, as I understand it, a cartel-style agreement going on.
Now they are the biggest defenders of the NHS.

(24-11-2013 11:14 AM)frankksj Wrote:  ...
doctors should have to compete vigorously and only get patients by providing the best care at the best price.
...

The word 'should' relates to 'compliance'. How would you enforce compliance without some form of coercion?

And how far does coercion extend? For example, if I need to get employees to follow a company security policy (password changes, tail-gating, careful asset disposal etc.) or any company policy, is it coercion if they aware that repeated non-compliance could result in dismissal?

Genuinely curious.

Cheers

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24-11-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(24-11-2013 01:18 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Regarding part 1, pre-NHS, private doctors were the most resistant to the post-war socialists plans for public health care.... Now they are the biggest defenders of the NHS.

I don't know much about NHS, but that's certainly what happened here. Obama promised to reign in greedy insurance companies, and they were outraged. But soon they realized that, thanks to their lobbies and campaign donations, they'd be able to write the Obamacare laws themselves so that it best served them. Now Obamacare is nothing but one massive gift to the insurance industry, and the insurance companies have become Obamacare's biggest defenders.

(24-11-2013 01:18 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 11:14 AM)frankksj Wrote:  ...
doctors should have to compete vigorously and only get patients by providing the best care at the best price.
...

The word 'should' relates to 'compliance'. How would you enforce compliance without some form of coercion?

If you eliminate coercion, compliance is automatic. The only reason doctors don't compete against each other is when government introduces coercion. If no coercion were involved, they have no choice but to compete against each other because if they don't, they will offer a bad, overpriced product and customers (patients) will go elsewhere. Naturally there is theoretical problem of price fixing, where all the doctors agree to collude together and screw the patients. But there are so many doctors, and all it takes is a few to break ranks and offer better services and lower prices, forcing the others, it's nearly impossible to get all the thousands of doctors to agree not to undercut each other. They'd all like to form such a pact, but they couldn't--unless of course they get government to regulate the industry because then government can enforce rules and prices and every doctor is forced to comply and no doctor can break rank and undercut the otehrs.

(24-11-2013 01:18 PM)DLJ Wrote:  And how far does coercion extend? For example, if I need to get employees to follow a company security policy (password changes, tail-gating, careful asset disposal etc.) or any company policy, is it coercion if they aware that repeated non-compliance could result in dismissal?

That's an entirely different matter. There you are simply enforcing a voluntary contract. The employee, as a condition to receive employment, voluntarily agrees to sign a contract with the company committing to do certain things, and agreeing to be bound by the courts and law enforcement to follow those rules, or else face imprisonment. The employee voluntarily accepts that arrangement, so it's not coercion; if he doesn't agree to those rules, he simply doesn't sign the employment contract and finds work elsewhere.

Libertarians never see enforcement of voluntary contracts as coercion, even a social contract, because people willingly subject themselves to the terms of the contract, accepting the consequences for non-compliance, in exchange for goods and services, from government or private party. They feel their life is improved enough with the goods and services that it's worth being forced to comply. All voluntary transactions and contracts are only entered into if both sides see it as a win-win. Where we get up in arms is when there is no voluntary consent, when liberals come to you and force you to do things against your will saying "You do what I tell you to or else I'll have you hauled off at gunpoint". There's no win-win, no voluntary consent, instead it's using violence to pick winners and losers.
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04-12-2013, 05:51 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(15-11-2013 02:58 PM)NL Atheist Wrote:  Alright, this might be a bit of a rant, but I will try to make some persuasive agruments here.

First off, I hate Ron Paul. I dislike most politicians, but Ron Paul just makes my blood boil? "But why? He's just a man fighting for what he believes in?"
Well, yes, that's true. I guess I don't hate the man Ron Paul, but rather the cult of libertarians (a large part on 4chan) that make him out to be this god, even though he has some messed up religious beliefs.

Ron Paul does not accept evolution, is pro-life for purely religious reasons, but on top of that, he's a hypocrite. He first made the UN out to be this organisation that the US shouldn't even be in, basically calling them the devil, but when ronpaul.com is a domain that's already taken, who does he go to? That's right, the United Nations.

But, you know, most, if not all politicians are hypocrites on at least one point. True, but these supporters of his just don't care. They just say that while they might sometimes disagree with him (on rather important social issues I might add), he's still the guy we want leading the damn US of A.

Now for libertarians in general. The whole idea that free market capitalism creates liberty for all is a misleading premise that is demonstrably false. Just look at England as it was just industrialising. No social programs and hardly any laws against exploitation on labourers. What was the result of that? Huge amounts of wealth for factory owners, abuse and underpayment of factory workers and even child labour.

It's obvious that business and the people leading them will do anything to accumulate more wealth, even if it's at the expense of the workers.

But there's still freedom, right? People still get to chase their dreams and ideals without limitations, right? Well, not really. In a capitalist society, wealth means power and social status. So the people with more wealth have more power and status, and thus have the means to accumulate wealth better than those who don't have as much. It's a self-perpetuating system.

This loss of equality creates a loss of freedom for the poor. While most might think equality and freedom are two seperate matters entirely that need to be held in a balance, they are actually quite similar and very dependant on each other. For instance, if two people are unequal and one has power over the other in some way, the person who is being subjugated immediately loses some of their freedom.

What then is liberty? Liberty means, as I have just stated, equality. What then in capitalism is prohibiting this equality? That is social hierarchy. The hierarchy in a capitalist society is brought about by wealth differences. Workers must listen to their bosses, or they get fired. I think this is fundamentally against the principle of freedom.

I am an anarcho-socialist who believes in census democracy and a classless society with worker self-management. I believe this to be true libertarianism. I honestly haven't the time to explain this further, but I hope I have explained it well.

I trust you guys to be intelligent, but just in case: do not attack me just on the basis that I am anti-capitalist, do not strawman me to be communist and, for the love of god, do not tell me that anarchism in any form is idealistic and utopian, because even though it might be, I don't think believing in a better world is naive, rather it is pessimistic to deny the possibility of something working out when we haven't even tried it yet.

In a nutshell, no one defines (or at least none of these people) define libertarianism correctly. In its purest form, libertarianism sets the maximizing of personal liberty to be the highest social goal.

Please note: Ron Paul is not really a libertarian; he's more of a social conservative who opposes US foreign policy and likes laissez faire capitalism.

Bill Maher did a pretty good rant on modern libertarians on his show.





They do have an undying love for capitalism and casually ignore where government helps or benefits us all with public investments.

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04-12-2013, 07:55 PM
RE: I really don't like Ron Paul (and libertarianism)
(04-12-2013 05:51 PM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  Bill Maher did a pretty good rant on modern libertarians on his show.

For once we see eye to eye on libertarianism, and I can give you a 'like'. That's why I always tried to explain that when I said I'm a 'libertarian', I meant in the original sense, namely 'classic liberal', along the lines of Locke, Bastiat, Jefferson. Libertarians, historically, are secular intellectuals and philosophers. It's embarrassing when moronic right-wing nut jobs like Michelle Bachman and Glenn Beck hijack the word.
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