Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
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31-01-2014, 07:29 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
You think patents are unfairl regulations? How would you protect investment and intellectual property?

Also, Hong Kong is not a country. It's a city in the People's Republic of China. And, while they do tend to leave it alone more than the rest of China for a number of reasons, there is all kinds of weird things that go on there and regulations that crop up when you least expect it.

As for your comment on monopolies, I'm curious as to how they only florish with government aid and regulations Microsoft is pretty much a monopoly in a completely unregulated industry. The Clinton administration went after them but the Bush administration dropped the whole thing. So, how did government get involved in them crushing their competition?

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31-01-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
frankksj, I think your post very much spells out my trouble with free marketers.

I will agree that monopolies are successful thanks to government interference. You posit therefore that they will wither without such. Nothing is further from the truth. Their money will overrun the small business person in all but those activities where they feel the profits are too small for them to worry about.
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31-01-2014, 08:17 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 07:29 PM)BnW Wrote:  You think patents are unfair regulations? How would you protect investment and intellectual property?

Patents are gray area. When they're used to protect actual inventions, that's one thing. Now, however, it's the opposite, at least in the US which is the only country that lets you patent concepts and systems--not just inventions. In the US patent trolls who never invented a thing in their life, and merely filed patents on stuff other people were inventing, then go around suing everybody and collecting billions a year in damages. So, while patents can be good, I'd get rid of them completely because it's such a fine line and so easy to lead to abuse. I would preserve copyrights, though. That's different.

(31-01-2014 07:29 PM)BnW Wrote:  Also, Hong Kong is not a country. It's a city in the People's Republic of China.

Hong Kong was a country--a British crown colony, like Canada. The only difference is the HK administrator, John Cowperthwaite, convinced Britain to try an experiment in pure laissez-faire capitalism, with essentially no regulation or government interference. It resulted in the greatest growth of any place on the planet during the 20th century, and when it was handed back to China, it was the #1 trading center in the world, the #1 stock market in the world by capita, and #6 overall. Thus China kept it separate under their "1 country 2 systems policy", and it's called a SAR (special administrative region), not a city, and is autonomous. However, the period I refer to is the pre-China period, when it was an experiment in pure unregulated business. If, as you say, a lack of regulation leads to monopolies, then why is it that HK had no monopolies during this period, and was the most competitive country on earth?

(31-01-2014 07:29 PM)BnW Wrote:  As for your comment on monopolies, I'm curious as to how they only florish with government aid and regulations Microsoft is pretty much a monopoly in a completely unregulated industry. The Clinton administration went after them but the Bush administration dropped the whole thing. So, how did government get involved in them crushing their competition?

Huh, Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly. They tried every dirty trick in the book to make IE the dominant browser, such as making their html and js incompatible with standards, forcing devs to pick, and they forced manufacturers to include IE on all systems. Yet, even in the US, where no regulation was enacted, IE has a 25% market share, about the same as Firefox. Google Chrome has almost twice as much. And while Windows is dominant in end-user PC's, they fact stiff competition from Apple, and on the servers and back-end, Linux has greater market share than MS. What makes you think they have a monopoly?
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31-01-2014, 08:20 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 07:47 PM)JAH Wrote:  frankksj, I think your post very much spells out my trouble with free marketers.

I will agree that monopolies are successful thanks to government interference. You posit therefore that they will wither without such. Nothing is further from the truth. Their money will overrun the small business person in all but those activities where they feel the profits are too small for them to worry about.

Yes, but the big companies have a lot more bloated infrastructure and corporate politics. The great innovations usually come from scrappy startups that think out of the box. Besides, look at the proof... In what countries is the wealth and business concentrated the most? It's always in the countries with the most government control. It's a linear scale, the more government control, like N Korea, the more concentrated the wealth, and the places with he least government control, like Switzerland and HK, have the fewest concentration of monolithic corporations.
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31-01-2014, 08:59 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
North Korea is a very special case. A country that is in general extremely poor and who's leadership has exploited for its own reward. It is rather like Russia under the Stalinists. Exploit the masses so that we may prosper. I am not sure if that translates into monopolistic corporations.

Hong Kong is also a special case and I think you gloss over the inequalities that exist there. I am sure that those families who all must work at a fruit stand to make ends meet find that the billionaires living in penthouses do not necessarily deserve what they have. I think you have an overly optimistic view of conditions in Hong Kong.

I would suggest that the Swiss like Icelanders have a view that they are all in it together. The Swiss because of their location have been required to fend off other European states for so long they must act in concert and that will help protect them. The Icelanders know they are all in some way related and therefore must for the most part act in concert. I also suspect in both countries some with wealth have gotten away with things. I know Swiss bankers came out of certain irregularities fairly unscathed and similarly so in Iceland.

One cannot pick and choose specific situations and suggest that they prove one's point. One must look at the totality of specific situations and consider them.
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31-01-2014, 10:01 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
I'm aware of the history of Hong Kong, starting with it's orgins as a forced customer of opium from British trade companies (opium was to the 19th century UK foreign policy what oil is to the 20th and 21st century US foreign policies). It's been a number of year, and perhaps things have changed some, but there were all kinds of hidden regulations and costs in doing business there and a lot of the surrounding countries. Organized crime is rampant in that part of the world. It was probably worse than in some of the former Soviet bloc countries. A number of years ago I spent a lot of time reading the find print of cases involving the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to try to figure out ways to actually get stuff done in some of those countries, including Hong Kong (and this was after the Chinese took over in 97, I had no experience with it prior to that). Suffice to say, nature abhors a vacuum and an unregulated, un protected economoy is a vacuum that will be filled by someone. In the case of Hong Kong and Taiwan, that vacuum was filled by the Triads and other asian organized crime gangs. They were pretty creative too. But, there was nothing "free" about doing business in that market.

Regarding microsoft, you may want to familiarize yourself with their other products. They are pretty much a monopoly in office software. There is barely a company on the planet that does not use Excel, Word, Powerpoint or the other Microsoft products. They are absolutely a monopoly on those products and are able to seriously impact pricing as there is no effective competition. Their browser sucks and they are clearly not a monopoly on that, although that's ironic as that was the primary reason the Clinton justice department went after them.

Regarding patents, I agree there is abuse but the idea that the solution to that is to say you don't own what you create is certainly not going to help the market process at all.

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01-02-2014, 12:26 AM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 07:06 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?

...you ask this question, regarding a nation where 75% of the population is still religious. This is a nation of brainwashed imbeciles, and political preferences don't change that.

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01-02-2014, 02:44 AM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 05:15 PM)Phil Hill Wrote:  BTW, take your veiled threat and shove it up your fucking ass.

I think you are becoming irate and need to go make yourself a great big pastrami sandwich.
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01-02-2014, 08:19 AM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 07:14 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(31-01-2014 07:06 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  But probably the worst example of this insanity, I encountered just a few hours ago when on a politics forum I am on, this thread was opend: Do you believe in seat belt laws?

Libertarian (as in classic liberal) comes from the latin word 'liber', meaning free, and, like liberty, denotes permitting one to exercise free will. Therefore, libertarians oppose passing laws that force people to do things against their will, and believe the role of government should the opposite of the traditional one--defending people from coercion, not initiating it. Allowing everyone to exercise free will, rather than denying it.

Sure, many times the law does a good job. It's hard to find fault with the seat belt law. There's nothing bad about wearing a seat belt, and it's only good. BUT, when you allow politicians to force people to do what the politicians think is in their best interest, you also get a lot of terrible laws, like the war on drugs, that hauls students out of college who otherwise would go on to be productive members of society, instead locking them in jails and dooming them to a life of poverty.

There's no way to separate the "good" laws that force people to do things, like seat belts, from the "bad" laws, like drug policy, because when the laws are passed, they're only passed because they're considered "good", and it's not until much later that we realize in hindsight which ones did good (seat belts) vs. which ones did bad (drug laws). Therefore, since allowing the passage of good seat belt laws will inevitably lead to bad laws too, I'd rather not have either laws. The importance of wearing seat belts could have been accomplished through voluntary means, like public service campaigns, education, etc. So, if we didn't allow the government to deny people free will, we'd lose some "good" laws, but we could make up for them with other means, and we'd save ourselves of the "bad" laws.

That is specious reasoning.

Of course we can judge which laws are likely to be good and which are not.
Things like the drug laws are driven by bias not by reason.
We will make mistakes, but that is because we are fallible.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-02-2014, 09:40 AM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(31-01-2014 10:01 PM)BnW Wrote:  I'm aware of the history of Hong Kong, starting with it's orgins as a forced customer of opium from British trade companies (opium was to the 19th century UK foreign policy what oil is to the 20th and 21st century US foreign policies). It's been a number of year, and perhaps things have changed some, but there were all kinds of hidden regulations and costs in doing business there and a lot of the surrounding countries. Organized crime is rampant in that part of the world. It was probably worse than in some of the former Soviet bloc countries. A number of years ago I spent a lot of time reading the find print of cases involving the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to try to figure out ways to actually get stuff done in some of those countries, including Hong Kong (and this was after the Chinese took over in 97, I had no experience with it prior to that). Suffice to say, nature abhors a vacuum and an unregulated, un protected economoy is a vacuum that will be filled by someone. In the case of Hong Kong and Taiwan, that vacuum was filled by the Triads and other asian organized crime gangs. They were pretty creative too. But, there was nothing "free" about doing business in that market.

Hong Kong is an interesting case because we actually can see what happened with "no government".

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