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(Reason Magazine)   "Liberals and conservatives may love people more than do libertarians, but love of liberty is what leads to true moral and economic progress"   (reason.com) divider line 78
    More: Sick, Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist, moral dilemmas, religious tolerance, liberty, liberals, Simon Baron-Cohen, rule of law  
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1725 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Sep 2012 at 1:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-09-28 10:31:54 AM
9 votes:

slayer199: Rincewind53: The primary way we achieved substantive reform in the 20th century that massively lowered poverty rates, raised overall cost of living, improved society, extended life expectancy, and freed people from horribly dangerous working conditions is through government action. As much as you may try to write the Progressive Era and the New Deal out of history, they still happened.

Libertarianism is a movement with some great ideas, and some really terrible blind spots.

So the Industrial Revolution, growth of GDP, and America's rise as a financial superpower had nothing to do with it?


I don't think any of those are in any way mutually exclusive of any of the things I mentioned. The Industrial Revolution brought an entirely new type of oppression into the world that caused massive social upheaval and created a huge amount of problems for the working poor. Children working in factories, women being worked until their hands bled, men dying of black lung in the coal mines, the Triangle Shirt-Waist fire -- all of these were the direct result of private action, aided and abetted by a court system that placed "freedom of contract" over the health and safety of the lower classes. In an era when adulterated sausage filled with pieces of rat were the norm, do you really think massive change could have occurred through private actors? It is unquestionable that private individuals did a lot to alleviate the problems of the era, through philanthropy from people like Andrew Carnegie or lower-level work from social reformers who set up workhouses to protect the poor. But in the end, the only way these excesses and human rights abuses were stopped was through campaigns for government oversight.

You know what happened when individuals tried to stand up to the Robber Barons? They were shot by hired thugs, bribed policemen, and the Pinkertons.
2012-09-28 10:14:47 AM
8 votes:

slayer199:
Does that mean we don't want to help the poor or hungry? No, it doesn't. But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government. The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


The primary way we achieved substantive reform in the 20th century that massively lowered poverty rates, raised overall cost of living, improved society, extended life expectancy, and freed people from horribly dangerous working conditions is through government action. As much as you may try to write the Progressive Era and the New Deal out of history, they still happened.

Libertarianism is a movement with some great ideas, and some really terrible blind spots.
2012-09-28 02:24:39 PM
7 votes:
I actually consider myself a small-l libertarian, which is vastly different than a capital-L Libertarian. (I believe the distinction was explained to me by another Farker, years ago, but I can't remember specifically).

As a small l libertarian, I am concerned with liberty. Choice. Making sure that each person in this country can live their life as they choose.

The large L Libertarians are more concerned with getting the government out of their lives, even if that has a negative impact on the amount of liberty and choice to run their lives.

How does this work in the real world? Well, a small l libertarian (like me) would be all for single payer healthcare. It provides people with the ability to choose NOT dying, NOT going bankrupt because of medical costs, and NOT having to stay in jobs just for benefits. A large L libertarian would rather have the smaller government than the liberties I just mentioned.

A small l libertarian loves regulatory agencies like the FDA, OSHA, and EPA, because they allow me the freedom to not die from strychnine in my potatoes, or mercury in my air and water, or die from some snake oil sold to me out of a "pharmacy" to cure my blindness caused by an accident at work.

A small l libertarian thinks that liberty is about more than freedom from government. It's about freedom of choice. It's about being able to spend your time doing what you WANT to do, rather than what you HAVE to do. It's about being free from worry about where your next meal is coming from, or whether your children will die before they're old enough to walk, or whether the food you're eating is poisoning you. It's about the freedom to use roads and bridges, benefit from the protection of police and firefighters, to know that if you decide to quit your job and become a circus acrobat like you've always dreamed of, you don't have to give up your health insurance.

In short: liberty isn't always about less government.
2012-09-28 01:51:15 PM
5 votes:

slayer199: Apparently the rest of the Fark drones don't really understand libertarianism.

I'll try to explain it, though I doubt most farklibs or fark conservatives will understand (and I'm sure I'll get flamed)

Freedom comes not from the government, but from the individual (remember the "unalienable rights" bit?). The government's purpose is to guarantee individual liberty. Of course, with individual liberty comes personal responsibility. The current bi-partisan system is farked because you have the Democrats that want individual liberty without personal responsibility and the Republicans that want personal responsibility without individual liberty. The best analogy I can give for the 2 parties is that the Democrats are like mommy that always want to take care of you and the Republicans are like daddy that want to tell you how to live your life.

From a libertarian POV, the best thing the government can do is to allow individuals the freedom to make their own choices AND the responsibility to live with those choices.

Does that mean we don't want to help the poor or hungry? No, it doesn't. But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government. The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


I'll just respond the way I always respond:

Any economic or social theory that does not start with the assumption that people are assholes is fundamentally wrong.
2012-09-28 10:55:50 AM
5 votes:
Libertarianism is full of great ideas that fall apart as soon as you introduce human nature to the equation.
I support individual liberties exactly up until the point such liberties adversely affect someone else's.
Personal responsibility should be encouraged and rewarded, but a strong safety net benefits society in ways that well outpace the costs.
2012-09-28 10:46:08 AM
5 votes:
I'll start respecting these supposed libertarians when they get as outraged over something like warrantless wiretapping as they do about being unable to dump raw sewage into a public aquifer.
2012-09-28 10:38:13 AM
5 votes:

Weaver95: it's always interesting watching these threads....Republicans and Democrats alike both show their programmed responses very clearly. damn shame this country has been hard coded to only think in binary terms: left wing, right wing. Republican and Democrat. Conservative and Liberal. Good and Evil. both sides define themselves by their relationship to each other. then along comes a libertarian viewpoint that says 'hey, maybe a little bit of both sides would work out better for everyone' and the binary crowd loses their shiat.

I know i'm not going to change anyone's point of view in this (or any other) 'bash the libertarians' thread. I just thought it worth mentioning that you might benefit from questioning your own inherent bias before jumping on the libertarians. carry on my wayward sons, There'll be peace when you are done.


Look, you're a cool guy and all, but I think you're over-reacting to a perceived hatred for libertarians. As I stated in the first thing I said, I actually think Libertarians have some really great ideas, many of which are perfectly in line with my own thoughts on the subject. I just think they also have very large blind spots towards areas where government has helped, and can continue to help.
2012-09-28 10:29:31 AM
5 votes:

slayer199: So the Industrial Revolution, growth of GDP, and America's rise as a financial superpower had nothing to do with it?


Being anti-libertarian isn't the same thing as being anti-capitalism. Don't conflate the two. It doesn't take a Randian to mass produce soemthing and sell it for profit.
2012-09-28 10:14:13 AM
5 votes:

slayer199: But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government.

Except for the part where this has never actually, you know, worked.

2012-09-28 08:22:37 AM
5 votes:
Everyone knows the peak of moral progress is letting poor people starve. Duh....
2012-09-28 02:11:59 PM
4 votes:
Said it before, will say it again:

A libertarian society could only last if the individuals acted and thought like socialists. and vice-versa.

/how's that for some dialectic?
2012-09-28 01:47:58 PM
4 votes:

slayer199: DamnYankees: How do you determine who it belongs to? This is what I'm talking about. The very nature of determining property rights turns libertarianism into nonsense.

It belongs to the hospital. Property rights exist ya know.


Property rights do not exist outside of the context of the state. Let me give you an example of that. In a world absent of government action, if I own an object, and person B wants that object, what is to stop person B from taking it? Well, I am. I have a gun, or a spear, or a knife, or my fists, and I can stand up to person B and stop him from taking that object. Unless person B is larger than me, or has a better weapon, in which case he takes my object and then he owns it, not me. Thus, in the absence of government, property rights devolve to might makes right.

In a government system, if I own an object, and person B wants the object, what is to stop person B from taking it? Well, I am (presuming away in this case that the law allows physical defense for objects, which it doesn't), and additionally, the law says that person B cannot take it. Thus, I have a privilege, granted by the government, to retaliate against B without ramification from the state. Person B, on the other hand, does not have such a privilege. If he attempts to assert dominion over my object through might makes right, it is the State that steps in and tells him he cannot, and often wields force in my favor. Therefore, in the presence of government, property rights are determine by the government's action or inaction.
2012-09-28 11:14:59 AM
4 votes:
libertarians couldn't even raise chairty money for Ron Paul's own campaign managers healthcare bills, on what farking planet do they live on where chairty would work as a subsitite for social services because it certianly and this farking one. And every farking time without a farking doubt some clown comes in an acts like that is a viable soultion and some other clonws "this" his comment between the other hundreds of posts proving it wrong. And then guess what will happen next time we get a similar article from the tards at reason.com... the same farking thing.
2012-09-28 11:13:07 AM
4 votes:

Weaver95: you dodged my point - we've tried Republicans, we've tried Democrats....and look where it's gotten us. here we are, just as we've always been. And we're going to keep right on electing Republicans and Democrats and dancing to the same music until it all comes crashing down around us. I'm suggesting we've got other options.


I first would need to be convinced that libertarian economic policy is substantively different than the economic policy coming out of the GOP before we say that we've never tried it. But anyway, that was my rebuttal to your point. We want to act like the libertarians would somehow behave or govern better, but their ideas have been tried and they've been unsuccessful.

The Crash of 08 is a perfect example. The lack of regulations (or the freedom to engage in, depending on how you want to describe it) on credit default swaps and the subsequent collapse of the entire scheme is the direct result of the failure of industry to police itself and the lack of government oversight. Not to say the government isn't at fault to some degree as well.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but lot of libertarian economic policy and philosophy is based upon the idea that markets will be self correcting, self policing and won't engage in nefarious activities because of the enlightened self interest. Which fails miserably once you add people and their greed and lack of empathy for others into the equation.

I do have sympathy for a lot of libertarian ideas, but their economic policy is simply as unrealistic and utopian as marxism in that it denies human nature. Marxism assumes that everyone will work solely for the collective without consideration for their own wants, needs, and so on. Libertarianism also assumes that people will put aside the worst aspects of greed, ambition, and competition to ensure the system will survive and everyone benefits. But that's also unrealistic. Look at the CEOs and bank executives. They knew the default swap was unsustainable. They didn't care about the aftermath of the collapse because they got theirs.

Libertarian social policy and policy on things like the drug war, the security state, etc. however, would be a very nice change of pace
2012-09-28 11:10:19 AM
4 votes:

Rincewind53: slayer199: Rincewind53: The primary way we achieved substantive reform in the 20th century that massively lowered poverty rates, raised overall cost of living, improved society, extended life expectancy, and freed people from horribly dangerous working conditions is through government action. As much as you may try to write the Progressive Era and the New Deal out of history, they still happened.

Libertarianism is a movement with some great ideas, and some really terrible blind spots.

So the Industrial Revolution, growth of GDP, and America's rise as a financial superpower had nothing to do with it?

I don't think any of those are in any way mutually exclusive of any of the things I mentioned. The Industrial Revolution brought an entirely new type of oppression into the world that caused massive social upheaval and created a huge amount of problems for the working poor. Children working in factories, women being worked until their hands bled, men dying of black lung in the coal mines, the Triangle Shirt-Waist fire -- all of these were the direct result of private action, aided and abetted by a court system that placed "freedom of contract" over the health and safety of the lower classes. In an era when adulterated sausage filled with pieces of rat were the norm, do you really think massive change could have occurred through private actors? It is unquestionable that private individuals did a lot to alleviate the problems of the era, through philanthropy from people like Andrew Carnegie or lower-level work from social reformers who set up workhouses to protect the poor. But in the end, the only way these excesses and human rights abuses were stopped was through campaigns for government oversight.

You know what happened when individuals tried to stand up to the Robber Barons? They were shot by hired thugs, bribed policemen, and the Pinkertons.


farking seriously.

Not to mention that the wealthy philanthropists, while they did good work, still picked and chose those they thought were "deserving" of charity, and those like Cadbury and Rowntree created semi-feudal workers' estates where everyone had to abide by the owner's beliefs, like zero alcohol and attending church.

How is that advancing liberty? I suspect they mean only the liberty of the donors, not the recipients.
2012-09-28 10:23:19 AM
4 votes:
'Allowing' charities and churches to handle the poor and hungry is a good way to ensure a lot of people end up dead. So it's not a bad way to go if you'd rather those people not be around to bother you.

I just think it's funny that paying taxes is considered unjust, but someone dying because of a lack of money doesn't even rate on the justice scale. It's just something that happens sometimes, oh well.
2012-09-28 10:00:18 AM
4 votes:
Apparently the rest of the Fark drones don't really understand libertarianism.

I'll try to explain it, though I doubt most farklibs or fark conservatives will understand (and I'm sure I'll get flamed)

Freedom comes not from the government, but from the individual (remember the "unalienable rights" bit?). The government's purpose is to guarantee individual liberty. Of course, with individual liberty comes personal responsibility. The current bi-partisan system is farked because you have the Democrats that want individual liberty without personal responsibility and the Republicans that want personal responsibility without individual liberty. The best analogy I can give for the 2 parties is that the Democrats are like mommy that always want to take care of you and the Republicans are like daddy that want to tell you how to live your life.

From a libertarian POV, the best thing the government can do is to allow individuals the freedom to make their own choices AND the responsibility to live with those choices.

Does that mean we don't want to help the poor or hungry? No, it doesn't. But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government. The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.
2012-09-28 09:06:07 AM
4 votes:
"Libertarian morality, by rising above and rejecting primitive moralities embodied in the universalist collectivism of left-liberals and the tribalist collectivism of conservatives, made the rule of law, freedom of speech, religious tolerance, and modern prosperity possible."

Yeah, those Enlightenment thinkers, they were such total libertarians! John Locke thought we weren't universally collected in any way to make society, we were all just disparate actors working for our own benefits!
2012-09-28 02:01:53 PM
3 votes:
Libertarianism is like Communism. It's a great idea on paper, and you can do all kinds of thought experiments where it works out perfectly, but if you actually try to do it in the real world, a lot of bad things are going to happen.

The more you take away the power of the collective as a whole, the more the stronger (read: wealthier) individuals will take advantage of everyone else. Child labor, indentured servitude, debtor's prisons, etc. On the flip side, if you put every bit of power into a single collective entity, the people pulling its levers become the stronger individuals who take advantage and commit abuses.

The best system we've found so far is to try to strike a balance between the two. Done correctly, such systems are pretty good at providing stability and prosperity for everyone.
2012-09-28 01:21:53 PM
3 votes:

slayer199: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I like how this touchy-feely caveat is inserted, as if it makes up for the fact that the rest of the text as written implies the exact opposite.

/leaving aside the other parts where it is assumed that individual actions occur in a vacuum
//like the standard bearer of "war on drugs" being included, though

There's a big difference between helping those that are physically unable to care for themselves and those that are. The issue is where to draw the line.

Self-reliance > government reliance


We don't live on the frontier. We live in a 1st world, post-industrial, highly technological society.

Your world-view fits very well into the saying:

"For every problem there is an answer that is simple, obvious and wrong."
2012-09-28 01:09:23 PM
3 votes:

slayer199: Helping able-bodied people? No.


Really?

I mean, really?

That's a 10-year old's view of the world.
2012-09-28 01:04:50 PM
3 votes:

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I'm fairly convinced that most Libertarians are that way because they believe they're the ones that will make all the "right choices", and that random chance or circumstances out of their control happen to "other people".


libertarianism is a mild form of autism, it isn't selfishness they just can't relate.
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-09-28 11:12:51 AM
3 votes:

The Bestest: Libertarianism is full of great ideas that fall apart as soon as you introduce human nature to the equation.
I support individual liberties exactly up until the point such liberties adversely affect someone else's.
Personal responsibility should be encouraged and rewarded, but a strong safety net benefits society in ways that well outpace the costs.


When you think about it, most limits on personal freedom are there to protect the personal freedom of other people. For instance anti-pollution laws protect me from having your pollution literally forced down my throat.
2012-09-28 11:01:34 AM
3 votes:

The Bestest: Libertarianism is full of great ideas that fall apart as soon as you introduce human nature to the equation.


Exactly. The instincts we involved living in small hunter gatherer bands of around 30-50 people don't necessarily make sense in a global society of billions. Our cultural evolution (essentially the technology that we've built to allow us to expand as far as we have) has far outpaced our biological evolution (our instincts and limited use of our logical abilities).
2012-09-28 10:53:36 AM
3 votes:

Weaver95: all i'm saying is that we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way....and look where its gotten us. maybe the libertarians aren't the answer either...but I think we should try something - try ANYTHING different than the binary course of action we've been locked into all this time.


By and large, the libertarians (at least the self described ones here) favor economic policy that is virtually indistinguishable from the most extreme policy coming out of the tea party

Slashing any and all regulations, slashing the entire social safety net, slashing anything resembling worker protection, and slashing every tax on those at the top while eliminating the breaks and credits those in the middle and lower classes take advantage of. .
2012-09-28 10:41:41 AM
3 votes:

Weaver95: it's always interesting watching these threads....Republicans and Democrats alike both show their programmed responses very clearly. damn shame this country has been hard coded to only think in binary terms: left wing, right wing. Republican and Democrat. Conservative and Liberal. Good and Evil. both sides define themselves by their relationship to each other. then along comes a libertarian viewpoint that says 'hey, maybe a little bit of both sides would work out better for everyone' and the binary crowd loses their shiat.

I know i'm not going to change anyone's point of view in this (or any other) 'bash the libertarians' thread. I just thought it worth mentioning that you might benefit from questioning your own inherent bias before jumping on the libertarians. carry on my wayward sons, There'll be peace when you are done.


It's a little generous to assume that libertarian = centrist or that it fits nicely in between left-wing and right-wing. I like a lot of libertarian ideals but closing down entire federal departments and going back to the gold standard is not centrist.
2012-09-28 10:38:38 AM
3 votes:

ArkAngel: Read up on poverty in American history. Up until the Great Depression, nearly all aid to the poor was done through private groups.


Yeah, and it didn't work. Are you unaware of the crippling poverty most people lived in until the very recent past?
2012-09-28 10:33:27 AM
3 votes:

slayer199: Apparently the rest of the Fark drones don't really understand libertarianism.

I'll try to explain it, though I doubt most farklibs or fark conservatives will understand (and I'm sure I'll get flamed)

Freedom comes not from the government, but from the individual (remember the "unalienable rights" bit?). The government's purpose is to guarantee individual liberty. Of course, with individual liberty comes personal responsibility. The current bi-partisan system is farked because you have the Democrats that want individual liberty without personal responsibility and the Republicans that want personal responsibility without individual liberty. The best analogy I can give for the 2 parties is that the Democrats are like mommy that always want to take care of you and the Republicans are like daddy that want to tell you how to live your life.

From a libertarian POV, the best thing the government can do is to allow individuals the freedom to make their own choices AND the responsibility to live with those choices.

Does that mean we don't want to help the poor or hungry? No, it doesn't. But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government. The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


As long as you deny the irrationalities of human beings, the amount of time we depend on our limbic system to make decisions and the fact that we use the full extent of the prefrontal cortex only a small percentage of the time ... as long as you deny all that then libertarianism is a great idea. With actual human beings, not so much.
2012-09-28 09:52:19 AM
3 votes:
What did they call J.S. Mill's Utilitarianism? Something like "the bourgeoise providing moral justification for their own selfishness"?

Similar thing applies here.
2012-09-28 09:19:58 AM
3 votes:

Rincewind53: "Libertarian morality, by rising above and rejecting primitive moralities embodied in the universalist collectivism of left-liberals and the tribalist collectivism of conservatives, made the rule of law, freedom of speech, religious tolerance, and modern prosperity possible."

Yeah, those Enlightenment thinkers, they were such total libertarians! John Locke thought we weren't universally collected in any way to make society, we were all just disparate actors working for our own benefits!


"Every man is an island." - John Derpe
2012-09-28 01:52:53 PM
2 votes:

slayer199: But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government. The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


Unfortunately, the world doesn't run on raindrops and well-wishes, so the government actually *does* need to step in and make sure its citizens aren't starving to death in the streets.
2012-09-28 01:50:13 PM
2 votes:

slayer199: If you've ever worked for/with a government agency and are familiar with how public-sector budgeting works, their goal is to spend every dollar...so they don't get cut the next year.


This dynamic is exactly the same in private companies.
2012-09-28 01:41:25 PM
2 votes:

slayer199: That's not the issue. The issue is where to draw the line. Help those that are physically incapable of helping themselves? Sure. Helping able-bodied people? No.


Well that's not patronizing at all. Those poor disabled folks, might as well give them a hand up because bless their hearts, they can't do it for themselves.

slayer199:
Oh, how is the War on Poverty working out since 1960? Hasn't done a damn thing.

Sorry to inform those of you dreaming of a socialist utopia that it won't work. Why? Human nature. Some people don't want to do what is necessary to succeed. It's easier to sponge off of others. There will ALWAYS be those that fit that category. The moral thing to do is help those that will help themselves....the others that won't help themselves...fark them.

The problem with the socialist mindset is the entire Appeal to Pity argument. It sounds good on paper. Tax the rich, give to the poor...because the poor are victims, not responsible for their status.

Just like I hate the social conservatives for telling me how to live my life, I hate the liberals telling me they know best how to spend my hard earned dollar when I've met very few that have actually put the time, cash, and effort into personally helping people. Liberals believe that the best way to help people springs from the government, not individuals. While I may be a hard-assed libertarian I've also done a lot to help individuals either financially, career-wise, and in other ways. I'm speaking from personal experience, not some textbook. Nothing is more satisfying than helping someone get their shiat together and get their life going...conversely, nothing is more heartbreaking when you see people make the same mistakes over and over and over and not do a thing to help themselves other than wallowing in self-pity and pointing a finger at everyone else. Unfortunately, the 2nd group ...


While it's extremely admirable that you help people out, those of us who believe the best solution flows from the government don't disagree that individuals can help. I worked for the Public Defender's service this summer. In your world-view, there shouldn't be a Public Defender's service at all, lawyers should just volunteer their time to help those who don't have enough money to afford a lawyer. And that sounds wonderful and all, until you realize that there are tens of thousands of people who have legal problems who simply cannot afford a lawyer, no matter what.

"But wait!" you say. "These people can just get their shiat together and get their life going, and THEN afford a lawyer." Well gee, that's a great sounding idea, but a little hard to do when we live in a society where freedom-loving business owners have the freedom to refuse to hire anyone with a criminal conviction.

Your strawman of a liberal who thinks that government is the only solution and always the right solution is just that; a strawman. Find me a single person in this thread who has said that government is always right and is always better, and I will donate $50 to the charity of your choice. What you'll find instead is a belief that large, structural problems are best dealt with by the government. It's economies of scale, a concept you should be familiar with as an economic libertarian. When faced with a corporation with billions of dollars in cash reserves, individuals working together often cannot force them to change without government action.
2012-09-28 12:49:51 PM
2 votes:

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I like how this touchy-feely caveat is inserted, as if it makes up for the fact that the rest of the text as written implies the exact opposite.


Exactly. Libertarians might not want people to die, but they're perfectly willing to let it happen in order to better adhere to an ideology.
2012-09-28 11:55:58 AM
2 votes:

slayer199: Freedom comes not from the government, but from the individual (remember the "unalienable rights" bit?).


The Declaration of Independence isn't a legal document with standing over the United States.

It was written to appeal to its audience: King George.
2012-09-28 11:12:42 AM
2 votes:
Obligatory
www.leftycartoons.com
2012-09-28 10:41:16 AM
2 votes:

ArkAngel: Read up on poverty in American history. Up until the Great Depression, nearly all aid to the poor was done through private groups. Government aid dating back to the early settlers focused on what they called the "deserving poor," i.e. those who had no real way to function in their societies (the blind, crippled, orphans).


No one is contesting that it was done. The question is: how many people still starved?

If a government program to feed people let 25% of people starve, it would be called an unmitigated failure. Why should there be a double standard between the success of a government and private entities?
2012-09-28 10:00:37 AM
2 votes:
You don't know anything and you should set yourself on fire.
2012-09-29 03:41:08 AM
1 votes:
openeconomicsnd.files.wordpress.com
2012-09-29 02:59:54 AM
1 votes:

slayer199: The wealthy don't pay taxes? I never knew that.


They haven't paid a fair amount since the beginning of the Reagan era.

slayer199: If you took the time to read some of my other comments, I'm not a minarchist libertarian. Infrastructure (and taxes to pay for it) are the proper role of government. However, your Robin Hood method of taxing the rich to give to the poor is full of fail. Creating dependency on the government is not a road to prosperity.


I said none of those things, and taxation for infrastructure is only part of my point. I'm talking about a fundamental flaw where your philosophy muddies the line between "liberty" and "responsibility" where it is convenient to do so. You are more apt to label the shirking of personal responsibility as "exercising liberty" if it is done by the wealthy, and vice versa for the poor. You ignore the fact that by not taking up torches and pitchforks and killing the rich for the cars in their driveways and the money in their accounts, the poor are already exercising an enormous amount of responsibility. Taxing the rich to ensure that the lowest on the food chain have a level of subsistence that grows according to the success of the community as a whole is not only moral, but it's ultimately in the best interests of the wealthy. The Laffer curve has a counterpart for wealth distribution, only at the wrong end of that curve, the wealthy are dead in a ditch with their assets on fire. You can't say "I should be free to only donate as i see fit", while dismissing the pitchfork scenario as simple immorality. They are two sides of the same coin of social responsibility.

Again, it's not your fault. It's a fundamental flaw built into the premises of libertarianism, and it's easy to overlook if you're searching for a belief system that offers you an escape from the current dysfunctional mutations of the liberalism and conservationism dialectic.
2012-09-28 06:34:03 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


this is what libertarians actually believe.



here's a hint, those image macros of american fat poor people with proper appliances in their section 8 apartments.


there is a reason american poor people can afford to eat enough to be fat (although not nutritionally great food) and have appliances to cook and keep their food cold.

And that reason is not the free market.

It is the welfare state you hate so much.

prior to the new deal, old people ate dog food, if anything at all, people died of all sorts of treatable emergencies, people starved to death, people burned to death in apartment buildings packed like sardines.

we already tried libertarianism, more than a hundred years ago, it failed miserably, much worse than communism.
2012-09-28 06:33:52 PM
1 votes:
Objectivism: Autism, expressed as an existential philosophy.
Libertarianism: Autism, expressed as a political philosophy.
2012-09-28 05:52:59 PM
1 votes:
Well, this thread went places.

Weaver95: I know i'm not going to change anyone's point of view in this (or any other) 'bash the libertarians' thread. I just thought it worth mentioning that you might benefit from questioning your own inherent bias before jumping on the libertarians. carry on my wayward sons, There'll be peace when you are done.


FTFA, a pro-Libertarian blog posting about a pro-Libertarian study:

"Libertarians match liberals in placing a relatively low value on the moral foundations of loyalty, authority, and sanctity ... They really do put liberty above all other values."

"Libertarians score the lowest of the three groups on empathizing, and highest of the three groups on systemizing."

"They have a morality that matches their sociability - one that emphasizes independence, rather than altruism or patriotism."

"When given moral dilemmas - e.g. being asked whether it is ok to sacrifice five people to save one - they reported fewer qualms than other groups, a pattern of responding that is consistent with a rational/utilitarian style."


Red flags shot up all over the more I read. Lack of empathy, loyalty, and altruism? Its like standing fascism on its head. And again this was a pro-Libertarian blog linking another pro-Libertarian website cheering this on

Yes, it turned into another 'bash the Libertarians' thread, but the question you're missing is 'why.' A lot of liberals would happily agree with you that a distrust of authority is healthy. That sort of libertarianism we'd eagerly take in our political discourse. Its when the Libertarian ideal is 'if everyone ate Nietsche Pops, the world would be great,' that's where the bashing begins.
2012-09-28 03:11:34 PM
1 votes:

sprawl15: Jackson Herring: flux: Forgive the gender assignment here -- this is a personal credo and I happen to be male, but I've long thought that the difference between a boy and man is that a boy believes he needs to deal with a problem only if he caused it, whereas a man will deal with a problem simply because there is a problem, and it needs to be dealt with. A boy complains when asked to help. A man does not.

Preserving individual liberties is not noble if the liberty you're primarily concerned with is that you should not be expected to help.

but taxes aren't fair

We could make them fair by having the nearly half of all Americans who don't pay taxes try to contribute to society.

But then they'd have to get off their asses, so you know that ain't gonna happen.


*tosses yellow flag*

Complete and utter bullshiat on the field, 15 yard penalty, loss of down.
2012-09-28 03:00:46 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Kazan: slayer199: Helping people is bad, listen to me pretend to be superior

Apparently you have a short attention span or an issue with reading comprehension.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7352951/79679484#c79679484


let me show you how little that post changes my opinion of you.


History, simple, stark, dirty harsh history - the Gilded Era - shows beyond a reasonable doubt that your philosophy doesn't work in the real world. You're a Large-L Libertarian. You are in favor of Laissez-Faire capitalism (to the point I call it anarchocapitalism), which is hardly a form of capitalism at all. Laissez-Faire is incompatible with personal freedom, as the large corporations will limit your options, feed you poisons, harm your body, and warp your mind for their profit.

Large-L Libertarianism in the united states is the equal and opposite of Stalinistic Communism - but they're still the same damn coin, minted of willful ignorance of human behavior and motivation. Anything that coinage is invested in doesn't work and can never work in the real world.
2012-09-28 02:59:35 PM
1 votes:
Forgive the gender assignment here -- this is a personal credo and I happen to be male, but I've long thought that the difference between a boy and man is that a boy believes he needs to deal with a problem only if he caused it, whereas a man will deal with a problem simply because there is a problem, and it needs to be dealt with. A boy complains when asked to help. A man does not.

Preserving individual liberties is not noble if the liberty you're primarily concerned with is that you should not be expected to help.
2012-09-28 02:08:55 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: you dodged my point - we've tried Republicans, we've tried Democrats....and look where it's gotten us. here we are, just as we've always been. And we're going to keep right on electing Republicans and Democrats and dancing to the same music until it all comes crashing down around us. I'm suggesting we've got other options.


we're the most powerful country in the history of the world, with the longest life spans, highest standard of living and technology that a mere 40 years ago was expected to be as unobtainable as FTL spacecraft.

are we perfect? far from it, and there have been some recent stumbles, but i'll still take the current situation over living anywhere else in our current world or at any point in the past
2012-09-28 02:08:37 PM
1 votes:
Serious question for you libertarian folks - I've been enduring a deluge of Gary Johnson propaganda on Facebook so I thought, hey, farkit, I'll check out his stances.

I was confused by this:

Gary Johnson supports "a woman's right to choose up until the point of viability"[36] and wants to keep abortion legal.[37] He has been very vocal in his beliefs.[38] He supports legislation banning late-term abortions and mandating parental notification for minors seeking an abortion.[39] Johnson believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned because it "expanded the reach of the Federal government into areas of society never envisioned in the Constitution." He believes that laws regarding abortion should "be decided by the individual states."[35]

How, exactly, does that mesh with the libertarian philosophy? How is allowing individual states to decide if they want to exert control over what a person does with their body more libertarianish than, say, allowing neither the state nor federal government that power?
2012-09-28 01:57:43 PM
1 votes:
Libertarian societies grow happy and wealthy.

Robber barons? That is not libertarian. That is statism.

liberalism has failed everywhere it has been tried and has killed hundreds of millions of people. national SOCIALIST party, russia, china, etc.

You liberals need to open a book every once in a while.
2012-09-28 01:56:16 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: The War on Poverty has been no more of a success than the War on Drugs.


You know how I know you've never been to a third-world country?
2012-09-28 01:53:54 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: The problem with the socialist mindset is the entire Appeal to Pity argument. It sounds good on paper. Tax the rich, give to the poor...because the poor are victims, not responsible for their status.


Well, it's more like Appeal to Common Decency, but my point is that a social safety net benefits everyone because A) it costs lest in the long term, B) it improves the overally quality of society in terms of lower crime, a healthier and less vulnerable populace, etc., and C) you may need it yourself someday.
2012-09-28 01:52:46 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Rincewind53: Your strawman of a liberal who thinks that government is the only solution and always the right solution is just that; a strawman. Find me a single person in this thread who has said that government is always right and is always better, and I will donate $50 to the charity of your choice. What you'll find instead is a belief that large, structural problems are best dealt with by the government. It's economies of scale, a concept you should be familiar with as an economic libertarian. When faced with a corporation with billions of dollars in cash reserves, individuals working together often cannot force them to change without government action.

I disagree that government uses economies of scale. Why? Because there's no incentive for efficiency. There's no incentive to be efficient. If you've ever worked for/with a government agency and are familiar with how public-sector budgeting works, their goal is to spend every dollar...so they don't get cut the next year. In the private sector, there's competition and profit motive to be efficient...not true for government.


I think I phrased my point badly. What I was saying is that economies of scale prevent individual actors from having any deterrent effect against large corporations. Because government is already large, they are on an equal footing with large corporations and have the power to reign in certain excesses and actually promote substantive change (see for instance how the Cuyahoga river no longer catches fire).
2012-09-28 01:51:45 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government.


We already know that doesn't work. Sorry your worldview only works on paper.
2012-09-28 01:49:09 PM
1 votes:
An important part of maintaining a cult is periodically reminding the followers of how superior they are to people outside of the cult.
2012-09-28 01:49:04 PM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: Property rights do not exist outside of the context of the state. Let me give you an example of that. In a world absent of government action, if I own an object, and person B wants that object, what is to stop person B from taking it? Well, I am. I have a gun, or a spear, or a knife, or my fists, and I can stand up to person B and stop him from taking that object. Unless person B is larger than me, or has a better weapon, in which case he takes my object and then he owns it, not me. Thus, in the absence of government, property rights devolve to might makes right.

In a government system, if I own an object, and person B wants the object, what is to stop person B from taking it? Well, I am (presuming away in this case that the law allows physical defense for objects, which it doesn't), and additionally, the law says that person B cannot take it. Thus, I have a privilege, granted by the government, to retaliate against B without ramification from the state. Person B, on the other hand, does not have such a privilege. If he attempts to assert dominion over my object through might makes right, it is the State that steps in and tells him he cannot, and often wields force in my favor. Therefore, in the presence of government, property rights are determine by the government's action or inaction.


Exactly right.
2012-09-28 01:47:27 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Yes. I'm not part of the min-archist branch of the LP (they way farkers like to portray all libertarians). A proper role of government IS helping those that are unable to help themselves. That is in the country's best interests.


Ok. Well I definitely agree with you there.

So what did you mean earlier when you talked about not helping "able bodied people"? What does that mean exactly?
2012-09-28 01:46:01 PM
1 votes:

Rev.K: slayer199: Helping able-bodied people? No.

Really?

I mean, really?

That's a 10-year old's view of the world.


i.imgur.com
2012-09-28 01:45:25 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Yes. I'm not part of the min-archist branch of the LP (they way farkers like to portray all libertarians). A proper role of government IS helping those that are unable to help themselves. That is in the country's best interests.


Hey guys, its the social assistance policy of Edward VI! What a vibrant, new idea for our national polity.
2012-09-28 01:42:26 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: They fall into the category of helping those that cannot help themselves...but thanks for twisting it around.


So that property tax relief program is acceptable in your view?

Serious question.
2012-09-28 01:42:08 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: DamnYankees: How do you determine who it belongs to? This is what I'm talking about. The very nature of determining property rights turns libertarianism into nonsense.

It belongs to the hospital. Property rights exist ya know.


No, they don't 'exist'. They are MADE. That's my point. People don't just a priori own things.
2012-09-28 01:40:44 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Oh, how is the War on Poverty working out since 1960? Hasn't done a damn thing.


anticap.files.wordpress.com

Seniors disagree.
2012-09-28 01:38:03 PM
1 votes:

Rev.K: But not for libertarians. They just say "f*ck em". And I find that abhorrent.


They fall into the category of helping those that cannot help themselves...but thanks for twisting it around.
2012-09-28 01:35:03 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: How many people have you tried to personally help financially or career-wise. I've tried to help many...and I'll help those that will help themselves. Fark the rest.


Many friends who needed money in a jam, family members too. But even more compelling than that is part of the work I do, which is assisting senior citizens who cannot afford to pay their property taxes.

See, some elderly people own their home but are on very tight, fixed incomes. In some cases, when the property taxes on their house increase, they cannot afford to pay them. If that persists for long enough, the city will assume ownership of the property and an 82-year old widow would have nowhere to go but perhaps to family members or the street.

The tax relief program is in place because to most people, it's a much better idea all around to defer the taxes or provide relief so that an 82-year old widow doesn't have to face life on the streets.

As God-is-my-Co-Pirate pointed out, the long term benefit of not tossing the elderly into the street and recouping a portion of the property taxes far outweighs the smug satisfaction of turning the unfortunate out to the streets. 

But not for libertarians. They just say "f*ck em". And I find that abhorrent.
2012-09-28 01:31:20 PM
1 votes:

God Is My Co-Pirate: And if helping them saves money and is a net benefit to society, as well as being the moral thing to do? This seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Libertarianism just doesn't plan for the long term. "Here and now, I don't want to help pay for this drug addict's treatment. I'm going to ignore the fact that everybody benefits in the long term because working together to improve society is for suckers."


Oh, how is the War on Poverty working out since 1960? Hasn't done a damn thing.

Sorry to inform those of you dreaming of a socialist utopia that it won't work. Why? Human nature. Some people don't want to do what is necessary to succeed. It's easier to sponge off of others. There will ALWAYS be those that fit that category. The moral thing to do is help those that will help themselves....the others that won't help themselves...fark them.

The problem with the socialist mindset is the entire Appeal to Pity argument. It sounds good on paper. Tax the rich, give to the poor...because the poor are victims, not responsible for their status.

Just like I hate the social conservatives for telling me how to live my life, I hate the liberals telling me they know best how to spend my hard earned dollar when I've met very few that have actually put the time, cash, and effort into personally helping people. Liberals believe that the best way to help people springs from the government, not individuals. While I may be a hard-assed libertarian I've also done a lot to help individuals either financially, career-wise, and in other ways. I'm speaking from personal experience, not some textbook. Nothing is more satisfying than helping someone get their shiat together and get their life going...conversely, nothing is more heartbreaking when you see people make the same mistakes over and over and over and not do a thing to help themselves other than wallowing in self-pity and pointing a finger at everyone else. Unfortunately, the 2nd group is larger than the first...but that doesn't mean I'll stop trying.
2012-09-28 01:20:04 PM
1 votes:

Because People in power are Stupid: Obligatory
[www.leftycartoons.com image 650x976]


i798.photobucket.com
2012-09-28 01:12:57 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Rev.K: The government has a DUTY to care for the well-being of its citizens. A central tenet of every single western democracy on Earth.

So, like you knew you were going to hear, move to Somalia, because they won't do f*ck all for you or anyone. How wonderful that will be.

That's not the issue. The issue is where to draw the line. Help those that are physically incapable of helping themselves? Sure. Helping able-bodied people? No.


And if helping them saves money and is a net benefit to society, as well as being the moral thing to do? This seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Libertarianism just doesn't plan for the long term. "Here and now, I don't want to help pay for this drug addict's treatment. I'm going to ignore the fact that everybody benefits in the long term because working together to improve society is for suckers."
2012-09-28 01:12:36 PM
1 votes:

Rev.K: Really?

I mean, really?

That's a 10-year old's view of the world.


How many people have you tried to personally help financially or career-wise. I've tried to help many...and I'll help those that will help themselves. Fark the rest.
2012-09-28 12:53:51 PM
1 votes:

hillbillypharmacist: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I like how this touchy-feely caveat is inserted, as if it makes up for the fact that the rest of the text as written implies the exact opposite.

Exactly. Libertarians might not want people to die, but they're perfectly willing to let it happen in order to better adhere to an ideology.


I'm fairly convinced that most Libertarians are that way because they believe they're the ones that will make all the "right choices", and that random chance or circumstances out of their control happen to "other people".
2012-09-28 12:34:05 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: But from a libertarian perspective, the best way to ensure prosperity for a larger group is to allow people and charities to handle it, NOT the government


The government has a DUTY to care for the well-being of its citizens. A central tenet of every single western democracy on Earth.

So, like you knew you were going to hear, move to Somalia, because they won't do f*ck all for you or anyone. How wonderful that will be.
2012-09-28 11:13:30 AM
1 votes:

slayer199: DamnYankees: Freedom to do what? Liberty to do what?

Whatever you damn well choose to do so long as it doesn't restrict the freedom of another.


How does this work in the real world? Let's take a really simply thing, like medicine. There's a vile of insulin on the table. I have diabetes. I walk over to the table and pick the the medicine to use it. Someone else comes along and says "Hey! You can't do that! That's mine!"

How do we decide who gets the medicine? Libertarianism doesn't seem to have any objective answer to that question. Based on the assumptions you put into the model, you get wildly different answers.

Patient: I have the freedom to ingest medicines that I need.

Hospital: But you're not infringing on my property rights.

Patient: My liberty to live is more important than your property rights.

Libertarian: The hospital is right.

Patient: Why?

Libertarian: Liberty and stuff.

I'm unconvinced.
2012-09-28 10:59:13 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: Lumpmoose:

It's a little generous to assume that libertarian = centrist or that it fits nicely in between left-wing and right-wing. I like a lot of libertarian ideals but closing down entire federal departments and going back to the gold standard is not centrist.

that's also not what all libertarians belief.

trying to say that 'all libertarians believe XYZ' is like saying 'all democrats are atheist abortion addicts'. ask 3 libertarians to define their beliefs and you'll get 5 answers.

all i'm saying is that we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way....and look where its gotten us. maybe the libertarians aren't the answer either...but I think we should try something - try ANYTHING different than the binary course of action we've been locked into all this time.


What's with "we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way"? Eisenhower was a president of his time. Reagan was a president of his time. Clinton was a president of his time. There's no "democrats way" or "republicans way". Each decade brings a huge difference in conditions and challenges and both parties have changed dramatically over that time. 

Simpson-Bowles is a moderate, centrist solution. There's no reason both parties can't get behind it so Republicans are going to have to be willing to compromise and allow for responsible revenue increases.

Right there is the approximate status quo helping to solve the debt problem over the long term. It involves moderation and both parties compromising. What are libertarians offering that's different and not radical in comparison?
2012-09-28 10:57:52 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: all i'm saying is that we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way....and look where its gotten us.


Things aren't perfect right now. Does that mean we're in a bad way? I'm grateful every day that I was fortunate enough to be born in this day and age, in this country, where I enjoy more rights and protections and the benefits of technological advances than almost anyone else who has ever been alive on this planet ever saw. Oh, but the economy isn't absolutely buff. There's some foreign trouble going on. People still suffer from the terrible fate of mortality. This makes things bad?
2012-09-28 10:53:47 AM
1 votes:
For the last time, "objectivist" does not necessarily mean "libertarian".
2012-09-28 10:51:56 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: Lumpmoose:

It's a little generous to assume that libertarian = centrist or that it fits nicely in between left-wing and right-wing. I like a lot of libertarian ideals but closing down entire federal departments and going back to the gold standard is not centrist.

that's also not what all libertarians belief.

trying to say that 'all libertarians believe XYZ' is like saying 'all democrats are atheist abortion addicts'. ask 3 libertarians to define their beliefs and you'll get 5 answers.

all i'm saying is that we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way....and look where its gotten us. maybe the libertarians aren't the answer either...but I think we should try something - try ANYTHING different than the binary course of action we've been locked into all this time.


I don't think we are completely locked into a binary course. Both Democrats and Republicans have been evolving since the beginning of the parties. The ideologies change so that it's not always the same ideologies in locked opposition.
2012-09-28 10:47:07 AM
1 votes:

Lumpmoose:

It's a little generous to assume that libertarian = centrist or that it fits nicely in between left-wing and right-wing. I like a lot of libertarian ideals but closing down entire federal departments and going back to the gold standard is not centrist.


that's also not what all libertarians belief.

trying to say that 'all libertarians believe XYZ' is like saying 'all democrats are atheist abortion addicts'. ask 3 libertarians to define their beliefs and you'll get 5 answers.

all i'm saying is that we've tried things the democrats way, and we've tried things the republican way....and look where its gotten us. maybe the libertarians aren't the answer either...but I think we should try something - try ANYTHING different than the binary course of action we've been locked into all this time.
2012-09-28 10:33:50 AM
1 votes:
it's always interesting watching these threads....Republicans and Democrats alike both show their programmed responses very clearly. damn shame this country has been hard coded to only think in binary terms: left wing, right wing. Republican and Democrat. Conservative and Liberal. Good and Evil. both sides define themselves by their relationship to each other. then along comes a libertarian viewpoint that says 'hey, maybe a little bit of both sides would work out better for everyone' and the binary crowd loses their shiat.

I know i'm not going to change anyone's point of view in this (or any other) 'bash the libertarians' thread. I just thought it worth mentioning that you might benefit from questioning your own inherent bias before jumping on the libertarians. carry on my wayward sons, There'll be peace when you are done.
2012-09-28 10:33:24 AM
1 votes:

slayer199: Freedom comes not from the government, but from the individual (remember the "unalienable rights" bit?). The government's purpose is to guarantee individual liberty.


Freedom to do what? Liberty to do what?
2012-09-28 08:37:10 AM
1 votes:

johnryan51: Everyone knows the peak of moral progress is letting poor people starve. Duh....


Well it's true. A dead person is more moral than a live one on the dole.
 
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