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(Huffington Post)   Libertarians believe government has no business artificially interfering with markets to make them "fair," unless of course they're shut out of the market   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 71
    More: Ironic, Governor of New Mexico, Commission on Presidential Debates, CPD, email marketing, League of Women Voters, federal courts, Priebus, plaintiffs  
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2097 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Oct 2012 at 9:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-02 09:53:06 AM
Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.
 
2012-10-02 10:01:15 AM
If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?
 
2012-10-02 10:02:11 AM
Run the country like a business. Buy off your opponents just to shut down their campaigns
 
2012-10-02 10:02:22 AM
2.6 Monopolies and Corporations

We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.
 
2012-10-02 10:02:39 AM

Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.


The funniest part is that the best way to solve the two party problem is to rewrite the Constitution, abolish the senate, eliminate state sovereignty, establish proportional representation with static representatives per # of people, and shift voting from voting for a person to voting for a party.

Or, as libertarians call it, OMG EUROSOICALISICALUNGOLDSTANDARD
 
2012-10-02 10:03:13 AM
Lawsuits are common in politics, but there was one filed recently that is not common at all: someone has brought an antitrust suit, alleging that the major political parties have monopolized politics, and it is not exactly some crackpot who did it. The plaintiff is Gary Johnson, who is the Libertarian Party's nominee to be President, and who was not long ago the Governor of New Mexico.

These two things are not mutually exclusive, HuffPo. Quite the contrary.
 
2012-10-02 10:06:18 AM

Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?


Not all wrong. Certainly it's become tougher to go after cartels since Twombly. There have been a few fairly big cases in recent years though.
 
2012-10-02 10:07:37 AM

RickyWilliams'sBong: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

Not all wrong. Certainly it's become tougher to go after cartels since Twombly. There have been a few fairly big cases in recent years though.


As I clicked "Add Comment", I thought of Microsoft and Ma Bell. Who else?
 
2012-10-02 10:07:54 AM

Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?


I really have no idea what form a 'win' would take, since any attempts to stifle the current system are working against the natural order of things. At best, it's destabilizing in the short term but another 2 party equilibrium would occur soon enough.

It would be like finding Ma Bell guilty of being a monopoly but not breaking the company up.
 
2012-10-02 10:08:34 AM
Gary - let me explain this to you so you can understand it.

McDonald's = GOP
Burger King = Democrats

White Castle = Libertarians

You're a bite size product for a niche market: stoners. You cannot possibly get market share because your product is unappealing to every minority who ever or will ever live.

DIAF with your gold standard and uninspected rancid vegetables that you'd allow to be retailed,

Sincerely,

Coeyagi
 
2012-10-02 10:11:13 AM
Using your opponents weapons against them is a very old tactic, and a legitimate one, IMO, when your enemies are sociopathic fascists intent on total domination


cdn.theatlantic.com 

usacac.army.mil
 
2012-10-02 10:14:30 AM

Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?


I'm pretty sure it was used against unions plenty of times. Other than that, I think only against AT&T (IBM and Microsoft won).
 
2012-10-02 10:17:00 AM

Philip Francis Queeg: 2.6 Monopolies and Corporations

We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.



http://www.lp.org/platform
 
2012-10-02 10:20:40 AM
Both the system and the parties that are in it are biased against 3rd parties. The nature of single-member districts means that two parties will dominate. All that happens when the two parties in power to set the minimums for inclusion on ballots is that they make it less likely for one of them to get replaced. If the Libertartian party, or any other current or future 3rd party, gained enough critical mass either the Democratic party or the Republican party would be replaced by it.
 
2012-10-02 10:20:50 AM
So... If the market isn't free anymore due to monopoly or oligopoly, does government have a responsibility to free the market by breaking up companies?
 
2012-10-02 10:21:48 AM

Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.


You're not allowed to discuss the economics of externalities, natural monopolies, missing markets or non Pareto efficient outcomes I'm afraid. It's from the evil liberal economics textbook.

Please use only those concepts officially allowed in your assigned text Derponomics: A new edition (with completely updated foreword by Michele Bachman)
 
2012-10-02 10:22:23 AM

Philip Francis Queeg: We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals.


I think I see a little fly in the Libertarian ointment there.

Can =/= Should
 
2012-10-02 10:22:57 AM
Subby is assuming that the political machine that runs this country is a free market.

Having said that, the Libertarians need to be a little less radical if they want to appeal to a broader audience.

What did PJ O'Rourke say about Libertarians? Something like Libertarians are Republicans who smoke pot or have a non-traditional sex life?
 
2012-10-02 10:25:35 AM

quatchi: Philip Francis Queeg: We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals.

I think I see a little fly in the Libertarian ointment there.

Can =/= Should


it's not so little. Ideology over pragmatism except in this case, apparently.
 
2012-10-02 10:27:51 AM

wildcardjack: So... If the market isn't free anymore due to monopoly or oligopoly, does government have a responsibility to free the market by breaking up companies?


Not if the Libertarians are on the board of directors or have large stock holdings in the monopolizing company. That's the only reason I can think of that Libertarians would want Monopolies to go unchecked.
 
2012-10-02 10:35:18 AM

Dr Dreidel: RickyWilliams'sBong: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

Not all wrong. Certainly it's become tougher to go after cartels since Twombly. There have been a few fairly big cases in recent years though.

As I clicked "Add Comment", I thought of Microsoft and Ma Bell. Who else?


here is a simple google legal search of anti-trust cases since 2000. Additionally, it tends to be a fairly big stick in patent law actually - the feds have in fact been ramping up investigations/prosecutions for patent settlements that they feel are antitrust violations.

I dont know if any of this counts as a "big win," but let us not forget that big sweeping legislation usually has this effect - it changes the landscape so much that the players alter what they do to avoid what is prohibited. Think of the recent abortive T-mobile/AT&T merger . . . most of your big companies are too savvy/spooked to act in such a way as to be a Sherman violation - so nowadays the statute is usually used in more limited cases.
 
2012-10-02 10:37:16 AM

yet_another_wumpus: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

I'm pretty sure it was used against unions plenty of times. Other than that, I think only against AT&T (IBM and Microsoft won).


Stardard Oil and Alcoa got broken up. You can get a partial refund on your LCD TV thanks to Sherman. Not too many though, I agree.
 
2012-10-02 10:39:32 AM
I heartily approve of Gary Johnson bringing public attention back to anti-trust laws. Even if it is in the most ridiculous and never-gonna-fly way possible.
 
2012-10-02 10:40:26 AM

moos: Both the system and the parties that are in it are biased against 3rd parties. The nature of single-member districts means that two parties will dominate. All that happens when the two parties in power to set the minimums for inclusion on ballots is that they make it less likely for one of them to get replaced. If the Libertartian party, or any other current or future 3rd party, gained enough critical mass either the Democratic party or the Republican party would be replaced by it.


It already is the JV lineup for Republicans who can't win primaries.

Run as a Republican, lose, say you suddenly want to legalize weed, convince stoners and Randroids that you're a breath of fresh air, whine about not being taken seriously, lose, write book about how mistreated you were, profit, rinse, repeat.

They've been running this scam since Bob Barr, who was one of the fundie Republicans leading the Clinton witch hunt until he got caught with his own pants down.
 
2012-10-02 10:40:57 AM

wildcardjack: So... If the market isn't free anymore due to monopoly or oligopoly, does government have a responsibility to free the market by breaking up companies?


Adam Smith would have said yes. Obviously we must dig up his corpse to burn him as a heretic.
 
2012-10-02 10:46:54 AM
OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.
 
2012-10-02 10:49:16 AM

lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.


How exactly is the government preventing the Gary Johnson from participating in the Presidential debates?
 
2012-10-02 10:50:28 AM

lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.


Your comparisons make no sense. They are akin to "Corvettes" vs. "Persian Rugs".

Liberty vs. Socialist Welfare State - the existence of one doesn't necessarily preclude the existence of the other.

Also, 1/10.
 
2012-10-02 10:53:35 AM
Sorry, Gary, but in a Libertarian Paradises, power and access are naturally restricted by the powerful and wealthy. You know, like the way things used to be in the Good Ol' Days.
 
2012-10-02 10:55:31 AM

lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.


the committee for Presidential debates is a private non-profit. While an argument can certainly be made that electoral politics should be considered separately from daily economic exchange, there is no government involved here directly. The fact that the networks broadcast it and they are regulated by the government however, that could come into play.
 
2012-10-02 10:56:16 AM

skullkrusher: lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.

the committee commission for Presidential debates is a private non-profit. While an argument can certainly be made that electoral politics should be considered separately from daily economic exchange, there is no government involved here directly. The fact that the networks broadcast it and they are regulated by the government however, that could come into play.

 

not gonna bother fixing the capitalization
 
2012-10-02 10:57:14 AM

sprawl15: Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.

The funniest part is that the best way to solve the two party problem is to rewrite the Constitution, abolish the senate, eliminate state sovereignty, establish proportional representation with static representatives per # of people, and shift voting from voting for a person to voting for a party.

Or, as libertarians call it, OMG EUROSOICALISICALUNGOLDSTANDARD


I think it could be pretty manageable in a uniquely US system. Basically just eliminate congressional districts and do proportional representation by state. I think just having to form coalitions in the House would be enough to break a fever of crazy.
 
2012-10-02 10:59:05 AM

skullkrusher: lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.

the committee for Presidential debates is a private non-profit. While an argument can certainly be made that electoral politics should be considered separately from daily economic exchange, there is no government involved here directly. The fact that the networks broadcast it and they are regulated by the government however, that could come into play.


So the free market solution would be for the government to use it's refulatory powers to FORCE the private companies to include the Libertarians? Even if it means the D and R candidates back out because it becomes a shiat show with every other minor party candidate also included?

Government induced leveling of the 'free-market' playing field?
 
2012-10-02 11:01:34 AM

Tigger: Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.

You're not allowed to discuss the economics of externalities, natural monopolies, missing markets or non Pareto efficient outcomes I'm afraid. It's from the evil liberal economics textbook.

Please use only those concepts officially allowed in your assigned text Derponomics: A new edition (with completely updated foreword by Michele Bachman)


God (we really mean Supply Side Jesus and no dirty hippy Gods) help you if you lack faith that P!=NP

Since this isn't on the geek tab, I'll point out that this proves that according to market-worshiping economics, free markets can break any known public key encryption.
 
2012-10-02 11:02:03 AM
If you ever want high LOLibertarian hilarity, try the bitcoin forums. They hate FIAT MONIES and the evil Government for oppressing their play money, But the minute that they are scammed (which is really often) they go running the police and the FBI.

Seriously, bitcoins are the pinnacle of LOLibaertarian fun.
 
2012-10-02 11:02:58 AM

Lupine Chemist: sprawl15: Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.

The funniest part is that the best way to solve the two party problem is to rewrite the Constitution, abolish the senate, eliminate state sovereignty, establish proportional representation with static representatives per # of people, and shift voting from voting for a person to voting for a party.

Or, as libertarians call it, OMG EUROSOICALISICALUNGOLDSTANDARD

I think it could be pretty manageable in a uniquely US system. Basically just eliminate congressional districts and do proportional representation by state. I think just having to form coalitions in the House would be enough to break a fever of crazy.


That happened much more often in the past as there were more regional parties. Or at least regional factions. Instant mass communication and consolidation of economic power I think has harmed that coalition building.
 
2012-10-02 11:05:01 AM

Teiritzamna: Dr Dreidel: RickyWilliams'sBong: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

Not all wrong. Certainly it's become tougher to go after cartels since Twombly. There have been a few fairly big cases in recent years though.

As I clicked "Add Comment", I thought of Microsoft and Ma Bell. Who else?

here is a simple google legal search of anti-trust cases since 2000. Additionally, it tends to be a fairly big stick in patent law actually - the feds have in fact been ramping up investigations/prosecutions for patent settlements that they feel are antitrust violations.

I dont know if any of this counts as a "big win," but let us not forget that big sweeping legislation usually has this effect - it changes the landscape so much that the players alter what they do to avoid what is prohibited. Think of the recent abortive T-mobile/AT&T merger . . . most of your big companies are too savvy/spooked to act in such a way as to be a Sherman violation - so nowadays the statute is usually used in more limited cases.


But they let Comcast and NBCU merge. Eh, y'all got my point.

// the bold phrase had not occurred to me, but it seems obvious now
// and investigations/prosecutions ramping up now, I feel, kind of supports my point - they haven't been aggressively busting trusts/monopolies, so any action looks large by comparison
// patent law - especially in the software world - needs some big-time overhaul
// particularly in the granting process
 
2012-10-02 11:09:01 AM

Bloody William: Some structures tend to lead to oligopolies forming when left unchecked with no external change? Good thing that can't happen in the free market.


Libertarians are "for" free market...unless they're not in on the action.

So how are they any different than Conservatives again?
 
2012-10-02 11:09:56 AM
I actually cannot decide who is more idiotic and naive: conservatives or libertarians.
 
2012-10-02 11:16:58 AM
Waaaaaiiiiittttt a second. It's not a "free market" if it excludes some competitors. This is a wholly consistent approach for the libertarians. Still not going to vote for him because the free market simply is not the solution to everything. Even Adam Smith didn't think so.
 
2012-10-02 11:19:29 AM

YouBWrong: Waaaaaiiiiittttt a second. It's not a "free market" if it excludes some competitors. This is a wholly consistent approach for the libertarians. Still not going to vote for him because the free market simply is not the solution to everything. Even Adam Smith didn't think so.


But it is free market for a private company to choose not to invite Gary Johnson to the privately-funded debates.
 
2012-10-02 11:20:47 AM

Felgraf: YouBWrong: Waaaaaiiiiittttt a second. It's not a "free market" if it excludes some competitors. This is a wholly consistent approach for the libertarians. Still not going to vote for him because the free market simply is not the solution to everything. Even Adam Smith didn't think so.

But it is free market for a private company to choose not to invite Gary Johnson to the privately-funded debates.


*Clarifying: It's free market because if people don't like it, they can simply boycott the television station until they ALLOW Gary Johnson in the presidential debates!

/Yes, this won't work. Especially because by the time they noticed such a boycott (even if it was massive), the presidential election would be over.
//Heeennnnceee one of the problems with pure libertarian economies.
 
2012-10-02 11:21:34 AM
Except that the dominance of the big two parties is locked in by state regulation. State funding of party conventions (but only D and R), mainly.

I guess you could technically argue that the simple majority system requires a two-party structure as well and the parliamentary system would be better. I mean, I wouldn't do that because it seems to me that most evidence points to the contrary, but I've heard reasonable people that the position that we should essentially switch to how the UK and Canada handle elections and political parties.
 
2012-10-02 11:24:14 AM

Jim_Callahan: Except that the dominance of the big two parties is locked in by state regulation. State funding of party conventions (but only D and R), mainly.

I guess you could technically argue that the simple majority system requires a two-party structure as well and the parliamentary system would be better. I mean, I wouldn't do that because it seems to me that most evidence points to the contrary, but I've heard reasonable people that the position that we should essentially switch to how the UK and Canada handle elections and political parties.


Perhaps, but that has nothing to do with this situation,w hichi s a private debate hosted and paid for by private parties.
 
2012-10-02 11:33:58 AM

Deneb81: skullkrusher: lordaction: OP is an idiot. They are shut out by the government. If the government were to stop there is no problem. Fits perfectly with the philosophy that people should be free to do what they want compared to the democratic socialist welfare state the liberals want.

the committee for Presidential debates is a private non-profit. While an argument can certainly be made that electoral politics should be considered separately from daily economic exchange, there is no government involved here directly. The fact that the networks broadcast it and they are regulated by the government however, that could come into play.

So the free market solution would be for the government to use it's refulatory powers to FORCE the private companies to include the Libertarians? Even if it means the D and R candidates back out because it becomes a shiat show with every other minor party candidate also included?

Government induced leveling of the 'free-market' playing field?


why are you asking me? I didn't say it was a free market solution.
 
2012-10-02 11:34:43 AM

coeyagi: Gary - let me explain this to you so you can understand it.

McDonald's = GOP
Burger King = Democrats

White Castle = Libertarians

You're a bite size product for a niche market: stoners. You cannot possibly get market share because your product is unappealing to every minority who ever or will ever live.

DIAF with your gold standard and uninspected rancid vegetables that you'd allow to be retailed,

Sincerely,

Coeyagi


Uninspected 'rancid' vegetables? And libertarians wouldn't be selling it. Grocers would. Or less than reputable grocers, or grocers known for selling spoiled food. Probably at a discount. And who inspects the carrots from my garden? Not the USDA, and do you know what is sprayed on the food you eat? And the FDA and the USDA approve that shiat for human consumption. I'd rather carrots covered in dirt, thanx.
 
2012-10-02 11:35:29 AM
Scratch a Libertarian, and you'll find a Republican.
 
2012-10-02 11:37:55 AM

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: Uninspected 'rancid' vegetables? And libertarians wouldn't be selling it. Grocers would. Or less than reputable grocers, or grocers known for selling spoiled food. Probably at a discount. And who inspects the carrots from my garden? Not the USDA, and do you know what is sprayed on the food you eat? And the FDA and the USDA approve that shiat for human consumption. I'd rather carrots covered in dirt, thanx.


Um, you are aware that there have been, in the last 5 years, recalls of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, peanuts, peanut butter, other nut butters (giggity) (this one is ongoing), strawberries, meat and a whole host of other food products contaminated with E. coli or other pathogens? All sold by reputable grocers (who, I suspect, you have patronized more than once each, even after recalls).

Do you think this problem will get better or worse if we remove the FDA and USDA and their inspection regime?
 
2012-10-02 12:15:13 PM

Rapmaster2000: Sorry, Gary, but in a Libertarian Paradises, power and access are naturally restricted by the powerful and wealthy. You know, like the way things used to be in the Good Ol' Days.


Yeah, you want rich corporations running the government or something? Thank god things aren't like they were back then when power and money found each other and we've finally eliminated the Iron Law of Oligarchy.
 
2012-10-02 12:25:36 PM

Dr Dreidel: Mayhem of the Black Underclass: Uninspected 'rancid' vegetables? And libertarians wouldn't be selling it. Grocers would. Or less than reputable grocers, or grocers known for selling spoiled food. Probably at a discount. And who inspects the carrots from my garden? Not the USDA, and do you know what is sprayed on the food you eat? And the FDA and the USDA approve that shiat for human consumption. I'd rather carrots covered in dirt, thanx.

Um, you are aware that there have been, in the last 5 years, recalls of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, peanuts, peanut butter, other nut butters (giggity) (this one is ongoing), strawberries, meat and a whole host of other food products contaminated with E. coli or other pathogens? All sold by reputable grocers (who, I suspect, you have patronized more than once each, even after recalls).

Do you think this problem will get better or worse if we remove the FDA and USDA and their inspection regime?


So your argument is we need the FDA and the USDA because they failed all those other times?

Further we were talking specifically about produce (so leave the canned nut butters out of this kindly, as that's a third [fourth?] layer between producer and consumer). So what happened with those recalls is that migrant workers were taking jobs that they had the skill set and legal status to take (which is to say illegals were picking your spinach) The price paid per unit were depressed because of government interference. Because the price is depressed the quality of people willing to do the job declines. The class of character declines, the willingness to take care of quality declines, because there's no margin allowing for it. If they paid, hell $10 an hour to those people, I realize strawberry prices would triple, but there'd be room in the budget of the farmer to wash the damn things before taking them to market, because Jose wasn't rushed out of a port-a-potty (if he's lucky) so that he could feed himself, that he forgot to wash his hands. Or the farmer would hire some engineers to design a Strawberry picking robot and the only things clinging to the product would be the bacteria naturally found in the dirt.

I'm not saying the world would be perfect, but people would be able to go after the corporations that WILLFULLY caused them harm. You didn't train your employees on proper handwashing techniques? Sorry, you're liable for the E. coli contamination of the produce you sold.

Also, unintended consequences.
 
2012-10-02 12:33:25 PM

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: I'm not saying the world would be perfect, but people would be able to go after the corporations that WILLFULLY caused them harm. You didn't train your employees on proper handwashing techniques? Sorry, you're liable for the E. coli contamination of the produce you sold.

Also, unintended consequences.


So it would get both worse AND better? And the "unintended consequences" pale in comparison to the intended consequences - you think food is expensive now, and would be more expensive if we paid the workers living wages, yet you have no comment on the price increases after (e.g.) Monsanto gets taken to court because of a contamination? Assuming it can even make it to court before the principals (or their nexts-of-kin) make another generation of Nexts-of-Kin. Better to have them pay up front to an independent inspection regime than to keep the foxes in charge of Henhouse, Inc. (And yes, I know we have problems with the revolving door between regulators/the regulated. We should fix those, too.)

Anyway, this is off-topic. Libertarianism relies on idealized notions of humanity and economics, both of which have been shown to be laughable. Like communism or socialism, we'd do better to incorporate some of the philosophy into our capitalist society, and let the sociopaths and greedy Guses biatch and moan about how it'd be so much better if we didn't have people feeling entitled to food.
 
2012-10-02 12:39:40 PM
Reposted from the last time we had this thread, still relevant. A couple of other things: while the CPD clings to its status as a "private" organization, it performs a singularly public function, arguably the most important independent function of the modern presidential campaign. Second, the contention that the commission is nonpartisan is akin to the idea that SuperPacs operate independently of the candidates they support. The latter provides at least a plausible deniability. Given the history of the membership of the CPD, it doesn't even have that. A Bipartisan history yes, but that is a far different thing than the nonpartisan status the Commission claims.

So here is the private, nonpartisan and independent Commission on Presidential debates. Every single one of them has a led a professional lifetime enmeshed within the two party duopoly and have a continuing vested interest in maintaining the balance of political power within that duopoly, or at the very least, a vested interest in not upsetting it. Nonpartisan and independent, my ass.

Co-Chairmen

Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. - lobbyist, former RNC chairman
Michael D. McCurry - lobbyist, former Press Secretary to Bill Clinton

Co-Chairman emeritus
Paul Kirk - lobbyist, former DNC Chairman

Board of Directors

Howard Buffett - next in line to Berkshire Hathaway chairmanship, serves on various corporate and philanthropic boards
John C. Danforth - 30+ year career in Republican politics
John Griffen - no idea who this guy is, the googles do nothing
Antonia Hernandez - CEO of California Community Foundation and trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation
Reverend John I. Jenkins - President of Notre Dame
Newton N. Minow - former FCC chairman, serves on a variety of corporate boards
Richard D. Parsons - Citigroup Chairman, former chairman of Time Warner
Dorothy Ridings - President of Council of Foundations, former president League of Women Voters
Alan K. Simpson - 3 term Republican senator from Wyoming

Executive Director

Janet H. Brown - Director of the CPD for its entire existence, served as a political appointee in the Reagan Administration
 
2012-10-02 12:44:19 PM

yet_another_wumpus: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

I'm pretty sure it was used against unions plenty of times. Other than that, I think only against AT&T (IBM and Microsoft won).


Microsoft lost, actually.

Microsoft appealed, an election happened, and the new Republican DOJ agreed to settle rather than pursue a breakup.
 
2012-10-02 12:59:31 PM
I'd have more respect for Johnson's position if he'd tried running as a Libertarian right from the beginning, rather than choosing to run as a Libertarian after failing in the GOP primaries.

But as a consolation, he can still debate "Obama" on the Fox Business Network again . . .

images1.dailykos.com

What do you do if you can't get President Obama to take part in a presidential debate? If you're Fox Business Network, you hire an impersonator.

On Thursday night, Media Matters for America host John Stossel had former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson on his show to participate in a "debate" with Reggie Brown, an Obama impersonator.

"Reggie Brown may be an actor, but what he says tonight will be almost entirely the president's own words," Stossel said in introducing the stunt.

For his part, Johnson took the "debate" seriously: He even knocked his head on the podium to express his frustration with "Obama."

The somewhat surreal stunt lasted seven minutes, with an in-studio audience even applauding and booing certain statements.

Link

/Seriously, the fact that he thought this was a good idea is evidence that he should resign from politics.
 
2012-10-02 01:24:18 PM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: yet_another_wumpus: Dr Dreidel: If the courts rule for Johnson, it would be the first major Sherman-based win since shortly after they passed it. Certainly, no one cares about monopolistic practices anymore, or the threshhold is so laughable as to be meaningless.

// hyperbolic, but how factually wrong am I?

I'm pretty sure it was used against unions plenty of times. Other than that, I think only against AT&T (IBM and Microsoft won).

Microsoft lost, actually.

Microsoft appealed, an election happened, and the new Republican DOJ agreed to settle rather than pursue a breakup.


and we've all been stuck using Netscape browsers since 1994
 
2012-10-02 01:49:48 PM
It's not ironic. The rules for the election aren't open and free, they're written by the other two parties to make it harder for third parties to participate.
 
2012-10-02 01:53:39 PM

tgregory: It's not ironic. The rules for the election aren't open and free, they're written by the other two parties to make it harder for third parties to participate.


But this has nothing to do with the election. this is the debates. The debates are not run by the government.
 
2012-10-02 02:04:36 PM

Dr Dreidel: As I clicked "Add Comment", I thought of Microsoft and Ma Bell. Who else?


Oh, are we only talking about break-ups? In that case, nothing spectacular.

I was thinking more of recovering damages and -- more common these days -- prosecutions. DOJ is big on jail sentences in recent years. Think quite a few went to jail in the LCDs case, and the settlements were either the largest ever or close to it.
 
2012-10-02 02:08:51 PM

Felgraf: The debates are not run by the government.


True, but they're aired by television stations, and the government has a say in making programming decisions.
 
2012-10-02 02:14:33 PM

tgregory: It's not ironic. The rules for the election aren't open and free, they're written by the other two parties to make it harder for third parties to participate.


It most certainly is ironic. The CPD is private and a product of agreement between the Dems and Reps. Johnson, whose party claims to represent the rights of individuals to enter into contracts, is trying to use the antitrust laws he and his types oppose to stop it.

"Free association! Unless it doesn't include me!"
 
2012-10-02 02:21:29 PM

jbuist: Felgraf: The debates are not run by the government.

True, but they're aired by television stations, and the government has a say in making programming decisions.


Yes, but is that not what the libertarians rail against? Shouldn't freedom of association win out?
 
2012-10-02 02:34:53 PM

RickyWilliams'sBong: tgregory: It's not ironic. The rules for the election aren't open and free, they're written by the other two parties to make it harder for third parties to participate.

It most certainly is ironic. The CPD is private and a product of agreement between the Dems and Reps. Johnson, whose party claims to represent the rights of individuals to enter into contracts, is trying to use the antitrust laws he and his types oppose to stop it.

"Free association! Unless it doesn't include me!"


This pact between the government and the CPD is what's troubling.

In terms of free enterprise you'd be correct, but the Commission on Presidential Debates is somehow "the only organization allowed to host presidential debates." Voting on the next president is a right guaranteed to all and shouldn't be held captive by two parties.
 
2012-10-02 02:36:15 PM

Felgraf: tgregory: It's not ironic. The rules for the election aren't open and free, they're written by the other two parties to make it harder for third parties to participate.

But this has nothing to do with the election. this is the debates. The debates are not run by the government.


I meant debates not election. Sorry.

This pact between the government and the CPD is what's troubling.

The Commission on Presidential Debates is somehow "the only organization allowed to host presidential debates." Voting on the next president is a right guaranteed to all and shouldn't be held captive by two parties.
 
2012-10-02 02:40:50 PM

tgregory: In terms of free enterprise you'd be correct, but the Commission on Presidential Debates is somehow "the only organization allowed to host presidential debates." Voting on the next president is a right guaranteed to all and shouldn't be held captive by two parties.


If they were popular, the CPD would be insane to leave them out. The Marketplace of Ideas has determined that the Libertarian candidate (as well as the Constitution, Green, Independent, Socialist, Vermin Supreme and every other party's) has not garnered enough support to merit a spot in the debates.

You say that with your exposure to the public - through the CPD - would help you get that support? That you want the government to FORCE the CPD to give you a spot, based not on the merits of your ideas (as measured by popular support), but on the say-so of government? Well, now you sound like a libby-lib-libberton statist sheeple Austrian DeFarge socialist big government Belgian Hamiltonian fiat-monied festizio.
 
2012-10-02 02:51:05 PM
Isn't he still polling below 5%? I'd say the free market has spoken.
 
2012-10-02 03:01:36 PM

Dr Dreidel: tgregory: In terms of free enterprise you'd be correct, but the Commission on Presidential Debates is somehow "the only organization allowed to host presidential debates." Voting on the next president is a right guaranteed to all and shouldn't be held captive by two parties.

If they were popular, the CPD would be insane to leave them out.


Not true. Ross Perot was excluded from the 1996 debates because he did so well in the 1992 debates and the rules keeping third parties out were made stronger.

"In 1992, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot had a seven percent rating in the polls before the presidential debates. On election day, Perot had 19 percent of the vote, the largest-ever jump for a presidential candidate. Proving himself a risk to the other candidates, the Dole and Clinton campaigns excluded him from the presidential debates through the CPD when he ran again in 1996."

This isn't a private company that runs on supply and demand, and I think it's fine if someone wants to have a company that puts on debates, but why is the government limiting it's choices on who can debate by only authorizing debates with this one company, the CPD? That's the issue.


Dr Dreidel: That you want the government to FORCE the CPD to give you a spot, based not on the merits of your ideas (as measured by popular support), but on the say-so of government? Well, now you sound like a libby-lib-libberton statist sheeple Austrian DeFarge socialist big government Belgian Hamiltonian fiat-monied festizio.


No. I would rather the government either renegotiate their exclusive agreement with the CPD or don't make the debates exclusive with one private entity. What if the government signed a deal with a grain provider giving them exclusive rights to sell grain in the US. That's not a free market.
 
2012-10-02 03:35:06 PM

tgregory: Not true. Ross Perot was excluded from the 1996 debates because he did so well in the 1992 debates and the rules keeping third parties out were made stronger.


Right. It has nothing to do with Perot polling ~8% (this is from early September, after the conventions but before the debates) against a VERY popular incumbent. And just in case you think I'm messing with you, here's 11-22SEP (~6-7%), and early October (~5-6%).

Perot just didn't have the support in 1996 that he had in 1992 (where he was in the mid-teens post-debate). Check Clinton's numbers from those 1996 polls for a possible reason why.

But just for funsies, where's that quote from? Looks like OpenDebates.com, and they're convinced that Ross Perot could have unseated Bill Clinton with a pie chart, if only he'd been allowed to show it on TV. (My apologies to you and to OD.com if I'm wrong.)

tgregory: I would rather the government either renegotiate their exclusive agreement with the CPD or don't make the debates exclusive with one private entity. What if the government signed a deal with a grain provider giving them exclusive rights to sell grain in the US. That's not a free market.


As this is not commerce in the sense of something being bought and sold, but is instead a presentation made by a private enterprise, I think the CPD is under no obligation to do anything - not even to hold debates. That concern, if it went out of business tomorrow, would likely not be missed, and any replacement would find itself having to answer the same questions - to whom do I open debates, based on what criteria, how do I make the debates inclusive enough to account for third (fourth, fifth, etc) party but avoid a clusterfark of having to try and run an actual sensible debate with three or more participants in under 90 minutes.

I'd absolutely love it if the candidates had online debates not hemmed in by primetime ad costs or time-based viewership. Then they could do single questions, filmed from anywhere, as a web series, and we'd not only get more answers to more questions (3 debates, 90 minutes apiece vs 20 policy questions, ~3 minutes per candidate per question), we could afford to hear from more candidates.

// yes, the debate rules were changed, and it didn't help third-party candidates
// but Perot was a lost cause anyway, and I don't think it was inappropriate to exclude him
 
2012-10-02 03:55:09 PM

Dr Dreidel: tgregory: Not true. Ross Perot was excluded from the 1996 debates because he did so well in the 1992 debates and the rules keeping third parties out were made stronger.

Right. It has nothing to do with Perot polling ~8% (this is from early September, after the conventions but before the debates) against a VERY popular incumbent.


The 15% rule came AFTER Ross Perot had a semi-successful shot in 1992.
 
2012-10-02 03:55:38 PM

wildcardjack: So... If the market isn't free anymore due to monopoly or oligopoly, does government have a responsibility to free the market by breaking up companies?


If that is the remedy to end the monopoly, then Yes.

Most libertarians do not believe we just trust businesses to do the right thing. If a business can shut out all competition, it will. Monopolies are bad for businesses (while it is good for A business) and bad for people.
 
2012-10-02 04:32:25 PM

tgregory: Dr Dreidel: tgregory: Not true. Ross Perot was excluded from the 1996 debates because he did so well in the 1992 debates and the rules keeping third parties out were made stronger.

Right. It has nothing to do with Perot polling ~8% (this is from early September, after the conventions but before the debates) against a VERY popular incumbent.

The 15% rule came AFTER Ross Perot had a semi-successful shot in 1992.


The poll numbers I cited were from 1996, not 1992. He polled much better in 1992 than he did in '96.

You say they changed the rules to keep Perot out, I say it's because you need some measure of popular support, and 15% (about 1 in 6, BTW) is as good a number as any. If Perot was that good, he could easily have added supporters to get to 15% - unless he was going up against a superstar incumbent. Especially considering how well he did in '92, it should have been easier to increase his support - but instead his support dropped relative to '92. Which is a shame. I'd have liked to see a viable, funded, national third party, even if only for a single cycle.

// interestingly, one article I saw worked the numbers to find that '92 Perot basically had equal numbers of "Bush voters" and "Clinton voters" (those who would otherwise have supported HW or Bubba)
// in 1996, Perot polled at about half his high water mark in 92, suggesting (not proving or even implying, though) the "Clinton voters" bailed on him, and the "Bush voters" turning into "Dole voters"
// Perot's 92/96 campaign - and the supporters - remind me of RONPAUL 08/12
// the deck is mildly stacked against you, but you're delusional if you think that's the only reason you didn't take off
 
2012-10-02 04:58:47 PM

tgregory: I meant debates not election. Sorry.

This pact between the government and the CPD is what's troubling.

The Commission on Presidential Debates is somehow "the only organization allowed to host presidential debates." Voting on the next president is a right guaranteed to all and shouldn't be held captive by two parties.


But voting and debating are different things. Just because you don't get to see Gary Johnson debate them doesn't mean you're magically unable/disallowed from voting for him.

And I believe you mean "The Pact between the CPD, and the two private parties that are the Republicans and the Democrats." Just because the later two are *in* government doesn't mean they stop being private entities. The GOP is not a branch of the government. The Democratic party is not a branch of the government. They have MEMBERS that hold elected offices.

Are you saying, then, that in a libertarian society, it would be *Illegal* for me, as a private citizen/enterprise, to say "Hey, Company A! If you sell/purchase items from company B, I REFUSE TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU!"

Interesting. That seems very much at odds with libertarian philosophy...
 
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