Jason Soon defends John Lott

Jason Soon is very angry that I dared to criticize John Lott in this post. I wrote about Freedomnomics (where Lott claims that women’s suffrage caused a massive increase in the size of the government):

Lott doesn’t like women’s suffrage

Soon writes:


His basic thesis is that the size of government expanded after women’s suffrage. It’s an interesting thesis. It may be right or wrong. But it does not follow from it that Lott is advocating that women be deprived of the vote since there are far more systemic and less illiberal views of checking the growth of government than arbitrarily limiting voting rights based on dissatisfaction with its outcomes.

Soon seems to accept that Lott would prefer a much smaller government and hence that Lott would think that women’s suffrage has had a bad result. As for other ways of “checking the growth of government”, this is not an argument that Lott makes, and Soon does not tell us what they are. Presumably these involve libertarians uniting and using their mighty political power or something.

To repeat – the proposition that women’s suffrage led to bigger government is a positive statement, not a normative statement. It is either true or false and the belief that it’s true is separate from the belief that women should therefore be deprived of the vote. Lambert decides to elide the two to smear Lott.

Hmmm, what did Lott’s sock puppet, Mary Rosh, write at FreeRepublic?

You have got to download this paper. Lott has done an amazing piece here. Fits in perfectly with Rush Limbaugh’s program today. Click on source URL above to get the paper.

How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?

John R. Lott, Jr.

Abstract:

This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. …

Lott does it again.

It’s pretty obvious that Rush Limbaugh was arguing that women’s suffrage was a bad idea.

Soon continues:

Yet, Lambert has been overwhelmingly positive about Freakonomics despite the fact that its most famous thesis is that legalised abortion led to lower crime rates. But if Lambert were to apply the same treatment to Levitt that he applied to Lott (i.e. mixing positive and normative conclusions) given the obvious racial bias in the US crime statistics and the rate of black illegitimate births compared to white illegitimate births, Lambert should be characterising Levitt’s argument as the argument that ‘we should pre-emptively kill black babies before they get born and become criminals’ . Yet I don’t see him huffing and puffing about Levitt’s alleged racism as he has been doing about Lott’s alleged sexism (of course just to clarify I believe that these ways of characterising BOTH Levitt’s and Lott’s arguments are silly and a distortion of their original intent).

Anyone who has read Freakonomics would know that Levitt argues that his thesis has no normative implications because other considerations trump the abortion/crime link. Lott makes no such argument.

Notice the hypocrisy and inconsistency. I used to think Lambert was a class act but since my recent run-in I’ve concluded that he is in fact a dishonest egotistical prick.

Charming. It seems that Soon doesn’t think it possible for anyone to honestly disagree with him. (My previous post on Soon’s conduct is here.)

Comments

  1. #1 duggie
    July 15, 2007

    I think you’re off your mark here. Even if Lott doesn’t mention other considerations, he doesn’t need to, because he’s not (explicitly at least) making a normative argument.

    (disclaimer: I haven’t read Freedomnomics and I don’t plan to.)

  2. #2 melaleuca
    July 15, 2007

    Lott’s use of the “Mary Rosh” sock puppet in this case is unethical, but you haven’t proved that Lott opposed women’s suffrage. All the “Mary Rosh” sock puppet appears to be doing is spruiking Lott’s “brilliant” research. Lott is undoubtedly an unethical sleaze but you are barking up the wrong tree this time.

  3. #3 Jason Soon
    July 15, 2007

    This isn’t about honest disagreement, this is about you smearing Lott for things he didn’t say (and no, that thing you linked to doesn’t imply that Lott endorses Rush on denying women’s suffrage).

    And now you choose to smear me again. There is nothing in the original source which has Lott arguing against women’s suffrage. And Lott has explained his position here – care to respond to it?

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2990#comment-43864

  4. #4 Ed Darrell
    July 16, 2007

    Women voting is more effective at increasing government size than two world wars, a massive depression and the work to get out of it, and dramatic increases in the size and scope of enterprises that government regulates?

    Helen Reddy was right!

  5. #5 SG
    July 16, 2007

    Ed, you’re missing the important wingnut fact that giving women the vote caused those two world wars, and the depression.

  6. #6 jade
    July 16, 2007

    Oh here we go, another 100+ comment thread circling forever around the plughole of Plausible Deniability. Hooray.

  7. #7 Tim Lambert
    July 16, 2007

    Wow, Jason. These are some of the comments you’ve recently made about me:

    >”Tim’s beliefs are faith-based”, “Bird and Lambert are mirror images, each with their monomanias”, “fucking dishonest Tim”, “Gaian Inquisitor”, “Pope Pius III”, “you people must be for torture and secret trials” “LamBird”, “alarmist”, “Pope Pius Lambert the Third” “looks like Pope Pius the Third has been caught out telling more lies”, “intellectual hobbit”, “little man”, “absolutely dishonest runt”, “propagandist” and “corpulent hobbit”.

    And then you turn around and whine that I am smearing you, just because I accurately describe your habit of accusing people of dishonesty for daring to disagree with you. You need to learn from Melaleuca, who has the mental flexibility to disagree with my interpretation of Mary Rosh without accusing me of dishonesty. Mary Rosh doesn’t explicitly agree with Limbaugh on women’s suffrage but there is certainly implicit agreement.

    Lott’s comment does not explain his position, but rather carefully avoids mentioning what his position is. Does he like the massive increase in the size of government that he believes was caused by women’s suffrage?

    I suppose that if I suggested that Lott supports concealed carry laws you would accuse me of dishonesty since “more guns, less crime” is just a positive statement and there are other ways to reduce crime…

  8. #8 Eli Rabett
    July 16, 2007

    jade, in this case it is implausible deniability.

  9. #9 MichaelF
    July 16, 2007

    The thread over at Jason’s place has taken a twist. I’ve asked Lott to explain the “the oestrogen – big government link”. He has responded. Sort of. Awaiting futher developments:
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2990#comment-43983

  10. #10 Marion Delgado
    July 17, 2007

    Mr. Lambert:

    I am at a loss as to why you respond, ever, to this stuff. Or that utterly irrelevant nest of right-wing flakes.

  11. #11 sleepy
    July 17, 2007

    Yeah you just know that people with that much time to spend chattering at each other and calling you names like Jason does – they’re not actually in positions to do anything useful or to influence policy or anything. I mean good luck to the bright and the civil over there they’re doing OK, while Jason’s being unpleasant and witless.

  12. #12 Ian Gould
    July 17, 2007

    From Catallaxy:

    “Maybe the bottom two levels (state and local) could be working on DOLLAR-VOTES and only the feds be working on ONE-MAN-ONE-VOTE.”

    People in the old Eastern Bloc used to distinguish between “communism” – the Utopian state promised by The Party – and “actual communism” – the shitty oppressive state of all real communist societies.

    Let’s all thank “GMB” for giving us a preview of what “actual libertarianism” would look like.

  13. #13 Jc
    July 17, 2007

    Ian

    if you want to know what Libertarism looks like why don’t you visit the LDP website? There you will find LDP policies that reflect the political side of libertarians.

    It’s pretty woeful skulking around picking up one comment here another there and then try to present ” a preview of what “actual libertarianism” would look like.”

    But then I shouldn’t expect anything else.

    It must be the analytical side coming again, hey?

  14. #14 liberal
    July 17, 2007

    Jc wrote, if you want to know what Libertarism looks like why don’t you visit the LDP website? There you will find LDP policies that reflect the political side of libertarians.

    There are two types of libertarians.
    (1) Freedom-hating feudalists. This appears to comprise the majority of so-called libertarians.
    (2) Freedom-loving geolibertarians.

    For details, see “Are you a Real Libertarian, or a ROYAL Libertarian?”.

  15. #15 liberal
    July 17, 2007

    Jc wrote, if you want to know what Libertarism looks like why don’t you visit the LDP website? There you will find LDP policies that reflect the political side of libertarians.

    After some googling, and taking into account that this blog originates from Australia, by LDP I figured you mean this LDP.

    Given their policy position on land, it’s clear the Australian LDP despises freedom, because they think certain privileged individuals should be able to “own” natural resources and thus forcibly strip others of their freedom to access those resources without any form of compensation.

    Furthermore, not only is their position morally despicable, it’s incoherent. They write, The LDP believes the ownership of property is a fundamental right that precedes the power of government. But without government there is no such thing as “property,” rather merely possession, and one of the prime reasons for creating governments is to define a just order which includes definitions of and laws regarding property.

    Though I guess there are empirical examples otherwise, which must be why so many so-called libertarians are voting with their feet and moving Somalia.

  16. #16 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 17, 2007

    But without government there is no such thing as “property,” rather merely possession,

    I’m not sure I see the distinction. The definition of property is “something owned or possessed”.

  17. #17 slightly_peeved
    July 17, 2007

    nanny_govt,

    the difference between “property” and “possession” suggested by liberal is whether you can get it back if a bunch of people come in, beat you up, and kick you out.

    Without government, you don’t keep it. With government, you do. Personally, I’d more quibble with the LDP’s use of “ownership”. Without government, you only own that which you are strong enough to keep from others. But I’m really quibbling over semantics here.

  18. #18 JC
    July 17, 2007

    Who says there isn’t a role for government in a libertarian state.

    National security and property rights protection come to mind. This is a silly straw man argument.

  19. #19 Ian Gould
    July 17, 2007

    “If you want to know what Libertarism looks like why don’t you visit the LDP website? There you will find LDP policies that reflect the political side of libertarians.”

    Yes and if you want to know wht life’s like in North Korea you should read the policies of the Worker’s Party of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

  20. #20 Jc
    July 17, 2007

    Ian Gould now thinks the desire for increased human freedom is the equivalent of Stalism.

    How novel. How so full of new ideas.

    Ian, it’s the blue pills in the morning.

  21. #21 jack strocchi
    July 18, 2007

    Tim L. says:

    Soon seems to accept that Lott would prefer a much smaller government and hence that Lott would think that women’s suffrage has had a bad result.

    Perhaps, because from the point of a libertarian women do want more govt than is good for them. But Tim L. jumps to the conclusion that some libertarians such as

    Lott [don't] like women’s suffrage.

    However this does not follow from the libertarian “feminism = statism” premise. Because even a libertarian may concede that womens suffrage might have political benefits that out-weigh its economic costs.

    This is, from what I can gather, Jason’s position. Or at least thats what he would like people to think he thinks. No one wants to be put in the same boat as the Taliban or other antediluvians, which appears to be the notion behind Tim L.’s bit of moral equivalence.

    Or can Tim L. point to anything that Lott has written where he explicitly endorses the thesis that womens suffrage was a mistake and should be revoked or restricted? Instead of just making mischievous inferences, I mean.

    That would clear things up, finally.

    PS I do sympathise a bit with Tim L. on the subject of Jason Soon’s habit of going in over the top at the first hint of disagreement. Jason is as nice a person as could be in actual life. But his virtual persona is a cranky, twitchy, paranoid pyschotic ever keen to take offence, rather like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.

  22. #22 disinterestedobserver
    July 18, 2007

    Jack

    While I think most of your recent post makes some reasonable points, I was astonished to read “from the point of a libertarian women do want more govt than is good for them”

    What’s going on then – false consciousness? Or do you mean that women (and lots of men) want more government than libertarians think is good for them? Or really ” than libertarians prefer”.

  23. #23 SG
    July 18, 2007

    Jc,

    your reading comprehension is very low. Ian Gould is implying that what passes for the “theory” of libertarianism will never apply in practice, just as the theory of communism often hasn`t worked in practice.

    Ian would probably suggest this is because of some kind of inherent failing in any political movement based on ideology. I would be less charitable: it`s because libertarian ideology is a fig leaf over naked jealousy and arrant stupidity.

  24. #24 Jc
    July 18, 2007

    Perhaps you could be kind enough to let Ian speak for himself, SG. However i admire your skills at fiction.

    “it`s because libertarian ideology is a fig leaf over naked jealousy and arrant stupidity.”

    Let’s take the jealousy part first. It’s shocklingly delusional to think an ideology that tries to prevent taxeating and tax eaters taken confisacting people’s wealth is a mark of jealousy. I would think it is quite the oppposite.

    “vote for me and I will tax others for your benefit” is not the same as “vote for me and I will limit the amount of wealth that is confiscated from you”.

    Stupidity?

    Oh, so things like the Hanseatic League was stupid and the original document setting up the US as a limted government constitutional republic was just a dumb idea. Okey-dokey.

    Any other bright ideas?

  25. #25 jack strocchi
    July 18, 2007

    Posted by: disinterestedobserver | July 18, 2007 02:06 AM

    Jack..I was astonished to read “from the point of a libertarian women do want more govt than is good for them”

    What’s going on then – false consciousness? Or do you mean that women (and lots of men) want more government than libertarians think is good for them? Or really “than libertarians prefer”.

    The last option. I was paraphrasing what I take to be a generic libertarian position.

    My own political philosophy is common-or-garden variety social democracy, spiced with the occasional bout of hysterical right-wing Culture War fever.

  26. #26 Tim Lambert
    July 18, 2007

    Jack, if Lott thinks that women’s suffrage has had a good result, he just has to say so. He’s been careful to avoid making such a statement. The Mary Rosh comment I posted seems to me to be an implicit agreement with Ruch Limbaugh on the topic.

    I don’t know what Jason Soon’s problem is, but he sure ran away from this discussion quick enough.

  27. #27 liberal
    July 18, 2007

    slightly_peeved wrote, the difference between “property” and “possession” suggested by liberal is whether you can get it back if a bunch of people come in, beat you up, and kick you out.

    That, plus a common recognition amongst the governed that government’s definition of property, and the rights accruing to the owner, are part of a just order.

    E.g., it was once thought by many that ownership of humans is compatible with a just order. Now it isn’t.

  28. #28 liberal
    July 18, 2007

    JC wrote, Who says there isn’t a role for government in a libertarian state.

    Depends on which strain of libertarianism you’re referring to.

    All the strains I’ve seen other than geolibertarianism (basically a form of Georgism), however, either (a) would slide into a Hobbsian war of all against all if actually instituted (because of a lack of government), or (b) would result in a regime of no true freedom or justice, because the form of government instituted would protect only the interests of the powerful, in particular their theft of natural resources.

  29. #29 liberal
    July 18, 2007

    JC wrote, Ian Gould now thinks the desire for increased human freedom is the equivalent of Stalism. How novel. How so full of new ideas. Ian, it’s the blue pills in the morning.

    But for the little detail you omitted that almost all strains of libertarianism actually represent a desire for oppression and the stamping out of freedom. This is described in the essay I linked to above, “Are You a Real Libertarian or a Royal Libertarian?”

  30. #30 liberal
    July 18, 2007

    JC wrote, It’s shocklingly delusional to think an ideology that tries to prevent taxeating and tax eaters taken confisacting people’s wealth is a mark of jealousy. I would think it is quite the oppposite.

    Huh?

    Most libertarians think it’s fine for someone to charge me land rent for using a parcel that they “own,” despite the fact that they didn’t put the parcel there (God/Mother Nature/etc did) and they didn’t contribute the labor or capital that makes the parcel valuable.

    “vote for me and I will tax others for your benefit” is not the same as “vote for me and I will limit the amount of wealth that is confiscated from you”. Stupidity?

    Yes, if accompanied by a lack of understanding of “wealth” and “confiscation”.

    Under the current regime (speaking as a resident of the US), I have to pay a landowner for use of land. The government forces this choice; if I simply assert my natural right to access to land, I will be jailed for trespass. This in itself would be OK, because the nature of land is such that it cannot (in most cases) be productively used unless exclusive use is provided for. And paying for this use is right, because of the benefits of a system market prices and exchange, etc; and because by using the land, I’m excluding others from using it, so I ought to pay for the right to use it.

    What’s not right is that the payment go to the current landowner in his role of landowner. (That is, I’m not referring to rental payments for the structure or other capital improvements.) The landowner qua landowner didn’t create the land; he didn’t even create the value behind the land.

    So in forcing me to pay the landowner, the government is indeed unjustly seizing my wealth and giving it to someone for doing nothing.

    In fact, what really sucks is that, at least in the US, taxes on the productive (primarily income taxes and sales taxes) are used to fund government, which creates much if not all of land value. So taxes on the fruit of my labor are used for purposes which boost the value of land, which I then have to pay some parasite for access to, even though that parasite contributed nothing of value. (Not true, of course, to the extent that the landowner pays property taxes that fall on the land, but at least here in the US, and probably in most parts of the civilized world, the land tax component of property taxes falls far short of the rental value of the land.)

    In this sense—one which the classical liberals understood—most strains of libertarianism represent thuggery.

    Ground rents are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Ground rents are, therefore, perhaps a species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them. –Adam Smith

    Landlords grow richer in their sleep, without working, risking, or economizing. The increase in the value of land, arising as it does from the efforts of an entire community, should belong to the community and not to the individual who might hold title. –John Stuart Mill

    And lest you think that this is a small matter, ask yourself what fraction of income people pay for housing these days. (Economists’ claim that land rent comprises about 2% of GDP in the US is a sick joke; the actual number is probably more like 10–20%.)

  31. #31 oconnellc
    July 18, 2007

    liberal, thanks for providing an interesting post to this site. I’m not sure I totally understand what you are saying, but I am certainly interested. What I guess I don’t understand is the ‘right’ to access land. For example, say I own the land, and I do nothing with it that adds value to it. I set up a lawn chair and enjoy the sun. You want to set up an office complex. I say fine, just pay me rent. In that case, am I considered a parasite? Should I be forced to move my lawn chair so you can bring in the bulldozers? Lets say I farm the land. You approach me and say that you will farm the land next year and pay me rent. I can collect the rent and save the effort. So, ignoring minor things like fences or an access road I may have built, I really haven’t added any value to the land. You, as the farmer are adding the value this year (I guess I added value last year). Should you still have to pay me the rent? Am I a parasite in this case? Is there some case where I may have added value to land in the past the actually provides me with the right to charge rents in the future, even though I am no longer adding value? Also, at some point, I am guessing that all land in this country was originally purchased from the government (ignoring land grants, which the government [eg, the community] had their own reasons for granting). Since my ancestor (or I) purchased the land from the community, we did, in effect, add value to the community at a time when the community really needed it. Is it possible that this is a case of the condition I described above where adding value to the land (which I am going to equate with adding value to the community. If you disagree with this point, that seems fair. I’m willing to discuss it) at some time in the past gives me ‘landowner rights’ which allow me to charge rents without being a parasite?

  32. #32 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    … almost all strains of libertarianism actually represent a desire for oppression and the stamping out of freedom.

    Then they would be, by definition, non-libertarian.

  33. #33 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    the difference between “property” and “possession” suggested by liberal is whether you can get it back if a bunch of people come in, beat you up, and kick you out.

    Certainly that is possible without the aid of politicians and bureaucrats, and often times, it is the politicians and bureaucrats that do the coming in, beating up, and kicking out!

  34. #34 Eli Rabett
    July 18, 2007

    Hey nannny, wanna tell us how that is possible without politicians and bureaucrats, and remember the guys who kicked you out have a bigger arsenal.

  35. #35 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    Eli, what you do is you take a portion of your income and spend it on security. It is likely that this will cost you much less than the ~40% or more of your income that the politicians and bureaucrats take from you in taxes in exchange for a facade of security.

    When it comes to big arsenals, no one can beat the politicians and bureaucrats. They have the police, the FBI/CIA/ATF/etc…, the F-16’s and the tomahawk cruise missiles. When they decide they want your property, they’ll take it and it is likely there is nothing you can do about it.

  36. #36 Alex
    July 18, 2007

    The dystopia proposed by Libertarians resembles a post apocalyptic ‘mad max'(or road warrior for the American viewers) type world.

    Unfortunately the internet often amplifies the importance of certain fringe groups. Certainly in Australia, if one were to only rely on the blogosphere, you could be led to believe that the LDP is a party of some note. In reality, they are a totally unelectable group of misanthropic economists whose popularity is only marginally more than anaesthetised root canal surgery.

    Having said all that, I actually think Jason is a really good guy, and am surprised by these turn of events.

  37. #37 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    The dystopia proposed by Libertarians resembles a post apocalyptic ‘mad max'(or road warrior for the American viewers) type world.

    There were a few things left out of my favorite SF film you mention above. Exactly where did everyone eat? Had the nomads considered that maybe trading for petrol was a better deal than having to fight and die for it? With a variety of vehicles at their disposal, they could easily have transported food from the farming areas (that must have existed) to the refinery and earned a handsome profit in the process. No point in killing off all their customers. So add in a little dose of reality (people need to eat) and you get a libertarian society out of all that outback chaos.

  38. #38 slightly_peeved
    July 18, 2007

    Eli, what you do is you take a portion of your income and spend it on security.

    What if the people you pay for security decide they just want the other 60% of your money? Presumably, if you’re paying them for security in the first place, they’re stronger than you.

  39. #39 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    What if the people you pay for security decide they just want the other 60% of your money? Presumably, if you’re paying them for security in the first place, they’re stronger than you.

    That doesn’t sound like it would be a very good move for their security business!

    Hopefully you’ve checked around and found a security company that is certified by an organization that you trust. Kind of like electronics with that “UL” mark on them. You know they’re not just going to blow up when you plug them in.

  40. #40 jc
    July 18, 2007

    “Hey nannny, wanna tell us how that is possible without politicians and bureaucrats, and remember the guys who kicked you out have a bigger arsenal.”

    Eli just took off his we’ll all be rooined hat and placed the taxeating cap firmly on the pointy end.

    Eli, the nation would be a far more efficient place with only 10% of the tax eating jobs while the rest were fired.

    Every single indicator shows we would be a better bang for out buck if industries like ed and health were allowed to experience the forces of competition.

    The churn rate for every dollar going into the government’s coffers is 40%. That means it costs $40c more for every dollar spent.

    It’s funny how most of you think we need Howard or Rudd to run our lives for us.

  41. #41 jc
    July 18, 2007

    Alex says:
    “Certainly in Australia, if one were to only rely on the blogosphere, you could be led to believe that the LDP is a party of some note.

    That’s true Alex, but it has to start somewhere. Take an extremist party like the Greens for instance who are able to manage 5% of the vote simply because there are enough people around who don’t know what they actually do stand for.

    There’s plenty of room for the LDP to grow.

  42. #42 slightly_peeved
    July 18, 2007

    That doesn’t sound like it would be a very good move for their security business!

    It appears to be the normal move for such businesses in such libertarian paradises as Zimbabwe or Somalia. Without law and police, whoever is the biggest security business – whoever has the most guns – owns everything. Who can stop them?

    Hopefully you’ve checked around and found a security company that is certified by an organization that you trust.

    What force does a certification have when no agency has the ability to make the security company accountable for their misdeeds?

  43. #43 Tim Lambert
    July 18, 2007

    jc, if you think that the LDP is going anywhere, you’re dreaming.

  44. #44 Jc
    July 18, 2007

    Tim

    If you said Family First was going anywhere at the last election I would also have thought you were dreaming.

    There’s at least 2% to 5% of the voting public who would easily fit into the libertarian mold in Oz. That would be enough to get Humphreys (and possibly a few others) a seat at the table.

  45. #45 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 18, 2007

    It appears to be the normal move for such businesses in such libertarian paradises as Zimbabwe or Somalia. Without law and police, whoever is the biggest security business – whoever has the most guns – owns everything. Who can stop them?

    I assume you’re talking here about how white farmers were kicked off their farms by Mugabe, and the farms were given over to friends and relatives of Mugabe who didn’t know squat about farming, thus leading to food shortages, etc… It can be a bummer when you depend on politicians for security.

    What force does a certification have when no agency has the ability to make the security company accountable for their misdeeds?

    Withdrawing the certification could have a distinctly negative impact on the company’s income forecasts. When no one contracts with the security company anymore because of their lack of certification, it is likely they’ll try some other line of business.

  46. #46 slightly_peeved
    July 18, 2007

    Withdrawing the certification could have a distinctly negative impact on the company’s income forecasts.

    No it wouldn’t – they’d just take people’s stuff.

    This is the point – without a government, whoever has the most guns runs everything. How one could consider “certifications” to be an effective form of control in such an environment baffles me.

  47. #47 Tim Lambert
    July 19, 2007

    JC, Family First has the money and dedicated people of organized religion behind it. Libertarians couldn’t organise a picnic without breaking up into bitter infighting.

  48. #48 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    “It appears to be the normal move for such businesses in such libertarian paradises as Zimbabwe or Somalia. Without law and police, whoever is the biggest security business – whoever has the most guns – owns everything. Who can stop them?”

    You seem to be forgetting the one thing that distinguishes civilization from savagery. It’s called the rule of law.

    No society can function without laws and private contract enforced by ( in libertarian state) a government adhering to the principles of a cosnstitutional republic.

    Try enforcing a contract in Zimbabwe or Somalia?

  49. #49 Alex
    July 19, 2007

    Nanny,

    I’m all for a mad max future run by libertarians, as long as you can secure me one of those pursuit special XB falcons. Deal?

  50. #50 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    JC, Family First has the money and dedicated people of organized religion behind it. Libertarians couldn’t organise a picnic without breaking up into bitter infighting.

    Now that’s funny. Yes herding cats is very difficult. However there are a broad set of things libertarians agree. The bitter fighting? I would love to be a fly on the wall at Caucus meeting.

    It’s not a shoe in but I think there’s good shot for one or two senators. Who knows Tim, maybe I’ll be taking a seat alongside Senator Bob Brown as i’m punching him in the ribs to make him cry. hahahha

    I know that thought just rooined your day. Hey, but I scrub up nicely in suit and I would donate the entire salary to charity

  51. #51 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Ian Gould now thinks the desire for increased human freedom is the equivalent of Stalism.

    How novel. How so full of new ideas.

    Ian, it’s the blue pills in the morning.”

    Ever listen to the interview where Leni Riefenstahl tried to explain why she voted for Hitler?

    Apparently it was out of a desire for “peace and full employment”.

    Listen to The Internationale and consider where the desire to “unite the human race” led.

  52. #52 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Ian would probably suggest this is because of some kind of inherent failing in any political movement based on ideology. I would be less charitable: it`s because libertarian ideology is a fig leaf over naked jealousy and arrant stupidity.”

    It’a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

    Fortunately the chances of libertarians ever actually being in a position to implement their polices are roughly on par with those of the Natural Law Party.

  53. #53 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Hopefully you’ve checked around and found a security company that is certified by an organization that you trust. Kind of like electronics with that “UL” mark on them. You know they’re not just going to blow up when you plug them in.”

    And the security companies would never form a cartel that extorted money from its clients and prevented the emergence of competitors.

    Because…

    Because!

    They just wouldn’t.

    Similarly, there’s absolutely no way that the rating agencies (which would themselves be in need of protection services)would be suborned by the protection companies in exchange for a cut of the economic rents they could extract from their vassals (oops, sorry “clients”).

  54. #54 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “I assume you’re talking here about how white farmers were kicked off their farms by Mugabe, and the farms were given over to friends and relatives of Mugabe who didn’t know squat about farming, thus leading to food shortages, etc…”

    most of Mugabe’s victims are black. Some of his closest cronies and hatchmen are white.

    The white commercial farmers are being targeted because they have money and land not because they’re white.

    But thank you for illustrating the strain of underlying racism in so many libertarians.

  55. #55 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “It’s funny how most of you think we need Howard or Rudd to run our lives for us.”

    It’s even funnier how you think you should have that job instead.

  56. #56 jc
    July 19, 2007

    Ian

    For someone educated you sure come out with some howlers and distortions. SG was trying to save your bacon and eggs and now you have made him look silly.

    The modern history of libertarian ideals arise from people like Heyak, Popper, Mises, Schumpter etc. These are people who spent their lives trying to convince people that maximum human freedom such as the freedom of exchange and limited government is the best way for a society to organize itself.

    Modern socialism has its roots in Marx- a fraud that eventually wiped out over 100 million people.

    How on earth you can conflate maximizing freedoms/rule of law and the rule of the jackboot is beyond. I guess you meet all types on the web.

    Perhaps you could explain to us how you think someone like Hayek should be considered a Nazi like figure in history. Was his Nobel Prize in economics also a fraud?

    You seem to be morphing into 1984’s big brother. War is freedom and liberty is slavery.

    Wake up, Ian.

    And no, I’m not a candidate for the senate and never will be. I was just trying to scare the daylights out of Tim. It was a joke.

  57. #57 jc
    July 19, 2007

    “But thank you for illustrating the strain of underlying racism in so many libertarians.”

    Are you slowly losing it, Ian. Most libertarians believe in open borders.

  58. #58 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    JC, tyrants and oppressors always start out believing they’re going to liberate the people for their own good.

    Read the writings of the National Socialists and the Fascists, they made much the same claims.

  59. #59 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Most libertarians believe in open borders.”

    And when asked to explain why America’s gun culture doesn’t result in a lower murder rate and why America’s health-care system delivers outcomes no better than universal health-care systems but at a much higher price about half of them will cite “minorities”.

  60. #60 Disinterested Observer
    July 19, 2007

    JC said: “There’s at least 2% to 5% of the voting public who would easily fit into the libertarian mold in Oz. That would be enough to get Humphreys (and possibly a few others) a seat at the table.”

    Yes, but what would they say when they had their seat?

    In fact, we all know what they would say – cut taxes! Now this approach has the virtue of consistency, but we don’t actually need them at the table to know this is what they would say. From observing various other blogs, this is virtually all that libertarians ever say.

    Perhaps if libertarians could come up with more nuanced policy positions, for example, on health care or child care or superannuation, or any of the hundreds of other complex issues that governments – however inadequately – must deal with, then it may be interesting to have them at the table.

  61. #61 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    “JC, tyrants and oppressors always start out believing they’re going to liberate the people for their own good.
    Read the writings of the National Socialists and the Fascists, they made much the same claims”

    You left out Stalin, Pol pot, Mao and the rest of the leftist ilk.

    Just what Hayek/ Popper has to do with totalitarianism you haven’t yet explained. Why? It would be interesting to see this contortion.

    ———————————

    “And when asked to explain why America’s gun culture doesn’t result in a lower murder rate and why America’s health-care system delivers outcomes no better than universal health-care systems but at a much higher price about half of them will cite “minorities”.”

    You mean…. that it’s racist to observe the black murder rate is 8:1 higher than whites? I would say it’s suicidely racist not to even make that observation. What’s your problem?

    Health Care.

    So if the provision of health care is so good in government hands why don’t we just turn our food supplies to the government as well? We can’t live without health care and we certainly can’t live without food. If government provides the better outcome lets nationalize the entire food business as well.

    In any event bringing up the US is a pretty pathetic attempt at a strawman. Surely you could do better than that.? I know you can.

  62. #62 jc
    July 19, 2007

    DO
    Tax policy… 30/30 rule. Raise the tax free threshold to $30,000 negative income tax those below this threashold.
    30% flat income tax rate. Raise the cap gains to 30%. Maintain the corp tax rate at 30%.

    A lot of public sevants tax churn would be eliminated in one fell swoop.

    ——————

    Very limited market regulation excepting saftety etc.

    ——————-
    Voucher system for ed and health along with the elimination of medicare except for the those who don’t reach the threshold.

    ——————-

    All middle class programs eliminated.

    ——————–

    Privatize higher education

    Go read the pretty extensive policy manual at the LDP website DO.

  63. #63 Disinterested Observer
    July 19, 2007

    Yes JC – we all know what the LDP tax policy is, but you are simply proving my point. Your policy is to cut taxes and to get out of everything else.

    However, have the LDP done a distributional analysis of winners and losers from the 30/30 system? What is the effect of the new system on the budget deficit?

  64. #64 jc
    July 19, 2007

    However, have the LDP done a distributional analysis of winners and losers from the 30/30 system?

    Why would here be any losers DO? The obvious losers would be the public servants that currently administer the churn. They would have to find althenative employment int he private sector.

    —————————–

    Why immediately assume there would be a deficit. I can think of dozens of programs we could cut. Spending would altimatley have to fit the receipts.

    ——————————

    Tell me Do, how much governmen policy is currently not directly imnpacted by tax funding. Why should libetarians think itis any less so.

    ——————————

    Drugs is one good exmple of the road leading to nowhere. Libertarians think recreational drugs opught to be immediately decrimininalized seeing the current policy is a total farce.

  65. #65 Disinterested Observer
    July 19, 2007

    This is probably not the right blog to discuss this, but as I recall the negative income tax involves lower payments to age pensioners and disability pensioners, plus it doesn’t have payments for children, so potentially a rather large segment of the population could be made worse off. In contrast, of course, rich people get to pay a lot less tax.

  66. #66 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “You left out Stalin, Pol pot, Mao and the rest of the leftist ilk.”

    Yeah, that’s why I referred to The Internationale in comment #51.

  67. #67 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Just what Hayek/ Popper has to do with totalitarianism you haven’t yet explained. Why? It would be interesting to see this contortion.”

    Well for starters, Hayek was an advocate of a limited franchise in order to ensure that only the “right” people voted.

    You know, the male property owners who could be counted on to support sensible economic policies.

  68. #68 jc
    July 19, 2007

    No, your’re right it’s not the blog to discuss this.

    It doesn’t mean less less payments to the aged etc. There have been enough costings to show that those funding requirments will be met.
    The point is that dismantling the welfare state will take some time and a sudden jerking wouldn’t happen. But let there be no mistake, there would be a gradual dismantling of the welfare state over a period of time.

    Rich people could actually end up paying more in taxes as the US found out after Reagan enacted the changes to the tax code. Receipts went skywards as the scales dropped. So did spending but that’s another story.

    If you wish to discuss more there is always Jason’s site at the open forum.

  69. #69 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    And lets not forget his support of Pinochet.

    But The General was supporting True (i.e. Economic) Freedom so a few thousand people tortured to death here and there were a mere detail.

  70. #70 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    As for the closet racism of many American libertarians.

    Let’s consider Ron Paul:

    “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city [Washington DC) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    http://www.thedailybackground.com/2007/06/04/racism-in-ron-pauls-past-writings/

    Of course that was before Ron achieved the ultimate dream of many American libertarians – a public sinecure where he could rub shoulders with such fellow champions of liberty of Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond.

  71. #71 SG
    July 19, 2007

    Jc, you are answering all the concrete points with pointless ideological questions (“why don’t we put the govt in charge of food!” and “but WHY would there be losers?”). Sure sign you don’t know what would happen in your ideal society. Why would we trust you?

  72. #72 Ian Gould
    July 19, 2007

    “Receipts went skywards as the scales dropped.”

    No they didn;t they crashed.

    After about seven years, they reached the same level in nominal terms (i.e. before adjusting for inflation) that they reached in 1980.

    BTW, why didn’t tax revenues fall when Bush 41 and Clinton raised the tax rates again?

  73. #73 jc
    July 19, 2007

    Well for starters, Hayek was an advocate of a limited franchise in order to ensure that only the “right” people voted.

    He was also from a very different time, Ian. People had different ideas on the women’s vote when he was writing. The Swiss went for universal suffrage about 25 years ago. Yet until recently it was the model for a decentralized, limited governed state. Voting was less important to the Swiss seeing there was far less money to fight over. People didn’t even know the name of the federal president.

    I think it was Quiggin who brought that up some time ago about Hayek. Did you get the idea there? He failed to recognize that Hayek came from Europe and those ideas were pretty strongly held in Europe during his time. Nice twist.

    The point is that Hayek was a good watcher of sociological changes and I’m sure if he were living now his views would have changed.

    I do hold the view though that anyone who works in a government paid job should not be allowed to vote. There is far too much conflict of interest. I think that was an excellent idea.

  74. #74 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    SG this is grown up stuff. The playroom is out back.

    Ian says:

    And lets not forget his support of Pinochet.
    But The General was supporting True (i.e. Economic) Freedom so a few thousand people tortured to death here and there were a mere detail.

    What support for pinochet. He offered economic advice like Friedman. Don’t be silly. Micheal Moore went to Cuba, does that make him a commo… don’t answer that. FDR thought Stalin was a good guy and said so in not some any words, does that make FDR a commie sympathizer?

    I don’t support Pincochet, but out of the two less people died. Pinochet was a retailer compared to the wholsale slaughter of the left from the past century. I wouldn’t be going there to compare.

    What is it with you,lefties and torture? You all seem obsessed with it.

    —————————–
    As for the closet racism of many American libertarians.
    Let’s consider Ron Paul:
    “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city [Washington DC) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
    http://www.thedailybackground.com/2007/06/04/racism-in-ron-pauls-past-writings/

    Yea, right. The daily Background is now the paper of record. Any evidence there…… like provable links. You actually are that gullible you think a bigtime Liberal newspaper like the New York Times wouldn’t have been all over that painting the GOP candidate as someone worse than Hitler. It’s the blue pills at night Ian.

    ——————————-

    Of course that was before Ron achieved the ultimate dream of many American libertarians – a public sinecure where he could rub shoulders with such fellow champions of liberty of Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond.

    The only KKK chief that I know of in the present Congress is Senator Robert Bird (Dem) who was a grand wizard or whatever they call themselves.

    —————————

    Receipts went skywards as the scales dropped.”
    No they didn;t they crashed.

    You want to place a bet on that Ian… that they went up by the end of his presidency?

    Fact 1 Tax recepits rose 99% between 1980 and 1990 against a GDP growth of 102%

    Fact 2 Real GDP between 1982 and 1990 grew by 31% The equivalent of East Germany.

    Fact 3 living standards rose by 25%.

    Tax recepits rose by spending did more so

  75. #75 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 19, 2007

    “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city [Washington DC) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    Looks like that quote did not come from Paul, but from a ghostwriter:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul#Newsletter_writings_on_race

  76. #76 QrazyQat
    July 19, 2007

    So Ron Paul runs away from remarks that appear under his name (“Paul acknowledged that the comments were printed in his newsletter under his name, but said that they did not represent his views and that they were written by a ghostwriter…”). The buck always stops “over there somewhere” for Republicans, doesn’t it?

  77. #77 SG
    July 19, 2007

    Jc, you obnoxious little skid mark, you are the intellectual giant arguing entirely from your imagination (“receipts went skywards”) and your silly ideology. Perhaps it should be you in the play room.

    Allow me to explain to you how a debate works. Someone points out to you that people in unregulated free markets for health care pay more (twice as much) and get worse health (shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality) than people in socialised systems. Your response should not be “Oh well, why don`t we nationalise food too” for three reasons:

    1) it`s rude to answer a question with a question
    2) health delivery systems in nationalised systems are NOT government owned. only some parts are; and in case you weren`t aware, in Oz and the UK all GPs are private. So your analogy fails
    3) good faith debate involves answering comments with the benefit of your knowledge, not rhetorical questions which assume everyone shares your ideology.

    So now: can you explain why people in the US pay twice what we do, for worse health care outcomes? And if you can`t explain this, why should we assume that your ability (and that of other libertarians, who can`t answer this question either) to form any kind of policy on a complex issue is better than, say, that of a 10 year old?

    If the best answer you can come up with for a real life example of the failure of your much-vaunted completely unregulated free market ideology is either “it isn`t pure!” or “it`s the blacks` fault!”, why should we believe that your preferred solution for global warming is going to end up any different? I.e. all the peons paying more than we should and getting higher carbon emissions than we want…?

  78. #78 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 19, 2007

    Someone points out to you that people in unregulated free markets for health care pay more (twice as much) and get worse health (shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality) than people in socialised systems.

    Is your assumption here that healthcare in the US is unregulated? You can’t be serious.

  79. #79 jc
    July 19, 2007

    I know Nanny Govt. They think the US medical system is one big unregulated jungle. Isn’t that hilarous. They actually believe the tripe.

    That’s when the comment about black people getting turned away at the door of the emergency room comes in: ususally overlayed with the violin in the background.

  80. #80 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    “Jc, you obnoxious little skid mark, you are the intellectual giant arguing entirely from your imagination (“receipts went skywards”) and your silly ideology.”

    It’s always pleaseant discussing things with the angry left.

    Tax recepits rose 99% from 1980 -90.

    Be my guest to disprove that, but please note the daily kos won’t cut it and a reference point.
    ———————————-

    1) its rude to answer a question with a question 2)

    Ok. So let me change that into a statement then if it’s easier for you.

    If outcomes are better under government mandate/ownership. control- you obviously argue they are with healthcare- we should immediately nationalise the food industry as it provide us with cheaper food.

    ————————-

    health delivery systems in nationalised systems are NOT government owned. only some parts are; and in case you werent aware, in Oz and the UK all GPs are private.

    Don’t be silly. Government ownership and government mandate pretty much allow for the same outcome. The medicare rebate on doctor’s vists etc. pretty much shows the level of interference in the medical market. It’s riddled with government control. Only a stupid person would argue otherwise. Try ordering an off the PBS medicine and see how many hoops the doctor has to go through.

    ———————–

    So your analogy fails 3) good faith debate involves answering comments with the benefit of your knowledge, not rhetorical questions which assume everyone shares your ideology.

    If government controlled healthcare provides for superior outcomes then it follows we should nationalise the food suuply immediately. Are you in favour of that or not? If so why, if not why not?

    The US healthcare system is a highly regulated deformity that pays little heed to the price signal. They also have a large R&D expenditures in (pahrma) that forms part of the total expense package that we don’t have.

    It’s amusing how you and Gould contort yourselves in arguing that healthcare is somehow different which needs government controls and regulations to maintain it but backpeddle at 100 MPh when confronted with the food supply question.

    You’re an empty suit SG.

  81. #81 SG
    July 19, 2007

    So you back up Ian Gould`s comment nicely. People point out to you that the closest thing you have to a free market in health insurance is a failure, and you argue “but it`s not pure libertarianism.”

    This is exactly the same as the problem communists have faced over the years. People point out to them that their closest models are always a failure, and they say “but it`s not pure communism.” It`s the last slimy defense of an ideologue (except blaming it on the blacks, of course).

    This is why you have to fall back on your silly rhetorical questions. You can`t analyse the actual situation as it actually stands in reality because there is no way it can be swung to fit your ideology. So you spout idiocy instead: “why don`t we nationalise food” or “why should there be any losers from our system?”

  82. #82 Jc
    July 19, 2007

    So you back up Ian Goulds comment nicely.

    How so, Angry Anderson? There’s nothing Gould and I could possiblky agree with seeing he’s wrong 99% of the time and then covers things up by obfuscating and truncating. … like you.

    ————————————-
    People point out to you that the closest thing you have to a free market in health insurance is a failure, and you argue “but its not pure libertarianism.”

    It’s not market based. Nowhere near it. It’s a command and control system run with mandates regulations up to the backside and general inefficiency seeing is not a single payer system.

    ————————————–

    This is exactly the same as the problem communists have faced over the years. People point out to them that their closest models are always a failure, and they say “but its not pure communism.” Its the last slimy defense of an ideologue (except blaming it on the blacks, of course).

    Don’t be so silly. It is well recognized that markets are superior at delieving better outcomes in the provision of goods and services- like food- yet you and Gould have a mentla block when it comes to health. It’s almost comical to watch the contortions ( raice baiting is a great example of this pathetic exercise).

    ——————————————–

    This is why you have to fall back on your silly rhetorical questions.

    Not at all. We’re after superior outcomes and results. Privatized food supply is a great example. It’s you who doesn’t want to answer it because you simply cannot and so you resort to all the other dirty little rhetical tricks up your sleeve with abuse being the most obvious.
    ————————————–

    You cant analyse the actual situation as it actually stands in reality because there is no way it can be swung to fit your ideology.

    Not at all. See the food supply question again.

    ——————————————-

    So you spout idiocy instead: “why dont we nationalise food” or “why should there be any losers from our system?”

    Exactly. We currently have a system which doesn’t respond well to price signals, market segmentation or specialization simply because we’re saddled with a one size fits all approach that can’t possibly satisfy every need.

    That’s why I don’t use medicare and have bought an international Chubb policy that allows me and my family to see any specialist in the world whenever I want or go to any hospital

    So i am paying the levy for nought. Enjoy the frebbie.

  83. #83 SG
    July 20, 2007

    ah Jc, you do like sparring with your invisible communist opponents don`t you? It hasn`t occurred to you, has it, that a reasonable person might support the idea of a privatised food system (because its been tried and it works) and a nationalised health system (because its been tried and it works)?

    But it`s funny, because you as an ideological debater are shackled with a (how do you put it?) “one size fits all approach that can’t possibly satisfy every need”. And you resort to debating complex policy (health) by providing counter-examples (food privatisation) which no sane person is suggesting. Instead of the obvious technique, which would be to explain patiently how a completely free market in health care would push down costs and improve outcomes.

  84. #84 jc
    July 20, 2007

    “ah Jc, you do like sparring with your invisible communist opponents dont you?”

    Lol. Isn’t it you and Gould who are doing all the commie comparisons/ see the 81 comment:
    “This is exactly the same as the problem communists have faced over the years.”
    Didn’t you say that SG? There’s plenty more. I sure hope you aren’t confusing my comments with yours and Gould’s as that would be tragic? It really is silly comparing stalist leftism to free market libertarians isn’t it when you think about it.
    ———————————————–

    ” It hasnt occurred to you, has it, that a reasonable person might support the idea of a privatised food system (because its been tried and it works) and a nationalised health system (because its been tried and it works)?”

    Well no. No reasonable person could make that insinuation or reach that silly consclusion. If they did they would have to argue that demand curves are not downward sloping and demand/supply doesn’t respond to price signals. (yes Ian we know bout Giffen(?) goods)

    All I am saying by pointing out the wonderful bounty of our food supply which is cheap and endless is that the same forces at work there would quickly begin to take hold in the health markets if they were left alone without this government meddling. In other words the same forces would also apply. We haven’t seen a free market in health because it’s never been tried in the modern age but we can reach a reasonable conclusion that market forces would rapidly offer a superior outocme. Offfer vochers to every citizens if the government wants to ensure 100% insurance. Offfer vouchers irresprective of income.
    —————————————

    But it`s funny, because you as an ideological debater are shackled with a (how do you put it?) “one size fits all approach that can’t possibly satisfy every need”

    Which is our wealth system now isn’t it. It has to be because a government mandated command control one cannot do anything other than offer a one ize fits oall. It has to.

    ———————————————-

    . And you resort to debating complex policy (health) by providing counter-examples (food privatisation) which no sane person is suggesting.

    See above

    Instead of the obvious technique, which would be to explain patiently how a completely free market in health care would push down costs and improve outcomes.

    Comptetive pressure puts downwards pressure on prices in all free unfettered contestable makerts. There is enough litertature on that to make it axiomatic…. Well almost.

    Health markets are no different than other markets and no amount of race baiting and silly contorting can change that premise.

  85. #85 SG
    July 20, 2007

    Comptetive pressure puts downwards pressure on prices in all free unfettered contestable makerts. There is enough litertature on that to make it axiomatic…. Well almost.

    Health markets are no different than other markets and no amount of race baiting and silly contorting can change that premise.

    So, if this is an incontestable axiomatic fact, are we therefore to conclude that the Australian healthcare market is actually much more competitive than the US market? After all, health care in Oz costs half what it does in the US, and the quality is better. Is that what you are saying? If so, why do you want to change it? Australian health care outcomes are very good and our healthcare system one of the cheapest in the developed world. Doesn`t that mean we must already be highly competitive?

    It really is silly comparing stalist leftism to free market libertarians isn’t it when you think about it.

    Some other silly comparisons between stalist (?) leftism and free market libertarianism that are “silly”:

    – both are written down in books
    – both are debated on blogs
    – both use economic arguments

    They must be the same!

    Look, Jc, if you can`t tell the difference between the argument “Communism and libertarianism both show a big gap between the ideology and the implementation” and “communism and libertarianism are the same” you really should have got yourself a few more years of home schooling…

  86. #86 Jc
    July 20, 2007

    SG

    So if you think the medical system here is great, why don’t you opt for letting people outta the system if they so choose? In other words I’ll take care of my own insurance through the market.

    Personally I think the system here sucks and I consider the American one superior in almost all respects. I have lived under both.

  87. #87 SG
    July 20, 2007

    I note you haven`t answered that question, Jc. Too hard?

    Jc, the medical system in Australia does allow you to opt out. You can buy private. But your private insurance companies won`t cover emergency departments and the heavily subsidized drugs you are buying. If you want to triple your health insurance costs for that, fine. The rest of Australia don`t want to, so you just have to suffer with a lower overall health cost in order to support our strange desire for cheaper health care. So terrible for you…

  88. #88 Jc
    July 20, 2007

    SG
    Happy to answer all the “curve” balls. But first I left a few for you. So it’s only fair if you go first now.

    By the way are you correcting typos now? Oh, well, it keeps you busy I guess.

  89. #89 SG
    July 20, 2007

    I don`t know what a curve ball is Jc, but the only question you seem to have asked me is if I think we should nationalise food distribution. Answered. Now…? Is teh Australian system more competitive than the American?

  90. #90 Ian Gould
    July 20, 2007

    “He was also from a very different time, Ian”

    So if he’d lived last century your champion of liberty would have been a slaveowner>?

    “What support for pinochet. ”

    He’s on record praising Pinochet ot Thatcher as a model for Britain and lobbying against economic sanctions.

    But I guess the 1980’s were “another time” too. Human rights were only discovered last week.

    By libertarians, of course.

    “Yea, right. The daily Background is now the paper of record. Any evidence there……”

    Paul has admitted that the comment ran in a newsletter he wrote under his by-line.

    Thirteen years later he claimed he didn’t actually write it.He’s never produced anything to support that claim – liek the name of the real author.

    “Fact 1 Tax recepits rose 99% between 1980 and 1990 against a GDP growth of 102%

    Fact 2 Real GDP between 1982 and 1990 grew by 31% The equivalent of East Germany.

    Fact 3 living standards rose by 25%.”

    Well if you say it it must be true, mustn’t.

    Fact 4: 1990 was two years AFTER Reagan left office and after Bush raised tax rates.

  91. #91 Ian Gould
    July 20, 2007

    “Is your assumption here that healthcare in the US is unregulated? You can’t be serious.”

    I assume nothing.

    I observe that the US government role in financing health care is smaller than that of other first world governments as a percentage of GDP.

    I observe that despite this, total US spending on health care is significantly higher than in other developed countries.

    I observe that despite this higher spending few if any health indicators show the US health system producing superior outcomes.

    I conclude from these observations that adopting a health care system more like that of other developed world countries would probably reduce US healthcare costs without impairing health outcomes.

    This is the point where many of your fellow libertarians interrupt to insist that the US health system costs what is does because of all those wetbacks and darkies.

  92. #92 Ian Gould
    July 20, 2007

    Reagan’s first budget was fiscal 1982. The first budget to reflect his tax cuts was fiscal 1983.

    Total government revenue in fiscal 1981 was $286 billion.

    Total government revenue in fiscal 1988 was $401 billion.

    http://www.cbo.gov/budget/historical.pdf

    Both figures are in constant dollars – i.e. before adjusting for inflation.

    US Inflation for the period January 1 1981 to January 1 1989 was 39.2%.

    http://inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Rate/InflationCalculator.asp#results

    Adjusting for inflation, 1988 revenue was $397 billion in 1980 dollars.

    I’m sure JC will respond with his usual squawking and abuse.

  93. #93 Ian Gould
    July 20, 2007

    “If outcomes are better under government mandate/ownership. control- you obviously argue they are with healthcare- we should immediately nationalise the food industry as it provide us with cheaper food.”

    Yeah because there are absolutely no differences between the market for food and the market of health care.

    Every time I buy food I’m shelling out thousands of dollars on technology and pharmaceuticals with which I have only a passing familiarity at best and my life is on the line if I don’t take the advice of professionals who are getting massive commissions from the food industry.

  94. #94 Ian Gould
    July 20, 2007

    “ah Jc, you do like sparring with your invisible communist opponents dont you? It hasnt occurred to you, has it, that a reasonable person might support the idea of a privatised food system (because its been tried and it works) and a nationalised health system (because its been tried and it works)?”

    But SG, who needs facts and evidence when you have the infallible light of ideology to guide you?

  95. #95 jc
    July 20, 2007

    “I’m sure JC will respond with his usual squawking and abuse.”

    No, there’s no reason too. Tax receipts rose during his prez. They rose 99%. Tax recepits are rarely ever spoken of in real terms and Pved to a past date for the simple reason that expenditure is treated in constant dollars too.

    nice slight of hand, Mr. Mirthless.

  96. #96 Jc
    July 20, 2007

    Oh I forgot

    Who did you ask for the discount rate, Ian? It couldn’t have Nick Stern and his supporter as that would have been too low.

  97. #97 dhogaza
    July 20, 2007

    Tax receipts in 1988 were about 40% higher than 1980, in non-adjusted dollars.

    One reason for this was the fact that Reagan raised taxes in 1986, in his reform legislation which reduced the number of incremental tax levels and shifted more of the income tax burden from the upper and upper-middle classes to those making less.

    For example, I was making an inflation-adjusted equivalent of the low-100s when the new tax rate went into effect. My income tax went down about $2K that year. My sister and her husband, who combined were making an inflation-adjusted equivalent of the mid-30s combined saw their income taxes go up roughly the same amount mine decreased.

    Ironically, she was the Reagan supporter, I hated him. She started voting Democrat after that experience, though.

  98. #98 oconnellc
    July 20, 2007

    I’m curious about how someone can opt out of the Australian national health care system. If I were to choose to ‘opt out’, do my taxes decrease? I assert that all taxes (corporate and otherwise) are actually paid by individuals, so the price of everything I buy includes the corporate taxes paid for my healthcare as well. I live in the US, so I don’t know much about the Australian healthcare system. For example, do insurance companies not sell insurance that covers emergency room visits because they don’t want to, or because they aren’t allowed to? Has anyone ever done a real study on the actual costs per taxpayer for the Australian health care? I searched (albeit briefly) and couldn’t find anything?

  99. #99 oconnellc
    July 20, 2007

    Can the people who are making all these assertions about US tax receipts during the 80 just post the site you are referencing. It is just silly to argue about a provable fact.

    Also, Bush Sr. didn’t become president until 89. The first year he could have implemented a tax increase for would have been for ’90. I’m not sure, but I don’t think he increased taxes until 90 or 91 (meaning that the increase wouldn’t have taken affect until 91 or 92).

  100. #100 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 20, 2007

    I observe that the US government role in financing health care is smaller than that of other first world governments as a percentage of GDP.

    Financing? US Government? We’re talking about regulation at all levels, Ian. Financing at the federal level is just one portion of that. For more see: http://www.amazon.com/Health-Care-Regulation-America-Confrontation/dp/0195159683

    And I know you’ll enjoy this piece from Cato, but you should note that it also points out beneficial regulation: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa527.pdf

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