“On Your Own”

by Don Boudreaux on October 30, 2011

in Country Problems, Nanny State

Bob Higgs’s latest.

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persiflage October 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

The President appears to lack imagination. For an American, being “on your own” does not mean an atomic existence, separated from all human society and charity. Being “on your own” means simply freedom – a zone of exclusion from government interference, regulations, mandates. Being “on your own ” leaves openings for a thousand voluntary associations with other beings – social, business, religious, trade, sexual, charitable…whatever – in an atmosphere absent government coersion. Apparently, that is not a state of being that statists can comprehend.

Bill October 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Very well stated.

kyle8 October 30, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Good show.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Progressives seem to think that people can’t get along without the coercive guidance of the state.

As every day is opposite day with government, increasing intervention by the state leads to people hating each other, for people become takers via the state rather than producers in the market.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm

An excellent analysis, Sam!

Invisible Backhand October 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I was watching an al jazeera documentary and saw something all CafeHayek readers might enjoy:

http://i.imgur.com/JJPi0.gif

Matt October 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

So? I guess if you fail to be able to counter someone’s arguments using logic, you resort to other….techniques.

Stephan October 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Funny. Even funnier to hear from a Prof who is on the payroll of the evil government the Hallelujah for the rest of population: You Are On Your Own.

House of Cards & Economic Freedom October 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Quoting al jazeera on economics is like quoting Der Sturmer on Judaism.

Just a wee bit biased.

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 3:07 am

Al Jazeera??? HAHAHAHA!!! Read that enuf to know the B.S put out by their 99% opinion news……. And 98% biased.

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I’m confused. It seems like, regardless of the topic, someone brings up the Kochs. What’s wrong with the Kochs? And why are they being used like the Chewbacca/Hitler defense?

Jon Murphy October 31, 2011 at 7:26 am

For those who don;t get the reference:

Chewbacca defense: http://youtu.be/l1QI4P0YqtM

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 7:38 am

The Kochs are rich. They have money to fund things. Examples of things they fund are the Cato Institute, Mercatus and other outlets for mostly libertarian thought.

This does not sit well with the statists who do not tolerate any competing ideas. Thus, the Kochs have to be painted as evil industrialists seeking to bring on a free world where statists won’t have the control they desire. Something like that. I usually stop listening pretty early on. Although, I just got my Bloomberg Magazine and its cover story is the Kochs. It’ll probably be some long, convoluted attempt to smear them. I’ll see how far I get into the story before I lose interest.

Anotherphil October 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

Why the Kochs?

Well, Identify a target, freeze it, isolate it.

Typical Alinskyite excrement, from the prize student and his brain dead minions. That’s a good enough indication to me that in spite of his assertions to the contrary, he’s not the President of all Americans. Instead, the office is being used for benefit of preferred clients at the expense of others and the general public.

Invisible Backhand October 31, 2011 at 11:09 am

I just got my Bloomberg Magazine and its cover story is the Kochs.

Just stay at CafeHayek and you’ll be fine, there’s no chance Russ and Don will bring it up.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Bloomberg, hah!

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm

It comes “free” with the terminals. I’ve yet to find anything mildly interesting in it. And guess what? The giant Koch article was one long smear piece low on facts and heavy on innuendo. Colour. Me. Shocked.

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm

The Kocks inherited a large successful company and have made it into a group of well managed successful companies through their imagination and endeavor. As I believe is good capitolism. Being heads of large companies brings them into entirely too much meddling and they are to be admired in their resistance to this government socialistic crap.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

They are rich and are linked to the libertarian movement via CATO, etc.

As the left hate libertarianism, they resort ad hominem, well poisoning, straw men, etc. for they recognize that they are unable to defeat libertarian arguments honestly.

Invisible Backhand October 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I’m left and I don’t hate libertarianism. I just hate being ripped off and conned.

unable to defeat libertarian arguments honestly.

Why defeat an argument when the argument itself is a lie? Let’s say you voted for ending abortion. You didn’t get an end to abortion, you got electricity deregulation. You didn’t get honor and dignity in the White House, you got a war in Iraq. You didn’t get tax cuts for you, you got tax cuts for the rich. Get it? It doesn’t matter what they promise you, you aren’t getting it.

You’re a bunch of dupes so desperate to keep the government from taking their liberty and so happy to lose it to an insurance company.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 8:38 pm

If you could get a woman to look at you without screaming, you might have a chance of losing your liberty to marriage.

Are you really so dense that you don’t understand the difference between the government robbing you of your liberty and you entering into voluntary contracts?

Don’t bother. It is, of course, a rhetorical question.

Invisible Backhand October 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I’m left and I don’t hate libertarianism. I just hate being ripped off and conned.

That’s what my political cadre officer and assistant handler instructed me to say. My true sentiments are the following:

I hate voluntary action by individuals. Since capitalism, free markets, and private property, give the greatest scope for voluntary action by individuals, it follows that I despise these things. I am an advocate of authoritarianism; I like physical force — but, lest you misunderstand me, let me qualify that by adding: so long as it’s exercised for the good of the individual. That’s why we need a technocratic elite of “experts” in charge of all the regulatory apparatus in government: to force individuals — whether on the consumption side or the production side — to make choices they otherwise wouldn’t have made voluntarily.

I used to think that my love of physical force came from a Napoleon Complex — that I would be one of those givers of orders to subordinates when the Socialist Workers Paradise was finally implemented. But then my psychiatrist shrunk my head and in an epiphanic moment of self-enlightenment, I discovered that it really stemmed from a Shmo Complex: I’m just so unsure of myself in the Big Bad World that I need to be told what choices to make and what not to make by those who claim to know what’s best for me. It follows, of course, that if they know what’s best for me, they must know what’s best for you. After all, they’re experts.

I hope I’ve made myself clear.

– May the Force of government be with you, and used against you,
IB

Methinks1776 October 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm

HA HA HA HA HA!!!

vidyohs October 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I don’t even have to say a word in addition to this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwqaKAUjhxc

vidyohs October 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm

vidyohs, wasn’t there a girl in Atlanta recently who said something similar?
Yes, she said “ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.”

Must be the two are related.

vidyohs October 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

vidyohs, what was it that Ayn Rand said to a reporter who, at the conclusion of a Ayn Rand lecture, “Ms Rand, what best can we do for the poor?”

Ayn replied, “Don’t be one.”

muirgeo October 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Yeah almost like having full benefits and a government pension.

Krishnan October 31, 2011 at 7:08 am

Depressing indeed. Depressing. And things are only getting worse.

Randy October 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

So, let’s assume for a moment that the near future will belong to the political class and their dependent serfs – because, let’s be honest, it almost certainly does. The question becomes; What are the independent minded to do about it? While the details are unclear to me, one key advantage seems obvious – that they need us more than we need them…

I have played this game. It can be won.

kyle8 October 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I wish you were correct, but I am not so sure. The truth is that the number of people who are ignorant and can be swayed by hideous appeals to envy, xenophobia, or outright lies is rather large. Certainly larger than the number of people who are open minded, and, or are knowledgeable about economics and human nature.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:10 am

and how many people can you convince by telling them they need to take a cut in pay and standard of living

Randy October 31, 2011 at 6:49 am

Good point. Bluffing doesn’t work, and playing the game against a political organization is vastly different in scope than playing it as an individual. But then, simply withholding capital is a good start. Refusing to hire. Retiring early. Taking full advantage of every possible government program. Withholding respect for politicians. Voting for non-politicians. General insubordination. Things that will stress the political structure, possibly to the breaking point, but at least enough to make them listen.

kyle8 October 31, 2011 at 6:51 am

oh, you mean like the drop in living standards we have all taken while the government has borrowed trillions it does not have to squander on make work programs?

GiT October 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm

“The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune.”

If this were anything more than an article of faith maybe Higgs would have a point.

As it stands, there is no reason to expect contingent giving to map neatly on to contingent needs.

kyle8 October 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Nor any reason to believe that it would not.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I can see plenty of reasons to believe that it would not. Unfortunately I’m not invested in remedying your poverty of insight.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

GiT,

You should focus on remedying the poverty of your insight.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I’m quite invested in remedying the poverty of my own insight. If I wasn’t I’d still be a libertarian.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Ha!

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I don’t know. Charities and religious organizations (I’m thinking local churches) seem to do a good job meeting needs.

For example, here in New Hampshire we have a very large refugee population. There are a number of private organizations who serve that group of people with ESL classes, legal services, etc. They seem to do a good job.

Another example, at work, one of my co-worker’s husband was stricken with throat cancer. Health insurance covered some, but not all. We all chipped in as well as the company and we were at least able to remove some of the burden.

Americans do have a history of coming to each other’s aide. Remember 9/11?

If you’ll forgive me, I think it’s a bit cynical to say that it’s just an article of faith.

Krishnan October 31, 2011 at 7:41 am

And let me add to so many millions around the world … and when GOVERNMENT decides it is Big Brother, it crowds out the private initiative – groups that help because they want to and can …

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:33 pm

You are reciting the old American concept of hospitality and being good to ones neighbors. In our cosmopolitan existence, this has been forgotten. How sad for us.

vikingvista October 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Unlike the welfare state which has done a real bang up job.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

In comparative analysis across post-industrial democracies, more rigorous welfare policies correlate with increased reduction of poverty and misfortune.

So yes, they do.

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Correlation does not imply causation.

Greg G October 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Jon

Correlation does not prove causation. It does imply it.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Greg G,

Correlation does not prove causation. It does imply it.

False. Correlation implies correlation. Nothing more, nothing less. If A correlates with B, it says nothing about whether or not A causes B, B causes A, or some other variable C causes both. To get causation in either direction requires far more powerful techniques than simply computing correlation.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Hence why I said correlate, not cause.

In any case, one might imagine that analysis of the effects of welfare policy across a sample of countries similar in most other meaningful respects offers better grounds for causal inference than baseless ideology.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm

GiT,

Hence, you should read closer. My comment about correlation was addressed to Greg G’s ignorant statement, not anything you’ve said.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Ken, I was replying to JM.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

GiT,

Fair enough.

Regards,
Ken

Dan H October 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

On correlation and causation…

Correlation does not imply causation. Correlation is simply “it is what it is”.

In a statistics in sports class, I did an analysis of quarterbacks and their statistics based on their height. I randomly selected 100 QBs that have played since 1990 (when passing games and the West Coast offense became part of every playbook). Guess what I found? QBs who are 6’2″ or shorter had a higher winning percentage, better passer rating, and better TD-INT ratio than QBs who were 6’4″ or taller. I was shocked. Does this imply that shorter QBs are ideal? Absolutely not. Logic would tell us otherwise. One explanation I had is that teams are much more willing to take a chance on an unproven college QB who “passes the eyeball test” (i.e. he’s 6’5″ 230 lbs) than a smaller QB, therefore the smaller QBs who do make it to the NFL are generally more proven to begin with.

If I were to accept that correlation implies causation, then I would draft QBs who are 6’2″ or shorter. But as we know, there’s a lot more that goes into making someone good at QB. Correlation “is what it is”. There are generally many variables left out.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Dan H,

Your example isn’t about QB’s being 6’2″ causing more wins, but merely a correlation. And your example isn’t about causation, merely correlation. As another example, rain and clouds are correlated. If it’s raining outside, I would bet that it’s cloudy also. But no one would be that raining causes cloud cover.

Regards,
Ken

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm

A truth that so many would love to deny for their stupid advantage.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm

In comparative analysis across post-industrial democracies, more rigorous welfare policies correlate with increased reduction of poverty and misfortune

So China, the USSR, the Eastern block under the Iron Curtain, Cuba, and North Korea are just outliers?

Regards,
Ken

Greg G October 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Ken

If two events are uncorrelated we know there is no causation. So correlation raises the possibility of causation but does not prove it. As Hume pointed out, we never really see causation itself, just constant conjunction. I’m not sure what “powerful techniques” you use to prove Hume wrong.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Communist countries are of a completely different type than post-industrial social democracies. They are not outliers, they’re completely different cases.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Greg G,

If two events are uncorrelated we know there is no causation.

So? The contrapositive of that statement is that if event A causes B, then A and B will be correlated. Note that the contrapositive is NOT, if A and B are correlated, then A causes B.

And Hume would never be so stupid as to say correlation implies causation. I gave you reasons why, which you seem to have ignored. Hume understood those reasons as well.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I believe Greg used ‘imply’ more in the sense of ‘suggest’ than in the sense of logical implication.

And I’d say he’s right that correlation is at the least suggestive with respect to causation.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm

GiT,

Communist countries are of a completely different type than post-industrial social democracies.

That’s partially right. One of the main advantages most of the modern day social democracies had was that their medical and security industries were heavily subsidized by the US.

Regards,
Ken

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm

GiT,

I believe Greg used ‘imply’ more in the sense of ‘suggest’ than in the sense of logical implication.

‘Imply’ and ‘suggest’ have two different meanings. I think Greg G is smart enough to know that if you meant ‘suggest’ he would have said ‘suggest’. Instead, he used the word ‘imply’.

Again, your hubris shows. You really think you know what Greg G meant to say when it is clear what he actually said? You can just intuit it?

And I’d say he’s right that correlation is at the least suggestive with respect to causation.

It doesn’t suggest anything. It simply says two events aren’t independent. It doesn’t suggest causation. Of course casuation implies (suggests, whatever word you want to use) correlation, but correlation does in no way whatsoever, no matter how much really really really want it to imply causation.

This is basic logic. I can’t believe that I even have to spend time explaining this.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Basic logic doesn’t tell you much about causal inference.

In inferring causation, identifying correlations is quite important, as they fuel hypotheses about underlying causal mechanisms.

Now I say something snide about having to explain basic concepts.

As to my ‘hubris’ about what Greg meant, it’s based on careful observation of what he says. I suppose I’m not surprised that drawing conclusions from evidence is not something you’re very apt at.

Note his distinction between ‘raising the possibility’ and ‘proving.’ This follows a clear separation between the colloqiual use of ‘imply’ and logical implication.

The colloquial use of ‘imply’ is similar to the meaning of the word ‘suggest.’ This is to say that one sense of the word imply and one sense of the word suggest do not have different meanings.

Hence I inferred his meaning.

It’s part of communicating with someone in good faith. All communication requires inference.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm

GiT,

In inferring causation, identifying correlations is quite important, as they fuel hypotheses about underlying causal mechanisms.

Sure. If your hypothesis is that A causes B, probably the first thing you should check is correlation. After all, causation implies correlation. So by the contrapositive of that, no correlation implies no causation.

But this isn’t what anyone was talking about. The original statement made wasn’t “[i]n inferring causation, identifying correlation is quite important”. The statement made was “Correlation does not prove causation. It does imply it.”

Now your changing the argument. You’re going to lecture me on “communicating with someone in good faith”, then change the topic? In communicating in good faith, stay on point. If you say X, then realize that the statement X is wrong, don’t say you really meant Y, which is a true statement. If you are arguing in good faith, make clear that you recognize that you were wrong when you said X.

Communicating in bad faith is the inability to admit that you said something wrong, when you clearly have. Communicating in bad faith is to claim you meant something else when your clearly false statement has been shown to be false. Equivocating is communicating in bad faith.

Now I say something snide about having to explain basic concepts.

You may think my comments about logic are snide, but they are meant to make you think more clearly. If you don’t know the basics of logic, then you should be made aware of it (Many aren’t. Look at how often ‘ad hominem’ is thrown around incorrectly). It will help you clarify your thoughts and make your statements that much more persuasive. It seems that you and Greg G don’t understand basic logic, since neither one of you seem to be capable to admitting that correlation is not causation, which is indeed a basic fact of logic. If you can’t even understand the basics of logic, how can you possibly hope to convince anyone of anything if all you’ve got are fuzzy definitions, fuzzy logic and fuzzy conclusions?

This follows a clear separation between the colloqiual use of ‘imply’ and logical implication.

You’ll note that in Greg G’s statement “It does imply it” is used in the logical sense, not the colloquial sense, so I’m not really sure what your point is. Except to communicate in bad faith: to claim the word your using means something else when if makes your statement wrong, but of course we all know you don’t make wrong statements, so the problem must be with the definition of the words you used. In other words, to equivocate.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 31, 2011 at 12:39 am

I know basic logic. As Greg has later established, he meant to use imply in a colloquial sense.

Implication has multiple meanings, one of which is its logical meaning. The very shape of his first statement (it does not prove but it does imply) should already suggest that he is not using the logical meaning, as here prove and the logical meaning of imply would be pretty much identical.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm

GiT,

imply in a colloquial sense.

How is the “colloquial” sense different from the logical one? The definition for ‘imply’ is pretty unambiguous.

Regards,
Ken

Jon October 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Wow…I didn’t think that “Correlation doesn’t imply causation” was that controversial. Isn’t that Statistics 101?

vikingvista October 31, 2011 at 12:40 am

You don’t consider the explosion in human productivity in the same societies to be maybe a little bit of a confounder? Your glorious welfare state would look pretty evil without lumping that in, which is of course why deceitful statists do so.

GiT October 31, 2011 at 6:50 am

The ‘explosion in human productivity’ is irrelevant when comparing the effects of different magnitudes of welfare policy across countries with similarly developed economies in the OECD, as cross-national analyses are apt to do.

Growth in human productivity and redistribution are not either/or. It is a question of balancing economic incentive structures against distributional concerns. And it is not even always a question of balancing them against each other, as certain natural distributions may have invidious effects on productivity.

anthonyl October 31, 2011 at 3:17 am

So giving money to people will make them less destitute if they are in that situation. Got it. We kind of know this already. So what’s your point?
We were talking about how government welfare makes people more dependent upon government instead of more reliant on themselves and fellow humans. It may not be governments responsibility to solve all our economic problems. Lets drop talking about correlation as it adds nothing to the discussion as below.
Should we help poor people? We should help anybody that asks for it. Should we do it through a government program?
We have to discuss the deeper problems of economic freedom in general in this country. Minorities have been singled out for restrictions on economic freedom. The restrictions on immigration from Mexico is a perfect example of this. It is the workings of governments that keep poor people down including welfare programs that make them feel helpless.

Krishnan October 31, 2011 at 7:42 am

If anything, one can argue that rigorous welfare policies have INCREASED poverty – by cultivating a culture of dependency

GiT October 31, 2011 at 7:49 am

One could argue it, but it wouldn’t be supported by evidence.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

How do they determine “poverty” and have they ever changed the method for determining poverty?

Is the determination purely monetary?

How about France’s high level of youth unemployment?

What does it all mean?

Always be skeptical about government supplied statistics and the interpretations offered with them.

Randy October 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm

GiT: “…there is no reason to expect contingent giving to map neatly on to contingent needs.”

I agree. First, because the concept of “need” is unlimited. Second, because voluntary givers would exercise judgement – as of course they should.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm

No, the concept of need is constructed. It can be, and pretty much always is, constructed with more or less well defined limits.

As to judgment, judgment is not a faculty uniquely possessed by voluntary givers.

Randy October 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Indeed, need can be constructed. For example, the politicians construct it in such a way that they always have a reason to demand that the producers pay more.

And indeed, judgement is not a faculty uniquely possessed by voluntary givers. The politician’s judgement is that they should do whatever allows them to continue to exploit the population under their control (e.g., see the above on the politician’s construct of need).

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Not can be constructed, is constructed. One might say the producers always construct it in such a way so that they have reason to demand that others take less (whether that be their employees or the government.)

As to the politician’s judgment, such empty platitudes are as meaningful as if I were to say private individuals will never give to charity because they think only of their own self-interest and accumulation of wealth.

That is to say that they are not meaningful at all.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 6:59 am

GiT;
Re; “is constructed”. And again, “is constructed” by a political system. Which is the same as saying, constructed (and constantly reconstruced) in the interests of the political class.

Re; “empty platitudes”. The evidence of history supports mine. Political organizations are formed to exploit populations. Read Hamilton’s Federalist articles if you think the political organization that exploits us is an exception.

GiT October 31, 2011 at 7:33 am

Concepts are not necessarily constructed by political systems.
Meanings are socially fabricated. It doesn’t take a politician to make words mean things (pace Hobbes).

As to what political organizations do, they do all sorts of things. Even if it is the case that they are always formed so as to exploit (which they aren’t), their origins tell us nothing necessary about their present purposes. To think otherwise is to commit the genetic fallacy.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 8:24 am

GiT,
Re; Social fabrication. I have no problem with social fabrications of meaning. I only have a problem with political fabrications of meaning. And no, politicians do not represent society, no matter how many times they make that claim. And Hobbes, by the way, was a blatant propagandist for the political class of his time.

Re; The intentions of politicians. I define politics as the art of exploiting human beings, so it is a tautalogy that political organizations exist to exploit human beings. Organizations can also be formed for productive purposes, but these organizations are not political, they are productive. And no, I do not accept the politicians definitions of themselves (to do so would be simply foolish). I have followed their behavior through history, and I call it as I see it.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Politicians have different incentives.

Greg G October 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Ken

GiT is right about what I meant. I did not anticipate this level of semantic hairsplitting. And you don’t have to spend time doing anything you don’t want to.

Regards,
Greg

Ken October 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Greg G,

It is not semantic hair splitting to say correlation implies, or even suggests, causation. This is a basic logical fallacy to which you are succumbing. Far from being “semantic hairsplitting” it is a complete misunderstanding of logic.

If you think it is semantic hairsplitting, then answer these questions: if A and B are correlated, does A cause B? Is it even suggested? Could not B cause A? After all, we’re only talking about correlation. How about some other variable C that causes both? In this case, if C never occurred, or you were analyzing a set on which the probability of C was zero, it is entirely possible for A and B to be independent.

And why post this on a completely different thread?

Regards,
Ken

Greg G October 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Ken

I am well aware that many events are correlated where A does not cause B. My point was that if there is NO correlation between two events, then there is no causation between them. The fact that there IS a correlation alerts us to a possibility that there might be causation.

And yes, my comments occasionally land on in a different spot than I intended. I don’t know how to fix that once the mistake has been made.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Greg G,

correlation alerts us to a possibility that there might be causation

Fine. Then you should have just said that. What you said was “Correlation does not prove causation. It does imply it.” You do see how the statement in quote here is completely different from the italicized one don’t you?

You must see how it just looks like now you’re equivocating. There really isn’t any ambiguity in the quoted statement, yet you insist you meant something else.

Regards,
Ken

Greg G October 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Ken

I was speaking in plain colloquial English not formal logic which I have not studied and have never needed before to communicate with people who make any effort to understand me. And no, I don’t see why it was so hard for you to understand what I was saying. All your study of formal logic may make you more sure of your own opinions but from what I see here, it doesn’t help you much in communicating with other people. I guess we will just have to continue to disagree on this.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Greg G,

I don’t see why it was so hard for you to understand what I was saying

Because you seem to think that there are two different meanings for the word ‘imply’; there is only one and you used it incorrectly. If you’re unsure of the meaning, look them up. Your poor choice of wording caused miscommunication. If you use words that you don’t understand, how can you expect anyone else to understand what you are saying.

Words have real meanings. Know them and use them appropriately.

Regards,
Ken

Anotherphil October 31, 2011 at 9:31 am

GiT

Generally Ignorant of Trade.

Greg G October 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Ken

That Logical Positivist theory of language died a horrible death many years ago. Many words are used in more than one sense. That ‘s why dictionaries list several meanings. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Greg G,

Right, so you can use whatever word you want and have it mean whatever you want, that way you can never be wrong. Is that about right?

There are definitions of the word ‘imply’. All if which make your statement that correlation implies causation either to be non-sense or to be wrong.

And I’m not surprised that you, again, replied on the wrong thread. Sloppiness rules.

Regards,
Ken

Greg G October 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Ken

So first there was only one meaning and now there are several definitions to pick from? Which is it? Stop being so sloppy.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Greg G,

I don’t understand what you get out of chasing your tail.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Greg G,

So first there was only one meaning and now there are several definitions to pick from? Which is it? Stop being so sloppy.

Perhaps if you weren’t so lazy, you would have read those definitions. The first is unused. Then next three are virtually identical. If you meant the first definition, then your statement makes no sense. If you meant any of the next three, your statement is wrong.

So, again, stop being so sloppy.

Regards,
Ken

Greg G October 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Methinks

I don’t understand what you get out of spending years policing this blog to fight with almost every person who strays from whatever the orthodox position is here.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm

“As it stands, there is no reason to expect contingent giving to map neatly on to contingent needs.”

Nothing is stopping you from making up the difference where you see a need, is there? I mean- obviously, other people feel as you do, right? Why not enlist their support? Wouldn’t you then be able to prove the point you appear to be trying to make- that voluntary charity is not sufficient to eliminate suffering?

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

One more thought- as long as you’re giving money away, there will always be a demand that is never satisfied.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm

How profound. Really. You’ve completely debunked the idea of social insurance with that gem.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Do you deny that as long as you’re willing to give away money, there will always be somebody there to take it?

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

No, but the point is irrelevant.

As long as I am willing to give away money to those who do not exceed certain maximum thresholds, it is not the case that there will always be someone qualified to take it.

As long as I am willing to give away money to those who suffer from events completely outside of their own control, it is not the case that individual desires are responsible for the depletion of the money I give away in this manner.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 7:42 am

it is not the case that there will always be someone qualified to take it.

You don’t have much experience with the welfare system, do you, Git?

People will (and do) engage in all kinds of fraud to “qualify” for handouts. Never underestimate how creative people can be when seeking to rip off other people.

vidyohs October 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

@GiT

“GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

No, but the point is irrelevant.”

LOL, translate that into everyday talk and it comes out as,
“I just got my ass kicked, but I refuse to address that ass kicking.”

Which is looney left tactic de jour, any de jour.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Nice fallacy of composition you’ve got there.

kyle8 October 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm

What he is trying to do is help you to be honest. Are you motivated by the desire for the good of needy people? Then is it true that you can be charitble with other peoples money?

I don’t think so. Put your money where your mouth is.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Did you think you were making an argument here?

I’m not concerned with whether or not I can be charitable with other people’s money. In a trivial sense, yes, it is completely possible.

What I am concerned with, given the piece in question, is providing an equally accessible system of alleviating primarily luck induced inequalities – that is to say a system which can be *relied* upon to alleviate *misfortune*. The question is whether private charity fits the bill.

Not having an a-priori hostility to taxation, I’m not interested in discussing your pre-given apoplexy with respect to the very principle of ‘your’ wealth being taxed.

vikingvista October 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm

“system which can be *relied* upon”

How many offenses are you willing to pile up chasing that unicorn?

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

The government can always provide more resources than private charity simply because it has the ability to compel resources to be diverted towards the cause (though taxation, appropriations, bond sales, etc).

The question is how well can it be relied upon to deliver said resources in an efficient fashion? FEMA was incredibly late to Hurricane Katrina as well as Hurricane Irene this past summer. In addition, under the guise of price gouging, there are actions to shut down efforts to assist citizens, such as those who are selling water and other resources.

I have no issue with government assistance in time of crisis. However, we want to avoid becoming reliant upon it. Likewise, we cannot rely on government aid for simple things like retirement. Of course, that would be a lot easier if the government didn’t punish saving.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

GiT,

luck induced inequalities

Ha! The hubris of the left: they have the wisdom and knowledge to know such things and the competence to “alleviate” whatever it is you think is a problem. More evil has been done in this world by people who believed themselves to be the anointed ones, those who can “alleviate” the worlds woes and hail a new era of Utopia. In just a single century, over 150,000,000 killed to produce that Utopia.

I’ve always wondered why, after these enlightened ones killed so many, people like you still preach on without a care for the results of your hubris committed by others in the past.

Regards,
Ken

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm

GiT,

Not having an a-priori hostility to taxation

Of course not. I don’t know any lefty that’s against taking from others, much less an a priori hostility towards taking. In fact, the left bases its philosophy on taking from their political enemies and giving to their political favorites. Class and race warfare are the standards the left marshals forth to foment as much resentment as possible in their political favorites against their political enemies.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Viking – How many offenses are you willing to let pile up doing nothing?

As always, the question hangs on which way the balance of offenses, and victories, leans.

I find markets and governments to be differently suited to solving different sorts of problems. The sort of problem at issue here is one of those for which I think there are good reasons to prefer government

I gather you don’t think government can solve any problems, but I’m not particularly interested in debating that particular ideological dogma.

JM – A system of collection and a system of delivery are only contingently related. If the federal government’s delivery system is inadequate, then it can be changed without compromising its collection system.

Ken – I’ll take my alleged hubris over your apparent hysteria. Thinking that, say, a birth defect is a product of pure chance for which one is not individually culpable does not require special knowledge. It just requires common sense. I suppose I’m not surprised you lack even that.

Many countries have done perfectly well furnishing equally accessible health care for all, no murderous rampages necessary. But I take it your quasi-religious ravings will not be colored by such inconvenient facts.

Ken October 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

GiT,

I’ll take my alleged hubris over your apparent hysteria.

Yep. It’s just hysteria to think that the most dangerous organizations on earth are government organizations.

Thinking that, say, a birth defect is a product of pure chance for which one is not individually culpable does not require special knowledge. It just requires common sense. I suppose I’m not surprised you lack even that.

Thinking that you and some government agency run out of DC can do anything about all the birth defects all over the country doesn’t require special knowledge is pretty much the very definition of hubris. Thanks for putting it on display for all to see.

Many countries have done perfectly well furnishing equally accessible health care for all, no murderous rampages necessary.

So all those who can just happen to flock to the US for quality health care is just some sort of coincidence right? Let me clue you in on something: someone who dies because some government bureacrat has his head up his has so far that it takes a year to get a procedure that you can get in the US in two weeks is just as dead.

But I take it your quasi-religious ravings will not be colored by such inconvenient facts.

Or, you know, pick up a history book.

Regards,
Ken

GiT October 31, 2011 at 12:56 am

All human group organizations are potentially dangerous. That is no demerit to humans organizing themselves into groups. All human individuals are potentially dangerous as well. That’s no demerit to humans acting as individuals

I said that birth defects are products of chance independent of the actions and choices of those who suffer from them and that that is common sense. I didn’t say anything about the government ‘doing something about’ all of them.

(Though I don’t see anything particularly difficult about instituting transfer payments to those who would qualify on the basis of some spectrum of disabilities. The SSI program already exists. It has not been the target of much dissatisfaction, as far as I know.)

Being able to get better care for the appropriate amount of money in the US tells me nothing about the ability of everyone to get better care regardless of their income within a given country. The individual failures of either system don’t tell me about their overall effectiveness.

vikingvista October 31, 2011 at 2:56 am

” I find markets and governments to be differently suited to solving different sorts of problems. ”

Ah yes. Don’t people look like insignificant little ants from your lofty collectivist perch? Now, how about coming down to earth and getting your hands dirty by telling us specifically what kinds of offenses you are willing to commit against real individual human beings as you pursue your fantasy? When at first you are frustrated (as you forever will be) how much will you escalate those offenses against the nonbelievers before you cannot stomach it anymore?

anthonyl October 31, 2011 at 3:36 am

Compare hurricanes Andrew to Katrina. Not a really equally accessible system as it stands.
I think luck has little to do with many disasters. I live in an earthquake prone area and prepare for that. But if my home is destroyed by an earthquake it isn’t ‘bad luck’ but just expected because of where I chose to live.
I know government policies had something to do with why so many poor areas of New Orleans were destroyed and never rebuilt. It isn’t luck. It’s policy.

kyle8 October 31, 2011 at 6:50 am

Likewise I am not interested in discussing your criminal propensity to want to steal from others in order to force equality, a project which has already proven disastrous where ever it has been tried.

GiT October 31, 2011 at 7:26 am

Viking – You’re the one who sits and swears that the market is the only legitimate mechanism for solving human problems while the vast majority of common opinion seems perfectly comfortable with the idea that governments are entirely appropriate for solving particular sorts of problems and that some degree of taxation (if not the present degree) is an entirely unobjectionable element of life. God forbid ‘the masses’ prefer to organize society in a way other than that approved by your royal highness.

It’s pretty clear who views everyone else as ants – you.

Kyle – Guaranteeing a minimum standard of life for children disabled at birth regardless of the circumstances of their parents is not ‘enforcing equality.’

As to the general propensity for both of you to essentially cry ‘rape!’ at the intimation of anything even approaching an income tax, frankly, I find it rather boring. Your histrionics are not in the least informative. Perhaps you’re engaged in a contest to see who can throw the biggest hissy fit?

Anthony – The particular role of policy or individual agency for the impact of some acts of nature is not a demonstration that all acts of nature are the fault of policy or individual agency. It seems to me to be unambiguously true that there are not only some such events that can be attributed to neither policy nor agency, but that there is even further a class of such events that are also easily identifiable.

Given that, the question is whether private charity can reliably guarantee equal access to social insurance against those events.

At least, that is the question posed by Grover Cleveland’s quote and Bob Higgs’s initial use of it if ‘misfortune’ is construed in the most narrow way possible.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 7:48 am

What I am concerned with, given the piece in question, is providing an equally accessible system of alleviating primarily luck induced inequalities.

Oh, you seek to distribute cosmic justice. I see.

You’ve got quite the job ahead of you.

There are people unlucky enought to be born in Zimbabwe, to get cancer, die or get mangled in car accidents, that are ugly, stupid, untalented, have abusive parents,….the list goes on.

And, of course, some of those bastards don’t even consider themselves unlucky. I’m glad there’s you to sort them out.

vikingvista October 31, 2011 at 9:56 am

GiT,

Ever ask yourself why you cannot bring yourself to answer the specific question? Could it be that the reason you place collectivist jargon between your policy goals and specific individual offences, abstracting away the individual, is that maybe you have something of a residual conscience? That maybe you want to have it both ways–present yourself as a peaceful civil person while simultaneously advocating very uncivil action against your supposedly equal neighbors?

Your avoidance is not without reason.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

GiT,

Though I don’t see anything particularly difficult about instituting transfer payments

You don’t see anything wrong with the transfer payment systems that are currently bankrupting the US government and are rife with corruption? Ha!

Being able to get better care for the appropriate amount of money in the US tells me nothing about the ability of everyone to get better care regardless of their income within a given country.

I’m sure you also think that you shouldn’t have to concern yourself with the amount gas in your car’s tank when considering a cross country trip as well, right? You always have to consider income; free markets are hands down the best institutions ever devised to handle these situations. Otherwise, you’re just gonna end up being concerned with manbearpig in Imaginationland.

Regards,
Ken

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Ok- educate me on where I’m making a mistake.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

You assume that the aggregation of individual desires will transfer the quality of the individual desires to that of the aggregated desire. That is a fallacy.

It is a fallacy that is especially applicable in this case because charity is a coordination and a collective action problem and provision for charity suffers from free riding.

Enforcement mechanisms are a well worn way of solving such problems.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm

“As long as I am willing to give away money to those who suffer from events completely outside of their own control, it is not the case that individual desires are responsible for the depletion of the money I give away in this manner.”

So you want to decide who’s qualified to receive a “gift” of money? Why not me? Why not someone else?

“You assume that the aggregation of individual desires will transfer the quality of the individual desires to that of the aggregated desire.”

No, I don’t assume that.

GiT October 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

My deciding who qualifies in no way prejudices you or anyone else deciding. It’s called democracy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It happens to be how many social welfare programs across the world came to be.

If you don’t assume that, then why are you telling me that the summation of private desires will *reliably* guarantee an equal right to protection against contingent misfortune?

I’m not interested in whether I can do something in my locality, I’m interested in whether people can be equally protected against certain contingencies across the territory of the nation. If your proposal is for me to fashion a coordinating and cooperating institution which will reliably and fairly provide for legitimate need for charity (however defined) then I’ll defer, as I already live in a state and I don’t need to go about building another one.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

“If you don’t assume that, then why are you telling me that the summation of private desires will *reliably* guarantee an equal right to protection against contingent misfortune?”

I never said that.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

“It’s called democracy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.”

You mean the system where, if you get enough people on your side, you can take stuff from other people and do whatever you want with it?

I’ve heard of it.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm

“If your proposal is for me to fashion a coordinating and cooperating institution which will reliably and fairly provide for legitimate need for charity (however defined) then I’ll defer, as I already live in a state and I don’t need to go about building another one.”

Maybe I’m mistaken, but it sounds like you want to see things done in a way that meets your expectations without actually having to do anything yourself… well, aside from letting others know what will be expected of them, even if they don’t agree with you of the need for such.

Anotherphil October 31, 2011 at 9:41 am

Viking – How many offenses are you willing to let pile up doing nothing?

Never heard “first do no harm, huh”. The wreckage of “unanticipatable” iatrogenic social pathologies of the left is legion. Destruction of the family, institutional dependency, speculative “bubbles” fiscal insolvency, all can be traced to leftist political impulses and their enactmement into law.

How many offenses will the left pile up in their never ending quest to do something, rather than do the right thing, which sometimes is nothing.

Try to tell the left that scratching will only infect the wound and they tell you you are awful for not caring about the itch.

vikingvista October 31, 2011 at 10:03 am

Anotherphil,

Regarding just your first sentence:

Action is not inaction.
Action is not always offensive.
Inaction is never offensive.
Offense is never necessary.

Offense is a character flaw of the offensive, and the enemy of civil society.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 10:22 am

Inaction is never offensive.

I have trouble with this. If someone is killing your wife, isn’t your inaction offensive?

cmprostreet October 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

GiT:

“My deciding who qualifies in no way prejudices you or anyone else deciding. It’s called democracy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.”

If you and your neighbor decide on the same level, which is below the level upon which I would decide, then in a democracy your decision specifically precludes me from deciding. I can’t choose to raise the threshold- your decisions have stripped me of that ability. It’s called democracy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

vikingvista November 1, 2011 at 12:37 am

“If someone is killing your wife, isn’t your inaction offensive?”

The violation of a voluntary pact can be offensive, depending upon the pact. But since one must actively enter into a pact, it isn’t inaction. Since both parties have already at one time agreed that it is an offense, as part of the pact, there is nothing to argue.

Without agreement to the contrary, inaction cannot be offensive. It might be distasteful that someone doesn’t rise to the occasion the way you’d like, but it is never an offensive act committed against another, anymore than it is for the never-was-born man who has ‘not done’ to the other person exactly what you have ‘not done’ to him.

vikingvista November 1, 2011 at 1:40 am

Lest I get Dukakis’d, let me just add that I would go medieval on his ass, and there would be no crying “uncle”.

Which brings up another important point. The reliability of voluntary exchanges is not, as many around here presume, third party enforcement (though it has its place). The reliability is in the fact that both parties want the deal.

For example, I married my wife because I loved her so much I would risk my life to protect her. I don’t feel obliged to risk my life to protect her because I am married to her.

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I’m not sure the title “On Your Own” is entirely accurate. This nation does have a history of our citizens coming to need when the time is needed (see my comment above).

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I believe the “On Your Own” people don’t count any help provided others that’s not based on government redistribution of resources as valid.

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

And yet, ironically, the best help comes from private people. Or, rather, I should say, they have a better track record. FEMA is all I have to say.

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I sure wouldn’t disagree with that. Who knows better what’s needed- people in your own community or some bureaucrat in DC?

Jon Murphy October 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Well, not only that, but it’s a matter of logistics. Local communities know the roads, know where stuff is, know how to get it around as soon as possible. Maps and charts can only take you so far; the locals always have the advantage. Always.

indianajim October 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Without BO who would keep the seas from rising; who would cool the planet; who would spread the wealth around; who would tutor us all in the ways of windmills, solar power, and electric cars; who would bail out crony capitalist car companies; who would inform us that there are 57 states; who would tell the world how guilty American is; who would keep Keynesian economists on staff as pawns; who would take extravagant expeditions at our expense; who would send tingles up the legs of liberals; ….. who would WTF (win the future?)

House of Cards & Economic Freedom October 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Dat be true, bro’.

Obama gonna pay my rent.
Obama gonna pay my school loans.
Obama gonna pay my gasoline.
Obama gonna pay my doctor bills.

Obama be for me.

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Obama may not be reelected. Then what? Horrors, you may have to go to work.

indianajim October 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Who would decide who gets how much medical care, where and when? Who would protect ponzi scheme known as social security? Who would keep Bernanke and The Bank at the business of inflating education and gold bubbles? Who would ever make Joe Biden a VP again? Who would put more “living document” jurists on The Court? Who would maintain our infrastructure? Who would prevent drilling? Who would hold “beer summits” with cops falsely accused of racism? Who would call Tea Party patriots teabaggers?

indianajim October 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Who would make George Bush look like a fiscal conservative by comparison?

indianajim October 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Who would keep teleprompter teams employed? Who would tell us incessantly “let me be clear”? Who would golf more regularly? Who would tell us how right central planners are about what they know they can design ?

Anotherphil October 31, 2011 at 9:43 am

Or tell us we’re unimagimative..

muirgeo October 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm

LOPL … yeah On your own… yeah let’s bring back some Grover Cleveland style government.

Yep and Cleveland’s policies definitely required one to go it alone;

Recession through 1885
87-88 recession
Panic of 93
Panic of 96

Oh what a great time it was….

Not Sure October 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

“Oh what a great time it was….”

Of course, you’re right. That’s why practically nobody was emigrating to the US at that time.

You could look it up…

Matt October 31, 2011 at 11:24 am

Amazing that he managed to stay president for at least 11 years

tormünkov October 31, 2011 at 3:38 am

Are social democracies subsidized by America or rather victimized and bastardized by the wild eyed prude harpy shes become lately.

I miss the sexy lass Liberty from her earlier days depicted on walking seated and standing liberty coins.

If just one prohibition were completely lifted and deregulated, say alcohol for example, the stimulus and cheer would be the like shots poured round the world.

David Zamperini October 31, 2011 at 10:38 am

I came across this article from Cato by P.J. O’Rourke, in it he talks about collectivism and why wealth redistribution is bad. I thought it fit in well with all the talk about wealth redistribution and income inequality that has been going on. Here are some key paragraphs from the article which is actually a speech he gave in China.

Here are God’s basic rules about how the Tribes of Israel should live, a very brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts, and right at the end of it is, “Don’t envy your friend’s cow.”

What is that doing in there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose, as one of them, jealousy about the things the man next door has? And yet think about how important to the well-being of a community this commandment is. If you want a donkey, if you want a meal, if you want an employee, don’t complain about what other people have, go get your own. The tenth commandment sends a message to collectivists, to people who believe wealth is best obtained by redistribution. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.

Collectivism is silly, deceitful, a sin. It’s also cowardly. We fear the power others have over us. And wealth is power. So we fear the rich.

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Bertrand de Jouvenel wrote a book “The Ethics of Redistribution” which tells us that we are not doing everyon a favor with our welfare distributions. We are doing the recipients a disfavor all too often.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:52 am

We can all agree that Bob Higgs is an ass

Tell us assBob, how does one compensate children who look like this, whom you say should pay for a lawsuit against a corporation that has harmed you unlawfully

what a farce

pray tell, how will this children pay for a lawyer

http://conservationreport.com/2008/06/05/recommended-images-once-soviet-landscapes-poisoned-by-human-pollution/

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

If I were one of those kids, I’d beat you to death with my stump.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm

why Methinks, this is what you want out of America

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Not just in America, degenerate. I’d like them to bludgeon you anywhere in the world.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 11:28 am

NI,
I agree. They should sue the people responsible – that is, the politicians who built the factories that caused the pollution. Unfortunately, the Soviet politicians who caused this have mostly slipped away, but perhaps a few can still be found. Putin, for instance, who I understand was once an officer of the KGB. Surely you can find a good capitalist lawyer willing to take the case on contingency – or would the modern semi-soviet Russian politicians just have him taken away. I guess that would be a problem.

But in any case, why are you making your case here? Libertarians would not oppose the right of these people to sue for damages. And as far as I know there aren’t any lawyers here. So, what? Are you confused? Maybe you should see someone.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Randy

May I pay you $50.00 so that I can chop off your arm?

Randy October 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Oh, I didn’t understand that you are directly responsible for the loss of arms. But that still doesn’t explain why you’re complaining about it here. Have you not read Dostoevski? Only a confession will bring you peace.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Nikki said, “how does one compensate children who look like this, whom you say should pay for a lawsuit against a corporation that has harmed you unlawfully”? Then, you posted this picture of Soviet children with birth defects caused by pollution from state owned and operated industries in the communist party dominated Soviet Union:
http://conservationreport.com/2008/06/05/recommended-images-once-soviet-landscapes-poisoned-by-human-pollution/.”

Non sequitur! A child of the Soviet Union would not be permitted, even if he could find a lawyer to take his case, to file a lawsuit that would reveal the reality of the communist-run state, which is contradictory of the communist propaganda of a workers’ paradise. Such child, and his lawyer, if any, would be sent to the gulag for re-education if they survived. Such is the false ideology of big-government advocates.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Gregg

You are just dodging the question

The photos show what pollution does

This is what you advocate. The freedom to do this other people

On an honest, effective government with stong laws, strong law enforcement, and stiff jail cells can prevent this.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I’m sure I read somewhere that the Soviet Union had very strong laws, strong law enforcement, and stiff jail cells. Good to know, then, that such a problem could never have happened there.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

P.S. Unless the people responsible for the strong laws were also responsible for the pollution… naah, that couldn’t be it.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

One benefit of corporations is that you can sue them and you don’t require anyone’s permission to do so.

If you are harmed by government agents, good luck with that lawsuit.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Sam

You can sue and it mean something only if you have strong laws, but clearly activities that can do this to people need the protection of strong criminal laws, don’t you agree?

Ken October 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Like the way bureaucrats and legislators immunize themselves from the bad consequences of their stupid laws, like the banning of DDT?

Regards,
Ken

ralph October 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

The founding fathers warned us about these thugs.

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