Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 30, 2011

in Politics

…. is from page 97 of Jim Buchanan‘s 1992 autobiograpy Better than Plowing:

Government, or politics, was, to me, always something to seek protection from, not something to exploit, either for my own ends or for those that I might define for the public at large.

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{ 56 comments }

tormünkov October 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm

What does everyone think about tobacco. 1.3 billion people will smoke 6 trillion cigarettes this year. Does everyone need protection from this commodity. Do only children need big brothers embrace.
I believe a fully free market is best, and people who demand restrictions are some of the worst examples of humanity one can find.
At root, this bigotry is about making a buck for cronies by selling a partial oppression of a demonized minority for state profit as being charitable work for the greater good.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:20 am

this is the end game of a free market, children with horrible birth defects

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

Dan Phillips October 31, 2011 at 7:13 am

I don’t understand your point. Are you saying deformed children from a socialist country are the result of a free market? Please explain.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm

no Dan, I am saying that pollution deforms children

I want pictures of deformed children before us, as we talk about how this is what will happen if we have free markets here, eliminate the EPA here, etc.

Ken October 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Nicki,

The EPA is responsible for tens of millions of deaths due to its ban on DDT.

Also, showing a group of children hurt by callous government bureaucrats in the USSR doesn’t exactly bolster your claim that what’s needed is even more callous government bureaucrats.

Regards,
Ken

Dan Phillips October 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm

How, exactly, will free markets result in pollution that damages children? You are making a leap in logic that seems to be missing a few steps. Please take me step-by-step from free markets to deformed children.

Jon October 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

Oops, I missed this one earlier: Hitler Defense!

Darren October 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Cigarettes should be outlawed entirely. Cigars, on the other hand, should be subsidized and encouraged.

Scott G October 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Jim Buchanan has an autobiography? How is it? By the way I haven’t read much Buchanan. Which of his books aren’t too technical and that might be good reads for hobbyist economists like me?

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 12:09 am

Jim Buchanan said, “Government, or politics, was, to me, always something to seek protection from, not something to exploit, either for my own ends or for those that I might define for the public at large.”

Brilliant analysis! This is a wonderful statement about ethics and morals. Those who seek to use govermnment do so to exploit others for their own ends despite high-sounding rethoric about helping the public. And, this desire to get one’s own way by using government is both unethical and immoral.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:21 am

is this your ethics Greg

is this the world you pray that free markets produce?

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

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

Nikki, you asked, “Is this your ethics Greg? Is this the world you pray that free markets produce”? Then, you then provided the following link “http://conservationreport.com/2008/06/05/recommended-images-once-soviet-landscapes-poisoned-by-human-pollution/,” which is of a photograph of Russian children born with birth defects caused by pollution created under the former communist government of the Soviet Union.

The Communist Party, despite high-sounding politically-correct rethoric common to all big-government advocates, operated the state owned and controlled industries so poorly that they did not properly dispose of hazardous chemicals which have caused birth defects in Russian and other children living in the former Soviet Union nor did they properly manage resources which, among other things, forced the growing of cotton in Uzbekistan that lead to an ecological disaster for the Aral Sea and the surrounding area.

The Soviet Union, along with the current big-government Russian state, are perfects examples of the false promises of big-government advocates. They always promise a workers’ paradise or utopia if the big-government advocates and their cronies are given absolute power. Yet, the reality is that big-government states always do well by the political elites (the nomenclatura in the former Soviet Union) while forcing the common people into equal poverty necessary for their exploitation and mistreatment by the political elite. The picture posted be Nikki is a perfect example of such exploitation and mistreatment. Such are the hypocrisy and the unethical behavior of al big-government advocates.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Analyze the incentives and accountability in various systems.

Governments are difficult to hold accountable and the incentives are lopsided because politicians cannot go broke for engaging in money losing endeavors. In fact, they are quite good at blaming others for problems they create.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 2:01 am

at an airport this afternoon I saw this photographic of children in Moscow maimed by industrial pollution.

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

This is how this blog, Jim Buchanan, and Greg Webb want our future children to appear

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 2:36 am

Oh, yeah…… Examples of communism to show everyone how freer markets and individual responsibility will ruin our lives. Why not show aerial views of Chinese labor camps for dissidents on why we need more govt, more bureaucracy, more legislation, more prohibition of individual liberty, etc.,……
Brilliant leftists!!! OMG!!! Did you hear that Brazil transformed totally useless vast wasteland of millions of acreage into ripe, fertile farmland?!?!? The UN is needed to put an end to this ….. Imagine having perfectly skinny Brazilians be plagued with an excess of food and become obese. Next thing you know, innovation will bring fertile growing lands to Africa and ruin another nation of skinny people.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:22 am
Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

Moron, are you seriously so stupid that you don’t know the difference between the Soviet Union and a free market?

You have now reached levels of stupidity I previously assumed were reserved for single-cell organisms.

No offense to single-cell organisms.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:02 am

no EPA

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

???????

How have you survived?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:43 am

Methinks1776

the Soviet Union is a free market, no law anywhere

this is what you get

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

The Soviet Union was a free market?

idiot.

Methinks1776 October 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

My apologies to idiots for lumping in with them this undercooked degenerate.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:19 am

Nikki said, “the Soviet Union is a free market, no law anywhere.”

The Soviet Union was run by the communist party, which promised a workers’ paradise and tightly regulated everything, except the bad behavior of its own political elite. Absolute power absolutely corrupted the communist pary leadership as it does with everyone who covets absolute power. That is why you cannot trust anyone who advocates absolute power.

Since Niiki advocates for big government, you can see why he would make such an obvious and ridiculous lie as to claim that the Soviet Union had no law.

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Nik……. Not gonna waste time with your ludicrous statement of Soviet Union having ‘free market’. Obama Facebook is calling you….. They miss your input.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:45 am

Dan J

how are these children individually responsible for what has happened?

You are so evil projecting that is their fault

This is the end product of a “free” market where there is no law

markets will never, ever prevent pollution. Only government, laws, police, judges, and jail cells can prevent this.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:33 am

The communist party of the Soviet Union said it would create a workers’ paradise if given absolute power. They took absolute power and wrote a bunch of high-sounding, politically-correct laws and regulations, which they did not enforce against themselves because, under communist ideology, the state owned and operated all industry.

Everyone knows this and it can easily be proven by picking up a history book. But, big-government advocates, like their socialist predecessors of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao, practice the “big lie” theory, that if you tell a big enough lie often enough people will believe it. Their “big lie” is that free people in free and unfettered markets cannot be trusted. Yet, history proves that it is the political elite with absolute power that can never be trusted.

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 8:51 pm

The evil lies in pushing the deceit of big govt being the parental unit who saves

tormünkov October 31, 2011 at 2:59 am

Nikolai, those kids were born between 1985 and 1990 and carry that defect in their DNA. Should they be permitted free will to reproduce or should duly annointed experts determine if sterilization is what is best for society in this regard.
How exactly does the blunt fist of state become a dextrous surgeon in such intricate matters.

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 3:03 am

Chernobyl!!! That is govt at work.
You do a poor job, Nik.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:16 am

The above image shows children that were born with missing forearms, which scientists contribute to Moscow’s polluted cityscape.

Dan J

Its not that hard. Tell me how free markets will prevent this kind of industrial pollution?

vidyohs October 31, 2011 at 6:12 am

You answer your own question by having to use the horrors of a communist system where the only free markets were the small black markets.

Now find the same evidence from nations where freer markets exist(ed) then maybe we will consider you something more than just a tool.

Jon October 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

Actually, there are a number of different ways free markets can prevent pollution with little to no government intervention.

First and foremost, you have the Coase Theorem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coase_theorem) which basically suggests that firms and injured individuals can get together and agree upon some kind of compensation.

Likewise, you also have the good, ole fashioned boycott method (although its usefulness is questionable).

Also, companies are constantly improving technology to reduce emissions. Emissions are expensive, even in absence of government regulations.

There are also some government-sponsored methods like cap and trade, a Pigouvian tax, or environmental standards (these differ from government regulations in that they allow the company to solve the problem outside of the government purview. If the government says “you can only emit XXXX pollution”, the company figures the best way to achieve the reduction).

So there are many ways the free market can reduce pollution in absence of government regulations and strict state control. Most of them are rather cheap, too.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:47 am

Nikki, that is not the question. The question is how can big-governments be trusted to prevent improperly controlled pollution when the communist parties of both the Soviet Union and China actually caused such pollution through state owned and operated industries.

Sam Grove October 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Liability.

Dan J October 31, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Indeed, thee most free markets in the world are the black markets. They only exist to circumvent the oppressive govt, fulfilling needs and wants of individuals.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 3:18 am

tormunkov:

ask that question of all the free market people who want all children to have this horrible crime committed upon them

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:47 am

Jon

Coase suggests that firms and injured individuals can get together and agree upon some kind of compensation

how do you compensate these children?

you have to prevent this from happending: strong government, strong laws, strong law enforcement, and jail cells

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:41 am

Nikki makes the typical straw man argument of the big-government advocate. Yet, his example of Soviet children proves that big-government states like the Soviet Union created the highly-toxic pollution from state owned and operated industries that lead to these birth defects. Thus, Nikki’s own example proves the opposite of what he is advocating. It is free peoples and free markets that result in less pollution and birth defects than state owned and operated industries like the old Soviet Union.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Gregg

explain how a “free market” will lead to less pollution than this.

while there was a “government,” the people making the decisions were free to do whatever they wanted.

only a powerful, honest, effective government can control this kind of behavior, public or private

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Nikki, the only problem with your statement is that absolute government run by communists in the Soviet Union made the problem worse that countries like the United States with freer markets and people. But, with your stupid claim, you have successfully defended your dumbass of the day award.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:44 am

Nikki, the history of the Soviet Union proves that big-government advocates like the communist party of the Sovet Union cannot be trusted with power as that leads to improperly controlled pollution and birth defects from the state owned and operated industries.

Darren October 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm

… I saw this photographic of children …

This is getting downright comical.

Randy October 31, 2011 at 8:38 am

“Government, or politics,”

I like the phrasing. He seems to have at least an intuition that the two are not one and the same.

Nick October 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

Don,

Just ban Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises and be done with it. All the guy does is post spam links and make copypasta nonsensical comments.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 10:42 am

truth hurts, doesn’t

having to stare into the faces of children hurts, doesn’t it

no markets will protect our children from pollution—none

the assine of Jon that you can “compensate” these children show what sick, sick, puppies this blog and its readers happen to be

Jon October 31, 2011 at 11:43 am

Ah, the Rob Reiner Technique. Good play. Although, just a bit of advice, Nik, you usually start out with the Rob Reiner Technique and then go to either the Hitler Defense or Chewbacca Defense. Here, you switched them around.

Greg Webb October 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

Nikki, the images of Soviet children with birth defects caused pollution from state owned and operated industries does hurt, especially when so many useful idiots like yourself are easily taken in by big-government propaganda.

Darren October 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm

We need more government to protect us from the deleterious effects of government action.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

no Darren, you need big, honest, effective government to protect us from the deleterious effects of action by other people, public or private

Free “markets” cannot prevent pollution.

What none of you can stand is a human face on the end result of the greed and misery for which you long

Ken October 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Nicki,

Free “markets” cannot prevent pollution.

Except that it did. Long before the environment became cause celebre for the political class, air was becoming cleaner, water was becoming cleaner, forest cover was increasing, and so on. Environmental laws have had little to no affect on the cleanliness of anything, but are very expensive and, as I mentioned before in the case of DDT, have caused the deaths of tens of millions.

Regards,
Ken

Becky Hargrove October 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm

If people could grow their own tobacco, they would have a better (producer and) consumer choice that would vastly improve their health – no added chemicals.

Observer October 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Becky

What about the people in Minn., where tobacco doesn’t grow

Jon Murphy October 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Greenhouses. Same way you can grow orchids in Alaska.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 1, 2011 at 6:19 am

so much for comparative advantage?

everyone here will say anything to avoid telling the truth

Jae October 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

The quotations are interesting and useful. Thanks.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

Ken,

idiot dijour,

You say, “Long before the environment became cause celebre for the political class, air was becoming cleaner, water was becoming cleaner, forest cover was increasing, and so on.”

What didn’t markets in this United States prevent this pollution from taking place in the first instance?

Ken thinks, Environmental laws have had little to no affect on the cleanliness of anything?

They why do we have cleaner air and water now than when the EPA was formed in the early 1970s?

[Environmental laws] but are very expensive . . . So you object to the costs of preventing these kinds of injuries, which shows you are greedy and amoral?

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

Ken insists, that the EPA, “in the case of DDT, have caused the deaths of tens of millions.”

Sorry Ken, but the EPA’s jurisdiction is limited to the United States. Limits on DDT use are up to the country where it would be applied. In fact, the US still funds the use of DDT in other countries. DDT has limited log term potential viz malaria because Mosquito resistance, so you have no idea what you are talking about.

In fact, here again free markets are the problem. Mosquito resistance occurs most rapidly when DDT is used agriculturally

Ken, you unethical, greedy, amoral, sh!!, tell us how free markets prevent pollution?

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