Give the Abusive Force More Scope to Abuse (But Hope that Next Time It Will be Unabusive)

by Don Boudreaux on November 20, 2011

in Crony Capitalism, Myths and Fallacies, Other People's Money, Politics, Reality Is Not Optional

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Apart from the irony of Adbusters’s Kalle Lasn and Micah White receiving for their essay the imprimatur of publication in today’s Washington Post – one of the world’s most famous media brands – their call to replace market forces with greater government power is naïve in the extreme (“Why Occupy Wall Street will keep up the fight“).

Increases in government power expand, rather than shrink, producer-groups’ access to unwarranted privileges – privileges that are unavailable in competitive markets.  As the economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey notes on page 35 of her 2006 book The Bourgeois Virtues: “When American steel producers get tariffs or when sugar beet growers get import quotas it is not because of their market power but because of their political power, their access to an all-powerful state.”

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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{ 130 comments }

Beetle Bailey November 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

A simple truth that its often (and conveniently) left out of the conversation. I hope to see the reply.

Stone Glasgow November 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

It isn’t true if government is run by incorruptible Gods.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 21, 2011 at 12:20 am

Good thing that when “incorruptible gods” arrive, as they do so frequently, we can tell by indisputably clear signs like slogans such as “fair deal”, “square deal”, “new deal” and “hope and change”.

vikingvista November 21, 2011 at 6:03 am

Look, I’ve already said that I have no interest in running the government. Now please leave me alone.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

their call to replace market forces with greater government power is naïve in the extreme

“The United States became an international industrial powerhouse behind the wall of protective tariffs.” — Professor Jerry Z Muller

Bastiat Smith November 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

This smacks of Mercantilism.

If domestic industrial production meant prosperity, China, Taiwan, and India would be ‘rich’ countries.

It doesn’t matter whether the United States’ production is ‘industrial’, so long as people spend there time providing others the goods/services that they demand. Getting what you want is, after all, the definition of prosperity.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

If domestic industrial production meant prosperity, China, Taiwan, and India would be ‘rich’ countries.

Feigning an ignorance of history isn’t going to help you much.

It doesn’t matter whether the United States’ production is ‘industrial’,

Many others disagree, starting with Alexander Hamilton.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Report_on_Manufactures

Sam Grove November 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The idea that banking is “unregulated” is laughable.
Try starting a bank and you will find out all about regulatory barriers to competition.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Sam,

exactly what do you call banking?

If you call making commercial loans, “banking,” it is virtually unregulated. In the US, anyone can make a commercial loan to anyone on almost any terms or conditions to which the borrower will agree.

If you are defining banking as the acceptance of deposits, that is something altogether different.

As for making consumer loans, there are no barriers to entry, no requirements to be licensed, but the terms and conditions are regulated, While banks now make consumer loans, historically, most of us would not call that “banking.”

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

You just described the three functions of a bank. You cannot separate them.

And commercial lending is highly regulated. It’s the most regulated of any type of lending. Trust me, I used to spend more time filling out state and federal paperwork for loans than for the loan itself.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

“If you call making commercial loans, “banking,” it is virtually unregulated.”

You are clearly uninformed or, based upon a history outlandish and indefensible statements such as these-insane.

If there was nothing but FDICIA- passed in 1991 (with the promise of keeping banking stable) – every aspect of banking would be regulated.

But there’s plenty more than that.

Then again, I’m a former bank auditor and you are a troll.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Sam

We now have posts by trolls Jon and GAAPrulesIFRSdrools, the later who claimed to have been a bank auditor but who don’t even know what banking is.

So that these idiots will have some idea, the making of commercial loans is not banking. If you, as a vendor, let another business buy on credit you have made a commercial loan. That doesn’t make you a bank. If GE Capital issues bonds and uses the money to make commercial loans, that is not banking. Get it. The idea, lost on these two trolls is plain and simple.

If you take in deposits most states define such as “banking,” even if you only buy treasuries and make no loans.

Contrary to what the the idiot Jon says, these ideas don’t run together and they can be separated. Making the separation is very important to our banking laws and is the underlying rationale for our branch banking statutes, state and federal. Banks, as defined by their charters, generally and historically could only perform certain functions at certain locations where they were licensed to do business.

This is where the regulation of national banks gets “weird.” If you have a national banking charter, you can only “lend money” at the locations where you are licensed to bank. Thus, the loan is regulated because you are a bank, not because it is a loan. National Banks and state chartered, federally insured banks, are subject to much greater regulation than GE Capital when it comes to making a commercial loan, but the regulations do not protect the borrower—they are intended, generally, to protect depositors and the insurance fund (FDIC).

so what I said before was accurate and complete. If banking means to you the making of commercial loans, the business is unregulated.

If you mean taking deposits, as I said, it is highly regulated, even if you then make commercial loans.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

Sam, unfortunately, we have some troll with the moniker GAAPrulesIFRSdrools, who doesn’t understand what a loan is, even if though he or she claims to have been a “bank auditor”

we all know why they no longer have that job.

If I buy goods from a mfg., on credit, such is a loan. It doesn’t make any difference whether I sign a contract, do such on an open account, or even sign a promissory note. A loan is a loan is a loan. Credit is involved.

As for ” fractional reserve lending,” Krugman says it best. When one talks this way it is nothing but an attempt to make dumb people think you are smart.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools is such an idiot that he or she thinks that banking is the fictional fractional reserve lending. It is not. Banking is acceptance of deposits.

By statute and regulation we permit banks to make loans that are not fully reserved, thus in effect letting banks create “money,” but we would have banking even if we did not permit such an activity.

Against several thousand years of financial history, GAAPrulesIFRSdrools apparently objects to banks making loans that are not fully reserved. If one wants to significantly cut growth, we can end all credit transactions.

However, even a child of six can understand that, since mankind built the Great Pyramids, the only trick to mankind doing anything is how to finance it.

g-dub November 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Aaron Burr was about 15 years too late.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 21, 2011 at 12:16 am

“So that these idiots will have some idea, the making of commercial loans is not banking. If you, as a vendor, let another business buy on credit you have made a commercial loan.”

Look, this is impossible, because you are an idiot incapable of thinking.

You don’t know the difference between payment on account and fractional reserve lending.

Look, twerp, you can’t do calculus if simple arithmetic is above you.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Feigning an ignorance of history isn’t going to help you much.

For example, in my case, I’m not feigning; I really am ignorant of history.

Not to mention economics, political science, philosophy, psychology, and just about everything else except trolling.

“I was trolling in the park one day!
In the merry, merry month of May!
I was taken by surprise,
By a pair of Marxist guys
And they have trolling now for pay!”

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Remember, Remember
the month of November
May the month it was not

Thought he found his niche
with a pic he could switch
but still Ken u r my bitch

SmoledMan November 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

So it’s ok to become rich at the expense of the 3rd world countries. I thought liberals were for leveling the playing field between people?

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

You gotta understand, for these people it’s all about profit. They don’t think about the people they hurt. All they see are numbers. The bigger the numbers the better.

It’s ironic considering that’s the criticism leveled against us.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

You are an irony rapped in an enigma concealed in a paradox shat upon by the misadventures of a failed premise delved into by a Pandora’s box of Medusas lifted off a collapsed pedestal of flippant comments worthy of an immature, insipid troll such as yourself. Get a job and stop annoying folks much smarter than yourself. You are a pathetic failure of astronomical proportions. You are grotesque in every way, shape and form. You are the epitome of the non sequitur. You are humorless and homely. You have zero value economic or otherwise. You must be ejected into outer space and burn up upon reentry. You are the weakest link. Good-bye!

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Wow…that was just…beautiful

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Swing and a miss.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Jon, that was not me. It’s just another leftist troll. My guess is that it’s Greg G since he told me that it was not him, though I never asked the question.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I knew it wasn’t you. I’m betting it was IB. Greg G knows his cultural references. This author didn’t. Or sentence structure, for that matter.

Greg G November 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm

It wasn’t me GW and the reason I let you know that even though you hadn’t “asked the question” is that you had already indicated that you thought it was me. You can be sure that whoever it is will be delighted you are guessing wrong.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I have to support Greg G here, Greg W. We all have writing styles that are hard to imitate and that post reeks of IB.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I guess I hurt his feelings by calling him Irritable Bowel.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Greg you did come to this board claiming to be above the name calling and such… apparently not.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

George, like most of your posts, your last one is not exactly true. I started posting on this blog last spring. Since then, I have been attacked as a person many times, including by you. I have, in response, noted that all you ever seemed to do was make personal attacks along with illogical and unsupported statements, non sequiturs, straw man arguments, and outright prevarications.

Your personal attacks have been hateful and stupid, as they always are from the left. But, it’s funny to hear you whine when someone does the same to you.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Since then, I have been attacked as a person many times, including by you.

What do you mean by that, you cur! You mooncalf! You jackanapes! You ne’er-do-well!

Don’t you try to play “sqwuigilum” with me, you mountebank!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF4H0WfuiM8

Disgusting!

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I thought liberals were for leveling the playing field between people?

Deal! I’ll take it! No backsies! Let’s start with international trade, match the tariffs 1 for 1, wait, let’s start with taxation, capital gains can’t be taxed at less than ordinary income, wait, let’s start with subsidies for the oil companies, wait, let’s start with…

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Right, no backsies. Let’s have no tarriffs, let all income be taxed the same at 0%, eliminate ALL government transfers, those are great starts…

James N November 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Zing!

Visible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Since since my posting privileges are temporarily suspended, I’ll just note that’s a Reductio ad absurdam argument and do something else for a while.

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

And trying to tweak every single variable so that they are the exact same across the board isn’t a reductio ad absurdum?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:05 am

right—just send around a cart for the dead

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Nah. The US became an international industrial powerhouse through innovation, great ideas, less governmental regulation, and lower transportation costs (navigable river systems and the intracoastal waterway.)

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I realize, of course, that Don and Russ have already linked to many studies debunking the kooky notion that protectionism was responsible for the stunning economic growth of the United States. But I thought I would ignore all that to make a point.

“Hey, trolls have rights, too, you know.” — Professor Twit Zebo, Cyber-Stalking Studies, Karl Marx University

vidyohs November 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I have not been able to find the data to support my belief that all 50 states benefit more from interstate trade than they do from international trade. International trade has always been important to the growth of wealth and power of the USA, of course; but I can’t help but think that the actual dollars accrued from interstate trade surpasses that which comes from international trade.

With that unsupported hypothesis, if correct, I will add the other fact, which is that there are no tariffs on interstate trade. Texas and California can trade and goods pass the borders, not only with no tariffs but with no delays in customs regulations and inspections. This should demonstrate to even the most dense protectionist that trade unrestricted by tariffs benefit all parties in such an obvious way that it is impossible not to see.

Mayhap someone will be able to show data in the GDP that will prove or deny my hypothesis, in that hope I put this out.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

[sic] “Texas and California can trade and goods pass the borders,”

Labor can easily pass the borders too, which isn’t the case internationally. This allows the MNC’s to make a lot of money with wage arbitrage.

Psst…you might want to rethink your mockery of gender in a post about D. McCloskey:

“Perhaps universities and colleges offer students too many distracting bullshit courses about gender, sexual persuasion, ethnicity, pornography, socialist economics (oh I already said pornography didn’t I?) etc., that distracts them from learning something useful.”

SmoledMan November 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

You obviously believe those bullshit courses are useful to students, so just fess up.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Actually, I did take a class where part of it was on the economics of the porn industry. It was really interesting. it’s a highly self-regulated industry.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Jesus, I’ll have to draw you a picture:

She transitioned from male to female in 1995, at the age of 53, a fact recorded in the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Crossing: A Memoir…McCloskey was married and fathered two children. She changed her name from Donald to “Dee” to Deirdre.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

So, because she had a gender change, your opinions are invalid? That’s kinda sexist. Do you also believe women belong in the kitchen and should always have a drink for the man when he gets home from work?

Geez, I thought the 50′s ended 60 years ago

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Psst…you might want to rethink your mockery of gender in a post about D. McCloskey:

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Jon, Irritable Bowel still lives in the 1930s when Keynesianism and FDR were all the rage.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

“She transitioned from male to female in 1995, at the age of 53, a fact recorded in the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Crossing: A Memoir…McCloskey was married and fathered two children. She changed her name from Donald to “Dee” to Deirdre.”

Look, I don’t by the crap that gender supersedes sex, i.e., that the “construct” supersedes the physical reality of biology.

“Doctors” that mutilate a body to match a delusional mind, are professionally malfeasant. After expressing an opinion that one is really a different sex “trapped” in the “wrong” body, the patient needs to be referred to a psychiatrist, not a surgeon violating the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath.

That having been said, very coherent, innovative thinkers can be afflicted with a variety of mental defects. John Nash was a paranoid schizophrenic. Indeed, some of these illnesses may be the very source of genius – thanks to pleiotropy.

vidyohs November 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Socialist troll, off topic of my comment but what the hell, you are off topic.

“Labor can easily pass the borders too, which isn’t the case internationally. “

That little uningenuous comment has nothing to do with my comment, neither does your entire comment, but that little quote was supposed to mean something to you, I know.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

That little uningenuous comment has nothing to do with my comment

Yes it does, people move in and out of states without even slowing down. People can’t move to other countries easily (try going from the USA to Canada, for example.)

So when capital can flow easily over international borders but labor can’t, that allows capital to rent seek on labor, aka wage arbitrage. Capisce?

kyle8 November 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Except that it really doesn’t. The reason that manufacturing is strong in some countries and weak in others has much more to do with overall productivity and overall costs.

The productivity of US workers is high, but costs, especially tax, medical, and regulatory costs are very high and rising.

Productivity is still low in China but improving. China can compete for low end manufacturing goods and textiles because their other costs are very low. In fact they go out of their way to lower costs to invite investment.

But China’s wage costs are not really all that low anymore. Other nations in Asia and Africa and even Latin America now have lower wage costs. But they have high costs of doing business including bribe taking.

vidyohs November 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I know it is a waste of time to even feint at following you around the mulberry bush, done that too many times with the village idiot, muirduck.

It is simple and I guess I have to spell it out for you.

In the present day reality, do the 50 states (57 in Obamaland) profit more in interstate trade than from international trade.

If the answer is yes, then my hypothesis is correct that the most likely reason is that interstate trade is not subject to tariffs, otherwise in a no tariff world Texas would likely profit more from trade with Mexico than with New York, and Michigan likely to profit more from trade with Canada than with Florida.

Where the labor comes from to produce the trade goods is irrelevant to the question. Labor may have relevance on other questions, but I haven’t asked those question so therefore don’t really give a shit about your thoughts on labor.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

that allows capital to rent seek on labor, aka wage arbitrage. Capisce?

Capisce! And I want to thank everyone here for teaching me the meaning of the phrase “rent seeking,” which is something that I hadn’t heard of before trolling at Cafe Hayek. I intend to abuse the term for my own purposes so that it means whatever I want it to mean in any context I choose. After all…

…my handlers at Anonymous and MoveOn.org might think I troll for profit, but I actually do it for fun!

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Capisce! And I want to thank everyone here for teaching me the meaning of the gravatar, which I couldn’t figure out for years until IB shamed me into it.

Regards,
Ken

vidyohs November 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

@socialist troll,

In addition I will point out to you that if you think labor has anything to do with my question, and my question or hypothesis is correct that each state in the union, thus the entire nation, enjoys more profitable trade via interstate trade than international trade and it is because of the nonexistent tariffs that allow such free and open trade; then WhyTF wouldn’t you want to have labor be able to move internationally as easily as you claim it moves interstate. Remove all restrictions and regulations prohibiting or inhibiting movement of labor between nations and the prosperity of nations will grow even more.

If the absence of protectionist tariffs and restrictions on labor movement interstate induce higher profitability, it logically stands to reason that the same will occur with international trade by removing tariffs and labor restrictions and regulations.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Capisce! And I want to thank everyone here for teaching me the meaning of the gravatar, which I couldn’t figure out for years until IB shamed me into it.

Regards,
Ken

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

WhyTF wouldn’t you want to have labor be able to move internationally as easily

Capital zips between here and Shanghai in 3/100 of a second and there’s no difference in the bank accounts. First world labor doesn’t fly across the world, learn a new language, find a job and place to live in 3/100 of a second.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Do you know what capital is? ‘Cause based upon this answer I don’t think you do.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Capisce! And I want to thank everyone here for teaching me the meaning of the gravatar, which I couldn’t figure out for years until IB shamed me into it.

Regards,
Ken

Oooops! Sorry for the duplicate posts, everyone.

Yours in trolling,
Ken

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

IB ,

They obviously do not know what you are talking about. I do. But it’s not even worth going into just to point out one more instance of hypocrisy over gazillions of others.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

No prob, I do this for fun.

http://i.imgur.com/77yvH.gif

James N November 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

“No prob, I do this for fun.” Obviously, you clearly don’t do it for intellectual stimulus.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

No prob, I troll for profit.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

What’s the going rate nowadays?

brotio November 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

The muirpocite who claims to be against corporate welfare while supporting corporate welfare for ADM, Chrysler, GE, GM, and Solyndra; who believes that the CO2 spewed by others is killing Mother Gaia; and opposes profit in health care while reaping such obscene profits in health care that CO2-spewing vacations to exotic locales across the globe are routine – is accusing people of hypocrisy.

Calling others hypocrites while engaging in hypocrisy is hypocritical.

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Is it the free market or government that restricts the mobility of labour? Yet more circular reasoning from statists. Because of a problem created by government the solution is yet more government instead of simply removing the initial obstacle.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Right, ’cause it’s clearly not immigration quotas, nor immigration law, or the US boarder patrol that’s restricting immigration.

Darren November 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Even with completely open borders and no restrictions to the movement of labor between countries, you still have the language and cultural barriers. Language is obvious. Culturally, many simply prefer to live in an environment they are familiar with. Labor will never be as mobile as capital. In any case, there are too many restrictions on this mobility that could reasonably be removed.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm

You obviously believe those bullshit courses are useful to students, so just fess up.

They were useful to me. I majored in bullshit. Now I earn my living at it.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

“…– their call to replace market forces with greater government power is naïve in the extreme…” Don

Who wants that? Where did the authors state that? Where does OWS make this claim.

Here’s is what was said in the article about markets.
“… a move toward a “true cost” market regime in which the price of every product reflects the ecological cost of its production…”

You write as if market forces are dominant in the economy when they clearly are not. Market forces exist almost NO WHERE when the banking system is so corrupted. But you just deny this reality and seem to recommend a continuance of things as they are. The government power is owned by an elite who are manipulating the weakness of government. When government represents the desires of the people then it’s power will be most diffused. EVEN if it means MORE socialism rather than less. And that is just what you are incapable of understanding. The most competitive markets are NOT the ones with the least rules but those with the best rules.

History has shown you to be wrong… the present is showing you to be wrong and the future will provide that much more confirmation of how wrong you are. By any measure things will improve when the demands list in the article are addressed and weakening government oversight as you suggest will just make things worse. When the big change occurs as it did in 1933 IT will be obvious as will the results.

There is no such thing as LESS government power as we are seeing the bankers on Wall Street hire police and men with guns to point them at the free speech, the free assembly and the heads of the protestors. YOU are on the side of the gun pointers when you ask for less government rather than more. Communism and fascism are the extremes of power concentration that are best held back by people lead democracy.

Methinks1776 November 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Firs of all, people are not made of lead.

Secondly, it is YOU who ARE denying REALITY. All indications POINT to the superiority of CAT led democracies. Once again, you are failing to think OUTSIDE THE CAGE.

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Quote muirgeo, Market forces exist almost NO WHERE when the banking system is so corrupted.. We will have to remember this the next time you blame unregulated banks and the free market for the 2008 crash.

black matt November 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Muirgeo started off ok, I wanted to write the same things, then he falls apart in the fourth paragraph.

I read the article too, and wondered the same thing… where do they ask for “greater government power”?

I am all in favor of shrinking the federal government but I think it is reasonable to demand that the government we have represent “people not profits.” If people in government could/would do their jobs honestly and well without the corrupting influences of crony capitalism we would have a better country. Yes I am aware that corruption and large bureaucracies go hand in hand, but I do not see anything wrong with demanding that some corruption be eliminating. Naive maybe, but not wrong.

Adbusters has done good work publicizing the idea of true or full cost accounting. I suppose implementing it might bring more bureaucracy
but in principle it fits in with ideas of pay your way and pay as you go as opposed to the endless subsidization of businesses by government and the people.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

We want corruption gone, too. It’s not an unreasonable request.

It’s a two-step process: First, you break the relationship between business and government (regulations, tariffs, etc). Secondly, you reduce the size of government to prevent any corruption that does seep in to be contained and it’s effects controlled.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Yes. It would be easy to, except for all the witless leftist trolls.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

If you mean my last paragraph I agree. That was poorly written. In fact I believe with good rules our government spending would be far less, he size of the government could be less than now and it could be less abusive if we would just crack down on illegal politicians and white collar crimes.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm

If you mean my last paragraph I agree. That was poorly written.

Let me explain. I was recently treating a young lad for explosive diarrhea. Since it got all over me, I thought it fair and just that I spread it around to all of you. In fact, if you haven’t noticed (as if you hadn’t noticed!), I’ve been spreading it around to all of you for some time now. Enjoy!

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Some lame poser using my name and icon.

brotio November 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

Some lame poser brilliant satirist using my name and icon.

DUH! The words and sentences were obviously constructed by a superior intellect. That leaves you out.

While I am capable of writing that well, I don’t do it anonymously. I prefer to mock you while using my own handle.

brotio November 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

Besides, I have been to all of the Batman fan sites. Where did you find that picture of Burgess Meredith?

Dan J November 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

Waaa… Waaa.. Waaaa.. Waaaaa….. The penguin.

muirgeo November 22, 2011 at 4:59 am

Where did you find that picture of Burgess Meredith?

Burgess Meredith? What are you talking about? That’s a picture of the Great American Liberal Hope:

Barack Obama.

(His mother was white, he’s a smoker, and the picture might be just sliiiightly overexposed.)

Dan J November 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm

It is illogical to assume cronyism and corruption can be reduced and/or eliminated through regulation or simply electing 535 of the ‘right’ people. The best way is to reduce/eliminate the ability of those who give out the advantages individuals seek.

Jon Murphy November 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I find it interesting how all our solutions can be solved by electing the “right people” but no one can tell me who the right people are.

It’s almost that we want angels to rule us. The problem with that is even angels can fall.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I do blame the big banks. The lobbied for all the rule changes and they have direct access to the fed…. they ARE the Fed. That’s the hole problem. They become unregulated and they capture the regulators and the government because they were unregulated. You belief in minimalist government will always lead to the same. A power vacuum is always filled.

Minimalist government = rule by the elites.

The elite take over and make the rules…its a childish stupid self defeating philosophy unless you are one of the power hungry jack asses that wants to benefit so disproportionately by it’s promotion. Every one else promoting it well intentioned as they may be are dupes and nothing more.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

“The lobbied for all the rule changes and they have direct access to the fed…. they ARE the Fed. That’s the hole [sic] problem. They become unregulated and they capture the regulators and the government because they were unregulated.”

Um…really? Just think about that last sentence one more time and tell me what’s wrong with it (I agree with you up until that last sentence).

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Jon, he won’t figure it out for Muirgeo lives in a world of doublethink and newspeak.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

In that case, I’ll spell it out.

Glossing over the fact that he wants banks, who have too much access to the government (he says and i agree) to have more access to the government, there is one glaring error:

If a market is deregulated, how can the participants capture the non-existent regulators?

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Jon,

First of all I don’t want banks to have more access to the government. I want them to have less access. I’d rather see the fed become a government agency then the hybrid it is now. Second, there is plenty written about regulatory capture. If you don’t understand that the banks and Wall Street run “the place” ( i.e. congress) you haven’t a clue. This IS a result of lax regulation and too much mingling between the regulated, their lobbyist and the regulators. There’s a clear revolving door between the three that needs to be squashed.

Listen to people in the know in Washington or in international banking and they will tell you just how much sway and power the banks have to influence the rules to their favor.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Jon, excellent job at spelling it out. I’m sure that any reasonable person can understand you. But, Muirgeo is not reasonable or logical. He is a regressive.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Jon, see, I told you that Muirgeo would not get it.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Yep. I guess i owe you $5.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Actually, Greg, at the next Kotch Bros. Summer Conniving Republican Evangelical Workers Unite (S.C.R.E.W. U.) party, I’ll buy you a drink :-P

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Listen to people in the know in Washington or in international banking and they will tell you just how much sway and power the banks have to influence the rules to their favor.

The way to get banking out of government is to expand the size and scope of government in order to create more incentive for banking to get into government. It might sound like counter-intuitive pretzel-logic, but it’s the hole truth and nothing but the hole truth.

So help me Keynes.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm

above post is not muirgeo… it’s probably brotio

Dan J November 21, 2011 at 12:48 am

Corporations have too much access to GOVT and bribe GOVT o legislate on their behalf….. So, we need more GOVT legislation and more GOVT powers…..
Muirgeo wants to focus on the users of drugs and to not worry about the dealers…….
GOVT is the drug dealer/supplier…. Corporations are the drug users.
Open up the market and the dealer loses his customers …. And Let the customers feel pains of consequences from using (bankruptcy, negative PR, etc.,.. )

Take away GOVT powers and deregulate, institute a simple tax (no more than X (0-100) pages), send powers back to state legislators. The federal GOVT drug dealing meets it’s demise.

anthonyl November 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

Regulatory capture!

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

How is a minimalist government that only protects the natural rights of citizens equal to rule by anyone? To use the old sports analogy, a minimalist government just enforces the rules like a good ref should. The moment the ref injects himself into the game and starts favoring one side over the other that becomes a problem. Though I suspect you’re not much of a sports fan, the idea of one team being better than another must eat at you and your ideal world would have all games end in a tie.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

No I am not much of a sports fan. I love playing and watching sports but the whole industry is set up like religion… to control the mindless masses and to keep them occupied.

I think all male football fans should be required to wear cheerleading outfits and hold pompoms when they go root for their team. Makes me laugh that some people take their sports teams so serious as if it matters if their “home team” wins. Mindless unthinking drones…

A good example of minimalist government being ineffective would be the IRA. They might cut 1000 agents and save say $10 million dollars when in fact having having those agents go after collectable dollars might have brought in billions of revenue. Again minimalist is not always the most effective nor the fairest.

How about we minimize referee cost at all NFL games and just have 1 ref per game?

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Ah yes. The NFL is the opiate of the masses.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

A good example of minimalist government being ineffective would be the IRA.

As we all know, the Irish Republican Army is an example of the failure of minimalist government. It’s actually funded by the Koch Brothers, with entertainment provided by the Smothers Brothers, and cough drops provided — free of charge to the suffering masses — by the Pine Brothers.

Soon to be a major motion picture by the Coen Brothers.

muirgeo November 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I think all male football fans should be required to wear cheerleading outfits and hold pompoms when they go root for their team.

That’s actually what I do every Friday night after performing rounds at the Hospital for the Criminally Leftist.

Greg Webb November 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

;)

CalgaryGuy November 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I should add that your last paragraph shows why you will never understand libertarian, free market beliefs. In your mind the world would be better if only the “right” people were in charge. Libertarians know it matters not who is in charge, they will always shape the rules in their favour and that’s why we want no one “in charge”. Anyone who wants to rule over others is a “power hungry jackass,” you are no different, you don’t believe power is wrong you just want a different group of people holding it.

Sam Grove November 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Minimalist government = rule by the elites.

Political government = rule by elites.

So it has ever been, so it will always be.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Maximal government = rule by elites, thugs, genocidal maniacs.

anthonyl November 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

Like what we have now.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I do blame the big banks

muirgeo

this is probably where we part

I blame ourselves. We tolerated LBJ making and fortune in public office, Dick Nixon doing the same, followed by the Clintons.and thousands of others (our former generals being the worst group of offenders).

People who serve at the highest levels of government have talent and acquire valuable knowledge and skills (and a hell of a rolodex), but the train is off the track and things are badly out of balance

This latest episode of Congress trading stocks on non-public information is beyond the pale.

(Have you noticed that the neo=-whatevers here have been silent on this one as they support insider trading

vidyohs November 21, 2011 at 7:26 am

Russian troll, you are obviously way to new to the Cafe to make a statement like this:

“(Have you noticed that the neo=-whatevers here have been silent on this one as they support insider trading”

On this cafe, I beat the drum on the subject of congressional insider trading about two years ago when I learned of it. Like all things of a particular outrage I have brought it up again and again.

Google Congressional Insider Trading and you’ll find several informative and detailed articles on the subject.

Only a total looney left fool would say that the libertarians who come to the cafe, or any libertarian for that matter, would approve of insider trading, unless the privilege were available to all equally without sanction or punishment.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:14 am

vidyohs

it is an article of faith of all libertarians and law and economics types that insider trading is a great thing, the ultimate free market, and that insiders should profit on stocks at the expense of public investors

I can show you tens of books and articles by law and economics types that insider trading is great.

If insider trading is great when done by the CEO of Visa, what is wrong when an congresswoman trades on gov’t information that is not public?

If you have been making noise about such, then you are no libertarian

Sam Grove November 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Nikolai Luzhin, I observe comprehension fail on your part. Perhaps the point was too subtle for you.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

That was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge swing and a miss.

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

“they support insider trading”

I couldn’t care less how owners peacefully run their businesses, including if they want to incorporate insider trading. But Congressmen are owners only by theft and coercion (they make business decisions and, it seems, trade on them), and indulge in insider trading regardless of what the legitimate owners want. Even worse, they violently prohibit the legitimate owners from making insider trading available to anyone outside the government.

As usual, this isn’t the issue it claims to be–insider trading. Instead it is an issue of property rights–of violence vs peace.

However people try to complicate and obfuscate an issue, it almost always seems to come down to a big child stealing a little child’s toys. Some people listened to their mothers growing up, while other people went into government.

Jon Murphy November 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Not only that, but if it’s illegal for the rest of us, why is it legal for them?

vikingvista November 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

“Not only that, but if it’s illegal for the rest of us, why is it legal for them?”

It’s good to be king.

Congressmen might claim that they have no insider information regarding a company. Of course that’s a crock. They have information about dramatic effects upon companies before anyone in the companies usually even know. And by necessity, at least some Congressmen know these things long before they are ever made public in the form of a bill. A bill must be conceived before it is drafted, after all.

There should be remake of “Escape from NY”, only for catharsis, it should be “Escape from DC”.

brotio November 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm

people lead democracy

You keep spouting this platitude, while at the same time celebrating the fact that the National Right to Terminate Inconvenient Life was codified by seven unelected men.

Greg G November 21, 2011 at 7:19 am

Brotio

So if the state compels a rape victim to carry her rapist’s baby to term is that consistent or inconsistent with libertarian principles?

brotio November 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

If you want to debate abortion, we can do it at another time, when our hosts broach the topic. I am anti abortion-on-demand.

The point of my comment was to poke a hole in Yasafi’s claim that he desires a “people lead” sic democracy. Like most Leftards, Yasafi is quite happy to bypass the “people lead” sic Congress if it doesn’t behave in an appropriately Statist manner.

Gil November 22, 2011 at 12:29 am

Yet organ sales are AOK?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

brotio

your a fascist, not a libertarian, wanting the state involved in the most private of decisions, healthcare

Randy November 21, 2011 at 6:08 am

Muirgeo; The government power is owned by an elite who are manipulating the weakness of government. When government represents the desires of the people then it’s power will be most diffused…. History has shown you to be wrong…”

1. There has never been a “government”, there are only political organizations, and political organizations are always lead by an elite, as is the nature of all organizations.
2. “Government”, if such a thing existed, might indeed represent the desires of “the people”, but, as previously noted, there has never been a “government”, political organizations always represent the desires of an elite, and there is no such thing as “the people”.
3. History shows that there has never been a libertarian government, or a socialist government, because, as twice previously noted, there is no such thing as government, political organizations always represent the desires of an elite, and there is no such thing as “the people”.

But, though there is no such thing as government, there are individuals. I know this because I am an individual, and because all the people I know are too. And neither I, nor they, have to like all the things that the political organization does. And apparently, you too are an individual who doesn’t like all the things that the political organization does. So complain. But please stop acting like we are responsible for the things you complain about. That’s just stupid.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

Your right of free speech does not included the uninvited, uncompensated occupation (read theft) of other’s PRIVATE property, such as Zpark.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

This whole blog-post reminds me of an old saying:

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Methinks1776 November 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

The comments are reminding me of a different old saying:

Don’t cast pearls before swine.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

too bad we can’t just preface every refutation with an acronym for peals before swine- “pbs” as it might be confused with the official statist outlet.

Jon Murphy November 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Hey, I like PBS. They have really good British comedy shows.

Invisible Backhand November 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Hey, I like PBS.

You mend your ways, young Jon Murphy. PBS is the leftist gateway drug of choice. Before you know it, you’ll be enrolling in a community college to take adult courses in cultural semiotics and women’s studies, and shortly thereafter you’ll be seeking consultations on gender reassignment surgery.

It’s happened to better men than you, you know.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

Yeah and “Fabric of the Cosmos” is great too, but when it comes to their politics-well, they are the “dismal media”

anthonyl November 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

Ha Ha that’s a great observation. 
Is BBC government run programming of better quality than PBS programming?   Commercial US programming?
I think they are of equal quality different varieties.  Some of each I like, a lot I don’t.
Funny how both the commercial and government run systems come out about the same.

Dom November 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

Just wanted to point out — because I think it is significant — that Kalle Lasn wrote the the (in)famous “why won’t anyone say they are Jews” article in AdBusters.

anthonyl November 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I missed the part where Don and Russ started moderating the site!
What could have precipitated this?

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