[ExI] Don't be a locavore fundamentalist

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 23:40:02 UTC 2009

On 9/26/09, Robert Masters wrote:
> Aren't you contradicting yourself?  If I understand correctly, you are making the
> standard libertarian assumption that the ultimate and sole criterion of "human
> welfare" is the judgment of the free market.  But locovores are PART OF THE
> MARKET, right?  If they bid up the price of lousy New York wine, who are you
> to say there is anything wrong with this?
> There would appear to be two alternatives:
> (a) Human welfare is entirely a matter of ECONOMIC value, i.e., price (as
> determined on a free, unregulated market).  Thus, if Jerry Springer earns $10
> million/yr and Richard Feynman earns $50,000 (on a free market), then
> Springer's services really are worth 200 times as much as Feynman's.
> (b) There are non-economic values (e.g., moral, intellectual and esthetic values),
> and human welfare cannot be measured by prices alone.

You can't win an argument against the libertarian 'free' market belief.

If you point out some of the many failings, they will just say 'Ah but
that example wasn't really a free market'. You can then point out that
they can never achieve the perfect 'free' market that their theory
requires. But they won't accept that their utopia can never be

If you are a *very* determined arguer and back them into a corner,
then you can sometimes get them to say that, Yes they do believe that
Springer is worth 200 Feynmans, because that is what the theory
demands. But they will never accept that uncontrolled markets are a
sure recipe for every kind of fraud, crooked dealing and sheer
insanity. Even after it has almost destroyed the world economic


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