[ExI] Call To Libertarians

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Fri Feb 25 01:12:59 UTC 2011

On 02/23/2011 09:27 PM, Jeff Davis wrote:
> Samantha, how sweet.  We haven't chatted in a while.  And now i see
> that you're a studied libertarian (L?).  I suppose if I'd been paying
> closer attention, I'd have known that.

> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 6:56 PM, Samantha Atkins<sjatkins at mac.com>  wrote:
>> On 02/23/2011 02:08 PM, Jeff Davis wrote:
>>> Oddly, it seems to require only that enough people behind the curtain
>>> in the polling booth mark their ballot correctly. Which is to say, for
>>> the candidates put forth by The Accountability Party.
>> Problem with this is that the vast majority (roughly 99%) of the government
>> machinery is not subject to election at all.   And it is very resistant to
>> major change by incumbents.
> Bureaucratic inertia.

Worse than that.  Much of effective law and more than a little of its 
enforcement is done by unelected regulatory agencies and their 
employees.  Some of these bodies are only very loosely accountable to 
much less controllable by Congress.

>    Subject to legislative direction, no?

Not so much as you might wish as per the above.

>    But also
> a giant interest group/voting block in its own right.  Don'[t you just
> hate democracy sometimes?  Paraphrasing something  de Toqueville may
> have said, 'the American republic (democracy?) will last until the
> govt discovers that it can bribe its citizens with their own money.'

Even better, it can just print up money and not even squeeze the 
citizens further or borrow it from other countries on the basis of its 
theoretical ability to squeeze its citizens even more in the future.
>>> The Accountability Party is deliberately "preconfigured" to be
>>> broad-based, having only two planks: Accountability and Jobs.
>>> No other issue is relevant except as relates to these two concerns.
>                                          <snip>
>> Being agnostic on everything but these two ungrounded concepts cannot
>> possibly lead to a good outcome.  No principles means
> Not committing the party a priori to a menu of positions hardly means
> having no principles.

"No other issue is relevant" doesn't leave a lot of room for bringing up 
principles this may fly in the face of.

> Why take a position that can only splinter the party and weaken it.
> With the result being lost power, and interment in the ash heap of
> history.  The party can poll its members later during the legislative
> session, work out niggling details, and get on with exercising power
> on issues that matter.

Free floating wish list items with no grounding in any principles 
whatsoever are a BS basis for any party and cannot last because there is 
no grounding.  I mean you can satisfy everyone has a job by simply 
enslaving the entire country and putting any excess workers (newly 
employed) to work digging holes and then filling them back up.  Nothing 
in the party planks precludes this implementation.

>>> The two issues which the AP devotes its exclusive focus are:
>>> accountability: no one is above the law. Everyone, but in particular
>>> persons in high position who have traditionally 'enjoyed' immunity
>>> from prosecution, will now have their get out of jail free cards
>>> voided.
>> Which laws?
> Honestly?  I would start with war crimes.

By what? Geneva convention?

> By "accountability" I essentially mean subject the ruling class  in
> general and the power elite in particular to a strong dose of "ethic
> cleansing", so the entire society could start over with a clean slate.
>   Start over, but with the former upper reaches of society on notice
> that the law now applies to them.  No, really.

This seems like blaming the powerful politically and or the rich-er as a 
class.  This has been so busted so many times when it has been tried 
before.  Simple envy would make it very popular as it has been before.  
The results would be unlikely to be much better without considerable 
more refinement and statement of and adherence to some of those pesky 

>> Which laws are legitimate to start with?

>> Sort that out later.
>> How do you know?
> Apply libertarian principles? Why not?   We'll certainly have to sort
> that out.  Let's talk it over.

If you don't start with any principles I don't see how you can safely 
leave it to later.

>>   All now are equal under the law as a standing principle.
> A standing principle for the semi-washed masses, perhaps.  We both
> know that US Presidents and legislators have never been prosecuted for
> war crimes.

No.  It is a firm part of what we are already supposed to be about.  
Fixing instances where it is not the case is a fine thing.     I would 
press criminal charges if not treason on many a past and present 
politician as many violate their oath of office wholesale.

>>   How would you make it more so?
> Easy.  Prosecute the formerly unprosecuted.  All of them.

That includes all those not prosecuted for "crimes" that are victimless 
and not possible to apply to everyone "guilty" without imprisoning the 
entire country.   No principles means no basis for discrimination among 

> This doesn't imply draconian penalties.  It isn't about revenge.  It's
> about starting over with a clean slate and a "rule of law" that does
> its job.

If you are picking on the powerful for being more powerful than you or I 
and the richer for having more money than you or I and you are also 
speaking of and to the sentiments of the "average person" then you are 
in revenge territory.

>>> And jobs: everyone who wants a paycheck gets a paycheck. EV-REE-ONE.
>> WHAT?
> Now, now, don't get upset.  People vote their pocketbooks.  Economics
> is all.  Establish a principle that everyone is ***ENTITLED*** to
> their piece of the economic pie, and they should vote for you in large
> enough numbers to guarantee that you get the power to implement
> necessary reforms.

Economics, while maybe not all, is not served by pretending their are 
limitless means to satisfy limitless wants.  That is a denial of 
economic reality.  You can't spend your way out of bankruptcy.  Ask 
Zimbabwe whether you can print enough money to get out of bankruptcy.

People are not in the least entitled to a slice of the economic pie just 
by virtue of being born.  Not when the pie is finite and produced by the 
work of others.   This would be a denial of justice and reality.

So you want to gain power by promising things that are irrational 
(counter to reality), unjust and will destroy the economy if 
implemented?  Go the the end of the line.  There are a lot of would be 
politicians lined up to do that.

> It's the Lombardi principle: winning is everything.

That entirely depends on what exactly you have "won" and what is left 
when you have done so that you care about or even to look at.

>> Even if that can offer no value whatsoever in exchange?
> Yes, if needs be.   (But your question presumes no value.  I do not
> propose a "no value" exchange.)

Yes, you do.  You propose to give everyone a paycheck regardless of 
whether their skills and/or labor have any real value in a free market 
or not.

>> How is this just
> It reconfigures the economic system, eliminating the "war of all
> against all".  High level political and economic crime will be
> deterred.  There will be a societal shift away from parasitism and
> toward greater productivity.   Economic activity will then
> equilibrate, and life will go on.  But better.

That is not remotely a meaningful answer.  Why would their be greater 
productivity when you print and borrow money like mad to make sure 
everyone has a paycheck thus destroying the financial basis of the 
economy and producing (sooner or later) rampant inflation?  Why would 
their be greater productivity when everyone knows they have a roof over 
their had, food on the table and other essential things as a matter of 
entitlement even if they play games all day or spend everyday in a 
stupor?  Why would the productive remain productive and become more so 
when they have to pay more and more in taxes or the money they make is 
worth less and less and they have to support many more parasites on the 

> Rinse and repeat.

or Flush.
>> and how does it lead to a better world?
> See above.  And by the way, if at first you don't succeed, tweak , and
> tweak again. (Till you get it right, or stop breathing.  Is there
> another choice?)

There is nothing above but empty claims that disintegrate under even 
rudimentary analysis.

>>> the Treasury has a machine that
>>> prints checks, so the policy is secured, "Move right along. Nothing to
>>> see here."
>> That will finish destroying the value of the dollar very very quickly and the country with it.
> No it won't.

Please explain and show your work.
>> Progressive tax is regressive to actually growing an
>> economy.
> No it isn't.

Whatever.  If you aren't interested in any real dialogue I am wasting my 
>>   It has been seen over and over again.
> No it hasn't.
>> Not to mention be utterly  unjust and immoral.
> Nothing could be more moral and just than to confirm, and apply, the
> principle that every person is ENTITLED to a living wage from the
> economic pie.

By what standard of morality validated how? The above is simply a claim 
with no argument whatsoever for its validity.

> By the way, I base my challenge to your assertions about the economic
> consequences of taxation, on the claim that it's just ruling class
> propaganda.

Which is another empty assertion.

>    No doubt you will counter with some conservative or
> "Austrian" economist  as authority.  It's the same old story from the
> dim recesses of time.  The intellectual class provides "scholarly"
> justifications for the predation of the wealthy.

Oh, so now you are going to pull a classist argument claiming all 
counter-arguments are bourgeois conditioning and rationalisation.  Is 
see.  Glad we cleared that up.  The Communist did a more convincing job 
of that.

> And one other thing: we're on the same side , seek the same end.  Hard
> to believe, but true.  Libertarian principles-wise.

No, we are not remotely on the same side judging from what you have said 

- samantha

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