[ExI] Usages of the term libertarianism

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 19:45:02 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki
<rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 2:18 PM, Damien Sullivan
> ###I mean, you have to be an idiot to believe the guy who is selling
> expensive cars when he tells you that you have to ban cheap cars, or
> otherwise in the future car prices will be even higher, don't you
> think?

Not if it is in preparation for setting up a monopoly where higher
prices can be sustained into the indefinite future. There are plenty
of examples from around 1880 to 1900 of Standard Oil and others
locally reducing their prices to drive local competitors out of
business, and once those local competitors are gone, the prices went
up higher than they were before. In a completely unfettered business
environment this can and does happen.

Unfortunately for us, this gave Teddy Roosevelt the ammunition he
needed to create the anti-monopoly legislation which was the beginning
of the progressive movement. And even Standard Oil is paying for that.
Evil acts by corporations lead to bigger badder government. That's why
it is so important to libertarianism that people have basic ethics
that most people stick to.

> The fact is, the "market" (random guys looking to make a buck) has a
> much longer time horizon than even the richest "dumper" (a guy who
> thinks he can make money by first losing money and then making it up
> on the same product). Yes, in theory, you could make widgets for 10$,
> and sell for 5$, stopping all >5$ manufacturers from making a sale.
> But, these competitors wouldn't just curl up and die. They could look
> at your prices, make a guess about your competitiveness, and decide to
> lie low for a while, make other gizmos, have just enough widgets on
> hand to keep you from being able to raise prices above their own cost,
> while you are hemorrhaging money. Once you run out of cash for
> dumping, they would be back, selling at 6$. Of course, they would't go
> bankrupt, not all of them, only the weakest ones. The idea that you
> can defeat *all* competitors but out-losing them is stupid. And it
> takes only one competitor to prevent you from jacking up prices above
> market level, which you would need to recoup your losses.

This is much more the case in a global economy. The example I give are
all local. So my counter argument is much weaker today than it was in

> Which goes to show that one must always be on the lookout for glib
> stories, especially the ones that appeal to tribal feelings ("our
> manufacturers" being "attacked" by "unfair" aliens, i.e. brown or
> yellow people). Even very smart people can trip themselves up on their
> own prejudice.

This is the feeling behind the anti-Walmart sentiment that is fairly
rampant here in America now. Yet Walmart saves the average consumer
around $2500 a year with lower prices in the entire market. This
applies even to people who don't shop at Walmart.... :-)


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