[ExI] Usages of the term libertarianism

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 20:00:47 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki
<rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 2:40 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Correct. Price dumping and monopolies are within the libertarian tent.
> ### Not monopolies. You can't maintain a monopoly (i.e. a single
> provider capable of dictating above-market prices) without using state
> or state-like violence. Really, it is not possible. You can have a
> monopoly that charges a market price (e.g. Alcoa) but an above-market
> monopoly without direct violence is a figment of progressive
> imagination.

Standard Oil. US Steel. These were not figments of our imagination.
They were real true monopolies in a relatively free market. Today, for
example, we have the natural monopoly of Microsoft Operating Systems.
Yes, there are minor competitors (apple, unix, linux) but they still
have a 90% market share in consumer desktops.

The free market can and does produce monopolies. So if you want to
support monopolies as a libertarian, go for it. There may be an
argument to be made there. But to dismiss monopolies as incapable of
arising in a libertarian society, I don't think there is evidence to
support that.

>> Personally, I think there needs to be SOME law preventing people from
>> unfair practices.
> ### Define "unfair".

Things like pyramid schemes, lying, fraud, environmental exploitation,
religious exploitation, and so forth. I think monopolies are
potentially unfair as well.

> -----------------
>> For example, the insider trading
> ### Insider trading should be legal and encouraged. It is one of the
> best ways of inducing leakage of information from companies to
> investors, and true and timely information is the lifeblood of
> efficiency. Yeah, some assholes would get rich on it, and I know it
> irks a lot of people, but what matters is that underperforming
> companies would not be able to hide information from investors as long
> as they can now. Imagine that employees of AIG or Merrill Lynch would
> be able to openly trade their own stock and keep the proceeds - would
> hundreds of billions of dollars of trouble be allowed to accumulate
> before the purulent boil was lancinated? I don't think so.

That is an interesting view point. I hadn't considered that before,
and I may have to change my mind on that specific issue.

> ------------------
> and market
>> manipulation practices that were employed by Joe Kennedy in the 1920s
>> should not be allowed. Bernie Madoff type cons as well as pyramid
>> schemes should be illegal.
> ### Fraud is illegal under any libertarian regime. Stupid greed is
> legal though, and carries its own punishment. I don't pity the rich
> dumbfucks who piled cash on Bernie without doing some background
> checks.

People DID do serious background checks on Bernie Madoff. That was the
problem. He was so successful in his pyramid scheme that it got VERY
large before collapsing. This meant that those who lost money were
able to talk to people who had made significant money for a very long
time. It did look like a good investment to serious investors. That's
why it was such a problem. They weren't dumbfucks by any stretch of
the imagination. Greedy, perhaps, but not dumb.

I'm not saying that Bernie would not be prosecuted in any libertarian
government. Of course he would. He just wouldn't have to compete with
the biggest cluster fuck pyramid scheme of all time Social Security.
We could accept these smaller losses from time to time if we didn't
have the government creating bigger problems all the time.

>> Other laws that are reasonable are some laws protecting the safety and
>> health of workers. OSHA is a pain in the ass, but you need some level
>> of protection for the physical safety of workers.
> ### Why do you think that bureaucrats are actually protecting anybody?
> Are the workers themselves so stupid as not to care, not ask
> questions, not make safer choices where they think they need them?

Before these sorts of laws were common, there were workplace dangers
that workers and even unions could not fight because the unsafe
conditions were normal for the industry. For example, look at the
history of coal mining in the United States. Back in the 1920s it was
common for many hundreds of men to die in coal mines every year. Now
it's a couple dozen. This isn't all technology, part of it is OSHA and
similar state organizations.

> A combination of an unregulated personal insurance market with private
> certification authorities and tort law would be much more likely to
> protect workers where they want to be protected, rather than a
> bureaucracy that morphed into a cancer that eats up our industry
> without producing any tangible benefits.

I would rather have a private solution as well. Insurance companies
would have much better oversight than OSHA, IF the law gave them the
power to inspect what they were insuring. So it does come back to some
small amount of law ensuring that what needs to be done gets done.
Calling OSHA a government agency without tangible benefits is a little
unfair. There are FAR less productive segments of the government than

>> I also support food safety laws. Someone needs to watch that sort of thing.
> ### Certification, personal injury liability, branding instead of the
> bureaucrat. The bureaucrat is your enemy.

Again, there are better private solutions at ever turn. The point is
that food safety is important and needs to be dealt with in some
manner. A completely private solution as you are proposing would not
work without some law enforcement and legal support for inspections,

> ---------------
>> I am not in favor of a society where corporations have absolute
>> complete free reign.
> ### Just like having private individuals with absolute complete free
> reign, that would not be libertarian.


> ---------------
>  That just moves tyranny from the public to the
>> private sphere, and I am not in favor of tyranny in any form. That
>> being said, there are too many laws and taxes holding companies back
>> today.
> ### Amen to than, brother.

We agree much more than we disagree. Libertarianism is the BIGGEST
TENT in politics.


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