[ExI] Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations and People Always Die, and Life Gets Faster

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Tue Jun 7 04:52:39 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:22:09AM -0400, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Damien Sullivan
> <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:

> ??(And lower cost
> > too, since socialized medicine is cheaper)
> ### No, it isn't, because it kills people.

Funny how just about all the people with "socialized medicine" live longer
than Americans do.  This must be some novel use of "kills people" with
which I am not familiar.

> > Being private doesn't magically make you better. ??If you have a business
> > that lives in a competitive market and occasionally gets government
> > contracts, that's one thing. ??If you have a business that exists on
> > government contracts, I don't really see how it differs from a
> > government owned industry with less oversight.
> You seem to put a lot of weight on labels: "private", "government" -
> these are just words. To understand outcomes you need to think in
> terms of "feedback loop", "module", or "marginal analysis".

The nature of the feedback loop was exactly my point above.  The
feedback usually attributed to "private business" comes from being in a
competitive market.  Contractors who do not exist in competitive markets
do not have the virtue usually ascribed, and in fact have many potential
vices relative to a government agency with no profit overhead and less
room for regulatory capture.

> Simon is a bizarre ideologue. He argues that since 90% of wealth is
> generated by the artful arrangement of peaceful economic exchange
> among the citizens, then somehow depriving citizens of 90% of the

He argues that since that *peaceful* exchange is enabled by the
government, up to 90% of it could be taken for the maintenance of the
peace while still leaving people better off than they would be without

-xx- Damien X-) 

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