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Thread: Video: Why Libertarians Are Idiots

  1. -51
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    Here's how I view Libertarians-Republicans-Democrats:

    A giant ven diagram of the 3 where the middle sweet spot is the most logical way to govern.
    Nearly 70% of the Earth is covered by water...the rest is covered by Gerod Holliman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    Monopolies are not necessarily illegal, and never have been. It depends on how one might be created, and if the FTC exercises its authority to break one up.
    You say something and then contradict it in the next sentence. If monopolies aren't illegal, then the FTC wouldn't have the authority to break one up.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    You didn't seem to dispute that Rockefeller and Standard Oil resulted in lower oil prices, which benefits consumers.
    No, I didn't dispute it. I explained how it's used as a tactic.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    The theory you're left with, is that if it weren't for the government breaking up Standard Oil, it would have controlled the oil market and raised prices at will. I don't think there is any evidence to support this.


    "All the competition was causing a problem for Rockefeller. The price of refined oil was steadily falling. This was *good* for the average American who bought the oil, but bad for these few wheeler-dealers. Mr. Rockefeller and friends looked with dismay on their decreasing profits."
    -Ida Tarbell, History of Standard Oil

    There's evidence out there. You just have to look a little bit, but I'm not going to do your homework for you. There's a good reason that men like Rockefeller got the bad reputations they did prior to their adoption of philanthropy as a means to repair their public image. You don't get called a "robber baron" because you brought low prices to the consumer.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    What some people theorize that Amazon is doing is lowering prices below market level, to put its competitors out of business, and in turn be the only company left in certain markets that can charge whatever it wants. What it is doing is only illegal is if there is some evidence that that's its evil plan, since it would otherwise be bizarre to punish businesses for having prices that were too low. Which kind of explains the incoherence of much antitrust law.


    Amazon's low prices are the proof that anti-monopoly statutes work. Competition lowers prices.


    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    What constitutes "social responsibility" and who gets to decide what that is?

    We, as a people, get to define it individually and decide it at the ballot box.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    I'm not aware of that particular case, but I'll assume you have your facts correct, or that the sources you're reading are correct. The people that are responsible for the polluting the water, depending on the circumstances, can be sued, and bear personal liability. The problem is that the amount of money they personally have won't provide much in the way of compensation. My grandfather owns stock in Exxon. Should those fishermen in Alaska be able to sue him for the Valdez, if Exxon happens to go under? There is no rule that you can possibly come up with that will ensure corporate or personal solvency to ensure that all tort claims are paid in full. Complain about it if you want, but you might as well scream that something needs to be done about earthquakes.

    No, the fishermen shouldn't be able to sue your Dad, but they should be able to sue Exxon to get every penny they lost. Instead, Exxon left us holding the bag on a great deal of the cost of cleanup (a job that was never really finished, btw). Juries can come in with large awards but the system is rigged so that judges, in the pockets of political machines and corporations, have the power to reduce those awards so substantially that corporations need never really fear citizen retribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    Ok fine, but it has very little effect on anything that effects the well being of "the rest of us". The vast majority of 1% do not have their taxable income in Swiss bank accounts, so it's not this enormous problem. It's red meat for politicians to throw out at election time, although I understand why the IRS has to go after that stuff, the same way the IRS will go after people that have tax bills of $30,000.

    It's not peanuts.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...shore-accounts

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    As I mentioned, and as your hero Elizabeth Warren admitted, banks supposedly engaging in high risk investments with depositor's money had nothing or very little to do with the financial crisis if that's what you're referring to.

    I didn't bring it up in reference to the recent financial collapse, that was an assumption you made.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    In any event, the point is that money that rich people are spending or paying to Uncle Sam is not "hoarded".

    You're conflating points I'm making with arguments I'm not making. I mentioned hoarding with regard to the right's belief that funneling more and more money to the wealthy and the corporations will create jobs. As we learned during the Bush years, it doesn't.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49519419

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    Wow, the Fox News dog whistle.

    I love dogs. Please don't associate dogs with Faux News.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    First off, Fox news is cable, so except for their local affiliates, which Ailes and Murdoch don't have much editorial control over anyway, have nothing to do with the airwaves that belong to all of us. In fact, the three major news networks all have incredibly liberal newsrooms, it's not even debatable.

    Of course it's debatable. Everything is debatable. People have been fed that "liberal media" line, thought up by Pat Buchanan back when he wrote speeches for Nixon, for so long that they believe it. Even MSNBC isn't the liberal bastion you might claim it to be. Chuck Scarborough, wingnut, hosts the 3-hour morning show. Abbey Huntsman, republican, co-hosts an afternoon show called The Cycle. SE Cupp, another rightwinger, also co-hosted that show too until she left for CNN. Andrea Mitchell has her own show and her husband is Alan Greenspan who was Reagan's choice for Federal Reserve Chairman. I'll grant that their prime time lineup is liberal, but the rest of the day if somewhat balanced.

    The three major networks? Liberal? I'm a liberal and I find nothing liberal about any of them, especially their Sunday morning shows that amount to little more than free advertising for the GOP.
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/07/10/report-the-sunday-morning-shows-are-still-white/194820

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    But the bottom line is that there are more means than ever for different political views to reach a mass audience. So the fairness doctrine is of virtually no use, even if it was of any use before. And yes, I trust Ailes and Murdoch, or the heads of MSNBC, the editorial boards of the Nation, Mother Jones or the National Review to decide their own editorial content much, much more than the FCC.
    I don't "trust" any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    Ok, so how much should the candidate who ran on the NSA Committed 9/11 party get to personally run for president or congress or mayor? Or, how many of my tax dollars should have gone to pay for David Duke's govenatorial campaign? I got time, and think I have some good ideas, how much money should I get to run for President?
    We'd need a lot of smart people around a table and a lot more data than I'm willing to collect for this conversation to come up with exact numbers. But any proposal would have to allow someone running on the "NSA Committed 9/11" party to have as good a chance of winning as anyone else.

    I'd suggest that we'd need to create a series of hurdles for every candidate to successfully maneuver in order to get public monies. Force people who are running to knock on doors or stand outside the supermarkets and meet the people they're supposed to represent, not just sit in a board room and promise to repay the favor when the check is cut. Along with that, we'd need to create rules that disallow for monied interests to overwhelm the process as they do now. It would take a long time to come up with a good system, but it It's long time that we take steps to make sure that the people running are really the kinds of people we want representing us.
    Jim

    "A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation."

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    There are so many whoppers here that it's hard to know where to begin.

    "You say something and then contradict it in the next sentence. If monopolies aren't illegal, then the FTC wouldn't have the authority to break one up."

    The FTC, under certain circumstances can break up monopolies. It does not make all monopolies illegal under all circumstances.

    "Amazon's low prices are the proof that anti-monopoly statutes work. Competition lowers prices."

    It is no evidence of the sort. If you read what I wrote, there are some people that claim that Amazon's low prices are a prelude to cornering the market in this or that.

    "All the competition was causing a problem for Rockefeller. The price of refined oil was steadily falling. This was *good* for the average American who bought the oil, but bad for these few wheeler-dealers. Mr. Rockefeller and friends looked with dismay on their decreasing profits." -Ida Tarbell, History of Standard Oil

    There's evidence out there. You just have to look a little bit, but I'm not going to do your homework for you. There's a good reason that men like Rockefeller got the bad reputations they did prior to their adoption of philanthropy as a means to repair their public image. You don't get called a "robber baron" because you brought low prices to the consumer."

    The whole point of antitrust laws is to benefit consumers with lower prices, not to protect competitors. The same way I think most talking heads don't know what they're talking about, that other people called Rockefeller and others robber barons means absolutely nothing.

    "We, as a people, get to define it individually and decide it at the ballot box."

    Okay, it doesn't mean "we, as a people" are at all coherent when we make those decisions. And you, as one of those people who purports to be well informed, is not all that coherent about it either.

    "No, the fishermen shouldn't be able to sue your Dad, but they should be able to sue Exxon to get every penny they lost. Instead, Exxon left us holding the bag on a great deal of the cost of cleanup (a job that was never really finished, btw). Juries can come in with large awards but the system is rigged so that judges, in the pockets of political machines and corporations, have the power to reduce those awards so substantially that corporations need never really fear citizen retribution."

    And Exxon has been sued up the nose, and has paid a lot in settlements and fines. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_valdez It had its punitive damages reduced, but by definition, punitive damages are not compensatory.

    "It's not peanuts.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...shore-accounts"

    This article does not refer to rich people putting their money in Swiss bank accounts. It's big companies that set up corporations off shore, which they do for a variety of reasons. In many cases it is to reduce their tax bills, but there is absolutely no law that anyone can come up with that requires a foreign corporation that is not doing business in the US to pay taxes in the US. That's where the whole idea of lowering US corporate taxes in exchange for "repatrioting" money from these offshore entities comes from.

    "I didn't bring it up in reference to the recent financial collapse, that was an assumption you made."

    Then what was your point?

    "You're conflating points I'm making with arguments I'm not making. I mentioned hoarding with regard to the right's belief that funneling more and more money to the wealthy and the corporations will create jobs. As we learned during the Bush years, it doesn't.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49519419"

    No, you talked about corporations "hoarding" money. These companies are not putting money in Uncle Scrooge's vault. It goes into banks that, in turn, use it to make loans. Otherwise, do you think that these companies should be forced to spend it on things or just have a piece of that money taxed? If so, how much? Yes, it might create jobs, but it is ultimately make work.

    "Of course it's debatable. Everything is debatable. People have been fed that "liberal media" line, thought up by Pat Buchanan back when he wrote speeches for Nixon, for so long that they believe it. Even MSNBC isn't the liberal bastion you might claim it to be. Chuck Scarborough, wingnut, hosts the 3-hour morning show. Abbey Huntsman, republican, co-hosts an afternoon show called The Cycle. SE Cupp, another rightwinger, also co-hosted that show too until she left for CNN. Andrea Mitchell has her own show and her husband is Alan Greenspan who was Reagan's choice for Federal Reserve Chairman. I'll grant that their prime time lineup is liberal, but the rest of the day if somewhat balanced.

    The three major networks? Liberal? I'm a liberal and I find nothing liberal about any of them, especially their Sunday morning shows that amount to little more than free advertising for the GOP.
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/07/10/report-the-sunday-morning-shows-are-still-white/194820"

    A liberal think tank saying the networks are too conservative. Well that settles it. In any event, the individual members of the press overwhelmingly vote Democrat. http://archive.mrc.org/biasbasics/biasbasics3.asp (Warning, somewhat dated study). Otherwise, the point is, is that the government has no place deciding the editorial content of news organizations.

    "We'd need a lot of smart people around a table and a lot more data than I'm willing to collect for this conversation to come up with exact numbers. But any proposal would have to allow someone running on the "NSA Committed 9/11" party to have as good a chance of winning as anyone else.

    I'd suggest that we'd need to create a series of hurdles for every candidate to successfully maneuver in order to get public monies. Force people who are running to knock on doors or stand outside the supermarkets and meet the people they're supposed to represent, not just sit in a board room and promise to repay the favor when the check is cut. Along with that, we'd need to create rules that disallow for monied interests to overwhelm the process as they do now. It would take a long time to come up with a good system, but it It's long time that we take steps to make sure that the people running are really the kinds of people we want representing us. "

    Or maybe your system, or any system like that is unworkable. And of course, you need a lot of money to do all that stuff in the first place, i.e. your system just begs the question. If you want a democracy in a nation of 300 million people you need a lot of money in the system to communicate a message for a lot of reasons. Just the way it is, and it has nothing to do with the merits of libertarianism.
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  4. -54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTC111 View Post
    Classy, BlueFin, very classy. You must have been the valedictorian at Teabilly High School.
    I'm pretty sure he was referring to the guy in the video. There's no need to escalate things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    The FTC, under certain circumstances can break up monopolies. It does not make all monopolies illegal under all circumstances.
    I never said ALL monopolies are illegal. Some exist but only if they submit themselves to government over-site and regulation, including the need to get approval for price increases. This usually applies to things like power companies or water companies.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    It is no evidence of the sort. If you read what I wrote, there are some people that claim that Amazon's low prices are a prelude to cornering the market in this or that.
    Actually it is. You're off in la-la land now if you don't think competition pushes prices down.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    The whole point of antitrust laws is to benefit consumers with lower prices, not to protect competitors. The same way I think most talking heads don't know what they're talking about, that other people called Rockefeller and others robber barons means absolutely nothing.
    So when people say something about Amazon it means something, but when people say something about Rockefeller it means nothing. Am I supposed to take anything you say seriously at this point? This started out as a good debate but you've now devolved it into nonsense. The whole point of anti-trust laws is absolutely to protect competition (not specific individual competitors, but competition as a condition). The remedy the courts applied in the case of Rockefeller and were upheld by the Supreme Court in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States was to break the company up into 34 smaller companies and bring competition back to the market place.

    I'm not going to read the rest. I've had my fill of your revisionist economic fan-boi fiction.

    ---------- Post added at 07:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Valandui View Post
    I'm pretty sure he was referring to the guy in the video. There's no need to escalate things.
    If that's true, I apologize. Since it followed my post, I took it to be directed at me.
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    "I never said ALL monopolies are illegal. Some exist but only if they submit themselves to government over-site and regulation, including the need to get approval for price increases. This usually applies to things like power companies or water companies."

    Google has almost a near monopoly of search engine advertising. The government does not tell it what to charge. For a period of time, Microsoft controlled the PC operating system market. It got in trouble for tying its browser to its operating system, but not because all PCs came with Windows installed. Again, it all depends on how one obtains a monopoly which makes it illegal. These days, the FTC can step in and block mergers based on a formula that is supposed to determine whether the merged company will have too much market share. I have no problem with that.

    "Actually it is. You're off in la-la land now if you don't think competition pushes prices down."

    Of course competition pushes prices down. I don't know how you could interpret what I've said otherwise. The point is that competition does not exist but for the antitrust laws, which ought to have limited applicability. And Amazon is getting in trouble with the antitrust laws for "predatory pricing" of ebooks, i.e. charging too little.

    http://paidcontent.org/2012/08/13/at...ing-of-ebooks/

    "So when people say something about Amazon it means something, but when people say something about Rockefeller it means nothing. Am I supposed to take anything you say seriously at this point? This started out as a good debate but you've now devolved it into nonsense. The whole point of anti-trust laws is absolutely to protect competition (not specific individual competitors, but competition as a condition). The remedy the courts applied in the case of Rockefeller and were upheld by the Supreme Court in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States was to break the company up into 34 smaller companies and bring competition back to the market place."

    No. My point is that oil prices were declining notwithstanding Standard Oil's monopoly. So the idea that we'd all be gauged at the pump but for the antitrust laws does not really withstand scrutiny. And by the way, I don't have a problem with the government breaking up large companies like that. It's just that the ultimate benefit to society is overstated, and it's prime territory for demagogues.

    "I'm not going to read the rest. I've had my fill of your revisionist economic fan-boi fiction."

    Well that's too bad.

    And just as an aside, since we're constantly told, especially by the supposed genius in the video, that corporations control the political agenda, and that more campaign finance laws are needed to rein in their nefarious enterprise, I decided to find out what Exxon/Mobile, the biggest, baddest most evil corporation on the planet pays in taxes. According to its 2013 10-K, Exxon paid north of $24 billion in just income taxes for an effective tax rate of 48 percent. I would fire my lobbying firms if I were them.
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    Well in fairness, the figure from my earlier post is what Exxon pays in taxes world wide. It's effective US income tax rate is something like 18-20 percent. So my bad there.
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