Author Topic: Government and Laws  (Read 6008 times)

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Offline Mylo

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Government and Laws
« on: January 18, 2013, 09:35:09 pm »
If anyone wants to suggest another more descriptive title for this, please do so below in a post and I will change it.  This is a continuation of the discussion started in the thread "gathering some opinions."

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Furthermore, since the only way to obtain money in the first place is produce something of value, the ones with the most power are those who have done the most good for the community.

Power over what?

However, all of this assumes a market free of government interference. The power of money is corrupted when governments steal its value through taxation and inflation and then spend it on things the public doesn't want and give it to people who don't deserve it. Money isn't the problem. Money is pure. The problem is what the government does to our money.

So, we don't need roads or infrastructure then?  Because taxation leads to things the public doesn't want?

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Foxpup: You uphold no law?  Would you be fine with all other people upholding no law as well?  (I just want to understand what kind of society or world you want to live in.) 

Power over what?
Over people willing to exchange favours for money, and nobody else.

So, we don't need roads or infrastructure then?  Because taxation leads to things the public doesn't want?
If people really want roads or other infrastructure, they will pay for them voluntarily, for whatever price the market sets. This will, of course, result in no roads being built where there is no need for them, or where it would be so expensive that is cheaper to use other forms of transport, but that's a good thing, since such roads are simply a waste of resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Also, just to clear up a possible misconception, public works do not "create employment", they simply steal jobs from the private sector, and no jobs are "lost" by not building roads. When the government doesn't employ people to build roads, taxpayers (including companies) don't have to pay the roadworkers' salaries. When companies pay less taxes, they can afford to hire more employees. The public sector's loss is just the private sector's gain (and vice versa). However, since the private sector is motivated entirely by profit, and profit comes entirely from giving the public what they want (otherwise they wouldn't pay for it), private companies are better able to provide what the public wants than the government.

Foxpup: You uphold no law?  Would you be fine with all other people upholding no law as well?  (I just want to understand what kind of society or world you want to live in.) 
Yes, and I dearly wish they did. Far too many atrocities are committed by people blindly obeying unjust laws. I want to live in a society where people are free to do as they please, so long they're not infringing on others' rights to do likewise, and where no authority can demand that they do anything else.

So, we don't need roads or infrastructure then?  Because taxation leads to things the public doesn't want?
If people really want roads or other infrastructure, they will pay for them voluntarily, for whatever price the market sets. This will, of course, result in no roads being built where there is no need for them, or where it would be so expensive that is cheaper to use other forms of transport, but that's a good thing, since such roads are simply a waste of resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Also, just to clear up a possible misconception, public works do not "create employment", they simply steal jobs from the private sector, and no jobs are "lost" by not building roads. When the government doesn't employ people to build roads, taxpayers (including companies) don't have to pay the roadworkers' salaries. When companies pay less taxes, they can afford to hire more employees. The public sector's loss is just the private sector's gain (and vice versa). However, since the private sector is motivated entirely by profit, and profit comes entirely from giving the public what they want (otherwise they wouldn't pay for it), private companies are better able to provide what the public wants than the government.

I thought you'd say that.  I don't want to derail this thread, but this would make for an interesting discussion in another thread.  I'd like to know how you would prevent against monopolies...I have ideas of solutions myself, but this would make a great discussion topic.

Foxpup: You uphold no law?  Would you be fine with all other people upholding no law as well?  (I just want to understand what kind of society or world you want to live in.) 
Yes, and I dearly wish they did. Far too many atrocities are committed by people blindly obeying unjust laws. I want to live in a society where people are free to do as they please, so long they're not infringing on others' rights to do likewise, and where no authority can demand that they do anything else.

But isn't that a law?  If not, then what's to stop someone from just killing people to get what they want, as an extreme and arbitrary example?

I thought you'd say that.  I don't want to derail this thread, but this would make for an interesting discussion in another thread.  I'd like to know how you would prevent against monopolies...I have ideas of solutions myself, but this would make a great discussion topic.
A very short discussion, I think. Natural monopolies (as opposed to monopolies created by government intervention, and note that the government itself is a monopoly) can only exist as long as they offer such good quality and low prices that no potential competitor can ever match it. As soon as quality goes down or prices go up (which are the only reasons to fear monopolies in the first place), that creates a new market opportunity for competitors, and the monopoly vanishes.

But isn't that a law?  If not, then what's to stop someone from just killing people to get what they want, as an extreme and arbitrary example?
No, it isn't, at least not in any jurisdiction in the world (unfortunately). I would gladly uphold and obey such a law if it existed.

But isn't that a law?  If not, then what's to stop someone from just killing people to get what they want, as an extreme and arbitrary example?
No, it isn't, at least not in any jurisdiction in the world (unfortunately). I would gladly uphold and obey such a law if it existed.

So you do uphold a law! :D

Anyways, so if I were to build a highway and then charge people high prices to use it, it could end in several ways.  These few come to mind.
1) People pay the toll - that's bad for the consumer
2) Someone makes a whole new road right next to the old one - that seems like a waste of resources
3) People ignore the toll and use the road anyway - How would the workers who made the road get paid?  Why would anyone (in our current mindset) have any motivation to do public works projects after this example?
4) People organize to pay workers what is deemed fair - seems sensible...I guess roads would operate much like Wikipedia, and its still going strong...then again, Wikipedia is cheaper to run, but aside, this would be ideal
5) The owner enforces the toll, leading to (1) - "Laws" emerge in complete favor of the road owner because the road owner has a resource and the enforcement to control it

It works both ways...you have good examples like the current privatization of space, and then you have other not-so-good examples, like American telecom and Internet infrastructure.   

Anyways, so if I were to build a highway and then charge people high prices to use it, it could end in several ways.  These few come to mind.
1) People pay the toll - that's bad for the consumer
2) Someone makes a whole new road right next to the old one - that seems like a waste of resources
3) People ignore the toll and use the road anyway - How would the workers who made the road get paid?  Why would anyone (in our current mindset) have any motivation to do public works projects after this example?
4) People organize to pay workers what is deemed fair - seems sensible...I guess roads would operate much like Wikipedia, and its still going strong...then again, Wikipedia is cheaper to run, but aside, this would be ideal
5) The owner enforces the toll, leading to (1) - "Laws" emerge in complete favor of the road owner because the road owner has a resource and the enforcement to control it
6) People take the train instead. As long as alternatives exist, no company can make a profit charging more than the price of the alternatives unless both a) their service is in some way better, and b) people are willing to pay more for better service.

It works both ways...you have good examples like the current privatization of space, and then you have other not-so-good examples, like American telecom and Internet infrastructure.   
The American telephone network was, for most of existence, run by a legal monopoly (ie, the government passed laws to keep competitors out of the market) which was only recently broken up, and the Internet was originally developed by the U.S. government (also a monopoly) and implemented using existing monopoly-controlled telecommunications infrastructure. Now that they are no longer monopolised, they are, if not as good as they should be, at least somewhat better than they were.

I must say that I strongly disagree with most of Foxpup's statements here. Without some sort of basic ruleset in place to oversee it (a.k.a. government) these ideals Foxpup speaks of are purely fantasy. I could speak more on it but I don't want to continue this derailing of the thread.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 01:31:42 pm »
As I've often said from time to time in the past, No form of government and the laws they make, will ever be perfect. No matter where you go or what you do in life, there will always be laws and rules, and there will always be some form of governing system to make and enforce them. You can't escape it.
Look at the Indians from the old West back in the 1800's for example. Even they had "tribal councils" which is a form of governing system, and they had a "Chief Elder" who would advise and guide the tribe, etc.
Why does the world have so many laws? The reasons are as varied as the people who join this fandom. But one example is because people don't think and use common sense. A few bad apples have to go and spoil things for the rest of the populace, and then everybody else who hasn't done anything wrong has to suffer because of someone else's stupidity.  >:( Is that fair? No, it's not.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 08:27:43 pm »
As I've often said from time to time in the past, No form of government and the laws they make, will ever be perfect. No matter where you go or what you do in life, there will always be laws and rules, and there will always be some form of governing justice system to make and enforce them. You can't escape it.
FTFY. I'm not suggesting that the functions currently provided by government should simply be abolished, I'm suggesting that they be provided by private organisations, which are funded on a user-pays basis and/or through voluntary donation (as opposed to taxation), and which are forced by competition to provide quality service at the lowest possible price. The problem with the government is that not only are they a monopoly, and charge monopoly prices for inferior service, they force everyone to pay whether they like the service or not, or even whether they use the service or not. Is that fair? I don't think so.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 08:38:51 pm »
As I've often said from time to time in the past, No form of government and the laws they make, will ever be perfect. No matter where you go or what you do in life, there will always be laws and rules, and there will always be some form of governing justice system to make and enforce them. You can't escape it.
FTFY. I'm not suggesting that the functions currently provided by government should simply be abolished, I'm suggesting that they be provided by private organisations, which are funded on a user-pays basis and/or through voluntary donation (as opposed to taxation), and which are forced by competition to provide quality service at the lowest possible price. The problem with the government is that not only are they a monopoly, and charge monopoly prices for inferior service, they force everyone to pay whether they like the service or not, or even whether they use the service or not. Is that fair? I don't think so.

So basically like our current lobbying system? That's working out very well right now :P

I see this system as leading to monopolies that are much more destructive than any current monopolies. In fact, from the way this operates, it really just depends on who gets the bigger army first.  I can type a more detailed response when I get to my computer.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 08:56:26 pm »
In fact, from the way this operates, it really just depends on who gets the bigger army first.
You really think private defence agencies are going to go to war with each other? I don't think their stockholders would care for that.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 09:06:11 pm »
In fact, from the way this operates, it really just depends on who gets the bigger army first.
You really think private defence agencies are going to go to war with each other? I don't think their stockholders would care for that.

You'd be surprised. Especially if one of these defense agencies is much stronger than the other and the value of winning is substantial.

If it's a war of money, then look at our current lobbying system. I can lobby for laws that will make me richer, then lobby some more. Do you see the cyclical nature of it?

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 09:21:15 pm »
You'd be surprised. Especially if one of these defense agencies is much stronger than the other and the value of winning is substantial.
I'd be surprised if the public continues to support them during and after the war. PDAs are paid to protect their customers, not waste their money fighting pointless wars. Any PDA which did initiate a war, whether they won or not, would likely see their funding suddenly vanish. I think you'll find war is a lot less profitable when it's not subsidised by mandatory taxes.

If it's a war of money, then look at our current lobbying system. I can lobby for laws that will make me richer, then lobby some more. Do you see the cyclical nature of it?
When you lobby for laws that make you richer, where does that money come from? The taxpayers, right? What happens when there are no taxpayers, and people are free to choose who they give their money to? You'll need to lobby a little bit harder to convince people to give their money to you when they're not forced by a government to do so.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 10:29:26 pm »
If it's a war of money, then look at our current lobbying system. I can lobby for laws that will make me richer, then lobby some more. Do you see the cyclical nature of it?
When you lobby for laws that make you richer, where does that money come from? The taxpayers, right? What happens when there are no taxpayers, and people are free to choose who they give their money to? You'll need to lobby a little bit harder to convince people to give their money to you when they're not forced by a government to do so.

Let me use an example.  Suppose I organized a group of people to build a road network in a region.  We all work together and build the road system.  Next, we start charging just enough money to be able to reinvest in other things.  With our pool of money generated by the road system, we buy all the land around it to block competitors from building other roads.  Then, we increase the toll little by little.  People might complain a little, but I highly doubt that it would be fiscally possible to build a road system to compete unless people voluntary produced it, compared with paying the toll.  Slowly but surely, we get richer and richer.  We build more roads, but at the same time keep charging more money, making more profit, and spending it on reducing competition and enforcing tolls.  So what happens?  We get richer, keep the people that run the roads happy, and charge more and more for use of the roads.  

Another example.  Suppose I lose my job.  Does that mean that I can't use the road system if I can't afford it?  Does that mean I can't use any kind of public works if I can't afford it?  Suppose these public works were made privately and had no toll.  Where would this money come from for repeated improvements?  We would stagnate.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 11:05:10 pm »
Let me use an example.  Suppose I organized a group of people to build a road network in a region.  We all work together and build the road system.  Next, we start charging just enough money to be able to reinvest in other things.  With our pool of money generated by the road system, we buy all the land around it to block competitors from building other roads.  Then, we increase the toll little by little.  People might complain a little, but I highly doubt that it would be fiscally possible to build a road system to compete unless people voluntary produced it, compared with paying the toll.
But that's the point. If the toll is so high that it's cheaper to go around your land instead of paying the toll, people will do so, leaving you with no choice but to reduce your tolls or sell some of your land to your competitors. (Actually, buying a huge amount of land, building a road through it, then selling the land which is now more valuable because of the road may well be profitable enough to avoid having to charge a toll at all, but that's for the market to decide.)

Another example.  Suppose I lose my job.  Does that mean that I can't use the road system if I can't afford it?  Does that mean I can't use any kind of public works if I can't afford it?
Yup. That's why you have insurance. Note, however, that with no taxes, companies can afford to hire more people, making it easier to get a job and less likely that you'll lose your job in the first place. No taxes also means lower prices and more money in your pocket, making everything more affordable.

Suppose these public works were made privately and had no toll.  Where would this money come from for repeated improvements?  We would stagnate.
Real estate, as above: toll-free roads are sure to improve property values. Advertising: charge businesses a fee to put their billboards along your road. There are all kinds of ways to pay for public works that don't involve forcing everyone (including those who don't even use them) to chip in. And what's so wrong with tolls at all? Isn't it fair that the people who use public works should be the ones to pay for them?
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Offline Yip

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 12:24:25 am »
But that's the point. If the toll is so high that it's cheaper to go around your land instead of paying the toll, people will do so...
Did you miss the "little by little" part? Besides, money is not the only thing the consumer has to consider. How much time will it take to go around. Have you not heard of robbers camping out at bridges and other choke points extracting tolls from people that wish to pass. This is same principle.

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Note, however, that with no taxes, companies can afford to hire more people, making it easier to get a job and less likely that you'll lose your job in the first place. No taxes also means lower prices and more money in your pocket, making everything more affordable.
If someone else will do the same job for less, then they will be the ones to get the job. And if things are "more affordable" then someone will be willing to do the work for less because they can afford to. Therefore it means lower pay for employees so no it's NOT more money in your pocket.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 12:55:31 am »
Did you miss the "little by little" part? Besides, money is not the only thing the consumer has to consider. How much time will it take to go around. Have you not heard of robbers camping out at bridges and other choke points extracting tolls from people that wish to pass. This is same principle.
Well, no it isn't. The robbers don't own the bridges, and the travellers are already paying taxes to use the bridge, so now they're paying twice. That's not fair. What is fair is if the owners of the bridge request a toll from people who haven't yet paid anything for the right to use it. Anyone who doesn't use the bridge doesn't have to pay one cent for it.

If someone else will do the same job for less, then they will be the ones to get the job. And if things are "more affordable" then someone will be willing to do the work for less because they can afford to. Therefore it means lower pay for employees so no it's NOT more money in your pocket.
But if people are willing to work for less, that reduces production costs, so the price of goods goes down. No matter which way you look at it, the less money the government has, the more money everyone else has. Now, of course, public works still have to be paid for somehow, but it is my argument that the private sector can provide these things far cheaper than a government due to competition, so everyone's better off as a result.
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Offline Yip

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 01:25:32 am »
Well, no it isn't. The robbers don't own the bridges, and the travellers are already paying taxes to use the bridge, so now they're paying twice. That's not fair. What is fair is if the owners of the bridge request a toll from people who haven't yet paid anything for the right to use it. Anyone who doesn't use the bridge doesn't have to pay one cent for it.
Are you intentionally misunderstanding the analogy?  Really, it's not that hard. I was using it to illustrate that people can be coerced to pay more than they would like to, more than they should have to. Paying twice as much is the same as paying the same price twice. So it's not the "paying twice" that makes it unfair.

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Now, of course, public works still have to be paid for somehow, but it is my argument that the private sector can provide these things far cheaper than a government due to competition, so everyone's better off as a result.
Except that without a basic governing structure to oversee things, it instead ends up being whichever one can get into place to lock out the competition is the one that controls the pricing and that's not good for anyone (well, except for the company that's making big.)

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 02:09:31 am »
Are you intentionally misunderstanding the analogy?  Really, it's not that hard. I was using it to illustrate that people can be coerced to pay more than they would like to, more than they should have to.
I don't think the word "coerce" means what you think it means. Governments coerce people into paying more they would like to, private companies do not and cannot. The question of how much people "should" have to pay is answered by the market. If the price is too high, nobody will pay it, and the company will go out of business. This forces companies to offer the lowest prices possible. The only way this can't happen is if people literally have no choice but to pay. If there are multiple bridges owned by competing companies, none of them can charge excessive tolls, as everyone will just take the cheapest one. If people can canoe across, the bridge owner can't charge more than what it costs to rent a canoe. If people can go around, they can't charge more than what their wasted time is worth. As long as alternatives of any kind exist, high prices are impossible.

Except that without a basic governing structure to oversee things, it instead ends up being whichever one can get into place to lock out the competition is the one that controls the pricing and that's not good for anyone (well, except for the company that's making big.)
The price system doesn't need any governing structure to oversee anything. Suppliers charge what they want and consumers pay what they want. A transaction (and thus profit for the company) can only happen if both parties find the price agreeable. No company can profit by charging more than people are willing to pay, or more than their competitors unless their product is of better quality and consumers are willing to pay extra for that quality. If a natural monopoly raises prices artificially high, that makes the industry more profitable, not just for the monopoly, but for potential competitors as well. No matter what barriers to entry are erected, if the price is high enough, competitors will emerge.

There's also a rather massive flaw in the argument that a government is necessary to prevent monopolies: a government is itself a monopoly. What makes you think a government will be immune to the corruption that you fear from private monopolies?
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 02:33:56 am »
I don't think the word "coerce" means what you think it means. Governments coerce people into paying more they would like to, private companies do not and cannot. The question of how much people "should" have to pay is answered by the market. If the price is too high, nobody will pay it, and the company will go out of business. This forces companies to offer the lowest prices possible. The only way this can't happen is if people literally have no choice but to pay. If there are multiple bridges owned by competing companies, none of them can charge excessive tolls, as everyone will just take the cheapest one. If people can canoe across, the bridge owner can't charge more than what it costs to rent a canoe. If people can go around, they can't charge more than what their wasted time is worth. As long as alternatives of any kind exist, high prices are impossible.

But as a competitor itself, and with far more capital, the roadworks would buy out the bridges, the canoes, and everything else that would stand in the way of its domination of the market. In fact, with this kind of control, its possible for them to create an artificial sense of choice, lowering the price of one method of transportation one day and lowering another form on another day. They could also raise all the prices concurrently because of the difficulty of consumers finding other methods of transportation or for suitable competitors to enter the market.

The price system doesn't need any governing structure to oversee anything. Suppliers charge what they want and consumers pay what they want. A transaction (and thus profit for the company) can only happen if both parties find the price agreeable. No company can profit by charging more than people are willing to pay, or more than their competitors unless their product is of better quality and consumers are willing to pay extra for that quality. If a natural monopoly raises prices artificially high, that makes the industry more profitable, not just for the monopoly, but for potential competitors as well. No matter what barriers to entry are erected, if the price is high enough, competitors will emerge.

First, there is a difference in consumer sentiment for material products and necessities that would affect a consumer's decision. Second, if an industry becomes more profitable, then it can set up barriers to entry that would enhance their foothold in the market. Of course they would price their products within consumer reach, but they would have very high profit margins that result in less spending money for the consumer and more money into the monopoly, who use it to further depress competition among other things. Stagnation. 

There's also a rather massive flaw in the argument that a government is necessary to prevent monopolies: a government is itself a monopoly. What makes you think a government will be immune to the corruption that you fear from private monopolies?

I never said it would be immune. But I do think it is needed.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 02:35:52 am by Mylo »

Offline Yip

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 02:48:35 pm »
The price system doesn't need any governing structure to oversee anything. Suppliers charge what they want and consumers pay what they want. A transaction (and thus profit for the company) can only happen if both parties find the price agreeable. No company can profit by charging more than people are willing to pay, or more than their competitors unless their product is of better quality and consumers are willing to pay extra for that quality. If a natural monopoly raises prices artificially high, that makes the industry more profitable, not just for the monopoly, but for potential competitors as well. No matter what barriers to entry are erected, if the price is high enough, competitors will emerge.
If you think providing a better product or service as the only way, and that companies don't spend their resources on underhanded tactics to hamper competitors, then you are blind to reality sir. This sort of thing happens even with a governing body. The difference is that if people can prove a company is acting in these ways they can bring legal action upon the company. Whereas with your model there is no recourse for the people.

Plus, without a governing body some companies will treat their employees like crap since the employee has no recourse but to leave employment. And before you say they can just find another job, finding a job is a -lot- of work. And unless the individual has the work experience or connections to jump into a higher up position, those entry level positions available will likely ALL be ones were the employee is treated like crap.  And by the way, this sort of thing also happens despite there being a governing body. The difference is, again, people have the recourse of legal action should the company go too far.

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There's also a rather massive flaw in the argument that a government is necessary to prevent monopolies: a government is itself a monopoly. What makes you think a government will be immune to the corruption that you fear from private monopolies?
I don't think the government is immune to corruption. It's far from perfect, but not having one is far worse. You may be right that some things the government does could be done better by the private sector. But there needs to be a governing body to keep things regulated and running fairly. Even just having the threat of lawsuits helps a lot. But more than that, with a governing body we get things like clean drinking water and companies not allowed to use false advertising. Without regulation, whether or not you get these things would be a crap shoot.

Take false advertising for example. Sure a company might lose business due to word of mouth, but then they simply sell the same garbage product under a different name. The company is paying very little to produce these inferior products so they can sustain themselves with first time buyers. And speaking of false advertising, why not sell your crap product with the exact same labels your competitor uses? That way the consumer thinks they are getting the good stuff, but don't find out until it's too late. Sorry, no refunds.

Don't get me wrong, the free market is great. But it requires a base level of regulation or it doesn't remain so free.

Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2013, 03:50:38 pm »
If you think providing a better product or service as the only way, and that companies don't spend their resources on underhanded tactics to hamper competitors, then you are blind to reality sir. This sort of thing happens even with a governing body. The difference is that if people can prove a company is acting in these ways they can bring legal action upon the company. Whereas with your model there is no recourse for the people.

I just read this article today, one of many examples out there that illustrate the above point I am trying to make.
www.zdnet.com/how-apple-used-its-money-and-muscle-to-kill-an-itunes-competitor-7000010029/
Now imagine this situation, but with necessities. That is why we need some sort of government.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2013, 05:50:02 pm »
If you think providing a better product or service as the only way, and that companies don't spend their resources on underhanded tactics to hamper competitors, then you are blind to reality sir. This sort of thing happens even with a governing body. The difference is that if people can prove a company is acting in these ways they can bring legal action upon the company. Whereas with your model there is no recourse for the people.
A justice system doesn't have to come from a government. You've always got arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution.

I just read this article today, one of many examples out there that illustrate the above point I am trying to make.
www.zdnet.com/how-apple-used-its-money-and-muscle-to-kill-an-itunes-competitor-7000010029/
Now imagine this situation, but with necessities. That is why we need some sort of government.
We need a government to stop individuals from selling their own private property for profit? :o Is that seriously the point you're making? Bill Nguyen didn't want to compete with Apple. We wanted to sell his company. He went to two other companies first, but they wouldn't give him a good price. Apple did. If Nguyen actually wanted to compete against Apple with Lala, all he had to do was refuse to sell it to them.

Besides, we already have this situation with some necessities, such as food. The supply, distribution, and sale of food is controlled entirely by private companies with minimal government involvement (the government regulates the quality of food, but not (for the most part) the way the companies do business) and yet there is no food monopoly and no exorbitant prices, not because the government has done anything to prevent it (it hasn't), but simply because monopolies don't naturally form in a free market.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2013, 07:26:44 pm »
A justice system doesn't have to come from a government. You've always got arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution.

What do you suggest then?

We need a government to stop individuals from selling their own private property for profit? :o Is that seriously the point you're making? Bill Nguyen didn't want to compete with Apple. We wanted to sell his company. He went to two other companies first, but they wouldn't give him a good price. Apple did. If Nguyen actually wanted to compete against Apple with Lala, all he had to do was refuse to sell it to them.

No, that is not the point I was making. What Nguyen did was perfectly legitimate. But what about the consumers who enjoyed the service? Competition in this case made a small segment of people very rich at the expense of a valuable service. I'm not arguing that it is not a valid motivation...who doesn't want profit, right? What I am saying is that this kind of singular, short term gain is bad for consumers as a whole when valuable services are destroyed for profit. This leads to stagnation. Once again, don't get me wrong. The people at Lala probably put in a lot of hard work to make their product and profit. But if we apply this situation to vital infrastructure and necessities, the majority of consumers are hurt by this kind of practice.

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2013, 07:51:32 pm »
A justice system doesn't have to come from a government. You've always got arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution.
In order to ensure a peaceful resolution, yes, it does require a governing body. If not a government then something that acts extremely close to one. Arbitration for example, is of limited use if the parties are not bound by the terms they agree to. And without an established justice system to ensure this, what's to stop them from ignoring the agreement and going about doing what they want anyway. And if this justice system has the power to enforce it, then it's acting as the governing body.

Or perhaps you expect the people to take the law into their own hands to enforce these things. That's what is sounds like you are advocating, and that's a recipe for disaster.

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We need a government to stop individuals from selling their own private property for profit? :o Is that seriously the point you're making? ...
No, the point is this is a company acting to remove competition in a way other than providing a better product or lower prices. This is directly contrary to your claim.

Quote
Besides, we already have this situation with some necessities, such as food. The supply, distribution, and sale of food is controlled entirely by private companies with minimal government involvement (the government regulates the quality of food, but not (for the most part) the way the companies do business) and yet there is no food monopoly and no exorbitant prices, not because the government has done anything to prevent it (it hasn't), but simply because monopolies don't naturally form in a free market.
Funny, you admit that their IS government regulation, and yet you point to this as an example of it working without government regulation. The "(for the most part)" is extremely telling because what it says is that the government is there to step in as needed to rectify things and keep the free market running smoothly. Like I said, the mere threat of bringing in the law can do a lot to keep people operating honestly. So you haven't at all demonstrated your case.

You'd need an example where there is NO government involvement and NO threat of possible government involvement. I'm not sure if a real world example of this actually exists in the modern age in anything but very small scale because such systems break down. (By "government" I am including any governing body.)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 09:14:46 pm by Vararam »

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2013, 08:31:05 pm »
Quote
Or perhaps you expect the people to take the law into their own hands to enforce these things. That's what is sounds like you are advocating, and that's a recipe for disaster.

There's a word for that:  Vigilantism   :P
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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2013, 10:00:58 pm »
In order to ensure a peaceful resolution, yes, it does require a governing body. If not a government then something that acts extremely close to one. Arbitration for example, is of limited use if the parties are not bound by the terms they agree to. And without an established justice system to ensure this, what's to stop them from ignoring the agreement and going about doing what they want anyway. And if this justice system has the power to enforce it, then it's acting as the governing body.
If one party or the other doesn't abide by the terms of their contract, there can never be a peaceful resolution, governing body or no. It is impossible to eliminate the need to use force. The only question is who is exercising that force and by what authority. In the case of arbitration in an anarchic society, the arbitrator’s private defence agency has the (fire)power to enforce contracts, and their authority comes from the contract itself.

Or perhaps you expect the people to take the law into their own hands to enforce these things. That's what is sounds like you are advocating, and that's a recipe for disaster.
Nothing so primitive. Really, the whole system is not so different from the current system of courts, police, etc, except that these functions are privatised. I think we're having a misunderstanding over the meaning of the word "government". By "government", I mean an institution with a monopoly on legislation, regulation, justice, economic policy, and so forth. I don't mean that these functions are unnecessary or not useful, just that they should be provided by private organisations which are competing for voluntarily-paid fees. Such organisations could be described as "governing bodies", though the lack of monopoly power and enforced taxation makes them completely unlike a "government" in the usual sense of the word.

Quote
We need a government to stop individuals from selling their own private property for profit? :o Is that seriously the point you're making? ...
No, the point is this is a company acting to remove competition in a way other than providing a better product or lower prices. This is directly contrary to your claim.
What claim? I never said big companies couldn't use their capital to put up barriers to entry, I said if they did and they raise the prices or reduce the quality of their products, competitors will overcome whatever barriers are put up in search of their own profits. A monopolised industry is a profitable one, and profitable industries attract competitors.

Funny, you admit that their IS government regulation, and yet you point to this as an example of it working without government regulation. The "(for the most part)" is extremely telling of the weakness of your position. Because what it says is that the government is there to step in as needed to rectify things and keep the free market running smoothly. Like I said, the mere threat of bringing in the law can do a lot to keep people operating honestly. So you haven't at all demonstrated your case.

You'd need an example where there is NO government involvement and NO threat of possible government involvement. I'm not sure if a real world example of this actually exists in the modern age in anything but very small scale because such systems break down. (By "government" I am including any governing body.)
I freely admit that no anarchic society has ever existed since prehistoric times except briefly during wars, and this discussion is entirely hypothetical. But the non-existence of such a society at present does not preclude the possibility of an anarchy emerging in the future, and it is possible to speculate as to how this society would function (or not) and what benefits and flaws it might have over other societies.

Every historical case of an anarchy breaking down happened because the existing government was suddenly removed by force, without warning, and with nothing to replace it. This always happened with no intention of introducing anarchy as a stable system, and no modern anarchist would condone, let alone recommend, dismantling a government in this manner. (The right way to go about introducing anarchy is to gradually replace each branch of the government with a private system that performs an equivalent function, but to my knowledge this has never even been attempted.)
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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 11:16:27 pm »
Really, the whole system is not so different from the current system of courts, police, etc, except that these functions are privatised. I think we're having a misunderstanding over the meaning of the word "government". By "government", I mean an institution with a monopoly on legislation, regulation, justice, economic policy, and so forth. I don't mean that these functions are unnecessary or not useful, just that they should be provided by private organisations which are competing for voluntarily-paid fees. Such organisations could be described as "governing bodies", though the lack of monopoly power and enforced taxation makes them completely unlike a "government" in the usual sense of the word.
So basically what you want is the equivalent of a country with multiple competing governments. Those exist, and such places are constantly at war. The idea of privatized legislation is completely insane. You think the government is corrupt, that's nothing compared to the horrors of what you suggest. You would inevitably end up with many different factions fighting for control. And this would not be a peaceful fight. It would be a bloody violent one.

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What claim? I never said big companies couldn't use their capital to put up barriers to entry, I said if they did and they raise the prices or reduce the quality of their products, competitors will overcome whatever barriers are put up in search of their own profits.
That is exactly the same thing! A barrier that can be so easily overcome is no barrier at all. You are claiming that barriers put up by companies to stop competitors are not effective, and the fact is that they DO work. If they didn't companies wouldn't expend resources to use them. And there are countless cases of companies doing exactly that. Sometimes legally, sometimes not.

Quote
Every historical case of an anarchy breaking down happened because the existing government was suddenly removed by force, without warning, and with nothing to replace it. This always happened with no intention of introducing anarchy as a stable system, and no modern anarchist would condone, let alone recommend, dismantling a government in this manner. (The right way to go about introducing anarchy is to gradually replace each branch of the government with a private system that performs an equivalent function, but to my knowledge this has never even been attempted.)
So your claim is that the reason these anarchist systems have never been sustainable is because they were introduced too quickly? Sorry, but no. These "systems" are inherently unstable. The problem is that people will look for ways to cheat the system. People always look for ways to cheat the system. And with the system you propose, those people looking to cheat the system WILL break it down. In fact, it'll probably be intentional. If someone can get themselves into a position of power, then collapse the system such that they are the central body in control. Yeah, that kind of power is way too alluring for someone to not do that.

But wait, you say, others will have privatized military forces to stop such things. Yeah... and that just means it ends up with a war breaking out. Or hell, since these privatized forces are essentially mercenaries for hire, the group that's taking over could hire most of them themselves.

Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2013, 11:19:01 pm »
If one party or the other doesn't abide by the terms of their contract, there can never be a peaceful resolution, governing body or no. It is impossible to eliminate the need to use force. The only question is who is exercising that force and by what authority. In the case of arbitration in an anarchic society, the arbitrator’s private defence agency has the (fire)power to enforce contracts, and their authority comes from the contract itself.

And then a private entity can buy the arbitrators, their private defense agencies, and set up a local zone with its own set of laws favorable to the private entity.  There would be no motivation to compete because certain entities, "corporations," would become so big as to buy out any form of competition, or simply turn the laws in their favor.  There are no checks on different agencies, and these arbitrators would duplicate services and be much more liable to buy-out than even our current lobbying system in the United States.

Let me use another example.  Suppose there was a man with no family and no friends who was shot and killed by another man with money and friends, in other words, better known (in a good way).  The murderer could simply pay off an arbitrator to write of the crime...the arbitrator doesn't have to worry about people striking against their agency because of their decision because the murderer is known and the victim was a nobody.  That is not justice, and like it or not, that is what will become of a system like this.  I can think of countless more examples of how this system will devolve into stagnation.

Nothing so primitive. Really, the whole system is not so different from the current system of courts, police, etc, except that these functions are privatised. I think we're having a misunderstanding over the meaning of the word "government". By "government", I mean an institution with a monopoly on legislation, regulation, justice, economic policy, and so forth. I don't mean that these functions are unnecessary or not useful, just that they should be provided by private organisations which are competing for voluntarily-paid fees. Such organisations could be described as "governing bodies", though the lack of monopoly power and enforced taxation makes them completely unlike a "government" in the usual sense of the word.

The difference between a well-run government and a corporate monopoly is that a well-run government has a system of checks to protect the rights of the people as well as the legitimacy of the law, while a private monopoly's primary motivation is profit.  There are certain things that are run better privatized, but a government is needed to oversee all of these.

Quote
We need a government to stop individuals from selling their own private property for profit? :o Is that seriously the point you're making? ...
No, the point is this is a company acting to remove competition in a way other than providing a better product or lower prices. This is directly contrary to your claim.
What claim? I never said big companies couldn't use their capital to put up barriers to entry, I said if they did and they raise the prices or reduce the quality of their products, competitors will overcome whatever barriers are put up in search of their own profits. A monopolised industry is a profitable one, and profitable industries attract competitors.

Your theories are just that...theoretical.  In that "axiom," you give no time frame for how long that would even take.  It could be years and years before a competitor could even materialize, and by then, a company can become so big as to completely crush competition, making the barrier to entry extremely high.  Take our current government in the United States for example.  Suppose we all aren't happy with a certain law.  We don't just stop paying our taxes; we vote the person who made the law out of office and vote another representative who will work to repeal the law (so long as it is not infringing on the US Constitution, and even then with enough votes, we can amend it).  If we all stopped paying our taxes and ignored the law, our current system of government would collapse.  Here is a true axiom: Not everyone is rational.  With this axiom in mind, anarchy is one of the worst types of societies.  There is the slightest chance that it would work in very small communities or in a Star Trek or transhuman society, but in our present day and for much of the future, it simply cannot work.  It is inefficient, unstable, relies on both rational and irrational conjectures with equal weight, and puts justice second to purchasing power.

Funny, you admit that their IS government regulation, and yet you point to this as an example of it working without government regulation. The "(for the most part)" is extremely telling of the weakness of your position. Because what it says is that the government is there to step in as needed to rectify things and keep the free market running smoothly. Like I said, the mere threat of bringing in the law can do a lot to keep people operating honestly. So you haven't at all demonstrated your case.

You'd need an example where there is NO government involvement and NO threat of possible government involvement. I'm not sure if a real world example of this actually exists in the modern age in anything but very small scale because such systems break down. (By "government" I am including any governing body.)
I freely admit that no anarchic society has ever existed since prehistoric times except briefly during wars, and this discussion is entirely hypothetical. But the non-existence of such a society at present does not preclude the possibility of an anarchy emerging in the future, and it is possible to speculate as to how this society would function (or not) and what benefits and flaws it might have over other societies.

Every historical case of an anarchy breaking down happened because the existing government was suddenly removed by force, without warning, and with nothing to replace it. This always happened with no intention of introducing anarchy as a stable system, and no modern anarchist would condone, let alone recommend, dismantling a government in this manner. (The right way to go about introducing anarchy is to gradually replace each branch of the government with a private system that performs an equivalent function, but to my knowledge this has never even been attempted.)

When you translate governmental services like justice and lawmaking to private entities, they would lose their moral sentiment.  Once again, I believe certain things can be privatized, but the government as a whole cannot.  In introducing an anarchic system, it will simply devolve into a poorly run monopoly that was intended to be avoided.  The consumer chooses what type of society they want to live in.  That's why revolutions occur, and that's why new systems of government are erected.  Anarchism, even when it is gradually introduced with a plan, will devolve because of the larger influence of irrationality and anti-morals through people's direct purchasing power to destroy rational and "moral" systems of government in times of increased emotion or short-term loss of faith in private entities.    

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2013, 04:52:26 am »
Am I the only one here who thinks that money is a force for good rather than a corruptive influence? (All arguments for anarchy depend on the assumption that capitalism works.) The selfish desire for money is driving force behind almost everything that is good in this world. You go to work not out of kindness for your employer, but because he pays you. The farmer doesn't toil away out of an altruistic desire to feed people, but because people pay for food. Companies provide useful goods and services not because they want to benefit the community, but because they want money. Money, when used in a free market, exploits people's greed for the benefit of the whole community.

Companies are neither evil nor corrupt. Their desire for profit motivates them to provide what their customers and investors want, and there is no more powerful motivator than that. In every decision a company makes, the customers and investors come first. Actions which do not benefit the customers and investors will simply not be taken by a company. A company will not even try to stop competition if the cost of competition is less than the cost of eliminating its competitors. A company will certainly not initiate violence against its competitors if it expects to receive public support.

Contrast this with a democratic government, where a politician's sole motive is to get elected, after which he can use his power and other people's money to further his own personal agenda with virtually no consequences until the next election, where he will make a frantic attempt to blame all the problems he created on his opponent. He does not get paid more if the public likes what he's doing, he does not cease to be paid if the public no longer likes what he is doing, and he has absolutely no incentive to spend the public's money wisely. I really don't think that's a good or even adequate way of running things.

As for the question of morals, companies are completely amoral. They simply provide what the public wants. If the public wants morality, they will get it, and at a fair price. If they don't, they won't. I really don't think you can expect anything more from any system.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Government and Laws
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2013, 02:27:10 pm »
Am I the only one here who thinks that money is a force for good rather than a corruptive influence?

I think it's both. 

(All arguments for anarchy depend on the assumption that capitalism works.) The selfish desire for money is driving force behind almost everything that is good in this world. You go to work not out of kindness for your employer, but because he pays you. The farmer doesn't toil away out of an altruistic desire to feed people, but because people pay for food. Companies provide useful goods and services not because they want to benefit the community, but because they want money. Money, when used in a free market, exploits people's greed for the benefit of the whole community.

You've described capitalism. 

Companies are neither evil nor corrupt. Their desire for profit motivates them to provide what their customers and investors want, and there is no more powerful motivator than that.

I wish that were true of all companies, rather, all people, but it is not true.  All investors want is good quarterly stats.  Desire for profit motivates people to do things for profit.  That includes destroying competition so that they can attain more market share. 

In every decision a company makes, the customers and investors come first. Actions which do not benefit the customers and investors will simply not be taken by a company.

You can't lump together customers and investors.  Investors are satisfied with good stats on behalf of the company, like growth in market capitalization and profit.  Customers don't care about that so long as they are purchasing quality products for fair prices.  I'm going to correct your statement: Actions which do not benefit the customers or investors will simply not be taken by a company. 

A company will certainly not initiate violence against its competitors if it expects to receive public support.

So you are saying that even though consumers would want violence, the company wouldn't do it?  Why so?

Contrast this with a democratic government, where a politician's sole motive is to get elected, after which he can use his power and other people's money to further his own personal agenda with virtually no consequences until the next election, where he will make a frantic attempt to blame all the problems he created on his opponent. He does not get paid more if the public likes what he's doing, he does not cease to be paid if the public no longer likes what he is doing, and he has absolutely no incentive to spend the public's money wisely. I really don't think that's a good or even adequate way of running things.

So you would be satisfied with very rich people explicitly having more voice in government simply because they have the money to expend on paying for politicians?  Yes, there are flaws with a democratic government, but these problems can be fixed in a way that preserves the principles of democracy.  The best part about a democratic government, at least in the US, is that everyone has a chance to have their opinions heard in the form of voting.  In principle, whether a person has little net worth or is among the richest in the country, they each still have one vote.  Anarchy introduces a system where money determines who has more rights and power.

As for the question of morals, companies are completely amoral. They simply provide what the public wants. If the public wants morality, they will get it, and at a fair price. If they don't, they won't. I really don't think you can expect anything more from any system.

So in introducing a system of anarchy, society would be run by amoral companies who simply give what the consumer wants.  That is a recipe for disaster considering what the public has wanted in the past.  Not all consumers are rational.  The popular mindset of consumers is not always rational.

In a system of anarchy, and you've just said it yourself, not everyone has human rights.