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Government needs to provide basic things!

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fezwhatley Posted: Wed, Apr 29 2009 3:18 PM

Like schools, roads, health care, welfare, and a military.  What is the best most efficient way to deal with this commonly parroted argument? I have mine, but im curious to see what others use.

do we get free cheezeburger in socielism?

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DD5 replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 3:26 PM

Isn't food a basic thing?  Government should provide it then.  How about shoes?  Should the poor walk around barefoot?

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ama gi replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 3:44 PM

if something is a legitimate service, there is no reason people won't voluntarily pay for it.  People will voluntarily pay tuition, road tolls, doctor fees, or donations to charity if those services are truly necessary.  Indeed, voluntary spending is the only viable option, as involuntary (taxed) revenues create an enormous moral hazard.

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Sage replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 3:48 PM

Competition is more efficient than monopoly. Economic calculation.

Regarding incentives and information, market>government.

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Stranger replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 3:51 PM

It needs to, but it can't and doesn't.

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Generally something like:

Would you buy schooling in a free market?
Do private schools generally do better than state schools and cost less?
Then why is government needed?
To provide for the poor 

Then you have to tackle the problem of inequality... 

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community.

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I'm a big fan of Milton Friedman (though I'm highly critical of a number of his policies, especially monetary), and well, you may want to try his style of argument....Friedman would usually take the core of an idea and push it to its extreme limits, and therefore, it's ultimate and logical conclusion.

 

A guy that I know justifies a number of governmental controls because its part of the "commons" (currency, health-care, roads, schools, and a number of other services); if you want to take his argument to the extreme (and whoever is bothering you with the argument above), then merely expand, in your argument, what the government should provide its citizens with, and don't hesitate to be absolute ridiculous...after all, if you can make the argument for the government to take care of someone (welfare) and provide for their continuance (healthcare), and their wellbeing (military), you pretty much have core basis, already, for the government to provide for, well, litereally everything.

 

After you've done that, point out it'd be no different than a single corporation controlling literally everything; there'd be no pricing mechanism, no competition, and no diversity....but then, point out that that single giant corporation can be gotten rid of because competitors will move in (eventually), while a government has the power of force to perpetuate itself at someone else's expense.

 

healthcare, IMHO is easier to deal with than school, roads, and welfare...and I'd say providing an argument against a collectively funded military will be the most difficult...but, never the less, it can be dealt with.

 

Here's a book about privatized defense: http://www.mises.org/etexts/defensemyth.pdf

Roads? I suspect Walter Block's new book thoroughly covers that topic.

 

Just my 2 cents though.

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Solomon replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 5:10 PM

fezwhatley:
schools, roads, health care, welfare, and a military

People have gone without these things (certainly by means of government provision) for most of human history, so ipso facto they are not "basic" in any sense.

Diminishing Marginal Utility - IT'S THE LAW!

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The Rev replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 5:41 PM

I think most people can't imagine how they would pay for things like schooling, police and fire service, and so on, because they've never lived without witholding taxes and inflation.  If you can put the idea into their minds that they would be taking home alot more of what they made, in a world where prices tended to go down over time, rather than up, you might be able to make them see how government services are a problem rather than the solution to a problem.

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ama gi replied on Wed, Apr 29 2009 11:08 PM

market services are actually more affordable than government services for two reasons:

1) you only have the pay for the stuff you want to use

2) competition between businesses drives down the price

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The argument against private schools is as pathetic as it gets. Why is it surprising that they're costlier (still more cost-efficient though) than public schools when the latter have captured most of the market? I question the intelligence of education socialists.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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realbuffet replied on Thu, Apr 30 2009 10:08 PM

there are other things to consider than economic efficiency. for example would you privatizr military? then would just have groups of armies around the countries waiting to control more area. Same argument could be said about police. if there are only public schools, we would loose potential intellegent people who can not afford schooling (however only gov schools is another extreme).

i agree that govenment controled system is inefficient, but it provides stability in some cases.

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ama gi replied on Thu, Apr 30 2009 11:37 PM

The poor DON'T need "free" government-run education to thrive.  Here are two examples of how affordable diy solutions work.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/04/22/mf.home.schooled/

http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/22573.html

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so you are saying that there are enough schools like the one you have mentioned to accomodate all the poor children?

 

*what about my other point about military/police*

 

 

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Also should be privatised. If you're concerned about that, give Hoppe's Democracy - the god that failed a read. We don't need a coercive monopolist in any domain of the market, and that includes defence, law and order. It is a tumor to be excised. Stability in expropriation is all it provides.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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My political science professor at very liberal college used the Declaration of Independence as justification for universal health care. Basically his argument was, "How can you be happy without proper health care?"

Really.

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realbuffet:

so you are saying that there are enough schools like the one you have mentioned to accomodate all the poor children?

 *what about my other point about military/police*

Whether or not there are "enough" schools for the "poor" is not a justification for forcing people to pay for more such schools.

As for the military/police, I do not agree with privatizing them in the same way as other goods/services, but I do agree with them being subject to the same principle of voluntary funding. The government must be prevented by law from initiating force.

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Stephanie Bond:

As for the military/police, I do not agree with privatizing them in the same way as other goods/services, but I do agree with them being subject to the same principle of voluntary funding. The government must be prevented by law from initiating force.

That's an interesting statement.  I'm still in the process of exploring what role government should have in our lives, if any at all.  The major sticking point for me from becoming a total anarchist is the military/police/court system.  Are you suggesting that you support government monopoly over those things, yet you believe people should only pay for them if they choose to?

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jdcoffey:

Are you suggesting that you support government monopoly over those things, yet you believe people should only pay for them if they choose to?

Yes.

The monopoly is in the use of retaliatory force. There is no need for a monopoly on dispute resolution, or security systems.  There is definitely the need to prevent government from initiating force. It must be strictly limited to the use of retaliatory force which in turn must be strictly limited to punishing proven wrongdoing. And the criterion by which to judge who is in the wrong is by answering the question, Which party initiated force? Did the buyer refuse to pay? Did the seller not supply the service/good that was contracted for? Was some other term of their contract broken?

Or in a situation where there is no contract - e.g., a thief breaking in and stealing stuff - the victim has to provide proof that is objectively verifiable, meaning that anyone possessed of a working mind can examine the facts and reach the same conclusion.

As for the military - it would require providing proof to the people that an attack is being threatened, or has even already occurred and convincing people to pony up time & money to respond.

What about having the funds already available for such things? Again, the onus is on those in government to convince the people to contribute funds and time. If the government cannot convince people to voluntarily pay for a given service, then that service just won't be funded. And it is not necessary to convince EVERYONE to pay - only to convince enough people to pay.

For example, a lot of people think that "government" ought to provide education. But if put to the test, would people really pay government, or would they realize that it makes more sense to donate money to a local school?

No matter what happens with the details of a given good or service, the law prohibiting initiation of force is what is needed to govern all interactions between & among human beings. That is the law that is missing from government today, and why it runs roughshod over the big and the little guys.

 

 

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Stephanie Bond:
The monopoly is in the use of retaliatory force.

This is so absurd. Are we to believe only government men in government suits have a right to get criminals off of good peoples backs?, the good people cant retaliate?, can't self defend?, because if they did they would breach the monopoly...... or else, you are sloppy in your use of the word 'government' and just are supposing that wheenever an unnaffilliated individual self-defends they are 'government'

 

 

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Jon Irenicus:

The argument against private schools is as pathetic as it gets. Why is it surprising that they're costlier (still more cost-efficient though) than public schools when the latter have captured most of the market? I question the intelligence of education socialists.

Check this out:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Tree-Personal-Educating-Themselves/dp/1933995920

Private education comes cheap too, and for the poorest people.

He's doing the 18th Hayek Memorial Lecture for the IEA on the 11th June in Westminster (London).

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eliotn replied on Fri, May 1 2009 1:43 PM

nirgrahamUK:
supposing that wheenever an unnaffilliated individual self-defends they are 'government'

WOOT!  I defended myself from robbers with booby traps!  I AM THE STATE!

Schools are labour camps.

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fezwhatley:

Like schools, roads, health care, welfare, and a military.  What is the best most efficient way to deal with this commonly parroted argument? I have mine, but im curious to see what others use.

I find the easiest way to fight these arguments is to just say, "that is unfounded".  With schools, they like to bring up studies that claim education makes societies wealthier.  I just point out that correlation is not the same as causation and that it may be that wealthy countries purchase more education.  I also point out that any study that claims there is an X amount of return on the dollar, that something else the money could be spent on may bring two or three or even a hundred times more return, but we do not know, because it is being spent on education.  For roads, I just point out that there are private roads.  For health care, I point out it is one of the most regulated industries already.  For welfare, I point out that people have family, friends, and charities already.

I think military is the toughest one to refute.  I point out that an armed society is almost impossible to take over.  I also point out that with nuclear weapons, no nation is going to attack us.  I also point out that we generally do not go to war with trading partners, so free trade is important.  Lastly, I point out that making alliances makes enemies.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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ama gi replied on Fri, May 1 2009 2:04 PM

realbuffet:
so you are saying that there are enough schools like the one you have mentioned to accomodate all the poor children?

There would be if public schools hadn't captured most of the market share.

realbuffet:
*what about my other point about military/police*

Who needs military and police?  They don't protect you, they protect the State.

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Eric replied on Fri, May 1 2009 4:32 PM

ama gi:

realbuffet:
*what about my other point about military/police*

Who needs military and police?  They don't protect you, they protect the State.

Didn't a supreme court case rule that police have no obligation to help you? Might be mistaken.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

recommended only for those with strong stomachs.......

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

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nirgrahamUK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

recommended only for those with strong stomachs.......


Oh man. The ultimate perversion. The state is so busy interfering in the economy that it's excused itself from doing its proper job.

But the answer is not to reverse that error and make the economy do government's job.

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nirgrahamUK:

Stephanie Bond:
The monopoly is in the use of retaliatory force.

This is so absurd. Are we to believe only government men in government suits have a right to get criminals off of good peoples backs?, the good people cant retaliate?, can't self defend?, because if they did they would breach the monopoly...... or else, you are sloppy in your use of the word 'government' and just are supposing that wheenever an unnaffilliated individual self-defends they are 'government'

Individuals do have the right of self-defense. In most circumstances it is a right they delegate to the government in order to have orderly legally defined enforcement. The use of retaliatory force in most situations is one that should be delegated to government.

However, if you find yourself in a situation in which someone is attacking you, you absolutely have the right to act for your own defense. You do not give up your right to self-defense just because you usually delegate the matter to the government.

As Ayn Rand said, proper government is one that acts as an agent of man's self-defense, and as such the government may resort to force only against those who initiate its use.

 

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i get it, randians are defence/rule-of-law socialists.  it makes a change from road socialists and money socialists but its not smarter.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

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Stephanie Bond:
But the answer is not to reverse that error and make the economy do government's job.

 

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Stephanie Bond:
it is a right they delegate to the government in order to have orderly legally defined enforcement.

How does one do this?  I have never done this.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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nirgrahamUK:
i get it

Took you long enough.  lol

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Spideynw:

Stephanie Bond:
it is a right they delegate to the government in order to have orderly legally defined enforcement.

How does one do this?  I have never done this.

Excellent question. We have to make a brand new country, I reckon.

I like your Braveheart avatar!

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Stephanie Bond:
Excellent question. We have to make a brand new country, I reckon.

So you support the right to secession?

What if when I secede I decide I don't want a government?

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community.

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well that would be really slow process. for example if there is a riot, gov would have to convince people to donate money to mobalize police. Similarly if there is external threat to a country then donations would be requied by gov to act quickly so on.

as far as schools are concern, u r basically saying that if a kid's parents do not have money, he would have to ask the richer people for that education. if the community where funding is required is poor, how will they get money to ask/market their needs to "would be" donors?

 

 

 

 

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Ansury replied on Sun, May 3 2009 11:51 PM

ama gi:

Who needs military and police?  They don't protect you, they protect the State.

 I think this is going a little too far here. They protect both--unfortunately, the state is higher priority, which is probably what you really mean to get at. But they do protect us from other governments (military) and individuals without respect for the law (police).

In a perfect world you wouldn't need either, but saying we don't need them at all, in the real world... people are just going to laugh at that statement. It's just not gonna happen--not in a human society for the foreseeable future.

I'm all for minimizing things like the military and government itself, but I can't form political opinions based on philosophical visions of what seems an almost utopian society.  As a very practical person, I can imagine how the job of protection, law and contract enforcement can be done without a government but I fail to see how making such arguments actually helps us correct the ridiculous reality we face today. Maybe I'm just taking a practical approach to a theoretical question when I shouldn't be...

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as far as schools are concern, u r basically saying that if a kid's parents do not have money, he would have to ask the richer people for that education. if the community where funding is required is poor, how will they get money to ask/market their needs to "would be" donors?

Disabuse yourself of the notion that education is either a "necessity" or a right. It's neither, not when the state hasn't made it necessary that everyone in the country have a Bachelors degree, and perhaps an MA/MSc soon enough. Under anarchism one can envision a) private schools, of varying cost and quality, presumably with cheaper ones serving the mass market b) charitable institutions focused on educating c) mutual aid societies or "friendlies" d) on-the-job training/apprentiships and e) homeschooling (also easier when not being taxed to death from all angles.) I'll say if some don't benefit from any of those it's still a hell of a lot better than the current state of mis-education and propagandisation...

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Jon Irenicus:

Disabuse yourself of the notion that education is either a "necessity" or a right. It's neither, not when the state hasn't made it necessary that everyone in the country have a Bachelors degree, and perhaps an MA/MSc soon enough. Under anarchism one can envision a) private schools, of varying cost and quality, presumably with cheaper ones serving the mass market b) charitable institutions focused on educating c) mutual aid societies or "friendlies" d) on-the-job training/apprentiships and e) homeschooling (also easier when not being taxed to death from all angles.) I'll say if some don't benefit from any of those it's still a hell of a lot better than the current state of mis-education and propagandisation...

 

consider a country like china. poor family does not have enough to eat. so their son/daughter would not have a primary education and therefore would never be able to move out of the poverty. however if there was free gov education program it gives that family a chance to move out of that cycle in one generation time. For a country in the long run would have more educated population and thus future wealth. i can not see a private organization doing this as it is not profitable to provide education to that family.

that is why i believe that schools is one of those very few institutions  which would be performed better under gov control along with private schools for more cash intensive structure to meet richer family needs.

 

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realbuffet:
so their son/daughter would not have a primary education and therefore would never be able to move out of the poverty.

Knight, please post that facepalm picture.... right under here ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

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