Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

I need help from a smart lot like you all. Free Market vs Mixed economy.

rated by 0 users
Answered (Not Verified) This post has 0 verified answers | 14 Replies | 3 Followers

Not Ranked
Male
43 Posts
Points 1,610
LibertarianCowboy posted on Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:00 AM

I'm currently in a discussion with a friend in Germany who's arguing that mixed economy is the best way to go. Me being just a millwright at a sawmill, I have a hard time with economics and explaining my position. Sometimes I even have questions about my own free market beliefs.

His arguement is pretty much,  some industries should be socialized because it would be more environmentally friendly, safer work conditions, fairer living standards for the poor and provide much needed services to "all" people. He believes that too much free market takes advantage of people out of greed and socialism should have the advantage.

or should I just stay away from economic discussions?

Enemy of the state
  • | Post Points: 95

All Replies

Top 200 Contributor
424 Posts
Points 6,780
Azure replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:16 AM

Unfortunately your concern is very general, and thus it cannot be answered with a few sound bites. There is a wealth of literature on this site: When you get some free time I highly suggest you read it.

As for your friend, the burden of proof is on him. Ask him to explain how, in very precise terms, a bureaucracy is more capable of determining what a man should do better than the man himself.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
4,922 Posts
Points 79,590

Just as a start, you could explain to him that desiring "environmental friendliness", "safer working conditions", "fair living standards for the poor", and "provision of much needed services to all people" is also being greedy -- just about different things.

In other words, we're all self-interested, but that doesn't mean our self-interests are all the same.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
3,592 Posts
Points 63,685
Answered (Not Verified) Sieben replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:25 AM
Suggested by Naevius

Property rights take care of environmentalism. If you pollute my air space you are violating my property rights. See "free market environmentalism"

Your friend likely doesn't have a theory of property rights or a free market. If you ask him what a free market is, and he says "its a lack of regulation", ask him if he thinks anarcho communism is free-marketism.

On a broader note, do not debate policy. Do not debate whether there should be minimum wages, safety regulations, or speed limits. What's the optimal speed limit? Don't know. Doesn't matter. Its HOW policies are chosen that is the pertinent question. Your friend is subscribing to the "floating bill" theory of civics. He needs to drop the assumption that legislators will automatically pick all the right policies, and instead ask what policies are likely to be made given the rules of the political system.

He will advocate democracy. SMASH HIM.

Banned
  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Male
43 Posts
Points 1,610

Thanks for your help and advice, guys!

 

oh and like I've said already, I'm not that bright when it comes to economics but to me "social market economy" sounds like an oxymoron and I can't quite see how socialism and capitalism could coexist under the same roof. It seems to me that one would only devour the other.

I'm trying to learn though and I'll definately start reading literature from this here site.

Cheers!

Eric

Enemy of the state
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 25 Contributor
Male
3,592 Posts
Points 63,685
Answered (Not Verified) Sieben replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 7:08 PM
Suggested by chloe732

When people talk about "social capitalism" or "social market economy" they are really just being intellectual cowards. They don't want to bite all the arguments against socialism, and they don't want to have to defend capitalism. So its basicaly "I support capitalism when it works, and socialism or state intervention when it doesn't work". Your response is twofold: first, when does capitalism not work? second, why should we expect empowering a violent monopoly to improve things?

If you don't feel comfortable handling him, you might just claim you are in ideological education and suggest that he come and have a 1v1 debate with some of the veteren mises.org members. Grayson has done it a couple of times, and its never converted anyone but they certainly came away with a lot more respect for the austo-anarcho-libertarian position. I'm available at debate.org for some rounds too ;) http://www.debate.org/Sieben/

Banned
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
430 Posts
Points 8,145

Yeah, I really appreciate those debates, Sieben. It's handy to see the free market in the context of some real debates.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
1,899 Posts
Points 37,230

"safer working conditions", "fair living standards for the poor (plural)", and "provision of much needed services to all people"

(commas go inside the quotations, just to let you know [not tryin to be a grammar na*i] 

I fail to see how any of those are self-interested, except maybe safe working if you are only talking about where you work. 

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
1,899 Posts
Points 37,230

Property rights take care of environmentalism.

I have always thought this was a great argument in favor of the market.  But I wonder, what would be done in the case that all poluted property owners are ok with the degradation, but it is later found that the problem will spread to other properties.  Would the whole town be sued?  This is just a beside the point, just something I was hoping to get clarified.

He will advocate democracy.

Besides anarchy (really just the full expression of self-governance), what has been more productive and protective of free-expression than democracy/republicanism on Earth, in your opinion?

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
3,592 Posts
Points 63,685
Sieben replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:38 PM

Epicurus Ibn Kalhoun:
I have always thought this was a great argument in favor of the market.  But I wonder, what would be done in the case that all poluted property owners are ok with the degradation, but it is later found that the problem will spread to other properties.  Would the whole town be sued?  This is just a beside the point, just something I was hoping to get clarified.
If the problem spreads to other property being used by someone else and it impacts their homesteaded use, they have a claim. You are right it might be complicated to try and sue a billion chinese people for burning coal a thousand miles away, but the principle is there. Ultimately you cannot and do not want to enforce all property rights. It will be uneconomic.

Epicurus Ibn Kalhoun:
Besides anarchy (really just the full expression of self-governance), what has been more productive and protective of free-expression than democracy/republicanism on Earth, in your opinion?
Democracy is good for free-expression because its founded on the myth that free speech is the bees knees and will solve everything. So you can think and say almost whatever you want in most democracies with some (notable) exceptions.

Outside of total state collapse, I'm hoping that China will be the great economic force of the next century. Their government is essentialy an oligarchical dictatorship, which is awesome because it leads them to try and maximize the growth of the chinese economy. They have these things called "special economic zones" where there are basically no taxes or regulations and all the investment is from foreign companies. THESE are the areas with 20+% growth rate.

I wish we had a world or even just US monarchy so the king could take a 1% cut of the economy for 1 year and then be the richest man on earth 3x over. Leave us alone...

Banned
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
2,939 Posts
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:06 PM

Middle of the Road Policy Leads to Socialism - Mises

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
871 Posts
Points 15,025
chloe732 replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:08 PM

@ LibertarianCowboy - Welcome to the forum!  My research indicates that Mises.org ranks #1 in the world as the premiere source of literature regarding how the economy actually works. (source: Chloe732).

A Critique of Interventionism - Ludwig von Mises.  Published in 1929, written in the early 1920's when socialism was considered to represent the future of economic policy by the intellectual elite.

"The market is a process." - Ludwig von Mises, as related by Israel Kirzner.   "Capital formation is a beautiful thing" - Chloe732.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
1,899 Posts
Points 37,230

Ultimately you cannot and do not want to enforce all property rights. It will be uneconomic.

I am of the opinion that sometimes, in order to maintain a progressive society (in terms of civilization and technology) we just have to eat the costs of some things.  And yes, this is entirely possible with private regulatory agencies.

Democracy is good for free-expression because its founded on the myth that free speech is the bees knees and will solve everything

Let's say free expression, speech is just one minor part of that.

Outside of total state collapse, I'm hoping that China will be the great economic force of the next century

They will be, if they continue to democratize their country cheeky

Their government is essentialy an oligarchical dictatorship

It would seem to me that the more they move away from that (like setting up "special economic zones") the more their economy has grown.

I wish we had a world or even just US monarchy so the king could take a 1% cut of the economy for 1 year and then be the richest man on earth 3x over. Leave us alone

You really think that is what would happen?

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
871 Posts
Points 15,025
chloe732 replied on Tue, Sep 14 2010 11:10 PM

If you have never read this, prepare to be shocked into reality.  The power of capitalism will become clear.

I, Pencil - Leonard Read, 1958

"The market is a process." - Ludwig von Mises, as related by Israel Kirzner.   "Capital formation is a beautiful thing" - Chloe732.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Male
1,434 Posts
Points 29,210

Have him watch this video. Very articulately explains greed versus socialism. It sounds like this is a general argument, so the video might help a bit. Tell him how socialism is a collectivist ideology and literally dehumanizes people into a unit of production.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (15 items) | RSS