What’s trite is vacuous name-calling against ideas you don’t dare argue against. I quoted Jefferson — where’s your argument against his position?
Lou, you obviously didn’t read my link above. Market failure is its central theme. Instead of name-calling, and knocking over anarchist strawmen, try reading something that challenges you to think critically.
I repeat from my article:Here is my challenge to any brainy do-gooders with the urge to use government power — i.e., handcuffs, jails, and guns — to enforce a feel-good vision on the rest of society. For any force-based intervention you propose, please 1) identify the market failure you’re trying to correct, and 2) explain why it cannot be corrected at a more decentral level — state, metro area, county, municipality, or neighborhood.
And:Why stop there? If you’re going to socialize and nationalize health insurance, then why not also nutrition, shelter, education, transportation, energy, retirement, and employment?
Oh wait, I’ve read the Green Platform. Never mind.
“People dying because they can’t get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions”
Who? What was his name? What was his pre-existing condition? What was the cost of the treatment that could have saved him? How many years would it have added to his life? Why didn’t he or his family or his friends care enough about his life to buy him insurance before his condition came into existence? Can you honestly answer these questions for evenonecase?
I have no problem with a safety net for the truly indigent, in the form of a geolibertarian citizen’s dividend financed by returning appropriated ground rent back to the community. However, like Jefferson, I object to you pointing your government’s guns at my daughters and demanding that they take on more debt to finance healthcare for people who aren’t even poor. Each of my three daughters already is on the hook for$124,000 in unfunded Medicare liabilities. It’s simply monstrous to propose adding to their obligations to finance your own misguided charitable ambitions.
Mr. Cavlan, it’s simply untenable to suggest that your Nanny State isn’t enforced with handcuffs, guns, and jails. If I or my daughters tried to opt out of it, as you speciously invite us to, the handcuffs, guns, and jails would quickly materialize. If you don’t think you’re advocating the use of force against people, it’s clear that you haven’t yet begun to grapple with the moral implications of your position.
I would love for me and my daughters to be able to opt out of the Social Security ponzi scheme, since its rate of return is well-documented as inferior to what they could get through private savings — even if you pick the worst possible lifetime investment window for market performance. Social Security is simply inter-generational theft, and it’s not even means-tested. In fact, the rules of Social Security are infamously unfair to minorities, gays, women divorced by high-earning men, and people who need to work longer than 35 years. By contrast, SS is a windfall to young trophy wives, who can collect their dead geezer husband’s benefits 30 or 40 years or more, while the dumped wife gets zero credit for his earnings if she remarries.
You didn’t answer my questions. What would have been the cost of your mother’s cancer treatment? How much would it have extended her life? Why didn’t she or her family or her friends care enough about her life to buy her insurance before her cancer set in? Death is terrible — I should know, my infant son died in my arms — but saying “cancer” and “mother” in the same sentence don’t constitute an argument for nationalized health insurance.
VAGreen, you didn’t answer my questions either. And what “government regulations” — the ones for enforcing contracts? All libertarians favor contract enforcement. Your friend has gotten those 16 years, so this obviously doesn’t count as a death that could only have been prevented by Single Payer.
And, for the record, my core challenge remains unmet: identify the market failure you’re trying to correct, and explain why it cannot be corrected at a more decentral level — state, metro area, county, municipality, or neighborhood. Any death you say could be prevented by federal Single Payer, I say could be prevented by state-level health insurance vouchers financed by a geolibertarian citizen’s dividend from land value taxes. So spare me the undocumented unfalsifiable anecdotal sob stories. There isalwaysone more life somewhere that can be extended for a while if you’re willing to spend another $100,000 or $1,000,000 of other people’s money. Unless you’re willing to tell us what your spending limit is for such extensions, you’re just fantasizing about ponies and unicorns.
Also, even Mr. Cavlan patently failed to answer this question: If you’re going to socialize and nationalize health insurance, then why not also nutrition, shelter, education, transportation, energy, retirement, and employment? In other words: why not Single Payer nutrition, Single Payer housing, Single Payer education, Single Payer transit, Single Payer energy, Single Payer retirement savings, Single Payer universal employment?
I don’t support “wars and empire”. I do support paying cops and soldiers to defend liberty — a non-excludable non-rival (i.e. “public”) good — by collecting the ground rent it creates, via a David-Nolan-style self-assessed land value tax. I even on special occasions support those police and soldiers performing that defense by crossing the jurisdictional lines that statists have drawn on maps. For example, if the cop sees outside the city limits a man beating and raping a little girl, or if the soldier sees across the ocean a genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding sadistic maniac defiantly persist in “material breach” of his agreement to be inspected for cessation of his earlier WMD programme.
For Sipos to actually disagree withme, instead of with the “empire” voices in his head, all he has to say is:the U.S. military should never attack any genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding sadistic maniac who defiantly persists in “material breach” of his agreement to be inspected for cessation of his earlier WMD programme.
But he won’t say these words — perhaps because his words are priced too dearly. My “waterfall of words” is offered to the LP for free, but Sipos is used to getting ~$4,000 of LP member dues per year for us to read his words in the LPCA newsletter — to tell us in its pages things like how he voted against the LP presidential ticket.
P.S. “Drive-by” indeed consists of my words, but Sipos himself has agreed that antiwar is his “obsession”.
So here we see the dysfunction and self-marginalization of the Libertarian Party. With Nanny Staters on the brink of a big increase in the $50 TRILLION unfunded liability of their theft-financed healthcare promises, Libertarians aren’t very interested in arguing against that. Instead, they’d rather
1) give anarchist aid-and-comfort to the markets-aren’t-perfect strawmen the nanny-staters use to gleefully sidestep arguments against their schemes, and
2) complain about a one-time expense of a few hundred billion that was spent to bring to the gallows a genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding million-killing sadistic maniac who defiantly persisted in “material breach” of his agreement to be inspected for cessation of his earlier WMD programme.
Tom Sipos carefully doesn’t deny that he’s agreed before that antiwar is his “obsession”. If dares to deny it, I’ll happily dig up the cite.
He misleads when he suggests I approve of any tax-financed war, or that I am “only opposed to taxes to pay for health care”.
1) I oppose any and all taxes on labor, peaceful production, or voluntary exchanges — at any time, for any reason.
2) As I said above, I in fact favor indigent people buying health insurance with their geolibertarian citizen’s dividend — their share of the ground rent of land from which they’ve been excluded. (Under left-/geo- libertarian ethics this isn’t even a “tax”, but rather reparations for excluding people from a portion of the Earth’s surface area. You can’t “own” an acre, because you can’t create an acre. The Earth has the same surface area now as it did before there were any humans.)
3) I already described the specific sort of war that I support; Sipos lacks the antiwar fortitude to specifically say he opposes even that sort of war. It turns out, Sipos is just not antiwar enough to say “I oppose the use of a tax-financed military even to depose a genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding million-killing sadistic maniac who defiantly persisted in what the UN called ‘material breach’ of his agreement to be inspected for cessation of his earlier WMD programme”. Sipos won’t say this, because he’s not as antiwar as he wants to think he is. Someday I may find a Libertarian who is antiwar enough to say this, but until then, the search continues…
4) Sipos is also simply wrong that I favor “handcuffs, guns, and jails” to collect taxes. I do favor those things for enforcing court orders and collecting fines, but I don’t need them for collecting a David Nolan-style single “tax” on land value. If the owner of a parcel declines to return to the community the ground rent he appropriates from them, then we’d simply disconnect him from our wires and pipes, and while he’s in arrears we’d publish his name, address, and photo as someone whose property and person are excluded from the protections of our land-value-tax-financed police and courts.
Susan, I’ll just repeat the final paragraph ofhttp://libertarianmajority.net/do-markets-under-produce-public-goods:The existence of such market failures is essentially indisputable. The only question is whether and how we can know enough about people’s preferences to institute tax-financed public goods that while not strictly Pareto-efficient are still highly Kaldor-Hicks efficient. That is, they make so many people so much better off that, if everyone’s preferences were knowable, the few made worse off could be easily compensated by the rest. Minarchists claim that such trade-offs are morally justifiable only for “pure” public goods aimed at protecting life and liberty, like national defense and universal access to the justice system.
Who decides? He who pays the piper calls the tune. If the land-value-tax payers of a jurisdiction that funds a cop decides that he spends too much time stopping rapists outside the jurisdiction, they’ll hire somebody else. Ditto for soldiers (and the commanders thereof) who spend too much time deposing genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding million-killing sadistic maniacs who defiantly persist in “material breach” of their agreements to be inspected for cessation of their earlier WMD programmes.
And this system of finance should be inherently and explicitly decentralized. From theFree Earth Manifesto:Centripetal Finance. Revenue to finance services enjoyed in a community should flow up from the individuals and sub-communities benefiting from the service, not down from a central bureaucracy with the dangerous power to tax all communities and shift revenues among communities or constituencies.
I have no comment on your moral prioritization between 1) child rape just outside the county line and 2) your neighbor’s desire for free healthcare. Except to say “wow”.
It would not be true to claim that “there is always one more” neighbor-annexing totalitarian that we could depose. Since its creation right after WWII, the UN Security Council has only noticed two of them.
Yes, that’s my youngest (Heather), who also played the doomed chicken in the video @2.
Tom, whenever you’re in doubt about what I advocate, the first place to check is theFree Earth Manifesto. It says:Migration of persons should be without constraints, provided that migrants 1) do not trespass, 2) pay for how much they pollute, congest, or deplete the commons, and 3) are sponsored by someone (perhaps themselves) who can afford to assume the same responsibility for their subsistence as parents do for native children.
To me, borders are just demarcations mutually arranged by adjacent communities to manage their respective commons. One part of that management has to do with regulating how newcomers pollute, deplete, or congest those commons.
No part of that management has to do with “ethnic or religious identity”. That’s the voices in your head again.
But thanks for admitting that I “sound so principled”. Good thing you have those voices in your head so you can let people know my true secret beliefs.
Susan, please name for us a neighbor-annexing totalitarian that we could depose right now.
“Public good” has a meaning. It means non-rival non-excludable good. Health care is rival: surgery or pills for one patient cannot also be consumed by another patient. Health care is excludable: you can check whether a patient has paid before you dispense the surgery or pill.
National defense is non-rival non-excludable: defending North Carolina defends everybody in NC, and new births in NC don’t increase its defense costs. Streets are non-rival non-excludable: your use of a street doesn’t preclude anybody else’s use of it, and it’s not practical to check whether you’ve paid a toll for every street you turn onto.
There are only two public goods I’ve heard of related to healthcare.
1) One would be the provision of a charitable safety net for the indigent, assuming nearly everybody enjoys seeing the indigent receive a basic level of charitable support. You can’t exclude soft-hearted misers from enjoying the fact the indigent receive charity from non-misers, and the arrival of extra misers to enjoy the charity spectacle doesn’t impinge on anyone’s enjoyment of it. (If there’s no such free-riding, it’s can’t be called a public good.)
Libertarians oppose tax-financing of public goods — radio broadcasts, scientific research, publicly-visible landscaping and art, charitable safety nets — that aren’t about protecting life, liberty, and property from aggression. (Some of us go further, and say that even those protection public goods should only be financed by the return to the community of the appropriated ground rent that those public goods create.)
2) The other is the one you just stumbled on: prevention of contagion, for example through vaccination. With sufficient population density, going unvaccinated is arguably aggression. Vaccinating the populace is non-rival, because your enjoyment of the lack of contagion does not interfere with my enjoyment of it. And it’s non-excludable, because we can’t selectively identify and sanction the needle-fearing minority who free-ride on the majority’s diligence. Thus a libertarian can support government efforts to require, and perhaps even provide, vaccinations.
You can’t just go around calling anything you like a “public good”. It doesn’t work that way. Rivalry and excludability are technical terms in economics. They have meanings — even if some people don’t know what those meanings are.
Mr. Milnes, a troll is someone who keeps talking about stuff that nobody else is interested in, or who blatantly changes the subject of a conversation. Everything I’ve written here — including this paragraph — is either a direct response to the subject article, or to specific criticisms here of of my positions. You cannot quote a single sentence from me that isn’t. Sipos trolled in @17 to bring up war. Susan chimed in @21 to question the existence of government. I wouldloveto return this thread to my original questions: can Single Payer advocates identify a market failure they’re trying to correct, and why don’t they advocate Single Payer for every other industry? Unfortunately, this thread is now thoroughly hijacked, and the nanny staters have been excused from facing these questions.
Here’s another market failure: people ignorant of the term ‘market failure’ use it in incorrect ways.
I propose a government program to tax, fine, or jail such people.
Market failure solved!
A taxonomy of actual market failure is athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_failure. There is no category there for “unfortunate things that would happen less often if everyone were forced to donate toward mitigating them”.
Again: the actual market failures in health care are four-fold. Diagnosis and prescription ishere.
Why not socialize healthcare at the federal level? Well, for starters, it’s blatantly unconstitutional. There is nothing in the Article I Sec 8 powers of Congress that gives them the authority to do this. When your mob discards the Constitution’s protections for the rights you don’t like, don’t complain when another mob discards its protections for the rights youdolike.
Thanks for the Iraq red herring fallacy; it’s a handy indicator that you’re losing this debate.
Re-read my questions @12, and quote me their answers @14 and @15. You can’t.
I never said that a gun has been put to my daughter’s head. I said that her obligation to pay for your charitable ambitions is backed up by legal force that will use handcuffs, guns, and jails if she doesn’t comply. You don’t seriously claim to deny that, do you?
This has been fun, but I have better things to do with my time, and there are more competent Lefty polemicists around the blogosphere for me to test my arguments against. I will endeavor to resist further responding on this thread for a while, and check back later to see how many of my ten bullet-points above have received serious, thoughtful responses.
If you want to end the argument with my ten points above unaddressed, I too am fine with that. I haven’t declared myself the winner; I’ve just tallied the unanswered arguments on each side, and noted what the use of red herrings says about who’s trailing.
Fireworksarea public good, because enjoyment of them is non-rival and (to a certain extent) non-excludable.
But fireworks aren’t about protecting life, liberty, and property from aggression.
Please re-read where I wrote: “Libertarians oppose tax-financing of public goods — radio broadcasts, scientific research, publicly-visible landscaping and art, charitable safety nets — that aren’t about protecting life, liberty, and property from aggression.”
Other public goods you might irrelevantly snark about are: jokes, hairstyles, the English language, lighthouses, open-source software, and streetlights.
The “social contract” is a normative concept; “public goods” is a positive concept. It’s simply a straightforward application of its component ideas of rivalry and excludability.
I’m quite surprised by your implicit concession that if public goods actually exist, then the argument for government is irrefutable. However, I think you (implicitly) concede too much, and that we libertarians should oppose tax financing of public goods that are not for protecting life, liberty, and property from aggression.
But let’s test your need for metaphysical certitude that you never ever are involved in force initiation against an innocent:
1) Do you support the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to subpoena innocent third-party witnesses? That’s initiation of force, but it’s for the purpose of protecting individual rights.
2) Do you support the arrest, detention, and compulsory trial of those accused — but not yet convicted — of violent crime? That’s a sometimes-force-initiating policy unless you magically know that innocents will never be arrested.
3) Do you support enforcement of a positive obligation on parents to not let their children starve to death?
4) Do you support class-action tort rulings that apply a uniform default penalty to a broad category of micro-aggression (such as tailpipe pollution) without a jury-determined calibration of the penalty to the circumstances of each aggressor?
5) In a just defensive war against an aggressor army, would you approve of the use of weapons that have a non-zero chance of killing innocents (artillery, bombs, mines, heck even repeating rifles when used in urban areas)?
Can you really answer “no” to all such questions? Would you really prioritize your clean hands over the protection of individual rights — and by so wide a margin?
Susan, I’m not here to reassure you. “I didn’t say this would be easy. I just said it would be the truth.”
I repeat: as a geolibertarian, I’m not “forcing you to pay for Project X for your own good or the greater good”. I’m just asking you not to violate people’s right of access to something that human labor never made: the surface area of the Earth. And I already said I wouldn’t even use “force” to stop such aggression: “If the holder of a parcel declines to return to the community the ground rent he appropriates from them, then we’d simply disconnect him from our wires and pipes, and while he’s in arrears we’d publish his name, address, and photo as someone whose property and person are excluded from the protections of our land-value-tax-financed police and courts.”
So yes, the fundamental issue here is that we don’t agree on precisely what constitutes aggression. That’s why thedraft St. Louis Accordsays: “Principled libertarians can disagree about how best to reduce aggression or even about precisely what constitutes aggression, but we are united in defending the full rights of each person to his body, labor, peaceful production, and voluntary exchanges.” I’m curious if you find anything in the accord to object to.
2004/2006/2008 LP candidate for Congress, Silicon Valley. 2006/2008/2010/2012/2014 LPUS Platform Committee. 2007-2009 LPCA Executive Committee. Software engineer at Sun (1990-2001), Yahoo (2002-2010), Kabam (2011-). Purissima Hills Water District director (2009-). Husband of Melisse Lusin, father of 3 wonderful girls.