quadibloc on September 11, 2011, 09:57:09 am
I would hate to live somewhere knowing that I had to always be nice to everyone just in case I needed their help one day.
The truth emerges!!! Here is CG in a nutshell: He'll be as cranky, obstreperous, and 'contrary' as he wants without consequences, and if he needs your help you should give it to him with no objections not because he's a nice guy but because you owe it to him.
I suppose that's one way to look at it. Seems to me, though, he has expressed an important truth as to why people are more free under a properly working democratic government than in the type of small town where everybody had better show up at the same church on Sunday, and otherwise not do anything which might cause tongues to wag about them.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 11, 2011, 01:54:20 pm
Texans (not Texas, people have money, not areas of land) would almost certainly have had the money, possibly with the assistance of insurance that would kick in for sufficiently significant (and hence rare) cost to contain.  They would not likely have all the trained personnel and equipment instantly available, however, since that would not be cost effective -- such equipment and personnel would be much better "shared" with those in other areas, since such fires don't tend to occur everywhere at once.  When they do exceed the immediately available resource, the marketplace -- which will allocate those resources to those willing to pay the most, i.e., those with the most to lose, will come into play.


I see. So in the event of an emergency or disaster, AnCap isnt such a utopia after all.  Because the always fair and balanced (yet invisible) hand of the markets get to decide who lives and who dies.
And the poor and hard-working are the ones left homeless and bereft.  Or just dead and washed away, because they didnt have enough money to bribe the emergency responders to come soon enough or stay long enough.

First, "utopia" is a straw man.  I know of zero AnCap proponents who claim otherwise.  Rather, we claim it to be (a) the most ethical system devised (although unethical behavior can certainly exist in an AnCap system, and (b) the optimal state of a society, in that no other organization can, over the long term, produce a better result.  In some cases government may result in "local optimizations", but its negative actions will eventually (and usually rather quickly) override those benefits.

Second, in most cases the "hard working" will not permanently be "poor".  That hard work tends to generate greater income, which, should it be used intelligently, will lead to higher degrees of wealth.  And in fact the wealthy do tend to work "harder" than the non-wealthy:

http://www.smartonmoney.com/do-the-rich-work-harder-is-the-key-to-wealth-hard-work/

The amount someone works, however, is not the only controlling factor, however; another major factor is how "smart" an individual works; another is the spending side of the equation -- those who spend their wealth on immediate gratification rather than on leveraging this additional capital to magnify their productivity (expressed in terms of an increase in wealth) to a large extent (and in many cases exceeding their ability to pay for it with their already accumulated wealth) will fail to increase their wealth.

Their is also a degree of randomness, or luck; however that is seldom a controlling factor.
 
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Anyone who has ever made a large claim on their insurance knows that insurance comes in once it is safe and then tries to tell you that your claim is not valid.
Because you see, insurance companies are businesses first, and compassionate a distant second.
And all companies collude.  Its called "industry standard practice."  Even in an AnCap world, no insurance company is going to pay out everything that is claimed; how would they make any money?

Not every claim is legitimate; some are outright fraud, and some are misperceptions of the degree of damage (it is common for individuals to see their own damages as being worse than do outside third parties).  Of course, those who evaluate insurance claims have a bias in the opposite direction; they will tend to overestimate the level of fraud and the level of damage claimed; in addition, some who offer insurance and/or evaluate insurance claims engage in fraud as well.  The advantage of market-based insurance, however, is that companies which reject claims excessively can easily lose business as a result; government, being a monopoly, does not provide that opportunity.  Even in supposed "democracies" the choices are artificially reduced through large scale bundling of supposed "services" prevents individuals from tailoring their service choices across multiple suppliers. 

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So you see, I would rather have our oh-so-imperfect current system than have a disaster response system that starts with the phrase, "May I have your credit card number, please?"

...and replacing it with forced payment up front under threat to one's person and property.

Oldhobo on September 12, 2011, 10:15:34 am
I am sorry that I do not have the documentation to back up what I have stated about the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  To be perfectly frank, my father is the one who told me that.  I am sure if you dug that you could find it out.  I simply haven't the energy nor inclination.  I will tell you that what I said about Bill Gates' father was part of a TV program, can't remember if it was 60 minutes or something else in that  vein but having said all that, by all means please be very skeptical.  In internet times, it pays to wander the web with a lantern, looking for an honest person. 

macsnafu on September 12, 2011, 02:28:24 pm

Anyone who has ever made a large claim on their insurance knows that insurance comes in once it is safe and then tries to tell you that your claim is not valid.
Because you see, insurance companies are businesses first, and compassionate a distant second.
And all companies collude.  Its called "industry standard practice."  Even in an AnCap world, no insurance company is going to pay out everything that is claimed; how would they make any money?

I see.  So 'private' insurance companies screw you over now, in today's society, while being regulated by governments??  If that doesn't tell you something, nothing will.

And, typically, you fail to understand how real insurance works.  They make their money by pooling the resources of homogeneous factors, such that they know, with little uncertainty, how much they will have to pay out. It's not gambling (for the insurance company) unless you try to insure the unknown or mix in non-homogeneous factors.  Or if the government forces them to provide "insurance" in non-insurable things. 
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

dough560 on September 12, 2011, 03:26:02 pm
Average Jane and Joe give to charities and charitable organizations.  They give to funds to help people in disaster areas.  They help people they don't know and probably never will.  Jane and Joe don't do this because the "Government" told them to or because they expect to be repaid.  They don't do it because of a tax advantage.  They believe it is the right thing to do.

It is a pretty poor individual who denies help to someone in need;  For there but for the grace of God, go I.

CG.  When I was much younger, I was in a situation.  A stranger stopped and helped me.  I asked where I could send him some money, when I had it to repay him for his help.  He told me about what he called a "Chinese Obligation."  Instead of trying to repay him, I would help ten people in need, who I could help.  I was not to tell him my answer, I would be helped regardless.
     My obligation was completed long ago.  Its something I've done many times since, each time telling my story with the same caveat.
     I give to various charities who have reputations for low operating costs and high rates of issue support.

Over the years I've been able to help some people who truly needed help.  On the other hand, I've been scammed and assaulted.

The needy far out weighed the crooks.  My choices, my responsibilities. 

ContraryGuy on September 13, 2011, 12:17:08 am
I would hate to live somewhere knowing that I had to always be nice to everyone just in case I needed their help one day.

The truth emerges!!! Here is CG in a nutshell: He'll be as cranky, obstreperous, and 'contrary' as he wants without consequences, and if he needs your help you should give it to him with no objections not because he's a nice guy but because you owe it to him.

People on this forum forget that there are not-nice people in the world.  Not everyone is a Good Samaritan.  It is nice to know that most people will help out a stranger with little or no thought for themselves, but, how many times have you passed someone pulled over on the freeway who appears to be in distress and not stopped?

That situation would only be worse in an AnCap society; because everyone is assumed to be a capable individualist and therefore does not need help, even if they are desperately trying to wave someone down.

ContraryGuy on September 13, 2011, 12:23:45 am
I am sorry that I do not have the documentation to back up what I have stated about the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  To be perfectly frank, my father is the one who told me that.  I am sure if you dug that you could find it out.  I simply haven't the energy nor inclination.  I will tell you that what I said about Bill Gates' father was part of a TV program, can't remember if it was 60 minutes or something else in that  vein but having said all that, by all means please be very skeptical.  In internet times, it pays to wander the web with a lantern, looking for an honest person. 


I believe the part about Bill Gates Sr. was Frontline or 60 Minutes.  If a person is actually a II, can you really call them Sr.?  How then would you call a III?  Certainly not Jr.; would it be Jr. Jr.?

ContraryGuy on September 13, 2011, 01:09:37 am
Texans (not Texas, people have money, not areas of land) would almost certainly have had the money, possibly with the assistance of insurance that would kick in for sufficiently significant (and hence rare) cost to contain.  They would not likely have all the trained personnel and equipment instantly available, however, since that would not be cost effective -- such equipment and personnel would be much better "shared" with those in other areas, since such fires don't tend to occur everywhere at once.  When they do exceed the immediately available resource, the marketplace -- which will allocate those resources to those willing to pay the most, i.e., those with the most to lose, will come into play.


I see. So in the event of an emergency or disaster, AnCap isnt such a utopia after all.  Because the always fair and balanced (yet invisible) hand of the markets get to decide who lives and who dies.
And the poor and hard-working are the ones left homeless and bereft.  Or just dead and washed away, because they didnt have enough money to bribe the emergency responders to come soon enough or stay long enough.

First, "utopia" is a straw man.  I know of zero AnCap proponents who claim otherwise.
Implied rather than directly is claimed is still intention.

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  Rather, we claim it to be (a) the most ethical system devised (although unethical behavior can certainly exist in an AnCap system, and (b) the optimal state of a society, in that no other organization can, over the long term, produce a better result.  In some cases government may result in "local optimizations", but its negative actions will eventually (and usually rather quickly) override those benefits.

Second, in most cases the "hard working" will not permanently be "poor". 
Yes, they will.  In a true capitalist system, all companies tend toward monopoly and all money flows upward.  The ultimate end of capitalism is oligarchy.

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That hard work tends to generate greater income, which, should it be used intelligently, will lead to higher degrees of wealth.
So the farmers and miners of the 20'ies and 30'ies were not hard workers?  It takes more than just hard work to amass wealth.  Those same miners were not even paid in money for their not-hard work.
In the much-truer capitalist and less govt controlled times, the landlord got all the money and the workers got nothing for all their not-hard work. 
Those pre-union days were much closer to An-Cap than any libertarian today. 

Those workers were not allowed to control their own money, let alone spend it intelligently.
And if they tried to walk off the job, and they got away, they would be black-balled because all the company owners would share that workers name and refuse to hire him.

So much for playing the companies against themselves.  What makes you think that AnCap would be any different?

Thats why AnCap is Utopia.

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And in fact the wealthy do tend to work "harder" than the non-wealthy:

http://www.smartonmoney.com/do-the-rich-work-harder-is-the-key-to-wealth-hard-work/

I see you have never read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Children of wealth start out knowing that wealth is a birthright; all they have to do is work hard, meet the right people, take some risks, seize opportunity when it appears, and be confident that they will succeed.
Thats all.

Poor kids dont have any of that.  Their parents have no experience with making their children believe they can do it, when all around them they see failure.

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The amount someone works, however, is not the only controlling factor, however; another major factor is how "smart" an individual works;
That idea has only been around for this generation.  Everyone previous just worked harder.
 
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another is the spending side of the equation -- those who spend their wealth on immediate gratification rather than on leveraging this additional capital to magnify their productivity (expressed in terms of an increase in wealth) to a large extent (and in many cases exceeding their ability to pay for it with their already accumulated wealth) will fail to increase their wealth.
You're right.  It is awfully shortsighted of those poor people to buy food and clothing for their children instead of playing the stock market.  What are they thinking?
Its hard to leverage additional capital into productivity improvements when the electricity has been shut off or their isnt enough money for heat in the dead of winter.

Those silly poor people!  Instead of feeding their children, they should be investing in Enron and Worldcom!  How could they not have seen this obvious truth?  What conspiracy of malice kept this information from them?

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Their is also a degree of randomness, or luck; however that is seldom a controlling factor.
Nobody is going to here someone with that kind of grammar.
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Anyone who has ever made a large claim on their insurance knows that insurance comes in once it is safe and then tries to tell you that your claim is not valid.
Because you see, insurance companies are businesses first, and compassionate a distant second.
And all companies collude.  Its called "industry standard practice."  Even in an AnCap world, no insurance company is going to pay out everything that is claimed; how would they make any money?

Not every claim is legitimate; some are outright fraud, and some are misperceptions of the degree of damage (it is common for individuals to see their own damages as being worse than do outside third parties).  Of course, those who evaluate insurance claims have a bias in the opposite direction; they will tend to overestimate the level of fraud and the level of damage claimed; in addition, some who offer insurance and/or evaluate insurance claims engage in fraud as well.  The advantage of market-based insurance, however, is that companies which reject claims excessively can easily lose business as a result; government, being a monopoly, does not provide that opportunity.  Even in supposed "democracies" the choices are artificially reduced through large scale bundling of supposed "services" prevents individuals from tailoring their service choices across multiple suppliers. 

So you're saying that after a calamitous event, an AnCap would tell their adjuster "fine, if you wont pay it, I'll just go to Joes Insurance.  He'll pay my claim."?

This whole "they get a bad name if they screw too many people" idea is so ineffective its ludicrous.  Sure you can switch insurance companies before you need them, but why?
And once you do need them, they have you over a barrel.

Of course companies trade on their reputation.  But, in an AnCap society it doesnt matter.
Even if their rep is sterling, they are still capitalists and they still intend to take your money and not give it back.

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So you see, I would rather have our oh-so-imperfect current system than have a disaster response system that starts with the phrase, "May I have your credit card number, please?"

...and replacing it with forced payment up front under threat to one's person and property.

No-one has to buy insurance. In no place in America does a federal agent of policeman kick down your door and say "Buy this insurance or else!".
Also, no-one comes (from the govt) up to you and says "Nice house; be a shame were something to happen to it..."

Just because you are paranoid, and too lazy or cowardly to make your wishes known to your representative doesnt mean that they are crushing your head under their jackbooted heel.

You only think they are.
 If you dont buy insurance, you are saying that you are willing to live with the consequences. 
I thought AnCap'ers were big on personal responsibility.

ContraryGuy on September 13, 2011, 01:14:00 am

Anyone who has ever made a large claim on their insurance knows that insurance comes in once it is safe and then tries to tell you that your claim is not valid.
Because you see, insurance companies are businesses first, and compassionate a distant second.
And all companies collude.  Its called "industry standard practice."  Even in an AnCap world, no insurance company is going to pay out everything that is claimed; how would they make any money?

I see.  So 'private' insurance companies screw you over now, in today's society, while being regulated by governments??  If that doesn't tell you something, nothing will.

And, typically, you fail to understand how real insurance works.  They make their money by pooling the resources of homogeneous factors, such that they know, with little uncertainty, how much they will have to pay out. It's not gambling (for the insurance company) unless you try to insure the unknown or mix in non-homogeneous factors.  Or if the government forces them to provide "insurance" in non-insurable things. 

If they govt does force insurers to insure known bad risks, why is there no private flood insurance?  Surely the govt would love to get rid of the National Flood insurance program.

Ike on September 13, 2011, 09:49:03 am
A different but related matter is this:  in a society you're labelling as "AnCap", there wouldn't be so many people building in locations which are obviously - based on historical weather events and subsequent disasters - too low or close to the ocean or whatever as they do now.

One of the consquences of the centralization of political authority is the restriction of knowledge to 'those who know better'.  Observe that it requires a long period of study to acquire knowledge and skills which were once the property of everyday folks.  Example?  My grandfather, born in 1878 and died in 1957, knew how to make nails, mill lumber, plant and harvest several subsistence and cash crops in the weather etc of western NY state, repair his agricultural equipment, do some simple blacksmithing, hunt and fish for food (not recreation, although he did fish in his old age as an excuse to get away from everyone and nap  ;) ) ... and most of the things he did as a matter of course in his day on the farm near Moravia would now require licenses, permits, environmental studies.  Oh, and the old man could read and write and was fluent in both English and German.  I think it goes without saying he was numerate as well, although I suspect that anything beyond algebra and plain geometry would have been mysteries to him as he would have had no use for them in his life.  He and Grandma raised three children, one of whom became the head of the Computer and Math Department at Syracuse, one of whom was my Mom and the other was the mother of six successful children.  Nowdays, all that requires government agencies, social workers, extension agents, county inspectors .... and not as many family farms exist and those which do are likely not as knowledgeable of the basics as Granpa was.  Sure, a lot of technological improvements, but more of it is simply government power used to make money for the guys and gals who are 'connected'.  Consequence?  An increasing number of folks are incompetent to raise their own kids, to get and hold a job, to do much of anything productive.  I wonder how that is going to turn out in another generation or two?

quadibloc on September 13, 2011, 02:43:37 pm
So the farmers and miners of the 20'ies and 30'ies were not hard workers?  It takes more than just hard work to amass wealth.  Those same miners were not even paid in money for their not-hard work.
In the much-truer capitalist and less govt controlled times, the landlord got all the money and the workers got nothing for all their not-hard work. 
Those pre-union days were much closer to An-Cap than any libertarian today. 

Those workers were not allowed to control their own money, let alone spend it intelligently.
And if they tried to walk off the job, and they got away, they would be black-balled because all the company owners would share that workers name and refuse to hire him.

So much for playing the companies against themselves.  What makes you think that AnCap would be any different?
You are making a good point here, but you are also overstating it.

Those days were certainly closer to AnCap than our present society. But they were not what AnCap or Libertarianism claims to seek.

Under AnCap, presumably, businesses that behaved in so shameless a fashion... would find it hard to hire the equivalent of Pinkertons. They wouldn't have the police or the National Guard behind them. And private security firms are so inadequate to deal with full-scale guerilla warfare.

And that's my quarrel with AnCap; exactly how is being a guerilla soldier fighting either greedy businessmen or the invading Chinese supposed to be an improvement over the life of a harried and overtaxed office worker in today's United States?

"But at least we'd be free!" If one ignores people pointing guns at you to whom you are not said to owe allegiance, I suppose that would make sense.

SolarClathrate on September 13, 2011, 06:06:44 pm
And that's my quarrel with AnCap; exactly how is being a guerilla soldier fighting either greedy businessmen or the invading Chinese supposed to be an improvement over the life of a harried and overtaxed office worker in today's United States?

That's a good question. Hopefully, in the business' eyes, a war against guerillas is less profitable than giving in and altering their practices.

mellyrn on September 14, 2011, 09:08:05 am
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And that's my quarrel with AnCap; exactly how is being a guerilla soldier fighting either greedy businessmen or the invading Chinese supposed to be an improvement over the life of a harried and overtaxed office worker in today's United States?

??  Are you seriously suggesting that an AnCap society is an active, ongoing state of guerrilla warfare?  The threat of guerrilla warfare is always present, yes; and in current US communities that have concealed-carry permits, the threat of deadly retaliation is also always present . . . in exchange for a reduced threat of crime.  People in my neighborhood don't go about dodging bullets all day from all the gunslingers, and we're much less likely to get mugged than folks just down the road in DC.

Ref. Uncle Rice's sig:
Stupid criminals put on a mask and rob people with a gun.
Smart criminals put on a suit, call themselves politicians, and rob people with writ of law.

Concealed-carry laws only protect me from the former -- and yet, I must repeat, quite without all-day every-day shootouts.  Whence comes this active guerrilla warfare you dread?

quadibloc on September 14, 2011, 06:15:57 pm
??  Are you seriously suggesting that an AnCap society is an active, ongoing state of guerrilla warfare?  The threat of guerrilla warfare is always present, yes;
No, I wasn't suggesting that it was that by definition, merely that except in good circumstances (i.e. a frontier with self-selection, as opposed to here and now) that threat might have to be carried out more often than... pleasant.

mellyrn on September 15, 2011, 07:46:11 am
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I would hate to live somewhere knowing that I had to always be nice to everyone just in case I needed their help one day.

By this I infer that you also prefer arranged marriage, so that you don't have to put yourself out to be appealing to a prospective partner but can just be given one.

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Seems to me, though, he has expressed an important truth as to why people are more free under a properly working democratic government than in the type of small town where everybody had better show up at the same church on Sunday, and otherwise not do anything which might cause tongues to wag about them.

If that's the sort of "freedom" we're talking about:  when we are perfectly free to do whatever the hell we please, and never modify our behaviors to accommodate our neighbors, then we are not humans but tigers or sharks.  When we always modify our behavior to accommodate our community, then we are bees, termites, Borg-ites.

Besides, I'd argue that in the small AnCap town, I can cause tongues to wag by not going to church and might get ostracized but in your properly working democracy I can be jailed for, say, refusing to kill or support killing on command of government -- and that's assuming that your properly working democracy hadn't voted for the death penalty for Quakers refusing a military draft.

Government is authorized to compel me to violate my most basic moral principles or be deprived of freedom of movement. I'll take the small-town gossips, thanks.

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except in good circumstances (i.e. a frontier with self-selection, as opposed to here and now) that threat might have to be carried out more often than... pleasant.

Except in good circumstances, e.g. a government staffed solely by good, trustworthy, highly-trained people, the threat of being killed by LEOs too "distracted" or "in fear of their lives" to respond any better than a panicked child, or of "us[ing] the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies", or of being destroyed as pawns might have to be endured more often than... pleasant.

Tell me how you are safer when the very neighbors you can't trust to follow the rules are put in charge of enforcing the rules -- ?  Especially when your only defense is to vote them back to ordinary citizen status, and that's only if they haven't co-opted the polls and/or the law enforcement process?