myrkul999 on June 17, 2012, 05:22:14 am
Yeah right. Check out this image I found on the "sulfate" page on Wikipedia:



Sulfates, for those who don't know, are one of the causes of acid rain. Sulfates react with the water in the clouds to make sulfuric acid.

Of course, it can't be ignored that the United States (and other countries) do have laws in place to reduce sulfate (and other pollution) output, but, put enough money in the right politicians' hands, and those laws go out the door. The State doesn't prevent pollution any better than the market would, and, as the image above shows, it quite frequently does much worse.

How would a free-market justice system prevent pollution? It's actually fairly simple:

Let's say you're a big company, and you burn coal to produce power (coal frequently has quite high levels of sulfur, which, of course, produces sulfates when burnt). I live downwind of your factory (potentially very far down wind...). Your burning of coal is pumping out, among other things, sulfates and other acid-rain producing pollutants. The acid rain destroys the statue I have in my yard, kills my koi, and completely fries all the grass on my lawn. My neighbors have similar problems. Roof repairs, dead crops, you name it. Now, which do you think would be more cost-effective, putting a scrubber in your chimney, or repaying all of us for the damage you've caused by polluting our air?

mellyrn on June 17, 2012, 07:05:20 am
Quote
Now, which do you think would be more cost-effective, putting a scrubber in your chimney, or repaying all of us for the damage you've caused by polluting our air?

How liable to you am I if neither you nor I knew what was destroying your statue and killing your koi?  I'm thinking of the rush to adopt the new technology of radioactivity, with shoe-shop fluoroscopes and radium-laced tonic water (which history is why I will not knowingly eat GMO foods -- I don't see that we learned anything, and I'm waiting for the longer-term effects to show up, or not, thanks).  It's not that I expect laws to do a good job, more that I don't know what drove fluoroscopes and radium water &c off the market.  I shouldn't wonder if laws lagged market response.

If it were my company, I'd want us to install a scrubber as soon as we learned of the connection, and then advertise the fact that we were doing so without raising price -- I'd take the short-term profit hit on the gamble that it would win us long-term loyalty.

customdesigned on June 17, 2012, 07:52:54 am
I'm thinking of the rush to adopt the new technology of radioactivity, with shoe-shop fluoroscopes and radium-laced tonic water...
There were no known customers harmed by the fluoroscopes (the dose, while bad, was infrequent).  *Employees* took the hit.  Long before the risks were studied scientifically, salesmen hated the fluoroscope because of the "burns" it gave them from daily repeated use.  But because customers thought they were "cool" (what was the slang back then?), shops felt they had to retain the machines to stay competitive.

myrkul999 on June 17, 2012, 10:52:08 am
How liable to you am I if neither you nor I knew what was destroying your statue and killing your koi?

Well, if neither of us put two and two together, then you get away with it. If I figure it out, I'm going to be seeking damages, and if you figure it out, then you have a choice: Quietly install a scrubber, and hope I'm satisfied with the damage stopping, or install a scrubber, and offer at least some token "oops, sorry," recompense.

Thing is, nowadays we know that burning coal releases nasty crap into the air. So the connection should be easy to make, even before the fact. Now, you point out that we do not necessarily know the effects of new technology, such as GMO foods, or the flouroscopes. It behooves you, then, to figure out the effects before you release it to the public, or acknowledge the risk, and let the consumers decide.

It boils down to responsibility. Just as I, personally, have to think through the possible consequences of swinging my fist in the general direction of your face, so to does a company have to think through the possible consequences of putting out a product that may or may not hurt someone.

Andreas on June 17, 2012, 01:55:06 pm
Why this focus on the individual in AnCap?
With coal, it becomes clear that no, it won't work if individual A will have to demand recompense from companies [X1, X2, X3 ... Xn], because, even if the companies are feeling generous, and a mediator is decisively allocating the shares of the damage cause to each company, it will still be a lot of work for each suit, and each suit will yield only a tiny amount, since no culprit will hold the full blame. If the companies ask for even normal proof of damage and causality, or if the mediator feels that the amount attributable to each culprit cannot be assessed, the whole thing could be almost impossible to bring to close.
And it defies the point of seeking damages if the process of seeking it will cost more in time and stress than it will return in compensation.

So, why are we assuming that people will be acting alone? Nothing in AnCap principles prevent the formation of voluntary cooperative efforts. So there will be the same kinds of consumer protection NGOs as today, only they will be free of operating in a forum defined by government or legislation, and will be free to pursue compensation for people that opt into a cooperative suit. Likewise, the businesses will have the same kinds of leagues as they do now, and will be able to agree between them how to divide the potential damages of a suit, speeding the whole thing up. Instead of ten thousand sets of suits between people [A1, A2, A3 ... An] and companies [X1, X2, X3 ... Xn] (which will last forever, generate stress and animosity and bad press, and generally be a pain in everybody's butts), there would be a single suit between Organization B and Organization Y, which can be handled efficiently and potentially amicably.

myrkul999 on June 17, 2012, 02:39:29 pm
Why this focus on the individual in AnCap?

I don't believe I specified that it would be individual suits... Nothing prevents a "class-action" type of suit, where all the people get together and bargain collectively. In fact, the presence of that possibility pretty much ensures that any screw-up of that type will have repercussions... Those ambulance chasers have to have something to do.

So, really, you should have said "Why am I assuming it will be people acting alone?"

Andreas on June 17, 2012, 03:00:33 pm
You're right, you didn't say. But it seems to me that the examples used (in these discussions) are often (perhaps for simplicity?) couched in terms of individuals (even seeing the leadership of a business as individualized in some cases). And it seems to me that it has a bit of a funk to it... perhaps an effort (conscious or not) to give a very "human" face to AnCap proceedings, since conglomerates of people do seem to lose some humanity in the accumulation process.

myrkul999 on June 17, 2012, 03:05:49 pm
The examples are couched in individual terms because AnCaps are individualists. These same examples would likely be couched in collective terms on a board frequented by say, Anarcho-syndicalists.

Andreas on June 17, 2012, 04:58:20 pm
Yeah, I sort of anticipated that, but even if it's completely innocuous, it's still a good idea to dispel the bias from time to time.
Cooperation solves a lot of those little problems people have with the idea.

myrkul999 on June 17, 2012, 05:39:54 pm
Cooperation solves a lot of those little problems people have with the idea.

What so few people seem to realize is that voluntary association (cooperation) is exactly what AnCap is about.

Brugle on June 17, 2012, 06:26:03 pm
perhaps an effort (conscious or not) to give a very "human" face to AnCap proceedings, since conglomerates of people do seem to lose some humanity in the accumulation process.
Let me get this straight.  AnCaps recognize the humanity of every individual in a group.  And you criticize this?

Andreas on June 17, 2012, 11:41:52 pm
perhaps an effort (conscious or not) to give a very "human" face to AnCap proceedings, since conglomerates of people do seem to lose some humanity in the accumulation process.
Let me get this straight.  AnCaps recognize the humanity of every individual in a group.  And you criticize this?

I just say NO to straw men.

 

anything