Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cartoon of the Day


113 Comments:

At 4/12/2012 7:54 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Perfect!

 
At 4/12/2012 8:43 AM, Blogger Krishnan Chittur said...

I used to be astonished at the hate towards those that create and grow economies and produce the wealth that politicians grab and distribute - Not any more. I just wonder if the US can survive as the world's growth engine in the face of this continual assault by those in power.

 
At 4/12/2012 8:49 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

A gross oversimplification and distortion of the facts and issues at hand.

And not very amusing, besides.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:13 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

it's a parody of recent obama comments about how capitalism has not worked (and we tried!).

if you want gross oversimplification and outright lies as opposed to just distortion, i suggest you look there hydra.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:40 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

All due respect, Hydra, it's a cartoon. With very very exceptions, it's supposed to be overly simplistic. Show me one cartoon (political or otherwise) that isn't overly simplistic and a distortion of facts.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:43 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"A gross oversimplification and distortion of the facts and issues at hand."

The cartoonist believes the economy is harmed by the big government policies Obama indisputably supports and implements. Obama then turns around and blames the free market(as he did yesterday) for his failures.

Where is the distortion and oversimplification?

 
At 4/12/2012 10:34 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Private sector is actually a lot bigger than the government. Putting up EPA as the end of the road is an oversimplification.

A better question, is where is the humour?



I much prefer the one where the kid says to his father that he is considering a career in organized crime, to which the father responds "Public sector or Private Sector?"

 
At 4/12/2012 10:37 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"A gross oversimplification and distortion of the facts and issues at hand"...

Ahhh, parasitism lives in the hearts and minds of the clueless...

Hey hydra maybe this Michael Ramirez Cartoon will explain it to you better though I don't see how...

 
At 4/12/2012 10:40 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

A better question, is where is the humour?

Here, I would say, the humor is in the irony. The big cars (government) are weighing down the engine as well as the roadblock (EPA) is preventing further travel but the conductor (President Obama) is blaming the engine (private sector) for not going fast enough. It's ironic.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:01 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Very appropriate. Let the statists begin whining.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:14 PM, Blogger spotteddog said...

@hydra: "Private sector is actually a lot bigger than the government. Putting up EPA as the end of the road is an oversimplification."
Which part of the private sector, in part in in whole, can dictate how and what the EPA does? "Bigger" has nothing to do with it.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:14 PM, Blogger spotteddog said...

@hydra: "Private sector is actually a lot bigger than the government. Putting up EPA as the end of the road is an oversimplification."
Which part of the private sector, in part in in whole, can dictate how and what the EPA does? "Bigger" has nothing to do with it.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Which part of the private sector, in part in in whole, can dictate how and what the EPA does?

================================

The part that causes problems the EPA has to address.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:27 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Another way of interpreting this comic is that the government has gotten so big the private sector can no longer support it. It doesn't matter the respective sizes of the sectors, but just that government can no longer be supported by the private sector and regulations coming from the EPA are preventing further progress.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Juandos:

This train wreck still leaves us as the wealthiest nation in the world with the most reliable economy and most predictable set of laws.

After we replace Obama with whoever the next clown in chief is, how will that train wreck cartoon be any different?

 
At 4/12/2012 12:38 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

....regulations coming from the EPA are preventing further progress.


==================================

ALL further progress? EPA regulations have achieved NOTHING in the last fifty years?, And there is NO WAY to make any progress because EPA has brought us to a FULL STOP?


C'mon.

Government is a quarter to a third the size of the private sector, and much of what it does is at the private sectors request.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

VangelV: "Very appropriate. Let the statists begin whining."

Hydra: "After we replace Obama with whoever the next clown in chief is, how will that train wreck cartoon be any different?"

Wow. That didn't take long.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

For the record, I was just interpreting.

The part that causes problems the EPA has to address.

While I am generally sympathetic to the anti-regulation argument, I'm not sure I agree with you here, Hydra.

Many government regulations are reactionary, not proactive. The Clean Air Act? Many companies were doing things to reduce their emissions already. All the CAA did was tell them what technologies they had to use. Child Labor Laws? Child Labor was almost eliminated from the country when those were passed. Vehicle emissions? Biggest joke in government. Many cars (especially imports) were already producing less emissions than the law required, but didn't have the catalytic converter. Even Dodd-Frank is pretty much useless. Many of the practices it outlaws business wouldn't do again. Many regulations are retrospective and don't do much but add additional layers of paperwork. There are some that are forward looking (MPG standards, for example), but they tend to be moot before their time.

Really, by the time the EPA or some other regulatory body passes some arbitrary rule, the practice they are forbidding (or encouraging) has gone the way of the dodo (or is industry standard).

To give the EPA credit for cleaner air and water is like giving credit to General Westmoreland for ending WWII.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Government is a quarter to a third the size of the private sector, and much of what it does is at the private sectors request."

Sad comment. Depending on how you are measuring size, that mean that either one of every four people, or one out of every four dollars of production is required to govern the other three.

 
At 4/12/2012 12:52 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Government is a quarter to a third the size of the private sector, and much of what it does is at the private sectors request.

Absolutely correct (the public sector is about 1/3rd the private sector according to contribution to GDP). And your second part is why we must limit the ability of government. Private enterprises hate competition more than anything else. If we limit the government's ability to limit competition, we limit the private sector's ability to collude and conspire against the public good. That's why companies are in such favor of anti-trust legislation, government regulations, and the like.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I love that Jon Murphy had to explain humour. If you have to explain it.....

The public sector does not have to be larger than the private economy. It just has to be large enough to be a giant drag. And it is large enough to be a giant drag.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Hydra: "After we replace Obama with whoever the next clown in chief is, how will that train wreck cartoon be any different?"

Wow. That didn't take long.

================================

Where is the statist Whining?

If the train wreck is as bad as depicted, what superman is going to fix it?

 
At 4/12/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Private enterprises hate competition more than anything else. If we limit the government's ability to limit competition, we limit the private sector's ability to collude and conspire against the public good.

=================================


Where does the cartoon allude to conspiracy against competition?

What would the private sector do about this problem on its own?


I do not see that the second half of your second sentence follows from the first half. Keeping government from limiting competition in no way prevents private enterprise from limiting competition.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The public sector does not have to be larger than the private economy. It just has to be large enough to be a giant drag. And it is large enough to be a giant drag.

===================================Then the cartoon is a gross distortion of the facts and issues, as stated.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:55 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Where does the cartoon allude to conspiracy against competition?

What would the private sector do about this problem on its own?


I do not see that the second half of your second sentence follows from the first half. Keeping government from limiting competition in no way prevents private enterprise from limiting competition


Forgive me for being unclear.

The cartoon has nothing to do with collusion. I had gone off on a tangent.

Let me explain myself:

Monopolies can only survive when they are protected from the ravages of competition. How many "monopolies" are true monopolies? The only true monopolies that exist are supported by or run by the government (think utilities, national defense, police, fire, sewer, Major League Baseball). While you may argue these must be provided by the government, that is neither here nor there.

In a truly free market, no company can compel an individual to do business with them. Kodiak used to be the film company. Now they are gone. Microsoft used to be the PC company. Now they have competition from Apple, Linux, and open source programmers. Sears used to be the department store. Now they are on the verge of bankruptcy (again). Even companies that are considered monopolies in the popular parlance (although not in the technical sense) are not free from competition. All it takes is someone to come out with a better product, a cheaper product, or a new technology and their crown is gone.

Knowing and feeling their own mortality, companies turn to the government for protection (protectionism, if you will). They claim unfair competition (labor unions, other companies lowering prices), blame foreigners (foreign subsidies or lower cost producers), or just say "we're too important to fail." They beg the government, in the name of the American people, to erect barriers to trade, destroy the competing companies, or bail them out. In the process, the American people face higher prices, less selection, and poorer quality. Companies that could no longer compete are now granted a second life. A life they never would have had in a free market.

The ironic thing about anti-trust legislation is it creates the very thing it was meant to destroy. By shielding companies from competition, it creates monopolies.

If we were to limit the government's ability to meddle in the free market, we would not have this issue. Monopolies would come and go. Businesses would rise and fall all based upon merit.

The important thing about free market is that no one can survive unless they are providing something people want.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope I have cleared that up for you.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"This train wreck still leaves us as the wealthiest nation in the world with the most reliable economy and most predictable set of laws"...

Are you sure about that hydra or is this just your fervent hope after all the damage done to this country by liberal politicos in their headlong rush to buy votes with extorted tax dollar?

"After we replace Obama with whoever the next clown in chief is, how will that train wreck cartoon be any different?"...

Well consider the last 'clown in chief' who didn't have a hard on against fossil fuels and think back to those days when both the unemployment rate and the price of gasoline were half of what it is today...

So much for the endless string of "Jobless Claims in US fall to lowest since 2008" propaganda. First of all, just as we predict every week with 100% accuracy, last week's "decline" from a revised 363K to 357K was revised, and instead it surged from 357K to a revised 367K. So much for the spin. More importantly, the current weekly claims number exploded to 380K, on expectations of 355K - the highest print since January, and the biggest claim miss in a year! And also just as predicted, the "economic weakness" period to butter up the country for the NEW QE begins...

 
At 4/12/2012 2:14 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"ALL further progress? EPA regulations have achieved NOTHING in the last fifty years?, And there is NO WAY to make any progress because EPA has brought us to a FULL STOP?"...

Well by golly hydra, you haven't been paying attention to the further adventures of Lisa Jackson have you?

No wonder people disparaging the bureaucratic parasites at the EPA feels like a cold slap in the face to you...

 
At 4/12/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Another way of interpreting this comic is that the government has gotten so big the private sector can no longer support it. It doesn't matter the respective sizes of the sectors, but just that government can no longer be supported by the private sector and regulations coming from the EPA are preventing further progress.

The 'official' private sector may be flailing but people are resilient and many will do what they can to benefit from the damage that the EPA does by helping give people what they want but cannot get legally. Illegal toilets and shower heads are a growing business but the government will not get its cut because it is done off book. Give it time and the US real economy will look a lot like Italy's.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Where does the cartoon allude to conspiracy against competition?"

In the future please just skip over posts that include cartoons. It's obvious you're just not good at this stuff.

"What would the private sector do about this problem on its own?"

There would not be a problem without government involvement.

"I do not see that the second half of your second sentence follows from the first half. Keeping government from limiting competition in no way prevents private enterprise from limiting competition."

You really don't understand this stuff, do you.

Government has a monopoly on the use of force. Without enlisting the help of government force to act against their competitors through restrictive rules and regulations, private businesses have no power to limit competition.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:42 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Well consider the last 'clown in chief' who didn't have a hard on against fossil fuels and think back to those days when both the unemployment rate and the price of gasoline were half of what it is today...

Be careful with this line of thinking, Juandos. Realistically, the president can do very little to affect gas prices and unemployment and can't really do anything to affect them significantly. To blame President Obama for high gas prices makes no sense seeing as he doesn't set them. He just happened to be in office when prices went up. Even if the president were to remove all barriers to oil drilling and refining, we would not see any significant drop in prices for a very long time. Not, at least, until the supply exceeds the demand.

Likewise, to give Bush credit for economic growth is fallible. He was just the lucky SOB to be in office when things went well.

There are things politicians can do to foster economic growth (stable rules, real market prices, etc) but to pretend they have any more power than a sneeze in a hurricane is to give them way too much credit.

Hate to break it to ya, but the government is impotent in these matters.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "All it takes is someone to come out with a better product, a cheaper product, or a new technology and their crown is gone."

Or a keen sense of changing consumer preferences, like building shopping malls in the suburbs to replace department stores downtown.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Then the cartoon is a gross distortion of the facts and issues, as stated."

good lord hydra, you really are desperate.

you think that just gdp share is the measure of government size?

how about rules that make it difficult to do business? massive distortions from federal subsidy? limits on all manner of business activity from anti-trust to licencure?

the government is involved in an outlandish number of aspects of you life from what milk you can buy to what toilet or showerhead you need and what sort of services you can offer with or without a license.

they fix prices, mandate service offerings, and not seek to tax a harmless (and likely beneficial) trace gas to the point where they put the coal fired electricity generation industry in real trouble if not out of business.

they tell you what you car must be like and that you cannot resell toys and need outlandishly expensive approval for any childrenss clothing putting a whole cottage industry out of business.

government towers over nearly all private industry.

a better cartoon might have been a swimmer being strangled by an octopus and drowning, but this one was pretty spot on too.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Then the cartoon is a gross distortion of the facts and issues, as stated."

That is why they are called cartoons. They use gross exaggeration to make a point.

You can't be serious about this, can you? This is just a manifestation of your uncontrollable urge to disagree, even when it makes no sense to do so, right?

 
At 4/12/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Hydra,

A gross oversimplification and distortion of the facts and issues at hand.

False.

Also, I'd like to remind everyone of the best sentences ever written:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
- Robert Heinlein

 
At 4/12/2012 3:04 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

That is why they are called cartoons. They use gross exaggeration to make a point.


Translation:


That is why they are called lies, they use gross exaggeration to make a point.




A cartoon can be funny and make a point.

It cannot be inaccurate and make a point.



Compare the example above about the boy and his father: it makes a point about the private and public sector without exaggeration.

 
At 4/12/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"A cartoon can be funny and make a point.

It cannot be inaccurate and make a point.
"

You are a clown. Give it up. You're out in the weeds here. Your comments say a lot more about you than about the cartoon.

 
At 4/12/2012 3:13 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Really? You think that Heinlein quote is among the best?


Poverty is the normal condition.
If this condition is ever marginally, temporally, and locationally exceeded, that result is due to the efforts of a tiny minority, who are certain to be opposed, and the result is a return to the normal, baseline condition of poverty.


And you don't think we can improve on that system?

 
At 4/12/2012 3:17 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You are a clown. Give it up.

==============================

Can you explain to me how to make a point by being inaccurate?

 
At 4/12/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Your comments say a lot more about you than about the cartoon.

================================

That is interesting, since Jon for oe, appears to agree with me.


"Show me one cartoon (political or otherwise) that isn't overly simplistic and a distortion of facts."


And yet we have Methinks who thinks the cartoon is perfect. And Krishnan who reads into it a whole message about hate towards those who create wealth.


I stand by my comment that the cartoon is inaccurate and does little to reveal any kind of truth. And it isn't funny, besides.

 
At 4/12/2012 3:38 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I love all these threads where people are trying to spoon feed Hydra as he slithers around on the floor babbling in tongues.

"Where does the cartoon allude to conspiracy against competition?"

(I don't know who asked this because I got it from Ron's post.)

The EPA. That is the raison d'etre of regulatory agencies. That's all they are. Well, they're also a great place for anyone unfit for real work to get paid multiples of what his labour is worth, but those are the two things regulators actually accomplish.

I don't know if that's what the cartoonist meant (I doubt it), but art is what you see in it.

 
At 4/12/2012 3:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That is interesting, since Jon for oe, appears to agree with me."

LOL!

Jon agrees with you that the public sector is 1/3 the size of the private sector in terms of GDP, which is scary enough in itself, but is not in dispute.

He then thoughtfully and patiently explained to you that government can have a much greater influence than its fraction of GDP would indicate.

He also explained monopoly to you, and how government promotes monopoly through protection of some businesses at the expense of others.

I don't know if you should go so far as to say he agrees with you.

 
At 4/12/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Isn't Hydra the guy who viewed the McConnell & Salazar gas price video and couldn't figure out what the point of it all was? We should be shocked he's having trouble deciphering a cartoon?

 
At 4/12/2012 3:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The EPA. That is the raison d'etre of regulatory agencies. That's all they are. Well, they're also a great place for anyone unfit for real work to get paid multiples of what his labour is worth, but those are the two things regulators actually accomplish."

Wait. I thought you said that anyone unfit for real work worked at the SEC.

Oh - OK. Now I understand - it's BOTH.

 
At 4/12/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I don't know if you should go so far as to say he agrees with you.

Well, I do agree with him about the cartoon being overly simplistic. I mean, that's just the nature of a cartoon.

 
At 4/12/2012 4:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paul,

"Isn't Hydra the guy who viewed the McConnell & Salazar gas price video and couldn't figure out what the point of it all was? We should be shocked he's having trouble deciphering a cartoon?"

I think that was Larry G.

 
At 4/12/2012 4:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Both? No!

It's all of them. If you think the SEC is bad, you should see what's at the CFTC. And none of these guys begin to compare to the sheer incompetence and plain ignorance of FINRA. THOSE guys (the ones who can write at all) write in crayon. And that's just a smattering of financial regulators.

I don't even want to know what dregs lurk in the rest of the of the Orwellian Alphabet soup of regulatory control agency quicksand the whole country is mired in.

 
At 4/12/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I think that was Larry G.

What's the difference?

 
At 4/12/2012 4:17 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, I do agree with him about the cartoon being overly simplistic. I mean, that's just the nature of a cartoon.

Jon, you've just been forced to explain the nature of cartoons to a grown man.

Just sayin'.

 
At 4/12/2012 4:24 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Hydra,

And you don't think we can improve on that system?

No. Human nature is fixedvery and cannot be changed. It can only be dealt with. Jealousy is an integral part of human nature and can only be dealt with. It cannot be changed or thrust aside.

There are those that can produce a lot and those that can't. Those that can are a tiny minority (like the 1%) and will mostly be hated by the rest. The best that can be done is to have well defined and well enforce property rights.

And don't invoke 'we'. You speak only for yourself. Don't haughtily think you speak for others or arrogantly project yourself onto others.

 
At 4/12/2012 5:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks,

"It's all of them. If you think the SEC is bad, you should see what's at the CFTC."

No! Please!

I'll just take your word for it.

 
At 4/12/2012 5:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Jon, you've just been forced to explain the nature of cartoons to a grown man.

Just sayin'.
"

And he STILL doesn't get it.

 
At 4/12/2012 5:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"And don't invoke 'we'. You speak only for yourself. Don't haughtily think you speak for others or arrogantly project yourself onto others."

All collectivists talk that way. They can't help it.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:48 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Look, there are plenty of pointed, anti-obama cartoons that are actually funny. Even Obama laughs at them, and keeps copies.

This is neither insightful, accurate, nor amusing.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

There are those who produce s lot and those That can't.

That is right. By myself, I produce more than Steve jobs, by himself. Without a million workers at a plant in China, he produces nothing.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:59 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Give me a break on the we collectivist crap. It is not my fault that English is short on politically correct pronouns.

 
At 4/12/2012 10:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The best that can be done is to have well defined and well enforced property rights.

This has nothing to do with the cartoon, but it is the best sentence in this string.

I am glad WE agree on something.

 
At 4/12/2012 10:25 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

No need to explain the cartoon: I get it, but it is neither accurate, insightful, nor funny.



I like the one with Clinton coaching Obama: " I feel your pain" and Obama reciting back" I understand you may be somewhat frustrated by the state of the economy at the present time...."

 
At 4/12/2012 10:42 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Oh, I get it that governments influence is out of proportion to its share of gdp.

I don't see that nuance expressed in the cartoon.

But, You clowns are the real comedians here, claiming both that government is inefficient AND has outsized clout for its share of GDP.

Folks, it is our government. WE (sorry) run it this way for a reason.

Would you really want government as screwed up and disorganized as the private sector? How about we find a way to give it parity: half the gdp, and the same rights to have its say as Citizens united?

 
At 4/12/2012 11:00 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Some of you have agreed That the cartoon or cartoons in general are blown out of proportion to make a point.

No one yet has tried to explain how you make a point by being inaccurate.

You think I am wallowing around on the floor here. Meanwhile, the rest of you clowns are standing around in the groupthink circle congratulating each other over being correct in the latest gratuitous insult.

I make the simplest observation or ask the simplest kind of question and it evokes evasion in every direction, and derision when that does not work.

It is a reaction more indicative of fear than intellect.

 
At 4/12/2012 11:16 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

" Really by the time EPA issues a regulation it is moot or the industry standard"

Right. Written with industry and other special interstate input.

So, what exactly is it that EPA is preventing?

 
At 4/12/2012 11:18 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Special interest not special interstate.
Damb spelter.

 
At 4/12/2012 11:33 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If by the time EPA gets around to regulating, it is already an industry standard, what is the complaining about?

What makes an industry standard different from price collusion?

Was it an industry standard that the size of a half gallon of ice cream changed overnight? Is this a case where they make more from the box than they do from the contents? Is there more money in selling more boxes with the same amount of product as before? Is there no company that figure an advantage in selling a full half gallon, over 13/4 quarts?

Or did government force this to happen?

 
At 4/13/2012 12:47 AM, Blogger Ken said...

By myself, I produce more than Steve jobs, by himself. Without a million workers at a plant in China, he produces nothing.

Mere self aggrandizement. The reality is that you both live in the same society with access to the same resources. Jobs actually revolutionized digital technology, personalizing it, making billions of lives better. You on the other hand troll on a web site, commenting, not even hosting, and claiming you could produce more than Steve Jobs if you wanted to, you just don't want to.

Give me a break on the we collectivist crap. It is not my fault that English is short on politically correct pronouns.

You could have said "I think I have ideas that can improve a system". Invoking "we" is pathetic and like above is self aggrandizing putting yourself as a part of a group that may not exist, putting forth an opinion you want to claim is shared by others, when in reality it is your personal opinion.

This has nothing to do with the cartoon

The primary purpose of government is defining and enforcing property rights. The cartoon shows a bloated oversized government dragging down the private sector. This has everything to do with the cartoon.

Oh, I get it that governments influence is out of proportion to its share of gdp.

I don't see that nuance expressed in the cartoon.


You admit to being slow and only later understanding the nuance of the cartoon, then claim you don't understand the nuance of the cartoon. Priceless.

WE (sorry) run it this way for a reason.

Really? What position of power do you hold? How do you and your "group" run it? When were you personally involved in the decision to invade Iraq? When were you personally involved in the invasion of Afghanistan? How were you personally involved in the decision to make it okay to assassinate American citizens? When were you personally involved in any major decision made by politicians and bureaucrats in the last decade?

Would you really want government as screwed up and disorganized as the private sector?

The government is even more screwed up and disorganized than the private sector. Ever visited a DMV? A post office? This is what the government is like in every agency.

Right. Written with industry and other special interstate input.

Ha! One entire comment later you admit that the government is screwed up and disorganized!

what exactly is it that EPA is preventing?

See EPA v Sackett for a clear example of the thuggish manner in which the EPA prevents development.

If by the time EPA gets around to regulating, it is already an industry standard, what is the complaining about

Because it limits choice and fossilizes innovation. If many companies follow a practice that becomes standard. There are still companies that do not follow those practices or simply free themselves of those practices when better ones are discovered. When the EPA or any regulatory agency writes something into law, it freezes things, forcing those who don't follow the industry standard to now follow it and prevents those who would innovate better business practices from doing so.

Was it an industry standard that the size of a half gallon of ice cream changed overnight?

Last I checked many different offerings of ice cream were sold, from as little as a pint to as much as 5 gallons in my local grocery store. The EPA would have made it so all offerings of ice cream were sold only in half gallon tubs.

 
At 4/13/2012 7:40 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Realistically, the president can do very little to affect gas prices and unemployment and can't really do anything to affect them significantly. To blame President Obama for high gas prices makes no sense seeing as he doesn't set them. He just happened to be in office when prices went up.

But let me point out that Obama was so eager to blame Bush when prices went up under his watch. I think that it is entirely fair for the Republicans to misinform ignorant voters just as Democrats did. If the voters keep falling for it and keep believing in free lunches they deserve what they get.

Likewise, to give Bush credit for economic growth is fallible. He was just the lucky SOB to be in office when things went well.

Bush is getting credit for economic growth? Isn't he taking all kinds of hits for the housing bubble that he was too scared to prevent from blowing up as it did, for the useless budget destroying war in Iraq, for Medicare Part D, and for the big market collapse that lost the GOP the 2008 election? In what circles is Bush getting credit for growth again? Unless you hang out with defence contractors, pharmaceutical industry insiders, or Wall Street insiders I doubt that you are hearing much praise.

There are things politicians can do to foster economic growth (stable rules, real market prices, etc) but to pretend they have any more power than a sneeze in a hurricane is to give them way too much credit.

Hate to break it to ya, but the government is impotent in these matters.


They can do something. Get government out of the way. Sadly neither party is very good at that.

 
At 4/13/2012 7:42 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

"I think that was Larry G."

What's the difference?


Only the spelling of the names. The ideology and lack of intellect are the same.

 
At 4/13/2012 8:24 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

The ideology and lack of intellect are the same.

================================

Maybe, but it is hard to tell based on the utter lack of content in comments from Juandos and Vange.

No ideas at all, but merely vacuous and gratuitous insults.

Nice clear thinking, Vange.

 
At 4/13/2012 8:26 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Sadly neither party is very good at that.

==================================

Isn't that pretty much what i said about Juandos' train wreck cartoon?

Glad to see we agree on something.

 
At 4/13/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Right. Written with industry and other special [interest] input.

So, what exactly is it that EPA is preventing?


Well, nothing. That's kind of my point. It's creating hoops companies have to jump through to do what they already do. It's an unnecessary layer filled with people whose jobs are to create nothing and prevent nothing. This process would be accomplished without having to pay people. Think to what better use those tax dollars could go to.

 
At 4/13/2012 9:56 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Would you really want government as screwed up and disorganized as the private sector?

What makes you think the private sector is screwed up and disorganized?

Seems to work pretty well for me.

I want something, I can go to the store and buy it. No need to stand in line, present a ration ticket, or anything like that.

People's needs, even the poorest among us, are met most efficiently by the private sector. There are no forms to fill out, no 10 day waiting period, no justifying oneself. If you have a want or need, you just go to the place where you can procure it, either for currency (a store) or through charity (a soup kitchen).

I don't understand what you mean by "disorganized."

Let me rephrase my point. Hydra, have you ever been to a concert or sporting event? Somewhere where people congregate in large groups? Next time you go (the bigger the better to see the effect), just watch the crowd. There are no signs that say "one way traffic" or "pretzel line here." (It may say "order food here" but no velvet ropes making a line). But yet, there develops riverways and currents of people within this crowd. This order spontaneously emerges, if you will. No central planning, no signs. It just happens. On the surface it may seem like madness, but there is method in it. And people get where they need to go. That's really how the free market works. When you first see this, it'll blow your mind. Or, at least cause you to think.

 
At 4/13/2012 10:21 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Would you really want government as screwed up and disorganized as the private sector?"

I have to admit, you don't often hear somebody say the government is more competent and organized than the private sector.

Wow.

 
At 4/13/2012 10:53 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Maybe, but it is hard to tell based on the utter lack of content in comments from Juandos and Vange"...

Well unlike yourself hydra I and vangeIV occassionally do some homework and bring you some facts that continually sail over your head apparently since they don't fit your preconceived narrative...

"No ideas at all, but merely vacuous and gratuitous insults"...

Ahhh, you insipid little man, those aren't insults but accurate descriptors of the content of your comments...

 
At 4/13/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Just to talk a little bit more about spontaneous order:

One of the most amazing things about Nature is how the order comes from nothing. Even if you are a Creationist, there is this fact that God emerged from nothing. Nothing created God. He created Himself.

But steering away from the divine, you see this spontaneous order everyday in everything: evolution, animal instincts, migration patterns, etc etc. There is no central planner telling geese to fly south or bears to hibernate. They respond to incentives: colder weather, over crowding, etc.

You get the same sort of things in economics. Folks responding to incentives built the apartment I now live in, farmed the food I now eat, built the car I now drive, and created the system of computers we converse on. No one could have possibly planned how all this works; how food gets to where it needs to go, how a city can grow in the desert. It's, for lack of a better word, anarchy.

But don't let the term "anarchy" fool you. It has a negative connotation, to be sure, but try to get beyond that. Order without structure is scary, especially to civilization. But when you notice pockets of anarchy all around you, it changes your vision.

I was once an anarchist. I have since moderated my views somewhat. But I am still amazed how the doom-and-gloom predictions of social collapse never came to fruition in the millions of cases of anarchy we see all around us. This s Nature. Ordo ad chao It's an amazing thing.

 
At 4/13/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

No one could have possibly planned how all this works; how food gets to where it needs to go, how a city can grow in the desert. It's, for lack of a better word, anarchy.

==================================

No one person could have planned all that, but there was plenty of planning and coordination just the same.

Call it decentralized planning.

And on account of the anarchistic way in wich things develop, we then find lots of things that should have been thought of, and now need fixing.

Frequently these are things for which there is no market incentive, until things get bad enough that someone files a lawsuit.


On spontaneous order: most things things naturally achieve the lowest possible energy state and the highest degree of disorder. it takes energy as an input to reverse that condition.

 
At 4/13/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

No one person could have planned all that, but there was plenty of planning and coordination just the same.

Call it decentralized planning.


Absolutely right, Hydra! The millions of people making individual decisions all lead up to this great outcome! I'm glad you can see how amazing the free market is. A lot of people it takes them a while to see it.

Frequently these are things for which there is no market incentive, until things get bad enough that someone files a lawsuit.

That lawsuit is a free market incentive. It's part of the Coase Theorem.

You do something that harms me, so you and I come up with a mutually beneficial solution (sometimes with the aid of a court and sometimes without).

 
At 4/13/2012 12:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That is right. By myself, I produce more than Steve jobs, by himself. Without a million workers at a plant in China, he produces nothing."

Ah! The old discredited "labor theory of value", raises its ugly head.

Based on the judgement of others, as measured in the amount of their own output they are willing to trade for Steve's production, as compared to what they are willing to trade for yours, his value as a producer was orders of magnitude greater than yours as measured in dollars.

His use of resources was more valuable to others than yours.

By your measure, some of those millions of Chinese workers may also produce more than you do.

 
At 4/13/2012 12:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Give me a break on the we collectivist crap. It is not my fault that English is short on politically correct pronouns."

That pronoun is just fine, but in your comments it often implies that you can know what others think, or that you can speak for others.

When you say "we need more regulations" you are including others who in fact, may not agree.

To avoid giving that impression you might write "In my opinion, more regulations are needed."

See the difference?

 
At 4/13/2012 12:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Think to what better use those tax dollars could go to."

Exactly! They could stay in my pocket so I could decide how to use them.

 
At 4/13/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

fit your preconceived narrative...

=================================

What preconception? I never saw this cartoon before. After I saw it I concluded that it was a gross distortion of the facts at hand, and not very funny besides.

I am happy to change that opinion, but so far no one has offered an argument to refute the situation and some have even stated that cartoons depend on distortion (lies as I call them) to make a point.

A point which must be false if based on a lie.


The only argument offered is whether the government is some how that much bigger stronger than the comparatively weak and puny public sector, and how that "size" might be measured.

If someone pursues that argument in a rational way, they may alter my perception of the relation of government to business. But if the argument looks like that cartoon, I am probably going to conclude that it is an unrealistic distortion.

In any case, assuming there is an argument that describes how a mere government that depends on part of the income from its corporate and private citizens, some of which are multinational, can be bigger and more powerful than the citizens that support it----well, that isn't captured in the cartoon.

It is not as if the ONLY thing that private enterprise does is drag around that enormous government cargo. In fact, according to Jon it works miracles every day, as if by accident "order comes from nothing".

Maybe Jon and I see things differently or I am a lot more discriminating. I would like to go to the maret and by some insurance, but I cannot, and if I could I would not be able to trust what I bought.

Other things I buy and they are the best the competitive system can provide (meaning the best avaialble is only marginally better than the worst available), but when I look at them or use them I see a bunch of crap which is not at all what I would have chosen to buy, if I had perfect knowledge.

Apparently I am not alone in this because people organize and agitate the government to demand that fixes be made. And, they agitate government because Private Enterprise is sometimes even more sluggish and nonresponsive, not to say deceptive.

Sure, I see all the great stuf that results from the energy people put in to their enterprises to drive entropy backwards, I get it.

I just think it is not nearly good enough, much more can be done. We (sorry) just don't have the right incentives in place. For that we need better defined and well enforced proeprty rights, as Ken suggested.

 
At 4/13/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Jon Murphy,

"Private enterprises hate competition more than anything else. If we limit the government's ability to limit competition..."

That was very well said. You summed up something complicated (that I've been trying to clumsily express) in a few short sentences. Thanks.
The fact that Hydra didn't get it only strengthens my belief that it's perfectly stated.

 
At 4/13/2012 1:28 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"people organize and agitate the government to demand that fixes be made."

I can see why you may think this way, but a product that causes a problem for 10% of buyers may cost the majority of consumers 20% more to correct or service. When those 10% give government officials an excuse to get publicity as a Robin Hood, it's game-on....and usually just ends in everybody paying more and less competition.

I swear, every time you write something, I hear the Schumer/ATM fee story in my head. Schumer got "justice"...unfortunately the affected lost their ATM's all together.

Any widely distributed product that causes problems for a majority of buyers is only handing a golden business plan to an entrepreneur on a platter. If nobody steps up to compete, there's probably a reason.

 
At 4/13/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Sure, I see all the great stuf that results from the energy people put in to their enterprises to drive entropy backwards, I get it.

I just think it is not nearly good enough, much more can be done.


Hydra, what do you mean by this? I'm confused as to your meaning here.

 
At 4/13/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Hydra,

That is right. By myself, I produce more than Steve jobs, by himself. Without a million workers at a plant in China, he produces nothing.

Provably false and self aggrandizing. You both live in the same society. You both have access to the same resources. Steve Jobs actually revolutionized the computer, movie, and telecomms industries and made billions of lives better. You, on the other hand, troll the internet.

Give me a break on the we collectivist crap.

You could have said "And you don't think I can improve on that system?", but you said "we". Both are incredibly arrogant, but the use of "we" is indeed collectivist, pretending you speak for others (everyone or just a particular group?).

Oh, I get it that governments influence is out of proportion to its share of gdp.

I don't see that nuance expressed in the cartoon.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You see the nuance, but you don't see the nuance. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Would you really want government as screwed up and disorganized as the private sector?

The gov is more screwed up and disorganized than the private sector. You even provide an example:

"Written with industry and other special interstate input." Add general bureaucratic incompetence to regualatory capture and you come up with the worst possible solution.

So, what exactly is it that EPA is preventing?

You could look at EPA v Sackett for an example.

Was it an industry standard that the size of a half gallon of ice cream changed overnight?

Writing a regulation forcing all ice cream sellers to sell in half gallon containers would eliminate the pint, quart, gallon, two gallon, and five gallon tubs available at my local grocery store. And many of the sellers don't offer the half gallon option, just the pint or quart. So right of the bat, this regulations strangles quite a large variety of choices.

To clarify the difference between an industry standard and a regulation, industry standards are voluntary, whereas regulations are coerced. Additionaly, industry standards can change as better standards are found. Regulations freezed things in place, actually making it illegal to improve systems.

 
At 4/13/2012 3:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

hydra says: "What preconception? I never saw this cartoon before. After I saw it I concluded that it was a gross distortion of the facts at hand, and not very funny besides"...

You're a real hoot hydra, no doubt about it...

So just how grossly distorted was that cartoon in your 'we need government to keep us on the rails' world view?

Personally its painfully obvious to me that you're not paying attention to what goes on around you but maybe that's just me...

 
At 4/13/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You think I am wallowing around on the floor here. Meanwhile, the rest of you clowns are standing around in the groupthink circle congratulating each other over being correct in the latest gratuitous insult."

Hey! High five, juandos. High five VangelV. High five, Methinks.

 
At 4/13/2012 4:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"So, what exactly is it that EPA is preventing?"

Well, this, for one thing.

In March the SCOTUS ruled that the Sacketts were entitled to challenge the EPA order in court, even though the EPA hadn't yet sued them to enforce their order, and hadn't done so for 5 years.

From the linked article:

"...every year, 1,500 businesses and people like the Sacketts receive these EPA compliance orders and that none has had any recourse."

 
At 4/13/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Was it an industry standard that the size of a half gallon of ice cream changed overnight?"

That's a particularly silly question. Even you must understand that a smaller package size is a sneaky price increase. Would you forbid such practices? You may have been tricked, but you haven't been cheated. The new amount of product is printed on the package.

 
At 4/13/2012 5:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "But don't let the term "anarchy" fool you. It has a negative connotation, to be sure, but try to get beyond that."

Anarchy is a perfectly good word, although it's often used to describe chaos or disorder, which is incorrect.

"I was once an anarchist. I have since moderated my views somewhat."

What caused you to moderate your views? What form or amount of government do now feel is necessary?

 
At 4/13/2012 5:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Hey! High five, juandos. High five VangelV. High five, Methinks"...

'standing around in the groupthink circle'?!?!

Love that virtual reality! So life-like...

'gratuitous"?!?!

Only unwarrented in hydra-world...

ROFLMAO! and a high five back at you ron h!...:-)

 
At 4/13/2012 5:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paul,

"I have to admit, you don't often hear somebody say the government is more competent and organized than the private sector."

Boy, that's for sure. Maybe disorganized isn't the right word - after all, N. Korea is well organized. Come to think of it, I kind of like not-organized markets.

 
At 4/13/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"On spontaneous order: most things things naturally achieve the lowest possible energy state and the highest degree of disorder. it takes energy as an input to reverse that condition."

And people supply that energy to achieve their individual ends, with minimum interference with or by others. Think skating rink, where many people with different skill levels, and moving at different speeds can achieve their goal of skating around the rink without collisions, through spontaneous order.

 
At 4/13/2012 6:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"No one person could have planned all that, but there was plenty of planning and coordination just the same."

Yes, Adam Smith explained that:

""Every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it ... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."

 
At 4/13/2012 6:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Maybe Jon and I see things differently..."

LOL you can bet your ass on that!


"or I am a lot more discriminating."

What does that even mean in this context?

" I would like to go to the maret and by some insurance, but I cannot, and if I could I would not be able to trust what I bought."

Yaaawn! Hydra's personal outlier experience once again.

I had a similar experience when I tried to insure my car right after I wrecked it. No insurance company seemed interested.

That's not an invitation to respond, by the way. I already know the story.

 
At 4/13/2012 6:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"We (sorry) just don't have the right incentives in place. For that we need better defined and well enforced proeprty rights, as Ken suggested."

What better defined property rights would provide you with better products than you are currently buying?

"Other things I buy and they are the best the competitive system can provide (meaning the best avaialble is only marginally better than the worst available)..."

And that is the fault of the person who buys them. Why make a product better if it flies off the shelf already? Do you think a central quality control or "truth in marketing" czar would improve things for you?

"...but when I look at them or use them I see a bunch of crap which is not at all what I would have chosen to buy, if I had perfect knowledge."

But it IS what you chose to buy, and you can't have perfect knowledge.

 
At 4/13/2012 6:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"'standing around in the groupthink circle'?!?!"

That's like a circle jerk, but you only imagine it.

 
At 4/13/2012 8:01 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

What caused you to moderate your views? What form or amount of government do now feel is necessary?

Well, Ron, I guess I'd have to say I grew up a little. I was an anarchist in college, where I had my protective cocoon of academia to protect/radicalize me. Towards the end of my senior year, I started to see some need for government: courts, mainly, but also fire departments, police, national defense, schools and interstate highways. That's pretty much it. And even within those categories, I want small interventions. I want a small but flexible military, small police forces, a voucher school system, etc.

I do see a role for government, but more as an umpire than a judge. He makes sure the rules agreed upon are enforced, but cannot make rules himself.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:05 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "I do see a role for government, but more as an umpire than a judge. He makes sure the rules agreed upon are enforced, but cannot make rules himself."

That's interesting. I thought college students became liberals, and then later in life they grew up. :)

I have some interesting arguments, or I should say I know of some interesting arguments, for each of the government functions you mention, being provided by private services.

Very limited government would be great, but it seems that once you give up some liberty to a government, you never get it back, and government grows no matter how hard people try to restrain it.

It's hard to imagine how a central government can act in the best interest of 300mn people.

 
At 4/14/2012 8:03 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

"Was it an industry standard that the size of a half gallon of ice cream changed overnight?"

Industry cannot change the definition of a gallon. They can only make packages smaller or larger.

 
At 4/14/2012 8:14 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Well, Ron, I guess I'd have to say I grew up a little. I was an anarchist in college, where I had my protective cocoon of academia to protect/radicalize me.

Sorry but you must have gone to a college on another planet. Which college teaches its students about the merits of the free market? Which college teaches about the superiority of anarcho-capitalism?

In my case I certainly was exposed to left anarchists in university but that is now what we mean when we talk about anarchism. The European style anarchists who have big moustaches and throw bombs are not what I had in mind.

Towards the end of my senior year, I started to see some need for government: courts, mainly, but also fire departments, police, national defense, schools and interstate highways.

Why is government better at delivering eduction, defense, or security any better than the free market?

That's pretty much it. And even within those categories, I want small interventions. I want a small but flexible military, small police forces, a voucher school system, etc.

But given the fact that we are human and live in human society we have to live with the fact that once bureaucrats are granted power they find ways to expand it. Yours is the road to serfdom and relativism. After all, if you can't support liberty on principle why should others let you be free?

I do see a role for government, but more as an umpire than a judge. He makes sure the rules agreed upon are enforced, but cannot make rules himself.

It seems to me that you have utopian tendencies that are based on a society that is not dominated by human nature. How is that a practical approach?

 
At 4/14/2012 8:16 AM, Blogger VangelV said...


It's hard to imagine how a central government can act in the best interest of 300mn people.


It is not possible because the interests are not the consistent. Some of us tend to forget that we live in human society, not a bee hive or ant colony.

 
At 4/14/2012 8:45 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Vangel,

My Alma Mater is Framingham State University in Framingham, Mass. The economics department there, in the classrooms, are very neutral and you do need to pry to get the professors to offer personal opinions. I spent many hours after classes discussing economics with my professors, some of whom were Austrians, some were free-marketers, and some were Keynesians. That's where my views got developed.

I have some interesting arguments, or I should say I know of some interesting arguments, for each of the government functions you mention, being provided by private services.

I know those arguments quite well. I've made them myself.

On some of the issues, specifically police, fire, and national defense, I do feel a private enterprise (note I am not saying free-market) system wouldn't be the best option simply because you have the free-rider problem. These a re public goods, meaning you cannot exclude anyone of receiving the benefits from them and one person's consumption of the good/service does not reduce another's ability to consume it. If these services were outsourced to private enterprises, you'd have folks who use and abuse the system since they do not pay for it. At least with a tax system to pay for these services, you reduce that problem (although not eliminate it).

As for schools, I should specify I am only talking about K12, not higher education. I also believe that education is vital to a democracy. The system of schools I imagine is this: rather than run schools directly, the local governments give parents vouchers to use to pay for children's education. Those vouchers can be used at any school (which are privately built and operated). This would allow parents to decide where their children go to school and would incentivize schools to perform better as they are now competing for students as opposed to having a legal monopoly on the local population.

Just my thoughts.

It seems to me that you have utopian tendencies that are based on a society that is not dominated by human nature.

Maybe. I may still have the romantic dreams I had in college of a free and just society.

But that is why we need a strong Constitution.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:11 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

On some of the issues, specifically police, fire, and national defense, I do feel a private enterprise (note I am not saying free-market) system wouldn't be the best option simply because you have the free-rider problem. These a re public goods, meaning you cannot exclude anyone of receiving the benefits from them and one person's consumption of the good/service does not reduce another's ability to consume it.

Sure you can exclude. If I pay for fire protection that does not mean that my company has to offer it to you if you do not. My security company will not protect your home from theft unless you pay them. The David Friedman book deals with this very effectively but there are plenty of other writers who do as good a job or better. If you really look at the problem there is no free rider problem.

If these services were outsourced to private enterprises, you'd have folks who use and abuse the system since they do not pay for it.

Actually, the abuse of the public system is far greater. After all, some people pay disproportionately for services used by others who pay much less. As for the waste, I doubt that private security companies would send armed men to shoot up a private house because someone inside it was smoking pot or engaging in consensual sexual activity with a competent individual. They certainly would not have many customers if they hid behind bushes and try to make drivers pay $100 for not stopping fully for long enough at an intersection that had no other vehicles or pedestrians or tried to fine people for using showers that allowed 'too much' water to flow through them.

At least with a tax system to pay for these services, you reduce that problem (although not eliminate it).

No you don't. Most of the money for various programs come from a small percentage of the individuals. And when some services are offered for 'free' you get abuse and shortages very quickly.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:23 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

As for schools, I should specify I am only talking about K12, not higher education.

The argument is weak no matter which 'levels' you are talking about. If private schools can teach kids how to read and do mathematics by grade 8 that the public school system cannot teach by grade 12 why should parents support it? Since when is a monopoly able to offer to customers the type of service that they want at a price that is acceptable?

I also believe that education is vital to a democracy.

Germany had a well developed public school system that gave it obedient children. That system of obedience and unquestioned loyalty to power was instrumental in giving them Hitler and the National Socialists. When the state controls the education system it teaches students to obey the state without question, not to be skeptical of power and mindful of populist nonsense that limits individual freedom.

The system of schools I imagine is this: rather than run schools directly, the local governments give parents vouchers to use to pay for children's education. Those vouchers can be used at any school (which are privately built and operated). This would allow parents to decide where their children go to school and would incentivize schools to perform better as they are now competing for students as opposed to having a legal monopoly on the local population.

There is still the question of morality. Why should people be forced to pay for the education of the children of others particularly when those children may be taught ideas that the people paying the bills might not agree with?

Yours is still a utopian dream because you do not eliminate the problem by the type of false 'competition' that is being called for. As long as the bureaucrats set the agenda and curriculum and as long as they hold the hammer of certification over the heads of providers there is no viable education system that supports liberty.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:29 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Maybe. I may still have the romantic dreams I had in college of a free and just society.

Yet you support activities that are not just and are against liberty.

But that is why we need a strong Constitution.

A thoughtful student of history sees the Constitution as the fist step in the coup that took place in the United States. You need to read your Lysander Spooner. It might be helpful to look at, No Treason, as a good place to start and try to think about how you can bind future generations in perpetuity by a document that they may not agree with.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Yet you support activities that are not just and are against liberty."

Yes, Jon, you're just another statist. Vangel would probably say you are even worse than Obama!

 
At 4/14/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Vangel,

I understand your points regarding fire and police. Those have been discussed at length elsewhere, so I'll not spend time with counterarguments here (read Capitalism and Freedom if you'd like those arguments made by a man much more intelligent than I).

Judging by your comments, I think you may have misunderstood my ideas surrounding the educational system, which, of course, is entirely my fault for being unclear.

There are no school committees or departments of education who decide curricula. Every school is free to set their own. It is then the parents job to decide which school is right for their child (even if that means homeschooling).

The vouchers would come from taxes, but not in the current system (property taxes). Parents who have children are assessed a certain tax (call it a child tax, if you'd like). The money from this tax is used ONLY for educational purposes. Parents can opt out of the tax if they will homeschool their children.

I think, Vangel, you may be confusing education with propaganda. A well read citizenry is more dangerous than an invading force. Additionally, children learn many of the social skills that will help them later in life, such as friendship, teamwork, cooperation, socializing, etc. Finally, education is about exposing people to different ideas. If you looked at my bookshelf, I have books ranging from Capitalism and Freedom and Atlas Shrugged to The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. I've read them all. I've embraced some of the ideas and rejected others. That is what education is all about and why it is vital to civilization.

 
At 4/14/2012 8:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"There are no school committees or departments of education who decide curricula. Every school is free to set their own. It is then the parents job to decide which school is right for their child (even if that means homeschooling)"...

Well jon murphy maybe that's the way it should but sadly least here in Missouri it doesn't quite work out that way...

Personally I like your ideas myself but having said that I'm totally against the 'public school model myself...

 
At 4/14/2012 8:47 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The vouchers would come from taxes, but not in the current system (property taxes). Parents who have children are assessed a certain tax (call it a child tax, if you'd like). The money from this tax is used ONLY for educational purposes. Parents can opt out of the tax if they will homeschool their children.

Why not simply have parents educate their own kids? They have to pay to feed, shelter, and clothe them and those activities are certainly essential. Why not pay for education as well?

Let me note that cost is not as big an issue as many believe. After all, if you look at many developing countries you will see the poor reject the free public schools for cheap but effective private schools because the private schools are capable of meeting parent goals. If you take a look at many of the advances in technology you will find that even the very poor have access to educational material that is better than what was available a decade ago to even the best schools.

I think, Vangel, you may be confusing education with propaganda.

Not at all. I think that it is the proponents of public education that make that error. They forget that the US system was based on the Prussian model, which was designed to teach obedience to the state. That is only made possible by removing students from their parents and from their immediate cultural and social influences. They ignore that when the current system was first proposed in Massachusetts the literacy rate stood at 98% and education of children was not a serious problem. The intent was not to just teach to read and write better. It was to create citizens that would serve the state and be good workers for established business interests.

Woodrow Wilson agreed. He said that, "We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks." But that was not the point. The point was that the established elite wanted to control who got access to what education. In a way it still does.

A well read citizenry is more dangerous than an invading force.

Not if it reads what the court historians and court academics feeds it through the education system. When that happens the well read citizenry is little more than a class of serfs willing to do the bidding of its betters.

Additionally, children learn many of the social skills that will help them later in life, such as friendship, teamwork, cooperation, socializing, etc.

I agree. But they can do that in church, at family outings, in the playground, joining sports teams or social clubs, learning how to play golf, etc.

Finally, education is about exposing people to different ideas.

You are confusing education with what the public school system teaches.

If you looked at my bookshelf, I have books ranging from Capitalism and Freedom and Atlas Shrugged to The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. I've read them all. I've embraced some of the ideas and rejected others. That is what education is all about and why it is vital to civilization.

Yes it is. But that is hardly what you get in the public school system. It cares about obedience and service to the state not independent thought. I got most of my exposure to Mises and Rothbard in China because I could find plenty of their books for sale. But for some reason my university economics faculty did not seem to teach anything out of those books and I had trouble finding them on the shelves of any of the libraries even though they carried Marx, Engels, and all kinds of Communist writers that had written books on all kinds of subject matter.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "
On some of the issues, specifically police, fire, and national defense, I do feel a private enterprise (note I am not saying free-market) system wouldn't be the best option simply because you have the free-rider problem.
"

Actually I believe the issue is more a matter of free choice than economics, although it may be hard to separate them. As you wrote, you have probably heard these arguments before, but other than national defense, and that assumes nations, I don't see a free rider problem with police and fire services. The same thing happens when I call insurance company I don't have a contract with, and tell them I've wrecked my car.

If I call the fire department and don't have a customer or membership number to give them, they may tell me how sorry they are about the loss of my house. the same goes for police services.

As it is, I'm paying for a one-size-fits-all service, and I must pay extra for additional private service if I want sonewthing else. A lot like K-12 education.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "At least with a tax system to pay for these services, you reduce that problem (although not eliminate it)."

I think you are saying you are willing to give up free choice to avoid free riders.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I think you are saying you are willing to give up free choice to avoid free riders.

In certain, limited circumstances, yes.

The nature of government is to give up some liberty. So, a limited government does mean some limited freedoms. What we want to do is to limit those infringements on our liberties as much as possible.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "The vouchers would come from taxes, but not in the current system (property taxes). Parents who have children are assessed a certain tax (call it a child tax, if you'd like). The money from this tax is used ONLY for educational purposes. Parents can opt out of the tax if they will homeschool their children."

I assume the reason for taking money from people and then giving it back is to insure an "equitable" redistribution. Otherwise, why tax people at all, but just let them pay for their children's education on their own? Unless you believe people should be forced to spend money on their children's education.

Both of those reasons seem like bad ones, Jon.

 
At 4/15/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "The nature of government is to give up some liberty. So, a limited government does mean some limited freedoms. What we want to do is to limit those infringements on our liberties as much as possible."

Don't get me wrong, I would be thrilled to have a government as originally outlined by the Constitution, but as we can see they don't seem to stay that way, and I know of no way to limit government power once you give up some liberty for it.

 
At 4/15/2012 7:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M,

I have no problem joining organizations voluntarily to achieve various ends, but I object to being forced to do so.

 

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