Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cleaned by Capitalism, Polluted by Communism

Don Boudreaux at the Cafe Hayek blog regularly features posts titled "Cleaned by Capitalism," here's a recent example

"Modern, innovative, industrial competitive capitalism makes available to almost every denizen of the early 21st-century capitalist world a host of inexpensive and effective machines and substances to protect ourselves from what would otherwise be the daily, up-close-and-personal pollution of bacteria from rotting food particles. We have dinnerware – plates, drinking glasses, bowls, pots, pans, and utensils – made of ceramics, plastics, and metals that resist absorbing foods and that can be vigorously washed, daily. We wash these items using inexpensive detergents, hot potable water, and dish cloths and sponges (that more and more are disposable – thus making the cloths and sponges that we use cleaner than otherwise).

Increasingly, of course, we wash our dishes and utensils by using this incredible, electricity-powered anti-pollutant machine….

The hot water sprayed in powerful jets combines with special detergent to clean dishes more thoroughly – and with far less expenditure of human time and suffering of aggravation – than is achieved by washing dishes by hand.  Another instance in which our society is cleaned by capitalism."

I thought of Don's "Cleaned by Capitalism" series today when I read Cuban super-blogger Yoani Sanchez's post titled "Have We Become Accustomed to Dirt?" (I think the answer is YES), but which could have alternatively been titled "Polluted by Communism":
  
"A teenager writes — with his index finger — the words “Wash me” in the dust on the window of the bus. A mother asks her son what the school bathroom is like and he confirms that “it stinks so much you can’t go in there.” A dentist eats a french fry in front of her patient and with unwashed hands proceeds to extract a tooth. A passerby lets his pizza — just out of the oven — drip cheese over the sidewalk, where it accumulates in a pool of fat. A waitress cleans the tables at Coppelia Ice Cream with a smelly rag, and puts out glasses sticky with successive layers of badly scrubbed milk. A spellbound tourist drinks a mojito in which several ice cubes made from tap water are floating. A sewer overflows a few yards from the kitchen of a recreation center for kids and teens. A cockroach quickly darts along the clinic wall while the doctor listens to a patient’s chest.
 
All this and more I could enumerate, but I prefer to summarize what I’ve seen with my own eyes. The hygiene of this city shows an alarming decline and creates a scenario for the spread of disease. The cholera outbreak in the east of the country is a sad warning of what could also happen in the capital. The lack of health education from the earliest years of life lead us to accept filth as the natural environment in which we move. The material shortages also raise the epidemiological risk. Many mothers reuse disposable diapers several times, stuffing them with cotton or gauze. The plastic bottles collected in the trash serve as containers for homemade yogurt or for milk sold on the black market. The inadequate water supply in many neighborhoods reduces hand washing and even the number of baths per week. The high prices and shortages of cleaning products further complicate the situation. It is very difficult now to find stores selling mops to clean the floor and detergent is also scarce. Keeping clean is expensive and complicated."

MP: In a market-based economy, keeping clean is cheap and easy, as the "Cleaned by Capitalism" examples on Cafe Hayek clearly illustrate. It's only under market-repressing communism that "keeping clean is expensive and complicated." Perhaps Yoani Sanchez could have a series of posts on her blog titled "Polluted (or Fouled) by Communism."

119 Comments:

At 8/16/2012 9:42 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Things are still being cleaned by capitalism. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring a contest to develop a new toilet where running water can be an issue. This could be huge for countries like Haiti or the Dominican Republic who lack the running water needed to operate conventional toilets.

 
At 8/16/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger Jody Wilson said...

Great post. I'm linking to this from my facebook page tonight.

 
At 8/16/2012 9:52 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Could we have a word of thanks, also, to the FDA, the EPA, and the various State and Municipal Health Dept.s around the country?

 
At 8/16/2012 10:01 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Thank you FDA, EPA and the rest of the alphabet soup of bureaucratic meddlers for raising the cost of sanitation, clean air, water etc., for preventing the terminally ill from accessing medication, killing people by keeping drugs off the market, and jacking up the cost of bringing drugs to market. Where would our central planners be without them? Better off.

 
At 8/16/2012 10:11 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

In the Soviet Union, hospitals were required to have one toilet per 76 patients. They regularly overflowed, covering the floor in sewage. I was in and out of hospitals for four years and I don't remember bathing facilities. I do remember the roof leaking and the ward flooding.

Rural hospitals there was no hot running water and my aunt recalls performing surgery surrounded by buckets to catch the water dripping from the leaks in the roof.

Polluted lakes and streams were the norm. Whole ecosystems were completely destroyed.

Some photos of what we lived with:

http://www.gerdludwig.com/stories/soviet-pollution-a-lethal-legacy/#num=content-305&id=album-37

 
At 8/16/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Could we have a word of thanks, also, to the FDA, the EPA, and the various State and Municipal Health Dept.s around the country?

The dishwasher predates all of these things by about 100 years (the first dishwasher came about in 1850).

That being said, since most sewer systems are run (or, at least funded by) town governments, thanks to them for that.

 
At 8/16/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring a contest to develop a new toilet where running water can be an issue"...

LMAO!

Bill Gates tries to come up with a royal flush

 
At 8/16/2012 10:50 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

The Cuyahoga River "Burned" for the last time in 1969. Even Richard Nixon was embarrassed enough to sign the bill creating the EPA.

 
At 8/16/2012 10:53 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Could we have a word of thanks, also, to the FDA, the EPA, and the various State and Municipal Health Dept.s around the country?"...

Yes rufus let's thank those useless, tax leeching, parasites for all the outrageously expensive over reach they lay on the economy thereby making everyone poorer for it...

 
At 8/16/2012 10:55 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The Cuyahoga River "Burned" for the last time in 1969. Even Richard Nixon was embarrassed enough to sign the bill creating the EPA"...

What did you expect from a liberal R.I.N.O. rufus, that he'd stay within the guideline of the Constitution?

 
At 8/16/2012 11:06 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

It's always tough to say what has caused a problem to go away, whether the regulator did it or was just around when it happened. My natural reaction (and this may just be me confirming my bias) is that the regulator's apperence is more correlation rather than causation.

We do see a number of cases in recent history where environmental conditions were improving before a regulatory agency came along: Child labor was virtually nonexistent before the Child Labor Laws were passed. Workplace injuries were falling long before OSHA came about. Even overall environmental conditions were improving before the EPA came about.

The thing with regulatory agencies is they are reactionary rather than proactive. Often, when a problem is discovered, companies have already developed a solution before the regulatory agency makes it's ruling. For example, in the auto industry, people were concerned with the amount of pollution cars were putting out in the 70's. Honda and Toyota burst onto the scene with new, cleaner cars. Later, the EPA passed regulations on the amount of pollution a car can emit (emission standards) and required all new vehicles to have a catalytic converter to clean them up. The Japanese car makers already met the standard (and then some) but did not have the converter. They asked the EPA for an exemption. The EPA denied them and required their vehicles to have the less efficient converter.

The point is, it is possible to say "the regulatory agency did this". But the question them becomes "what would have happened in absence of them?" That is impossible to answer.

 
At 8/16/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

No, Juandos, Rufus expects central planning and bloated government bureaucracies to work much better here than the workers' paradises of Cuba and the USSR.

Just make sure you don't have any puddles in your yard when it rains or the EPA will declare it a "wetland".

 
At 8/16/2012 11:13 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Just make sure you don't have any puddles in your yard when it rains or the EPA will declare it a "wetland".

Or declare it owned by the town.

 
At 8/16/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Or declare it owned by the town"...

No wonder the commies feel so at home in Oregon...

 
At 8/16/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Actually, before the EPA, rivers and harbors burning was a fairly common occurrence.

Since the establishment of the EPA, it hasn't, to my knowledge, happened again.

I would say, "Causation."

 
At 8/16/2012 12:02 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

I recently read an article (in The New Yorker, I think) about an auto trip through Russia and then Siberia. The author described the trash dumps by the side of the road, all down the road. The place is evidently a big trash heap.

I remember in the US when people threw garbage out of the windows of their cars and the place was littered up; no more. We took care of it, Communism couldn't.

 
At 8/16/2012 12:23 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Since the establishment of the EPA, it hasn't, to my knowledge, happened again.

I would say, "Causation."


Of course you would, Rufus. This is the kind of rigorous scientific analysis we've come to expect from you.

 
At 8/16/2012 12:23 PM, Blogger rjs said...

amazing confirmation bias...

 
At 8/16/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Actually, before the EPA, rivers and harbors burning was a fairly common occurrence.

Since the establishment of the EPA, it hasn't, to my knowledge, happened again.

I would say, "Causation."


Right, but to prove causation you would need to show that it was something the EPA did that stopped this from occuring.

I mean, it would be like saying "The economy was in recession in 2001-2002 and subsequently expanded. George Bush was President. Therefore, George Bush must have caused the recession and subsequent expansion." No, that doesn't hold water or make sense.

I'm just trying to point out how hard it is to prove causation. You need replication, which we don;t have. We need some kind of control group.

 
At 8/16/2012 1:27 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Rufus-

I do agree with your point that local governments have helped with our sanitary revolution: they do provide sewer systems and often times water systems that help keep us clean. In some cases, they also provide trash and landfill services, too. That is a perfectly legitimate point. I think, though, your argument becomes weaker with the invocation of the EPA, FDA, etc. There is just as much evidence that these bodies harmed the environment through their policies as they did help. One could also invoke the argument that they stifle innovation that could lead to better, cleaner, things.

 
At 8/16/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I don't know, Jon Murphy. My local government does a pretty poor job with those services. Are you saying that we should be thankful they're providing those things at all because private providers won't fill that need? Are you saying local government does it better? If so, on what evidence are you basing this?

I see no reason to be grateful to our overlords for preventing private competition so they can reserve the right to force us to buy a pretty lousy service.

 
At 8/16/2012 1:42 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Jon Murphy: " Workplace injuries were falling long before OSHA came about."

Absolutely! OSHA was created in 1970. In the 1950s and 1960s, the refinery where my dad worked emnarked on an extensive safety campaign. The oil company spent hundreds of thousamds if not millions on safety education and safety incentives. My dad and the other employees were proud when they accumulated milions of worked hours without a lost time accident.

So what motivated the employer to spend the shareholders' cash to keep the workplace safe? Two things:

1. incentiees offerred by the insurance cmpany which stood to lose if workers and their families filed claims against the refinery;

2. the higher labor costs the company would have incurred in maintainng a surplus of skilled workers to absorb injury-related absences.

Simple economic choices - not OSHA - is what kept my dad safe for the 35 years he worked at that refinery.

 
At 8/16/2012 1:42 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Are you saying that we should be thankful they're providing those things at all because private providers won't fill that need? Are you saying local government does it better?

Not saying that at all. I'm not making any kind of judgement call on how well/poor the services are provided. Just acknowledging it is a service provided. And they do a decent job at it. I mean, I don't know many places in America where raw sewage runs in the streets on a normal day like it will in Calcutta.

Can the private sector run the sewage system for a town or county? Sure. There are a number of ones in New Hampshire alone (including Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire). But it is a fairly rare occurance.

I don't want you to think I am saying "Praise be to Government!" What I am saying is "my taxes go to this, and at least they aren't f***ing it up."

To put it another way, on my list of things to be angry about the government butting into, the sewer system is down at the bottom.

 
At 8/16/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Simple economic choices - not OSHA - is what kept my dad safe for the 35 years he worked at that refinery.

Oh yeah! One of the arguments I love to hear is "well, if OSHA didn't force them to put in these handrails, then the companies wouldn't do it!" Well, that's just an incredibly stupid argument. Even without the threat of lawsuit, workplace injuries are extremely costly to the employer. It removes a productive worker from the field. If it's really bad, they need to bring in a new worker, which is costly in and of itself, but you get the lost potential output of the first employee.

Nobody wins when injuries happen.

 
At 8/16/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I mean, I don't know many places in America where raw sewage runs in the streets on a normal day like it will in Calcutta.

You're setting the bar at Calcutta?

I disagree that they're not f*cking it up. They are actually f*cking it up where I live. Moreover, I don't know if I'm overpaying for the service I am getting because there's more no market.

These are important things to consider, Jon. Are we overpaying? We just don't know, but I'd guess since it's a monopoly, we are.

You needn't be angry about it, you just should, IMO, look at the situation with a more critical eye.

 
At 8/16/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

You are probably right, Methinks. Maybe because it's something I don't mind, I don't pay it half as much attention as I should.

Let me ask you something (I'll throw it out to everyone): you get a separate sewer bill? Or is the sewer paid for out of the town's general tax fund and you don't know exactly what you pay for the sewer?

 
At 8/16/2012 2:18 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I don't really know how the payment operates here. All my taxes are included in my rent (which the landlord then pays to the town via his taxes).

 
At 8/16/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

We get billed for sewer.

You can't pay attention to everything, but I always think it's worth questioning authority when the issue comes up.

We had a property assessment case here where the assessment was $35,000 more than it should have been and despite clear evidence that the assessor was wrong, the county went to court. And lost. But what does the county care? The taxpayers paid for it to fight a losing battle in court. Local governments are better than the Federal government, but there is no reason at all to trust them.

 
At 8/16/2012 2:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks

"Some photos of what we lived with:"

Unimaginable. I had to stop looking at the pictures.

 
At 8/16/2012 2:50 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Methinks,

"Are we overpaying? We just don't know, but I'd guess since it's a monopoly,"

I think maybe you're just too cynical. :)

 
At 8/16/2012 2:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos:

"Bill Gates tries to come up with a royal flush"

That seems like a logical follow up to this cool productivity aid.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:08 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Magnificent. Thank you, Paul! I see the error of my ways now.

I'm in the wrong business.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Unimaginable. I had to stop looking at the pictures.

Unlucky for us, we didn't have to imagine it! Even with photos, though, it's difficult to grasp the horror.

There isn't one single compassionate thing about socialism and the state cannot be trusted for one microsecond.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Sadly, I have gone back to washing dishes by hand for a while. My new, energy efficient machine has turned out to be a piece of crap. Not only does it not dry the dishes properly because of all the energy saving measures taken it tends to break down whenever a seed or some hard particle makes it into certain parts that are now plastic but used to be made from steel not very long ago. Technology helps. When government meddles they make things worse than they used to be.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It seems, some people miss the good ol' days:

MINER DEATHS AND INJURIES IN CHINA

"In China there are 7.29 deaths per million tons of coal produced, compared to 0.04 deaths in the United States.

Miners die in floods, gas explosions, fires, collapsing tunnels and from carbon monoxide poisoning. About 70 percent of the deaths occur in the small mines.

Mining companies routinely ignore safety equipment and procedures, exceed the number of miners allowed in the mines at one time to boost production far beyond what is safe."

 
At 8/16/2012 3:19 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Vange, I notice my new dishwashers don't compare to my old ones. They don't break down (although, the miele is a POS) so much, but they neither clean nor dry the dishes the way dishwashers built 10 years ago did. Thanks, EPA.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

but they neither clean nor dry the dishes the way dishwashers built 10 years ago did.

Really? I just got a brand new Bosch to replace my old GE and I think it is vastly superior.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Although we could be talking about different bases. My old dishwasher was older than I am.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M:

"The thing with regulatory agencies is they are reactionary rather than proactive. Often, when a problem is discovered, companies have already developed a solution before the regulatory agency makes it's ruling. "

I think you are right on target. As people (countries) become wealthier over time and basic survival no longer requires their full attention, people become interested in air & water pollution, workplace safety, auto safety, child labor, environment, endangered species, and other concerns that truly poor people can't afford to consider.

This seems obvious when comparing wealthy, industrialized countries where property rights are relatively secure, to poor countries where they are not.

At some point it seems that trends that are "improvements" become codified in law by those who don't understand that what they advocate is happening already.

For example we can see from a chart that I can't find right now that workplace injuries and deaths have decreased steadily since WW2, and the establishment of OSHA had no effect on this trend.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

JM, it depends on the model we're talking about and dishwashers wear out over time. Is your old GE a comparable model to the Bosch or was it lower quality? It's hard to compare a new dishwasher with an old (presumably worn out) dishwasher unless you have experience with the old dishwasher when it was new.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That being said, since most sewer systems are run (or, at least funded by) town governments, thanks to them for that."

Yeah, but "they didn't build that". They owe it all to private developers.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I didn't see the second post. Dishwashers got a lot better after you were born and are now getting worse.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

The thing with regulatory agencies is they are reactionary rather than proactive.

Just thinking about a proactive regulatory agency makes me shudder.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The Cuyahoga River "Burned" for the last time in 1969. Even Richard Nixon was embarrassed enough to sign the bill creating the EPA."

Yeah, let's all sing hosannas to the EPA whose first official act was to ban DDT, thus ultimately condemning hundreds of millions of people in third world countries to death from malaria.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Just make sure you don't have any puddles in your yard when it rains or the EPA will declare it a "wetland"."

Well, maybe Paul will comment, but my experience of the Phoenix area is that since any small amount of rain seems to create puddles that last for days, the entire Valley of the Sun can probably be considered a wetland. :)

 
At 8/16/2012 3:52 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

These type of studies are needed to reduce wild assumptions:

"The study “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,” found that workplace injury claims dropped 9.4% at randomly chosen businesses in the four years following an inspection by the California OSHA program, compared with employers not inspected.

Those same employers also saved an average of 26% on workers’ compensation costs, when compared with similar firms that were not inspected.

This means that the average employer saved $355,000 (in 2011 dollars) as a result of an OSHA inspection. The effects were seen among small and large employers."

 
At 8/16/2012 3:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/16/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos:

"No wonder the commies feel so at home in Oregon..."

LOL

They're complaining about "wage theft" because their employers are withholding some of their pay. Don't those dummies realize the employer has no choice? :)

 
At 8/16/2012 4:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I would say, "Causation."

Well of course you would.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

"The study “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,” found that workplace injury claims dropped 9.4% at randomly chosen businesses in the four years following an inspection by the California OSHA program, compared with employers not inspected.

Those same employers also saved an average of 26% on workers’ compensation costs, when compared with similar firms that were not inspected.

This means that the average employer saved $355,000 (in 2011 dollars) as a result of an OSHA inspection. The effects were seen among small and large employers."


Question: What was the trend before this? Were injury claims falling at a higher or lesser rate than the 9.4% rate quoted? Does this account for differences between industries? Are the two groups (control and experiment) similar?

 
At 8/16/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Few more questions: what's the margin of error in the sampling? What was the null hypothesis?

 
At 8/16/2012 4:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sorry Jon M, I guess I should read all the comments before I release my fingers.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:05 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I'm just trying to get an idea of how accurate the study is, Peak. I find there are far too many people who are statistically illiterate. I am not suggesting you are one of them, but if we are to discuss this, I'd like to know it's legitimate and not some poorly designed study.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Although we could be talking about different bases. My old dishwasher was older than I am."

My current dishwasher is older than you are and it still works well. :)

 
At 8/16/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"It seems, some people miss the good ol' days:


"In China there are 7.29 deaths per million tons of coal produced, compared to 0.04 deaths in the United States.
"

Not at all. China is where the US was 100-150 years ago. The good news is that when the Chinese are as wealthy as Americans their death rate in coal mines will likely be comparable. All without help from government agencies and regulators.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"This means that the average employer saved $355,000 (in 2011 dollars) as a result of an OSHA inspection. The effects were seen among small and large employers."

I guess employers are too stupid to figure out that safety measures are cost effective without being reminded by OSHA. Reread Jet's comment.

Oh, and what exactly is an "average employer"?

 
At 8/16/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, I didn't read the study.

I think, your questions are irrelevant, given it's a randomized study and the number of observations.

You can find it here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6083/907

"We compared 409 randomly inspected establishments in California with 409 matched-control establishments that were eligible, but not chosen, for inspection.

Compared with controls, randomly inspected employers experienced a 9.4% decline in injury rates (95% confidence interval = –0.177 to –0.021) and a 26% reduction in injury cost (95% confidence interval = –0.513 to –0.083).

We find no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival."

Author's Affiliations

Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Harvard Business School, Boston.

Department of Economics, Boston University.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The study “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,"

By the way, Peak, that sounds more like a conclusion than a study. With that title there's no need to read further.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:40 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, perhaps, the title came after the study was completed.

 
At 8/16/2012 4:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak sez:

"I think, your questions are irrelevant, given it's a randomized study and the number of observations."

Jon, you might want to reconsider your statement: "I am not suggesting you are one of them..."

 
At 8/16/2012 4:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ron, perhaps, the title came after the study was completed."

Nice try. Was it called "the study" before that so a lengthy explanation was required anytime anyone mentioned it?

 
At 8/16/2012 5:18 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/tracking-economy-and-gdp-through-trash


Check out the graph at this site.

Cleaning up and capitalism, as measured by GDP appear to be closely linked. No surprise to environmental economists.

You want to maximize GDP growth, just minimize total costs where - you guessed it-

Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost.

Trash is usually a component of all three terms on the right hand side: Trash that a company pays to capture, clean up, recycle or dispose of; Trash that gets waway and becomes someone else's problem, and trash that the government then has to pick up, monitor or regulate.

 
At 8/16/2012 5:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"...when the Chinese are as wealthy as Americans their death rate in coal mines will likely be comparable. All without help from government agencies and regulators."

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

You are dreaming.

 
At 8/16/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Things are still being cleaned by capitalism. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ..."

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

Isn't the foundation a Charity?


Sure the money came form capitalism, but the things the foundation is doing are things that capitalism failed to do on its own.

 
At 8/16/2012 5:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

so how many built the sewer they flush their toilets into?

how many restaurants depend on water/sewer for their business?

 
At 8/16/2012 6:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"They're complaining about "wage theft" because their employers are withholding some of their pay. Don't those dummies realize the employer has no choice? :)"...

Well that's the problem isn't it ron h?

They're commies, liberals, progressives, or whatever (they're all parasites) because they're not smart enough to be anything else...

 
At 8/16/2012 6:25 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Regarding the study above, I don't know how much the inspected firms spent to comply with OSHA regulations.

However, the "9.4% decline in injury rates" benefited workers and the "26% reduction in injury cost" benefited the firm (both -0.94 and -0.26 were within their 95% confidence intervals).

Nonetheless, the conclusion was: "We find no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival."

 
At 8/16/2012 6:28 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Make that -0.094.

 
At 8/16/2012 6:29 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I have come around to Larry and Peak's view:

Without the special golden fairies in government restraining us and guiding us into the light, we would be killing each other and crapping in our pants.

 
At 8/16/2012 6:31 PM, Blogger hancke said...

"how many restaurants depend on water/sewer for their business?"

How many municipal water/sewer systems are built in the absence of business?

 
At 8/16/2012 6:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Methinks, that's why we need rigorous studies by experts to limit overregulation.

 
At 8/16/2012 6:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

How many municipal water/sewer systems are built in the absence of business?


not too many and if you build a water/sewer system it will attract business.

There are indeed private water/sewer systems but they cannot exist without the cooperation of govt because they need utility rights of ways.

 
At 8/16/2012 7:04 PM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

One of things that I love about environmental arguments is that two events will always be posted to 'prove' the need for regulations. The first is the burning river - if you really look into it the river burned because no one owned it and the local politicians played kick the can down the road, no one was responsible - Other cities had similar waste problem but their rivers didn't burn. It is an interesting read. The other is without OSHA we would see a massive rise in injuries and death in the workplace. Go to some of the OSHA sites and look at the death rates and injury rate graphs before and after OSHA. What is beautiful is they all slope down, OSHA has had little impact. But lots of folks are employed by good folks in Washington.

 
At 8/16/2012 7:37 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes, Peak. I'm completely convinced the experts will fix everything. Like they did in Russia. And, obviously, experts are not going to favour over-regulation. They bright line between just the right amount of regulation and over-regulation is so clear and bright they can't miss it.

 
At 8/16/2012 8:26 PM, Blogger Trey said...

Cuyahoga has become one of the great fables of the environmental movement.

'"It was the summer of 1969 and the Cuyahoga River was burning."

But the famous photograph that appeared in Time was not of the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969. (The fire lasted just 30 minutes and was put out before anyone could snap a picture of it.) It was of a far more serious fire in 1952 that burned for three days and caused $1.5 million in damage. In fact, the Cuyahoga had caught fire on at least a dozen occasions since 1868.'

That is from Breakthrough, a _progressive_ think-tank.

http://breakthroughgen.org/stories.shtml

For more details, Jonathan Adler's paper is here:

http://law.cwru.edu/faculty/adler_jonathan/publications/fables_of_the_cuyahoga.pdf

 
At 8/16/2012 9:22 PM, Blogger Trey said...

For those of you who are still not convinced by our host's arguments (as I might have been a five years ago) may I suggest a few other resources:

The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley.

The Improving State of the World, by Indur Goklany.

Cleaning the Air, also by Goklany.

Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout, by Patrick Moore.

 
At 8/16/2012 9:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sure the money came form capitalism, but the things the foundation is doing are things that capitalism failed to do on its own."

LOL

You fascists are a crackup!

This is what people choose to do with their own money. Get your head out for a moment.

Do you see capitalism as a giant being that should be walking around handing out goodies to those who are less fortunate, but has failed to do so?

It is people giving generously to others that is made possible by capitalism that is unheard of in any other system.

 
At 8/16/2012 10:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

'Nonetheless, the conclusion was: "We find no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival."'...

Good one pt!

Show me an honest tax leech and I'll show you a western sunrise...

 
At 8/16/2012 10:55 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I'm no fascist. I just pointed out that while capitalism made the gates foundation possible, it isn't capitalism that is tackling those problems.

It is capitalisms failings that make charity and government necessary.

It is capitalism successes that make charity and government possible.

 
At 8/16/2012 11:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

So the many fires on the Cuyahoga are a fable, because that story was inaccurate?

 
At 8/16/2012 11:20 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Experts have failings. Just fewer of them than ignorant amateurs.

 
At 8/16/2012 11:24 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Knowledgeable environmentalists favor not only improved ownership, but improved accountability. It is never green to waste money or prioritize it badly.

But it is a myth that capitalism always magically provides for everything.

 
At 8/16/2012 11:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Precisely. It is a circular dependency.

Hoe many restaurants built a water and sewer system do they would open for business in the middle of nowhere?
The Sands?

How many restaurants opened a storefront shack and.did without water and sewer.......until the government required them to have it.?


 
At 8/17/2012 2:41 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Hoe many restaurants built a water and sewer system do they would open for business in the middle of nowhere?
The Sands?

How many restaurants opened a storefront shack and.did without water and sewer.......until the government required them to have it.?
"

And why do you persist in not understanding what you read?

 
At 8/17/2012 6:45 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

It is capitalism successes that make charity and government possible.

Since when has capitalism been a prerequisite for either?

 
At 8/17/2012 10:27 AM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Hydra said...
It is capitalisms failings that make charity and government necessary.



Some form of Government has been necessary since humans first started to live in groups of more than one. Human nature makes some form of government necessary. Government has been around long before capitalism. To say that capitalism makes government necessary is just a silly statement.

I am sure in a socialist utopia where the "government" distributes all the income to citizens, then "charity" would not be necessary as we know it now because we would all be accepting charity from government since they have now made us all slaves. Charity came into existance at the same time as government, when humans started to live in groups of more than one. Human nature makes charity necessary. Another silly statement from Hydra.

 
At 8/17/2012 12:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: chicken/egg...govt/capitalism

I think capitalism came first from individuals who bartered before they ever thought of "government".

no?

 
At 8/17/2012 1:15 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

GivemeFreedom:

You took the quote out of context: the full thought reads


"It is capitalisms failings that make charity and government necessary.

It is capitalism successes that make charity and government possible."


Attacking half of an idea is less than half of an argument.


As you point out, Some form of Government has been necessary since humans first started to live in groups of more than one. It was made necessary, probably because some kind of trade or barter went wrong, or because the biggest strongest richest guy wanted more power.

In any case capitalism isnt the ONLY thinkg that makes governemtn necessary, but given the recent and contineuing string of banking scandals, it certainly seems to demand more than a little vague oversight.





 
At 8/17/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"charity" would not be necessary as we know it now because we would all be accepting charity from government since they have now made us all slaves.

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

And you think MY statements are silly?

Since when is a slave someone who accepts charity? If anything, he is someone who is paying far more than he gets. And unlike tax paying citizens, he has no say in what gets paid for.



 
At 8/17/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Hydra,

Isn't the foundation a Charity?


Sure the money came form capitalism, but the things the foundation is doing are things that capitalism failed to do on its own.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sure, the money came from capitalism and is used by voluntary means without government intervention and coercion, BUT, BUT, BUT...

Additionally, why don't you look at where the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is most active? You'll see that capitalism is definitely NOT in those places, so the poverty and misery in those places are not "things that capitalism failed to do on its own."

However, it does highlight the things Hydra fails to understand about capitalism.

 
At 8/17/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I fail to see how your comment refutes my point.

Capitalism, as you point out, has failed in those places, so charity has stepped in.

If there was an alternative model, one would think that am emperor of capitalism like bill gates would figure out how to employ it.

Bill gates is using charity to achieve what he could not do through capitalism. How can you change the facts?

 
At 8/17/2012 6:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"It is capitalisms failings that make charity and government necessary"...

What was that comment about your alledged abilities with logic hydra?

BTW who says charity is necessary?

 
At 8/17/2012 9:12 PM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Hydra said...
GivemeFreedom:
You took the quote out of context: the full thought reads
"It is capitalisms failings that make charity and government necessary.
It is capitalism successes that make charity and government possible."
Attacking half of an idea is less than half of an argument.



Seems like 2 ideas to me, even though you made them one after the other, each can stand on it's own as a statement. Since Methinks explained the silliness of the second one, I decided to highlight the silliness of the first.


Methinks said...
It is capitalism successes that make charity and government possible.

Since when has capitalism been a prerequisite for either?

8/17/2012 6:45 AM




Hydra said
As you point out, Some form of Government has been necessary since humans first started to live in groups of more than one. It was made necessary, probably because some kind of trade or barter went wrong, or because the biggest strongest richest guy wanted more power.
In any case capitalism isnt the ONLY thinkg that makes governemtn necessary, but given the recent and contineuing string of banking scandals, it certainly seems to demand more than a little vague oversight.



Seems to me that you just made my argument for me. Yours was a silly statement, Capitalism failings make charity and government necessary seems pretty clear. Capitalism fails, charity and government are necessary. You made that very clear connection.

But now you are talking about some cavemen who are bartering and some modern day bankers who need to regulated?? Wouldn't the biggest strongest richest guy back then actually be the government?

My point stands, government predates capitalism.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:22 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The idea is that neither side of the argument is superior They stand together ssh s complete thought. Attacking the first half Sloane is as senseless as attacking the second half.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:23 PM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Hydra said...
"charity" would not be necessary as we know it now because we would all be accepting charity from government since they have now made us all slaves.
================================
And you think MY statements are silly?
Since when is a slave someone who accepts charity? If anything, he is someone who is paying far more than he gets. And unlike tax paying citizens, he has no say in what gets paid for.



And you accuse me of taking the quote out of context? I said,

I am sure in a socialist utopia where the "government" distributes all the income to citizens, then "charity" would not be necessary as we know it now because we would all be accepting charity from government since they have now made us all slaves. Charity came into existance at the same time as government, when humans started to live in groups of more than one. Human nature makes charity necessary. Another silly statement from Hydra.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:26 PM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Okay, then consider Methinks' attack and my attack as a two pronged assault on your silliness.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I think the first guy who traded something he had for something he did not have ass engaging in capitalism.

The usual argument here is that capitalism needs no government to survive, and would thrive better without it.

Now you claim government predates capitalism?

 
At 8/17/2012 9:41 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I consider it to be two partial and ineffectual assaults on an idea you have so far ignored and dismisses but not yet addressed: there are things capitalism does not do. It is not perfect or complete.


For the things capitalism does not do we have charity and government. Both of them rely on profits from capitalism and other industry.

There are also things capitalism does badly, and for that we have government.


You may argue that the system is out of control, but that system contains elements of both government and private enterprise. If you have an airplane falling out of the sky, the goal ought to be to fix the problem, not the blame. If the engines are not working you need to restore them, not blame the pilot.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:45 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I included the eclipses to indicate I was taking it out of context. The preface was not Germaine to the point in question because it ass a subordinate clause. Unlike my idea in which both parts are held to be equal.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:49 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

My apology, I did not include the ellipses as intended.

 
At 8/17/2012 9:58 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

My argument stands. Your preface defends on some socialite utopia, which does no t exist, so that part of your argument I'd moot. A false preface is a logical error, but without it the remainder still makes no sense. Slaves are not the recipients of government charity .

Rather, they are the result of s failure of government. A failure that a Republican government fought a war over.

 
At 8/17/2012 10:41 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Look, I am a scientist. And an engineer. I believe there are right answers and we will eventually find them. We will eventually discover weather there is anthropogenic global warming or not. After enough itemptations we will discover weather republican policies or democratic policies are better.

I have liberal friends to believe that bbusiness is always bad t.hat walmart and Monsanto are always wrong. I do not think they are correct. No amount are going on their part will convince me that they are always correct.

 
At 8/17/2012 10:42 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Look, I am a scientist. And an engineer. I believe there are right answers and we will eventually find them. We will eventually discover weather there is anthropogenic global warming or not. After enough itemptations we will discover weather republican policies or democratic policies are better.

I have liberal friends to believe that bbusiness is always bad t.hat walmart and Monsanto are always wrong. I do not think they are correct. No amount are going on their part will convince me that they are always correct.

 
At 8/18/2012 3:55 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Bill gates is using charity to achieve what he could not do through capitalism. How can you change the facts?"

LOL

And right on cue to prove Ken's point...

The gates foundation is helping improve sanitation and education for people who are unable to improve their own condition because capitalism isn't allowed to function in their countries.

Gates might prefer to do even more for the people the foundation helps by establishing businesses and providing jobs but without strong property rights and enforcement of contracts it's not possible.

 
At 8/18/2012 3:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think capitalism came first from individuals who bartered before they ever thought of "government"."

You may be confused about the definition of capitalism. You are describing trade.

 
At 8/18/2012 4:01 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think the first guy who traded something he had for something he did not have ass engaging in capitalism."

And yet another commenter who confuses trade with capitalism!

How can you write so much about something you don't understand?

 
At 8/18/2012 4:05 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I included the eclipses to indicate I was taking it out of context."

Eclipses?

"The preface was not Germaine to the point in question because it ass a subordinate clause. Unlike my idea in which both parts are held to be equal."

Held to be equally silly, yes.

 
At 8/18/2012 4:11 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I have liberal friends to believe that bbusiness is always bad t.hat walmart and Monsanto are always wrong. I do not think they are correct. No amount are going on their part will convince me that they are always correct."

This was bad enough the first time. No need to post it twice.

You might want to consider either ditching that andriod device or doing all your posting before you start hitting the sauce.

 
At 8/18/2012 4:29 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

[slaves] "Rather, they are the result of s failure of government. A failure that a Republican government fought a war over."

No, they are a failure of human morality.

That big government Republican Lincoln killed 650,000 people to preserve the Union. Slavery was a root cause of the division between North and South, but Lincoln pointed out in his first inaugural address that slavery wasn't as important to him important as preserving the Union.

 
At 8/18/2012 5:35 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

And yet another commenter who confuses trade with capitalism!


In order to have trade, you must have production of something to trade.

That implies that someone invested something towards that production.

what would you call that production if it is performed in anticipation of barter and trade for other things?

 
At 8/18/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Question of degree isn't it? If I ho out in the wild and bring back food, don't I have an investment in it, whether I have money or not? Won't I expect to barter it for something I value more than what it costs me?

 
At 8/18/2012 12:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Larry: "what would you call that production if it is performed in anticipation of barter and trade for other things?"

Hydra: "Question of degree isn't it? If I ho out in the wild and bring back food, don't I have an investment in it, whether I have money or not? Won't I expect to barter it for something I value more than what it costs me?"

And they both insist on making my point for me! Amazing.

Yes, hoing" in the wild is one example of trade - in your example for food. In fact hoing is believed to be one of the oldest professions.

 
At 8/18/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: hunting for food you can 'sell' or "trade"

...Is Capitalism without a govt

the govt came later...

 
At 8/18/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"re: hunting for food you can 'sell' or "trade"

...Is Capitalism without a govt
"

You can define words in whatever way you wish for your own private use, but if you wish to join in discussions on a blog comment section, you must use the correct definitions that everyone else uses if you wish to be taken seriously.

Please read the following, paying special attention to the words I have bolded.

From Wiki:

"Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit. Competitive markets, wage labor, capital accumulation, voluntary exchange, and personal finance are also considered capitalistic.

Competitive markets, capital accumulation, voluntary exchange (trade), and personal finance are, however, not capitalism, and are often a part in non-capitalist systems such as market socialism and worker cooperatives.
"

That may be too fine a distinction for you, but please try to understand that there's a difference.

 
At 8/18/2012 3:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

you do not need government to have a "system" guy.

the black market is a perfect example of a non-govt free market - capitalism - and it's not market socialism and it's not worker cooperatives - it's plain old free market capitalism.

or how about this.

You make the distinction between people investing their own time and resources toward sum productive activity that yields something they can sell or trade for other stuff they need - without govt influence and without teaming up with other people.

what is that if it is not capitalism?

isn't it the essence of capitalism?

how would you distinguish that kind of activity from capitalism?

 
At 8/18/2012 3:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"what is that if it is not capitalism?

isn't it the essence of capitalism?

how would you distinguish that kind of activity from capitalism?
"

I expected that you wouldn't understand what you read, if you even read it, but that's all I can do for you Larry.

The things you mention may be parts of a capitalist *system* but are not by themselves capitalism. Trade is a part of a capitalist system, but trade is not capitalism.

A black market is not a free market, and couldn't exist without government interference in the free market. A black market, by definition, is a market outside of normal channels, and is a perfect example of the laws of supply and demand in action - laws which cannot be legislated or regulated out of existence. Notice that black market prices are generally higher because supply has been artificially constrained.

 
At 8/21/2012 9:29 PM, Blogger Trey said...

The point is that 1) improvements were already in progress 2) perceptions of the environment changed ( as Adler notes).

 
At 8/25/2012 10:04 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Larry is right send you are wrong. An economic system does not require government. In the example, the winter owns the food he traces with.

The fine distinction is that once ownership is ddefined, then so is government, however weakly.


One part of understanding is using common meaning for words. Technology other part is trying to understand. Words are not without nuance. By insisting on only your rigid definition, you stake out your position or your territory as correct in advance. In going so you prejudice your argument rather than advance it.

I would argue that tribal government is still government.. that trade and government ate so closely linked that it is useless to argue otherwise in any real world sense.

 
At 8/25/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

The black market exists because supply is artificially constrained but that constraint may come from lack of government as easily as too much government.

Your idea of voluntary trade is imperfect. Ownership reduces supply, too. Ownership and Gove rnmrnt are closely linked. When one party owns something and another nrrfs it, that parties position in the negotiation is reduced. Since the trading positions are never truly equal the owner or capitalist holds a superior position.
For apple, that was worth a billion dollars this week.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home