Sanitation, antecedent to everything, was government.

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, Seven Bad Ideas

Government was exclusively responsible for sanitation in the late 1800s and early 1900s, something often overlooked by economists. Clean water made the growth of cities possible, and cities in turn were major sources of growth, their dense populations providing demand for goods and labor in new and less costly ways. Government also led urban health campaigns, including inoculations that helped …

Rebuttal to Friedman concerning government doing nothing

TheGrandmaster Seven Bad Ideas

Friedman had little sense of the historical importance of collective action, especially that undertaken through formal governance of some kind. As he wrote, The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government. Columbus did not set out to seek a new route to China in …

Good general role of government

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Seven Bad Ideas

Nonorthodox economists believe that government investment in infrastructure, education, research and development, and health care is at least as important as private capital investment and creates the necessary conditions for business to thrive and for a just and optimistic society. This investment is not required simply because markets fail. Institutional economists recognize the need for equalizing education, but also for …

How has government helped me? In a Nutshell

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Government is Good

A good bureaucracy is indispensable to a free society, a democratic polity, and a capitalist economy. The freedom to wander the streets at night, for example depends on competent law enforcement. The ability to vote governments out of office without disruption requires a reliable administrative apparatus. A prosperous business community demands good schools, highways, health departments, post offices, and water …

The real threat to freedom 2 – and government as defender

TheGrandmaster Government is Good

The larger point here is that when it comes to freedom, anti-government conservatives are wrong about how they portray both government and the private sector. Government is not nearly the threat they make it out to be and it is actually the mechanism that allows us to best protect and expand our freedoms. Moreover, the private sector is not the …

Markets and Environment

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, People's writings

It makes little sense to suggest that markets can solve every problem, cure every ill, and can work perfectly without any intervention or regulation. It may be a very profitable pursuit of self interest for a company to create a product that sells very well, but requires a great deal of radioactive waste in the process of production. The company, …

Liberal Conception of Government

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, The Price of Inequality

Opponents of regulation always complain that it’s bad for business. Regulations that prevent pollution, of course, are bad for businesses that would have otherwise polluted. Regulations that prevent child labor are bad for businesses that would have exploited children. Regulations that prevent American companies from engaging in bribery or abuses of human rights may be bad for businesses that engage …

Liberal Government

TheGrandmaster People's writings, The Price of Inequality

Markets by themselves often fail to produce efficient and desirable outcomes, and there is a role for government in correcting these market failures, that is, designing policies (taxes and regulations) that bring private incentives and social returns into alignment.  If you have to explain the progressive vision of the role of government in an economy in one sentence, this its …

The Great Contributions of Government

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, The Price of Inequality

Of course, not every government effort is successful, or as successful as its advocates would have liked. Indeed, when the government undertakes research (or supports new private-sector ventures), there should be some failures. A lack of failures means you are not taking enough risks. Success occurs when the returns from those projects that succeed are more than enough to offset …

Values incoherent to markets or sale

TheGrandmaster Sapiens

Parents who are especially abusive or violent with their children may be restrained by the state. If need be, the state may even imprison the parents or transfer their children to foster families. Until not long ago, the suggestion that the state ought to prevent parents from beating or humiliating their children would have been rejected out of hand as …

More things markets can’t sell

TheGrandmaster Sapiens

In most parts of the world, people go to sleep without fearing that in the middle of the night a neighboring tribe might surround their village and slaughter everyone. Well-off British subjects travel daily from Nottingham to London through Sherwood Forest without fear that a gang of merry green-clad brigands will ambush them and take their money to give to …

Taxes are your share in America

TheGrandmaster American Amnesia, Anti-Libertarian Philosophy

In a radio address shortly before tax filing day in 1943, Winchell drew a blunt connection between taxation and citizenship: “Attention Mr. and Mrs. United States. . . . Your income tax blank is not a bill from your government. It is your share in America. Our nation is composed of one hundred and thirty million shareholders— shareholders in civilization. …

Government Contributions to Health and Electronics

TheGrandmaster American Amnesia, Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses

The fruits of these early and extensive investments are countless. The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) emerged from a series of National Science Foundation grants starting in the mid-1950s. The laser, also vital to medical practice as well as consumer electronics and much else, grew out of military-funded research.55 In drug development, a 1995 investigation by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute …

Taxation is a part of world history

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Sapiens

In 221 BC the Qin dynasty united China, and shortly afterwards Rome united the Mediterranean basin. Taxes levied on 40 million Qin subjects paid for a standing army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and a complex bureaucracy that employed more than 100,000 officials. The Roman Empire at its zenith collected taxes from up to 100 million subjects. This revenue …

Domestic Stateless examples

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

What Americans cherish as “independence” is actually dependence on a certain set of (liberal) institutions. I can escape the corkscrew of the local strongman—that is, be independent—only if I have the public power on my side. Empty treasuries and debilitated administrations make a mockery of paper rights. We do not have to look to foreign shores to see this point. …

Failure of Anarchy

TheGrandmaster People's writings

Anarchic or quasi-anarchic systems can work for sparsely populated regions where people live in nomadic hunting-and-gathering tribes, because meetings with strangers are few and far between; most of the people you interact with on a daily basis will be close blood relatives, fostering a degree of trust that doesn’t require formalized legal and judicial structures. But once people settle down …

Libertarians, Anarchists, and “Freedom”

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, People's writings

Throughout history, Liberty has been a concept based on rights, rather than on freedom. Rights are a type of freedom, but not the only type of freedom. Rights are freedoms that carry with them responsibilities to others in the community. At the very least, a right carries with it the responsibility to respect the same right for others. Liberty is based on this …

Libertarian Illusion foundation

TheGrandmaster The Libertarian Illusion

The libertarian illusion is that this shrunken government will permit a better society. A society without a government capable of offering a safety net to the destitute, providing educational opportunities to future generations, ensuring a dignified life to those in their final years, preserving our cultural heritage for posterity, assisting those caught up in natural disasters, and protecting us all …

Law outside of Law

TheGrandmaster Government is Good

Nor can we rely on people acting outside of the law, either individually or in private groups, to provide justice in our society. All too often the result of this kind of approach is the revenge killing, the lynch mob, or the drive-by gang shooting. Justice administered outside of government and outside of the law is almost always arbitrary, inappropriate, …

Foreclosure of terrible choices

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, The Myth of Choice

First, we should work to ensure that economic need is not a source of coercion. As we think about the range of bad choices people are forced into—to work for an employer who puts employees at risk, to sell sex for money, or to buy cheap, fatty food—many of the most problematic choices are brought about by simple economic need. …

Private Power is just as bad – Classic

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Freedom Reclaimed

Government is not simply the way we express ourselves collectively but also often the only way we preserve our freedom from private power and its incursions. As noted earlier, individual liberty means that a person is protected from unwarranted outside interference-not only governmental interference but also the wrongful interference of anyone in our lives, whether it be a corporation, or …

Government “Intrusion” allows freedom.

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Rights are costly because remedies are costly. Enforcement is expensive, especially uniform and fair enforcement; and legal rights are hollow to the extent that they remain unenforced. Formulated differently, almost every right implies a correlative duty, and duties are taken seriously only when dereliction is punished by the public power drawing on the public purse. There are no legally enforceable …

Wealth exists because it can be defended

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The public costs of nonwelfare rights show, among other things, that “private wealth,” as we know it, exists only because of governmental institutions. Those who attack all welfare programs on principle should be encouraged to contemplate the obvious—namely, that the definition, assignment, interpretation, and protection of property rights is a government service that is delivered to those who currently own …

AL 5 – Aggregation of exchanges

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, Anti-Libertarianism: Markets Philosophy and Myth, First Line of Defenses

The fact that you or I have certainly not consented to the specific pattern of distribution which has resulted from the constant repetition of two-person exchanges is (or, maybe, should be) of importance to us in a way it would not be if we were the isolated inhabitants of a state of nature. Just like you complain you have no …

Libertarianism and Taxation – Fundamental

TheGrandmaster First Line of Defenses, People's writings

We are said to deserve the fruits of our labor, and why and certainly to what extent do we owe our labor to others? It stumps so many people because it is a very clever framing trick. His entire premise presupposes the myth of “Pre-tax income.” If people deserve the money their labor earned, would it not be the case …

MTO 13 – The benefit principle

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Myth of Ownership

It seems clear that a tax burden that is matched by an equivalent transfer is not, in the relevant sense, a burden at all. But the problem would not be solved even if all money transfers were included in the burden tables. That too would be arbitrary, so long as we excluded in-kind benefits such as roads, schools, and police, not …

MTO 6 – Private Property is legal convention.

TheGrandmaster First Line of Defenses, Myth of Ownership

Private property is a legal convention, defined in part by the tax system; therefore, the tax system cannot be evaluated by looking at its impact on private property, conceived as something that has independent existence and validity. Taxes must be evaluated as part of the overall system of property rights that they help to create. Justice or injustice in taxation …

Prosperity and Education

TheGrandmaster Uncategorized

The relationship between productivity and living standards also has profound implications for public policy. When thinking about how any policy will affect living standards, they key question is how it will affect our ability to produce goods and services. To boost living standards, policymakers need to raise productivity by ensuring that workers are well educated, have the tools needed to …

The Virtues of Taxation

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, People's writings

Charles has decided that it’s not his responsibility, nor is it right for him, to pay his taxes. In an effort to help him out, I’m looking to raise money to help him pay his taxes for him. God bless him and his fight against imagined tyranny. Your generous donation will go to helping young children actually get the chance …

Amazon Review “Anti Libertarianism

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, Anti-Libertarianism: Markets Philosophy and Myth

Any attempt to systematically debunk libertarianism may seem like swatting the proverbial fly with a sledgehammer for the average reader, but it is a necessary exercise nonetheless. Though Haworth’s book was published nearly two decades ago, and the star has since fallen on libertarianism, the putative damage has been done: the worst income inequality since the 1920’s, unprecedented environmental disaster, …