Harm Principle

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stoli, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. I would certainly agree with the harm principle, but I generally link to the non-aggression principle.

    I believe you would find a lot of people who advocate this principle, and a lot of people who would deny it up and down and advocate coercive interactions between people and government.

  2. I meant in terms of government, not personal morality.
  3. Legal paternalism is stupid, a side effect of the leftist ideology that it is the state's job to protect the interest of the majority rather than the individual.
  4. It was quite obvious that's what he was going to do, well if we can protect what's best for one person, let's apply that to the majority of people. The problem is, back in the day growing grains was an advanced technology, if you could figure it out you could stay home more and work on other hobbies and trades rather then hunt and fish all day. Why should you make that one farmer have to grow collectively enough for everyone, rather than enjoy the fruits of his labors and in return lose his spare time to help provide for everyone else.

  5. Oh yes, because LIBERALS made blue laws..

    Legal paternalism has been around since before there was conservatives or liberals, so let's not be pretty.

    Can someone translate this for me? I have no clue what he's trying to suggest, other than that we shouldn't have farmers providing food for everyone, because we're all lazy.
    Indeed, why specialize when we can all provide for ourselves!

  6. I said leftist, as in authoritarian, not liberal... only a left-wing, big government, corporatist politician would enact laws restricting individual liberty.

    The term liberal has too many meanings. At one point in our history it meant liberty! :rolleyes: But the modern day welfare-liberal is a leftist, seeking to forcefully create a society of constant equalization.
  7. #8 Stoli, Sep 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2009

    Leftist/Left-Wing do not mean those things. Regardless, Liberal is a leftist ideology.

    First of all, a big government supporter is not a corporatist. The opposite is true.
    Second, many conservatives/right wingers want to restrict individual rights. Gay Marriage? Liquor laws? The Religious Right?
    Ignoring the worst of the right, and only seeing the worst of the left?

    I by all means, the term liberal has too many meanings. It does not in any situation, even when clarified as a welfare-liberal, mean all "liberals" support restricting individual rights.

    Liberal DOES NOT mean a society of constant equalization. This is silly.
    You're confusing "Liberal" with "Red", but you haven't forgot the witch hunt.

    nothing to do with the topic.
  8. It depends on how you scale your spectrum. In the political sense, right wing is anarchism and left wing is totalitarianism/authoritarianism. Our form of government, Constitutional Republic, is somewhere in the middle. Democracy, Socialism, Communism, Fascism are all to the left of center. To the right would be anarcho-libertarian forms.

    The way most people are trained to classify "left" and "right" today is more properly defined by social values, not the power of government. Both Republicans and Democrats favor a strong authoritarian state.

    If you support big government in a mixed economy you support corporatism, it's the inevitable consequence.

    Again, that's only social conservatives, or socially "right" wing. They are politically and fiscally liberal because they want a huge state and deficit spending.

    It really sucks having two parties of the same authoritarian ideology. They even mirror eachother in foreign and economic policy.

    But that is what the neoliberal strives for, equalization. Forcing the private market to do things in order to "balance" out the playing field, taxing the rich to give to the poor, etc. How can you deny that?

    Politics should be a struggle between equality and liberty, but right now the struggle is a facade.

  9. .. You are confused.
    Fascism is a "far right" ideology. It might be mildly disputed, but the vast majority.

    Some also argue the political spectrum should be a circle, in which case Communism would be a far right ideology.. so suggesting Fascism is a leftist ideology has the same validity.
    edit:This looks about right to me.

    Corporatism is the inevitable result of small government lack of regulation allowing it to exist. Granted, MNC's are a result of gobalization, but government regulation could reduce their harm.

    Indeed, right wing and left wing can both restrict rights and freedoms.
    Rights are SOCIAL policy, not FISCAL policy.

    Thus, your statement that only a leftist would do so was a blatant lie, no?

    Liberalism isn't taking money from workers and giving it to the drug addicts on the street. Liberalism is the government redistributing wealth according changes to the economic created by technology in an attempt to give workers their full "value".

    It's an easy concept to get: The company's markups on food provide a profit to them, and as an employee of that company your contributions = wage. Obviously, in society to today we have to make wage a small fraction of the contributions, but the governments goal is to re-allocate this so that the worker receives fair compensation for the corporations profits.

    Liberalism isn't about everyone being equal: It's about providing for you when you lose your job because it gets automated. There's temporarily less jobs in the economy, but the change is necessary because it increases efficiency. The workers can work somewhere else, and the job still gets done.

    It's not rare in our current society for new technology to be put on hold because the workers in that industry have no safety net to provide for the period of time in which they have no employment. Look no farther than any failing sector (auto-industry?) and you'll see a strong union forcing it to retain employees even as it leaks money. In an economic system with TAXES ON THE CORPORATIONS PROFITS in which the government can provide for the replaced employees while they seek other employment, the corporations are free to provide new technology, and gain greater efficiency AND a greater labour supply!

    We get well compensated workers, union rights, and an increase in efficiency.

    Terrible, isn't it?

    I don't agree that politics should be a struggle between equality and liberty. I think we can have our liberties, and provide for our everyone at the same time.

    We can have leftist fiscal policy, and still have liberty. If there was, for example, a smaller police, military and prison budget and the state decided to provide basics goods and services, we wouldn't lose liberty, we'd gain it.

    You're not in a fascist state if you pay taxes. You're in a fascist state if you have guns pointing at you. The fact that you are legally required to pay taxes doesn't mean they can make you do so. In fact, government providing necessities to whatever extent it can increases your freedom.

    This in fact, would provide more freedom. This would allow less dependence on the corporations who can provide you with food, shelter and money.
    You're not exactly free if you can't provide yourself food, shelter and money without the pittance of a corporate owner.

    I realize this is utterly offtopic, but too many people seem to think Liberal = I want to live in a Fascist state!
    This is not only absurd, but insulting.
  10. A proper political compass looks like this;


    Fascism is not far-right, as far-right as you can go is anarchism.
  11. No, I'm not confused, you're just stuck in a common misconception by not thinking about it. What does the x-axis on that cute little chart you posted mean? How are you scaling it? I don't even know how to read yours, I think the only reason yours exists is for the perpetuation of our false dichotomy.

    The left-right spectrum is best defined by the power of the government over the people, from Authoritarian --> Libertarian.

    Mussolini coined the term corporatism to define fascism, where big government and big business are in cahoots. Big business and multinational corporations are not inherently harmful, it is only when they receive immunities from the state.

    Give me an example of an exploitative corporation and I'll explain how that is due to state interference. Consumers simply would not allow for exploitation, so the corrupt institutions rely on government protectionism.

    Social policy has nothing to do with rights, it has to do with morals and welfare. If any kind of right, it's a positive right. Fiscal policy has everything to do with rights, because economic freedom is the root of liberty. As Albert Jay Nock said:

    No, becuase even if someone calls themselves "right wing" but does something leftist, such as expand the power of the state by enacting paternalistic laws infringing on liberty, they are still leftist.

    It really is terrible, if you look at the unintended consequences of this belief. Raising minimum wage lowers employment and harms the small companies in favor of giant monopolies. Why do you think WalMart lobbies to raise the minimum wage every year?

    The workers wage IS fair compensation, this idea that you don't have to take risks and still share in all the privileges as those who do is moronic. All this does is stifle innovation by taking capital from those who know how to use it and giving it to those who don't. Employment is voluntary, they do not have to accept low wages. The value of labor should be set by the markets, not by bureaucrats.

    Providing jobs for those who lose jobs means stealing jobs from someone else, because the only way the government can create jobs is by stealing. It's the parable of the broken window. If you steal from someone and give to another you are not producing anything, especially if you have idiot bureaucrats and politicians distributing the wealth. If you instead left the money in the hands of the market they would create real value, and not illusory bubbles of prosperity (See housing bubble).

    No offense, but you have a childish view of economics if you think unions are good for anybody. The auto-industry in America is a failure directly because of unionization and subsidies from the Federal government, which provided a moral hazard. This isn't the first time we've bailed them out.

    Again, that's because you don't understand economics. It's one thing to do it voluntarily as a society, but it's another to forcefully steal from the haves and give to the have-nots. Since the majority will always have less than the minority, the entrepreneurial class, Democracy will always lead to despotism.

    This is true, but it would be a shift towards the RIGHT (or liberty) from where we are now. I would definitely rather have it that we were a welfare state than a welfare/warfare state.

    How are taxes voluntary? Whenever I create anything of value I have to give a portion to the idiotic members of state for them to disperse how they see fit.

    Government cannot give you freedom, it can only protect it. Whatever the government provides it has to take away from someone else.

    No, the liberal end goal is a socialist state where the masters of government control everything. The libertarian end goal is a capitalist state where the consumers control everything.

    Being an authoritarian is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just your philosophy that stealing from others is the right thing to do. My philosophy is that violence and agression are wrong. It's all relative do your morals.
  12. Just to intro this..

    I suppose you believe that Joseph Stiglitz, and Paul Krugman lack your insightful understanding of economics as well? They're Liberals after all, so their lack of faith in the free market obviously makes them childish.

    The original political compass was a simple left right x axis.

    Mine does not exist only for perpetuation of "false dichotomy" but because it was the original.
    My "cute little chart" was around long before the political compass
    [quote name='"Political Compass Website']The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left', established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. For example, who are the 'conservatives' in today's Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?[/quote]

    Nonetheless, the classic ideologies are easily distributed along a left right axis.

    Simply incorrect. We're discussing whether you're left, or right.
    Let's forget the compass I posted. It is the original, but let's use yours.

    Look, Fascism is Right Wing Authoritarianism.
    Communism is Left Wing Authoritarianism.

    So it's impossible that the left right spectrum is Authoritarian --> Libertarian.

    Get it? Left and right have nothing to do with rights. left and right is government interference in the economy on that political compass.

    Tax cuts for corporations is a leftist policy? Explain.

    I will agree, that immunities from the state make mco's more dangerous. As a liberal, I don't support them.

    A right wing ideology can easily have big government. Expanding the military? Tax cuts for the wealthy? This is still right wing.

    I will agree, there is a reason the political compass has been expanded to go up and down, but both Liberals and Conservatives can support big government.

    Consumers would not allow for exploitation? You really believe this?

    Sure, want an example? I work in a Bank. Bank fees are brutal. There's a million options to avoid them, and yet every day people pay them.
    A guy walked into day with 65 dollars in fees for a savings account that, in this economy, pays like a quarter a month in interest.
    This happens multiple times a day, and this doesn't even count the people we don't see. Hell, let's not even talk about the monthly fees people think there isn't a way to avoid.

    Asymmetry of Information? The Invisible Hand? Hell, why bother with the rational.. what about places where there isn't competition? You really think a monopoly will avoid that? No hundred dollar bills on the ground, I know. I understand the concept, but it sure as hell doesn't work if theres startup costs, an established market or

    People are stupid. They are taken advantage of every day. Mail me 4000 dollars and I'll wire you a million? Wealthy Nigerian prince? Come on.
    People fall for far more obvious scams than the corporations will create.

    Free market fundamentalism at work..

    I will agree, economic freedom is the root of liberty. The difference is:
    This doesn't change the fact that restrictive social policy can restrict liberty. Marijuana laws are social policy, and they restrict liberty.. I don't see how this is deniable.

    Economic freedom is the root of liberty, but if you pay taxes, and are given benefit for the taxes (through government programs, social safety net) then you are still free.

    It doesn't matter what they call themselves, that is agreed, but as I explained, right and left are economic policy on that spectrum.
    Paternalistic laws can be right, or left.

    How can you deny this? Blue laws. Conservative. End of discussion, no?

    I don't remember recommending we raise the minimum wage. Quote me on this?

    Ok. A corporation has a factor.
    The factory has workers.
    Corporations wants to fire workers and mechanize.

    The factory workers did their jobs, and were fired only due to bad luck. So, what if one of them had hospital bills? What if he was just barely making it by with rent, food, and health care for his mother?
    Perhaps its a small town, and there aren't many other jobs. Good luck, free market.

    Unions are not the answer. If you read my post, I made a different suggestion.

    Given that I wrote:

    I don't exactly have a good view of unions.

    Exactly what was the origin of money, then?
    You provide a good or service, and are paid for it.

    I'm a liberal and this is not my end goal.

    It's not necessarily wrong, but no one wishes to live in an authoritarian state. I want personal freedoms, but I want to be protected from corporate power as well.
  13. No, I perceived your view as childish. The keynesian philosophy is irresponsible, dangerous, ignorant, etc.

    I can't speak for Stiglitz, but Paul Krugman is an idiot. The dude practically begged for the housing bubble after the tech bubble crashed, and still fails to see the ramifications of his theory that technocrats should manage the markets and not actual participants.

    You still trust this stooge?

    I don't care what you believe, it doesn't make any sense. How is Fascist authoritarian the complete opposite of communist authoritarian? Explain that to me, please.

    It depends, if you cut taxes and cut spending then no, it is a reduction in the size of the state and therefore right wing. If you cut taxes and maintain spending, then this is a subsidy, and left wing.

    Since Bush never cut spending, he was never conservative.

    Only under the current distorted definition of right wing, which you for some reason subscribe to.

    You keep talking about tax cuts as if that is the harm that comes from government. I am talking about contracts, regulation, policy, protectionism... all the benefits that come with being a GSE.

    No, both Republicans and Democrats can, and do support big government. The definition of conservative as I see it is limited government.

    You know what a neoconservative is, right?

    You're rambling here, incomplete thoughts... but people getting scammed is called fraud, and that's the governments role to prevent.

    Give me an example of an exploitative free market monopoly, come on.

    We were talking about rights, not liberty. Two different words.

    And no, you aren't free if the government steals from you to feed their shitty bureaucracy. This is more child talk.

    It's socially conservative, not politically conservative. The political conservative is for limited government, maximum liberty. End of discussion?

    You were talking about re-allocating wages and equalizing pay for workers... this is done through welfare, and I assumed you think minimum wage laws
    accomplish this as well.

    Nobody has a right to any of those things. You do not have a right to be kept alive by others, that is up to their good will.

    Whatever though, I'll accept your welfare state at a local level, on the State level. Federal welfare is too big and inefficient.

    You wrote this too: We get well compensated workers, union rights, and an increase in efficiency.

    They are overcompensated, union rights are excessive and there is no efficiency otherwise it wouldn't be a bankrupt system.

    To be honest, I can't really follow half of what you say.


    All you need to be protected from corporate power is the law, protection from fraud and coercion. You do not need to steal from them. If they act with greed and short term interests they will fail and the market will pick something better.

    What we have now is the government choosing who stays or goes, and that is heavily influenced by powerful special interests.

    Don't respond to everything in this post. Too much typing, and all for naught.

  14. Low interest rates didn't cause the financial crisis: sub-prime mortgages did.
    That's the result of investment banks.
    People don't default on loans because of low interest rates: they shouldn't have got those loans in the first place.

    As for new Keynesian economics, I really don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to comment, but the majority of economists do agree with new Keynesian policy.

    It makes sense, too. A loan for the bad times and a savings account for the good.

    Besides, why do you keep talking about paying for this later? Right from the New Keynesian wiki is a counterargument "in the long run.. ..changes in the money supply are neutral."

    Really? Bush looks awfully right of center to me, according to politicalcompass.com

    And just in case you're confused, x axis is fiscal policy.

    These are examples of poor implementation. It's obvious that some government spending isn't going to have efficient usage. We by all means should reduce this spending, but this reduction is not an argument to reduce the spending of programs with large benefit for the public.

    From Wikipedia

    Give me an example of a free market.

    You are free. They "steal" when you buy as a tax on doing business in the USA, and they "steal" when you earn because we needed it during the war.
    You pay for the tender and you pay for the protection of the law.

    Politically conservative is not a distinction of conservative that I've ever heard of. Politically is, to me, redundant. A political conservative is a social conservative and a fiscal conservative, but you can be also socially conservative and fiscally liberal, or fiscally liberal and socially conservative, but either of these two are not simply Conservative.

    I can't find anything on google either.

    You oppose union rights? There is a difference between protecting workers from exploitation and union caused waste.

    Union rights don't refer to pay, they refer to working standards.

    .. Definitely meant to come back to that.

  15. You should heed your own advice: I really don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to comment

    You don't think if the lending rate is 0% that will make banks more prone to lending? You don't think a lender of last resort provides a moral hazard and makes banks act stupidly? Fractional reserve banking doesn't encourage credit expansion?

    Then there's the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie & Freddie etc.

    You should read more about the other schools of economics, Keynesianism is a tool of the elite to rip us off and wage wars, as without fiat currency there would be no war.

    Our dollar entire credibility rests on our empire. If we didn't have 700 military bases over seas we would have a AAA national credit score. As soon as that's gone, so is our economic standing in the world. Our currency is worthless, and our method of financing everything is debt. We don't create anything of value anymore.

    That's a political compass, not a Left ---> Right scale. The scale I'm talking about would be the Y-axis in that compass, see Authoritarian --> Libertarian?

    And those aren't very accurate if they consider Bush fiscally right wing, he doubled the size of government and debt.

    By free market monopoly I mean one that didn't use the government to rise to success, one that doesn't use force or fraud. Microsoft or WalMart come to mind for me as examples of monopolies that arose through market forces.

    Big pharma, Big aggro(monsanto), Big finance (goldman sachs), Big defense(GE)... those are all government sponsored enterprises and they are all corrupt and monopolized.

  16. I'm sorry for not considering my opinion infallible, but it is generally agreed upon that sub-prime mortgages were the primary cause of the financial crisis.

    What are you suggesting? Cheap money has always been traditionally a source of growth in economics.

    Agreed. It is a tool of the elite, but it was successfully used to instigate growth.
    There's no reason not to use it for economic downturns, if it succesfully won wars for us.

    I see that, and I also see that it specifically says the x axis, not the y axis, refers to economic issues.

    That's also the website that created the political compass you are discussing.

    Corrupt by lack of regulation, and monopolized by government spending.
    I'm not disagreeing that these should never have been deregulated for the sake of competition and for free market ideals, but I agree that many subsidies are VERY inefficient.

    Look, in the end, the above is basically irrelevent. A free market isn't as efficient as you believe (free market fundamentalism) and even if it was, a free market means for many, a stroke of bad luck = homeless.
    No one should have no choice but to live paycheque to paycheque with the technology that exists today. People should not barely be able to afford their rent if they work 40h a week.

    The market needs a safety net, and it needs regulation to avoid corruption. We can eliminate plenty of spending, that I hope everyone agrees on, but we shouldn't eliminate it.
  17. That's why we have the business cycle, periods of easy money followed by natural market corrections. It broadens the income gap and kills the middle class.

    How the business cycle happens.

    The real source of growth comes from savings and investment of savings, not credit and debt.
  18. #19 UnbyJP, Sep 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2009
    Yet another awesome hand out! :hello:

    So who sets the interest rate? Well, it's directly affected by the rate that banks charge each other for loans. In other words, the Federal funds rate. Who sets the Federal funds rate? You guessed it! The Federal Reserve!

    The creation of the bubbles in all its glory! :rolleyes:

    It was a tool used to instigate growth primarily for the elite. The growth that the average man experienced, though apparently great, is actually the scraps handed down to us from the plates of the elite. I'm not sure what the reference to wars has to do with this. Wars fund themselves by creating a demand, and the rewards are reaped solely by the elite. Let's not even go into wars as a lot of us believe the US instigates most of the wars, or seeks involvements in the existing conflict, as part of the scheme to maintain it's financial bubbles. Keynesianism was the cause for the economic downturn, I don't see how you can use it except to create more short term bubbles that will create the appearance of economic recovery while in the long run hurting the average man by maintaining a system of financial bubbles that disproportionately, and unjustifiably benefits the elite.

    Yes, lack of regulation, but under the guise of massive regulation. However, the 'regulation' that was implemented served primarily to stifle competition from small businesses in prominent markets and industries, while allowing several big corporations free reign over said industry. This situation arises when you let big corp and big govt get into bed together. Big govt legislates in the interest of big corp, all under the facade of 'regulating'.

    A free market with sensible regulation, minimal intervention, and massive corporate tort and contract law reform would benefit everyone. You might want to explain how a free market means for many a stroke of bad luck, and more importantly, how this 'bad luck' is somehow increased under free market principles than the current 'bad luck' people experience now. I agree that some level of socialist welfare should exist, but only effective, short term, transitional measures that have the ultimate goal of destroying poverty and homelessness in one generation. Cuz I agree, with the technology and infrastructure that exists today in this nation, no one should be homeless. And the only way I see to implement reasonable, viable, effective reform is to scrap the whole bloated system we have now, and go back to the basics, the free market, and work our way up from there.

    I disagree that a market needs a safety net unless you see the prosperity of a nation as the wealth of its industry rather than that of its people. The only thing that should ensure the success of a market, as well as any individual companies in said industry is the demand of the consumers. I agree that we need regulation to avoid corruption, however we need to recognize the mistakes of the past so we don't fall into the same trap of regulation being corrupted. With real regulation, and the elimination of corporatist policies, all industries and businesses should have a level playing field, even when competing against foreign markets. It's the protectionist policies that infect all levels of our system that creates the circumstances that are then used to justify the existence of said system.
  19. #20 Stoli, Sep 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2009

    While I do agree with your point, the real source of growth is technology. The point I agree with is that America's strength is indeed in having capital.

    The problem is that the Business cycle will occur regardless of Keynesian economics.

    Keynesian economics exist, in fact, to stabilize the economy. We borrow in the bad times, and lend in the good. That Keynesian economics has been poorly used the last 8 years is the fault of the Conservative Republican party, not any liberal.

    Nonetheless, Keynesian economics works. It's been proven to create growth.
    If used correctly, it can stabilize the markets in a way the free market cannot. Used incorrectly it can do more damage than good.

    The "evidence" you see of Keynesian economics failing is really of the republican party, not of Keynesian economics. If we borrow excess amounts of money in the good times, the bad times will be much worse. If we decrease taxes and increase spending to excess levels during growth, then we get bubbles.

    I've already discussed this above.

    The only regulation that shows big govt in line with big biz is when the Republican party is in power. Sure, members of all political groups cater to big biz, but thinking that the free market will reduce corporate power is absurd.

    There is some validity in this: for change to truly occur, something drastic must happen.

    The "bad luck" under free market principles is a a sickness without a full time job, an injury, the loss of a job, or car accident (let's assume it's not your fault, but it doesn't matter).
    People have lots excuses for not having a good savings account, and many are one accident away from going under. We agree, with all the technology we have today, such a risk should not exist.

    That "in one generation" suggestion reminds me of Jeffrey Sach's "Big Plan" for stimulus of developing countries economies. I haven't really read enough to form an opinion on that one though.

    I'm not going to respond to this: you aren't discussing the same safety net I am.

    I'm not defending the bailouts here. I'm defending the social safety net for individuals in society that is public health-care , the transit system, welfare, employment insurance, and affordable necessities like shelter, and food.

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