Difference between revisions of "Soundbites"

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What are they going to ban next?
 
What are they going to ban next?
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== Roads ==
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There are many innovation that might exist in a free market for transportation.  I would not take even traffic lights for granted.  One thing you see in other countries is a timer or progress bar on lights, so you know how many seconds you have until the next light.  Perhaps it's preferable to use a traffic circle, more underpasses, or a totally different convention.  There is also the opportunity to apply artificial intelligence to predictive traffic monitoring, so cars never get red lights.  Adding special roads for computer-driven cars would eliminate lights entirely.  All this is off the top of my head - we really have no idea what entrepreneurs could come up with.
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http://www.rationalmind.net/2005/01/05/private-roads/

Revision as of 00:19, 22 April 2008

Soundbites contains snippets of factoids and arguments for use on other sites.


Capitalism

Capitalism is a social system which respects individual rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and property.

>“If I am an auto manufacturer and the government has zero regulations on the auto industry and all industry related to the auto industry, why would I stop lobbying for a tax break to maintain jobs in a particular region?”

By separation of economy and state, I mean a total separation, which means no income taxes. The vast majority of taxation is used to redistribute wealth from one group of individual to another. Take away the loot and you take away the incentive to lobby the state.

>“Or if I was in the oil industry and I wanted to develop oil fields in a wildlife preserve, how would I go about doing that without a lobby or involving the government?”

In a free, capitalist society, all property is private. It would be up to the owners of the preserve to decide how their property ought to be used.

>“If I was Cargill, and I wanted to use my epic size to control the grain market (which they do) to maximize profit. Would government interference in my market manipulation be unwarranted?”

Yes. Real monopolies have always been sustained with the help of government coercion.

>“Then they followed up with handing out free copies of Windows anytime an alternate OP entered the market”

Then they would probably go bankrupt. Do you think free copies of Windows would drive Apple and Linux out of existence? Why hasn’t Microsoft done that? It’s not illegal. People are not machines that consider a single variable – they consider more than just the short-term price when evaluating a product.

>“A democracy has the right to control its markets.”

A society is just a group of individuals. A group cannot posses any “rights” – only individuals have rights. A person does not acquire the right to coerce other people by virtue of declaring himself to be part of a group, no matter how large.

>“Complete non-intervention of government in business is merely form of economic anarchy.”

If an institution exists to protect individual rights (to life, liberty, and property) I would not call that anarchy, but a free, voluntary, rights-respecting society.

Drug War

The drug war is a miserable failure at stopping drug use, but a tremendous success for those would like to see America turned into a totalitarian police state. A free society must protect the people’s right to control the content and state of their own minds.


Prohibition

A common refrain, but it must be repeated: why do Americans trust their fellow citizens to raise children, elect legislators and kill the enemy but not to control the content of their own minds?

Media Monopolies

This is just a thinly veiled call for censorship of views the left doesn't like.

Why are you so sure that the state will enforce YOUR agenda when you secede your freedoms?

Corporations

If you want business out of politics, get the government out of business.

As long as governments try to control corporations, corporations will try to control governments. The only solution is to separate government and economy.

Anything else will only lead to increasingly totalitarian restrictions on speech.

"Corporate Personhood"

Corporations are obviously not people –they are groups of people who share a common purpose. However an individual does not lose his rights by acting on behalf of a group. The purpose of the group is irrelevant - whether a group exists for the purpose of prayer, or political advocacy, or profit does not change the rights of the people involved.

The attack on “corporate personhood” is an attempt to deny the rights (primarily the freedom of speech) of people working for certain non-politically correct groups – namely groups with the primary purpose of making a profit. This is just a veiled attack on capitalism and property rights.


Fuel Prices

Best way to lower gas prices is to create a free market for fuel and auto efficiency:

  • Allow new refineries to be built - the environmentalists have blocked them for 30 years.
  • Eliminate gasoline taxes, they are 30+% of the cost.
  • Scrap state-by-state fuel regulations, as they force expensive pipelines and mixtures to be delivered to different states
  • Get rid of odious automotive safety requirements, which add a ton of weight (literally!) to cars, lowering efficiency.
  • Allow the market to decide on the optimal emission filters, as current government-mandated filters dramatically reduce the power output (and thus efficiency) of cars.

Statism

When people spend their own money on themselves, they have an an incentive to maximize both efficiency and quality.

When people spend their own money on others, they have an incentive to maximize efficiency, but not quality.

When people spend other people's money on others, they maximize neither efficiency, nor quality, but their budgets.


Net neutrality

Why do “net neutrality” advocates ridicule politicians for comparing the Internet to a “series of tubes,” and then trust them to regulate it?

The One Minute Case Against “Net Neutrality” http://oneminute.rationalmind.net/net%20neutrality/


Poverty

Free markets inherently reduce poverty in two ways:

1) They raise the standard of living for everyone.

  • Living standards in capitalistic Western countries have increased over sixty times since 1820 despite a tripling of the European population in the 18th century.
  • In 1971, only about 32 percent of all Americans enjoyed air conditioning in their homes. By 2001, 76 percent of poor people had air conditioning. In 1971, only 43 percent of Americans owned a color television; in 2001, 97 percent of poor people owned at least one. In 1971, 1 percent of American homes had a microwave oven; in 2001, 73 percent of poor people had one.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other European cities.
  • If poverty is defined in the relative sense, the lowest fifth of income-earners, "poverty" will always be with us. However, the "poor" of 100,50, or 30 years ago and are gone in American in terms of living standards.


2) The provide the incentive and possibility for the poorest members of society to become the wealthiest.

* 80 percent of today's American millionaires are first-generation rich. 
* According to Internal Revenue Service tax data, 85.8 percent of tax filers in the bottom fifth in 1979 had moved on to a higher quintile, and often to the top quintile, by 1988.
* Of the people who were in the top 1 percent of income earners in 1979, over half, or 52.7 percent, were gone by 1988. 
* Only five percent of families in the bottom income quintile (lowest 20 percent) in 1975 were still there in 1991. 

In any case, income inequality is a desirable part of a free, prosperous society, since it indicates that the most productive members of societies have the freedom to succeed. An egalitarian society can only be equal in shared misery.

Socialized Services

Healthcare

Any government-mandated "plan" can only lead to disaster. Say no to health socialism! http://oneminute.rationalmind.net/socialized-healthcare/

http://www.afcm.org/

Imagine if the federal government controlled 50% of spending on computer technology, and had over 100,000 regulations for microprocessor design. How fast do you think your computer would be?

That's the state that most healthcare is in today. Compare that to LASIK services, which are comparatively less socialized.

Competition for LASIK service has dropped the price to a fraction of the cost a decade ago with considerable improvements in quality. A market for all health care services would have similar results.

Could the stagnation in medical innovation in these fields have anything to do with massive federal regulations and wealth transfers?

Imagine if the federal government controlled 50% of spending on computer technology, and had over 100,000 regulations for microprocessor design. How fast do you think your computer would be?

Free Trade

Immigration

Global Warming

The earth may well be warming, but the earth’s climate is always changing – the idea that there is an “optimal” climate is a myth. Adapting to a warmer climate has many costs, but many benefits as well. Imagine the enormous territories in Siberia and Canada that might finally be open to settlement, and the resources and shipping routes that will become available.

Even the most alarmists of scientists generally agree that there is little humanity can do to influence the global climate for many decades, even if we wrecked an industrial civilization that has allowed billions of people to leave immeasurably longer and better lives. Our resources would be far better spent creating innovative technology that allows us to make the best of a constantly changing climate than crippling industrial civilization (our best tool for dealing with a constantly changing world) in a futile attempt to stop climate change.

Environmentalism

If you want a clean environment, then push for better protection of your property rights - don't surrender them to the state.

Why do environmentalists assume that by giving up their freedom to the government, they will guarantee that government will automatically act in their best interest? That's just like assuming that giving up religious freedom to the government will guarantee that the government will force your particular religion on everyone.

Unemployment

Absolutely. Since graduating college in 2004, I've had four jobs, each time making 25-50% more. Companies were willing to take a risk on me because they could fire me if I oversold my abilities. If I were living in France, I'd be lucky to get one.

The glaring problem with the socialistic attitude that society can be improved by replacing voluntary economic activity with a coercive regulatory state is that human beings are not cogs in a machine. They do not passively follow new regulations, but proactively respond to incentives. Faced with the practical impossibility of firing unproductive workers, employers would rather not hire them in the first place. They can hardly be blamed for this, for their alternative is to play a game of Russian roulette and risk being bankrupted with unproductive or even counter-productive employees. They must try to find people who are passionate about their jobs because once hired, they will earn a salary whether or not they work for it.

Second Amendment

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own self-defense?" - Patrick Henry


Iraq

The War in Iraq is a failure because it was fought with the altruistic goal of “liberating” Iraq. Iraqis don’t want to be liberated and they don’t want democracy. A moral foreign policy should focus on eliminating legitimate threats, not causing needless American and foreign deaths for a religiously-inspired crusade.


Unions

Labor unions are just coercive (and often violent) monopolies which use the state to keep unwanted (minority and immigrant) workers from offering competing wages.


RFID

I wouldn't apply for any company that required all candidates to get implants, but I'd get one in a heartbeat, for the coolness factor, if nothing else.

This is just fear-mongering politicking by ignorant politicians. Requiring RFID would never happen in a free market anyway, but banning them just sets a dangerous precedent of regulating future innovations with unknown applications.

What are they going to ban next?


Roads

There are many innovation that might exist in a free market for transportation. I would not take even traffic lights for granted. One thing you see in other countries is a timer or progress bar on lights, so you know how many seconds you have until the next light. Perhaps it's preferable to use a traffic circle, more underpasses, or a totally different convention. There is also the opportunity to apply artificial intelligence to predictive traffic monitoring, so cars never get red lights. Adding special roads for computer-driven cars would eliminate lights entirely. All this is off the top of my head - we really have no idea what entrepreneurs could come up with.

http://www.rationalmind.net/2005/01/05/private-roads/