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Libertarian solutions to the CO2 problem?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Snorri wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
I think the major difference is that charities are totally voluntary, whereas using the government to correct iniquities involves coercion.


Yes sure but what the fuck do they mean by that? What is coercion in this context?

What is the fundamental difference between government coercion and market coercion?

The government gets its funds by taking them from everybody, see? Taxes. A charity gets its funds only from the individuals that are willingly donating, explicitly showing their support for whatever instead of having some representational government decide what to do with their money even if they personally disagree. It's a significant distinction for the Libertarian philosophy.


But companies force you to pay them too. And they spend money on things you might disagree with too.

For example, if a drug company establishes a price for a product that is intended to pay for future drugs they'll develop then they are essentially levying a tax on said drug. Now if they're going to develop an anti-cancer drug and you don't intend to get cancer you could easily argue that it is unfair that you have to fund other projects to get your product. You're forced to pay extra for others and have little choice over it.

You could of course argue that you're not "forced" to buy those drugs but then you are also not "forced" to pay taxes.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
You could of course argue that you're not "forced" to buy those drugs but then you are also not "forced" to pay taxes.

Yes, you are forced to pay taxes. Your options are to pay the taxes or suffer the consequences, under threat of force. That's what being forced means.

Edit: I'm getting the feeling we may need to go over natural vs artificial consequences, too.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Snorri wrote:
You could of course argue that you're not "forced" to buy those drugs but then you are also not "forced" to pay taxes.

Yes, you are forced to pay taxes. Your options are to pay the taxes or suffer the consequences, under threat of force. That's what being forced means.


Are there no consequences to not buying drugs? Or food? Or any other number of products?
Is anything that has negative consequences if you don't do it now being forced?


Also, typically "force" does not allow for choice. There is a myriad of options available to you if you don't want to pay taxes and they're all perfectly acceptable. You could, for example, not earn any money. Bam, easy as that. Or move to somewhere where you don't have to pay taxes.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
Thy Brilliance wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:
i...don't think you're getting the point of this thread


Feel free to be more specific at any time.


Laughing

Pot, kettle, epic hilarity Laughing


You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with me.

Perhaps you should stop responding to my posts.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you would still have to pay taxes. gas tax, sales tax, etc. if you live in a place that doesn't charge you any taxes at all whatsoever, that place is probably something like Somalia or the particularly remote and forgotten corners of Russia. either way, i seriously wonder in what universe "not making any money" is an acceptable alternative to not paying taxes. even if you make some money but not enough to be taxed under a progressive tax system, you would still be paying taxes of some sort, and you would be hard pressed to call that an "acceptable" alternative anyway.

either way, no company forces you to buy their products.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
For example, if a drug company establishes a price for a product that is intended to pay for future drugs they'll develop then they are essentially levying a tax on said drug. Now if they're going to develop an anti-cancer drug and you don't intend to get cancer you could easily argue that it is unfair that you have to fund other projects to get your product. You're forced to pay extra for others and have little choice over it.


i think you are overthinking this a little. a company sets a price on a drug that it thinks is competitive. it doesn't actually have to relate to the cost to them of making the drug - it can be whatever the market will bear. if they get more for the drug than it costs them to make it (i.e., they make a profit) - they can chose to use that money any way they like, by putting it back into new drug development, or underwriting the cost of a more expensive drug, or paying their ceo a big fat bonus. but you have no more right to control what they chose to do with their money than they have to control what you do with yours. you can chose to try to find another drug company to deal with, take your chances with not taking the drug, or with taking an alternative drug - or just pay the market rate, and not worry about how much profit the company is getting from the market.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
you would still have to pay taxes. gas tax, sales tax, etc. if you live in a place that doesn't charge you any taxes at all whatsoever, that place is probably something like Somalia or the particularly remote and forgotten corners of Russia. either way, i seriously wonder in what universe "not making any money" is an acceptable alternative to not paying taxes. even if you make some money but not enough to be taxed under a progressive tax system, you would still be paying taxes of some sort, and you would be hard pressed to call that an "acceptable" alternative anyway.

either way, no company forces you to buy their products.


I mean acceptable as in not against the law. It's not something anyone would want, but it's perfectly legal to not make any money.

And no, no company forces you to buy their products. But if you want their products you'll have to buy them, same with the government. It's just that the government is entrenched in the very basics of society and thus it is quite hard to not use any of their products. In fact, money itself is a product of government so they're quite free to tax it.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Snorri wrote:
For example, if a drug company establishes a price for a product that is intended to pay for future drugs they'll develop then they are essentially levying a tax on said drug. Now if they're going to develop an anti-cancer drug and you don't intend to get cancer you could easily argue that it is unfair that you have to fund other projects to get your product. You're forced to pay extra for others and have little choice over it.


i think you are overthinking this a little. a company sets a price on a drug that it thinks is competitive. it doesn't actually have to relate to the cost to them of making the drug - it can be whatever the market will bear. if they get more for the drug than it costs them to make it (i.e., they make a profit) - they can chose to use that money any way they like, by putting it back into new drug development, or underwriting the cost of a more expensive drug, or paying their ceo a big fat bonus. but you have no more right to control what they chose to do with their money than they have to control what you do with yours. you can chose to try to find another drug company to deal with, take your chances with not taking the drug, or with taking an alternative drug - or just pay the market rate, and not worry about how much profit the company is getting from the market.


Yes that is what I was getting at. Either pay or don't pay but stop complaining that you're being forced to pay.

If you don't like taxes stop earning money. It is possible, you're allowed to! You can go be a bum and live of other people's charity, or work directly for food and shelter.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
you would still have to pay taxes. gas tax, sales tax, etc. if you live in a place that doesn't charge you any taxes at all whatsoever, that place is probably something like Somalia or the particularly remote and forgotten corners of Russia. either way, i seriously wonder in what universe "not making any money" is an acceptable alternative to not paying taxes. even if you make some money but not enough to be taxed under a progressive tax system, you would still be paying taxes of some sort, and you would be hard pressed to call that an "acceptable" alternative anyway.

either way, no company forces you to buy their products.


Go live in rural Europe.

Some people don't pay any taxes at all.

They own the land they live on. In some countries the property tax doesn't even exist. Furthermore, they don't have an income, but have enough money in the bank that they could live perpetually off the interest, and this would be nontaxable of course.

You aren't forced to do anything.

Meanwhile in the US, everyone has a credit card, and consumption is encouraged.

You are forced to watch ads for products to get your entertainment fix.

Yet you claim businesses don't force you to buy their products?
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Yes that is what I was getting at. Either pay or don't pay but stop complaining that you're being forced to pay.

If you don't like taxes stop earning money. It is possible, you're allowed to! You can go be a bum and live of other people's charity, or work directly for food and shelter.

So basically, you weren't ever actually interested in understanding - you were leading us down the path to your soapbox, to bitch about libertarians.

/exit
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would really like to meet the libertarian who simply mooches off other people as a protest against taxation

the force of their internal contradiction would be able to warp space and time, or you could see the Higgs boson when they moved, or something
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bart wrote:
I'm quite sure libertarians would say that disseminating good information about products should also be left to the free market. Why force people to pay taxes for information a private firm could also provide.

I'm quite sure anarcho-capitalists would say that. I'm also quite sure that a substantial majority of those who self-identify as libertarian would not say that.

Bart wrote:
The voluntarily choosing to buy green products doesn't sound like the libertarian answer either.

Yes. It does. In fact, it sounds like the libertarian answer to almost everything.

Bart wrote:
It assumes that consumers believe the damage to themselves caused by their marginal contribution to emissions is greater than the increased price of more expensive products for them.

Which is an assumption Wheels explicitly makes in the opening post, and that I explicitly refer to in my post.

Bart wrote:
I think it'd be more along the lines of; those emitting pollutants have to pay compensation to those being hurt by the pollution.

This is also a libertarian answer. It, like my answer, relies on information that is not available, which is why my "real worldly" answer was to produce and disseminate accurate information about polluting companies.


Snorri wrote:
But even correctly informed consumers make the wrong choices. People are not always rational actors.

If the consumer made a wrong choice, then he wasn't perfectly informed. I think you may not have a strong grasp of what perfect information means. Hint: It is not interchangable with "correct information".

Snorri wrote:
Edit: Also, tragedy of the commons and prisoners dilemma and such. Even with perfect information acting in your own self interest could still result in problems.

Tragedies of the commons are due to imperfect information. The prisoner's dilemma involves perfect information, but isn't a market. Anyway, I was not defending free markets. I don't have any idea why you decided to argue against free markets toward me.

Snorri wrote:
But if you want their products you'll have to buy them, same with the government.

Exercising your option not to buy a company's product involves reaching for the other box on the shelf. Exercising your option to use another government involves violent revolution. Except you'll lose. So that isn't actually an available option.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Snorri wrote:
Yes that is what I was getting at. Either pay or don't pay but stop complaining that you're being forced to pay.

If you don't like taxes stop earning money. It is possible, you're allowed to! You can go be a bum and live of other people's charity, or work directly for food and shelter.

So basically, you weren't ever actually interested in understanding - you were leading us down the path to your soapbox, to bitch about libertarians.

/exit


Huh?

I am saying that this "oh no I'm being forced" stuff is nonsense. The "force" you're talking about is merely the enforcement of the social contract, which is part of the social contract.

You're not forced to take part in the social contract though. You don't get any benefits of it either then but you're perfectly able to opt out of it and do something else.

I'll get on my soapbox when we're discussing efficiency of market vs government, this is just a discussion about the concepts making little sense.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
You could of course argue that you're not "forced" to buy those drugs but then you are also not "forced" to pay taxes.

I'm not aware of any companies that can jail an individual for refusing to purchase their products.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:


Snorri wrote:
But even correctly informed consumers make the wrong choices. People are not always rational actors.

If the consumer made a wrong choice, then he wasn't perfectly informed. I think you may not have a strong grasp of what perfect information means. Hint: It is not interchangable with "correct information".

Uh... I'm pretty sure that you must assume perfectly rational actors for perfect information to lead to perfect competition or market efficiency.

That is: A person might be perfectly informed but still make the wrong choice because he really want to have sex with this three-headed dog or something. People are just really weird.

Quote:
Snorri wrote:
Edit: Also, tragedy of the commons and prisoners dilemma and such. Even with perfect information acting in your own self interest could still result in problems.

Tragedies of the commons are due to imperfect information. The prisoner's dilemma involves perfect information, but isn't a market. Anyway, I was not defending free markets. I don't have any idea why you decided to argue against free markets toward me.


Technically a tragedy of the commons is due to imperfect information but for the most part it's not. I have absolutely no rational reason for preserving the ozone-layer if any negative effects only start in 200 years even with perfect information.

And prisoner's dilemma can be applied to the market. It is not solely reserved for those situations where you happen to land in jail.

(also, I wasn't assuming you defended free markets. I was just saying that free markets efficiency isn't entirely based on perfect information alone.)
Quote:

Snorri wrote:
But if you want their products you'll have to buy them, same with the government.

Exercising your option not to buy a company's product involves reaching for the other box on the shelf. Exercising your option to use another government involves violent revolution. Except you'll lose. So that isn't actually an available option.


Company towns never existed?
Your option to buy a different product is limited, even in this modern society. I wasn't operating under perfect information or perfect availability there, just under general shape of current markets. (for example, this "option" doesn't really exist for a number of products like drugs and such. It also depends on location)

And you don't have to do violent revolution. You can just stop earning money or move to somewhere without taxes. It being difficult, even mostly impossible, does not make a difference. (especially since the same goes for companies.)


Edit:
Quote:
I'm quite sure anarcho-capitalists would say that. I'm also quite sure that a substantial majority of those who self-identify as libertarian would not say that.


Not sure, a lot of people who self-identify as libertarian seem to hold views that aren't actually libertarian. Razz
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