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« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2010, 11:54:06 pm »
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Does no one think it might be possible to have an economic system that involves both a state and free market forces?

(because that is what, you know, a lot, well, most, well...all, really, economists would say)

No, not all economists say that. Most worthwhile ones don't.

Give an example of an economist who believes in completely abolishing the state. Or is that too intellectual a thing for you to do?
Murray N. Rothbard and David D. Friedman are the two best known ones.

So, you have two guys: one who actually isn't an economist and one dead guy who doesn't appear to have any major contribution to the science beyond his political views.

I think my point pretty much stands.  
What is your qualification for being an "economist"? And are you serious about not having an major contributions? I take it you've never heard of Man, Economy, and State or  The Machinery of Freedom. Also, those were merely the most notable economists. You can also count Gustave de Molinari, Walter Block, Hans Herman Hoppe, Thomas DiLorenzo, Bryan Caplan, Robert Murphy, Joseph Salerno, Mark Thorton, etc.
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« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2010, 05:16:59 am »
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Does no one think it might be possible to have an economic system that involves both a state and free market forces?

(because that is what, you know, a lot, well, most, well...all, really, economists would say)

No, not all economists say that. Most worthwhile ones don't.

Give an example of an economist who believes in completely abolishing the state. Or is that too intellectual a thing for you to do?
Murray N. Rothbard and David D. Friedman are the two best known ones.

So, you have two guys: one who actually isn't an economist and one dead guy who doesn't appear to have any major contribution to the science beyond his political views.

I think my point pretty much stands.  
What is your qualification for being an "economist"? And are you serious about not having an major contributions? I take it you've never heard of Man, Economy, and State or  The Machinery of Freedom. Also, those were merely the most notable economists. You can also count Gustave de Molinari, Walter Block, Hans Herman Hoppe, Thomas DiLorenzo, Bryan Caplan, Robert Murphy, Joseph Salerno, Mark Thorton, etc.

Well, one of the qualifactions is to have a degree in economics. It's really cool to have Ph.D. in physics and all like David Friedman does but it doesn't really make you an economist.

I'm sure Rothbard has contributed greatly to libertarian political theory but that's not what I'm looking for. I looked at those works and one of them doesn't even seem to be on economics, but on anarchist law or something. I'm talking about actual contributions to the science. Like the Ricardian theory of trade or something.

Look, I've studied economics for 3 years and I've never heard a single name you've mentioned so far before. These people seem to have Ph.D. at best in the subject. There are no Nobel laureates and no major contributors to the science. They don't really seem to be part of the scientific community.
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« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2010, 01:19:57 pm »
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I don't believe David Friedman's father Milton had a degree in Economics either, but that didn't preclude him from receiving the Nobel Prize in the subject. Also, it should be pointed out that their theories are primarily derived from the Austrian (Rothbard) and Chicago (Friedman) schools of economics. Would you deny that Ludwig von Mises or Friedrich Hayek (also a Nobel laureate) had an impact on economics?
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« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2010, 07:04:59 pm »
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I don't believe David Friedman's father Milton had a degree in Economics either, but that didn't preclude him from receiving the Nobel Prize in the subject. Also, it should be pointed out that their theories are primarily derived from the Austrian (Rothbard) and Chicago (Friedman) schools of economics. Would you deny that Ludwig von Mises or Friedrich Hayek (also a Nobel laureate) had an impact on economics?

Now you're just moving the goalposts. Milton Friedman was very much an economist, he spent decades teaching it in universities. If I read the wikipedia article correctly, given your assertion, his PhD was in mathematical statistics which is in a similar field.

Yeah, sure Hayek was a great economist. And he certainly didn't believe that there should be no state. In fact, some of the arguments he made have been replicated exactly in this thread against you. From wikipedia: "However, Hayek was prepared to tolerate 'some provision for those threatened by the extremes of indigence or starvation, be it only in the interest of those who require protection against acts of desperation on the part of the needy."

I feel like I'm debating a creationist here...sure, you can find the odd biologist here and there together with some self-styled experts who claim that intelligent design is valid. Hell, you can even find some oddball engineer who claims 9/11 is a physical impossibility. How many people have received the Nobel Prize in economics? More than 100 I think. Can you find a single one who wants to abolish the state?
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« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2010, 07:14:30 pm »
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I've always found his approach to be more that of an especially committed Trot, but Creationist works about as well.
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« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2010, 11:10:16 pm »
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IIRC, the "Nobel" Prize in Economics was established by the Norwegian Government in 1974. Keep in mind that they gave their last award to neo-Keynesian hack Paul Krugman, which ought to tell you something about how credible those prizes are. Also, to call me a creationist is ridiculous; you're the one demanding that some authority figure do the thinking for you instead of doing it yourself. So far, you have not tried to debunk voluntarism but instead have simply been trying to use "appeal to authority" as a substitute for debate.
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« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2010, 05:18:11 am »
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IIRC, the "Nobel" Prize in Economics was established by the Norwegian Government in 1974. Keep in mind that they gave their last award to neo-Keynesian hack Paul Krugman, which ought to tell you something about how credible those prizes are. Also, to call me a creationist is ridiculous; you're the one demanding that some authority figure do the thinking for you instead of doing it yourself. So far, you have not tried to debunk voluntarism but instead have simply been trying to use "appeal to authority" as a substitute for debate.

LOL!

1. It was the Swedish central bank.
2. It was in 1969.
3. They've given it to both von Hayek and Milton Friedman. The fact they give it to people regardless of political views ought to speak in their favour, not against them.
4. You started with appeal to authority yourself! You tried an authority argument and now that you're losing it you're trying to wriggle away.

But, hey, let's get serious. You show me why Krugman's model of trade under imperfect competition is not a valuable contribution to economic science. I'm assuming you're familiar with it since you are so sure he was undeserving of the prize.

(and, please, don't ask me to debunk your claim that Earth was created in 7 days. I have better things to do. I can throw some key words at you though: public goods. Contract enforcement. And look at empirical studies, for crying out loud)
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2010, 01:50:20 am »
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IIRC, the "Nobel" Prize in Economics was established by the Norwegian Government in 1974. Keep in mind that they gave their last award to neo-Keynesian hack Paul Krugman, which ought to tell you something about how credible those prizes are. Also, to call me a creationist is ridiculous; you're the one demanding that some authority figure do the thinking for you instead of doing it yourself. So far, you have not tried to debunk voluntarism but instead have simply been trying to use "appeal to authority" as a substitute for debate.

LOL!

1. It was the Swedish central bank.
2. It was in 1969.
3. They've given it to both von Hayek and Milton Friedman. The fact they give it to people regardless of political views ought to speak in their favour, not against them.
4. You started with appeal to authority yourself! You tried an authority argument and now that you're losing it you're trying to wriggle away.

But, hey, let's get serious. You show me why Krugman's model of trade under imperfect competition is not a valuable contribution to economic science. I'm assuming you're familiar with it since you are so sure he was undeserving of the prize.

(and, please, don't ask me to debunk your claim that Earth was created in 7 days. I have better things to do. I can throw some key words at you though: public goods. Contract enforcement. And look at empirical studies, for crying out loud)
Like I said, that was just from memory. I may have wrongly used appeal to authority in my argument, but contrary to what you claim, that was not my whole argumen! Rather than debunking what Hayek said, you are attacking me for having cited Hayek in the first place! Also, while we're talking about logical fallicies, you use a straw man by comparing free markets to creationism. As for Krugman's Nobel Prize, it would seem that he won it for one of the few topics he's correct on. It's unfortunately that someone of his intellect could fall for something as stupid as the Broken Window Fallacy on other matters.
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« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2010, 07:14:27 am »
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It seems to me that there is something completely dishonest with starting by contesting my statement (that the vast majority of economists believe that there should be a state) and then, when you lose that argument, switch to claiming that it doesn't matter if you lose it.

Here is the thing: you're misusing appeal to authority. How the hell am I supposed to argue on an issue like this if not by appealing to authority? This is precisely why my parallell with creationism is not at all a straw man. If I tell a creationist that the Earth was created not 6 000 years ago but 4.5 billion years ago and that a massive body of research backed up by all the experts on the subject proves this, it would be pretty silly for him to say "haha, you're just using appeal to authority". What else am I to do? I haven't studied biology or chemistry beyonda cursory glance at the high school level. My opponent, given his beliefs, is unlikely to have done so either. Am I supposed to reenact this entire massive body of research for his benefit?

This is the exact same situation. I do have a degree in economics but not a very advanced one. I suspect that you don't. Do you expect me to prove complex economic theories to you? Isn't that slightly absurd? On empirical issues, like this one, we defer to experts on the subject precisely because they know more about it. In this case, there isn't much controversy within the field and that is an extremely strong indicator.

Besides, I pointed some things out to you: enforcement of contracts, public goods and the empirical evidence on economic efficiency and size of the state. I assume you know what I'm referring to, so feel free to adress these concerns.
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« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2010, 12:26:25 pm »
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Okay, so why would you think enforcement of contracts is best performed by a coercive monopoly? If I make an agreement with someone and decide to have some other neutral arbiter play the role of enforcement, are we infringing upon anyone's rights? Wouldn't having the mere possibility that we may seek another arbiter if one of us believes that an arbiter is unfair be incentive to provide fair rulings? Additionally, allowing some institution to have a monopoly on contract enforcement is even more ridiculous when that institution is a party in the contract. At the very least, surely you may admit that there is a conflict of interest when government courts hear cases in which the government is the plaintiff? As far as public goods, almost anything can constitute a public good if you want it to, but that doesn't mean we should revert into government control of everything. If one accepts that there are public goods, doesn't that mean that one also has to accept public costs? To give an example of a small town, if I am a beneficiary of my neighbors hiring a security guard, doesn't that mean that I am losing on potential customers when the money they spend on security guards is not being spent at my business? As far as correlation between economic prosperity and the state, one only needs to look at a ranking of free markets to see that relatively freer countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, United States, New Zealand, etc. tend to have great prosperity than countries with less economic freedom such as North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. (and before you say it, a country ruled under Sharia law by al-Shabbab is not "anarchy") One reason that the creationism analogy is innacurate is that you are comparing a physical science with a social science. Economics generally assumes that human beings act to fulfill their own self-interests most of the time.
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« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2010, 01:41:58 pm »
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Okay, so why would you think enforcement of contracts is best performed by a coercive monopoly? If I make an agreement with someone and decide to have some other neutral arbiter play the role of enforcement, are we infringing upon anyone's rights? Wouldn't having the mere possibility that we may seek another arbiter if one of us believes that an arbiter is unfair be incentive to provide fair rulings? Additionally, allowing some institution to have a monopoly on contract enforcement is even more ridiculous when that institution is a party in the contract. At the very least, surely you may admit that there is a conflict of interest when government courts hear cases in which the government is the plaintiff? As far as public goods, almost anything can constitute a public good if you want it to, but that doesn't mean we should revert into government control of everything. If one accepts that there are public goods, doesn't that mean that one also has to accept public costs? To give an example of a small town, if I am a beneficiary of my neighbors hiring a security guard, doesn't that mean that I am losing on potential customers when the money they spend on security guards is not being spent at my business? As far as correlation between economic prosperity and the state, one only needs to look at a ranking of free markets to see that relatively freer countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, United States, New Zealand, etc. tend to have great prosperity than countries with less economic freedom such as North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. (and before you say it, a country ruled under Sharia law by al-Shabbab is not "anarchy") One reason that the creationism analogy is innacurate is that you are comparing a physical science with a social science. Economics generally assumes that human beings act to fulfill their own self-interests most of the time.

What enables this neutral arbiter to enforce the contract? It is precisely the state monopoly on violence that enables it to enforce contracts. Otherwise, contracts will only be enforced if the beneficiary of such enforcement is strong enough to do so. Whether that party is strong enough to do so by buying goons to smash up the other party or by paying a "neutral" group of goons to do it is largely irrelevant.

What you say about public goods I honestly don't understand. The point is that public goods, by definition, will not be provided on a free market. This means a loss of welfare to society as a whole.

Finally, the point on empirical evidence is that the countries with the highest tax levels in the world are among the most prosperous, indicating that the relationship is a lot more complex than what you think. You assume that the smaller the state the better the economy. This is belied by reality. How come Sweden and Denmark are among the richest countries in the world when we have among the highest taxes?

I'm not arguing against free markets, I'm an avid supporter of free markets as a general principle. But libertarians like you grossly overestimate the negative effects of taxes and state interventions, something that is evidenced by the weak correlation between state size and GDP among developed nations.
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« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2010, 12:59:26 am »
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If socialism, like capitalism in fact, didn't exist then they would have to invent it.

Whenever someone says something like this, I think of Austroslavism. A rather peculiar ideology, that. Was it collaborationism, or was it broad-mindedness?
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« Reply #62 on: October 25, 2010, 09:17:59 pm »
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It's better than a private monopoly in my opinion, yes. But a public one.

Anyway, I'd like to see you justify privatizing the police force/army.

What is so great about a public monopoly? Where is the guarantee that government is going to be more ethical, more efficient, and cheaper than corporations? I've seen Private schools and I've seen public schools, and they both have some crap teachers, except one school doesn't force you to give money to it (granted, I'm not completely against public education, this is just an example).
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