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Quick personality quiz for libertarians: are you a Free Marketeer?, or a Pro-Capitalist?

A free marketeer is someone who believes that through the free flow of information, free choice and free exchanges, we will see arise a healthy, prosperous and fair society.

A pro-capitalist is someone who believes that society will, on the whole, be better-off if important decisions about society's efforts and production potential are made by the people who control a lot of monetary capital.

Both attitudes are currently flying under the banner of "Libertarianism". Yet they are very different and distinct. What's more, both claim Adam Smith for their camp, when he clearly repudiated one of them.

We can tell the two apart with the following litmus test.

Over the last eight years, 37 technology companies have come together and agreed to never hire each other's employees, since the waves of hire-rehire were raising salaries and eating into their profits. The agreement was made in secret through verbal communication between CEOs and kept off the record as much as they could manage.

Should this be illegal? And if so, how severe should the punishment be?

Under free marketeering, this is called collusion by market-controlling players to fix the free prices of the market. It amounts to wage theft and the punishment should be at least as severe as if the company had stolen the money directly from their employees' bank accounts and called it "profit."

Under pro-capitalism, the CEOs' judgement is de facto authoritative, following a conviction that if these CEOs have made this much money, certainly this is a proof of good judgement, and their calls have no need to be second-guessed. This is the view the Adam Smith abhorred.

Investigative reporter Mark Ames at Pando has been writing about the legal action taken against Google, Apple and the others.

In the comments, many individuals are defending the CEOs along pro-capitalist lines. I suspect -- I worry -- that these folks think of themselves as Adam Smith-style libertarians, when they are no such thing. Perhaps they have not actually read him.

Reading "The Wealth of Nations" I found myself learning a whole lot more about the price variations of wheat and of tariffs in the 18th century than I thought I ever would. I also learned about the rampant misery and poverty then. Adam Smith largely blamed this sad affair on market collusion by heavy actors, often through cartelling to fix the free market, alternatively through lobbying and corrupting the government.

Needless to say, it was eye-opening to see the distance between the fantasy made of Adam Smith's position by the pro-capitalists with the writing of the man himself.

I would urge the honest free-marketing libertarians to speak up loudly in these cases when their ideals are being co-opted by the pro-capitalists.

Originally posted to gmarceau on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does it matter if both are wrong? (14+ / 0-)

    Aint no such thing as a "free" market. Someone always has his thumb on the scale. The very basis of Libertarian "philosophy" is unsupported.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:02:32 PM PDT

  •  Libertarians believe in a world (18+ / 0-)

    that has never existed and will never exist.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:25:38 PM PDT

    •  It would be laughable, except for their role in (8+ / 0-)

      fucking things up for those of us living in the real world.  

      Libertarianism, n: A political philosophy some people embrace after the roads have been paved. (Stolen from Kurt Weldon)

      by lineatus on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But I have been attacked by... (8+ / 0-)

      any number of self-proclaimed "left libertarians."   I confess I was a libertarian in high school, when I read with admiration Atlas Shrugged.  

      But in my sophomore year in college (1970) I began to understand the flaws in the libertarian belief system, a putative utopia of rational, intelligent, self-interested "movers of the world."  Unfortunately, most people (or at least 50%) are not rational or intelligent.  They are self-interested, though.

      Libertarianism appeals to intelligent, idealistic young rebels looking for a better system, one whee their special qualities will be recognized.  Then they mature.  Or some of us do.

      •  Left Libetarians (4+ / 0-)

        Is the reason I wrote this diary.
           The actual libertarian ideal is linked directly to anarchist socialism. Not Free Trade Capitalism.
           The present libertarian embrace of right-wing economics is both a theft from socialism and a morally empty vessel.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 02:06:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  today's "libertarianism" is the teenage boy who, (8+ / 0-)

        when his mom tells him to clean his room, stomps his foot and yells "It's a free country! You can't make me!"

        Well, yes we can.  (shrug)

        It is selfishness, mixed with naivete, spiced with some  defiance of authority.  Which is of course why teenage boys like it.

        Fortunately, most outgrow it.

        Sadly, some do not.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:17:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

          Libertarianism is an ego-driven, self-centered and self-aggrandizing cult, largely consisting of white, middle-class young men (yes, there are other races and genders among libertarian circles, but they are few and far between) who, upon discovering the relative freedom of college dorm life and, appalled by the restrictions placed upon them by people not their parents -- teachers, administrators, security guards, RAs, etc. -- rebel against the entire concept of authority, investing their faith in nothing more than ego and id, self and lust. They indulge their most fatuous desires, often little more than getting stoned and trying to pick up girls, in the safe haven of the college campus, remaining highly protected by the structures of middle-class privilege (just as they were at home). They hate authority as long as the campus police are there to protect them from the scary poor people, and daddy’s credit card keeps doling out the drugs, toys, food, and booze.

          The truly sad thing is that so few of these teenaged wastrels and "rebels" ever manage to actually grow up.

  •  So the free market is not really free (8+ / 0-)

    without government regulation to prevent big market players from perverting the market. Wouldn't that be a well regulated market instead of a free market?

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:45:24 PM PDT

  •  there's a difference . . . ? (9+ / 0-)

    Both of them want to allow rich and powerful people to do whatever they want.

    And when you allow them to, rich and powerful people will do . . . well . .  whatever they want.

    And they don't give a rat's ass about anyone else.  (shrug)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:49:22 PM PDT

    •  Well said, Lenny. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Odysseus, JerryNA

      both want the strong to climb over the weak to achieve their goals.  Left or Right, libertarianism is about the conquest of the strong with no government regulations to inhibit them.

    •  Why of course! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb

      Everyone knows that people will never make the "correct" choices unless they are coerced into making them by the government. Specifically, a government that agrees with us (being coerced into making those choices by a government under our opponents' control is an abomination, while under us it represents true freedom).

      Besides, the historical evidence shows that rich and powerful people have never managed to get away with doing "whatever they want" under liberal governments.

      /snark

      •  so how'd that whole "government is evil" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird, AdamSelene, Darth Stateworker

        thingie work out for Somalia . . . ?

        (snicker)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:02:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have you never once looked at the muffin tray... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, Darth Stateworker

        ...at a self-serve breakfast in a cheap motel? The sign always says: "Please take only one per person." But there's no one there to enforce it. Many of us only take one, but there is ALWAYS an irreducible segment of the population who tries to take more. If no one cares, all the muffins are gone before even a small percentage of the guests can have one.

        On the few occasions when a motel employee is at the serving table, everyone takes only one. If you are lucky to be in a motel with morally assertive guests - "Hey, buddy, it says take only one." "Sorry." - but that rarely occurs these days. Most of the time, that small percentage of the guest population loots all the muffins for themselves.

        As for "coercion," never heard of cops? Never seen a guy messing with your car and shouted, "Get away from my car or I'll call the cops!" Say there are no cops and you pull a gun and chase him down the street. That's still coercion. I want a rich man's Bugatti. He relies on the same coercion to protect his property.

        By "us," you meant the majority of citizens in a democratic state, right?

        And lastly, corruption of government by the rich is always with us, has been since the Egyptians. That's why we always need to be alert for it, why we should punish it when we find it.

        So in the end, I can only conclude that you're pissed off at human nature. Good luck with that.

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:35:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankRose, stevemb

          I am merely looking at the inane and naïve view of a particular commenter, but I am willing to include you in that classification if you wish.

          Lenny Flank apparently sees no difference between the two choices presented by the diarist, which would mean that if free and informed choice and plutocracy are off the table, then top-down coercion of some other sort is all that is left as a viable system.

          So, unless he has some secret plan to make sure that only the people he likes are making those decisions now and forever more, this also means that at some point in the future, conservatives will be making those coercive choices for him. And me. And you.

          I think I'd prefer a system where if for instance someone wanted to have an abortion, marry someone of the same gender or a different race, it would be their free and informed choice to make, not that of whoever was in power at the moment.

          Similarly, if corruption of the system by the rich and powerful has always been with us and they get to bend or break the rules anyway, would you prefer the rest of us live in a system of free choice, or top-down coercion? And which of those would be a more progressive system?

          And as far as that coercion goes, I'm sorry you were raised so poorly that the only reason you do not steal rich men's Bugattis is the fear of being coerced by the cops. For me, the police have only ever been there to coerce me after I make the wrong choices, not preventing me from making them to begin with.

          But since you seem to require pre-emptive coercion to avoid being a danger to yourself and others, I would recommend following a belief system where an omnipotent unseen force watches your every move and will inflict terrible punishment on you if you are a bad person. I hear this works to keep sufficiently gullible people in line, but it is not a system I've personally had any need for. I think there is a book detailing its principles somewhere.

          •  what a load of smarmy crap. (4+ / 0-)

            every economic decision, every decision to buy or not to buy, to consume or not consume, carries with it an ethical component, and that ethical component is almost invariably an economic negative for the person making the decision. even in cases where it need not be, it becomes such, because the market will put a premium on the ethical choice, in response to the willingness of a segment of buyers to pay more for the ethical option. (thus, ridiculously, unbleached coffee filters cost more than bleached ones.)

            any economic system that permits "free choice" inevitably favors, both as buyers and sellers, as consumers and producers, the least ethical, least moral, least empathetic, most narcissistic members of society. in the long run, that bias will inevitably create a concentration of wealth amongst those same people, a concentration of wealth that will give them the power to dictate the economic terms of the society.

            the argument, "well, if both schemes are corrupt anyway, aren't we better off with free choice" is simply a surrender to the worst impulses of human nature.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:54:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nested questions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrankRose

              1) Are you capable of being a responsible citizen without the need of moral coercion by a third party?
              a) if yes, do you 1) accord that same level of freedom of action to others, or 2) do you see yourself as a superior moral authority who has a mandate to coerce others into following your beliefs? If 2), describe how I can tell the difference between you and a Tea Party member.
              b) if no, and you are not capable of being responsible without the threat of coercion, why do you assume that those who would be placed in power will use it responsibly, since you would yourself be incapable of doing so?

              If the depth of your political thought is so shallow that it translates as "us good, them bad", then I'm sure there are intellectual kiddie pools much more suitable for you than Kos. Similarly, if your notion of liberalism or progressive thought is "we're coercive authoritarians, but in a nice way", then I suggest you go back and check your definitions.

              One proper role for coercion in government is to make sure we have free choice even if those with wealth or economic power want to take it away. The government is not there to say you must have a union, but it is there to say you cannot stop someone from having a union. The government cannot demand that people be overpaid, but it can demand that you pay enough that the government does not have to subsidize your business to keep people out of poverty (i.e. a minimum living wage). It is not the government's role to coerce a company so it cannot be large, but it is the government's role to prevent a company from having a anti-competitive monopoly.

              That's what I mean when I say free choice is preferable.

              •  You know what? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Stateworker

                Your libertarian pseudo-intellectual blather doesn't impress me. Intellectual kiddie-pools? Blow me. I'm smarter than you are, better educated than you are, and more knowledgeable than you are about almost everything about which there is knowledge to be known.

                Run along now and find someone else to try to feel superior to.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:41:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  nested answers (5+ / 0-)
                Are you capable of being a responsible citizen without the need of moral coercion by a third party?
                Yes. I am.  But I don't matter--I have no political, social or economic power. So it doesn't matter shit what I am capable of.

                Those who do have social, economic and political power--like huge corporations owned by rich and powerful people--are not only not capable of being responsible, but have no desire to be. They must be forced.

                And the only entity large and powerful enough to force them is a government.

                a) if yes, do you 1) accord that same level of freedom of action to others, or 2) do you see yourself as a superior moral authority who has a mandate to coerce others into following your beliefs? If 2), describe how I can tell the difference between you and a Tea Party member.
                Alas, all irrelevant. I have no power or ability to coerce anyone into following any of my beliefs. My beliefs and moral authority don't matter a rat's ass.  (shrug)

                Those who DO have the power to coerce others into following any of their beliefs, however, such as the rich and powerful, inevitably abuse it. They must be controlled by an entity at least as powerful as they are.  A government.

                b) if no, and you are not capable of being responsible without the threat of coercion, why do you assume that those who would be placed in power will use it responsibly, since you would yourself be incapable of doing so?
                In the economic sphere (which is really the one that matters) I do not assume that those with power will use it responsibly. Indeed, I assume they will NOT, ever--they are not capable of being responsible without coercion (as they have demonstrated time and time again). They must be coerced by an entity that is at least as powerful as they are. By a government..

                As for that government, I assume that those who are placed in power will use it responsibly because they don't have any choice.  If they don't use their power responsibly, we have these things we call "elections", in which we can throw their ass out. In a democracy, ultimate power lies with us, not with them.

                And if you start launching into the standard militia-kook "suspend elections confiscate gunz fascist police state FEMA CAMPS OH NOEZ !!!!" horse shit, I will tune you out as just another crazy person. (shrug)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:31:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for explaining my little parable... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Darth Stateworker

              ...to him.

              Have you never once looked at the muffin tray at a self-serve breakfast in a cheap motel? The sign always says: "Please take only one per person." But there's no one there to enforce it. Many of us only take one, but there is ALWAYS an irreducible segment of the population who tries to take more. If no one cares, all the muffins are gone before even a small percentage of the guests can have one.

              On the few occasions when a motel employee is at the serving table, everyone takes only one. If you are lucky to be in a motel with morally assertive guests - "Hey, buddy, it says take only one." "Sorry." - but that rarely occurs these days. Most of the time, that small percentage of the guest population loots all the muffins for themselves.

              Your muffin-free version:
              ...any economic system that permits "free choice" inevitably favors, both as buyers and sellers, as consumers and producers, the least ethical, least moral, least empathetic, most narcissistic members of society. in the long run, that bias will inevitably create a concentration of wealth amongst those same people, a concentration of wealth that will give them the power to dictate the economic terms of the society.
              I thought my story of the muffin tray at the motel was straightforward, but I guess not. You summed it up quite nicely.

              Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

              by rbird on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:57:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  standard libertarian rhetorical tactic: (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Stateworker, rbird, Blueslide

                If confronted with a simple, concrete example, fall back on vague, absurd generalities.

                If confronted with a broad statement of general principle, fall back on absurd and irrelevant particularities.

                I think your comment and mine compliment each other nicely. They also draw out the libertarian's inane rhetoric, which in extremis collapses to, "I'm smart, and you're dumb." Many libertarians seem to feel this sense of superiority. Presumably most such, being of somewhat above-average intelligence, have spent their lives winning arguments with people of average intelligence. They've gotten so used to it that they assume anyone disagreeing with them is weak-minded.

                I have met precious few really intelligent libertarians, and 0 wise ones.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:04:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  yeah uh, how'd that whole "no government coercion" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird, Darth Stateworker

            thingie work out in Somalia?

            Oh, and how'd the "free and informed choice" thingie deal with the warlords who had guns? Ohhhh, I see by your profile that you probably plan to, well, shoot the gunlords. Right? (snicker)

            You may possibly be the most naive person I've ever met.

            Or the silliest.

            Or both.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:09:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  As I said before... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darth Stateworker, JerryNA

            ...you have a problem with human nature. It is not perfectible, except perhaps in the individual. Therefore, all societies wax and wane, according to those in power and the zeitgeist of the era.

            Democracies exist only so long as the rich and powerful are suppressed or bound in with rules. This becomes apparent when one realizes that not all freedoms are positive, the freedom to oppress, for instance. Monopolies and great wealth are the enemy of choice for the rest of us.

            If you can't see that, you haven't read enough history.

            Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

            by rbird on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:44:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  alas, "reading" is much of their problem . . . (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rbird, Darth Stateworker

              Most of them have never actually lived in the real world on their own, and the only knowledge they have about the real world and how it works is entirely theoretical, having read about it in a book somewhere.

              Reality quickly breaks their heart. Reality is, alas, a harsh teacher, but her lessons are seldom forgotten.

              (shrug)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:38:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Depends on what is read... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Stateworker, JerryNA

                ...only I seriously doubt they'll read about previous failed attempts at their philosophy, or what the rich do when unfettered by government sanction. They don't even have to read about the distant past or worker struggles in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It's happening right here and now. For crying out loud, this "free choices" thing has as its best counter-example the hiring scandal in the IT industry. Shit, it's against the law and they STILL did it. Imagine what they'd do if even these somewhat weak laws weren't there.

                There's no choice anywhere when an entire industry colludes against its workers.

                Google, Apple, and Other Tech Titans’ Wage-Suppression Conspiracy Estimated to Cover One Million Workers

                You have to give credit where credit is due. Technology leaders like acting on a grand scale, and that apparently includes when they engage in criminal conspiracies. As a price-fixing case against the some of the America’s most celebrated companies moves forward, the estimate of the number of employees victimized has grown ten-fold, to nearly one million.

                http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

                Apple and Google Hiring Conspiracy Bigger Than Initially Suspected

                The illegal hiring agreement made between several tech giants, including Apple, Google and Intel, may have been much larger than was previously thought.

                An investigation by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) into Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Induit and Pixar for entering into no solicitation agreements for employees in an effort to fix the hi-tech labour market was originally settled in 2010.

                However, the collusion allegations have since been revisited and clearance for 60,000 Silicon Valley workers to sue the companies over an alleged "overarching conspiracy" was granted in January.

                Now, confidential internal memos within Google and Apple, recently reviewed by Silicon Valley news site Pandodaily, have revealed that secret agreements between Apple's Steve Jobs and Google's Eric Schmidt expanded over the years to form a cartel involving dozens more companies, potentially affecting more than a million employees.

                The list of companies implicated by the documents includes Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Dreamworks, Comcast, Genentech and Paypal (owned by eBay).

                http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/...

                Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

                by rbird on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:05:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Typical juvinile libertarian response. (0+ / 0-)

        Thus proving the point made by more than a few above:  libertarianism attracts the young and naive....  and then at least a few grow up.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:36:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, Smith argued for regulation (4+ / 0-)

    against business collusion.  Today's "Libertarianism" is not the same as the Libertarianism of the late 18th century.  The Randian version of "Libertarianism" is as far from the original as today's corporate "Free Marketers" are from Adam Smith.  The 18th century libertarian wanted to restrict government's ability to intrude on human rights AND government's tendency to collude with business to fix markets against consumers and small competitors.  Jefferson's ideal of small, independent landowners as the basis of liberty (and hence the mule as the Democratic Party symbol--the mule pulled the farmer's plow) and his animus against corporate power were much closer to Smith's notions of Libertarianism than the version that claims that name today.  Left Libertarianism, that wants government restricted from interfering with human rights but wants government regulating corporate behavior and wants government intervening in market outcomes (with such programs as Social Security and Medicare) is much closer to Smith's and Jefferson's ideas.  Today's Corporate Democrats have sold out the mule, letting government record our every word but colluding with Wall Street to prevent market forces from putting them out of business when they crash markets or break laws.

    These Republicans have filibustered more . . . while accomplishing less . . . (and) while attempting to block more nominees than any other Congress in the history of our republic--Jon Stewart

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:14:46 PM PDT

    •  actually, "left libertarianism" refered to the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, fiercefilms

      anarchist-socialists who rejected Lenin's reliance on the centralized party-state.

      It referred to people like Emma Goldman.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:12:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is not accurate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      First of all, the original libertarians have nothing at all to do with the right wing or capitalism. They were and still are ANTI-capitalist. They would abolish private property used as the means of production, would end wage labor under the authority of the owning class, and actually would abolish the entire owning class.

      It is social anarchism, which is a highly organized, horizontal, egalitarian society based on participatory communities and free association. The word libertarian is still used outside of the US to mean anticapitalist libertarian socialism.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:52:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's like those business seminars (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    The big business success seminars with guys like Zig Zigler are really a great reflection of the ideals described under pro capitalist.

    Essentially, the implicit assumption in any of those success seminars is that you are believing this person simply because they got rich somehow.  

    Never mind that part of the way they got rich was claiming that they were able to tell people how to get rich.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:10:16 PM PDT

  •  What is a libertarian? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    I am not sure I really know.  I believe the governments role is to ensure fee, open, and competitive markets.  But this isnt libertarian - it is simple information theory applied to groups of people.  Markets require educated, healthy participants with infrastructure to allow them to work.  This means effective government intervention.  Markets also require a degree of wealth redistribution so that a race to the lowest quality and cheapest prices doesnt impoverish players.  Risk can not be too high - like with health care but there must be some like with predatory lending.  If the libertarian view is for free open and healthy markets, then doesnt it follow that government (ie market participant) regulation must be a part of the deal?

    Then of course there are the microeconomic considerations of the markets.  How does market behavior in one place effect the behaviors in others?  Again regional collusion - like large tax breaks for moving a gun manufacturing concern from one state to the other, must be monitored.  

    So what exactly is libertarian?

  •  Wait a minute... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, JerryNA

    Definitions - let's get this straight...

    A pro-capitalist [is a wage thief advocate].

    "A free marketeer is someone who believes that through the free flow of information, free choice and free exchanges, we will see arise a healthy, prosperous and fair society."

    Free:
    * flow of information (among whom?)
    * choice (of whom?)
    * exchanges (operated by whom?)

    A healthy, prosperous and fair society.
    * Who is healthy, who is not?
    * Who is prosperous, who is not?
    * Who is treated fairly, and who is not?

    Seems to me that this definition avoids saying just WHO would  be free and who would still be encumbered.

    Bolshoi. Libertarianism still stinks.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:16:34 AM PDT

  •  It's as if the Libertarian's lord and personal... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    ...savior had been completely co-opted and bowdlerized to seem to embrace ideas and actions in direct contrast to what he actually stood for.  Right wingers do that to a certain other famous guy all the time.

    Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:26:27 AM PDT

  •  I suspect if there was a 3rd option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    along the lines of "Libertarianism is quackery.", that would garner the most votes here.

    Not to insult our resident libertarians, but libertarian economic ideas - no matter what "flavor" they are - are generally bunk and cannot work in the real world.  They simply completely discount basic human nature.

    Theoretically, in the vacuum of a classroom discussion where you can ignore things in basic human nature - like greed, narcissism, dishonesty, and every other bad human trait;  the ideas seem to work just fine.  Trouble is, not everything that makes sense in a classroom works in the real world.

    Most people figure that out soon after leaving college.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:50:52 PM PDT

    •  in most economics classrooms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      introducing the things which mess with the invisible hand happens in the first month of Intro to Microeconomics 101. Human nature is of course one of the biggies.

      So it wouldn't just be the vacuum of a classroom discussion, it would be the vacuum of a classroom discussion in a course not devoted to economics!

      Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

      by eparrot on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:25:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Note I specifically didn't state (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        "economics classroom."

        That's what's funny about these guys - libertarianism is generally discussed in courses classified as philosophy and/or political science...

        Quite a few of the larger schools seem to offer a Libertarianism class in its own right - again, classified as a philosophy or polisci course.

        In other words - the first clue for the adherents that their ideas are economic quackery are that they are likely not learning them in an economics course - unless they have a quack professor.

        Of course, they mix and match, because they might talk about Austrian school economics in their economics classes - and libertarians generally link their economic views with the Austrian school quackery that also hasn't faced an actual trial in the real world outside the theoretical - largely, because like libertarian ideological beliefs, Austrian economic theory ignores human nature.  See a pattern here?

        However, libertarians being libertarians, they'll repeatedly tell you it has been tried in the real world more than successfully referencing obscure nonsense examples with very, very thin connections to Austrian thought.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:42:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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