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Updated on Tuesday, October 6

#21369

OMG:
All the major parties have their heads up their asses. Fuck it, Im voting green.

20 comments

  1. Cool story, you can't be bothered to figure out what the best option is so you're effectively throwing your vote out. Congratulations on accomplishing nothing. Do you want a cookie, or just derision?

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  2. At least OP is voting, another option would be to spoil the ballot

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  3. Libertarian is where it's at.

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    Replies
    1. ...only if you lack the mental capacity to see that your libertarian utopia looks more like Somalia than like paradise. Well-being among developed nations seems strongly correlated to regulatory governments.

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    2. @4.a, alternatively: Regulatory powers expand as countries are able to afford them. Being rich is a precondition for an advanced regulatory state and bureaucracies have an innate tendency to grow (cf. Parkinson's law--both humorous and depressing), so as you get rich you get layers upon layers of unnecessary regulatory departments and procedurals.

      In order to forestall this (semi-) inevitability a system of government must be designed against bureaucracies. You need checks and balances and a culture of individualism. New generations must constantly reaffirm this distrust of the regulatory state to keep the government at bay check. However, shocks like the great wars make this sort of value hard to preserve and pass on.

      Prolonged instances of flourishing and relatively free economic orders have existed, though (relatively as compared to now). E.g., both 19th century America and 18th/19th century Britain were incredibly free many ways that we are now constrained. Same goes for several Scandinavian states, which have their own traditions of economic liberalism. These periods coincided with incredible economic vitality and increases to personal wellbeing.

      You can even look to the relative success of industries over time. Regulation reaches full force with the peak of the establishment and onset of industrial stasis (think of progress and regulation in cars, plains, rail travel, etc.--hopefully the digital revolution is spared such a fate).

      And nobody even remotely familiar with Somalia would use it as a good faith example of libertarian ideals. Imagine asking a libertarian "So if we take a third world country and have a first world nation and a couple regional powers precipitate chaos in the region leading to complete social collapse and the ascension of warlords do you, as a libertarian, endorse that course of action? Is better than government?"

      Would the libertarian say yes? No! Obviously not. Libertarians like reforms that reduce the level of government, not military invasions that tear societies apart and embed warlords.

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    3. There's no evidence of stasis in the car industry out the airplane industry. Hybrid, electrics, self driving cars are major breakthroughs happening as we speak. Airplanes are increasing in fuel efficiency at amazing rates. The growth which you attribute to libertarianism OK the XIX century everything else attributes to this minor thing called the industrial revolution.

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    4. @4.c, transportation technology is an especially apt focus for showing the pernicious effects of regulation on innovation. I think hybrids and electric vehicles exhibit some of the worst of these tendencies. Life-cycle carbon production for these vehicles is sky-high, the mining and processing of specialized materials for exotic batteries have as many and often more adverse environmental effects as the marginal emissions from an old car on the road.

      Instead of raising the price of forms of production we'd like to reduce (e.g. CO2, methane, etc.) and reforming torts laws (let people sell torts, push more civil action towards binding arbitration) we hand off power to Wise Mandarins to write libraries full of rules. That way everybody's guilty of something and prosecutor/regulator discretion makes for some unweildy incentives. Revolving doors between industry and regulators and the nature of regulation (i.e. more regulations raises compliance costs) makes it difficult for small innovative firms are less likely to enter a space.

      But yeah, regulations are awesome! Because hybrids.

      Nevermind that the finance and automotive industries are a hellscape for entrepreneurs. (Just look at the treatment of Tesla by government agencies and dealership lobby groups, for instance.)

      As for the industrial revolution: it didn't happen under a billion rules about how one is allowed to extract power from combustion events or pressurized vessels and it never could have. Same goes for the leaps we've witnessed in digital technologies.

      Libertarian government doesn't mean no government. It means cutting the bloat, formulating bureaucracies with an eye to their innate perversions (i.e. guarding against them), reducing our military's combat presence to zero, and allowing communities to make their own decisions about substance laws and other types of moral codes.

      But if you think "a little thing called the industrial revolution", which flourished because of Britain's relatively permissive economy, disproves libertarianism then I suspect you're beyond the pale.

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    5. Libertarianism doesn't need to be disproven. It is still waiting to be proven.There is not a single example of a lightly regulated paradise on earth and plenty of examples to the contrary.

      In fact, I claim with the modern technological advances the amount of regulation must necessarily increase. Self-regulating caveat emptor (buyer beware) is a pie in the sky dream. Say how can I the buyer evaluate if a car is safe? buy a couple and crash test them?

      All you need to do is to follow the consequences of a loosely regulated society beyond the pipe dream and it all falls apart in an instant. Talking to a libertarian is like playing chess with someone who cannot see more than a move ahead. "Why wouldn't I take his queen? it's unprotected, I'll be one piece ahead!" .... "because he check mates you in the move after you dolt!".

      Same here, follow unregulated capitalism to its logical consequence and you end up in some place you don't really want to be in.

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    6. @4.e,I gave several good examples of lightly-regulated regimes that experienced greater innovation and more economic vitality than we do now. There are more modern examples. In terms of economic liberalism, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Chile have all benefited immensely from substantial cutbacks to the state and regulatory reform.

      The argument for market superiority is not blind faith. We have mountains of historical evidence and a good theoretical understanding of why markets make people rich and function better the freer they are. (Given the background context of a judicial system for civil litigation and criminal prosecution, of course, which rightly belong to the state.) Markets allow people to make effective decisions about resource management by externalizing that planning to the price system. Insofar as we want to bring about an effect by political action there are good market friendly techniques (e.g. Pigouvian taxation) that take advantage of this phenomena.

      Our current systems of regulation interfere with this system, constrains entrepreneurship in unhelpful ways, and bring about highly sub-optimal resources allocation.

      In any case, you've shown your conception of libertarianism to be incredibly impoverished. You obviously do not have a clear sense of the many different expressions of libertarianism. Broadly speaking, libertarianism is the impulse to have less government than we do now, not no government, there are certainly reasonable disagreements about correct levels of regulation, foreign involvement, etc. But our current government is bloated well beyond it. That's the extent to which libertarians agree and what you must show to be wrongheaded to dismiss libertarianism writ large.

      But of course we've been brought up to worship the state and shun human institutions in-between the individual and the state. Woe are we.

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    7. (4.f here--ignore the grammatical errors; should've proof read.)

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    8. What you can several good examples I call three examples futeon long ago that barely stand to scrutiny. 19 th century America seriously? Slavery, civil war, bounty hunting of Indian scallops, john crow laws? That's your example of working libertarianism?

      I rest my case.

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    9. a) I gave modern examples as well (and you didn't address Britain or Scandinavia)

      b) We're talking about economic growth. American slavery was a ghastly institution, rightly condemned--noting this completely fails to address my point

      "You think the industrial revolution was good? Britain was a *slave-trading empire* at the time! Obviously absolutely everything else about Britain must have been terrible."

      Sure. Maybe if you have the analytic capacity of a 5 y/o.

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    10. Sorry, but your parallel with the industrial revolution is false. You are proposing Libertarianism not just as a system to govern the economy but society at large, whereas I suggested the industrial revolution simply as the mechanism to explain economic growth.

      Then you go on to say I didn't address Britain, which is fully addressed by the industrial revolution comment.

      The Chile economic growth miracle is firstly neo-liberalism not libertarianism and second, if you look at GDP growth it is no different than Mexico or Brazil in most ways... except that it has two biggest recessions by far in 1974 and 1982 where GDP drops by over 10% in a single year.

      >> Maybe if you have the analytic capacity of a 5 y/o.

      You know you are losing the argument when you have to resort to comments like that.

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    11. No, the only reply warranted by "America? Ha! Slaves QED." is to question the intelligence of your interlocutor.

      And you have yet to make clear your conception of libertarianism.

      I offer the term as a new moniker for liberalism from the 18th to the early 20th century, before the term was co-opted and bastardized by progressives. Libertarianism, then, is a program of reforms to tamp down on bureaucracies run-amok and over-regulation and to devolve social politics to community-level political entities where people engaged in those systems can actually know one another. Libertarianism by this conception was more or less the actual practice of America, Britain, and to a certain extent Scandinavian countries (Denmark, for instance) throughout the stated period. That's the goal.

      Call it whatever the hell you want, I don't really care.

      Regarding the industrial revolution, it is precisely this kind of sustained technological progress, directed at benefiting ordinary people, that can only come about in the absence of heavy regulation. Saying "the industrial revolution produced growth" is not in contention and evades the point. The revolution didn't happen in a regulatory state, it happened in a Britain where state spending relative to national production was typically 10x less than today. The same goes for pre-20th century America. If we reduced the proportion of resources used by the state today and made it easier for businesses to enter the market we would experience much higher long-run growth. Not for magical reasons but because the price system coordinates production far more effectively than centralized schemes and rule-based regulation (instead of incentive-based) have similarly crippling effects. To the extent that we want federal regulations we can harness market forces (i.e. use way more tax- and prize-based incentives and more private arbitration).

      As for Mexico/Brazil/Chile, I don't know how familiar you are with these countries few-to-none in South America would choose live in the first two over Chile. Chile is more vibrant and less corrupt than either by a long shot. But again, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. You don't get fast, first world technology-driven growth without a lot of space for that growth to happen.

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    12. No, bringing up slaves is an intelligent argument that addresses a nostalgic view of the past that chooses to focus on the good things, i.e. economic expansion, while ignoring the reasons for it (slavery, massive takings of land from the natives and Mexico). The argument was so over your head that the only thing you could answer was with a school yard retort.

      In terms of libertarianism I'm addressing the classical Ayn Rand style, not your milder neoliberal laissez faire which as in the case of Chile you confused with libertarianism.

      To claim that the industrial revolution was "technological progress directed at benefiting people" is wholly made up. The industrial revolution was driven by capital and entirely in the interests of factory owners.

      Also Britain and the USA were not unique at the time for having a small state. In fact not until after the first world was there a general expansion of the estate.

      The reason the industrial revolution happened in Britain was because it had plenty of coal and aside no primary resources economy, so it had to specialize in transforming raw materials from its colonies into processed products.

      Lastly, I am very familiar with Chile and Mexico. The big take off in the Chilean economy was when it became democratic after the referendum on Pinochet, not when the Chicago boys took over the economy and quickly drove it into two deep recessions.

      As I said before, there is little evidence in favour of libertarianism (not to be confused with laissez faire) aside from the rantings of a fiction book that has as main audience impressionable teenagers who are unable to see the full consequences of the supposed freedom paradise proposed by Ms. Rand.

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    13. --- 1/2 ---

      Slavery generally lowers production per capita. Protection for slaves by the state makes it tenable and all in all the institution is a huge subsidy to the slave-holding class. America could well have been richer absent slavery (and certainly absent the Civil War). More to the point, slavery had nothing to do with the issue at hand, namely the genesis of technological innovation and the distribution of productive resources. So no, it really wasn't some sophisticated point that nails 19th century America to the cross, it was a reductive boo-yay dismissal of complexity.

      America's history of slavery is to her eternal shame but the argument for economic liberalism holds across the other examples. America is one example and slavery had little to do with the mechanical relationship between market functionality and growth.

      Britain and America weren't alone in having small states, of course not! You'll never get a big state in a relatively free society until you become rich enough to carry those fleas on your back and shocks like war grease state expansion. You seem to be suggesting (though haven't said much of your position) that the modern welfare state is somehow a boon for growth. The trappings of our system include (highly inefficient) transfers of wealth to the poor that are better than nothing but we're not pulling ourselves up by the seat of our pants here.

      A clearly articulated theory of what exactly you're suggesting would be nice but I hardly suspect it's forthcoming.

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    14. --- 2/2 ---



      > "In terms of libertarianism I'm addressing the classical Ayn Rand style... "

      Ok, well it should have been clear to you for several comments already that my position is nothing like Rand's. Neither in terms of my motivation nor in terms of the policies I advocate. I fall squarely within the libertarian tradition of thought, Ayn Rand was a popularizer but by no means monopolizes libertarian thought. Only an outsider could possibly think that.

      I like community-based social programs (i.e. through local government) and I believe in certain state programs like education and health to a limited extent. That's already more than 19th century America. Mostly my idea of libertarianism is a system of reforms towards those elements of classical liberalism that worked best. I know plenty of libertarians like myself and in any case if we are to judge ideologies by their worst ideologues then we must all reject all politics. Foolishness.

      > "The industrial revolution was driven by capital and entirely in the interests of factory owners."

      Indeed, that's the beauty of it. There is more to life than economic wellbeing but putting bread on the table makes it a hell of a lot easier to care for the soul. And if you want to improve people's lot you have to expand production by expanding unit productivity.

      I'll take the challenges of living well in spite of wealth and the various spiritual impoverishments of modernity over the challenges of third world poverty any day.

      To emphasize the point, per Schumpeter: "The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls in return for steadily decreasing amounts of effort."

      > "The reason the industrial revolution happened in Britain was because it had plenty of coal..."

      This is like the fall of the Roman Empire and it's 2345 causes. Many things were necessary conditions, one of these things was economic liberalism, which is a common theme across most instances of growth driven by the expansion of productivity. (Certainly when you control for average well-being of the productive class.)

      > "The big take off in the Chilean economy was when it became democratic after the referendum on Pinochet..."

      Sure, I'm not a fan of Pinochet. But many of his economic reforms have stayed in place and played an invaluable role in Chile's success.

      Violent dictatorships are their own source of economic instability and breakdowns of trust in society. You can't blame the rocky start to Chile's economic reforms on the policies themselves.

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  4. This is why the right wing parties combined to form the conservatives. The left wing keeps on splitting their vote.

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  5. Ive worked elections canada before. You're totally allowed to cast an empty ballot. It's a huge fuck you to all the candidates.

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