• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

The Logical Absurdity of Libertarianism - Partial Omniscience

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other



1. Our current system is based on the assumption that congresspeople are omniscient (source)
2. The political process does not adequately communicate the preferences of citizens (source)
3. Therefore, the provision of public goods is suboptimal (source)
 

imagep

Villiage Idiot
DP Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
24,399
Reaction score
10,426
Location
Upstate SC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent



1. Our current system is based on the assumption that congresspeople are omniscient (source)
2. The political process does not adequately communicate the preferences of citizens (source)
3. Therefore, the provision of public goods is suboptimal (source)

I like the graphic, thanks for contributing it. I also get your point.

However, you are ignoring the fact that although government services may be "suboptimal", not having them is also "suboptimal". Allowing the general population, who tend to be either ignorant or apathetic or both, to make economic decisions beyond their own household is highly likely to be even more suboptimal than the system we have now.

No one is omniscient, so our government was designed in such a method as to give the best chance of having the best result. We elect locals, that assumably we know or at least know through reputation, to be trustworthy and intelligent to be representative of our local population. We pay these people a living wage, so that they can work full time making decisions, that the typical person with a regular job simply doesn't have the time to become knowledgeable about.

Ya, we get it, it's not a perfect system. But it's been proven, through our success as a nation, to be one of the best governmental systems ever designed.
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Ya, we get it, it's not a perfect system. But it's been proven, through our success as a nation, to be one of the best governmental systems ever designed.

Which one of these is true...?

A. You didn't read a single source I provided
B. You tried to read them but didn't understand them
C. You read them, understood them but disagreed with them

If it's C...then please copy and paste one of the passages and explain to me why the economist is wrong.
If it's B...then please copy and paste a passage that you didn't understand and I'll try and help explain it to you.
If it's A...then you're not genuinely interested in learning a damn thing about economics.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
94,102
Reaction score
46,566
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Which one of these is true...?

A. You didn't read a single source I provided
B. You tried to read them but didn't understand them
C. You read them, understood them but disagreed with them

If it's C...then please copy and paste one of the passages and explain to me why the economist is wrong.
If it's B...then please copy and paste a passage that you didn't understand and I'll try and help explain it to you.
If it's A...then you're not genuinely interested in learning a damn thing about economics.

D. You cited your own inane ramblings.

Your post relies on the following assumptions:

1) There is a singular, objective concept of "optimal" allocation of anything
2) That there would be a way to attain this "optimal" situation even if it existed. Through the free market or otherwise.

Citizens aren't any closer to omniscient than their elected representatives.
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
D. You cited your own inane ramblings.

What are you talking about? Did you not click on the links that I provided? The first and last go to my blog entries which contain numerous quotes from economists saying the same exact thing.

Citizens aren't any closer to omniscient than their elected representatives.

Of course producers aren't omniscient...which is why we need markets. A market allows consumers to communicate (via money) their preferences to producers. This is how producers know what consumers do...and do not...value. If producers were omniscient...then we wouldn't need markets.

Right now you're arguing that we don't need a market in the public sector because...

A. congresspeople are partially omniscient and/or...
B. the political process allows citizens to communicate their preferences

But both arguments are blatantly false. Click on the links in my OP if you're genuinely interested in reading what economists have to say about the topic.
 

imagep

Villiage Idiot
DP Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
24,399
Reaction score
10,426
Location
Upstate SC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Of course producers aren't omniscient...

he didn't say "producers", he said "citizens". You must have read what you wanted to read, and not what he wrote.
 

head of joaquin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
12,029
Reaction score
3,530
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
he didn't say "producers", he said "citizens". You must have read what you wanted to read, and not what he wrote.

Not like this happens a lot with Xerographica!
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
he didn't say "producers", he said "citizens". You must have read what you wanted to read, and not what he wrote.

Think about something as simple as baking bread. If you're trying to bake bread...then I'm either helping you...or I'm not helping you. I'm either helping you use society's limited resources to realize your plan...or I'm not helping you.

Jehovah's Witnesses are either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you. Home Depot is either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you. The EPA is either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you.

Because nobody is a mind reader...you have to be free to use your dollars to indicate when somebody is using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans. This is exactly why taxpayers have to be free to shop in the public sector. Pragmatarianism would create a market in the public sector and markets give people the freedom to support the people who are supporting them. Markets ensure that society's limited resources are used to build the most mutually beneficial communities possible. Markets give consumers the freedom to incentivize producers to determine how they can use society's limited resources to help consumers realize their plans.
 

head of joaquin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
12,029
Reaction score
3,530
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Think about something as simple as baking bread. If you're trying to bake bread...then I'm either helping you...or I'm not helping you. I'm either helping you use society's limited resources to realize your plan...or I'm not helping you.

Jehovah's Witnesses are either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you. Home Depot is either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you. The EPA is either using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans...or they aren't helping you.

Because nobody is a mind reader...you have to be free to use your dollars to indicate when somebody is using society's limited resources to help you realize your plans. This is exactly why taxpayers have to be free to shop in the public sector. Pragmatarianism would create a market in the public sector and markets give people the freedom to support the people who are supporting them. Markets ensure that society's limited resources are used to build the most mutually beneficial communities possible. Markets give consumers the freedom to incentivize producers to determine how they can use society's limited resources to help consumers realize their plans.

Ah the tragedy of the commons in full flower.
 

RGacky3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
1,493
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
Take a look at this drawing...



Can you tell me who S is?

No because no one wants to waste their time trying to interprate bull**** analogies.

Now why not deal with READ points that have been brought up.

All you're presenting is the "tragedy of the commons" in new form. You're repeating yourself.

You ignore externalities and the reality of plutocracy, when the public sector is market driven rather than democratically driven.

The public sector is not around to realize YOUR plans, that's what YOUR money is for, the public sector is around to take care of society as a whole, deal with problems the market either creates or ignores. These problems have been brought up before, and you've ignored them.

Drawing a bull**** picture and asking people to interperate it isn't dealing with issues that are brought up. Grow up and deal with issues if you want to be taken seriously by anyone.
 

head of joaquin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
12,029
Reaction score
3,530
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Take a look at this drawing...



Can you tell me who S is?

Mr. Bill?

What's your point? Your proposal suffers from the tragedy of the commons: everybody wants to benefit from public accommodations, but nobody has an incentive to pay for them or their maintenance.
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Mr. Bill?

What's your point? Your proposal suffers from the tragedy of the commons: everybody wants to benefit from public accommodations, but nobody has an incentive to pay for them or their maintenance.

Now can you tell me who S is?

 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Oh, I know I know, pick meeeeeeee!

that must be Atlas, because "Atlas Shrugged"!

Well...you get half a point for catching the reference. But in order to get full points you have to tell me his name.
 

RGacky3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
1,493
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
Well...you get half a point for catching the reference. But in order to get full points you have to tell me his name.

Here's the answer .... No one gives a ****.

Now deal with other people's points and arguments.
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Here's the answer .... No one gives a ****.

Now deal with other people's points and arguments.

I am dealing with other people's points and arguments by pointing out that they have absolutely nothing to do with the model that our current system is based on. You would know this if you knew anything about public finance.
 

RGacky3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
1,493
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
I am dealing with other people's points and arguments by pointing out that they have absolutely nothing to do with the model that our current system is based on. You would know this if you knew anything about public finance.

No you arn't ... they bring up valid points and you post a picture ....

You totally ingored Deuce's post pointing out your unsubstanciated assumtions, you didn't address those assumptions, much less defend them ... you just reposted your own strawman.

And you totally ignored imagep's post, just again reposting your're strawman Op.

And you responded to HOJ with a picture that you drew and asked him to interperate .....

What other response do you want from forum behavior like that other than being rightly called a clown.
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
No you arn't ... they bring up valid points and you post a picture ....

You totally ingored Deuce's post pointing out your unsubstanciated assumtions, you didn't address those assumptions, much less defend them ... you just reposted your own strawman.

And you totally ignored imagep's post, just again reposting your're strawman Op.

And you responded to HOJ with a picture that you drew and asked him to interperate .....

What other response do you want from forum behavior like that other than being rightly called a clown.

You don't know anything about public finance...which is why you want to call me a clown rather than discuss public finance. It would be one thing if I didn't share any public finance information with you...but the OP has links to a plethora of information on public finance...none of which you are capable of discussing in an intelligent matter.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
94,102
Reaction score
46,566
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
What are you talking about? Did you not click on the links that I provided? The first and last go to my blog entries which contain numerous quotes from economists saying the same exact thing.



Of course producers aren't omniscient...which is why we need markets. A market allows consumers to communicate (via money) their preferences to producers. This is how producers know what consumers do...and do not...value. If producers were omniscient...then we wouldn't need markets.

Right now you're arguing that we don't need a market in the public sector because...

A. congresspeople are partially omniscient and/or...
B. the political process allows citizens to communicate their preferences

But both arguments are blatantly false. Click on the links in my OP if you're genuinely interested in reading what economists have to say about the topic.

Yes, actually, the political process allows citizens to communicate their preference. But here's your underlying problem. You seem to think this is a binary question. That this is some choice between a market and a government. Like we can only have one or the other. That is blatantly false.

The market cannot reach this fantasy you have of an "optimal" distribution of anything. Neither can a government. That is why we don't live in a communist society or this ridiculous libertopia.

edit: and what in the flying **** do you think "partially omniscient" is?
 
Last edited:

RGacky3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
1,493
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
You don't know anything about public finance...which is why you want to call me a clown rather than discuss public finance. It would be one thing if I didn't share any public finance information with you...but the OP has links to a plethora of information on public finance...none of which you are capable of discussing in an intelligent matter.

Ok lets discuss it, I discuss it all the time, but it's a waste of time since you don't address the points anyone brings up.

First of all "partial omniscience" is just called "knowledge" it literally means "partially all knowing" it's a contradiction in terms.

The current system doesn't assume omniscience at all, all it assumes is that elected officials will be motivated by re-election which means the interests of all the citizens (no matter what their market power is) AS OPPOSED to capitalist's whose motivation is profit, and so care for the interests of the shareholders, and consumers only insomuch as they think how much money they can get from them.

It's no more or less assuming omniscience, it's assuming differences of interests, if you want to make the system more optimal, make it more democratic ... not more plutocratic.
 

Mach

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
23,693
Reaction score
16,868
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
In picking up what some others mentioned, individual freedom is good in many things, especially really important things like life and how I spend it. Taken to extremes though everything is a big failure.

Specifically in this case externalities, or as HOJ points out, tragedy of the commons. These citizens with their hard earned dollars make act eminently rational with their dollar votes...and end up destroying themselves long-term. Reality, economics, society, are far too complicated for any individual to understand the impact of their individual choices in relation to themselves and others when the system is as complex as it is. I in fact largely rely on science to keep me healthy...I don't rely on the local villagers voting for the new donut shop with their dollars...

Interestingly enough the guy that coined the phrase, Garrett Hardin was opposing the welfare state for individuals who overpopulation and enjoy it at the cost to the commons...as well as private enterprise that profits individually but enjoys socialization of the cost. The issue here is that good guys finish last. The guys and gals who restrict their practice to be sustainable for example, can lose out to the person who slashed and burned, and then used government to bail them out, subsidize, whatever. Similar the poor who have a lot of kids and choose to not work or find low stress, low requirement jobs without the need to move to a big city or develop a reputation or a career, are similarly subsidized by everyone else to foster that lifestyle. How can one argument be both for and against, both parties ideology at the same time !? ;)

Now, if liberals pushed for preventing both the rich and the poor from abusing government...or conservatives pushed for that...well that would be crazy. Why can't either get it right?
 

Xerographica

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
2,071
Reaction score
163
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Specifically in this case externalities, or as HOJ points out, tragedy of the commons. These citizens with their hard earned dollars make act eminently rational with their dollar votes...and end up destroying themselves long-term. Reality, economics, society, are far too complicated for any individual to understand the impact of their individual choices in relation to themselves and others when the system is as complex as it is. I in fact largely rely on science to keep me healthy...I don't rely on the local villagers voting for the new donut shop with their dollars...

Are you arguing that the public sector has a monopoly on foresight?

Interestingly enough the guy that coined the phrase, Garrett Hardin was opposing the welfare state for individuals who overpopulation and enjoy it at the cost to the commons...as well as private enterprise that profits individually but enjoys socialization of the cost. The issue here is that good guys finish last. The guys and gals who restrict their practice to be sustainable for example, can lose out to the person who slashed and burned, and then used government to bail them out, subsidize, whatever. Similar the poor who have a lot of kids and choose to not work or find low stress, low requirement jobs without the need to move to a big city or develop a reputation or a career, are similarly subsidized by everyone else to foster that lifestyle. How can one argument be both for and against, both parties ideology at the same time !? ;)

How do you know the good guys would finish last in a pragmatarian system? It really seems like you're arguing that society has its heart in the wrong place. But this would mean that you know exactly where society's heart truly is. How could you possibly know exactly how much society values each and every public good? It's one thing to claim that congresspeople are partially omniscient...and it's another thing entirely to claim that you yourself are partially omniscient.

To pick a specific example...if it does turn out that the EPA receives less funding than it really ought to...then perhaps you have some information that the rest of society does not have. If you didn't...then how could you possibly know the EPA's level of funding was wrong? Would it be worth your time and effort to share your information with others? As the popularity of forums suggests...clearly there's a demand for the ability to share important information with others. Given that you are here...clearly you are interested in sharing important information with others.

But how can you possibly know how to prioritize which information to share when you have absolutely no idea how much society truly values each and every public good? Again, if you think your guesses of society's values are truly that accurate...then you suffer from the same fatal conceit condition that congresspeople suffer from.

First we find out where society's heart truly is...and then you can argue that it's in the wrong place.

Even the bible understands this basic concept...

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - Matthew 6:21
 

JP Hochbaum

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
4,456
Reaction score
2,549
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Ok lets discuss it, I discuss it all the time, but it's a waste of time since you don't address the points anyone brings up.

First of all "partial omniscience" is just called "knowledge" it literally means "partially all knowing" it's a contradiction in terms.

The current system doesn't assume omniscience at all, all it assumes is that elected officials will be motivated by re-election which means the interests of all the citizens (no matter what their market power is) AS OPPOSED to capitalist's whose motivation is profit, and so care for the interests of the shareholders, and consumers only insomuch as they think how much money they can get from them.

It's no more or less assuming omniscience, it's assuming differences of interests, if you want to make the system more optimal, make it more democratic ... not more plutocratic.

The problem with more democratic is that it means more social democracy. Which we can't have here, because it is getting closer to socialism! Gasp!

If only the anti-socialists, anti-democracy types here realized that getting more for your taxes is actually a good thing instead of just running on cutting everything they should run on finding ways to fix everything, get more bang for that buck.
 
Top Bottom