Total Posts:14|Showing Posts:1-14
Jump to topic:

"Free Market Fundamentalism"

JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 7:39:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It is often true that reality lies between the extremes. In foreign policy, we are better off in between full fledged imperialism and full fledged isolationism. In Religion, we are right to strike a balance between secularism and extremism. In our government, we are right to balance out dictatorship and mob rule.

But, in some cases and in some realms, the so-called extremists or "fundies" are right. And, in these cases, we should be skeptical of those who appeal to the "pragmatic center". The case that comes to mind here is the classic capitalism vs socialism (or communism). Those of the supposed "pragmatic" center may encourage us to split the difference. They would say we should reject both the marxists on the left and the "free market fundamentalists" on the right. We should adopt something like French style social democracy, with elements of both socialism and capitalism. They would argue that this would be a superior model to both capitalism and socialism.

However, as reality has shown, this model is only superior to socialism. And, it is inferior to capitalism. In other words, the supposed "free market fundamentalists" are right.

This was the topic of a paper I found called "Two Cheers for Capitalism?". Here is the abstract:

"According to a popular view that I call "two cheers for capitalism," capitalism's effect on development is ambiguous and mixed. This paper empirically investigates that view. I find that it's wrong. Citizens in countries that became more capitalist over the last quarter century became wealthier, healthier, more educated, and politically freer. Citizens in countries that became significantly less capitalist over this period endured stagnating income, shortening life spans, smaller gains in education, and increasingly oppressive political regimes. The data unequivocally evidence capitalism's superiority for development. Full-force cheerleading for capitalism is well deserved and three cheers are in order instead of two."

Link here: http://www.peterleeson.com...

So, when it comes to economic models, the extremes on one side are actually correct. And, it would be a big mistake to follow a bad economic model in the name of "pragmatism".

Don't forget, you don't get the truth halfway between a fact and a myth.

Likewise, when we see two countering economic models, we should be going with the successful one, not looking to get halfway between success and dismal failure.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 8:21:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Where in the paper is what constitutes "more capitalist" defined? The page number would be preferred.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 8:40:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/15/2012 8:21:18 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Where in the paper is what constitutes "more capitalist" defined? The page number would be preferred.

He uses the most comprehensive measure of economic freedom, the Fraser Economic Freedom Index... I believe it is on pg. 7.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 9:04:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.

Fair enough.

Although, I think it is tough to argue that more prosperity leads to more economic freedom.... it seems much more likely that it is the other way around.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/15/2012 11:28:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Economic Freedom of the World
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 5:54:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/15/2012 9:04:58 PM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.


Fair enough.

Although, I think it is tough to argue that more prosperity leads to more economic freedom.... it seems much more likely that it is the other way around.

Yeah, I didn't want to seem like such a downer, especially after you posted something which was, let's face it, brilliantly written. But I felt behoven to note, in some mild capacity, that one paper does not a vindication make. Especially when the underlying premise is imperfect.

Personally, I prefer The Index of Economic Freedom, although given my limitations, I could well be wrong to do so. In any case, there are usually other or complementary explanations for why countries are doing well: America has just passed through the eye of unipolarity, the United Kingdom has soft power due to the remnant of Empire (eg: UN Security Council Seat) and it's relationship with the USA, Switzerland has known incredible stability and peace due to neutrality, and so forth.

Further, according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010-2011, Luxembourg had the highest GDP per capita, although it only ranks 20th in terms of economic freedom. While the World Bank claims Monaco, which isn't even in Fraser's top 30. At best we can say that while freedom is good, it's imprecise: having a little bit more, an extra policy or two, could have a negligible impact.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 6:01:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 5:54:29 AM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
At 8/15/2012 9:04:58 PM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.


Fair enough.

Although, I think it is tough to argue that more prosperity leads to more economic freedom.... it seems much more likely that it is the other way around.


Yeah, I didn't want to seem like such a downer, especially after you posted something which was, let's face it, brilliantly written. But I felt behoven to note, in some mild capacity, that one paper does not a vindication make. Especially when the underlying premise is imperfect.

Personally, I prefer The Index of Economic Freedom, although given my limitations, I could well be wrong to do so. In any case, there are usually other or complementary explanations for why countries are doing well: America has just passed through the eye of unipolarity, the United Kingdom has soft power due to the remnant of Empire (eg: UN Security Council Seat) and it's relationship with the USA, Switzerland has known incredible stability and peace due to neutrality, and so forth.

Further, according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010-2011, Luxembourg had the highest GDP per capita, although it only ranks 20th in terms of economic freedom. While the World Bank claims Monaco, which isn't even in Fraser's top 30. At best we can say that while freedom is good, it's imprecise: having a little bit more, an extra policy or two, could have a negligible impact.

I think you are largely right.

We must always be careful not to overstate the benefits of economic freedom. We cannot, for instance, solve all of our societal problems by simply reducing taxes and regulations.

Having said that, I do think that reducing taxes and regulation increases prosperity, all else equal.

All else equal is key there, because not all else is equal. So, the effects can seem muddled.

Norway is another example of a country being very rich despite high taxes. They are rich because of oil.

My main point is that overall, all else equal, more economic freedom equals more prosperity.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 6:11:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 6:01:52 AM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/16/2012 5:54:29 AM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
At 8/15/2012 9:04:58 PM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.


Fair enough.

Although, I think it is tough to argue that more prosperity leads to more economic freedom.... it seems much more likely that it is the other way around.


Yeah, I didn't want to seem like such a downer, especially after you posted something which was, let's face it, brilliantly written. But I felt behoven to note, in some mild capacity, that one paper does not a vindication make. Especially when the underlying premise is imperfect.

Personally, I prefer The Index of Economic Freedom, although given my limitations, I could well be wrong to do so. In any case, there are usually other or complementary explanations for why countries are doing well: America has just passed through the eye of unipolarity, the United Kingdom has soft power due to the remnant of Empire (eg: UN Security Council Seat) and it's relationship with the USA, Switzerland has known incredible stability and peace due to neutrality, and so forth.

Further, according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010-2011, Luxembourg had the highest GDP per capita, although it only ranks 20th in terms of economic freedom. While the World Bank claims Monaco, which isn't even in Fraser's top 30. At best we can say that while freedom is good, it's imprecise: having a little bit more, an extra policy or two, could have a negligible impact.


I think you are largely right.

We must always be careful not to overstate the benefits of economic freedom. We cannot, for instance, solve all of our societal problems by simply reducing taxes and regulations.

Having said that, I do think that reducing taxes and regulation increases prosperity, all else equal.

All else equal is key there, because not all else is equal. So, the effects can seem muddled.

Norway is another example of a country being very rich despite high taxes. They are rich because of oil.

My main point is that overall, all else equal, more economic freedom equals more prosperity.

I agree in general terms, but I disagree with the "all else being equal". Like, I don't think that economic freedom always leads to a stronger economy, and it's just sometimes difficult to impossible to measure this truth because of regional differences, etc.

I think that the data is genuinely unclear beyond a positive relationship in principle. So, you should aim for a reasonably economically free regime, but there is some discretion in that any given policy promoting economic freedom isn't necessarily substantiated by the information we have.

Obviously, if this changes, my prescription would change. :)
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 6:25:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 6:11:00 AM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
At 8/16/2012 6:01:52 AM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/16/2012 5:54:29 AM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
At 8/15/2012 9:04:58 PM, JamesMadison wrote:
At 8/15/2012 8:44:08 PM, NixonianVolkswagen wrote:
Ah, right. I'm not an expert, but there seems to be correlation in their rankings, although causation remains disputed.


Fair enough.

Although, I think it is tough to argue that more prosperity leads to more economic freedom.... it seems much more likely that it is the other way around.


Yeah, I didn't want to seem like such a downer, especially after you posted something which was, let's face it, brilliantly written. But I felt behoven to note, in some mild capacity, that one paper does not a vindication make. Especially when the underlying premise is imperfect.

Personally, I prefer The Index of Economic Freedom, although given my limitations, I could well be wrong to do so. In any case, there are usually other or complementary explanations for why countries are doing well: America has just passed through the eye of unipolarity, the United Kingdom has soft power due to the remnant of Empire (eg: UN Security Council Seat) and it's relationship with the USA, Switzerland has known incredible stability and peace due to neutrality, and so forth.

Further, according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010-2011, Luxembourg had the highest GDP per capita, although it only ranks 20th in terms of economic freedom. While the World Bank claims Monaco, which isn't even in Fraser's top 30. At best we can say that while freedom is good, it's imprecise: having a little bit more, an extra policy or two, could have a negligible impact.


I think you are largely right.

We must always be careful not to overstate the benefits of economic freedom. We cannot, for instance, solve all of our societal problems by simply reducing taxes and regulations.

Having said that, I do think that reducing taxes and regulation increases prosperity, all else equal.

All else equal is key there, because not all else is equal. So, the effects can seem muddled.

Norway is another example of a country being very rich despite high taxes. They are rich because of oil.

My main point is that overall, all else equal, more economic freedom equals more prosperity.

I agree in general terms, but I disagree with the "all else being equal". Like, I don't think that economic freedom always leads to a stronger economy, and it's just sometimes difficult to impossible to measure this truth because of regional differences, etc.

I think that the data is genuinely unclear beyond a positive relationship in principle. So, you should aim for a reasonably economically free regime, but there is some discretion in that any given policy promoting economic freedom isn't necessarily substantiated by the information we have.

Obviously, if this changes, my prescription would change. :)

We seem to agree on the direction of the relationship and, to a lesser degree, the cause.

Areas of disagreement seem to be the strength of the relationship and whether it holds beyond a certain point of freedom.

Overall, we aren't that far apart.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 9:02:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The historical data is overwhelming. Over twenty newly independent countries in Africa, starting in the Sixties, adopted socialist models. All failed. In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan adopted free market models and prospered. Hong Kong has had virtually no social programs, but poor people has prospered better than under socialist models. china and India are reversing their fortunes by moving to capitalism.

Often enough the "middle ground" is wrong. Jonah Goldberg gives the analogy of having one faction that wants to build a bridge across a river and another faction that doesn't want to build a bridge. The "wise" middle ground is to build it half way across, which makes less sense than either extreme.
TheBossToss
Posts: 154
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 9:30:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 9:02:18 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
The historical data is overwhelming. Over twenty newly independent countries in Africa, starting in the Sixties, adopted socialist models. All failed. In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan adopted free market models and prospered. Hong Kong has had virtually no social programs, but poor people has prospered better than under socialist models. china and India are reversing their fortunes by moving to capitalism.

Often enough the "middle ground" is wrong. Jonah Goldberg gives the analogy of having one faction that wants to build a bridge across a river and another faction that doesn't want to build a bridge. The "wise" middle ground is to build it half way across, which makes less sense than either extreme.

Well, it would make a real nice place to jump into the river....
Cats. I like cats.
-Me

Pro hasn't upheld his BOP. He forfeited last round. I did stuff.
-Wallstreetatheist

That was real intellectual property theft. They used her idea for their own profit and fame. When I pirate, I am usually downloading textbooks that I cannot afford to purchase on my own and that I do not want my parents to spend money on.
-royalpaladin
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 1:04:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 9:02:18 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
The historical data is overwhelming. Over twenty newly independent countries in Africa, starting in the Sixties, adopted socialist models. All failed. In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan adopted free market models and prospered. Hong Kong has had virtually no social programs, but poor people has prospered better than under socialist models. china and India are reversing their fortunes by moving to capitalism.

Often enough the "middle ground" is wrong. Jonah Goldberg gives the analogy of having one faction that wants to build a bridge across a river and another faction that doesn't want to build a bridge. The "wise" middle ground is to build it half way across, which makes less sense than either extreme.

Compare like with like, countries which the Soviets or Chinese propped to nations backed by the United States. Iran to Zimbabwe, etc.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
JamesMadison
Posts: 381
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 2:51:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/16/2012 9:02:18 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
The historical data is overwhelming. Over twenty newly independent countries in Africa, starting in the Sixties, adopted socialist models. All failed. In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan adopted free market models and prospered. Hong Kong has had virtually no social programs, but poor people has prospered better than under socialist models. china and India are reversing their fortunes by moving to capitalism.

Often enough the "middle ground" is wrong. Jonah Goldberg gives the analogy of having one faction that wants to build a bridge across a river and another faction that doesn't want to build a bridge. The "wise" middle ground is to build it half way across, which makes less sense than either extreme.

This.
As a general rule, you'll find that, when a conservative is talking about policy, history, economics, or something serious, liberals are nowhere to be found. But, as soon as a conservative mentions Obama's birthplace or personal life, liberals are everywhere, only to dissappear again when evidence enters the discussion.