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Selective Redistributionism

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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12/11/2013 12:27:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
As an idealist ideology, Libertarians are opposed to redistributive policies. However, as a practical ideology, there is always going to be a point at which they make an exception. Pure ideology always poses problems in a world possessing impure context. Perhaps the world a Libertarian envisions is, truly, the ideal world. But that does not necessarily translate in Libertarian policy being smart policy. We live in a world formed through authoritarian action as well as free action which was simply very irrational.

Libertarians should ask themselves what context would be necessary for them to change their policies. If there is no such context, no one should take them seriously as political philosophers.

Secondly, they should ask themselves what their back-up plan is. Are they willing to let the government take specific and/or temporary action to correct the situation to something workable. Or will they only trust vigilante action.

There are many ways this can apply, but this thread is about redistribution. How unequal do things need be until it becomes ok redistribute? If elites took advantage of government support, is it ok to take it back? Should we take care to only take from certain elites or is it allowable to have a temporary general redistribution? Are you ok with the idea of "hitting an economic reset button" before adopting complete Libertarianism? Is it ok to take from an elite if they are using their wealth to support authoritarian policies?

I thought to make this thread when an old concept reoccurred to me today about redistributing the wealth of the Vatican church, a corrupt institution that owns a total somewhere between 10 and 15 billion, according to Time. What do you think of that idea?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/11/2013 1:23:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 12:27:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Libertarians should ask themselves what context would be necessary for them to change their policies. If there is no such context, no one should take them seriously as political philosophers.

Fortunately for Libertarians, the Universe decided that liberty just so happens to result in maximal prosperity and maximal peace. Now, if that weren't the case, then Libertarians would have a much bigger hill to climb in justifying their position.

If we lived in another possible world where authoritarianism yielded maximal prosperity and peace, then Libertarians would have to concede grounds.

Secondly, they should ask themselves what their back-up plan is. Are they willing to let the government take specific and/or temporary action to correct the situation to something workable. Or will they only trust vigilante action.

Depends on which faction of Libertarians you are talking about. There's the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Anarcho-Capitalists.

Let me point out some Libertarians who do in fact accept government as having a legitimate role as well as admitting there are times when government can be justified in exceeding that role.

F.A. Hayek supported a guaranteed basic income whereby each citizen is given a large lumpsum of money each month by the government, albeit in a way that is contrary to redistributionism.

"It is unfortunate that the endeavor to secure a uniform minimum for all who cannot provide for themselves has become connected with the wholly different aims of securing a "just" distribution of incomes."
-- F. A. Hayek
http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com...

Milton Friedman supported a negative income tax.
http://www.econlib.org...

The Ludwig von Mises Institute which opposes all regulations even admitted that we must resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act which imposed restrictions on the big banks.
http://mises.org...

Rothbard had some kind words for the consumption tax.

There are many ways this can apply, but this thread is about redistribution. How unequal do things need be until it becomes ok redistribute?

Inequality is a red herring. I don't care what I make relative to other people (though an ego might indeed care), I care about whether I am prospering or not. If I'm prosperous and happy, what difference does it make how big the gap is between me and the next guy?

Milton Friedman famously demonstrated that economics is not a zero sum game. My possessions are not taking from others, they too can have what I have. If I win, others don't necessarily lose. When the tide rises, all ships rise with it. There exists economic growth. If it didn't exist, then we would just keep trading the same pieces of the pie back and forth and we would call that "economic activity," but fortunately that's not the reality. Resources are abundant, resources regenerate, resources travel, resources can be utilized. Places like Africa contain abundant resources but African princes and dictators block free trade and economic growth.

If elites took advantage of government support, is it ok to take it back? Should we take care to only take from certain elites or is it allowable to have a temporary general redistribution? Are you ok with the idea of "hitting an economic reset button" before adopting complete Libertarianism? Is it ok to take from an elite if they are using their wealth to support authoritarian policies?

From what I understand, even Rothbard supported corrective redistribution to reclaim what was taken by government extortion.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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12/11/2013 7:07:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
We live in a world formed through authoritarian action as well as free action which was simply very irrational.
The answer is-- take from those you can prove to be responsible for such in court, distribute in accordance with victimhood, and move on with your life into a future of free action. You have no right to attack someone because of the crimes of those long dead, and you'd never manage to untangle it anyway. The best path to freedom is the shortest.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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12/11/2013 7:18:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I agree with the sentiment of this thread. When you form all of your views based on certain principles, this leads to a certain ignorance of pragmatic issues with those principles being applied universally.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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12/11/2013 7:25:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 1:23:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

There are many ways this can apply, but this thread is about redistribution. How unequal do things need be until it becomes ok redistribute?

Inequality is a red herring. I don't care what I make relative to other people (though an ego might indeed care), I care about whether I am prospering or not. If I'm prosperous and happy, what difference does it make how big the gap is between me and the next guy?

The difference is that economic inequality which is too drastic leads to a lowering of upwards mobility. It wouldn't be a problem if there was equality of opportunity in America, but there are certain things, like access to tutors and high quality education, which make it so the poor have less opportunity, and are inherently at a disadvantage.

Milton Friedman famously demonstrated that economics is not a zero sum game. My possessions are not taking from others, they too can have what I have. If I win, others don't necessarily lose. When the tide rises, all ships rise with it. There exists economic growth. If it didn't exist, then we would just keep trading the same pieces of the pie back and forth and we would call that "economic activity," but fortunately that's not the reality. Resources are abundant, resources regenerate, resources travel, resources can be utilized. Places like Africa contain abundant resources but African princes and dictators block free trade and economic growth.

If elites took advantage of government support, is it ok to take it back? Should we take care to only take from certain elites or is it allowable to have a temporary general redistribution? Are you ok with the idea of "hitting an economic reset button" before adopting complete Libertarianism? Is it ok to take from an elite if they are using their wealth to support authoritarian policies?

From what I understand, even Rothbard supported corrective redistribution to reclaim what was taken by government extortion.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/22/2013 9:18:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I once had a thought experiment that went along the lines of 100 people living on an island. But over time 10 people basically own most of the good stuff, in this case the land.

These 10 who "own" the land become richer and richer, they don't do most of the work themselves but as the "owners" keep most of the wealth produced from it. Also because of their wealth they are able to better protect their interests, even at the expense of the other 90.

Eventually the other 90 people figure out, this is bullsh*t, we do most of the work, but only receive very little of the wealth we produce while these "owners" keep most of it themselves. The people start thinking, maybe it doesn't have to be like this ? maybe we should change it ?

The other 90 people then take the land for themselves and become the new owners..............

Nah I made the last part up, the other 90 people are left fighting among st themselves, manipulated to support a system that is screwing them over, and will screw their children and their children children s over.

Merry Christmas everyone one !!!
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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12/22/2013 9:38:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I love when FREEDO goes all mutualist.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.