- Capitalism and Alternatives -

That's what you do!

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on March 30, 1999 at 11:35:06:

In Reply to: easy way out posted by Gee on March 29, 1999 at 16:19:58:

: : Uh, Gee, I finally got around to looking at this, and it appears to be a bunch of name calling.

: Take the easy way out.

SDF: Yes, that's what you do. There are plenty of economic arguments against antitrust law: Dominick T. Armentaro's Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure for instance. Your response didn't even interest me in the subject, when I finally got around to reading it (rather than what I did beforehand, which was pretending I had to know something about the subject before responding, which in fact turned out to be a far more productive path for me than reading your post first).

: : quoting a few selected "folks back then" on anti-trust legislation to support one's opinion hardly counts an objective method of inquiry.

: The 'folks back then' were the ones making the rules silly.

SDF: Even the folks supporting your anti-anti-trust opinions will argue that there was and is a wide disparity of opinion about the anti-trust laws, then as now. Check out for instance Leslie D. Manns' "Dominance in the Oil Industry: Standard Oil from 1865 to 1911," pp. 11-38 of Market Dominance, ed. David I. Rosenbaum, an analysis which makes a lot of attempts at objectivity. Or, on the other hand, Ida M. Tarbell's The History of the Standard Oil Company, an anti-Standard Oil opinionated history. So why just quote a couple opinions and leave the issue at that?

: : Obviously, right-thinking libertarian economists are against anti-trust legislation, whereas evil, socialist business losers like anti-trust because it uses that big daddy government to bail them out

: LOL-ing doesnt make an argument.

SDF: And neither does ad hominem characterizations of the various arguments. Dealing with arguments on the basis of their SUBSTANCE rather than merely preparing an ideological scorecard for the people making the arguments is the way I prefer to go.

: : This appears to be on the level of claims that government "overspending" during the period 1929-1932 -- when the actual level of such spending during that period was hardly a drop in the bucket when compared to the demand for government assistance during such a period, as it was characterized by widespread business failure, 25% unemployment, bread lines, and charities stretched to the limit.

: Are you going to pretend the free market caused the depression now.

SDF: How do you know it's not you who's pretending? Or do you like to pretend you've won arguments all the time? The issue IS still up in the air -- try presenting some more evidence or something with a shred of credibility.

: : Analogously, we might argue that the government should give a starving man no food, as a criticism of current policies granting the same man an insufficient diet.

: You can give food, I can give food. Neither of us has the rigght to force Mr Jones next door to do so.

SDF: No, that wouldn't have been possible. Neither us had food during the Great Depression, we were all waiting in the same soup line. Meanwhile, we have the "right" to save people's lives by whatever means possible, especially since "rights" are meaningless in the individualist universe Gee lives in, without a social authority to establish them. Property is still theft. My argument still stands unscathed by Gee's meaningless utopianizing against "force". I await the disappearance of racism, exploitation, and nations when Gee says they're "wrong."

: : An objective inquiry into monopolies would examine all opposing sides of the monopoly issue -- proposing hard-core libertarian gospel

: trying to paint an 'libertarian' viewpoint as quasi religious?

SDF: Perhaps it is, if libertarians can't examine an opposing side without making ad hominem commentary.

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