: : Perhaps for the two parties involved, but that is certainly not the case for everyone else external to the transaction. A good example would be air pollution; I may or may not purchase goods from a factroy and I do not won it, but I still have to breathe the poisoned fumes spewed forth from the aforementioned factory.
: Environmental effects of trade (and I dont mean just the 'natural world' - which isnt somehting other than humanity anyway) can be argued to be in your benefit to. The trades that developed various medicines, communications and leisure goods which you now have a choice to use, for example. Other than that your argument that trades can have deleterious effects on third parties i valied, but needs the most scrupulous and specific evidence to be of merit (and not to simply be used as n excuse to enacy controls whose necessity has not been shown. Highly contested generalisations about global warming are too broad to even 'blame' any particular activity (or indeed any human activity according to some sun scientists), your local company throwing mercury into the town river is more directly and meaningfully attributable. You cant do much about that at the moment because you dont own rivers, some govt agency probably does and to them its just a bargaining chip.
Well put indeed, I commend you for agreeing with me about the existence of externalities due to the, unintended of course, results of free market actions. I agree that hard evidence must be acquired before extensive regulation is imposed; however, I contest your use of examples. Global warming is highly contested among scientists and definitely merits further study and funding, but if global warming is a serious threat or if it is not, I think it is better in our current state of ignorance to play on the safe side. If memory serves correctly (it has been known to fail), the costs of preventing an alleged incident of global warming is significantly less than the damage that would result if it ooccurred. I like to think of preparing for global warming as buying health insurance for the planet; you certainly never want to need it, but if mishap strikes you'll be glad you paid for it.
: : When a fellow has to borrow just to stay alive and the rate he pays, interest, will simply drag him further into debt.
: Can you describe more specifically what kind of transactions you believe fall into this category - I have shark loans in mind, perhaps you mean other things.
Loan sharks are an excellent example, but I had more in mind what the period between79-81 when interest rates were 21% and real interest rates were around 9-12%. Since large multinational companies, financial banks, the government, and households (mortgage payments) must borrow in order to survive, the high level of interest amounted to little more than extortion.
Furthermore, the interest paid by third world countries in the debt market are, and have been for decades, exorbitant. Since these countries must borrow in order to stay afloat, they proceed to dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt. This compounding of debt causes the periodic international financial crises.
: So in this case I guess Gee believes the government is a mere tool of private interests,
: Not quite, no
: : No, of course not. is it the intrinsic nature of government at fault? No, of course not. Do not mistake the corruptors and the corrupted; business, BIG business, is responsible for the shabby state of medicine in the USA.
: What has corrupted govt is the unwillingness of govt to follow any principle, to act as referee among competing interest groups to, as a quotation I like "live off the sores of some and the blood of others". Govt needs production to live and grow - so it desires to keep business active so as to 'bleed' it for resources. Second rate US businesses need the government to protect them from more competent companies (especially them that foreigners!). Only a government canb protect a company from competitors. If govt stuck to the principles outlined in its constitution and bill of rights then such corporate welfare would be barred.
Interesting. The "live off the sores" quote was quite insightful; it provides an interesting glance at your theory of government. I think the government certantly "lives off" productive activity but let us not forget that government provides real positive rights in return. Think of it not government as parasite but government as symbiote.
For example, the right of property, is it a negative right? Do I simply leave your property alone, and you do mine? Not exactly. Governments define what property is, who can hold, how it can be sold, where it can sold, etc. Property must be protected by police stations, fire departments, the military, and the law courts. All of these services cost money and require taxation.
:Second rate US businesses need the government to protect them from more competent companies (especially them that foreigners!).
While the US anti-trust department does do this on occassion, free trade is a generally agreed upon principle within this country and except for a few exceptions like textiles in South Carolina and sugar in Florida, tariffs and quotas don't exist.
Although monoplies are possible without government intervention because of economies of scale, ownership of essential and/or unique resources, and monoploy power due to systemic control.
:If govt stuck to the principles outlined in its constitution and bill of rights then such corporate welfare would be barred.
Huh? Where does it bar corporate welfare in the consititution? Besides, corporations could not possibly exist without handouts from the government, so who is really feeding upon who?
: What has corrupted govt is the unwillingness of govt to follow any principle, to act as referee among competing interest groups to, as a quotation I like "live off the sores of some and the blood of others".
One final comment here, the actual political intrigue, one special interest group versus another, IS how our government acts as a sort of referre among different groups, currently at least. The only problem with this is that some special interest groups are more powerful than others. Of the 1200+ lobby groups in Washington, a little more than 800 are directly related to business. With sheer numbers on its side and massive amounts of cash, corporations often manage to twist government to its will and create legislation that benefits itself and may or may not promote the common good.