- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More Corrections

Posted by: Asarualim on June 03, 1999 at 16:59:20:

In Reply to: more points posted by Gee on June 01, 1999 at 16:07:28:

: then presumably if your local grocer robbed you and handed you carrots in return (whether you wanted them or not) that is also ok? You do get my point dont you?

Yes I get your point. Your analogy is weak, however, you don't vote for the theiving grocer. There is no democractic process of control.

: None of these things creates an automatic unquestionable legitimacy.

True, but its a start and provides a historical perspective upon what works and what fails.

: Precisely because laws and the legal infrastrure is deliberately vaige and open to interpretation, and the legal system corrupted by politicking.

You missed the point. Laws to a certai degree have to be vague and general in order to cover all the particulars of any individual crime. That is why we have independant judiciaries to interpret laws on a case by case basis. There is nothing in the nature of law itself that leads to the corruption of law.

Essentially, I think you failed to grasp my point; the failure of justice is not the result of poor (it can be but not in this case) but rather the socioeconomic system. Any system with great disparities of wealth leads itself to corruption, despite any alleged "separation of economy and state" or anticorruption laws to the contrary. I fail to see how the "separation of economy and state" clause will be any more affective in fighting corruptio than current anticorruption laws and methods. In order to fully treat a problem you address the causes not just the symptoms.

: If the poorest person is getting richer, whilst the richest becomes even richer the both are better off than before. Thats one difference between capitalism and egalitarianism, which in principle would consider it 'fairer' if everyone was equally poor.

But that's not true! Real wages have stagnated for decades and have only now, so late in the business cycle, begun to creep up anemically. Besides tehre are other benfits that a broad distribution of wealth offer besides more prosperity to most everyone: social security, stable civil society, strong mass consumer base, etc. A greater equality in the distribution of wealth would have no negative impact (unless you consider administrative costs) upon the large sum of wealth in a nation, it may even lead to more prosperous economic growth.

The "invisible hand" metaphor is a favorite saying among lassie faire economist but it just isn't true in every case. A simple glance at the state department census results will prove otherwise.

: All these things are considered untouchable, and unworkable in the private market - whilst having been monopolised by the state for many decades. Had the state monopolised travel insurance then this too would be an example of product the private market is supposedly unable to supply. Read my last comment in this post.

These ARE products that the state is unable to produce or produce enough of. Any beginner's economic textbook should containa discussion of externalities. This is a well accepted fact in the realm of economics among liberals and conservatives.

: There is, if you keep a group of people dependant on state aid then the state will not whither away but grow and grow. What seems more important to you than what you define as a "poor little rich guy" or a "wealthy large rich lady" has to pay is fine as an opinion, and you are free to help anyone you care for - but only with voluntary help if you wish a free country to exist.

The problem with poor people is that they don't have money. Solution: give them money. I love it when people say "I care too much for the poor that I don't give them money." What an odd manner of thinking? It harkens back to a certain Spencer of Social Darwinism....

: A flat tax is progressive, it drains more in volume from those who have more.

Wrong. A progressive tax takes more from those who can afford and less from those who can't afford it. 10% from someone on the poverty line is more damaging than taking 10% from someone making a six figure salaty. The theory behind this: dimishing marguinal utility, another well established economic theory.

Besides you still have not addressed the procyclical aspects of a flat tax. Probably teh single graetest benefit of a progressive tax system is that it acts as an automatic stabilizer of the economy.

::That you consider it unfair is your opinion. What you would need to do now is to show exactly why some goods or services which people want to have would not arise without government intervention, and show why this intervention is of greater benefit than to not do so. That would Be interesting to scrutinize.

One word: externalities. I've discussed it at length in a previous post.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup