Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What sort of libertarianism could I respect?

A good question often asked by skeptics is "What would it take for you to change your belief?

For example, asked of an atheist, the answer could be that a real god (or alien or advanced being) could compel change in belief, and would know whether evidence or intervention was needed.

My belief is that libertarianism in all its diversity is repugnant.

So what would a libertarian have to tell me about his most important beliefs so that I didn't think they were repugnant?  You folks go first: after a few days I'll post some of my ideas in the responses.

Then we can see if any libertarians out there fit.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What's new

The past month has been rather busy, so I have been adding at a slow rate.  But there are some gems...
NEW 5/19/2013: Self-interest vs. Greed and the Limitations of the Invisible Hand [More...]
"In order for greed to contribute to the economy positively, it is necessary not only to have rule of law but to have an ideal system of laws and enforcement. Given imperfections and uncertainties in the legal system, economic value and general well-being would be greater without greed." [more...]
NEW 5/19/2013: Greed Is Good
Libertarians like to think their greed is good, but think labor unionists are greedy and thus bad. Greed is different than desire for wealth: it is desire for wealth without enough regard for whether others are harmed. [more...]
NEW 5/17/2013: What about Marx? [More...]
Daniel Little examines a number of key theoretical frameworks that Marx advocated that still successfully challenge economic liberalism or capitalism. He concludes that there is much still of value, if you avoid the dogmatism of earlier Marxists. [more...]
NEW 5/12/2013: Rand Paul Email Touts False Gun Conspiracy About U.N. Treaty That Doesn’t Exist [More...]
Rand Paul shows some of the flakey, paranoid side his father is also famous for. [more...]
NEW 5/12/2013: The Tyranny of the Market [More...]
Angus Sibley's outline of the threats from libertarian (free-market) economics. "According to free-market dogma, we must accept passively the dictatorship of the market." [more...]
NEW 5/12/2013: Review: Angus Sibley's "The 'Poisoned Spring' of Economic Libertarianism [More...]
Michael Sean Winters provides a good, terse summary in this National Catholic Reporter review. [more...]
NEW 5/12/2013: The "Poisoned Spring" of Economic Libertarianism: Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard: A Critique from Catholic Social Teaching of the 'Austrian School' of Economics
Angus Sibley criticizes Austrian economics and resulting libertarianism both from the viewpoint of practical economics and from Catholic teaching. "[...] what neoconservatives call ‘freedom’ has turned out to be the liberty of wealthy capitalists to subvert the political process, to dominate economic decision-making, and generally to take advantage of everyone else." [more...]
NEW 5/05/2013: Libertarian Cowards Run from Own Words [More...]
"Only when he and his backers find the courage to appeal to Whites as Whites, rather than as individuals, will Ron Paul’s numbers climb into the double digits.” [more...]
NEW 5/05/2013: Rand Paul the Hypocrite [More...]
"Freedom does not only involve freedom from the government." [more...]
NEW 5/05/2013: Rand Paul is No Barry Goldwater on Civil Rights
Rand Paul has repeatedly said that he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on libertarian grounds: private businesses should not be forced to serve African Americans if they so choose. As opposed to Goldwater's supposed Constitutional concerns. [more...]
NEW 5/05/2013: Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds
Classic ideological one-sided story telling, to make the EPA and other government agencies into villains. Ignore the fact that the "victims" were convicted by juries of crimes. [more...]
NEW 5/05/2013: I don’t think the Swiss health care system is what they think it is [More...]
Aaron Carroll corrects notions that Swiss health care is more free-market and less socialized than Obamacare. [more...]
NEW 5/01/2013: Understanding Karl Marx [More...]
Brad DeLong's simple, clear overview of Karl Marx. He points out what has been historically falsified, and what is still of value. He also provides explanations of where Marx was coming from, where his mistakes originated, and why. [more...]
Common Fallacies Of Economics
Economics has its own styles of common fallacies. These are much loved by both pundits and highly qualified economists making partisan arguments.[more...]
Coined by Matt Yglesias, this refers to explaining what is well known with standard economics, and explaining the remaining unknown part with hand-waving appeals to popular prejudices, usually supporting a right-wing moral argument. [more...]
Efficient Market Hypothesis
A major Chicago Economics hypothesis and precept, produced by Eugene Fama and eventually strongly questioned by him as well. The existence of speculative bubbles refutes all but the weakest forms of the EMH. [more...]
Interview with Justin Fox: The Myth Of The Rational Market
An overview of why markets are neither rational or efficient, and who has been influential in proposing and taking down these ideas. An interview with Justin Fox, author of "The Myth of the Rational Market". [more...]
The US Gov’t as Venture Capitalist: Why Go There? [More...]
Jared Bernstein writes: "The question of should the government backstop investments in new areas of research is actually an odd one, because it’s been doing so since before we were even a nation [...]" [more...]
Things Government Should Do
There are plenty of ideas of what governments should do born out by long history of where governments have been successful and where markets have failed. Not just defense, but things like basic research, infrastructure, social insurance and a host of other practical needs. [more...]
The Failures Of Milton Friedman [More...]
With classic objectivist zeal, Slade Mendenhall is affronted because Milton Friedman criticized fellow libertarians Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises. His solution? Criticize Milton Friedman, with extra bonus points for strawmen and misrepresentation. [more...]
Fraudulent Controversial Books
Part of the propaganda program of libertarianism has been a steady flow of books based on fraudulent claims that take months or years to debunk. Some are directly produced or financed by libertarians, others by academics or conservatives are heavily endorsed by libertarians. [more...]
The Bitcoin Bubble and a Bad Hypothesis [More...]
"Bitcoin is perhaps the finest example of a pure bubble. [...] The closest parallel is the fictitious dotcom company imagined in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury, whose only product was its own stock." [more...]
Game Theory
Simple game theory such as the Prisoner's Dilemma shows that many situations can be improved by government interference. [more...]
The correct way to argue with Milton Friedman [More...]
[...] listen out for the words “Let us assume” or “Let’s suppose” and immediately jump in and say “No, let’s not assume that”. [more...]
Libertarian Framing
A 24 word statement demonstrates 7 libertarian framing tricks. "Why on earth are you in favor of giving the state any more governmental power than is absolutely unavoidable? It'll just be abused." [more...]
Framing is a classic rhetorical technique that attempts to sneak in assumptions. Control the assumptions, and you shape the discussion. If your opponent disagrees, he is either distracted from making his own argument to attack the assumptions or he is put on the defensive. The classic framing example is Groucho Marx's "when did you stop beating your wife?". So why are you in favor of coercive government? [more...]