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Comment Re:Reunion tour (Score 1) 349 349

If you want to vote third party, the place to do it is locally. I believe that voting third-party nationally actually accomplishes the opposite of what you want.

And the sad thing is you've done alot of posting, but haven't actually backed up your point with any information whatsoever. Instead, just alot of ad hominems. Also, a third party can and has won the election, look up the Whig Party. I would love for you to make a case on how this election is different, because it would bring some substance to your posts.

Comment Re:SOCIALIZE! (Score 1) 351 351

Private Industry has the goal of making money. So the most efficient way of making money will be pursued

But what about from the buyer's standpoint? What is the most effective use of their money? Competition from privatization gives them that better than government can. Also, the path to a monopoly starts with the company being better than competitors or with government help. The former is the ideal effectiveness for users of a service, and also what seems to happen without government intervention, and rarely actually ending in a monopoly (much less an abusive one...).

This is typically by gaining a monopoly for a sought after service and charging as much as you can for it.

Government is a monopoly in the context of them creating their own network. An abusive private monopoly is less likely than an ineffective government monopoly that needs reform. I believe the ineffectiveness of government is much worse, and more costly, than that of a private market.

Governments have the option of changing their goals

The problem is that the previous goals still need to be maintained and paid for. It would also be nice if there was a little oversight into their efficient operation. No politician wants to alienate a potential voter by cutting their pet program or by raising taxes. Furthermore, no politician wants to reform some campaign contributors' "regulations" or other forms of crony capitalism. It's much easier for a politician to expand government and borrow more money that can be dealt with later.

They can spend more money for More and Better connection rather than Happy Shareholders.

What money? I'm starting to wonder why I've been paying all these taxes if we're just going to laugh as the trillions go up. Atleast then I'd be able to buy more shit before it all goes to hell. Maybe that's why everyone is using so much credit...

Comment Re:Wireless has congestion (Score 1) 161 161

Even if their not perfect, still better than the alternative.

Disagree. If at first regulation is better, then the question is how long will it last.

Lets face it, if a monopoly results, the controllor will be more or less at will able to regulate said industry just as a government does. They will regulate it to serve their intrests only.

Yes, and that's also what happens with regulation and it's called regulatory capture.

Diffrent than homesteading in theory, when there really is enough land to go around. Or a better example is, that corporate squatters claimed all the land, that was free to claim for the sole purpose of selling it at inflated prices to homesteaders, defeating the spirit if of the act.

Homesteading was used in the US when there wasn't "enough land to go around" with the Homestead Act (and even again after that), which at the time was 160 acres that anyone could own so long as they worked it for 5 years. The example you give would be impossible under the terms of that act, no "spirit" necessary.

Comment Re:Wireless has congestion (Score 1) 161 161

Wireless spectrum isn't a natural form of property in any way, shape or form. Free market assignment of wireless frequency just means a chaotic free for all.

How is wireless spectrum not property? It's even used as property right now, it's just dealt out by the FCC. Something being property does not make it a "chaotic free for fall", I'm not sure why you'd think that.

In that sort of situation, actors will sometimes cooperate without regulation, but you can have a thousand cooperating entities and just one spoiler and it wrecks things for everyone

This is property we're talking about here, not a protocol. If one spoiler starts using a frequency that another "entity" is using, it would be just as illegal if someone were to do that now.

You say "if wireless spectrum were divided up under property law" as if that isn't a form of regulation... The fact is, there is no way to assign it that isn't a form of regulation.

Do you understand how property was dealt out when the US was becoming a nation? No regulatory body was needed. Only property law. You can call that regulation, I don't care, but there is no entity dishing out property, only people claiming property and defending that claim with the law.

The simple fact is that some things simply can't sanely be provided by multiple providers and have to either be provided by government, provided by private organizations under regulation, or simply not be properly provided at all.

Continuing to say it does not make it true. Private roads exist today and have existed since there were roads. I would call them unregulated, but you seem to think even basic laws arising from common law are regulation too. Furthermore, you have a mental block about a theoretical belief that the ownership of roads will become a monopoly because you also believe roads are a natural monopoly. When I have asked to explain why you think a route monopoly would act against route users and other road builders, you are unable to articulate an example and go on about something to do with intersections and how, for some reason, the owner of a road would not allow them. Your scenario is not a given, just as your belief that roads are natural monopoly are not a given, just as your belief that privatized roads will result in an abusive monopoly is not a given. I realize what we're talking about here is very theoretical, but you're going to have to come up with more than blanket statements to convince me of your beliefs. Until then, I'll go by what the CATO institute says.

Comment Re:Wireless has congestion (Score 1) 161 161

Private road owners have no incentive to do anything, because people need to get places. They'll use the excuse "you don't like it, use another road", which sometimes you won't be able to, because they'll have either the most convienant route, or the only route.

People need to get places, but they can also lower their dependence on roads and use them less, which would bring road owners less money.

Comment Re:Wireless has congestion (Score 2) 161 161

I contend that any system that assigns wireless frequencies as property is a form of regulation. I just can't see how it could be seen any other way.

One requires no additional laws at this time and also has well-established analogs in the court, and one requires a funded regulatory body that gets to make the rules with very little oversight. Cost and effectiveness is the difference.

The process by which anyone could become the natural owner of wireless spectrum is otherwise incomprehensible to me. So, a free market for wireless spectrum with various entities competing for it would end up a war zone. There would be scraggly bearded hams and hackers insisting on proper practices and cooperation, etc., but the big business types would deride them as dirty hippies and flood them out.

You are acting as if this is what we don't already have today. The difference being one outcome was achieved at great expense by having a regulatory body such as the FCC. If wireless spectrum were divided up under property law, "scraggly bearded hams and hackers" would have more of a chance against whatever big business types were abusing the spectrum because they could hire a lawyer instead of beg the FCC or some politician.

I also thought I'd already provided a pretty good example of a market that wouldn't be viable without regulation when discussing roads. When you're not living in an area with areas of unclaimed land between every property, acquiring the property to actually build a network of roads connecting everyone can be insanely difficult without government interference.

Eminent domain is evil and has already been abused by our government. But it is very cheap and effective.

There have been in various places, and at various times in history, road networks made up of lots of little private roads with toll booths every few hundred meters. They pretty much always ended with the sitting government or conquerors coming along and taking them over in some way with or without compensation because they were always a mess. Going anywhere would be ridiculously expensive and slow. When the roads aren't directly controlled by some sort of government, they always need regulation.

Government or conquerors taking over the roads? You mean like they are now? Going anywhere is more expensive and slow now than it should be. Gas tax that everyone pays subsidizes commercial road shipping. Traffic builds up at certain times, which would be alleviated if there were an incentive to use the roads during less busy times (like by making it cheaper). Road owners have a financial incentive to get as many cars across their roads as possible so they would implement solutions like many other cities like E-ZPass to charge tolls.

The point about the tunnels and overpasses wasn't how expensive they would be to the consumer (although they would be astronomical) it was how expensive they would be to a second operator who wants to cross the road of the first operator. In the unlikely case that they would even allow it, the charges would surely be astronomical.

Of course they would allow it because it would allow more cars onto their road which means more money. If the arrangement is obviously in the 2nd operators' favor, they could come up with an equally favorable agreement and write it into a contract (which, of course, would include the agreed upon court of arbitration because government courts are slow and expensive).

Comment Re:Wireless has congestion (Score 3, Insightful) 161 161

You don't quite seem to understand why the free market doesn't work very well with markets like telecommunications, roads, etc. Sometimes the regulation is problematic, but often the market wouldn't even be viable without the regulation. The problem is that some markets are what are referred to as natural monopolies.

Agreed that natural monopolies are hard for free markets. But then the question is will the regulation be effective. Regulation can be expensive and sometimes ends up benefiting initial players and limiting choice. The biggest issue, for me, is if the regulatory body will stay effective and not be corrupted by market players. When a regulatory body is captured, it will be very hard for a politician to work to defeat it due to the interest/power of the market players vs the interest/power of the people. You mention that often the market wouldn't even be viable without regulation, do you have some examples to discuss? Things such as wireless frequencies could simply be considered property and handled similarly. Ownership of such property could be handled in the same way, ie homesteading.

Consider roads. How many sets of roads from different providers can any given location support? How many roads does the typical home have frontage on? Multiple sets of roads would also _have_ to cross. How would the property rights work? How expensive would all the tunnels and/or overpasses be? How would interconnects between the different providers work?

I think the point you are getting at here is that the owners of routes to destinations, of which there are few, will take advantage of their position and it will cost you more to use those routes. Markets are actually more complicated than that as they also have to deal with indirect and potential competition. How much would it cost me to walk to a parking garage that gives me access to different routes? What if I took a different means of travel altogether?

How would the property rights work? How expensive would all the tunnels and/or overpasses be? How would interconnects between the different providers work?

Private property rights would work as they do today. Tunnels and overpasses would be expensive, I assure you government does not make them cheaper. That is also a problem with government roads; they will be built even when they do not make financial sense in a market. Interconnects between different providers would bring more usage (ie. more money) so they would be beneficial to road owners to that extent.

Comment Re:Corporations are people? (Score 1) 244 244

A law implies coercion by definition - it's something that you need to back with a threat of force to guarantee that it is followed by everyone.

Agreed, I don't know or haven't heard of anyone thinking otherwise; a line must be drawn somewhere. Having law enforced by business or government doesn't actually change that. The ideas I'm talking about try to minimize that coercion. Anarcho-capitalism is anti-government, not anti-society.

A law that is voluntarily adhered to, and can be broken at will if desired, is not a law.

Also agreed, but I feel like the point you are trying to make is lost on me or you're putting words in my mouth. If you somehow interpreted what I said as being able to break the law at will with no consequences, I think you have misconstrued what I was saying. Maybe an example would help. Say there is a territory of people, each of which has a different idea of what laws should exist and also be enforced. Say you have people that don't want people to buy alcohol on sunday, while there are much more that do want to buy alcohol on Sunday (I live in Georgia, so this hits close to home :). The creation and enforcement of such a law will be more expensive for the people that want it because there are less people willing to pay for such a thing and more people that disagree with it meaning much more people to enforce it on. If everyone wants a law, there should be less people to enforce that law on and more people paying for it which makes it cheap. I'm thinking that people would have a lot less "opinions" in such a system because they would bear the direct cost of such an opinion.

At best, it means that it varies randomly depending on who's enforcing it where and for whom.

I don't agree that's the best case scenario, but what you are predicting isn't much different than what we have today. I think the "random" part of your sentence was just hyperbole; it's obviously not random because it's law established by people living in a territory however they feel is the best way to make these laws via a free market.

At worst, it means that those with more money (or more guns, to do the enforcement themselves) will get to enforce their whims as laws.

If there is a group who enforces something other than the accepted law of the area (however it came into being), it is no different than an invading force. The group that is supporting the law for that area obviously doesn't want that, so they would support its opposition (financially or physically, whatever). If they don't support its opposition, or fail to counter it, you either have new law or something that isn't anarcho-capitalism. This is true for any philosophy for society. But also, I don't feel your statement is an apt comparison because it's true with any system of government also. This is also where a key difference lies between anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism; libertarians submit that a government is probably needed to fund national defense while anarcho-capitalists aren't convinced. Of course, anarcho-capitalism could create a protection racket that would be very similar, it could also pretend that people elect those in charge of it :)

Comment Re:Corporations are people? (Score 1) 244 244

The obvious problem with anarcho-capitalism is that even is fraud is not "just", you don't really have any recourse, since there's no such thing as "illegal" in an anarchic society (who'd enforce the laws?).

This is a common misconception. The people that enforce the laws would be those that are paid to enforce the laws. I think the misconception is due to people's immediate reaction when they hear someone wants to get rid of or limit government. Anarcho-capitalists, and sometimes to a lesser extent libertarians, don't want to see an end to everything the government does, just that it should be replaced by businesses and voluntary associations that are susceptible to market forces and that can't force ("coerce") money out of people.

If you are interested in some of the general ideas of anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism along with some theoretical examples, a good intro book is _The Machinery of Freedom_.

Comment Re:Corporations are people? (Score 2) 244 244

I guess in Freem'Arkhet's ideal system (the anarchocapitalist "libertarian" utopia that I see people call for here) we'd allow the company to advertise whatever they want and the end consumer (invariably the lowest-information actor in the system) would have the responsibility to figure out what was and wasn't bullshit, but we aren't quite there yet.

Straw man. Most libertarians would agree that fraud should still be illegal. Sources:
David Freidman:

Wikipedia page on anarcho-capitalism:
Anarcho-capitalist libertarians believe that the only just, and/or most economically beneficial, way to acquire property is through voluntary trade, gift, or labor-based original appropriation, rather than through aggression or fraud.[12]

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 244 244

Are you suggesting that Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are Natural Monopolies because of their drive and success? Are you suggesting that these companies rose to their positions primarily due to government regulations? In your mind, should the government intervene to ensure these companies do not abuse their positions?

I don't think they are any kind of monopolies. As far as I know, they all have competitors in their industries. In my opinion the government should not intervene until it comes up with a better way to "fix" the perceived abuses. I personally don't think there really is a better way, and is no political motivation to do so, and so would just rather the government stay out. I think people latch onto the idea of wanting to regulate businesses, but our current implementations do not work and I believe history is on my side.

In most cases I have seen, first a company reaches a monopoly position (or oligopoly) before it can leverage regulators to keep its competitors out (for example AT&T).

My mistake. I think due to how the word monopoly has been used in the preceding posts I automatically just think of an abusive monopoly, as in, one that wants to keep competitors out and be able to raise prices without consequences. What I'm saying is that the initial ATT monopoly would have been fine because it's still exposed to the forces of potential and indirect competition. The proceeding government intervention in 1913 allowed them to have their monopoly without those competitive forces. I think it sounded like a good idea at the time, because it's definitely more efficient to have one telephone system. But, I believe, had competitors been allowed to grow, they would have driven innovation in the areas of standardizing a common interface among carriers and reach agreements about connecting customers of different telephone systems. If Bell was able to continue its growth so it's no longer feasible to construct telephone poles next to Bells and compete with them, then it would have driven innovation in alternative ways of voice communication (like cell phones, for example, which would be indirect competition). If Bell were to try and abuse it's natural monopoly and price gouge, this opens itself up to competition who can come in and undercut their prices (potential competition). They would then have to lower their prices until their competitor died, rinse and repeat. Of course, this is a much simplified explanation as it ignores other government involvements like taxes that aren't meant to regulate any company in particular but have the side effect of making corporations want to grow past their efficient size. For example, the tax on stock dividends encourages companies to not give dividends but to instead invest that money in growth because capital gains tax is lower.

Those are good examples. However, the best examples would be Standard Oil and AT&T off the top of my head. The latter is also a textbook example of how a monopoly can use regulators to maintain their position.

I was under the impression you were talking about unregulated monopolies that abused their position from the previous sentence in your post. That's why I gave examples of popular big industries of the time that were unable to effectively and permanently abuse their monopolies (railroad lines) or collude (steel industry) despite no government regulations. Again, it's my belief that capitalism will work itself out when faced with a company trying to abuse its natural monopoly status. I would like to explore any counter-examples of that, if you know of any. As in, a company has a natural monopoly, or even colludes with other companies to fix prices, that was not punished by the market either by a competitor that comes up with a better idea to achieve the same means or who comes in and undercuts prices.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 244 244

I think you have it backwards. Monopolies survive in spite of government regulation due to regulatory capture.

I'm talking about markets where there existed no monopoly, but government regulation has created them or forced current competitors not to compete (see US airline regulation, in this case competing directly over price of inter-state travel). The wikipedia page for regulatory capture is full of them. The problem is, the industires the government hopes to regulate have more of an interest in the regulatory bodies than the voters do. Furthermore, a regulatory body will by necessity need to include people from such a business in order for the regulations to even make sense. Our current ideas about regulation don't have a fix for that.

Many companies will use whatever means to further their pursuit of monopoly status

This is a good thing. Natural monopolies aren't a bad thing in and of themselves. Government endorsed monopolies, not so much.

This includes using the government to create barriers to entry for competitors or force competitors from the market.

This would be the regulatory capture I was referring to.

If you removed government regulations, it would not change that all companies are trying to increase market share and drive out competitors. Instead, you would get increased predatory actions, many of which are well documented during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries in America.

I would honestly be interested in knowing what you're referring to. Steel industry, railroad industry? I think those industries only prove my points and are actually referenced in the book I cited. In fact, you will see how the leaders of those industries tried to create (abusive) monopolies or cartels and found it a very difficult, maybe impossible, thing to do. If you need further evidence, look up US deregulation and see how it ended up benefiting those industries.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 244 244

We should simply expect that once the businesses get huge like this, we will have to either break them up or heap some government regulation on them in order to protect ourselves from them. We will *always* have to do this, so, let's get busy.

Government regulation creates monopolies due to regulatory capture. A natural monopoly is limited in its ability to raise prices due to potential and indirect competition. Government monopolies on the other hand...

More info can be found in The Machinery of Freedom chapter Monopoly I: How to lose your shirt.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie