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Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

There is no theoretical foundation for that proposition and no empirical evidence.

70+ years of success in the US is a hard measure to surpass theoretically. Not one food crisis since the Great Depression.

I'm sorry, but your economic arguments are really quite like the arguments creationists use.

Except that creationists can't point to a single success.

The proposition that markets stabilize prices, on the other hand, is something you can personally verify,

I would counter that you can personally verify that markets crash as well.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

We're talking about simple, empirically verified economic facts.

Here is where we part ways. While I recognize that economics can use a lot of scientific tools, it is not a science. I've seen some very good analysis done of past events, but I've never seen a model that predicts a future result with any kind of error that wouldn't make a real scientist blush. I have very, very little faith that an economist can proclaim something in the future as being certain. That is, despite your protests to the contrary - this is in fact an ideological discussion. Your arguments are all rock-solid, but start from the assumption that economics is a science... as a discipline it simply does not have that kind of track record.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

You are preaching at me like I'm not the converted. I come at you from a base libertarian, market friendly ideology. But it's not a stretch to recognize that reality and ideology don't always align. I could definitely get on board with deregulating the food industry. But whatever system is in place, I want a guarantee that excess food will be produced in 99%+ years. When it comes to food, I'm not willing to put trust in a private system that is inherently non-ideal to follow your theory of what an ideal system would do.

The current, very imperfect system of agriculture has a very good track record in the "not starving" department.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

by MightyYar (#47937955) Attached to: FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

The reasoning is sound, but I don't think the numbers work out. A $60,000 internet connection (which is probably more than the price of the house) - even if amortized over 10 years - is going to be around $600/month. That's roughly $500 more than the most expensive city plans... are salaries really going to increase by $6000 per household? I mean, it is possible, but I find it more likely that people would just move somewhere that already has internet, phone, and electricity.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

by MightyYar (#47937901) Attached to: FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

You can absolutely work to change the market manipulations to those more in line with your own theories - that is not what I meant.

I'm asserting that those in power will - in aggregate - always look out for their interests. If your interests don't align with the powerful, then you really only have the choice of removing the power or trying to sway them. Good luck with the latter.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 1) 323

by MightyYar (#47937851) Attached to: FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

Even if such a "sharp rise and fall" were not just fear mongering

What? Starvation is a historical fact, and in fact still continues today. It is not fear mongering, it is what happens when you do not have enough food.

That kind of reasoning applied about 300 years ago.

I'm not talking about famine, a la Irish potato or Ethiopia. I'm talking about broad starvation. Dust bowl, Great Depression, that sort of thing. You don't need famine to destabilize the country.

But sharp rises and falls in food prices are almost always the result of misguided government policies.

Drought? Flood? Pests? Disease?

Between markets, insurance, worldwide production, and modern food storage, these concerns simply do not exist.

They still exist, but the interplay is much more complicated and harder to predict. What would a fuel crisis do to overseas shipping? What about a war? You mention food storage... just who is storing excess food without some subsidy to do so? Where is this excess food shipping capacity that you will tap when domestic production hits a snag?

I am going to store the food, trade options, and/or diversify geographically.

And what happens when prices are high? You sell out your stocks and there is nothing left in inventory should something go wrong.

All of that stabilizes and regulates food production better than any government policy can.

I'm not suggesting central planning or anything of the sort. I'm suggesting subsidizing food production. You are absolutely right - it will ruin the efficiency of the markets. However, I contend that paying a little extra is worth the insurance.

Let's say that you're argument has won the day and that a pure market approach will keep us all fed and happy. Is it not fair for me to point out that it is impossible to achieve a pure market approach? That corruption and crime will always exist? Couldn't corruption or fraud undermine the market system when a stressful event occurs? Why shouldn't we accept that as fact and build in some safeguards, even if it spoils the efficiency a bit?

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