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Old 06-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #76
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

Yea, I got all that. A pure democracy will lead to what you claim. However, a strong constitutional democracy governed by capitalist ideals, could keep the state in check. It could effectively make it illegal for the state to trample on property rights. Once again, the details of such a system would certainly be up for debate. The basic premise is to have individuals be held liable for criminal actions for attempting to violate or violating the constitution. Some property rights must always be given up to the state in order for it to maintain itself. As long as the rights given up outweigh the rights that could be expected to be lost int he state of nature then the state is +ev. There has yet to be a state set up in this manner so I fail to see how you can say that this type of system has never worked. It has also never failed.

I disagree that a monarchy is preferable. They have not exactly left property rights alone throughout history. The main issue with a monarchy is that if someone disagrees with the monarch and actually poses a threat, then they are typically killed. That is certainly a major violation of property rights. In a monarchy, the ruler does not get the most ev out of minimal taxation. They get the most ev for themselves under insanely high taxation. They care much more about their own ev compared to the ev of their heirs. It is an interesting theory, but it requires an exceptional line of smart and generous monarchs.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:31 PM   #77
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

European monarchies from the 15th to the end of the 19th century all had a tax burden lower than 8%, until they were gradually replaced by republican democracies (or parliamentary monarchies, which are basically democracies as well), particularly after WWI. Modern democracies have tax loads of over 50%. Even if you go back further in time, you don't find monarchies with taxes anywhere close to the rates that exist today.

Other indicators of freedom, peace, order and prosperity show similar differences.

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:35 PM   #78
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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But a democratic system won't respect property rights, and that's the point....
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:36 PM   #79
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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European monarchies from the 15th to the end of the 19th century all had a tax burden lower than 8%, until they were gradually replaced by republican democracies (or parliamentary monarchies, which are basically democracies as well), particularly after WWI. Modern democracies have tax loads of over 50%. Even if you go back further in time, you don't find monarchies with taxes anywhere close to the rates that exist today.

Other indicators of freedom, peace, order and prosperity show similar differences.
Interesting stuff that I haven't thought about before. I need to do some more digging through history I think. I do seem to remember monarchs being involved in a ton of wars though. The main problem I see is that when someone else decides that they don't like the monarch and that they want to be the monarch themselves, a lot blood gets spilled.

I think that I do agree with you in saying that it was not democracy that made America great. It was capitalism. Just not convinced that a monarchy is the best thing for this. I recall quite a few monarchs that lived opulently at the expense of their people. Also more than a few pointless wars were started by a monarchs.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #80
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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I don't believe economics is as complex as the wealthy, the media, the politicians and world leaders would like us to believe.

When we transfer money from the rich to the "lower classes" (eg via tax changes) they generally spend a large proportion of it locally, boosting their local economies, creating jobs and keeping businesses running. This has the additional bonus of boosting the quality of life of the lower classes.
Was kind of interesting to read the first sentence stating that economics isn't that complex and then the 2nd part suggesting that wealth redistribution is great for the economy.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:42 PM   #81
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

SoontobePro

Your tax numbers are completely wrong. You're correct that the European monarchs didn't tax people as directly as modern taxation systems have--but that was mostly because of technology.

Instead they just owned EVERYTHING. The majority of people during the middle ages had a tax rate that literally adjusted itself to put them at a subsistence level. A combination of the King, the noble who owned them (because they belonged to the land and the land belonged to him), and the church took every extra thing they had above the starvation level.

It blows my mind that people are so ignorant of history. Hell when you factor in the fact that the nobility had to provide soldiers AND taxes to the king their effective tax rate was far above 8% as well--although since taxes were rather regressive back then they were hardly poor.

That was the middle ages. As taxation technology improved monarchs consistently took the maximum they could extract.

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #82
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Was kind of interesting to read the first sentence stating that economics isn't that complex and then the 2nd part suggesting that wealth redistribution is great for the economy.
Well... Every major economist of the last century has felt that redistribution of some kind was necessary. Friedman was for negative income taxes (which are impossible without redistribution), Keynes was obviously for taking peoples money and having the government spend it... Actually I challenge any of you to name a single important economist of the 20th century who thought that redistribution was NEVER ok. (PS: Pareto was for redistribution on a very mild scale!)
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #83
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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European monarchies from the 15th to the end of the 19th century all had a tax burden lower than 8%, until they were gradually replaced by republican democracies (or parliamentary monarchies, which are basically democracies as well), particularly after WWI. Modern democracies have tax loads of over 50%. Even if you go back further in time, you don't find monarchies with taxes anywhere close to the rates that exist today.

Other indicators of freedom, peace, order and prosperity show similar differences.
Yeah... that's completely wrong. England (technically a monarchy) had a tax rate far above ours for the entire time period you've described. So did France. So did everyone.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:17 PM   #84
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

Sometimes just making stuff up works, sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #85
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Sometimes just making stuff up works, sometimes it doesn't.
lol Didn't think those were right but I'm always reluctant to open my mouth when I don't know the facts for sure.

Making stuff up doesn't usually work on the internet nowadays.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #86
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Well... Every major economist of the last century has felt that redistribution of some kind was necessary. Friedman was for negative income taxes (which are impossible without redistribution), Keynes was obviously for taking peoples money and having the government spend it... Actually I challenge any of you to name a single important economist of the 20th century who thought that redistribution was NEVER ok. (PS: Pareto was for redistribution on a very mild scale!)
Ever heard about Murray Rothbard?
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #87
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

Seriously if you want to know how monarchs saw their subjects the word is 'subjects' which is practically a synonym for 'property'. The first major movement in what could be considered modern economics was mercantilism which literally held that the wealth of a nation was the total amount of gold in the kings treasury.

The mercantilists also held that the average person should be held to a subsistence level because they were immoral and would simply spend all of that money on luxuries... Which was pure waste. Bear in mine that these people were LIBERAL by their days standard. At that point in time the nobility was doing everything in their power to check the power of the merchant class... By creating all sorts of bizarre regulations designed to restrict and destroy trade.

I'm so unbelievably tilted by the idea that anyone would ever put forward 15-18th century monarchies as models of 'freedom'. This just shows how insanely far from reality you get when you decide to believe in an ideology. You start trying to pick out facts that fit your viewpoint... And sometimes those facts (like the 8% figure) are just pulled out of your (or some other idiots) ass.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:53 PM   #88
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Ever heard about Murray Rothbard?
A complete lunatic who never met reality in his work ever? Yes I'd heard of him. I said important economists of the 20th century. Economics is a big subject... You'll find some lunatics in any discipline.

I'm in favor of using Stiglers standard for judging economic theory. 'How well does this concept describe observable economic phenomena using the information available at the time?' Rothbard fails this standard laughably.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:54 PM   #89
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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I do seem to remember monarchs being involved in a ton of wars though.
Well you have a lot more time to choose from, so yeah. But really wars were not more frequent under monarchical rule. And what's most important, wars were battles between royal armies, unlike nowadays where the whole civil population of the opposing country is used for target practice, or worse. In most cases there was mass conscription going on at both sides, too; something rarely and scarcely ever seen under monarchical rule.

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I recall quite a few monarchs that lived opulently at the expense of their people.
They all did, and that's a good thing when compared to having democratically elected temporary rulers. I explained why this is. They kept almost 100% of the taxes.

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Also more than a few pointless wars were started by a monarchs.
And the wars started by democracies?

Counting just since the end of WWII, a period of less than 70 years, and counting only wars initiated by the US, there's over 50 examples.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:42 PM   #90
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

lol way to ignore the fact that your entire theory got shattered.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:52 PM   #91
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

You mean by BoredSocial? I got him on my ignore list. You're now there, too.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #92
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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You mean by BoredSocial? I got him on my ignore list. You're now there, too.
Go ahead and add me too, because you totally blew it on the taxes. And on your theory of all the benevolent monarchs in the middle ages who let the little people keep most of their money and property. Pretty funny.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:05 PM   #93
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Well you have a lot more time to choose from, so yeah. But really wars were not more frequent under monarchical rule. And what's most important, wars were battles between royal armies, unlike nowadays where the whole civil population of the opposing country is used for target practice, or worse. In most cases there was mass conscription going on at both sides, too; something rarely and scarcely ever seen under monarchical rule.



They all did, and that's a good thing when compared to having democratically elected temporary rulers. I explained why this is. They kept almost 100% of the taxes.



And the wars started by democracies?

Counting just since the end of WWII, a period of less than 70 years, and counting only wars initiated by the US, there's over 50 examples.
Jesus... You have no idea about military history either. War wasn't some sanitary stand up conflict between 'royal armies' in any time period in human history. If you go back before your arbitrary time frame (and just before it no less) you have the hundred years war... when both sides had a fun romp through the french countryside looting and pillaging.

There's the verb 'sack' which is used to describe the systematic looting, raping, and destroying of a city that has been conquered by your army. Kings often barely paid their war making armies... They just turned them loose on the enemies civilian population and let them pay themselves through looting.

Mass conscription was absolutely standard under every king. They would demand troops from their nobles... and their nobles would deliver troops to them. Where do you think those soldiers came from? The Knights of the Round Table showing up (all 12 or whatever of them) to fight a carefully organized melee with the other side?

Dude have you seen Braveheart? Have you ever read a history book? You're a ****ing idiot.

EDIT: Royalties complete disregard for the lives of commoners was obvious in their taxation, their privileges, and how they made war. They would victimize the other sides common people until the other side lost the ability to make war. This is very similar to bombing campaigns during modern conflicts... Except in this case it's carried out by hand, on foot, up close and personal.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:12 PM   #94
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

Also please name 25 conflicts started by the US since 1945. I'm genuinely curious.

You libertarians would like to believe that the 'statists' are stealing your money, your freedom, and are actively oppressing you 'prime movers'. **** you. Libertarianism has been tried. It's most of human history... Libertarianism is the anarchy between strong men. If you break down the modern state you'll be left with a power vacuum... And that will be filled by honest to goodness warlords immediately. Someone is going to wield force. The best system we've yet devised is letting one group monopolize force and calling that group a 'government'. You think that government can be eliminated... But until you change human nature that's not going to work. You're just like communists that way.

The difference between the 1200's and now is that now we have AK47's. Take a long hard look at Somalia. That's a libertarian dream right there.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:44 PM   #95
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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You mean by BoredSocial? I got him on my ignore list. You're now there, too.
That's pretty weak dude.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:01 PM   #96
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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You mean by BoredSocial? I got him on my ignore list. You're now there, too.
Classy. As soon as someone beats you in an argument you just ignore them? I've given you no other reason to ignore me. I find that pretty humorous. Have fun writing your own history while ignoring the truth.


FWI, I hope you all realize that the majority of libertarians do support a government. I consider myself a libertarian but would never support anything resembling anarchy.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:09 PM   #97
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Counting just since the end of WWII, a period of less than 70 years, and counting only wars initiated by the US, there's over 50 examples.
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Also please name 25 conflicts started by the US since 1945. I'm genuinely curious.
He said 50. That's 1 every 1.3 years. LOL, he's either a clever troll (it worked) or a really stupid idiot. Jury's still out.

I can count the possible ones on my fingers, and depending on how we define "initiated" I probably only need 1 hand. Just prior to the invasion of Iraq, there was a legitimate debate in the media on whether the U.S. had *ever* started a war. Ever.

This hyperbole is far worse than the one on taxes. He can't be for real, just can't be.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:10 AM   #98
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Classy. As soon as someone beats you in an argument you just ignore them? I've given you no other reason to ignore me. I find that pretty humorous. Have fun writing your own history while ignoring the truth.


FWI, I hope you all realize that the majority of libertarians do support a government. I consider myself a libertarian but would never support anything resembling anarchy.
I find that most libertarians are for something that would rapidly descend into anarchy. The reality is that government has always provided the common people with SOMETHING in the form of bread and circuses when the population density was decent. Or they've repressed the **** out of them ala North Korea or any Medieval Duchy.

The whole 'let's be democratic without any social services or income redistribution whatsoever' model is kind of a huge fail. In 1900 the top income bracket was terrified of armed socialist insurrection among the common people... For good reason. Because of their moment of fear we have the socialist programs that we do. (They allowed some things to pass that set important precedents... for instance they allowed a constitutional amendment that allowed an income tax... which allowed a MUCH bigger government that did much more redistribution than was previously possible)

My problem with libertarians is mostly that we've tried it their way, and there is a historical record of what the market does in that situation... But they persist in telling me that it will be different this time.

CLIFFS NOTES: Basically the world is unfair, and the libertarians feel that it's unfair to try to moderate the effects of variance on people. This point of view assumes that a) rich people deserve everything they have (we play poker... does anyone seriously think that all rich people got there exclusively on their on merits... They ran really good too) and b) that fairness is the goal of politics and economics. Neither is correct. The goal of economics is figuring out how to grow the economy as big as possible per person. The best way to do that is to push up median incomes as far as possible, as this maximizes consumption, which maximizes demand, which leads to firms supplying more goods and services to meet that demand. Fairness is nice, but so are a lot of things. Making a fetish of freedom and fairness over all other virtues is pretty silly and dangerously normative.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:13 AM   #99
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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I find that most libertarians are for something that would rapidly descend into anarchy. The reality is that government has always provided the common people with SOMETHING in the form of bread and circuses when the population density was decent. Or they've repressed the **** out of them ala North Korea or any Medieval Duchy.

The whole 'let's be democratic without any social services or income redistribution whatsoever' model is kind of a huge fail. In 1900 the top income bracket was terrified of armed socialist insurrection among the common people... For good reason. Because of their moment of fear we have the socialist programs that we do. (They allowed some things to pass that set important precedents... for instance they allowed a constitutional amendment that allowed an income tax... which allowed a MUCH bigger government that did much more redistribution than was previously possible)

My problem with libertarians is mostly that we've tried it their way, and there is a historical record of what the market does in that situation... But they persist in telling me that it will be different this time.

CLIFFS NOTES: Basically the world is unfair, and the libertarians feel that it's unfair to try to moderate the effects of variance on people. This point of view assumes that a) rich people deserve everything they have (we play poker... does anyone seriously think that all rich people got there exclusively on their on merits... They ran really good too) and b) that fairness is the goal of politics and economics. Neither is correct. The goal of economics is figuring out how to grow the economy as big as possible per person. The best way to do that is to push up median incomes as far as possible, as this maximizes consumption, which maximizes demand, which leads to firms supplying more goods and services to meet that demand. Fairness is nice, but so are a lot of things. Making a fetish of freedom and fairness over all other virtues is pretty silly and dangerously normative.
As a libertarian, I favor a government that protects private property rights (and everything that springs from them) and that is essentially all (although that does include quite a bit.) The argument is not at all that it is unfair to moderate the effects of variance. The libertarian argument is that attempting to "moderate the effects of variance on people" not only leads to a overall economy with less wealth but an economy in which almost everyone is worse off long term when compared to a government that simply protects property rights. I could go on and on about why and how this can be, but I think I'll leave that for another thread.

I disagree that we have seen true libertarianism before. Either there was government interference or the government was unable to properly protect property rights. America was basically the closest we got to libertarianism and we did pretty frikin good.

You are stating the argument that is unfortunately put forth by most libertarians. If people really understood that everyone would be better off (despite a large wealth gap) then libertarianism would be much more widely accepted. However, as is the case with many ideas, the vast majority that hold to libertarianism do not understand economics enough to form the best arguments.

Last edited by t_roy; 06-28-2012 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #100
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Ever heard about Murray Rothbard?
Rothbard detests redistribution of any kind but he also views education (including formal) as a pre-condition for the formation of the rational being necessary in the formation of a free society.

He never got around to explaining who's supposed to pay for the education of the young, especially in cases where parents (whom he viewed as the ideal educators) are not around to be responsible for the children.

I could be wrong and he did address this somewhere. But please point it out to me.
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