10 Problems With Libertarianism. - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Classical liberalism. The individual before the state, non-interventionist, free-market based society.
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#14590889
The greatest problem with Libertarianism is the way it is dissected into subgroups that attempt to blend in principles that are simply not libertarian. If there is any hyphen attached to the word then it is not libertarian. Furthermore, there is no need to go beyond a dictionary for the definition of what a libertarian is.

Can there ever be a society in which each and every person experience total freedom and liberty? Of course not. Conflict will always exist. This is why there must always be the existence of government. How much government? Smaller government? A libertarian would say the size of government should be appropriate to the task of resolving the conflict that will certainly occur. Since this is the one and only reason for the existence of government, there would never be any reason for it to be larger.

The concern among libertarians is not only the size and appropriateness of government but it's proximity to those effected by their decision. For this reason, it is the aim of libertarians to limit the size of federal and state government while giving more power directly to individual communities. Only those conflicts that cannot be resolved locally need to be the responsibility of a higher level. For example, diplomacy, a more universal medium of exchange, and trade arbitration among larger bodies would go to a higher level government.

As far as law is concerned, very little law would be applied by a government whose authority went beyond a specific community. Each community has the authority to produce their own laws other than those laws that are basic to the commitment of allowing freedom without imposing our will on others, allowing them to live their lives as they see fit. Certainly, universal concepts such as respect for other's lives, their families and their property would be required from all.

Speaking of families, children are at the core of libertarian principles. When we speak of freedom and liberty, we are not just referring to an individual. What is an individual isolated from his primary source of happiness, his family? Who, besides the parents of a child, is better suited to determine his role in society? Who better to determine their readiness to assume the responsibilities of adulthood? In libertarianism, the most active amount of government is in the home.

Are there bad parents? Yes, of course, but I would submit the greatest source of creating poor parenthood is a government that has taken the responsibilities, along with the accountability, away from parents. They have created environments that have severely reduced the role of parents in teaching their children about responsibility, accountability, and commitment. The more government attempts to intervene, the more fractured social structure becomes.

There is no such thing as a libertarian politician, it is a contradiction. The most harmful action of an electorate, resulting in the most damage to your freedom and liberty, is to re-elect someone in office. Government participation on any level is not a job. It is certainly not a career. It is a service that one is willing to perform, at the request of your community members or higher level, in a temporary capacity. When performing this service, a person is accountable to those they serve, those who assigned them this task, their electorate and no one else.

Political parties today have only one goal and that is to accumulate the individual political power of each person, consolidate it, and use it to increase the power of party leaders. That is their only goal. In the U.S., the Libertarian Party would best serve libertarians if they were only active during political campaigns in an effort to advance the cause of libertarianism after which they would disband until the next election.

Again, there is no such thing as perfect freedom and libertarians are not naïve. There must be an ability to defend the lands, there must be police to deal with crime, there must be some structure. However, this structure does not have to be as universal as we now experience, it does not have to be as large and overlapping. The closer these structures are to those they effect, the more efficient, relevant and transparent they will be.

Today's capitalism is a corrupt, disfigured imposter. It is not capitalism at all. It is the by-product of large government in collusion with financial entities that could never exist otherwise. If the large imposing government is disposed of then the monopolistic entitles follow. Capitalism become far more local, competition more vibrant and real.

Libertarianism opposes a welfare state but not welfare. It is freedom and liberty that advances the welfare of people more than anything else. Helping those in need can only increase the general happiness, security, and productivity of all involved. However, the worst administrator of distributing assistance is a large government entity with layers of bureaucracy that dilute the effect of such assistance. Such programs become the tools of this government, those in power use them for political gain, distributing resources where it would best suit their personal agenda. Welfare should always be local, where it will be better applied, more effective to those in need, and more transparent to those who contributed.

Unfortunately , I haven't enough time today to address the other "problems". However, I would say again that the greatest problem facing libertarianism is it's misinterpretation, often deliberate.
#14590905
Joe Liberty wrote:gov't subsidies have caused college costs to skyrocket, which in turn has burdened a lot of people with a lot of debt. Many of them had no business going to college in the first place, but what the hell, it's somebody else's money and it's been guaranteed, so where's the incentive to spend it wisely?


Who are the subsidies going to?

Basically to lenders in the from of guarantees. This sets up perverse incentives for the lenders - they are lending to students on the basis of future income. By design, these loans are forms of odious debt. They can be collected from garnished wages or income tax returns, removing all risk from the lender and thus all incentives for conservative lending. These programs are not designed, nor are they intended, as a benefit for students.

This, in turn, fuels the expansion of the tertiary education sector by providing it with a conduit of unlimited funds from indebted students and their families. Nowhere in this scenario are the interests of the student considered, nor the health of the education system itself. This is because the financial sector has a veto over all aspects of the US economy.

The libertarian solution is removing all state support for education. This will not and cannot happen because of the financial sector veto. What are we to make of a political philosophy that proposes impossible solutions?

If Joe Liberty truly believed what he was preaching (and I don't believe it even for a moment), he would strongly advocate the only solution that actually would work. This solution emerges as a logical necessity based on the premises he puts forward. Bar corporations from all political activity, including donations to candidates, foundations, PACs, etc. It is futile to advocate a limited/small government. You can advocate small government until your blue in the face, but it literally CANNOT happen because of the entrenched power of deep state actors. To advocate that which is impossible is mere insanity (but, hey, we're talking to libertarians).

You must first smash the power base of the entrenched interests. This can ONLY be done by eliminating their power to fund the electoral process, and striking at the heart of the deep state. Unless you are willing to tackle this as your first order of business you cannot be taken seriously.
#14647225
quetzalcoatl wrote:Who are the subsidies going to?

Basically to lenders in the from of guarantees. This sets up perverse incentives for the lenders - they are lending to students on the basis of future income. By design, these loans are forms of odious debt. They can be collected from garnished wages or income tax returns, removing all risk from the lender and thus all incentives for conservative lending. These programs are not designed, nor are they intended, as a benefit for students.

This, in turn, fuels the expansion of the tertiary education sector by providing it with a conduit of unlimited funds from indebted students and their families. Nowhere in this scenario are the interests of the student considered, nor the health of the education system itself. This is because the financial sector has a veto over all aspects of the US economy.


The idea was sold to the public as a benefit for students, and those are first people who will cry when these guarantees are threatened.

What you said is true, but the guarantees also separate the student and families from the true costs of attending, so they're less inclined to be mindful of how much they borrow or what they're borrowing it for. When they borrow it, it ain't their money, so they don't pay much attention. Only when they get the bill for their worthless liberal arts degree which didn't prepare them to hold a job making any kind of money, do they suddenly smell a rat.

So you are correct, state subsidies for education do not serve the student, they reduce the value of a college education, and they enrich schools and lenders at the expense of students and families.

The libertarian solution is removing all state support for education. This will not and cannot happen because of the financial sector veto. What are we to make of a political philosophy that proposes impossible solutions?

If Joe Liberty truly believed what he was preaching (and I don't believe it even for a moment),


You believe incorrectly.

...he would strongly advocate the only solution that actually would work. This solution emerges as a logical necessity based on the premises he puts forward. Bar corporations from all political activity, including donations to candidates, foundations, PACs, etc. It is futile to advocate a limited/small government. You can advocate small government until your blue in the face, but it literally CANNOT happen because of the entrenched power of deep state actors. To advocate that which is impossible is mere insanity (but, hey, we're talking to libertarians).


Just to get this straight, it's impossible to stop gov't subsidies to colleges, but it's not impossible to completely remove corporations from political activity? But I'm the one tilting at windmills?

There's also the matter of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from regulating political speech (which includes political ads). There are no exceptions in that amendment. On the other hand, there are no constitutional mandates on Congress to guarantee student loans. So once again, I'm not the one who's advocating the impossible here.

You must first smash the power base of the entrenched interests. This can ONLY be done by eliminating their power to fund the electoral process, and striking at the heart of the deep state. Unless you are willing to tackle this as your first order of business you cannot be taken seriously.


I never expect to be taken seriously by a leftist. It's a badge of honor.

Hey, I'm all for ending bailouts and tax breaks and subsidies to businesses. I'd cut them all to zero tomorrow, were I king. But that still wouldn't address student loan guarantees.
#14647230
quetzalcoatl wrote:Who are the subsidies going to?

Basically to lenders in the from of guarantees. This sets up perverse incentives for the lenders - they are lending to students on the basis of future income. By design, these loans are forms of odious debt. They can be collected from garnished wages or income tax returns, removing all risk from the lender and thus all incentives for conservative lending. These programs are not designed, nor are they intended, as a benefit for students.

This, in turn, fuels the expansion of the tertiary education sector by providing it with a conduit of unlimited funds from indebted students and their families. Nowhere in this scenario are the interests of the student considered, nor the health of the education system itself. This is because the financial sector has a veto over all aspects of the US economy.


The idea was sold to the public as a benefit for students, and those are first people who will cry when these guarantees are threatened.

What you said is true, but the guarantees also separate the student and families from the true costs of attending, so they're less inclined to be mindful of how much they borrow or what they're borrowing it for. When they borrow it, it ain't their money, so they don't pay much attention. Only when they get the bill for their worthless liberal arts degree which didn't prepare them to hold a job making any kind of money, do they suddenly smell a rat.

So you are correct, state subsidies for education do not serve the student, they reduce the value of a college education, and they enrich schools and lenders at the expense of students and families.

The libertarian solution is removing all state support for education. This will not and cannot happen because of the financial sector veto. What are we to make of a political philosophy that proposes impossible solutions?

If Joe Liberty truly believed what he was preaching (and I don't believe it even for a moment),


You believe incorrectly.

...he would strongly advocate the only solution that actually would work. This solution emerges as a logical necessity based on the premises he puts forward. Bar corporations from all political activity, including donations to candidates, foundations, PACs, etc. It is futile to advocate a limited/small government. You can advocate small government until your blue in the face, but it literally CANNOT happen because of the entrenched power of deep state actors. To advocate that which is impossible is mere insanity (but, hey, we're talking to libertarians).


Just to get this straight, it's impossible to stop gov't subsidies to colleges, but it's not impossible to completely remove corporations from political activity? But I'm the one tilting at windmills?

There's also the matter of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from regulating political speech (which includes political ads). There are no exceptions in that amendment. On the other hand, there are no constitutional mandates on Congress to guarantee student loans. So once again, I'm not the one who's advocating the impossible here.

From a libertarian perspective, you're going at it from the wrong direction. Government is the power, corporations merely purchase it. So any attempt to stop them from purchasing that power is just a Band-Aid; you're treating the symptom, not the disease. Money follows power, always has and always will. The crux of the issue is too much power, no matter who has it. So the libertarian response is to start reducing the power. Do that, and there won't be so many people lining up to rent it.

You must first smash the power base of the entrenched interests. This can ONLY be done by eliminating their power to fund the electoral process, and striking at the heart of the deep state. Unless you are willing to tackle this as your first order of business you cannot be taken seriously.


I never expect to be taken seriously by a leftist. It's a badge of honor.

Hey, I'm all for ending bailouts and tax breaks and subsidies to businesses. I'd cut them all to zero tomorrow, were I king. But that still wouldn't address student loan guarantees.
#14647274
In the real world power exists. It will be bought, stolen, or imposed, with or without your cooperation. Libertarianism is not even a concept. Government is not the source of power, it is just one expression. Why do libertarians focus on eliminating only one expression of power, but not the many others?

The answer is blindingly obvious. Government is the one expression of power available to people that would otherwise have none. This goes against the natural order of the libertarian mind, and is excruciating to their sensibility.
#14666694
Strictly on the more economic objections:

[“Problem 8: The welfare state and social cohesion.”]

A libertarian would charge the support of fellow man to individuals, not to a State. Thus the welfare state would be eradicated but charity would not, and they’d be quick to point out that without taxation charity would likely increase proportionally. As a regalianist, I would be more in favor of a welfare system which deformed industries much less, such as a simple negative income tax rate. The Earned Income Tax Credit system used in Canada is actually pretty solid.

[“Problem 9: The gold standard and monetary policy.”]

Gold has nothing special about it. Libertarians only use gold as the “best” example of money. The most efficient economic system proposed by the Austrian school entails competitive currencies and free banking. Without legal tender laws, bad money would be disposed of. Fiat isn’t bad by definition, just in conjunction with legal tender laws and the politically driven control over it. Inflation in the money supply (or via dollar denominated credit as is currently the case) has a real effect on production and enhances wealth inequality. National banking systems also encourage fractional reserve systems, which magnify the asset/liability duration mismatch problem which has plagued banking ever since its origination.

[“Problem 10: The seamless garment of liberty.”]

The utopia is a military righteously policing the world. The reality is a mismanaged and corrupt military being used by lobbyists and crony capitalists to plunder foreign nations under the guise of righteousness. This is a direct cause of the blowback “terrorism” developed countries see frequently. If you or I want to help the world, we have full freedom to donate our labor and time to the cause. Your statement on minarchism is best answered by who pays into the fund used to police.
#14667361
D Z wrote:As a regalianist, I would be more in favor of a welfare system which deformed industries much less, such as a simple negative income tax rate.

Are you saying you think you can square libertarianism with monarchism? You do know that Saudi Arabia is the feudal libertarian utopia, right?
The Earned Income Tax Credit system used in Canada is actually pretty solid.

EITC is American, but you are correct that it is one of the most successful tax policies the US government has ever enacted. Income is always and everywhere The Wrong Thing To Tax, but EITC is one measure that makes it less immoral and destructive.
Gold has nothing special about it.

Gold is the most appropriate medium to use as commodity money.
Libertarians only use gold as the “best” example of money.

They are incorrect. It is only the best example of commodity money.
The most efficient economic system proposed by the Austrian school entails competitive currencies and free banking.

But we've already tried that, and it is grossly inefficient.
Without legal tender laws, bad money would be disposed of.

Through periodic economic collapses.
Fiat isn’t bad by definition, just in conjunction with legal tender laws and the politically driven control over it.

Legal tender laws are needed to make contracts, taxes, and court judgments enforceable. The real problem with fiat money has always been the temptation to extract seigniorage, whether by governments, private counterfeiters, or foreign governments (as in the Revolutionary War). These days foreign governments and private counterfeiters are not a serious problem for advanced countries, and government itself can be taken out of the equation by placing money issuance under the control of an independent mint whose sole mandate is price stability, and which issues money strictly according to a fixed, publicly known equation based on the commodity price index.
Inflation in the money supply (or via dollar denominated credit as is currently the case) has a real effect on production and enhances wealth inequality.

Inflation reduces wealth inequality by favoring debtors over creditors.
National banking systems also encourage fractional reserve systems, which magnify the asset/liability duration mismatch problem which has plagued banking ever since its origination.

The actual problem with modern banking systems is that banksters issue new money as debt, by lending, which creates positive feedback and thus the business cycle.
Joe Liberty wrote:So you are correct, state subsidies for education do not serve the student, they reduce the value of a college education, and they enrich schools and lenders at the expense of students and families.

No, they almost exclusively enrich landowners, just like publicly funded K-12 education. To access subsidized higher education, you have to pay a landowner full market value for the opportunity. That's why residential land near state- (and endowment-) funded colleges and universities is astronomically expensive.
Joe Liberty wrote:Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself. Promise him somebody else's fish and he'll vote for you.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. But if you can convince him that you own the lake, he has to feed you for a lifetime...
#14667518
:?: Are you saying you think you can square libertarianism with monarchism? You do know that Saudi Arabia is the feudal libertarian utopia, right?


No? Saudi Arabia has been an on-again off-again state capitalist country for decades. Regalianist goals are simply more realistic than an-cap or minarchism at this time.

EITC is American, but you are correct that it is one of the most successful tax policies the US government has ever enacted. Income is always and everywhere The Wrong Thing To Tax, but EITC is one measure that makes it less immoral and destructive.


Yes I meant the Working Income Tax Benefit in Canada or the EITC in the US.

They are incorrect. It is only the best example of commodity money.


I would hold that it is better than non-commodity money as well. The austrian business cycle theory demonstrates this. If you wish to refute this then I'm happy to break off and purely debate this.

But we've already tried that, and it is grossly inefficient.


How so? Much of the industrial revolution occurred under this system. Independent of the national banking act, the U.S. clearinghouse system was already forming new ways to combat temporary liquidity problems through clearinghouse note systems. This lost focus after a uniform currency was created.

Through periodic economic collapses.


As is needed, since an economic "collapse" of sorts is inevitable as soon as monetary inflation effects production. Again this would be an ABCT discussion.

Legal tender laws are needed to make contracts, taxes, and court judgments enforceable.


Contracts could adapt easily through new verbage and consideration given to this issue. There are innumerable international contracts right now.

The real problem with fiat money has always been the temptation to extract seigniorage, whether by governments, private counterfeiters, or foreign governments (as in the Revolutionary War). These days foreign governments and private counterfeiters are not a serious problem for advanced countries, and government itself can be taken out of the equation by placing money issuance under the control of an independent mint whose sole mandate is price stability, and which issues money strictly according to a fixed, publicly known equation based on the commodity price index.


Agreed regarding seigniorage. Regarding the independent mint: A slight deflation is in no way dangerous over any extended period of time. The monetarist prescription for a fixed increase in the money supply has been shown to be problematic. A fixed increase in money supply = Purchase bonds from banks->make loans to consumers->consumers spend money. A slight fluctuation at any of these levels will result in a much different outcome than originally calculated. Also see the Cantillon effect, as monetary inflation can have unpredictable impacts on prices and production.

Inflation reduces wealth inequality by favoring debtors over creditors.


Yes it favors debtors. So when lower and middle class families deposit at banks, and those deposits secure commercial loans to capitalists or entrepreneurs, who is the creditor and who is the debtor? Further, as prices are driven upwards, wages are often slow to follow, a temporary advantage for the entrepreneur. Additionally, most modern inflation runs through assets as opposed to commodity goods...meaning more for the owners of capital and equities.

The actual problem with modern banking systems is that banksters issue new money as debt, by lending, which creates positive feedback and thus the business cycle.


Completely agree.
#14667615
:?: Are you saying you think you can square libertarianism with monarchism? You do know that Saudi Arabia is the feudal libertarian utopia, right?

D Z wrote:No? Saudi Arabia has been an on-again off-again state capitalist country for decades.

AFAIAC, "state capitalism" is an oxymoron. Saudi Arabia is a country governed by its owners, the Saud family, and effective landowner monarchy is the feudal libertarian ideal.
Regalianist goals are simply more realistic than an-cap or minarchism at this time.

Well, given that the latter are completely out of the question, while monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Brunei, North Korea, etc. actually exist, you may be right.
They are incorrect. It is only the best example of commodity money.

I would hold that it is better than non-commodity money as well.

If money has been gold for some time, it can work better than fiat money. The problem is, there is no way to get there from here: any economy that adopts gold money is in for ruinous deflation if other economies follow suit.
The austrian business cycle theory demonstrates this. If you wish to refute this then I'm happy to break off and purely debate this.

ABCT is incorrect, because it cannot account for the initial disequilibrium. MMT (modern monetary theory) is much more plausible in this regard, as it analyzes the business cycle based on the exogenous influence of positive feedback in typical modern debt-money banking systems.
But we've already tried that, and it is grossly inefficient.

How so? Much of the industrial revolution occurred under this system.

And was grossly inefficient.
Independent of the national banking act, the U.S. clearinghouse system was already forming new ways to combat temporary liquidity problems through clearinghouse note systems. This lost focus after a uniform currency was created.

Private banksters will always over-issue money as long as they have the privilege of issuing it at all. They always did it with deposit account money, and they do it with debt money.
Through periodic economic collapses.

As is needed, since an economic "collapse" of sorts is inevitable as soon as monetary inflation effects production. Again this would be an ABCT discussion.

Well, I suppose if you think economic collapses are necessary, you might think competing private bank currencies are efficient.
Legal tender laws are needed to make contracts, taxes, and court judgments enforceable.

Contracts could adapt easily through new verbage and consideration given to this issue. There are innumerable international contracts right now.

Yes, but international contracts also rely on international courts that use legal tender.
Regarding the independent mint: A slight deflation is in no way dangerous over any extended period of time.

But a slight inflation is more stimulative to the economy, which is one reason to use a commodity price index rather than a consumer price index to calculate how much money to issue.
The monetarist prescription for a fixed increase in the money supply has been shown to be problematic. A fixed increase in money supply = Purchase bonds from banks->make loans to consumers->consumers spend money. A slight fluctuation at any of these levels will result in a much different outcome than originally calculated. Also see the Cantillon effect, as monetary inflation can have unpredictable impacts on prices and production.

You are correct that the monetarist prescription of constant increase is problematic, which is why I would prefer increases based on countering price index movements.
Inflation reduces wealth inequality by favoring debtors over creditors.

Yes it favors debtors. So when lower and middle class families deposit at banks, and those deposits secure commercial loans to capitalists or entrepreneurs, who is the creditor and who is the debtor?

The deposits of lower and middle class bank customers are not lent out to the rich. The rich are people who already have money. They are, overwhelmingly, creditors, not debtors.
Further, as prices are driven upwards, wages are often slow to follow, a temporary advantage for the entrepreneur.

Possibly. OTOH, wages are stickier than prices going down.
Additionally, most modern inflation runs through assets as opposed to commodity goods...meaning more for the owners of capital and equities.

It's true that modern inflation is overwhelmingly asset inflation, not wage or consumer price inflation. Indeed, rising consumer prices, with their large wage component, are decried as inflation, while rising asset prices are celebrated as a "booming market."
#14667634
AFAIAC, "state capitalism" is an oxymoron. Saudi Arabia is a country governed by its owners, the Saud family, and effective landowner monarchy is the feudal libertarian ideal.


This is probably a dispute over definitions. A system of government which supports private property and market derived prices would in fact have characteristics of capitalism. The welfare state in its most basic form. However as industrial policy mounts, I would consider that state capitalism. This term was tossed around more immediately after '08...though I would agree it's not well defined.

Well, given that the latter are completely out of the question, while monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Brunei, North Korea, etc. actually exist, you may be right.


You're holding that North Korea represents libertarianism? So it would appear you're claiming libertarianism and fascism are one in the same?

But a slight inflation is more stimulative to the economy, which is one reason to use a commodity price index rather than a consumer price index to calculate how much money to issue.


Which is itself the problem. It's stimulative when no stimulation may be warranted. It sets in motion inventory cycles and misdirects production. This will always happen regardless, but as per usual, the more there is the worse it gets. Regarding ABCT, it doesn't hold that markets are always in equilibrium, just that gov intervention further sustains such disequilibrium...which would begin to correct itself otherwise. Rothbard may not have done it, but synthesize creative destruction with ABCT and you have your answer to initial disequilibrium.

The deposits of lower and middle class bank customers are not lent out to the rich. The rich are people who already have money. They are, overwhelmingly, creditors, not debtors.


The lower and middle class have mortgage debt and sometimes automobile loans. Surprise inflation which fails to bake into interest rates will help them in this capacity of course. Capitalists and entrepreneurs borrow in much larger absolute quantities per capita, especially when encouraged to by suppressed interest rates, tax deductible interest..etc. When the debt burden on an entire company is eased through inflation, the gains are narrowed to a small group. Banksters borrowing for share repurchases and unwarranted LBOs are catered to and encouraged.

It's true that modern inflation is overwhelmingly asset inflation, not wage or consumer price inflation. Indeed, rising consumer prices, with their large wage component, are decried as inflation, while rising asset prices are celebrated as a "booming market."


Indeed. Working in PE and M&A, the effect on activity from asset inflation, debt expansion, and monetary "put" policies is very noticeable.
#14668123
AFAIAC, "state capitalism" is an oxymoron. Saudi Arabia is a country governed by its owners, the Saud family, and effective landowner monarchy is the feudal libertarian ideal.

D Z wrote:This is probably a dispute over definitions.

Well, that may be a real barrier. The science of mechanics only became possible once Newton had straightened out the difference between the definitions of "mass" and "weight."
A system of government which supports private property and market derived prices would in fact have characteristics of capitalism. The welfare state in its most basic form. However as industrial policy mounts, I would consider that state capitalism. This term was tossed around more immediately after '08...though I would agree it's not well defined.

Around here (i.e., PF), they are calling the Soviet system "state capitalism."
Well, given that the latter are completely out of the question, while monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Brunei, North Korea, etc. actually exist, you may be right.

You're holding that North Korea represents libertarianism? So it would appear you're claiming libertarianism and fascism are one in the same?

NK is a strange case, but libertarian it ain't: it's the opposite, totalitarian. "Fascist" would indicate a system of oligarchy, whereas NK doesn't allow private ownership of the means of production. In a sense it is a socialist monarchy, but with strong theocratic elements, too: the Kims are thought to rule by virtue of their supernatural powers.
But a slight inflation is more stimulative to the economy, which is one reason to use a commodity price index rather than a consumer price index to calculate how much money to issue.

Which is itself the problem. It's stimulative when no stimulation may be warranted. It sets in motion inventory cycles and misdirects production. This will always happen regardless, but as per usual, the more there is the worse it gets.

"Too much" inflation is certainly harmful, but there seems to be consensus that low-single-digit inflation produces a faster-growing economy than price stability -- or certainly, deflation.
Regarding ABCT, it doesn't hold that markets are always in equilibrium, just that gov intervention further sustains such disequilibrium...which would begin to correct itself otherwise. Rothbard may not have done it, but synthesize creative destruction with ABCT and you have your answer to initial disequilibrium.

I don't see it. Without the positive feedback inherent in debt money, there's no plausible route to large-scale malinvestment.
The deposits of lower and middle class bank customers are not lent out to the rich. The rich are people who already have money. They are, overwhelmingly, creditors, not debtors.

Capitalists and entrepreneurs borrow in much larger absolute quantities per capita, especially when encouraged to by suppressed interest rates, tax deductible interest..etc.

Yes, but capitalists and entrepreneurs are not the rich. Some of them may become rich, but they start out without wealth. In particular, entrepreneurs don't plan on inflation to make their borrowing for asset purchases profitable, but on profitable productive use.
When the debt burden on an entire company is eased through inflation, the gains are narrowed to a small group.

True, but the losses are also narrowed, and to a richer group.
Banksters borrowing for share repurchases and unwarranted LBOs are catered to and encouraged.

Yes, but that borrowing is typically shorter-term, and not so much affected by inflation.
#14688115
Problems 1-5 can be answered by the simple: A libertarian is someone who favors radically smaller government and radically more individual freedom than currently exists. The level at which the libertarian (or, well, classically liberal) tendencies of a given person vary, but we all agree that more individual freedom is better than less.

Problem 6 is a fair question that deserves a fair answer.

When you disallow certain uses of property for whatever reason (safety, etc.). oftentimes, you're disallowing the most resource-scarce uses of property. This impoverishes people, because when you have few resources TO use, you don't get the luxury of using them all to perfection. Mandating a minimum standard for something means you've essentially mandated a minimum PRICE for it, which limits the resources people can employ for other things -- or makes you an outlaw for committing the terrible crime of saving money so your family can eat. That, or it limits your capacity to accumulate capital you can use to move up the economic food chain. Or to live close to your work.

Notice that most really poor countries have shanties with shoddy wiring just like you described. The difference is those are illegal, making them an excuse for the police to go harass poor people.

However, no one likes to actually live in shanties, which means that as the economy (collective and personal) advances, the number of poor quality houses (as well as poor quality anything else you care to name) declines.

That's one side of the regulatory argument, but there is another. Aside from regulations preventing the use of minimum-price items, they have a host of other problems as well. See, while you were writing this essay about the problems and ailings of the free market, you haven't stopped to consider: does the government actually do a better job of planning these things than people as individuals can? And the answer, in something like 95% of cases, is no. The government is slow, incompetent, and it has a vested interest in preventing you from doing anything without its permission.

Even for standard-quality items, the process of regulatory compliance entails lost man-hours, lost revenue from having to spend time complying with regulations, lost resources from having to invest in unnecessary mandates. It's estimated that the cost of compliance with federal regulations alone rises to over $10,000 a year, per employee. The regulatory administrative costs of building a home average 1/4 of the price of the home. Realistically, people aren't going to go live in shanties because they become legal, unless they actually NEED that type of housing because of their current life circumstances -- in which case preventing them from doing so is active sabotage.

A recent example of that being the homeless people that have been getting evicted from tiny homes in LA (one of the most over-regulated parts of the country, and perhaps not coincidentally, just about the poorest).

To problem 7, this gets into the philosophical question of how we define property. The natural rights definition of property is actually very simple: You are entitled, fully, to anything that you produce with your labor or exchange with your labor. Which may sound awfully Marxist, but Marxists get all tied up into knots over the question of whether you can use your labor to purchase somebody else's labor. Their answer is no, and they paint themselves into a corner where they're justifying looting and having to define exceptions and all that shit. The Lockean answer is yes, and in that case the product of your labor is what you exchange for your services. And yes, this is very much a man-made philosophical construct that doesn't actually derive from nature (the actual law of nature is might makes right) but nevertheless it's a very fair philosophical construct. No one ever objects to owning themselves, the hairy part is where people make up excuses for owning, or part-owning, others.

Problem 8, I'd like to point out two things:

1) Properly motivated people can find work more easily than you might think -- and more importantly, more easily than they might think. Welfare reform in the 90s purged the welfare rolls and actually reduced poverty. It amounts to tough medicine, rather than actually kicking people out into the cold.

2) Every cent not confiscated by the government can be used for charity. As it stands, fully 20% of health and human services expenditures in the United States are private rather than public (as of 2013, $700 billion was public and $167 bn. was private). Charities, further, have a vested interest in squeezing maximum value out of every dollar they take in (unlike the government), so the money will be spread out optimally amongst the people it is earmarked for. If you're worried that not enough people donate, I'll remind you of two things: 1) 2/3 of Americans already donate; and 2) there is such as thing as publicity campaigning. Already you're getting bombarded by ads about poor people in Africa, helping for the homeless, helping for St Jude's, and so on and so forth -- if donations flagged, charities would go out and get more.

Problem 9: Gold is not preferred because it has a use. It's preferred because it flows out of the ground (rather than from the bank at the pleasure of our financial overlords), and has inherently limited supply. The appeal is the fixed monetary base, and not the "natural" nature of gold. Libertarians are big fans of blockchain currency too, because it's non-centralized and supply-limited.

And if your next objection is going to be about deflation creating death spirals or stifling growth or generating instability or yadda yadda, I'll point this out: The Great Depression alone lasted as long as all the depressions of the 19th century put together, and we've been in another depression since 2008. Also the average unemployment rate is something like twice as high in the 20th century as it was in the 19th. ALSO, economic growth was pretty damn high in the 19th century, and wage growth was also very high. Unskilled wages were twice as high in 1910 as 1865, and average wages were nearly 3 times as high.

I'm not even gonna touch problem 10, foreign policy is not my bailiwick.

The fact is, there isn't a problem the government has solved, ever. Problems are solved by human innovation and the application of human capital, and all the government does is impose rules that are either feasible given current circumstances (e.g. align with the actual solution people have come up with) or they are not. And when they aren't, they basically just create new problems.
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