On 11/19/2013 2:58 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 6:13 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 11/18/2013 1:46 AM, LizR wrote:

On 18 November 2013 22:41, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 1:02 AM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
This is quite simple. Markets ignore the commons, hence a free market
solution can't - or is highly unlikely - to work.
Yes, but this is circular. You're saying that the market cannot work
for things that you do not allow to be part of the market. The
government has to exist, otherwise how is the government to exist?

It isn't part of the market because no one wants it to be, not because no
one allows it to be.

No one is going to clean
up the commons, just as they didn't in medieval villages, because there
no incentive for an individual, or a specific group, to do so.
The medieval times were not exactly a period of free market, so this
would be an example on how government can solve things... or not. In
reality, many of the things we learned in high school about medieval
times are myths or gross simplifications

Not the tragedy of the commons, however. But even if it was the logic would

The tragedy
of the commons is one reason to have governments, because everyone wants
something done that no one will do "off their own bat" - but they are
prepared to chip in a donation towards the government doing it, or
organising somone else to do it.
If they are prepared to chip in a donation there is no problem. If
there is money to be made, the free market will be glad to oblige. You
don't seem prepared to call things by its names: the idea of
government is that, when people are not prepared to chip in, they are
forced to do so, ultimately by violent means. The paradox here is that
you are trusting a small group of people with this coercive power and
then expecting this small group and power asymmetry to result in more

Again, reality is complex. Current forms of democracy would not work
if implemented in previous cultures, because people would not accept
the social norms that come with them. You cannot police everything or
even 1% of what's going on. Systems work because they become stable.
This stability does not come from consent (I was born into this system
and never consented to it, neither did you). It comes from the
emergence of sets of incentives. I disagree with many laws that I'm
not going to break because the personal cost to me would be too great.
Suppose I decide I don't trust the government with my tax money, so I
decide to take it instead and give it directly to organisations that I
deem worthy: hospitals, schools, research centres and so on. I would
end up in jail for "chipping in". In fact government robs me of my
freedom to chip in, because they take all of my "chip in" money and
then some, and then give it to banks.

Incentives also emerge from free markets, importantly the incentive to
be nice to the people you trade with. Where there are more trade
routes there are less wars. If you are polluting the air I breath you
are being hostile towards me, and I am less likely to want to enter a
transaction with you. But these delicate balances can't arise under
coercion and market distortion.

And if no one does it, we all end up worse
off (perhaps fatally so in this case). It ain't rocket science, although
game theory has something to say about it.
Prisoner dilemma scenarios don't magically disappear once you
introduce coercion. In fact, I argue that they multiply.

You seem to be arguing against a straw man here.  I explained why the free
market can't fix the tragedy of the commons. You haven't answered my point.

And he's so concerned with anti-government straw men
I see I walked into a trap. Look back in the archives. You mentioned
your belief that people question global warming because they don't
trust the government. I argued that it's not such a bad idea to
distrust the government -- but never gave this as a reason to distrust
scientific models. Where's the straw man?

that he hasn't noticed
that a market requires government (including coercion) to define ownership
and punish fraud.  Without government you couldn't own any more stuff than
you could carry and defend by force of arms.
No, without cooperation you couldn't own any more stuff than you could
carry and defend by force of arms. The dogma you're proposing is that
central government is the only way to promote cooperation.

No, just the only way we know that works for nation sized groups.

Many alternatives have been proposed, like private arbitration courts
(this exists already, to a degree). If I enter a contract with you, we
have to agree on some court to have authority over disputes. Of
course, I'm free to ignore the decision of the court, but then will be
less likely to have people agree to enter contracts with me. There are
many others, you can google them. Or you can read this, for example:


Could this be misguided? Sure. But let's not pretend that the level of
sophistication of the proposals for more freedom is lower than it
actually is.

A Randian fantasy. What are going to do when someone doesn't want to abide by the contract they agreed to. When they bribe a judge to find against you. When they decide to cooperate by excluding you from the community. Do you realize that this is the way it was in tribal life and still is in cults (you're always free to leave). Government isn't some imposition from Mars. It was developed over millinea to solve those problems as they arose.

Another part of the illusion is the level of safety provided by the
government over your personal property. I see people trading a lot of
freedom for some illusion of safety.

I see a lot of people waving their arms and ranting about "freedom" they never used but want revserved just for themselves.

This illusion is being shattered
now, as a lot of people lost their houses and pensions after doing
everything the government told them to do.

Nobody around here lost their house because of something the government told them to do. A lot of them lost their houses because they dealt with people who did things the government used to forbid but got changed by the neo-liberals.


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