Free State Project Forum

FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: LTNYC on October 20, 2003, 03:20:34 pm

Title: Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LTNYC on October 20, 2003, 03:20:34 pm
I'm pretty impressed with the whole Free State Project concept. I just stumbled across the website today and I have to say I agree with almost everything the FSP stands for... EXCEPT privatizing utilities. When the government owns a utility - that means the people own the utility. When you sell publically held utilities to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible.

Look what happened in California - and what will soon happen in NY as Con Edison is forced to slowly sell off all of its electric generating stations - when public utilities were sold. One word: Enron. The whole concept of privatization is a scam. Big business pushes privatization as a panacea. The reality is that public companies can be run just as inefficiently and crookedly as publicly held companies. The only difference is that we can't control a huge corporation as well as we can control a government-run business. Think about it. The government is us - we own the government and we own public companies. Why we would sell them - rather than reform them ourselves - and reinvest the profits into the community instead of making another Kenny-boy a bazillionaire - is a mystery to me.

Thanks for your time.

Yours,
LT
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: atr on October 20, 2003, 04:15:48 pm
Truly free markets, in which the government does not participate, make many people uncomfortable. I believe that this is primarily due to lack of familiarity.

First of all, it should be clarified that California's "deregulation" was nothing of the sort. The government maintained price caps and a complicated network-sharing requirement.
http://www.cato.org/research/articles/taylor-010119.html

If the government itself owns and operates a power plant, it's to be expected that it would not be self-sustaining (nor would it be profitable). If it were owned by the government, and had no competition, what incentive would it have to be profitable? Prices would be capped to keep the citizens happy, but government revenues would subsidize the plant. This means that taxpayers who don't use electricity, or use less of it, end up paying disproportionately to keep electricity costs low for the other citizens who use more electricity.

I lived in California during the rolling blackouts a couple of years ago, and the above describes roughly what happened there. Gray Davis was scrambling to get an emergency spending authorization of billions of dollars to keep electricity rates from rising too much. Clearly, the people in California who used the most electricity would benefit the most from this expenditure. This was a massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayers of California, through their taxes, to the California entities that used the most electricity.

Network-based services, like phones and electricity, have larger barriers-to-entry than other industries, which I think makes people insecure about deregulating them. The miracle of the free market, though, is that it addresses the potential problems in any market situation, including those involving network-based services.

Imagine for a moment that your state government has "sold" the power plant to a private company, which is thereafter totally unregulated by the government (except possibly through pollution rules or the sale of pollution credits). You're worried that the private company is going to start raising prices on electricity. In fact, let's say that's what happens. One thing that's likely, though, is that your tax rates will decrease, because the government is no longer subsidizing the power plant. But regardless, you have a lot of options for dealing with increased electricity costs. You can use less electricity, which will make the power company re-think its price-increase. You can move to another area serviced by a less-expensive power plant. You can invest heavily in fuel cell technology, or even buy solar panels for your roof. You can ask (or maybe even pay for) the nearby power company to run a wire to your house. All of these alternatives, whether you pursue them or not, disincentivize the new private power company from raising prices.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Tracy Saboe on October 20, 2003, 09:49:07 pm
California's "deregulation" wasn't deregulation.

If the word exist's it should be called "reregulation"

They scrapped the old regulations and put the new regulations in it's place with price controls, and everything.

If you're looking at California for an example of why deregulation doesn't work, you're looking in the wrong place to find an example.

FEE has done alot with deregulating Utilities

The California Power Mess
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=101

Did Deregulation Kill California?
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=4964

Electrical Utilities: The Final Deregulatory Frontier,”
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=3898

Wasting Energy on Energy Efficiency
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=4291

The Failure of the ‘Middle Way,’
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=1671

Deregulation of the Natural Gas Industry
http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=1651

In fact the foundation for Economic education has lots of excellent articles. They are quite long. But they will open your eyes.

Tracy Saboe
http://www.fee.org/
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on October 20, 2003, 11:03:27 pm
Quote
If you're looking at California for an example of why deregulation doesn't work, you're looking in the wrong place to find an example.

Funny thing though - while private utilities have driven California to the brink of ruin, its two major public-owned utilities in LA have thrived even selling surplus energy throughout the region...

http://www.fair.org/extra/0105/deregulation.html (http://www.fair.org/extra/0105/deregulation.html)

Yeah maybe you need to be looking in Ohio & Texas for a bunch of bandits called FirstEnergy" & "Enron" and their buddies in the Whitehouse...

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=8131 (http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=8131)

Here is how it works in a nutshell...utilities are convinced by wall street bandits that thru deregulation the company is worth more to stockholders sold off to larger conglomerates than fullfilling their current public charter. So, they make the assets look better on paper than they are really worth by neglecting maintenance, repairs and upgrades on the network. And guess what happens when the blackout comes they are looking for a bailout from their buddies who they help put in office!

Read it and weep Tracy!

http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=258&row=1 (http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=258&row=1)

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When you sell publically held utilities to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible.

LTNYC get yourself over to the Geo-libertarian threads asap before you fall under the curse of the Neo-libertarians shameless attempts at "privatizing the commons"

you might want to satrt with some of the links on my website: http://www.geocities.com/geolibertariangreens/Geo2.html

or this one on the "SkyTrust"
http://skybook.org/ (http://skybook.org/)

your instincts are right on they just need a little Geo tune-up!
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Leonard on October 20, 2003, 11:09:17 pm
When the government owns a utility - that means the people own the utility.

True of government ownership of anything, not just utilities.  Yet most people understand that the government cannot do everything well.  

Most libertarians believe that the government does almost nothing well.  Look at USPS efficiency - even after years of competition they lose money.  Look at how well the states run their monopoly school systems.  Look at other countries such as the USSR, where the state ran everything.  In an almost endless array of cases, states have run various businesses.  There's a commonality running through all the cases - they run them badly.  In very few things can the argument even be made that State-run things work well; and in these cases it is usually the case that there are no private comparisons to be had (think of the military).

If you look into it, I believe you will discover that the state is not the right institution to run most things.  

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Look what happened in California -

A good example of "privatization", but not an example of privatization.

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The government is us - we own the government and we own public companies.

This is just silly.  Is there no law that you think is wrong?  Gun laws, drug laws, speed limits, anything?  If so, then you should realize that the government is not "us".  Rather it is all the other people.  It represents the 51%, not the minority.  Furthermore, the State is in fact a distinct group of people with their own self-interests to consider.  They are part of the people, yes.  And they are partly controlled via democratic processes by the voters.  But the identity is by no means anywhere near 100%.  If I had to guess I would say maybe 50%.  The rest of the time they are looking out for #1.

If there is no law you disagree with, well, I dunno why a libertarian activist organization has any appeal.  

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Why we would sell them - rather than reform them ourselves - and reinvest the profits into the community instead ... is a mystery to me.

For the exact same reasons that we generally don't want much, if any, government via the state.  These are:

(1) private property - if I start a business it is mine, not the government's.  Historically, most of the businesses which were government monopolies were originally private.  Governments dispossessed business owners to get them.  Those that were never private (think cable TV) were allocated via political means from the get-go.  They could and should have been done privately.

(2) economic efficiency - everything the state touches turns to crap.  If you want something done well, don't let the state near it.  Only if it is absolutely pressing to exert "social control" over some process should it be run via the state.  Many libertarians think that policing and defense are pressing enough.  Very few think that, i.e., delivery of telephone services is.

(3) liberty more generally - socialism has a strong tendancy to creep.  Consider the schools.  Part of what's at issue is state control; but partly it is the taxation, truancy laws, persecution of home schoolers, and other intrusions into the family that are necessary for the system.  
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LibertyLover on October 21, 2003, 02:51:28 pm
Quote
If you're looking at California for an example of why deregulation doesn't work, you're looking in the wrong place to find an example.

Funny thing though - while private utilities have driven California to the brink of ruin, its two major public-owned utilities in LA have thrived even selling surplus energy throughout the region...


Private, unsubsidized, unregulated companies will always be more efficient than government owned and operated "businesses" that don't have to make a profit because they are funded by taxpayers. The irony with the California utilities is that the private companies were subsidized and regulated while the two successful "public" companies were pretty much left alone to run like businesses. They weren't showered with windfall profits and then forced to provide power at below market prices like the private companies were at "deregulation."
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Roycerson on October 22, 2003, 06:49:33 pm
 Quote:
When you sell publically held utilities to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible.  

How is something that is owned by the community and serves the community going to generate revenue for the community.  It is the community who is paying in the first place.  Are you suggesting that payments made by the community are then going to be returned to the community thus creating revenue that didn't previously exist?  
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: NuclearDruid on October 23, 2003, 07:35:43 am
Quote:
When you sell publically held utilities to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible.  

How is something that is owned by the community and serves the community going to generate revenue for the community.  It is the community who is paying in the first place.  Are you suggesting that payments made by the community are then going to be returned to the community thus creating revenue that didn't previously exist?  

While I disagree with LTNYC's original thesis, there is an answer to this particular question. A power plant will be sized to meet the peak demand of community, plus a margin, plus anticipated growth over a period of years. Power plants are operated most efficiently at full power so excess off-peak capacity would be sold back to the grid. If you assume that electricty is sold to the community at market prices then these off-peak sales will generate revenue from areas outside the community. Of course prices to the community could be lower that market with the off-peak revenues subsidizing this price.

ND
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Tracy Saboe on October 24, 2003, 04:37:28 pm
BillG

The Private Utilaties in CAlifornia are all subjagated to price controls. The reason the public companies can do it is because they get taxpayer subsidies.

Bill, the more I learn about you, the more socialistic I realize you are.

Tracy

Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: adam86 on October 24, 2003, 09:36:56 pm
It seems that the most libertarian thing to do is to be off the grid (e.g. solar energy). Unfortunately, even some alternative energy companies use government money.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on October 29, 2003, 02:02:34 am
It seems that the most libertarian thing to do is to be off the grid (e.g. solar energy). Unfortunately, even some alternative energy companies use government money.
sorry Adam, the most libertarian thing to do is examine your values and proceed in a fashion along those lines: If getting power from the 'grid' is cheaper than generating your own AND that has a higher value to you than allowing yourself to take part is some socialized government controlled public utility system, then go for it!

Myself, I think neighborhood or small community power generation systems would be optimal: relatively efficient power generation with the ability to have competing local energy businesses to keep the market forces flowing and increase service to customers.

LTNYC:
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Look what happened in California - and what will soon happen in NY as Con Edison is forced to slowly sell off all of its electric generating stations - when public utilities were sold. One word: Enron
As has been pointed out earlier, the California problem is not a result of deregulation, but rather a prime example of how government interference ruins service and businesses.

Re: Enron
LOL - I just love that all the anti-capitalists now all have this prime example of 'Evil Corporations' to throw in the face of privatization/free marketeers.  Enron is one of a few, perhaps even many corporations which have deciet, fraud, and corruption at the top levels.  It and the actual people who defrauded shareholders should be forced to pay copensation and held liable for ALL of their actions.  BUT, these corporate examples of 'bad humans' are FAR less evil than the corruption that runs rampant through our or any government.  Our government kills, actually kills citizens by denying them drugs - it forces people into poverty, it forces adherrence to an educational system which is not only outdated and useless, but is essentially a nationwide indoctrination camp system for creating 'good little worker bees' - and it even fails in this attempt.  So to tout 'Enron' as the reason why Privatization is 'bad' and government 'good' is a big whitewash...

michael
michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on October 30, 2003, 12:14:34 am
First post from one who has been lurking for some time.

I'm okay with utilities being privatized, but how would the actual functionality of it work?  Would we force right of way on private property for utilities to cross?  If not, how do we deliver services to people who are surrounded by land owners who do not want said utilities crossing their land?  How would, say, water competition work?  If 40 water companies wanted to run their pipes across a guy's land to reach a potential customer, would they be permitted to?  If not, how can we get water to the isolated landowner?

I'm fine with private ownership, but help me understand the functional workings of how this could work.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on October 30, 2003, 01:45:17 am
First post from one who has been lurking for some time.

I'm okay with utilities being privatized, but how would the actual functionality of it work?  Would we force right of way on private property for utilities to cross?  If not, how do we deliver services to people who are surrounded by land owners who do not want said utilities crossing their land?  How would, say, water competition work?  If 40 water companies wanted to run their pipes across a guy's land to reach a potential customer, would they be permitted to?  If not, how can we get water to the isolated landowner?

I'm fine with private ownership, but help me understand the functional workings of how this could work.

Dearest Kyle,
Hello and welcome to the non-lurking crowd!  glad you decided to appear because your post accidently highlights the fundamental problem that people have with privatization.. namely, 'Ok, so how would it work?'

Well, first off, I am a Printer.  I am very good a pre-press computer work (over 15 yrs) and with finding work-arounds for problems with machinery.  I don't know what your talents/expertise is, BUT, I bet that neither of us are energy consultants or Power distribution Managers or whatever the title would be of someone who knows the indepth workings of the grid and various ways to distribute power or services to a large area.

So, here is the 'leap of faith' that we all must take: Based on: our observations of the Free Market and the accomplishments of private business... Do we believe that the free Market has a much better chance of solving problems, discovering new technologies or methods, making systems more efficient than the government?  I say, "yes!".  I don't have to know HOW private roads will change our society for the better, I just have to trust that the Free Market is much better at solving problems than the government is all.  The 'How' will be discovered by the people who put the energy and effort in trying to satisfy their 'customers' so that they can make money.

In addition, there is NO WAY for us to forecast what will come about when the market is left unfettered and able to find perhaps alternate methods of solving a problem.

For instance:  The problem we are talking about is 'What is the best way for people to have power provided (generated) to their homes?"

Well, there is the current way: large centralized generation plants and many miles of cables connecting each and every house.  It has pros and cons.  Is it the cheapest, most efficient method?  I say no - not necessarily because I personnally know of a better way, but because this is the method that the government 'choose' way back in the 1920's - 1930's (i think) and it used its powers of eminent domain and monopolistic granting to a select few cabling and electric utilities to obtain the results.  This totally skewed the market in this area.  Will a 'bad' solution win out over the 'best' solution?  Yes, when the government puts its weight behind the 'bad' solution.  centralization actually may have even been the 'best' solution, at least at that point in time, BUT, with the costs subsidized by government and taxes, other technologies and methods had no hope of competing - so we are stuck with what we got today and for years to come without having a chance to change for the better.  The free market allows the replacement of old methods and technologies at a pace that government looks stagnant compared to.

Alternative #1:  perhaps a centralized power generation station, but without the cabling which introduce frictional (resistance) losses.  perhaps microwave transmission to neighborhood receiver units THEN cabling to the houses there.  Who knows, this method probably has  some problems with it because I am only a Printer with some electronics background and a bit of inventor thrown in for fun.

Alternative #2: How about smaller, neighborhood power plants which each might choose to use a different fuel source?  some might end up choosing coal, some wind power, some solar, some hydrogen pellets, some biomass... all depending on the values of the neighborhood: a 'green' neighborhood might not choose 'dirty' coal or oil but instead choos solar, even if the cost is higher.

Alternative #3: Who knows?  it could be something I can't even imagine... or you...

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Would we force right of way on private property for utilities to cross?
no, never in a million years

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If not, how do we deliver services to people who are surrounded by land owners who do not want said utilities crossing their land?  How would, say, water competition work?  If 40 water companies wanted to run their pipes across a guy's land to reach a potential customer, would they be permitted to?
they would be permitted to only if the land owner agreed and was probably granted some sort of compensation.  On a side note, you need to put yourself in the situation: would you purchase land/house that did not have access to necessary utilities? probably not.  so land that doesn't have access would lose value.  Would a developer create a community of houses which had no value because they had no access to some utility? No, he would make damned sure that each and every house hat was built had access to all of the variety of utilities else he would lose his shirt...



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If not, how can we get water to the isolated landowner?
look, it is not my job or responsibility to make sure every idiot doesn't suffer the consequences for their own actions/choices.  If someone buys a piece of land in Nowhere, Nevada becuase it is 'dirt' cheap, then demands to have water 'provided' to him - I say tough bull-pucky buddy, you knew what was out there and that is why the land was so cheap - if you buy land closer to the city and to a utility it will cost more BECAUSE you are paying for the convienence of that locality.  this brings up another point - idiots who build houses in high-risk areas like: known paths of hurricanes, floodplains, earthquake faults, volcanos, etc.  They build their little house, knowing full well that there is a risk of propery damage or loss, then, when it happens, they cry 'oh, poor me!  The big bad act of God destroyed my home and now I have lost everything!' and WE (taxpayers) are FORCED to provide money (federal emergency fund) to pay for a new house for them - THEN they have the GALL to rebuild on the exact same spot!!!!  ARGH!  If I want to live on the ocean in Florida right in the KNOWN path of hurricanes, I will: (1) make sure I have hurricane insurance, and/or, (2) build my house so that it is darn near indestrucible, (3) take the risk and not buy insurance or build el tuffo house (saving lots o bucks) and just rebuild myself every 4-10 years.  NEVER would I ask some smoe in no-hurricane-risk colorado to pay for a new house for me everytime mine gets swallowed by the sea!  (sorry, small rant there...)


yours in liberty,
michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on October 30, 2003, 07:38:15 pm
Thank you for the welcome!

That's all well and fine, but what about when land is sold?  Say everyone had water pipes running through their back yard and everyone is fine with that arrangement as they are all getting water.  Buyer B buys Buyer A's land and house and insists that the pipes be taken out of his yard.  He plans to buy bottled water and he has an outhouse, so he has no need for pipes.  Let's assume there's no other route to deliver water to the rest of the street.  It seems a dilly of a pickle that the rest of the landowners on the street just lost most of their property value, and the land is potentially no longer livable.  This doesn't seem to foster investment in the free state, in fact, I think it might discourage it.  Of course, I'm not for entitlement programs, but at the same time, it seems remiss in the free state to allow one schmuck to hold the whole street hostage.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on October 30, 2003, 10:15:37 pm
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I don't have to know HOW private roads will change our society for the better, I just have to trust that the Free Market is much better at solving problems than the government is all.  The 'How' will be discovered by the people who put the energy and effort in trying to satisfy their 'customers' so that they can make money.

Well you do have to know HOW if you expect to be effective politically in this state...we don't take too kindly to snake oil salesman!

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In addition, there is NO WAY for us to forecast what will come about when the market is left unfettered and able to find perhaps alternate methods of solving a problem.

Yeah, take a look at Enron and Harken Energy for proto-types!

There is no current (and in the foreseeable 5-10 yr. future) way around the transmission lines problem w/conventional sources it matters not a wit whether it is centralized or not unless we all have individual power generating facilities at our house - which the fuel cell will hopefully be someday.

As someone who has spent 20 years in the energy conservation field the only way to get at the myriad of problem surrounding our energy situation is to deal with ALL of the economic externalities that are not factored into the price of oil. Once those are included and certain energy industries are no longer heavily subsidized then the consumer can make intelligent choices about energy and industry will be given the proper signals about where to put their research.

Decentralizing the energy system should be a national security issue...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: SteveA on October 30, 2003, 10:39:35 pm
I do agree we need more redundancy in the power system and smaller isolated generation of power.  Like Bill said, rate fixing and subsidies stagnate market changes that would otherwise motivate alternate supplies.  (If the war in Iraq is partly for oil, then we don't see the cost of the war included in the cost of gas, which would need be paid by oil companies and more accurately reflect its cost, giving incentive for local or alternative sources of power generation).  Instead, the cost is in your tax bill.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on October 30, 2003, 10:45:47 pm
dead on Steve!
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 10, 2003, 02:07:09 am
yes BillG, I think we agree... somewhat...

1: stop all subsidizing of oil as an energy source - this includes ending the protection of the industry from pollution lawsuits etc

2: privatize utilities - totally, without price caps, restrictions or regulations - allow the market to govern them


btw: yes yes yes... enron again... jeez, is this the flagship example that everyone uses against capitalism and privatization?  you want examples of government abuses/corruption/death of innocents/kidnapping/murder?  People are people, some good, some bad.... giving government powers which citizens do not have just allows the possibility that a 'bad' person using that power against any and all of us... I would take 100 Enron episodes if it meant less governmental episodes.... how many people died due to Enron?  How many people died due to Viet Nam?  due to the FDA delayed drug approval and disaprovals?  Our government testing out bio-weapons on its own citizenry?  need I go on?

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Tracy Saboe on November 10, 2003, 03:28:57 am
Most of Enron's problems were due to Federal contracts with them.

They wanted to build a pipeline through India. It was dangerous, they couldn't get any investors interested in the progect.

So what did they do? They lobied to get the government to subsidize the opporation.

The problems we have today with corporate America are a direct result of government interfearence which is decidedly ANTI-capitalistic.

Tracy
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Sc0ttiej on November 17, 2003, 01:53:06 am
So here's my first try at getting involved with your interesting little project.  First I'd just like to say that nothing I write is meant to be offensive, so the word "little" I used to describe this project is simply a term of endearment, not meant in any derogatory way.  Also I'm only 23, product of your "typical American family," watched too much cable growing up, went to college for a few years, and now I'm trying to figure out how to save that world.  With that said hopefully you all can infer my naivete on certain subjects (most of them), so you'll have to give me the benefit of the doubt.  Here we go...  Our current system of government is not really working out, this much if fairly obvious.  Things have to change, which is why this project is so interesting.  The utilities problem is a major one, being that it involves one of the most basic necessities of life; water.  So we privatize things, market economy...  all that jazz.  It seems to me however that if there's room to take advantage, then advantage will be taken, eventually.  It seems that when profit is involved, those making the profit will do all they can to increase their profit, at the expense of everyone else.  So don't I have the right to NOT be taken advantage of?  If the major role of government is to "help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud," then how clearly defined is "fraud?"  It seems that the government should have to regulate utilities in some way;  i.e. pollution controls.  After all, can we agree that it is an inalienable right we have as human beings to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat clean food.  So what regulations should we have?  Simply pollution laws or should it go beyond that?  What about conservation of natural resources for future generations?  Who own those?  Who owns the H2O on this planet?  Who owns the air we breath?  Am I paying for the water or just the service that is providing me with the water?  I'm sure there are reasonable answers to these questions, so could someone point me toward some of the solutions.  Now the library is closing so I have to end this discourse.  There will be more questions though.  I really want this thing to work:)        
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 17, 2003, 03:18:34 am
Welcome ScottieJ!
well, you sure opened a can-o-worms with that one post, sir!  So lets take it in sections, shall we?


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...and now I'm trying to figure out how to save that world.
recommendation: save the world by allowing the people within it to save themselves, to do otherwise will not only be a huge and unrewarding endeavor, but will also be counter-productive to its own achievement.  So, basically, 'save' yourself first... lead by example... take responsibility... read up on libertarianism... (I have plenty of suggestions both for online and paperback resources - email me if interested)

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The utilities problem is a major one, being that it involves one of the most basic necessities of life; water.  So we privatize things, market economy...  all that jazz.  It seems to me however that if there's room to take advantage, then advantage will be taken, eventually.
so, you basically have an overall negative view of human nature, that if given the opportunity, people will steal, kill, defraud, or otherwise harm others to get what they want.  If this is your view then NO system of government or privatization will ever work because they are by definition 'institutions of men'.  So, I take issue with your premise - I say there are good and bad people, greedy and alturistic - but, overall, people will choose NOT to harm others if there is an alternative.

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It seems that when profit is involved, those making the profit will do all they can to increase their profit, at the expense of everyone else.
ok, first we need to fix the 'little' problem that you seem to have regarding what profit is and how businesses earn it.  Do not take this as an insult - you are a product of about 18 yrs of public education propaganda (as am I) and have probably never been exposed to much truth.  So here it is in a nutshell, the basics of economics and all trade everywhere:  a business succeeds or fails, IN THE FREE MARKET, only if it is able to cater to its customers consistently better than its competition.  I highlighted the Free Market specifically because when there is government interference then the above statement does not necessarily hold water.  Yes, a business will do all it can to increase profit - more exact - it will do all it LEGALLY can, which means it does not get the ability to trample on peoples rights - be they employees or customers.  Yes, a restaurant can increase profits by buying substandard meat, but is it really going to succeed by making all of its customers sick?  Do you think a restaurant owner values money more than the immorality of intentionally harming his customers?  Would you?

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So don't I have the right to NOT be taken advantage of?  If the major role of government is to "help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud," then how clearly defined is "fraud?"
You have a right to NOT be defrauded or harmed by others.  Your statement of 'being taken advantage of' is a bit vague and relative.  If you were mislead in thinking you were buying a 6 pack of Budweiser and instead got a 6 pack of Millers, then you were frauded (a form of theft) and you have a right to restitution.  If you think that you should be paid $50/hr but all the potential employers are only willing to pay you $8/hr for flippin' burgers, no, you are not being taken advantage of.  And, Yes, Fraud is very extensively defined in todays legal system.

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It seems that the government should have to regulate utilities in some way;  i.e. pollution controls.
Why?  We can deal with polluters easily through the court system and other free market avenues.  getting the government involved is like inviting the fox into the henhouse - do you know the government is the single biggest polluter in this country?  Do you know that the State of New York actually sued the EPA over Acid Rain?

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After all, can we agree that it is an inalienable right we have as human beings to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat clean food.
oops - you stepped in it this time - No! we have no right to a perfect world, we have a right not to be harmed by others, but regulating our air, water, food is better left to the people themselves!  We all have different values and priorities.  Perhaps drinking water with a purity factor of '9' out of 10 is what you yourself would like.  maybe I don't mind a little crap thrown in and would be happy with drinking a '6' out of 10 if it costs me less money.  So let the water companies compete for our business and try to cater to our whims as best they can - The job of business IS to service its customers as good as they can, period.  If we want to make sure that our meat ain't poisoned, then a 'private' meat certification company will come into being and fill that need - to the level that YOU deem, not some government bureaucrat who determines what he thinks everyone should need - he fails miserably and so does all government attempts at broadstroking with regulations - they harm more than protect.

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So what regulations should we have?
you can guess my response here, i think:
none.

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What about conservation of natural resources for future generations?
what about it?  the free market will determine this and many other questions regarding values of all things... don't be afraid, the waters warm - come on in!

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Who owns the air we breath?
right now, no one - but that can and will change in the future (distant future).  If you happened to live in an underwater environment or on a space habitat then it would be obvious that you would have to pay for that air because it takes effort to produce it.  Right now all of the wonderful plants in the world are happily and busily producing and cleaning air for us to breath - without costing us a cent - lucky us, But, it will not always necessarily be the case.

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Am I paying for the water or just the service that is providing me with the water?
both

again welcome to the wonderful world of liberty!  I look forward to discussing more items with you and hope you decide to join the Project if you haven't already.  I suggest you do some good reading at that library of yours... I got suggestions if you care...

michael

Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LibertyLover on November 17, 2003, 03:21:39 pm
After all, can we agree that it is an inalienable right we have as human beings to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat clean food.  

This is one of the worst things that government schools do to innocent young minds in America today--pervert the meaning of our language and our founding principles. Human beings have the inalienable right to life (to not be killed), liberty (to not be imprisoned), and property (to not be robbed). We do not have the right to force other human beings to provide us with clean air, clean water, and clean food.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 17, 2003, 06:12:34 pm
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After all, can we agree that it is an inalienable right we have as human beings to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat clean food.  So what regulations should we have?  Simply pollution laws or should it go beyond that?  What about conservation of natural resources for future generations?  Who own those?  Who owns the H2O on this planet?  Who owns the air we breath?  Am I paying for the water or just the service that is providing me with the water?

Scottie-

your gut instincts are right here...don't drink the "privatization" kool-aid!

There is another way to deal with your questions that addresses the efficiency of individual initiative thru free markets within an ecological framework without relying on overbearing government regulation that is based on a logically consistent philosophy that also takes into effect your concerns for social justice...

It falls broadly under our inalienable, individual rights to the commons that are bracketed by everyone else's equal access rights. You simply keep what you make with your labor and pay for what you take from and dump into our natural world.

http://friendsofthecommons.org/ (http://friendsofthecommons.org/)
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 17, 2003, 07:51:20 pm
oh no! BillG! go back to your corner!  (j/k)
Scottie, feel free to visit those sites and understand the Georgist theories... you will need this grounding so you can later on defend the rights of private land ownership.

Still, BillG is a good guy... however msguided (again... kinda j/k)

a true friend of mother earth and all of her bounty,
michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 17, 2003, 08:02:23 pm
Take the red pill, Scottie.  You are a product of your environment and you need to break free of it.  Continue reading the forums and you will see the light presently.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Sc0ttiej on November 18, 2003, 11:43:16 am
Ok.. Round two. First I'm really glad that I found this forum. It seems that there are a lot of people here who feel strongly about those ideologies that they define themselves by. Most of the replies to my questions were what I expected. If I UNDER estimate most people, then I think some of you OVER estimate most people. After all, power does not necessarily corrupt, it simply attracts the corruptible (that one's not mine, I know). If I'vie lost faith in capitalism, then I think a lot of you have lost faith in government (I'm not defending it, this one is pretty f****d up, I'm just defending the IDEA of government). Either one can be good for society, as long as they reflect the general will of the people. It seems to me that many people's idea of the "FREE MARKET" and the idea of "GOVERNMENT" work really well on paper but when we actually put them into practice they tend not to go as planned. Since I can't just say PEOPLE because that's a generalization (LeopardPM), I'll say SOME people will always try to upset the balance of things so that they have more and everyone else has less. The trick, I think, is to limit the possibility of these people having an opportunity to take advantage. So back to the issue at hand, if we privatize utilities without government (the kind which represents the general will of the people) regulation, we would be inviting the few "easily corrupted" people into a business opportunity that would give them an awful lot of power (no pun intended). So here's my idea: Whatever we decide to do, privatize or no, we DO make it necessary to make all expenses public (equipment cost, pay roll, bonuses etc.). That way the Utility company can charge whatever they want, and do whatever they want, but WE will know what is really going on, whether we're being "TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF" (the malicious kind). This does not necessarily require government intervention, if we as a people would require this kind of practice, then by your "Free Market Theory," any company that didn't divulge where their money went, would simply be assumed to be scamming the people, and not be dealt with. Go ahead and pick that one apart, I'm sure it violates some kind of privacy, but then again, privacy is cultural. We are for some reason very protective of our financial information. Either we are worried that it will give others power over us, or we are worried that everyone else will find out just how unfair the "really existing free market" is (yeah, that "really existing free market" came from Chomsky, so what?).
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LibertyLover on November 18, 2003, 05:08:43 pm
If I'vie lost faith in capitalism, then I think a lot of you have lost faith in the government (I'm not defending it, this one is pretty f****d up, I'm just defending the IDEA of government). Either one can be good for society, as long as they reflect the general will of the people.

It isn't a matter of faith in capitalism versus faith in government. It is precisely the IDEA of capitalism versus the IDEA of government that needs to be examined. You have to start by knowing what each institution actually IS.

Government is a legalized territorial monopoly on force, nothing more and nothing less. If the initiation of force is evil (as libertarians believe), then government is evil by its nature, and the only question is how much government is a necessary evil. Anarcho-capitalists think that free people can arrange their society in such a way that no government is necessary. Minarchists think a little government is necessary. Statists think initiation of force is fine as long as it is for a "public good," so they think a lot of government is necessary. Totalitarians think there is no such thing as too much government, presumably because people are so evil they have to be ruled like slaves by the few superior human beings, i.e. them.

Capitalism is more complicated. If you define it as an economic system based on corporations with limited liability, there is some room for fraud and abuse of financial responsibility because of the lack of personal responsibility. However, most of the "evils" of capitalism would be impossible without the collusion of governments.

The true opposite of government is not capitalism but free markets, which can be defined as human interactions with no legalized use of force. Nobody can force anybody to deal with anybody else. If an individual is evil, people are generally not going to want to deal with him, and, if he tries to use force to get what he wants from them, they will have the right to defend themselves against him.

This is not to say that free markets would guarantee a utopia, since most people are neither totally good nor totally evil. There will always be differences and conflicts among people, but free markets in justice as well as in goods and services would offer the best chance of supporting community standards (the "general will of the people") without giving any individual the power to force his wishes on others.

I don't think I'm smart enough to come up with a system to force society to be fair to everybody (and neither is anybody else), so the best we can do is to leave people alone and let individuals be free to negotiate arrangements between themselves. That is free markets.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 18, 2003, 10:30:55 pm
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The trick, I think, is to limit the possibility of these people having an opportunity to take advantage

yes, attack government granted monopoly priviledge in all it's form including economic scarcity rent fraudulently pocketed by landowners the biggest welfare system devised in human history.

Scottie-

You digressed from your initial instincts. The answers you are looking for are in a fundamental understanding that progress is made between the two polarities because an essential truth lies in both...

If you look at the problem as strictly between the free market and the state you will miss the 800 lbs. elephant sitting in the room - the "commons"...which we derive all of our material wealth from and discard all of our material waste into.

We all have inalienable, individual rights to the commons. If we define it as already claimed by ALL EQUALLY then a natural economic rental market will develop to take care of the externalities problem and people will finally have the all the appropriate information to make a decision within an ecoloigical framework. The economic scarcity rent being captured and returned to the commoners with minimum government involvement will significantly shrink the size of government from a regulatory and social welfare basis.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 18, 2003, 11:14:51 pm
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We all have inalienable, individual rights to the commons.

Why?

     If this is your fundemental argument then please explain it.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: atr on November 19, 2003, 09:49:59 am
So here's my idea: Whatever we decide to do, privatize or no, we DO make it necessary to make all expenses public (equipment cost, pay roll, bonuses etc.). That way the Utility company can charge whatever they want, and do whatever they want, but WE will know what is really going on, whether we're being "TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF" (the malicious kind). This does not necessarily require government intervention, if we as a people would require this kind of practice, then by your "Free Market Theory," any company that didn't divulge where their money went, would simply be assumed to be scamming the people, and not be dealt with.

When I decide what electricity company I want to purchase electricity from, or what car I want to buy, or what beer I want to buy, I don't really care and don't tend to know how the company spends all its money. The beautiful thing about the free market is that it creates a very strong incentive for benefiting the consumer, not for taking advantage of the consumer.

Let's say there's a private electricity company. It charges 15 cents per KWH. It spends lavishly on corporate jets, art, parties with Jimmy Buffett performing, etc. It also produces some of its power by damming rivers and thus destroying the local habitat. But the owners (shareholders) of the company want to make profits. So they have a strong desire for the company to not spend its money on the expensive activities listed above. (Yes, damming rivers is very expensive, at least when the government doesn't provide the dam, the river, and the land. If the government doesn't provide these things, they must be purchased.)

Meanwhile, there's another electricity company around. They charge 13 cents per KWH. Any idea where this lower price comes from? Which company am I going to purchase power from?

I don't really think lawfully-required disclosure is of value to me. But, the great thing about a free market is that if you value all sorts of disclosure, you can buy power from the company that discloses everything, or better yet, hires an independent certifying company to assure customers and investors that what it's disclosing is the whole truth.

Furthermore, to the extent that the power company provides any inaccurate information in its service contract with you, the company is committing fraud, which is a criminal offense.


If I've misunderstood your idea of how private companies take advantage of people, please let me know.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 19, 2003, 11:37:37 am
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We all have inalienable, individual rights to the commons.

Why?

     If this is your fundemental argument then please explain it.

self-ownership...

right to life...thus freedom of action/movement in 3-D space...therefore freedom to interact with the natural world (everything outside of humans & what they create - called the "commons") inorder to continue to live (such as breath the air)...and finally in mixing labor with the natural world we retain private property ownership over what is created with the fruits of our labor.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 20, 2003, 02:45:56 am
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We all have inalienable, individual rights to the commons

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self-ownership...

right to life...thus freedom of action/movement in 3-D space...therefore freedom to interact with the natural world (everything outside of humans & what they create - called the "commons") in order to continue to live (such as breath the air)...and finally in mixing labor with the natural world we retain private property ownership over what is created with the fruits of our labor.

     It is not my responsibility to provide land to every person on the planet just because they are born, and they need it to live. If I found a plot of land first--it’s mine. If others want use of it, I was there first, so they had better negotiate with me about it on my terms.
     
     If someone tells me that I “rightfully owe” them some kind of “scarcity rent”  for using part of their "commons" they’re going to have to get it from me by force.

     Whether I mixed my labor with a plot of land or not, if I got there first I’m claiming it as my own.

Nobody has a “right to food.”
Or a “right to healthcare.”
Or a “right to a job.”
Or a “right to land.”
Or a “right to scarcity rent.”


     What they do have is the right to purchase these things on a free market from those who choose to sell them.

     I don't think I "rightfully owe" anyone one cent just because I occupy a plot of land, and they don't.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 20, 2003, 10:03:16 am
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It is not my responsibility to provide land to every person on the planet just because they are born, and they need it to live

not provide ownership for all but yes access to it.

agreed though...individual ownership of land is the most efficient system where you have the freedom to do what you want with your land.

but unless the economic scarcity rent (that is not created by the landowner) is returned to the rightful owners you have a system where the "entitled" have a perpetual claim on the fruits of the labor of the landless where they are "forced" to pay for no service rendered.

the landowner did not "produce" the land or the economic scarcity rent that naturally attaches to a location when there is no longer enough and as good lands for people to access.

This is direct violation of the basic tenet of libertarianism - self-ownership...or a perfect system of slavery!

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If someone tells me that I “rightfully owe” them some kind of “scarcity rent”  for using part of their "commons" they’re going to have to get it from me by force

fine...but you can't claim this as anything other than slavery!
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 21, 2003, 03:35:53 am
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Not provide ownership for all but yes access to it.

     They already have access to it. They can buy it from someone willing to sell it.

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but unless the economic scarcity rent (that is not created by the landowner) is returned to the rightful owners you have a system where the "entitled" have a perpetual claim on the fruits of the labor of the landless where they are "forced" to pay for no service rendered.

     Nobody "rightfuly owns" a share of my wealth just because I occupy land and they don't.

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the landowner did not "produce" the land or the economic scarcity rent that naturally attaches to a location when there is no longer enough and as good lands for people to access.


     It does not matter if I produced it or not. If I got there first it's mine. I own it free and clear.



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fine...but you can't claim this as anything other than slavery!

             
Slavery? All I ask is to be left alone.


     You're telling me that because I own land and others don't I owe all of mankind protection money which the use of force is justified to collect. And your saying that the need of others to have access to land gives them the right to impose a tax on me.

   
I want to be left alone. You want to rob me by force.

             
Who's the advocate of slavery here?

Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Garthnak on November 21, 2003, 03:13:10 pm
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the landowner did not "produce" the land or the economic scarcity rent that naturally attaches to a location when there is no longer enough and as good lands for people to access.


     It does not matter if I produced it or not. If I got there first it's mine. I own it free and clear.

Can you explain to me your precise philosophical and moral justification for your "I saw it first!" ethics?  Capitalism is based on earnings.  Merely seeing something before anyone else does not mean you have "earned" it.  Explain to me why you feel you have a rightful sole claim to something you have not earned.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 21, 2003, 03:36:10 pm
This sounds dangerously like an argument for abolition of property rights.  We all know where that road leads.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 21, 2003, 03:58:29 pm
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They already have access to it. They can buy it from someone willing to sell it.

since we have a right to life, we have to *be* somewhere, so renting is not a voluntary excercise if you can't purchase and buying includes paying for the capitalized economic scarcity rent that went uncollected from the prior owner who did not produce the value...

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Nobody "rightfuly owns" a share of my wealth just because I occupy land and they don't.

First of all - what gives you the "right" to something that you did not create with your labor and secondly to make a claim on the fruit's of the labor of the buyer or renter?

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 You're telling me that because I own land and others don't I owe all of mankind protection money which the use of force is justified to collect. And your saying that the need of others to have access to land gives them the right to impose a tax on me.
 
I want to be left alone. You want to rob me by force.

Once again, what gives you the right to perpetual claims on the fruits of the landless's labor?

the economic scarcity rent created by others and returned to them does not come out of the fruits of your labor because you neither produced the land of the generated value that naturally attaches to a location under scarcity conditions.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 21, 2003, 04:45:57 pm
If a right to life naturally implies a right to property, wouldn't it also imply a right to food?  A right to water?  A right to live whether you have a job or not?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 21, 2003, 05:35:24 pm
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Can you explain to me your precise philosophical and moral justification for your "I saw it first!" ethics?  Capitalism is based on earnings.  Merely seeing something before anyone else does not mean you have "earned" it.  Explain to me why you feel you have a rightful sole claim to something you have not earned.

     Here is an example from history.

     The first Vikings to discover Iceland, according to their common law, became the owners of the land because they discovered first.

     I have two points to make in regard to this:

     First, the early explorers who discovered and settled uninhabited Iceland  earned it. The very act of exploration and discovery requires effort. In the case of the Viking explorers, they undertook perilous voyages to discover the lands that they did and many did not come back alive.

     Second, why in the world should they listen to anyone who tells them to share their discovery with the rest of mankind, or to pay the rest of mankind some kind of "rent"? That's collectivism. What's in it for the discoverers? They got there first so they set the terms, and should rightfully reject anyone's claim to the contrary.

     The precise philosophical and moral basis for my view is individualism.  
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 21, 2003, 06:18:12 pm
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since we have a right to life, we have to *be* somewhere, so renting is not a voluntary excercise if you can't purchase and buying includes paying for the capitalized economic scarcity rent that went uncollected from the prior owner who did not produce the value...

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If a right to life naturally implies a right to property, wouldn't it also imply a right to food?  A right to water?  A right to live whether you have a job or not?

The second quote answers the first.

A need is not an intitlement to the property of others.

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First of all - what gives you the "right" to something that you did not create with your labor and secondly to make a claim on the fruit's of the labor of the buyer or renter?

     I have already stated several times that the very act of discovering something preexisting in nature for the first time is a value that is produced and that it requires effort.

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the economic scarcity rent created by others and returned to them does not come out of the fruits of your labor

     Your whole system is based on this concept of "scarcity rent," which is in turn based on your idea that all of mankind "commonly" owns all the land on earth, because land is a basic need of life.

     But I do not recognize any collective "rights," nor do I recognize anyone's need as a valid claim on my property.

     And I do not recognize anyone's "right" to tax me on what I found, inherited, or purchased first.



 

     


Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Garthnak on November 21, 2003, 06:44:02 pm
    The first Vikings to discover Iceland, according to their common law, became the owners of the land because they discovered first.

     I have two points to make in regard to this:

     First, the early explorers who discovered and settled uninhabited Iceland  earned it. The very act of exploration and discovery requires effort. In the case of the Viking explorers, they undertook perilous voyages to discover the lands that they did and many did not come back alive.
And what if someone totally seperately comes from another land (say, for example, a tribe from Africa who mirculously created seafaring ships), undertakes the perilous voyage to Iceland and "discovers" it themselves.  Have they also not "earned" the same right to that land?  You're "I got here first" theory still doesn't seem to show why 'first discovery' implies _ownership_.
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Second, why in the world should they listen to anyone who tells them to share their discovery with the rest of mankind, or to pay the rest of mankind some kind of "rent"? That's collectivism. What's in it for the discoverers? They got there first so they set the terms, and should rightfully reject anyone's claim to the contrary.
Collectivism is revoking the product of a man's labor.  By denying anyone ELSE who makes the same discovery on their own the right to the same land, you are advocating the total control merely by first labor, not by later labor.  If this was applied to capitalism, then the first person to every build a building would be the ONLY one EVER allowed to build ANY buildings ever again, throughout the history of the society.  This goes for the wheel, grown food, bow and arrow, and even the discovery of fire.

Thus, I still don't see why "first discovery" implies ownership.  Land is more or less like an idea - it existed before us, we only have to discover it, and by that discovery we enable anyone who observes that discovery to duplicate it.  Thus there has to be some way to allow all people capable of the same application of an idea to utilize it.  As far as I can tell, a fairly apportioned rent is the only way to resolve this equitably.  Is it the greatest thing in the world?  No.  But I think it's the only way to practically apply fair usage of a (realistically) extremely limited resource.
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The precise philosophical and moral basis for my view is individualism.
The precise philosophical and moral basis for your view is "I saw it first!  Mine!"  That's kindergarten ethics.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 21, 2003, 07:37:30 pm
Garthnak,
I'm not sure seeing it first applies any longer.  Few, if any of us acquired the land we own by virtue of seeing it first.  These days, our land is purchased by our money, which is the product of our labors.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 21, 2003, 08:51:27 pm
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These days, our land is purchased by our money, which is the product of our labors.

Yes, but the major cost of the land that you purchased is just capitalized "economic scarcity rent" that is not created by the landowner's labor.

and while you are saving your money to buy the land your wage's are being taxed via the "economic scarcity rent" that goes to your landowner who has not produced the land or the site value...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 21, 2003, 09:04:41 pm
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These days, our land is purchased by our money, which is the product of our labors.

Yes, but the major cost of the land that you purchased is just capitalized "economic scarcity rent" that is not created by the landowner's labor.

and while you are saving your money to buy the land your wage's are being taxed via the "economic scarcity rent" that goes to your landowner who has not produced the land or the site value...
If I make a good stock investment and the value goes up allowing me to sell high, no "labor" of my own has caused it to increase, but the profit is still mine.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 21, 2003, 09:23:42 pm
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These days, our land is purchased by our money, which is the product of our labors.

Yes, but the major cost of the land that you purchased is just capitalized "economic scarcity rent" that is not created by the landowner's labor.

and while you are saving your money to buy the land your wage's are being taxed via the "economic scarcity rent" that goes to your landowner who has not produced the land or the site value...
If I make a good stock investment and the value goes up allowing me to sell high, no "labor" of my own has caused it to increase, but the profit is still mine.

Yes but the company you are investing in was produced by human labor. The land is not...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Garthnak on November 21, 2003, 10:35:40 pm
Garthnak,
I'm not sure seeing it first applies any longer.  Few, if any of us acquired the land we own by virtue of seeing it first.  These days, our land is purchased by our money, which is the product of our labors.
Yes, but the original owner had to "see it first".  You buy the land with your money from someone who bought it with money, from someone who bought it with money, from someone who bought it with money (....etc....) from someone who saw it first.  Thus you don't actually gain any more legitimacy.  It's just as if you purchased something that was stolen - you still don't own it, it belongs to the original owner.  (note that I am not implying land is "stolen", it is merely an analogy; there is no original owner of land)
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 22, 2003, 08:16:35 am
Garthnak,
Isn't every good traceable back to land?  Trees = wood = chair
So are you saying that even though I made the chair, from wood I bought, which was once a tree, which grew all by itself without any help from man, on land with cannot be owned - that I should not be able to claim total ownership over that chair?

In regards to the 'kindergarten philosophy' of who saw it first:
This stems from two things: (1) ownership of ones body, ie: selfownership (2) and the fact that two bodies cannot habit the same 3-D space at the same time.  So, if I have a right to self-ownership, and I occupy a 3-D space 'unowned' by anyone else, then I must own that space merely because I was the first there.  By extension, this must then be applied to 'initial' land ownership.

Supposed a land were unowned.  I go into this land and sit down.  I then own the parcel I am sitting on - and it is wrong for someone to try and sit on me because that is an initiation of force.  It is not kindergarten, it is selfownership.

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 22, 2003, 10:47:29 am
Quote
Isn't every good traceable back to land?  Trees = wood = chair
So are you saying that even though I made the chair, from wood I bought, which was once a tree, which grew all by itself without any help from man, on land with cannot be owned - that I should not be able to claim total ownership over that chair?

strawman - as soon as labor is applied to the land to make a product (chair) it becomes he property of the person who made it.
No matter how much labor applied man can not make the matter which makes up our material world. End of story no matter how many little "dutch boys" you trot out.

Quote
I then own the parcel I am sitting on - and it is wrong for someone to try and sit on me because that is an initiation of force.

by the logic of first use you would only own wherever your foot prints are nothing more better yet what is under your butt wherever you are sitting now...is this getting absurd or what?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 22, 2003, 11:05:51 am
Quote
Isn't every good traceable back to land?  Trees = wood = chair
So are you saying that even though I made the chair, from wood I bought, which was once a tree, which grew all by itself without any help from man, on land with cannot be owned - that I should not be able to claim total ownership over that chair?

strawman - as soon as labor is applied to the land to make a product (chair) it becomes he property of the person who made it.
No matter how much labor applied man can not make the matter which makes up our material world. End of story no matter how many little "dutch boys" you trot out.
Ok BillG, so as soon as I apply labor to land, THEN it is mine (unless someone else owns it before me)?  stick with this labor/land discussion and please don't bring up the rest of your circular arguments.  if you agree that labor applied to wood = property (property which is totally owned and not taxable), then the same must be true for all matter in the universe, as you say because man cannot make matter in the first place...
The knots you tie yourself into and try to tie me - I ain't going there...

Quote
Quote
I then own the parcel I am sitting on - and it is wrong for someone to try and sit on me because that is an initiation of force.

by the logic of first use you would only own wherever your foot prints are nothing more better yet what is under your butt wherever you are sitting now...is this getting absurd or what?
um, I was using that as an example of how being the first in a given space is related to selfownership - obviously that space is extended to include other space which was unowned at the time you 'owned' it with yourself.  This is not a hard concept.  You cannot, from the earth, claim ownership of mars - if you travel to mars, then you can start to claim property rights - your physical presence is required.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 22, 2003, 12:22:21 pm
Quote
Ok BillG, so as soon as I apply labor to land, THEN it is mine

No it isn't. Whatever you produce *from* the land is yours but not the land itself because you do not produce it. Land exists prior to any labor and no amount of labor will produce land (as in matter)...a chair does not exist prior to labor.

why is this so hard to see other than the fallacies of your argument come tumbling down like the deck of cards it is built on?

Quote
your physical presence is required

is it "continually" required?

because in order to occupy 3D space you actually have to be *there* as in occupying...

your example of having someone "sit on you" suggests that it is...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 22, 2003, 02:39:53 pm
Quote
Ok BillG, so as soon as I apply labor to land, THEN it is mine

No it isn't. Whatever you produce *from* the land is yours but not the land itself because you do not produce it. Land exists prior to any labor and no amount of labor will produce land (as in matter)...a chair does not exist prior to labor.

and around we go - I will not get back on your dizzying ride...

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Quote
your physical presence is required

is it "continually" required?

because in order to occupy 3D space you actually have to be *there* as in occupying...

your example of having someone "sit on you" suggests that it is...
I am showing how property rights are DERIVED from selfownership.  Man has created organizations (usually government) which recognize certain rights in order to help protect these.  Without government or some organization, then, yes, you would have to continually protect any and all of your property from the desires of others which means physical presense - thru government we do not need to expend such vast quantities of energy in defence - and this protection extends to property where your body 'has been' in regards to land, ie: the entirety of your lands title.  Even in an AnCap society, the need to define and clarify 'property rights' would be possible without government (so they contend) - but either way, the need is there.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 22, 2003, 02:59:00 pm
     
Quote
If this was applied to capitalism, then the first person to every build a building would be the ONLY one EVER allowed to build ANY buildings ever again, throughout the history of the society.  This goes for the wheel, grown food, bow and arrow, and even the discovery of fire.

     I think there is a big difference between an idea such as the wheel, and physical matter, such as land. An idea can be duplicated and shared by as many people as can learn it. Land is land. It can't be treated in the same way as an idea.

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It is not kindergarten, it is selfownership

     Thank you.

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The precise philosophical and moral basis for your view is "I saw it first!  Mine!"  That's kindergarten ethics.

     You can belittle my ideas and call them whatever you want. I still think if I find something first I should own it. Why should I pay someone else for their permission to keep it? What's in it for me?

     The only argument they can possibly give me is that if I don't, they'll force me, and there are more of them than me. This is the argument of a thug.

   
I suppose that "I don't care if you were there first! Give me some!  I'll bash your teeth in if you don't share it with me!" is the more refined view?

 
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 22, 2003, 03:27:16 pm
Quote
I think there is a big difference between an idea such as the wheel, and physical matter, such as land. An idea can be duplicated and shared by as many people as can learn it. Land is land. It can't be treated in the same way as an idea

yet when we point out all the ways land shouldn't be treated like labor-based property or capital as a commodity we are called every name in the book!

This is a double standard...

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Why should I pay someone else for their permission to keep it?

Because it was a gift for all to be used equally and without access to land you are advocating a system in direct violation of the basic tenet of libertarianism...self-ownership.

we have the right to life therefore to *be*. As such, inorder to *be* we have to *be* somewhere. Because all land is claimed it is required that we have to pay a "rent" to *be* somewhere which ends up coming from the fruits of our labor. And what is exchanged from the landowner for the "tax" on our labor?

NOTHING

and why?

Because the landowner does not *produce* the land OR the value that naturally attaches to locations from outside forces (population increases, public infrastructure investments, neighbors improving their property).

A non-voluntary tax for no service rendered is called one thing in my book...

SLAVERY

 
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 22, 2003, 03:28:19 pm
Quote
And what if someone totally seperately comes from another land (say, for example, a tribe from Africa who mirculously created seafaring ships), undertakes the perilous voyage to Iceland and "discovers" it themselves.  Have they also not "earned" the same right to that land? You're "I got here first" theory still doesn't seem to show why 'first discovery' implies _ownership_.

     Garthnak, this is a very interesting idea.

      I would say that if the Vikings got there before the Africans, and were already living there when the newcomers arrived, then they would have to say:

"Sorry guys. We were here first, and all the land is already claimed."    

     However...since this is a hypothetical example, let's also say the Vikings who occupy Iceland when the Africans arrive are mostly benevolent, rational people who allow the Africans to trade with them, and buy or rent land from them as well. Over time land would be owned by a mixture of people decended from both groups.

     As long as the newcomers are willing to respect the fact that someone else is already living there, and the land is already claimed, they can still gain from peacefull trade and interaction with the preexisting population.    
     
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 22, 2003, 03:41:27 pm
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Because it was a gift for all to be used equally

From whom? This is quite a statement to make.

     I see no basis for calling nature a "gift." All we can know about nature is that it exists and that it's here.

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yet when we point out all the ways land shouldn't be treated like labor-based property or capital as a commodity we are called every name in the book!

     I agree that there is a big difference between land and labor based capital. It's just that I don't belive it follows from these differences that land cannot be owned outright without taxation.

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we have the right to life therefore to *be*. As such, inorder to *be* we have to *be* somewhere

     I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 22, 2003, 04:02:24 pm
Quote
I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim

You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 22, 2003, 05:20:30 pm
Quote
I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim

You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.
Don't they provide residency?  Seems like a fair transaction to me.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 22, 2003, 05:36:06 pm
Quote
Don't they provide residency?  Seems like a fair transaction to me.

no - we are not talking about buildings which are labor-based property. We are talking strictly about land...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: underwater on November 22, 2003, 05:46:25 pm
Quote
I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim

You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.
Don't they provide residency?  Seems like a fair transaction to me.

Ah, yes, and so did the Kings of old. Kyle, I am entirely convinced that you would have been a Tory during the Revolutionary War. Why should man bow to kings, dukes, and barons? Because they saw land first? They are not owners, they are slave masters - and you are their apologist. You need to square your Objectivist philosophy that rightly champions creation and productivity with the implicit threat of force (backed by government) that enforces the "ownership" of land area.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Sc0ttiej on November 22, 2003, 05:46:40 pm
I have something to throw into the mix.  How does that fact that this continent was basically stolen from the natives who lived here factor in?  It's kind of a moot point 400 years later, but it seems that prospering from injustices done by this evil government, goes against this property rights argument.  I guess you could say that propery is only yours if you can defend it against agressors, but something still doesn't sound right.  If someone either takes a piece of property by force or coerses the owner, using whisky,  into selling it for pennies on the dollar, isn't that still a form of theft or fraud?  And by buying the property from this thief, aren't you condoning the fraud?  And does buying said stolen propery really give you ownership?  Does the fact that the original owners are dead make a difference?  Like I said before, probably a moot point but I think it still raises interesting questions.  Does the end justify the means?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 22, 2003, 07:55:36 pm
Quote
I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim

You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.
Don't they provide residency?  Seems like a fair transaction to me.

Ah, yes, and so did the Kings of old. Kyle, I am entirely convinced that you would have been a Tory during the Revolutionary War. Why should man bow to kings, dukes, and barons? Because they saw land first? They are not owners, they are slave masters - and you are their apologist. You need to square your Objectivist philosophy that rightly champions creation and productivity with the implicit threat of force (backed by government) that enforces the "ownership" of land area.


I need to square my Objectivist philosophy?  What do you know of Objectivism?  You surmise that land belongs collectively to the people, that those who bought land now owe a fee for the remainder of their lives, paid to those who do not own land, a disgusting redistribution of wealth.  Be glad that Ayn Rand is not alive, friend, for if she was she would tell you precisely what Objectivism has to say about this "economic scarcity rent" nonsense.

"Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned."
Ayn Rand, the undisputed reigning authority on Objectivism

It would seem that Ayn Rand was right when she called capitalism the unknown ideal.  It is unknown even among some of those who call themselves Objectivists.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: underwater on November 22, 2003, 08:37:02 pm
Quote
I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live does not give you the right to demand a share of land already occupied by others. Need is not a valid claim

You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.
Don't they provide residency?  Seems like a fair transaction to me.

Ah, yes, and so did the Kings of old. Kyle, I am entirely convinced that you would have been a Tory during the Revolutionary War. Why should man bow to kings, dukes, and barons? Because they saw land first? They are not owners, they are slave masters - and you are their apologist. You need to square your Objectivist philosophy that rightly champions creation and productivity with the implicit threat of force (backed by government) that enforces the "ownership" of land area.


I need to square my Objectivist philosophy?  What do you know of Objectivism?  You surmise that land belongs collectively to the people, that those who bought land now owe a fee for the remainder of their lives, paid to those who do not own land, a disgusting redistribution of wealth.  Be glad that Ayn Rand is not alive, friend, for if she was she would tell you precisely what Objectivism has to say about this "economic scarcity rent" nonsense.

"Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned."
Ayn Rand, the undisputed reigning authority on Objectivism

It would seem that Ayn Rand was right when she called capitalism the unknown ideal.  It is unknown even among some of those who call themselves Objectivists.

The economics of Galt's Gulch (http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html)

Most revealing of all is the Randian utopia, Galt's Gulch, which was financed entirely from, yes, land rents. Midas Mulligan owned the whole place, and was, in essence, the government. All the common services, from Galt's magic energy machine to Hank Rearden's village railroad, to their defense system (some sort of jammer that made the valley invisible to passing planes) were financed from ground rents collected by Mulligan from the landholders. Although politically Galt's Gulch was a monarchy, economically it was a Georgist Single-Tax community, with all community services paid for from the rent of land.

So, the question is: From where does Midas Mulligan receive his divine right to rule? That's the problem with Objectivism - it, like the Austrian school, defaults to monarchy and not republicanism. The residents are lucky that Midas doesn't raise his tax to 100% - then his surfs (Galt, etc...) would really be in the proverbial crapper. Hey, they might just revolt and form a Georgist republic! Or perhaps they would go back to the outer (socialist) world that they left... I guess Objectivism left them between a rock and a hard place.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 22, 2003, 08:56:07 pm
That's a poor example.  In regular society, all property is not owned by "Midas".  If Midas increases his tax to 100%, I can move and rent from any of the other millions of land owners in the country.  An open market allows me to rent from whoever I please, allowing me to negotiate renter rights and price.  If I don't feel like living by someone else's rules, I can buy my own property and become a landowner myself and make my own rules.

When you insist that a person's right to life naturally extends to a right to land, what's stopping you from saying that they're also entitled to a right to food and shelter, a right to a living wage, a right to free medicine and healthcare?  In short, what stops you from riding that wave all the way to socialism?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: underwater on November 22, 2003, 09:15:24 pm
That's a poor example.  In regular society, all property is not owned by "Midas".

So, now Galt's Gulch is a poor example of freedom? OK, I'll accept that.

When you insist that a person's right to life naturally extends to a right to land, what's stopping you from saying that they're also entitled to a right to food and shelter, a right to a living wage, a right to free medicine and healthcare?  In short, what stops you from riding that wave all the way to socialism?

First of all, let's not get into slippery slopes. You could say that granting men equal rights before the law could lead us to eventually give ants equal rights with men - so let's not give equal rights before the law to men! Objectively, men and ants are different. In the same manner, land and capital are different. Food, medicine, and healthcare do not just exist (like land area). Rather, they are the products of man's labor and his mind. To demand those products is to enslave the person that produces them.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 22, 2003, 09:20:10 pm
ACK! Geo-Stuff has invaded yet another board...

back to the topic at hand:  Privatize Utilities (which is a far cry from this land debate...we have other threads for that)

BillG, do you think that utilities should be privatized?  Should neighborhoods be allowed to compete in power generation, sewage, water, phone etc... To create a true free market in 'utilities', Eminent Domain would have to be abolished and this would force 'public' utilities to lease or pay for encroachments of power transmission lines/sewer pipes on private property - the same as private power companies would have to.

More to the point, do you think that electricity is a right of people to have and so for the government to provide?

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 22, 2003, 09:28:29 pm
Galt's Gulch is not a good example of society, as all property is owned by one man.  This is an unrealistic comparison to society.  I said nothing of its freedom, so I'll thank you not to place words in my mouth.

Property is bought with money.  Money is produced by labor.  Why isn't the land I own the product of my labor, by way of my money?

Oil and other natural resources are not a renewable resource.  There is a specific amount of oil left in the world, and the people who possess the land it lies under gain value through no work of their own by way of the increasing "economic scarcity" of oil.  Do they own the oil merely because they found it first?  Shall we confiscate their oil and distribute the profits to the masses who have no land?  If a man has retired and has no interest in getting into the oil business, shall we charge him such a high "economic scarcity rent" that he has no choice but to buy drilling equipment and extract his oil to be able to make rent?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: underwater on November 22, 2003, 10:12:49 pm
Property is bought with money.  Money is produced by labor.  Why isn't the land I own the product of my labor, by way of my money?

Property is not land. Property is the stuff on land. My house, my garage, my car (if I had one). Those things are property and property taxes are wrong. Land taxes, though, are just.

I think enough people have pointed out that the chain of labor for land transactions rests on the fact that someone forced people off of the land at some point. That force was immorally applied and, thus, you are knowingly buying something that was stolen.

Oil and other natural resources are not a renewable resource.  There is a specific amount of oil left in the world, and the people who possess the land it lies under gain value through no work of their own by way of the increasing "economic scarcity" of oil.  Do they own the oil merely because they found it first?  Shall we confiscate their oil and distribute the profits to the masses who have no land?  If a man has retired and has no interest in getting into the oil business, shall we charge him such a high "economic scarcity rent" that he has no choice but to buy drilling equipment and extract his oil to be able to make rent?

The Alaska Model: One Citizen=One Share (http://www.usskytrust.org/alaska.html)

When oil began flowing from state-owned lands in the 1970's, Alaskans found themselves in a tantalizing quandary: what to do with a windfall worth billions of dollars? Jay Hammond, Alaska's Republican Governor, felt strongly that Alaska's oil wealth belonged to its people, not its government. And he believed it should not be squandered on government projects or tax breaks to businesses.

With Hammond's leadership, the Alaska Permanent Fund was established to protect the people's oil wealth for the benefit of current and future Alaska citizens. Dividends are paid on a one citizen, one share basis.

Alaskans received their first dividend checks in 1982. In 1998 the per capita dividend was $1,540. Households of four collected $6,160.

When The Permanent Fund was created, few foresaw the impact it would have. In two decades it has evolved into an economic engine that brings more money to Alaska's people than any industry.


Compare this to Saudi Arabia where the monarchy owns the oil wealth. Of course, I know that you are cheering for the perfumed princes...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 22, 2003, 10:27:11 pm
I don't see anything wrong with community owned property, as long as no force is being used which is the case re: georgist theory.  The alaska system works just fine since the oil was on 'public' land but notice the decision to redistribute it was in the governors hands - another governor might have choosen for the state to keep the money - I find the fact he choose to give it back to the people to be a great plus in his favor - he treated the land just as if it were owned by the people, but this is not always the case where the government is involved.  I bet that Alaska would be ripe for a georgist conversion... any thoughts BillG?  perhaps you would be more successful at recruiting there as you could easily conflagurate Georgism with the Alaskan oil distribution.

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 23, 2003, 09:57:25 am
Quote
I bet that Alaska would be ripe for a georgist conversion... any thoughts BillG?  perhaps you would be more successful at recruiting there as you could easily conflagurate Georgism with the Alaskan oil distribution.

NH is the most ripe for Geo-Libertarian ideals because we have no broadbased taxing mechanism. The property tax could be easily "tipped" to Geo-Lib by the "simple tax shift". Alaska can be used as an example. We have nothing like the revenue derived from oil here in NH but we do have the socially created land values to tap!

BTW - the Repub. Governor, Jay Hammond,  was in the state legislature before becoming Gov. The idea for the Premanent Fund came from a "tax" that was levied on the fishing industry for taking fish out of the Bristol Bay (the commons) that the town abutted. It went from one of the poorest areas in Alaska to one of the wealthiest...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 23, 2003, 10:01:54 am
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Privatize Utilities (which is a far cry from this land debate...we have other threads for that)

The issues are the same though - privatizing the commons.

Quote
BillG, do you think that utilities should be privatized?

sure that's fine but the transmission lines, railroad lines, roads, telephone lines, etc...should be part of "the commons".

Whoever owns those has an unfair advantage...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 23, 2003, 05:23:08 pm
BillG,


Quote
The issues are the same though - privatizing the commons.
What?  Wait a sec, one of the things you repeat over and over is that land is not 'labor' produced and this is one reason why we should be Georgists.  'Utilities' ARE labor produced including transmission lines and power plants and sewage systems... your desire to socialize is showing - how can you equate the two?

Quote
sure that's fine but the transmission lines, railroad lines, roads, telephone lines, etc...should be part of "the commons".

Whoever owns those has an unfair advantage...
ok, now we get down to your basic problem: someone having an 'unfair' advantage.  Are you saying that people can't build their own railroads, transmission lines, telephone systems?  Your 'unfair advantage' statement speaks volumes to your true desires and intent, I guess that we need to make pretty people uglier and stronger people weaker in an effort to equalize the advantages between folks... your desire to make humans into what they are not won't work, its against our nature - we all have advantages and disadvantages: some will inherit money from our parents and have an 'advantage', some will have the intense desire to create wealth through business and will do so better than those who would rather sit back and believe that they have a 'right' to other peoples money without expending the effort required....

I was under the assumption that you had libertarian beliefs (basic free market, no taxes, less government, no victimless crimes, etc) and that the only particular item you ';strayed' on was in regards to land taxation/redistribution.  I see now that I was totally incorrect: your socialist beliefs run through all of your ideas and it is more than clear that there is little in common between your beliefs and libertarian beliefs.  You are more Geo-Socialist than lib... why would you claim otherwise?  What exactly do you think the libertarian viewpoint has in common with your own that causes you to claim brotherhood?  Your post above flabberghasts<sp?> me to no end...

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 23, 2003, 05:52:59 pm
Michael-

You have tried to force me into a Georgist label (not me) because you don't like the fact that I use the libertarian label. Georgists are solely concerned with land and the single tax.

Geo-Libertarians, like me, are concerned with other areas of the commons and ALL forms of government granted priviledge (monopolies) titles to land being one of the more obvious.

Utilities have a "natural" monopoly because the fixed start-up costs for setting up competing powerlines is so high that no one could ever compete. Thus, competing utilities use the SAME transmission lines.

http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm (http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm)

http://www.progress.org/2003/orloff01.htm (http://www.progress.org/2003/orloff01.htm)
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 23, 2003, 06:17:49 pm
Michael-

You have tried to force me into a Georgist label (not me) because you don't like the fact that I use the libertarian label. Georgists are solely concerned with land and the single tax.

Geo-Libertarians, like me, are concerned with other areas of the commons and ALL forms of government granted priviledge (monopolies) titles to land being one of the more obvious.

Utilities have a "natural" monopoly because the fixed start-up costs for setting up competing powerlines is so high that no one could ever compete. Thus, competing utilities use the SAME transmission lines.

http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm (http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm)

http://www.progress.org/2003/orloff01.htm (http://www.progress.org/2003/orloff01.htm)

The reason I refer to you as a Georgist is because, until this point, we have basically only discussed the whole land taxation thing.  At this point I do not know how to refer to you, but, 'libertarian' anything does not seem to reflect your views, possibly Geo-Socialist, but that seems to me to be to insulting which is not my aim.  Your constant 'need' to use the awesome power of governmental force is decidely 'unlibertarian' and goes against the basic tenent of 'let the people do for themselves'.  I will never refer to you as a libertarian, no matter what other name you add to it, 'Geo' or otherwise - I consider it a fraud to a minor degree.

Whatever 'high entry costs' any industry or business has DOES not prevent others from competing, it just makes it harder to do so - the only true monopolies are ones that have the force of government behind them in some way.  The 'problem' of high entry costs creates a demand to find other possible methods of achieving the same or better effect without the high costs.  "Publitizing" the industry retards this effort and does the opposite of what you intend - service, quality, and are all adversely affected by government intervention/monopoly.  If the true costs of running power lines etc were born by the industry, including the costs associated with the use of governmental Eminent Domain to get these lines everywhere, then if one industry can afford it, others can also.  In addition, other methods would have a fair playing field to compete against the current method of transmitting power.  Let the market have at the problem and get government out of the way - it may take awhile to recover from what the various government monopolies have wrought and forced upon us, but, after the transisition, we would find much greater choice, less pollution, more service and quality at the most efficient price possible.  To continue down the road we are on is to saddle our children with the same climate, the same problems, the same stagnation which comes about due to government regulation and monopoly.

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 23, 2003, 06:21:14 pm
Quote
You conveniently left off the other half of the argument...

We are not demanding "a share of land" we are demanding the  'economic scarcity rent"" be returned to the rightful owners otherwise you have a system that promotes slavery which is antithetical to libertarianism because inorder to *be somewhere* you have to pay (forced) the entiltled who provides NO service in exchange.

     Either way the same principle still applies, let me rephrase what I said earlier:

     I will repeat this yet again: Your need of land to live on does not give you the right to demand "economic scarcity rent" from the people who already occupy land.

     I understand that you are just trying to rectify what you perceive to be a social inequality.

     The problem I have with your ideas is that they seem to be based on a collectivistic idea of land rights, and a quasi-altruistic view that need justifies entitlement.

     This is the basis for my disagreement with your idea of economic scarcity rent. My main point is that I exist for my own sake, not for others, and do not recognize their need as an entitlement to anything.

     The hero in Ayn Rand's Anthem said: "I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them."

     


Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Kyle on November 24, 2003, 01:46:07 am
Quote
Privatize Utilities (which is a far cry from this land debate...we have other threads for that)

The issues are the same though - privatizing the commons.

Quote
BillG, do you think that utilities should be privatized?

sure that's fine but the transmission lines, railroad lines, roads, telephone lines, etc...should be part of "the commons".

Whoever owns those has an unfair advantage...
I can't see how you could call yourself a libertarian.  You are proposing that government confiscate private property, namely, phone and electric lines and railroads.

Your suppositions:
Land belongs to the people collectively
Phone lines and electric lines built by private companies belong to the people collectively
Railroads built by private companies belong to the people collectively

How can you possibly consider yourself a libertarian?  These sound like the suppositions of a socialist, or worse, a borderline communist.  I'm not trying to call names here, but I don't know what else to say.

A man's education was given to him by society, by those that taught him the nature of the world.  Under your utopian social system, don't the products of his creativity belong to the people who taught him what he knows?  Isn't his mind and its products part of the commons?  Doesn't your angle make the product of his labor the property of the people?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 05:59:50 am
Quote
Your suppositions:
Land belongs to the people collectively...

This is an important point.

     The premise that fundamentally all land belongs to everyone collectively seems to be at the core of the geo-lib system. The very notion of "The Commons" is a collective notion.

     Add to this the idea that a need of something is equivalent to the right to something and the only possible political-economic system you could logically come to is one such as the Geo-libs advocate.
 
     The idea that "scarcity rent" is "rightfully owned" by humanity and must be paid by those who occupy land-- to those who do not-- follows from this basis.

     The landowner is not seen as owning his property by right, but by permission from the rest of society, since fundamentally all land is collectively owned.

     If a landowner occupies more land than is considered his fair share, in the geo-lib view, he has incurred a debt which society has the right to use force to collect, since it is theirs to begin with.

     All of this logically follows from the premise that land is fundamentally a "gift for all to be used equally."    

     The implicit notion in this entire chain of reasoning is that since land is preexisting in nature, and is not the product of anyone's labor, it is by default the collective property of all.

     The question is: Why should it default to collective ownership?

     By what standard is it assumed that if something exists that is not the product of human labor, it belongs to all of mankind?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 24, 2003, 06:12:40 am
Good Point, New Intellectual!

to take it a bit further and into the realm of imagination...

so the Sun is collectively owned, as are all the other planets in the solar system, as are all the other Solar Systems in the universe...

so, 'if' we encountered another race of beings, we would be 'right' to charge them the LVT as they are 'owning' the 'land' on their planet and, as you pointed out, we humans collectively own everything not labor-produced...

if you say that different species have different systems and that our 'collective' ends where theirs 'begins' then why can't you afford the SAME right to other humans?  Private property extends to other intelligent species as well, it is absolute (well, as far as intelligent beings are concerned who have the ability to recognize property rights)

being far-fetched,
michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 06:25:29 am
     Here are some specific examples of what I was talking about:


Quote
Quote
Why should I pay someone else for their permission to keep it?

Because it was a gift for all to be used equally

The Geo-lib claims that everything preexisting in nature, by default, is the common property of all.


Quote
we have the right to life therefore to *be*. As such, inorder to *be* we have to *be* somewhere

The Geo-lib claims that a need of something is equivalent to the right to something.

Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 06:36:55 am
Quote
so, 'if' we encountered another race of beings, we would be 'right' to charge them the LVT as they are 'owning' the 'land' on their planet and, as you pointed out, we humans collectively own everything not labor-produced

     Let's hope the other race of beings has the self-respect to blast the humans who demand LVT from them into oblivion.  

     
Quote
if you say that different species have different systems and that our 'collective' ends where theirs 'begins' then why can't you afford the SAME right to other humans?


     In other words, if you can respect another species' right to own the planet they occupied first, why can't you respect another individual's right to do the same in regards to his land?

     By what standard does a group have the right to claim "common" ownership of all land, but an individual does not have the right to claim individual ownership of land?

     Why should a collective have primacy over an individual?
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 24, 2003, 06:43:57 am
woohoo! EXACTLY! (this is like a 'love fest'! - thanks for being here, New Int!)

michael
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 06:54:31 am
     Thanks!

     One of the reasons why I'm moving to NH is because, thanks to the FSP, there will be a higher percentage of people there who think like I do, or at least share similar views.

     It's nice to talk to people I can relate to.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 24, 2003, 07:10:35 am
on a related vein, I look forward to BillG and Company to purchasing a large trct of land and instituting his Georgist Ideas... it will be interesting, but, it will not be a place for me to lay my head - I will be safely tucked away in more own private corner, immune from the taxation bandits who would deprive me of my restful dreams...

I always find it interesting that a libertarian society can include pockets of Georgism, even to the extent that it spreads across all of the landscape, but Georgism cannot contain libertarian society within it at all - says volumes regarding each philosophy...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Sc0ttiej on November 24, 2003, 01:35:09 pm
Ok, michael, this I agree with.  If Geogian (as you call it) economics is the way to go, as BillG thinks, then as a people we could come to that conclusion on our own without the government concluding for us.  It does seem that your libertarian system would give more freedom of choice.  My personal thinking is that we as a people would be better off living cooperativly, but I recognize and appreciate that other people may not share my views, and for the huaman race to evolve and prove that it's worthy of survival, we all must have the freedom to follow our own path.  It's for that reason that I lean toward liberatian government organization, while I still would rather VOLUNTARILY organize myself in a SOCIAL system closer to what BillG has in mind (though not entirely ;) )
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: LeopardPM on November 24, 2003, 03:00:18 pm
Exactly Scottie!  a libertarian society actually is capable of holding within it pockets of: socialism, communism, Georgism, etc... - but notice it can NEVER work the other way around...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 24, 2003, 03:55:09 pm
Ok, michael, this I agree with.  If Geogian (as you call it) economics is the way to go, as BillG thinks, then as a people we could come to that conclusion on our own without the government concluding for us.  It does seem that your libertarian system would give more freedom of choice.  My personal thinking is that we as a people would be better off living cooperativly, but I recognize and appreciate that other people may not share my views, and for the huaman race to evolve and prove that it's worthy of survival, we all must have the freedom to follow our own path.  It's for that reason that I lean toward liberatian government organization, while I still would rather VOLUNTARILY organize myself in a SOCIAL system closer to what BillG has in mind (though not entirely ;) )

In a monopoly situation like we find ourselves with today re:land (no unclaimed left) economic scarcity rent NATURALLY attaches to a location as people compete for access to "claimed" (not necessarily titled) land based on their own values/judgement as to the desirability of the land before the EXISTENCE of any governemnt entity.

If the individual landowner pockets this economic scarcity rent it can only come from one source - the fruits of the labor of the renter/purchaser. Because we have to *be somewhere* in order to *live* & thus under monopoly conditions this is NOT a voluntary transaction. If the renter doesn't pay the owner is within their rights to ENFORCE their claim (with the full backing of the governing body - if they issued the title).

Now what good or service does the renter receive from the landowner in return for the "TAX" on the fruits of his labor?

NOTHING!

The landowner neither produced the land nor the economic scarcity rent that is created by external forces to the landowner's labor.

So without some mediating entity (whatever you want to call it) you have a vast INVOLUNTARY transfer of wealth occurring before our very eyes with NO goods or services provided in exchange.

In my book this is a perfect condition of SLAVERY.

to disagree you have to:

1. believe that man can produce matter from nothing.
2. believe that the landowner creates the economic scarcity rent from his labor
3. believe that there is unclaimed land so the transaction is voluntary
4. some combination

So, Scottie the system you are choosing will NOT give you "more freedom of choice" to the contrary the many landless will be enslaved by the few landed...but of course that is your free choice. Only the more "cooperative" model that I sketch out will provide you with TRUE FREEDOM no matter how the Neo-Libertarian try and twist my words or discredit me personally. The same analysis holds true for other areas of the commons currently under assault from the AnCap clique.

This may be my last post on these boards as it looks like I am being censored...
Title: Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: MrVoluntarist on November 24, 2003, 04:39:58 pm
I'm pretty impressed with the whole Free State Project concept. I just stumbled across the website today and I have to say I agree with almost everything the FSP stands for... EXCEPT privatizing grocery stores. When the government owns a store- that means the people own the store. When you sell publically held food distributors to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible.

Look what happens in many communities.  A big grocer takes over and jacks up prices.  Do people get a cut?  Nope.  Luckily, some communities have wisened up.  I know a grad student in Chicago who lives in a neighborhood that has a community-owned grocery store.  They are able to keep quality and prices under control since they are the government and the government is the store.  For example, you can walk in and pick up two 12 packs of soda for just $10!!!  (if you buy a store membership card, which you get a discount on if you're a member of the community)  Plus, they were able to pass regulations requiring employees to tell customers where things are if they ask.

If you don't have community-owned grocery stores, they will mistreat their workers and manipulate the market like Enron.  I don't want that kind of society.

Thanks for your time.

Yours,
MV
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Sc0ttiej on November 24, 2003, 05:32:59 pm
How are you being censored?  You have years to argue your point before everyone moves to NH, so keep trying.  If there is censorship going on I want to know about it.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 05:38:20 pm
Quote
In my book this is a perfect condition of SLAVERY.

to disagree you have to:

1. believe that man can produce matter from nothing.
2. believe that the landowner creates the economic scarcity rent from his labor
3. believe that there is unclaimed land so the transaction is voluntary
4. some combination

"In my book this is a perfect condition of SLAVERY."

     This is just like the Marxist concept of "wage slavery." People need money in order to eat. Capitalists have total control of the "means of production." The workers, therefore, must work for the capitalists or they will starve. Marx claimed that this was an involuntary transaction, that it was slavery.

     Both Geo-lib and Marxism turn society into a class struggle. Marxism makes it the workers vs. the capitalists. Geo-lib makes it the landholders vs. the landless. Both want to prevent inequality.

    Geo-lib is more plausible than Marxism because of the fact that land is preexisting in nature, and not produced by human labor. Because of this Geo-libs claim their theory is not subject to the same criticism.

     But from a view that an individual exists for his own sake, not the sake of others, both Marxism and Geo-lib are subject to the same attacks. Why should a landowner surrender his wealth to others, just because he owns land and they don’t? When the self-sacrificial and collectivistic premises both theories rest upon are challenged--the rest comes tumbling down.


"1. believe that man can produce matter from nothing."

     So what if matter cannot be produced from nothing? It's not my responsibility or my problem if someone else "needs a place to stand." Why should I put their needs before my own?

"2. believe that the landowner creates the economic scarcity rent from his labor."

    To say that the economic activity occurring around me which increases the relative market value of my land gives others the right to tax me would make me responsible for the actions of others.

      I will not accept any unearned debt. I am not responsible for the actions of others, including their economic activity.

"3. believe that there is unclaimed land so the transaction is voluntary"

     Again, it's not my problem if someone else "needs a place to stand." If there is no more unclaimed land, that's too bad. If all land is already claimed and you want some of your own--buy it. I do not exist for the sake of others. If they need something, I am not obligated to give it to them.

     Your system demands that a landowner sacrifice his own self-intrest for the sake of others, because of their need. There is no reason on earth why he should do so.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 24, 2003, 05:44:33 pm
Quote
Now what good or service does the renter receive from the landowner in return for the "TAX" on the fruits of his labor?

NOTHING!







How about the "place to stand" you keep talking about?


Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 24, 2003, 06:09:59 pm
How are you being censored?  You have years to argue your point before everyone moves to NH, so keep trying.  If there is censorship going on I want to know about it.

well, a number of threads are being locked in General Libertarian Discussion area...so maybe not me specifically but...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 24, 2003, 06:12:12 pm
Quote
Now what good or service does the renter receive from the landowner in return for the "TAX" on the fruits of his labor?

NOTHING!



How about the "place to stand" you keep talking about?

How about the landowner did not PRODUCE that "place to stand" you are referring to me talking about...
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: BillG on November 24, 2003, 06:35:32 pm
Quote
This is just like the Marxist concept of "wage slavery." People need money in order to eat. Capitalists have total control of the "means of production." The workers, therefore, must work for the capitalists or they will starve. Marx claimed that this was an involuntary transaction, that it was slavery.

I make no claims about the right to eat...

Food is a product of labor whereas land is not!

If I trade my labor for food that someone grew that is the PRODUCT of the farmer's labor.

If I have access to unclaimed land I can trade my labor for seeds to grow my own food...

without land - food would not exists!

Quote
Both want to prevent inequality

I make no claim against inequity. People are free to do what they want with labor-based property to enrich themselves as much as they can within the new ecological framework of restoration of the sanctity of the commons.

The claim I am making is one of FREEDOM. Without which a just society can not be claimed. So no matter how much the Libertarians want to create a better society by "reducing the role of government" it fundamentally can not happen with the landowner pocketing the economic scarcity rent. Period.

Quote
Why should I put their needs before my own?

Because otherwise you are violating the basic tenet of libertarianism...self-ownership

Quote
To say that the economic activity occurring around me which increases the relative market value of my land gives others the right to tax me would make me responsible for the actions of others.

The increased value NATURALLY attaches to a location no matter if economic activity occurs or not and it precludes government.

Quote
Your system demands that a landowner sacrifice his own self-intrest for the sake of others, because of their need. There is no reason on earth why he should do so.

The right to life is not simply a "need" it is fundamental to libertarianism. If we have a right to life we have a right to *be somewhere* as in take up 3 dimensional space and on this place called "earth" that includes touching the dry surface via gravity. The reason "on earth why" is to create a LIBERTARIAN society based on FREEDOM.

To believe otherwise is anti-libertarian and just an excuse to protect the biggest welfare system ever devised by man that promotes salvery.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: Kyle on November 24, 2003, 07:24:07 pm
I grant you a raised thumb.  Bravo.
Title: Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
Post by: Justin on November 24, 2003, 10:56:23 pm
Another thread derailed.

The topic was Utilities. Though intentionally going off-topic has never bothered the socialists in out midst.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 24, 2003, 11:13:25 pm
Quote
When the government owns a store- that means the people own the store.

wrong, you are confusing socialism where the government own a store - with a food coop where the people own it.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 01:41:05 pm
does a response of sarcasm to sarcasm elucidate a truth?

I find that sarcasm generally ends discussions which is kind of odd behavior on a discussion board - no?

unless of course your purpose is to score points rather than to discuss...


MOD: consolidating BillG's repeated posts to himself.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: rdeacon on November 25, 2003, 02:14:26 pm
If the people in a community wish to create a community food store it is within their rights to do so, but I would never say that we should remove food sales from the free market.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 02:34:01 pm
If the people in a community wish to create a community food store it is within their rights to do so, but I would never say that we should remove food sales from the free market.

who is suggesting that it should?

MV is reaching for something that does not exist because he can not present his point otherwise.

a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away with "wet dreams" of the free market.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: Kyle on November 25, 2003, 05:38:57 pm
Food may have been produced by labor, but it increases in price due to its increasing economic scarcity.  Cities are getting larger and farmland is getting smaller.  Food is produced from the land, which is also decreasing causing economic scarcity.  Shouldn't those who have food also be charged the economic scarcity rent, Bill?  It was created by two things, labor and the land it is grown in.  Don't we need to charge economic scarcity charges for the land half of that equation?  C'mon Bill, you know you want to.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: MrVoluntarist on November 25, 2003, 06:43:26 pm
a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away with "wet dreams" of the free market.

I agree with you Bill, I agree.  Utilities are a natural monopoly, no two ways about it.  Look at all the utilities we have today- monopoly.  What more proof do you need?

The thing is, I see grocery stores as a natural monopoly too.  What the hell is the point of two, three, four company each having separate lines of trucks shipping in stuff on roads over private property.  It makes no since.  One centralized company can do it much easier, so you won't have to have four sets of roads for the trucks to come in.

Also, you won't have that Enron crap and worker exploitation or fat profits.  Like I said before, the community benefits from a community owned monopoly co-op.  Can you imagine shopping at a store where the community doesn't have guidelines requiring the employees to tell you where things are?  Where else are you going to find two 12 packs of soda for just $10?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 07:00:15 pm
Food may have been produced by labor, but it increases in price due to its increasing economic scarcity.  Cities are getting larger and farmland is getting smaller.  Food is produced from the land, which is also decreasing causing economic scarcity.  Shouldn't those who have food also be charged the economic scarcity rent, Bill?  It was created by two things, labor and the land it is grown in.  Don't we need to charge economic scarcity charges for the land half of that equation?  C'mon Bill, you know you want to.

Land exists without labor. Food "produced from the land" would not exist without labor...

so, the answer to your baiting question is a resounding NO! I have never waivered from this point...
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 07:09:09 pm
Quote
Utilities are a natural monopoly, no two ways about it

not the "utilities"per se but the transmission lines running over private property are a "natural" monopoly.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 25, 2003, 07:25:03 pm
Quote
a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away with "wet dreams" of the free market



Please expain exactly what a "natural monopoly" is.




Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 08:29:05 pm
Quote
a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away with "wet dreams" of the free market

Please explain exactly what a "natural monopoly" is.

http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm (http://www.progress.org/archive/fold74.htm)

A "natural monopoly" is defined in economics as an industry where the fixed cost of the capital goods is so high that it is not profitable for a second firm to enter and compete. There is a "natural" reason for this industry being a monopoly, namely that the economies of scale require one, rather than several, firms. Small-scale ownership would be less efficient.

Natural monopolies are typically utilities such as water, electricity, and natural gas. It would be very costly to build a second set of water and sewerage pipes in a city. Water and gas delivery service has a high fixed cost and a low variable cost. Electricity is now being deregulated, so the generators of electric power can now compete. But the infrastructure, the wires that carry the electricity, usually remain a natural monopoly, and the various companies send their electricity through the same grid.  
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 25, 2003, 08:59:18 pm

     Then is this the basis for your belief that a grocery store cannot be treated in the same manner as an electirical grid?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 09:04:07 pm

     Then is this the basis for your belief that a grocery store cannot be treated in the same manner as an electirical grid?

yes
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 25, 2003, 09:35:48 pm



     Ok then. While I disagree with your ideas, I still think that they should be represented accurately.

     It does no good to refute a misrepresentation.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 10:06:05 pm
I guess the grocery vs. electricity analogy would hold if each food distributor had to build their own private roads to haul the food. They don't...they use the public road which are part of the commons.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: Kyle on November 25, 2003, 10:28:38 pm
I guess the grocery vs. electricity analogy would hold if each food distributor had to build their own private roads to haul the food. They don't...they use the public road which are part of the commons.
Does this mean that your philosophy allows for private companies to sell electricity on a publicly owned grid?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 25, 2003, 10:39:01 pm
I guess the grocery vs. electricity analogy would hold if each food distributor had to build their own private roads to haul the food. They don't...they use the public road which are part of the commons.
Does this mean that your philosophy allows for private companies to sell electricity on a publicly owned grid?

not publicly owned but rather owned in common...yes based on short-term, market-based leasing arrangements with money generated going back into the infrastructure and excess going directly to local citizens.

Same as private ownership of land...collection of economic scarcity rent (how about in the form of a rent voucher that can be traded as currency instead of a tax) that is returned to those that create the value.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 03:30:06 am
Quote
I guess the grocery vs. electricity analogy would hold if each food distributor had to build their own private roads to haul the food. They don't...they use the public road which are part of the commons.


     But what if all the roads were privatized?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 26, 2003, 06:44:47 am
then you would have a natural monopoly...
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: Kelton Baker on November 26, 2003, 09:57:26 am
Food may have been produced by labor, but it increases in price due to its increasing economic scarcity.  Cities are getting larger and farmland is getting smaller.  Food is produced from the land, which is also decreasing causing economic scarcity.  Shouldn't those who have food also be charged the economic scarcity rent, Bill?  It was created by two things, labor and the land it is grown in.  Don't we need to charge economic scarcity charges for the land half of that equation?  C'mon Bill, you know you want to.

Land exists without labor. Food "produced from the land" would not exist without labor...

so, the answer to your baiting question is a resounding NO! I have never waivered from this point...

But if the farmer is charged rent for their land upon which he labors, then, in effect, food will be taxed via the land.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: rdeacon on November 26, 2003, 11:55:05 am
Utility lines?  I thought we were talking about food sales.

If the people in a community wish to create a community food store it is within their rights to do so, but I would never say that we should remove food sales from the free market.

who is suggesting that it should?

MV is reaching for something that does not exist because he can not present his point otherwise.

a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away with "wet dreams" of the free market.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 05:29:30 pm
     Bill, in regards to utilities you said the following:
Quote
Same as private ownership of land...collection of economic scarcity rent [...] that is returned to those that create the value.

     What I don't understand is the fact that you are claiming there should be "collection of scarcity rent" on utility lines which run through other people's private property.

      I thought your so-called "scarcity rent" applied only to people who owned land?
   

     In regards to grocery stores, you said the following:
Quote
I guess the grocery vs. electricity analogy would hold if each food distributor had to build their own private roads to haul the food. They don't...they use the public road which are part of the commons

     I asked:
 
Quote
But what if all the roads were privatized?

     Your reply:
 
Quote
then you would have a natural monopoly...

     Are you saying that anything which is a "natural monopoly" should be subject to your "scarcity rent?"

      What is the standard by which you determine what is and is not subject to "scarcity rent?"

Also, where does "scarcity rent" even come from?
 
  Earlier, I had said:
     
Quote
To say that the economic activity occurring around me which increases the relative market value of my land gives others the right to tax me would make me responsible for the actions of others.

     You replied:
Quote
The increased value NATURALLY attaches to a location no matter if economic activity occurs or not and it precludes government.

     Part of your quote about utilities says:
Quote
collection of economic scarcity rent [...] that is returned to those that create the value

     So what is it? Does your "scarcity rent" come from "those who create the value" or is it something which "NATURALLY attaches to a location no matter if economic activity occurs or not?"


Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: underwater on November 26, 2003, 05:35:36 pm
Just to throw another perspective out there...

Phone companies, for a time, were seriously thinking about charging modem users more money for sending data. This was their way of forestalling the Internet revolution. Thankfully, this policy was preempted. Handing networks over to a single control point (read: private entity) is not always the best thing. Rather, a network is the infrastructure (e.g. shared language, shared unit of exchange, shared roads, etc...) upon which free-markets are built. Still, though, I see nothing wrong with a phone company laying cable and controlling that cable. The investors and workmen that put that cable in should be the sole beneficiaries of their risk/work. My concern lays more in the area of right-of-ways. For instance, railroads were built by using governmental means to obtain right-of-ways. Those right-of-ways should remain public and railroad companies should pay for access to those lands.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 05:46:25 pm
Food may have been produced by labor, but it increases in price due to its increasing economic scarcity.  Cities are getting larger and farmland is getting smaller.  Food is produced from the land, which is also decreasing causing economic scarcity.  Shouldn't those who have food also be charged the economic scarcity rent, Bill?  It was created by two things, labor and the land it is grown in.  Don't we need to charge economic scarcity charges for the land half of that equation?  C'mon Bill, you know you want to.

Land exists without labor. Food "produced from the land" would not exist without labor...

so, the answer to your baiting question is a resounding NO! I have never waivered from this point...

But if the farmer is charged rent for their land upon which he labors, then, in effect, food will be taxed via the land.

     Any "scarcity rent" (tax) which you "capture" (steal) from the owners of land with farms and businesses on it will be passed on to everyone else in the form of higher prices.

Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 05:59:55 pm
Quote
For instance, railroads were built by using governmental means to obtain right-of-ways. Those right-of-ways should remain public and railroad companies should pay for access to those lands

     The problem is that I would reject any government means of obtaining a right-of-way in the first place, because it seems the government must have forced it upon the original landowners.      

     What about privately created right-of-ways, such as easements, purchased from a landowner by a railroad company?

     Nobody has a right to force a landowner to sell his property or grant an easement--eminent domain--but as long as the owner voluntarily agrees to grant an easement I don't see any problem.



Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: underwater on November 26, 2003, 06:49:33 pm
Quote
  The problem is that I would reject any government means of obtaining a right-of-way in the first place, because it seems the government must have forced it upon the original landowners.      

    What about privately created right-of-ways, such as easements, purchased from a landowner by a railroad company?


Hey, that's great - but that's not how the world works. You are the one that worships a book based on questionable premises. No railroad could buy land clear across the U.S. and be profitable. Hell, railroads can not be profitable as is. And what about airlines? Aren't they flying over my airspace? Shouldn't I be able to charge them? Ignoring the commons and its role in commerce is a poor way to construct a political philosophy.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on November 26, 2003, 07:33:18 pm
Quote
Are you saying that anything which is a "natural monopoly" should be subject to your "scarcity rent?"
      What is the standard by which you determine what is and is not subject to "scarcity rent?"
Also, where does "scarcity rent" even come from?

The economic scarcity rent naturally attaches to a location and arises from the competition of people for the right of exclusive possession of the piece of land most suited to their requirements and pre-exists government. It is generated by the presence and activity of all people in the community and thus designated as extrinsically created because the land owner has no influence over it's creation because they cannot effect supply or demand.

"Land" as an expression of the commons includes all natural resources, including the spatial surface of the earth, material resources such as water and minerals, the radio spectrum, the atmosphere used for travel or as a dump, all wildlife, and the genetic information in living beings.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 07:41:19 pm
Quote
Hey, that's great - but that's not how the world works.

     Can you be a little more specific? What do you mean by "that's not how the world works?" Why don't you explain how you think it works?

Quote
You are the one that worships a book based on questionable premises.

     Again, be more specific. What book are you talking about? What premises do you find questionable? Care to elaborate?

Quote
And what about airlines? Aren't they flying over my airspace? Shouldn't I be able to charge them? Ignoring the commons and its role in commerce is a poor way to construct a political philosophy.

     You are assuming that I believe in the ancient Roman conception of land ownership as being "From the center of the Earth, to the heavens above."

     However, I don't know where you got that idea from, since I believe in no such thing. I think that legally, airspace and land should be treated differently.

Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 07:51:04 pm
Quote
[economic scarcity rent] is generated by the presence and activity of all people in the community and thus designated as extrinsically created because the land owner has no influence over it's creation because they cannot effect supply or demand.

Quote
The increased value NATURALLY attaches to a location no matter if economic activity occurs or not

     These two quotes look like they contradict each other to me. Can you tell me why they are consistent with each other?


Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: Reaper on November 26, 2003, 08:08:03 pm
Shhh!!

Don't feed the Georgists!
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 26, 2003, 08:15:03 pm
Quote
Shhh!!

Don't feed the Georgists!



    LOL! Why not?





Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: thewaka on November 26, 2003, 08:27:04 pm
The economic scarcity rent naturally attaches to a location and arises from the competition of people for the right of exclusive possession of the piece of land most suited to their requirements and pre-exists government. It is generated by the presence and activity of all people in the community and thus designated as extrinsically created because the land owner has no influence over it's creation because they cannot effect supply or demand.

Okay, I live in an interesting situation. Small town (currently about 2400 pop.) that was smaller, by how much I don't know. Man comes in, buys lots of property, builds up local cable company, builds nationwide long distance company and moves in many people to fill job positions. Cost of housing/land goes up. When he or anyone else sells a piece of property, should he get the "economic scarcity rent"? Without him, there would have been no increase in land values. Now that it has been discovered that he made big mistakes with the company, values are falling. Does he owe himself or other local landowners money? I live in Coudersport, PA, where Adelphia is/was.

Seems this contradicts your quote above. There was no competition from "everyone in the community." It was created by one man.
Diana
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on November 27, 2003, 01:57:29 am
Quote
Phone companies, for a time, were seriously thinking about charging modem users more money for sending data. This was their way of forestalling the Internet revolution. Thankfully, this policy was preempted.

     How was it "preempted?" By the government forcing them not to?


Quote
You are the one that worships a book based on questionable premises.


     Maybe the premise you find questionable is my belief that the initiation of physical force is wrong?

Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: John-Wiltbank on November 29, 2003, 08:41:29 pm
Quote
a "natural" monopoly like utility transmission lines traveling over private property can not be wished away

Power transmission lines are not a natural monopoly.  In my government-run high school class, I was informed that the reason the Wise Ones put the stomp-down on private utilities and trans. lines in the first place, was because in big cities like New York, there were transmission lines running everywhere.  Dozens upon dozens of transmission line companies buying right-of-ways and putting up wires.  It was all chaotic and ugly, and so thank goodness the government stepped in and saved up from excessive competition.

Of course, the gov't schools are not the most reliable source for information, but it turns out that on this particular point, they were basically truthful.  Excessive competition actually was a major justification used back at the turn of the century, and there really was a plentitude of competing electricity lines and generators in population centers.  Regulation and state-ownership was established to create a monopoly where none existed.

So there's the facts.

Also, you don't even need physical wires to transmit electricity, some of you may be interested to know.  Wireless transmission of electricity is quite possible.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: beyond_mediocrity on November 30, 2003, 02:02:02 pm
Quote
When the government owns a store- that means the people own the store. When you sell publically held food distributors to private companies then you are basically giving away a precious public resource which - if efficiently and carefully operated - can generate revenue for the community while also doing as little damage to the environment possible

Food is a "precious public resource".  What is a "precious public source"? And what other commodities that you consider as  "precious public resources"?

Quote
Look what happens in many communities.  A big grocer takes over and jacks up prices.  Do people get a cut?  Nope.  Luckily, some communities have wisened up.  I know a grad student in Chicago who lives in a neighborhood that has a community-owned grocery store.  They are able to keep quality and prices under control since they are the government and the government is the store.  For example, you can walk in and pick up two 12 packs of soda for just $10!!!  (if you buy a store membership card, which you get a discount on if you're a member of the community)  Plus, they were able to pass regulations requiring employees to tell customers where things are if they ask

Are you familiar with free enterprise system? Free enterprise is the freedom of private business to organize and operate for profit in a competitive system without interference by government beyond regulation necessary to protect public interest and keep the national economy in balance . [Merriam Webster, 2003 ed.]  If any private business would want to charge high prices, they will never be stopped.  But if a private competitor would want to charge lower prices, to be competitive, they will also never be stopped.  The consequences will be that  the private company who charges high prices will have to decrease their prices in order to stay with their business.  Therefore, there will be economic balance from competition.
As to government owned businesses, where do they get their capital? Thru taxes.  Who pays taxes? Every tax payer in the community.  Therefore, those commodities sold in government owned grocery stores were PREPAID by all taxpayers.

Quote
If you don't have community-owned grocery stores, they will mistreat their workers and manipulate the market like Enron.  I don't want that kind of society.

If a private business will maltreat their workers, it is up to the workers to keep their job or not.  They have the freedom of choice.  But definitely, if these workers are wise enough, they will move to a better private company, who compensates them well, in a free enterprise society.  And that will decrease the value of private companies who does not compensate their employees very well.  Again, through a fair competition due to the free enterprise system, more private businesses will be efficient and individual citizens will have a variety of which company to apply for employment.  In the end, private companies who compensates their employee justly will stay in business and drive the unjust private businesses out of the market.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: rdeacon on December 01, 2003, 11:28:15 am
Heh, I'll be bowing out of this thread, too much like the many other land rights threads  :P
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on December 02, 2003, 03:51:55 pm

     Beyond Mediocrity:

     I agree with everything you're saying, but I think that this thread was meant as sarcasm. At least I really hope it was!

     BillG(not Gates of course because Gates in an evil capitalist!) seems to think that electric transmission lines and other utilities should not be privately owned and instead be "part of the commons."

     The "why privatize grocery stores" is a mockery of his position...



   
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on December 02, 2003, 05:21:21 pm

     Beyond Mediocrity:

     I agree with everything you're saying, but I think that this thread was meant as sarcasm. At least I really hope it was!

     BillG(not Gates of course because Gates in an evil capitalist!) seems to think that electric transmission lines and other utilities should not be privately owned and instead be "part of the commons."

     The "why privatize grocery stores" is a mockery of his position...



   

what I said was that transmission lines are a "natural" monopoly and I never said the utilities shouldn't be privately owned.

Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on December 02, 2003, 07:51:51 pm
     But Bill, don't you think that things like sewer systems should be part of the commons?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: MrVoluntarist on December 03, 2003, 01:54:54 am

     Beyond Mediocrity:

     I agree with everything you're saying, but I think that this thread was meant as sarcasm. At least I really hope it was!

     BillG(not Gates of course because Gates in an evil capitalist!) seems to think that electric transmission lines and other utilities should not be privately owned and instead be "part of the commons."

     The "why privatize grocery stores" is a mockery of his position...



   

what I said was that transmission lines are a "natural" monopoly and I never said the utilities shouldn't be privately owned.



You're right, you never said this:

Funny thing though - while private utilities have driven California to the brink of ruin, its two major public-owned utilities in LA have thrived even selling surplus energy throughout the region...

http://www.fair.org/extra/0105/deregulation.html
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: MrVoluntarist on December 03, 2003, 02:01:33 am

     Beyond Mediocrity:

     I agree with everything you're saying, but I think that this thread was meant as sarcasm. At least I really hope it was!

     BillG(not Gates of course because Gates in an evil capitalist!) seems to think that electric transmission lines and other utilities should not be privately owned and instead be "part of the commons."

     The "why privatize grocery stores" is a mockery of his position...
   

Yeah, what he said.  Great, libertarians that want most things to be publicly owned.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, here are some names: Fred Foldvary as you know wrote an article about how he wants a public bus system, even if proper tolls were charged.  His argument similarly justifies public hospitals and health care centers. Harold Kyriazi admitted on an ASC thread (that I'll find if you desire) that a private school ought to get public funding if it raises property values.

Public buses, health care, schools ... freedom at its finest.
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: LeopardPM on December 03, 2003, 03:42:20 pm
Funny thing though - while private utilities have driven California to the brink of ruin, its two major public-owned utilities in LA have thrived even selling surplus energy throughout the region...

http://www.fair.org/extra/0105/deregulation.html


Californias energy crisis was NOT brought about by privatization efforts - it was more directly attributed to the government pricing regulations... an industry IS NOT private if its prices are 'controlled'... please don't confuse the two...

michael
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: BillG on December 03, 2003, 06:16:32 pm

     Beyond Mediocrity:

     I agree with everything you're saying, but I think that this thread was meant as sarcasm. At least I really hope it was!

     BillG(not Gates of course because Gates in an evil capitalist!) seems to think that electric transmission lines and other utilities should not be privately owned and instead be "part of the commons."

     The "why privatize grocery stores" is a mockery of his position...
   

Yeah, what he said.  Great, libertarians that want most things to be publicly owned.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, here are some names: Fred Foldvary as you know wrote an article about how he wants a public bus system, even if proper tolls were charged.  His argument similarly justifies public hospitals and health care centers. Harold Kyriazi admitted on an ASC thread (that I'll find if you desire) that a private school ought to get public funding if it raises property values.

Public buses, health care, schools ... freedom at its finest.

Like within the broader libertarian movement there are a variety of opinions within geo-libertarians...some argue for the citizens dividend (me) and then head tax & user fees others say that the money should go directly to the local government to pay for various services (Foldvary, Kyriazi). There is no uniformity...
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on December 03, 2003, 06:20:21 pm
Quote
In case you think I'm exaggerating, here are some names: Fred Foldvary as you know wrote an article about how he wants a public bus system, even if proper tolls were charged.  His argument similarly justifies public hospitals and health care centers. Harold Kyriazi admitted on an ASC thread (that I'll find if you desire) that a private school ought to get public funding if it raises property values.

Public buses, health care, schools ... freedom at its finest.

Quote
Like within the broader libertarian movement there are a variety of opinions within geo-libertarians...some argue for the citizens dividend (me) and then head tax & user fees others say that the money should go directly to the local government to pay for various services (Foldvary, Kyriazi). There is no uniformity...

     Pretty scary. And they call themselves Libertarians??

     Let's get this straight:

If you are in favor of ANY form of government other than the minimum needed to keep law and order, you're NOT a friend of liberty.

Liberty means NO taxes, NO public schools, NO public bus systems, NO socialized medicine, NO public utilities, NO wealth redistribution schemes, NO gun control.
Get the hell out of the way!

LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!
(http://www.angelfire.com/ego2/justified_arrogance/us-gads.gif)

Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: underwater on December 06, 2003, 04:13:34 pm
Quote
You are assuming that I believe in the ancient Roman conception of land ownership as being "From the center of the Earth, to the heavens above."

    However, I don't know where you got that idea from, since I believe in no such thing. I think that legally, airspace and land should be treated differently.

I think that legally, land and capital should be treated differently. Why am I so wrong while you are so right? However, if you insist on an absolute right to own land then I insist on an absolute right to own airspace. So, if I stand in my yard with a Stinger missile in order to keep those pesky planes out of my airspace then I think that your Randian philosophy should recognize such an action as a legitimate use of force. Otherwise, are you telling me that you are for socializing airspace?
Title: Re:Why privatize grocery stores? Shouldn't the PEOPLE own them?
Post by: <Patrick> on December 07, 2003, 11:48:38 pm
     Underwater, do you mind if we move this to the general libertarian discussion part of the forum?

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=6;action=display;threadid=4720;start=120#lastPost (http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=6;action=display;threadid=4720;start=120#lastPost)