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Author Topic: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them  (Read 7391 times)

Brettp76

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2008, 04:08:12 pm »

As a debate tip, I would suggest you bring every economic argument down to the micro level. Leftists can always cite some obscure, spurrious claim that collectivist policies "work" or that free markets fail and you don't want to waste time questioning each other's information. Additionally, by partaking in the macroeconomic debate, you've usually conceded (implicitly at least) that the purpose of policy should be to promote the collective good as opposed to protecting the individual. 

You want to seize the moral high ground immediately and force your opponent to talk numbers. The more personal, the more morally based your arguments, the better. 

A short example:

Leftist Scum: "Brett, I can't believe you don't support the minimum wage increase. Don't you care about poor people?"

(leftists usually start with a fairly pathetic plea for compassion)

Brett: "I do care about poor people...I care about all people and believe individuals should be free to decide the terms of their employment among themselves."

(notice how I didn't suggest that jobs would be lost)

Leftist Scum:  "But how can anyone live with the current wage?"

Brett: Let's say I owned a business and offered you a job for a certain wage. Let's say you accepted the job. By what right can someone tell us we can't do business with each other? By what right can someone else decide what's "right" or "best" for you? Can this "majority" or politician also dictate what you wear, what you eat, when you sleep, etc?? What happens if you, maybe only by mistake, happen to disobey one of these laws?

(again, I didn't get into the cost of living (inflation) argument..I stuck to the individual vs. collective and force vs. voluntary argument via a personal example)

Remember that "free markets" are nothing more than individuals acting in the absence of government force or threat of force. You should study economics (Friedman, Mises, Hazlitt, etc) but never base your views on economics, certainly not on econ alone.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 06:38:57 pm by Brettp76 »
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"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." Ayn Rand

MaineShark

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2008, 05:25:27 pm »

...but never base your views on economics, certainly not on econ alone.

Indeed.  Free markets are right because they are morally right.  That they make life better for folks is a nice coincidence, but it would not change the moral issue, even if the opposite were true.

A totalitarian government could certainly reduce street crime.  That would not ever make such a thing right.

Pragmatic arguments ignore the heart of the issue, which is that controlling the economy involves violently suppressing innocent people.  That's what makes a controlled economy wrongful.  The fact that it also fails on mathematical and practical levels is just added "bonus" talking points.

Joe
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dalebert

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2008, 09:40:57 am »

And usually, when you’re debating someone, you’re not going to change their mind—it’s about changing the minds of the people in the audience.

Good point, but I would also add that their mind will likely not change immediately but you will introduce ideas that will sway their future decisions in the light of new experiences. They may actually change their mind later.

NHArticleTen

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2008, 10:41:12 am »

CA_Libertarian

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2008, 01:18:11 am »

Early on in my journey to free thinking (one that is by no means over), I can think of one distinct idea that really shook up my way of thinking.  The idea itself isn't as important as the fact that I learned to question everything.

I was taking a basic Econ course for my 2-yr degree.  We were assigned to read an article about child labor.  The article argued that consumers should not try to stop child labor, which to the novice free-thinker can be a horrifying idea.  Unfortunately, I didn't save a copy of the article, and can't remember the author... so I'll have to try to recite the arguments from memory:

Child labor is used because there is a ready supply and the costs are low.  When we regulate child labor out of the market, we feel good because we saved these children from what we consider poor working conditions and low wages.  However, in many cases we may be doing more harm than good.  In undeveloped nations, families often rely on every member contributing.  These children aren't being forced to work by corporate goons, but rather by poverty.  When we take these jobs away from these children, we are forcing them to turn to jobs that pay less and have worse working conditions.  Some of these children will be forced to steal, get into the drug trade, or turn to prostitution simply to survive.  Sadly, school is simply not an option for a large number of people, so taking their jobs doesn't help them at all.

So, in essence, if we tell a business owner (at the point of a gun) that she cannot employ children, we are actually making things worse for those children.  We are also increasing the cost of goods as the business owner now has to pay adults higher wages.  Unfortunately, those who oppose child labor don't think about the unintended consequences of their actions.

How do we cure the child labor dilemma?  Free trade.  If we allowed the market to function without restrictions, we are all better off.  In a generation or two those undeveloped nations may get to a point where a family can survive and put their children through school.  Instead, governments regulate them into perpetual poverty.
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NHArticleTen

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2008, 09:49:52 am »

Early on in my journey to free thinking (one that is by no means over), I can think of one distinct idea that really shook up my way of thinking.  The idea itself isn't as important as the fact that I learned to question everything.

I was taking a basic Econ course for my 2-yr degree.  We were assigned to read an article about child labor.  The article argued that consumers should not try to stop child labor, which to the novice free-thinker can be a horrifying idea.  Unfortunately, I didn't save a copy of the article, and can't remember the author... so I'll have to try to recite the arguments from memory:

Child labor is used because there is a ready supply and the costs are low.  When we regulate child labor out of the market, we feel good because we saved these children from what we consider poor working conditions and low wages.  However, in many cases we may be doing more harm than good.  In undeveloped nations, families often rely on every member contributing.  These children aren't being forced to work by corporate goons, but rather by poverty.  When we take these jobs away from these children, we are forcing them to turn to jobs that pay less and have worse working conditions.  Some of these children will be forced to steal, get into the drug trade, or turn to prostitution simply to survive.  Sadly, school is simply not an option for a large number of people, so taking their jobs doesn't help them at all.

So, in essence, if we tell a business owner (at the point of a gun) that she cannot employ children, we are actually making things worse for those children.  We are also increasing the cost of goods as the business owner now has to pay adults higher wages.  Unfortunately, those who oppose child labor don't think about the unintended consequences of their actions.

How do we cure the child labor dilemma?  Free trade.  If we allowed the market to function without restrictions, we are all better off.  In a generation or two those undeveloped nations may get to a point where a family can survive and put their children through school.  Instead, governments regulate them into perpetual poverty.

I must congratulate you on your self recognition as a Student and Advocate of the Philosophically Mature Non-Aggression Principle!

If every Individual Sovereign Human Being was so well engaged within themselves we can't even begin to see the endless possibilities for Life, Liberty, and Property!

Excellent!

rubing

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Re: I feel like I love free markets but I cant defend them
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2008, 03:00:18 pm »

John Milton frequently wrote of the futility and danger of debate with the devil.   >:D

When I think about these things I just remember that scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail, where the king tries to order around his peasants and they give him an earful.  It's as simple as that.  Don't ride in on your fake horse with all these airs telling me what to do how to live.  Go mind your own bloody castle.  Or bring me another shrubbery!  nie!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 03:01:59 pm by rubing »
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